LAP OF HONOUR
NOVEMBER 5, 2021
From a really good spot in the middle of nowhere
I have one more story to tell about my roadtrip. It isn't so much about the place or the actual trip. It's about redemption.
So, I was home from France and only had a little bit of time left before I moved to Toulouse. My friend Philip happened to have time, so he jumped in my van and off we went to Slovenia. The experience itself was so much richer than the photos here show - but this trip wasn't really about photos for me. Slovenia has a lot to offer: wild mountains, calm sea, gorgeous backcountry, and a vibrant capital in Ljubljana. We saw all of that, all the while exercising, reading, cooking, and meeting new people. It was a perfect trip.
The key moment for me though happened at the Adriatic coast. We had found pretty much the only spot along the coast where wildcamping was tolerated; and there were a lot of other vans. We had gotten a pizza and some beers and were merrily preparing the van for the night, when a young couple approached us. They were clearly new to camping, just as I had been three months before; and they shyly asked questions about wildcamping and its unwritten rules. We talked for a while, and I couldn't help but notice what impression I had on them. To my surprise, I was oozing comfort, enthusiasm, and serenity. I realized I had come to a place where I was truly happy and calm living in the van. That moment, looking out on the sea and the starry night, redeemed so much of the anxiety I felt in Switzerland, so much of the loneliness and sadness I felt in France. In hindsight, the trip wasn't about photos for the most part - it was about feeling comfortable in a place so different to school and university. And when I realized I had reached that, Slovenia became a lap of honour, a celebration of a challenging, yet ultimately gratifying summer.
Exactly how I imagined Slovenian towns