As a general rule, I’m all about a quick pace. I get bored easily and I don’t do well with downtime. I like to stay booked and busy, thank you very much (success!). In Slovenia, I hit the ground running. There was a spontaneous road trip, a journey into deep dark caves, a rowdy game of Jenga, and a revolving door of new friends. Each day brought a different adventure. It was enthralling, it was exciting, but it was also exhausting. The pressure of making sure I was doing enough with my time started to get to my head.
After two weeks of this breakneck pace, I was satisfied but seriously tired. So by the time I arrived to the Slovenian coast, I was ready for a reprieve. Luckily for me, I’d just gotten to a city known for relaxation.
Piran is this tiny coastal town tucked between Italy and Croatia. It used to be part of Venice, and it’s still got some seriously Venetian vibes. There’s multicolored, pastel buildings, lots of water, and Gothic alleyways. There’s also a laid back, laissez-faire attitude. In other words, it was the ideal setting for a little relaxation retreat.
I definitely bought into dreamy, chilled out atmosphere that Piran is known for. I spent my days people-watching in the town square, indulging in rich, creamy seafood plates at seaside eateries, and watching the sunset from a medieval fortress. It was a dramatic shift from my whirlwind of a routine, but it was a most welcome one.
On my last day in Piran, I started my morning off with the most zen of activities: yoga. Full disclosure, I’m not much of a yogi. The last time I stepped foot in a yoga studio was circa 2013. But I figured if I was going to do this whole re-centering thing, I was going to go the whole nine yards. A yoga class on the beach felt like the cherry on the top.
My class met right on the riviera. Directly in front of us was the stunning blue of the Adriatic Sea. On either side, we had gorgeous views of the coastline. We laid out our yoga mats and started with the lotus position. Our teacher, a Slovenian local who’s taught yoga for over a decade, instructed us to close our eyes and connect with our breaths.
She guided us through a series of different positions. At various points, I had to sneak a cheeky peak at the rest of classmates to make sure I wasn’t completely butchering the movements. I was getting in my own head: Am I doing this correctly? Do I look stupid? There was a series of self-conscious questions running through my mind, until my instructor said something that stuck with me: Focus on what feels right to you, she told us. Don’t worry about if you’re doing enough. If it feels right, that in itself is enough.
It was a good lesson for yoga, and an even better lesson for travel. I started to rethink my entire travel philosophy. As long as I was taking the time to indulge in what felt right to me, it didn’t matter how much I managed to cram in. I didn’t have to worry if I’d see enough, done enough, experienced enough. In the middle of my yoga class on the Slovenian coast, I realized I didn’t have to do everything all at once. I could slow things down, relieve the pressure. If what I was doing felt right to me, that was enough.
Lydia packed two pairs of shoes for her travels in Slovenia, Croatia, and Montenegro. She is counting on her well-worn, well-loved sneakers to carry her through coastal markets along the Adriatic, majestic ruins of ancient cities, and Balkan national parks. She also packed a pair of festive sandals, intended for long walks on the beach and questionable hostel showers alike. She considers this an exercise in versatility. When she isn’t carefully curating the most austere of packing lists, Lydia enjoys crafting incredibly niche Spotify playlists and reminding people that she is from California.