Country review – Slovenia

So a few friends and I decided to take a short break to Slovenia in May. We decided on Slovenia mainly because we wanted to go somewhere that none of has had been before and plus Slovenia is super easy to get to from Frankfurt – only about an hour flight.

Overall we had 5 nights in Slovenia and just over 4 full days. We had a different plan for each day and stayed in 4 different parts of the country during our time there.

Before I start with the itinerary that we followed I would like to begin by saying that none of us knew what to expect when traveling to Slovenia. I think we all just thought we would have a nice few days away from work but our expectations weren’t overly high.  To say we were pleasantly surprised is an understatement.

Day 1 – 4th May 2016

We flew from Frankfurt into Ljubiajna, which is the Capital of Slovenia.  Ljubljana airport is TINY but everything ran extremely smoothly and our bags were already waiting for us by the time we reached baggage claim. We had arranged to rent a car from a small Slovenian company (Atet) which is based at the airport. As there were 5 girls (with big suitcases) we rented a large people carrier. The process was very smooth and the car was perfect for our needs. Overall It cost around 500euro, which seems quite pricey but as it worked out 100euro each it wasn’t too bad.

Hotel: As we arrived quite late we did not get to see much of Ljubljana that night. Instead we drove straight to our first hotel, the Birokrat hotel ( This hotel was extremely clean, the staff were beyond helpful, the breakfast was really nice by hotel standards and the room was perfect. We had booked two rooms, the one I stayed in was a triple room and cost 120euro, which between three people is a bargain. I would definitely recommend this hotel to anyone staying in Ljubljana.


Day 2 – 5th May 2016

As we only panned for half a day in Ljubljana we awoke early for breakfast. After filling up on delicious bread, eggs and pastries we headed to the city centre for a free walking tour at 11am ( Given that this walking tour was free we weren’t expecting much but the tour was incredible. Our tour guide was extremely knowledgeable and you could tell he was really proud of his country.  He took us on a two hour tour of the modern Ljubljana and the more historic Ljubljana. If you ever find yourself lucky enough to be in Slovenia then this tour is well worth it. A taxi to the center will cost you between 5-7euro.

Ljubljana itself is extremely beautiful. For a capital city it is incredibly relaxed and quiet. As a lot of the centre is pedestrianized you can really relax and take everything in while wandering around the streets. There is a great buzz in the city; there is a river with bars and restaurants with outdoor seating areas, street performers and a lot of people who are not consumed by the usual need to rush around that people in capital cities often are.

After the tour we had lunch – soup in a bread bowl (pictured) – and we headed back to the hotel to collect the car and continue our journey. As Ljubljana had excessively exceeded our expectations we were sad that we did not have more time there. Little did we know that what was to come would make up for that.

Our next stop was to visit the renowned Lake Bled. If you google Slovenia, usually the first photo you will see is of Lake Bled.  Driving from Ljubljana to Lake Bled took just under an hour and that was with traffic as we were driving at rush hour. The drive is incredibly scenic and the closer and closer that we got to the lake the more and more I fell in love with Slovenia.

Hotel: We had scheduled a one night stay in a hotel called Vila Bled ( Only three of us stayed in this hotel and it cost 263euro for a triple room. Firstly, the location of the hotel could not have been more perfect, it looks right onto the lake and the island in the middle of the lake (see photos). Our room (more like a suite) was amazing, it had one double bed and a single bed, there was also a desk, a fine china press and a huge bathroom – it was extremely grand.

The hotel staff were very helpful and gave us a lot of information on what restaurants to try and where we should go to explore. We had a bottle of champagne on the terrace which overlooked the lake and we also made use of the Jacuzzi in the hotels spa.

The staff also let us know that to get to the island in the middle of the lake we could either pay someone to row us there or we could row for free ourselves on a boat provided by the hotel. We decided on the latter….but that’s for day 3😉


Day 3 – 6th May 2016.

We woke early and had a beautiful breakfast on the terrace with a beautiful view. We had decided that we would row ourselves to the island in the middle of the lake. The hotel provided the boat free of charge which was amazing as I think prices are around 45euro an hour if you are not a hotel guest.

Well, all I can say is that this was such a fantastic experience. Firstly the views on the lake are nothing short of breath-taking. But actually rowing the boat ourselves was the icing on the cake. It was such a good time and really made the trip special. We all took turns at rowing and each one of us was worse than the last, it was a great workout and an unforgettable experience.

The island itself consists of a beautiful church and some more amazing views.  I recommend going as early in the morning as you can as, like with anywhere, the later you leave it the more tourists there will be. We had a lovely walk around, stopped for an ice-cream and rowed back, taking a longer route this time to admire some more views.

That afternoon, at the suggestion of hotel staff, we visited Vintgar Gorge which is also in Bled. This place is INCREDIBLE. It is a gorge with a series of wooden bridges leading you through it with waterfalls and rapids along the way. Again, the views here were indescribable. We walked for about two hours, stopping for more ice-cream on the way of course and also getting sprayed by some of the waterfalls along the way.

After our day of exploring we hopped back in our car and began our drive to Bovec. The drive took approximately 1 hour 30 minutes. The roads on this drive were quite windy but again the views more than made up for this.

We arrived in Bovec quite late and didn’t get to do much exploring. We stayed in an apartment that had two double beds and a sofa bed. It was extremely clean and had everything that we needed. It cost only 88euro for the night which between 5 people was next to nothing.

Day 4 – 7th May 2016

For today we had planned a day of outdoor activities with Sports Mix (

Our first activity for the day was white water rafting. We arrived at 9:30am and were given all the necessary equipment. The staff were extremely lovely and helpful and our instructor, was amazing. The whole thing took about two hours and I can honestly say I have never experienced anything like it in my life, it was incredible. The activity itself was extremely fun and we even got to stop along the way and slide down our raft. The views along the way just got better and better and for me it was a real life changing experience.

I remember thinking afterwards that it was the best thing I have ever experienced in my life….that thought lasted about half an hour until we moved on to our next activity.

That afternoon we went zip-lining.  Zip-lining in Bovec is like nothing else you can experience. You are zip-lining over these massive gorges with nature all around you. There is no better way to experience the nature around you. Overall there were 8 lines and each one was better than the next. The instructors were beyond professional and made us all feel very comfortable.

For both activities it cost around 130euro each which was more than worth it in my opinion. I was buzzing for days after that experience and could not recommend Bovec and Sports Mix more highly.

At this stage we had all pretty much fallen in love with Slovenia and did not believe that this country could get any better but once again, we were wrong.

That evening we drove to Piran, which is a small coastal town. The drive took a little over two hours from Bovec.

We went from views of the snowy Alps and waterfalls to a beautiful coastal town with an incredible sea and amazing sunsets.

Hotel: We stayed in Hotel Piran which is located right on the sea and has breath-taking views.  The hotel cost 395euro for two nights which was around 130euro between 3 people. Our room was incredible and we had a HUGE balcony that overlooked the sea. We were very very very happy bunnies.


Day 5 – 8th May 2016

Today was our day to relax. We went walking around Piran which had some beautiful seaside walks and we also walked to and explored the city walls. We spent the day by the sea in the hotels bar, drinking amazing cocktails and enjoying delicious foods. Although there is no real sand beach in Piran it is still beautiful and in the afternoon we went for a quick swim in the sea. This town is truly beautiful; it is quiet with lots of lovely small restaurants both on the sea front and hidden on windy streets and pathways.

Day 6 – 9th May 2016

On our last day in Slovenia we woke early and had a lovely breakfast in Hotel Piran. Then we begrudgingly left our beautiful hotel and made our way back to the airport in Ljubljana.

On our drive back to the airport we stopped at the Postojojna Caves and were once again blown away by what Slovenia had to offer us. It was another beautiful day but once you step into the caves it as though you step into another world. First of all if you ever do visit the caves be sure to bring a warm jacket as no matter what the temperature is outside the temperature inside remains a steady 8/9 degrees. Brrrrrrrrrr.  To make your way into the heart of the caves you take a short train ride which in itself is fascinating. Then you follow your tour guide on foot through the caves. Our tour guide was incredible. He was very knowledgeable and you could tell that he was really passionate about his work. The caves are like something out of a movie and no photos or videos that we took could even close to do them justice.

As part of the package we bought we also got to visit Predjama Castle which is just up the road from the caves. The castle is special because it is built within a cave mouth. We did the audio tour of the castle which I would very highly recommend. It was very informative and really interesting to learn about the history of the castle.

After our tour of the castle we had one more lunch and headed off for the airport.

Overall – I have been to many countries in Europe, Asia, America and Africa and I can say without a doubt that nowhere has left a mark on me quite like the one that Slovenia has. The beauty of this country is something that I have never come close to experiencing before. Slovenia has everything you could possibly want from mountains to the coast. The Slovenian people were one of the friendliest I have met and seem extremely proud of their heritage. The prices of everything here were extremely affordable and the quality of accommodation, food and activities were top notch.

I cannot stress enough how much you should visit Slovenia…..I know it may not be top of your list but please if you ever have the opportunity to go then please to. I promise you that you won’t regret it.





The best compliment I’ve ever been given.

For most of my life, the most important compliments I could have received would have been based on how I looked.

If someone complimented me on my looks then I would think hoorah, all the effort I put in is actually paying off. Then I realized that as long as I am happy with how I look, it really doesn’t matter what other people think of me. So, while it is always nice to be complimented on my looks our an outfit choice, these compliments no longer have such a great impact on my life.

The other day in work, a colleague, who I don’t see everyday but who I do see at least a couple of times a week, gave me the best compliment I have ever received. To be honest, I never thought that such simple words could have such a huge impact on me. My colleague came to the office, greeted everyone in the room and then turned to me and told me that I am always smiling and it always makes his day when he pays us a visit.

That’s it, as simple as that, I am always smiling. It took another person to point this out to me but then I realized that he is right. For the past few months, since I have settled into my new job, moved to a new country, made some amazing new friends, traveled a lot and fell in love my life has taken a turn for the better and I have become happier without really realising it.

Having suffered with depression most for more than 10 years, someone telling me that I am always smiling is a HUGE deal for me. Don’t get me wrong, I have had times of happiness before but usually I am always thinking that it is too good to last and that sooner or later things would begin to fall apart inside my head again. This time though, these thoughts seem to be further from my mind then they have been for a very long time. For someone to notice my happiness speaks volumes for the state of my mental health currently and it has really helped me to appreciate all of the things that are contributing to my current state of mind. I am living in the moment instead of being consumed by that what ifs.

So, while I know that my depression will never really be one, I also know that, for the first time, I do not have my life on hold, waiting for it to rear it’s ugly head and it feels amazing.

I want to know, what’s the best compliment that anyone has ever given you?



Be kind to everyone

Since I have begun ignoring people’s judgement and living for myself rather for other people I have made a number of discoveries.

These discoveries have been about my own behaviour but also about the behaviours of others. One such behaviour is how people treat you differently dependent on how you look.

As I have mentioned numerous times before (I know I’m a broken record right?) I have only recently found happiness and confidence in myself. Up until this point I would not be seen dead in public without a full face of makeup and relatively well dressed. But now, unfortunately for the world, I have become less obsessed with caring about the opinions of others which means I am becoming comfortable leaving the house with less and less makeup on, less perfect hair and less perfect clothes. What I have noticed as a result is how I am treated differently by people depending on my appearance.

Now, it’s not like I’m leaving the house looking dirty or rabid but rather I look like a normal person, I look like me but this doesn’t seem to please the world.

I never noticed before and obviously took it for granted but when I make a real effort to look well, people treat me better, men especially, and I am not talking about in a flirty way but just in a being a nice human being way.

As I live abroad, I take a lot of flights. I never noticed how before I would have numerous prince charmings offering to lift  my bag to the overhead locker for me or kindly let me off the plane ahead of them, patiently waiting while I gather all of my things. People would hold doors open for me, shop assistants would take time to talk with me and generally I would receive very nice treatment which I always too for granted as people just being nice people. Boy was I wrong.

I have found on days when I don’t make a huge effort with the way I look that people will simply ignore me as though I am invisible. Although my plight on the plane may be the same there are no prince charmings to come to my rescue and I could be waiting for an hour to eventually disembark the plane shop assistants give me looks of pity and doors bang shut in my face. I will no longer take for granted the kindness of others.

Of course people are more likely to flirt when they find someone attractive but I never realised that one has to look a certain way in order to be the recipient of simple human niceties. This got me thinking about if I treat people differently based on appearances. I genuinely don’t think I do but it will definitely be something I pay more attention to in the future.

So please be nice to each other because each other is all we have.




Feeling good about yourself

Unfortunately in today’s world a lot of emphasis and importance is put on how we look, dress, act etc. Are we pretty enough, are we skinny enough, do we have fashionable clothes, how much did your bag cost and on and on and on. 

Of course everyone living in western society is suffering at the hands of these unrealistic standards but I can only write about my own experience and that is the experience of a young woman who is constantly feeling the pressure to better herself for the satisfaction of others. To fit in to a world that is constantly changing its trends regarding what is acceptable and what is not. To tirelessly try to keep up with the ever changing standards and continue to fall short time and time again.


Well I have thankfully come to the realisation lately that I will never live up to the standards that the world has set for young women. I will never live up to them because they are an ever changing destination that simply doesn’t exist.


It breaks my heart to see young girls idolise people based on how skinny they are, how rich they are and how many sex tapes or nude selfies they have. It breaks my heart because I was that young girl who grew into that young woman and who it took until the age of 26 to finally be able to say that I love myself because I am me and not because I am me trying to be someone else.


This morning I was getting ready for work and I just was not feeling good in the outfit I had picked pout but I didn’t have time to look for something else to wear. I got so upset that I started to have a panic attack about leaving the house. I had to stop myself and tell myself to breathe. Then I had to ask myself who I was trying to impress. I was fine with the dress but I was worried that others would think I didn’t look good enough. The fact that I got so upset over my clothes really made me have a long hard think about what is really important in my life.


Of course it is important to feel good about yourself and I can honestly admit that I do. I am happy with how I look and my sometimes quirky fashion choices. I think I could be fitter so I go to the gym but that really has become more about me feeling good about myself than looking good for anyone else. This attitude really has changed my life. I am much happier being who I really am and not worrying about what anyone else thinks about me.


This has proved easier said than done on a number of occasions one being my breakdown over my outfit choice this morning.


As much as we may see more and more headlines and magazine covers telling girls to be themselves and love who they are I can tell you from experience that as much as we may want to believe that the world has become more accepting of individuality that there is still a long long way to go.


The pressure comes from all sides for me to be skinnier, be more tanned, buy new clothes and act like a girly girl when the fact is that the person people would like me to be is not the person I am and I have decided to be true to myself.


So here it goes……




I love myself, there I’ve said it. I don’t mean it in a cocky way I just mean that I love the person that I am and I am tired of trying to be someone that I will never ever be.


I am not perfect by anyone’s standards…..and why should I want to be?


I am a young woman who needs to do more exercise, needs to eat healthier, loves to read books, plays video games, has an awful taste in music, wears way too much black, also wears way too much black eyeliner, has an awful singing voice but graces everyone with my singing skills anyway, I am stubborn, I am a big child and I love myself.


As long as I am not hurting anyone (except for maybe with my terrible singing) I don’t seem what harm there is in this.


So why is it that people don’t look too fondly on you being happy with yourself. They will still hint at things and make suggestions as to how you could be better and the hard part is not giving in to that pressure because it will never stop.


If you want to make people jealous then accept and love yourself. People can’t seem to understand others who can do this. But I promise you it is worth it, you will have so much more time do great things and to live your life the way you want to when you’re not stop trying to fit a mould that no person can fit in.


You are amazing. You are exactly who you are supposed to be. Be true to yourself. Love yourself.





The only one in your way is you

Last week I got an email from the principle of my old secondary school (high school) congratulating me on my success at university and on my current career. She also asked me if I would be interested in giving a talk the current graduate class at the school.

This really got me thinking about not only how things have changed for me since secondary school but also my experience of the school itself. I knew straight away that I had a clear message that I would want to convey to the students and it may not be what the school officials are expecting of me.

My secondary school was a public school, in a not so nice area where not much was expected of the people who lived there or their children. From watching countless episodes of the Ellen DeGeneres show I see teachers and principals in down trodden schools pushing their students to be the best they can be and instilling in them the idea that they can change their own futures. Unfortunately the teachers and principal from my old school would never have ended up on an episode of Ellen.  Instead it seemed as though we were to accept our fate of being lucky to tie down any career we could find and live our lives in the same area, have a bunch of kids and continue the cycle.

In my final year of school I remember my principal asking me what I wanted to do when I graduated. When I told her my aspirations of attending university she looked at me very seriously and asked if I had not considered doing a course in hair dressing.  Not that there is anything wrong with hair dressing, what bothered me was that my dream had been shot down without a second thought.

*Important to note here that instead of physical education courses we were give makeup classes*

Another incident occurred when a teacher told me that I should not have too high expectations in a final exam and that I should expect a C grade at most and that I should be happy about it…. I ended up getting an A1 (highest grade)… not that I’m cocky😉

Now, I am the first to admit that I am not a naturally intelligent person, I have to work really really hard and I do. I love learning and studying and I put a lot of effort into both in secondary school and university which have led me to my current job.

So what I will tell the current graduating year is that you cannot depend on anybody else. If you are lucky enough to have access to an education then it is up to you if you succeed or not. You can’t let where you’re from or other people’s expectations of you determine where you end up. Yes it’s hard and yes you will want to take the easy route but it is so worth it if you end up doing what you’ve dreamed of.

What you are capable of is endless and the only person who can stop you from reaching your fullest potential is you. So if you’re not the smartest then work harder, if you’re not in the best school then study harder and if you’re not from the greatest are then keep moving because there is nothing that can stop you but you.

I’m not sure if my school will appreciate this message but it’s what they have taught me….oh look I guess they did teach me something🙂



Charity Challenge – Make a difference

I try to help people as much as I can. I love doing volunteer work especially as I get to see first hand the impact you can have on others lives which is an amazing thing.

However, there is a lot of suffering in the world and one person can’t help everybody, as much as one might want to. So often I like to donate money to a cause that I really feel passionate about.

At the moment the affects of the Syrian conflict on the Syrian children is massive. Since the beginning of the conflict around 80% of Syrian children have been affected in some way. Children are being forced from their homes, orphaned, married off, suffering viscous attacks and even joining armies. It makes me sick to think of these innocent children paying for the actions of others in today’s world.

As much as I would love to be able to make every one of these children’s lives better this is not realistic. So I have decided to donate some money to UNICEF which is doing amazing work not just with the children in Syria but children that are suffering globally.

As well as making a monthly donation I have decided to set myself a kind of challenge for myself this month.

I love to shop and usually I buy things that I don’t necessarily need. Often this is a bad thing but for one month I want to turn it into a good thing.

For every non necessary item I buy (excluding food) I will donate the cost of the item to UNICEF. For example, today I bought two work dresses that cost me 50euro and now I have donated 50 euro to UNICEF.

I promise to keep this up for one month and will report back at the end to let you know how I do. Two of my friends have also agreed to take part with me

While I would encourage others to take part I am aware that it’s not for everyone and that not everyone is able. I do however encourage you to donate as much or as little as you can to UNICEF. These children need our help.

Happy shopping🙂



Every little helps

*Quick post*

With all of the suffering in the world today there are only one group of people who do not carry any of the blame and that is children.

Despite this, children are suffering all over the world and right now in Syria since the beginning of the conflict over 80% of the countries children have been affected in some way.

Unicef are doing everything they can to help the children that are suffering around the world.

Please please please donate as much or as little as you can. These children and children all over the world need our help and should not be punished for the actions of others.





There are over 4000 miles between us but you still manage to make my days better.

I could be having the worst day and seeing your name pop up on my phone can change my mood in an instant.

I have never needed anything like I need you.

I never knew that I was holding my breath until I met you.

I could have never imagined the beauties that the simplest things hold if it wasn’t for you.

I never allowed myself to believe that anyone could want me like you do.

I have never seen two people fit as perfectly together as me & you do.

And although we may be apart right now I promise to make my way back to you. 

Thank you for being you. 

I love you. 



In the balance

When I feel depressed it as though I become a tightrope walker.

As I stand on my tightrope I look to my right and see my life, my life that is often unbearable, I see hopelessness and I see loneliness.

When I look to my left and I see I see death, I see an escape but I also see the unknown.

Some days I  lean a little further to the right and on others I prefer to lean to the left.

The hardest part is being in the middle when I am looking ahead torn between both options.

Often, when I lean to the right I can find happiness and light, but it never seems to last.

When I lean to the left I can almost taste the escape and relief but also the torture it would bestow on my loved ones.

For now, I have chosen right. For now, right is bearable.

But, I can always feel left, it’s presence, as if it’s just waiting for me to fall.

And I fear one day I will willingly leap into it’s embrace.



Why I’ve never told my parents about my depression

I have a really close relationship with my parents that is one of the most important things in my life and I cherish it. Up until a few months ago I still lived with them and really only moved out of home because I was moving abroad for work. We would eat dinner almost every day together and even now that I’m in Germany we still talk every day and skype constantly.

Even with such a fantastic relationship I have still never found myself able to tell my parents about my depression. There are multiple reasons for this but there is one main one. I have an older brother, my parents had him when they were very young and because of this it’s always been known that he wasn’t a planned child but my parents never resented my brother for this and love him unconditionally. This is why there is a large age gap between me and my brother, he is seven years older than me. Me and my brother never fought as given the age difference we never really had much to fight about. I was the annoying little sister and he was the older brother who I idolised and who influenced my life in so many ways.

When my brother was in his late teens he suffered with bad depression and became bulimic. At the time I was still quite young, only about 11 or 12, and although my parents never sat me down and explained what was going on with my brother I knew as I overheard worried conversations between my parents and obviously noticed the change in my brothers behavior. Given my age and my lack of understanding I resented my brother a lot at the time. It seemed as though he was getting all the attention and at that I was being forgotten about. I clearly didn’t understand the seriousness of the situation and now that I do I often feel guilty for feeling such feelings towards my brother as I know now that he was in no way at fault.

My brothers experience is the reason that I have never told my parents about my own. Although they did not involve me directly I saw what it did to my family. My loving parents were distraught and did everything they could to get my brother help. They used every resource they had, got him appointments with the best doctors and ensured they were doing everything in their power to help get my brother better. There were fights, they’re was blame, there was lack of sleep and there was constant worry. I saw my parents on the brink of breakdown, so consumed by worry that they were always on edge. I saw his depression not only consume him but also my parents and I never wanted them to have to through that again.

I remember one incident so clearly it’s as though it was yesterday. I used to wake my brother up in the morning for college as I would be awake earlier than him for school. One morning he was in a deep sleep and he wouldn’t wake up for me and I got annoyed and stopped trying. I went to my parents room and said innocently “I can’t wake Pete”. The next thing I know my mom had jumped from the bed and sprinted to my brothers room and shook him until he woke up. I realised afterwards that when I said I couldn’t wake him the first thing my mom had thought was that he had killed himself. It was if they this is what they were waiting for, that it was inevitable.

Thankfully, my brother got the help he needed and now has a very happy life with his own loving family. Despite this my parents to this day still treat him differently than me. They walk on eggshells around him and often don’t tell him things because they think it might upset him. I see this and I know that his depression is still a huge part of their lives and will probably always be a part of their lives. They believe me to be the strong one and as a result I am treated as a more independent person. Of course they worry about me in different ways but they don’t worry about me breaking.

Sometimes I still resent my brother even though I know he is not at fault. I feel jealous that my parents know his struggles and accommodate for them. I often what to scream at my parents that I have depression, I want them to know how difficult things have been for me but I know that if I do that things will also be difficult for them.

I’m not sure if I will ever tell my parents about my depression, the way my mindset is now I don’t think I ever will. Given our strong relationship sometimes I do feel guilty about hiding this huge secret from them but I truly believe that hiding it from them is better for them.

Maybe one day I will tell them but until then the strong, independent daughter is just another part that I will continue to play.