It’s almost a month since I got home from Slovenia. Of course it feels like a lifetime, although the memories are still vivid… because it was SUCH a wonderful holiday. I wish I was still there, rather than back in the routine, high-pressure drudgery of work. So I thought I would summarise and reminisce a little about that first holiday away as Andrea rather than post a typically diary-like post.
What do I think of Slovenia as a holiday destination?
Well I was only based in one village, although saw quite a bit of the region around it, so cannot comment on the whole country. As per the scenes depicted in photos in my previous two posts, I think it is a beautiful place with spectacular scenery. It is good for active people, walkers, cyclists, or mountain bikers alike – there is a good network of paths, although with a minimum of cable cars then to get anywhere high one must generally rely on one’s own fitness… although with that comes a sense of achievement when certain walks are completed. I am not a city-person, but fellow guests told me that the capital city of Llubjana is very attractive, and from pictures this would seem to be the case. There are also an amount of water-related things to see and do, including lovely lakes (quite a few of which can be swam in, some even being rather warm), impressive waterfalls, steep gorges, and rivers with rafting available; there are a number of cave systems too, one of which I saw about 26 years ago (though not as the real me of course), which I remember being very impressive… though I understand it is now quite commercialised. The local food and beverages are also very good.
What are Slovenian people like?
From the experience of my holiday I have to say that Slovenian people are almost all very nice, apart from the bus drivers who come across as rather grumpy… though that may be in part because I likely pronounced all of the place names incorrectly, although not so incorrectly that they didn’t know where I wanted to go. I was told, upon my return, that Slovenians are honest and up-front people who will either tell you or give you an obvious indication if they don’t like you – well, I didn’t notice any of that, wherever I went on my walking adventures people were friendly and greeted me with a generally cheery “Dober Dan” (good morning in Slovenian), or similar for the afternoon, or another greeting which I still can’t quite pronounce; so I can only conclude that nobody found me to their obvious dislike.
The hosts at my little pension hotel were extremely friendly, warm and welcoming, and ever so helpful; it was more like staying with friends who wouldn’t let you do anything at all to help!
The Slovenian language is quite unlike any other I have ever experienced, and I was told very difficult to learn. Luckily pretty much everyone speaks English… to a very good standard.
How did I feel during my first holiday as Andrea?
My first emotions after having been shown to my hotel room were ones of heart-warming delight; the view from my room was stunning, the warm welcome amazing, and everything felt perfect. As I ventured out for a short walk around the nearby lake these emotions soon turned to tearful astonishment and amazement… because, less than two years after having ventured into the real world for the very first time, I was not only living full-time as a woman but I was on my very first long holiday, having used a passport with my female photograph to get there. The next day, as I started my first walk, in the afternoon, I felt very lonely and sad, that although I was away on my long holiday in a lovely place I was away for the first time on a long holiday all by myself, without my brother or my daughter accompanying me, in the knowledge that they can’t come to terms with my choice to live my life in an honest way that is natural to me; but in the evening these feelings vanished as I got talking to very friendly British guests. The emotions for the rest of my holiday were pretty much the same – joy, contentment, and HAPPINESS… and that is what life is all about! But, unsurprisingly, the feelings took a nosedive on the morning of departure, and when I paid my bill I was sniffly and close to tears.
How accepting of transsexuals are Slovenians?
I don’t know whether this question sounds a bit odd to any readers, but it was a question that a friend of mine (also a transsexual woman) asked me by email a few days into my holiday. Well, my honest answer is that I have absolutely no idea! Why? This is because during the whole of my stay in the country, and in fact including the journeys from my home to Slovenia and back again, I did not once receive even the merest hint from anyone whatsoever that they considered me to be anything other than a cis-woman; everyone treated me like any other woman, and numerous times I was addressed or termed “lady”, “she”, and “madam”… or “senora” by the group of Italian school children that I encountered on one day. My “no idea” response may well be for a number of reasons:
- It could be that everyone these days is so open-minded that nothing makes anyone bat an eye-lid, however unusual; however, in early exploits out as Andrea, with sub-standard hair and on a learning curve appearance wise, I do know this is certainly not the case.
- Perhaps I am so good at appearing as my female self that nobody ever notices anything about me that suggests I was not physically born as a woman; well, I know that this isn’t 100% true either, even now, having learnt so much and now having a human hair wig, there are very occasionally just the odd hint or two from people that makes me at least wonder whether they are contemplating my transsexual nature, even if there is nothing obviously negative vibing from them. But then, as has been discussed either or on other blogs, there are a great many reasons why people observe others.
Whatever the reason, I have always stated my objective in my new life to be that I want to blend in and be treated as any other woman… and on my first holiday as my true self, that is what I achieved… and that is what made it so perfect!