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Living in Idrija by Marlon

četrtek, 18 marec 2021 15:51

Hello there! It’s Marlon here :)

I arrived in Idrija, Slovenia, in mid-August of 2020 for a project with the duration of 8 months. I had no idea what to expect since there is very little information online about this cosy little town – all I had seen was some pictures on Google, and what I saw was enough to convince me haha – a small town sitting on a valley, surrounded by mountains and green as green can be.


For all my life I lived in what one could consider as big cities (Luanda, Lisbon, Budapest) and I was curious to see how it was like to live in a small town without the buzz and movement of such cities, and where the sense of community was likely to be stronger.


So, that was one of the main reasons why I came, besides the project itself and the fact that it would be another experience abroad, in a place where I do not speak the local language or know anybody, meaning I had a lot to learn, discover and adapt myself.


It has now been 5 months since I arrived and, so far, I have pretty much only positive things to say about this place. The negatives are not really negatives, but rather a matter of adapting to different things than the ones I was used to, and one example is the fact that I can’t enjoy the sun hours and the sunset as I would in Lisbon (the “downside” of living surrounded by mountains). I neeeed some sun, haha. Also, the fact that I came during a pandemic that shut pretty much everything down – and with that, opportunities to socialize and normally interact with local people in person – didn’t help much. But luckily, I have a nice roommate (if I said anything different, she would stop making Burek for us …) and met other international volunteers, which helped me to satisfy my need to socialize.


However, going back to the positives, the first one I will single out is the people and their hospitality to a foreign person. I’ve had so many situations that filled my heart with warmth and awe, from the people in my youth center and the local volunteers doing what they can to help us have a good experience here, to a local woman giving me and the other international volunteers her personal phone number in case we would need any help for something (when we just met 10 min ago on a bus), a bus driver randomly stopping in the middle of the road early in the morning to offer me and a friend a ride to the bus station, or one of my neighbours passing by to offer some cake and invite me and my roommate to spend Christmas with her in case we didn’t have anywhere else to go. There were more things like this, but I can’t mention them all here. That’s just to show the incredible people you might run into here!! Ah, and pretty much everybody speaks English!


Moreover, Idrija is a very quiet and peaceful place where you will be spoiled by Nature. You can go for a walk in the forest, cycle around, hike one of the many mountains around and enjoy a beautiful view, go to swim in the Idrijca river when the weather is warmer or enjoy the snow and all the activities related to it in the winter. Not to mention that in the fall (or autumn) the hills are just gorgeous when the leaves turn red/orange/yellow – ahhh!


Regarding practical things, it has pretty much all you need in a walking distance: supermakets (and bio/local markets), pharmacy, library, cinema theatre (the oldest in Slovenia), barbershops, bus station, bars, restaurants, a cool youth center ;), etc. And what you don’t find here, Ljubljana is just 1h away :)


I still have a few more months to enjoy in this place and, if you would like to know more about my experience here and how things went, ping me on Facebook! (https://www.facebook.com/marlon.deazevedo/)

Aaaand that’s it!
Take care, be you, and be well!
Marlon

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