Well, the trip has come to an end and I’m kinda having some withdrawals from all of the amazing places we visited. I can honestly say I have never had more fun and learned more things abroad in my entire life. I would never trade anything for the time I had with the amazing people I travelled with and the time I spent in one of the most beautiful countries in the world. One thing, though, did try to ruin it for everyone. United Airlines successfully turned around 16 hours of travel back home, to around 48. I don’t think I have ever witnessed or been a part of such a series of unfortunate events. From cancelling a flight because of a storm that would end in just a couple hours later, to cancelling the last flight back home because of an oil leak. I, at one point, thought I would never make it back home and was planning on starting my new life in Chicago. They tried their best to make this terrible circumstance what we remembered from the trip, but it is nearly impossible to mask the more positive highlights that we had in Slovenia and Italy. I will never forget the amazing moments I had on this trip, thank you to everyone who made it one of the best times of my life!
On our last day in Slovenia we were able to visit several breathtaking places such as a resort called Garden Village, which turned out to be the most unique resort idea I have ever seen in person, Elan, a sport/ski manufacturing company, the Bled School of Management, a masters school, and, of course, Lake Bled and Bled Castle. The most interesting visit for me was the visit to the Bled School of Management, because after my four years at the University of Kansas I plan on moving onto getting my Masters in Business Administration at a place like this. I’ve never actually looked into any of these kinds of schools, so it was a learning experience for me to get a sense of the tone and expectations in one of these establishments. I was also pretty sold on the credibility of this Slovenian school in particular and was seriously thinking to myself about considering it as the school I went to to achieve my MBA. We’ll see what happens!
I got to witness the future today. Approximately a hundred years in the future to be precise. Today, we toured a general pharmaceutical company called KRKA. This company has apparently been hiding its technology from the world, because right as they started the tour of the company, I felt as if I had time travelled to a new dimension. This company seemed almost entirely automated in its manufacturing and production of pharmaceutical drugs. The environment and cleanliness of the factories was on just an unbelievably extreme level. For example, they change the air and pressure in every one of their buildings four times an hour and in the actual manufacturing areas, nine times an hour. It is just unbelievable that there are such places like this on the planet, places that seem so far beyond where we are now.
Well after recovering from the previous day of golfing on coasts of Croatia to venturing into the Adriatic Sea, our next stop was Pipistrel. Pipistrel is a high-performing and luxurious glider manufacturing company, which has proven as one of, if not, the best glider producing companies in the world. This company has one several awards and sold to several high-level buyers across the globe. It was just crazy that we, a small group of engineers and business students based out of a University in a small town in the state of Kansas, got the opportunity to listen to the daughter of the CEO of the company describe the company and even provide us with a tour of the several different world-class gliders. It’s honestly really amazing that a country I never really put that much thought into until this just recent school year, has so many impactful companies in industries across the world. This is something I will always keep in mind when leaving this country.
Sunday might have been the most eventful day I have experienced in the past year. Croatia was so close to our hotel in Portorož that we knew we had to figure out something to do there at least for a little bit of our free day. Luckily, while looking online for stuff to do in the neighboring area of Croatia, we somehow stumbled upon an unbelievably beautiful club golf course sitting right on a peninsula that was directly across the bay from our hotel in Portorož. We knew we had to take advantage of an opportunity like this, I mean when can you say you went golfing on a Croatian peninsula embedded by vineyards and country hills. This journey doesn’t stop there. Given the fact that we were allowed a full free day on this Sunday, we knew we had to figure out a way to continue this venturous journey a little longer. After finishing golfing at around 12 pm, we headed back to Portorož where we immediately changed into swimsuits and headed to a small speedboat rental company to hop on and embark into the Adriatic sea to finish the rest of the sun we had left. We traveled along the coast of Slovenia for around 4 hours, hanging out and baking in the sun, until finally returning back to shore to complete the rest of this absolutely ridiculously packed day. Can honestly say I will be needing a few months rest after this trip.
Venice, Italy is easily one of the coolest places I have ever been to, unsurprisingly. Even though it was intensely raining for the beginning of the visit and I terribly underprepared for that kind of weather, I was still able to experience how great of a city Venice is.
It honestly blows my mind that such a huge complexity of structures rests on water by stilts. I was able to take a gondola through some of the canals of the city and the one thing I kept thinking about as I looked at the towering buildings was just how my previous statement is even possible.
Another thing I kept thinking about when walking through alleys and over canals, was how the city of Venice is so different from the rest of the world. Their streets are water! I mean the habitants of this city live such a different lifestyle than the rest of the world. They drive boats as opposed to cars and have garages in the water…
Overall, Venice is a very cool and mind-opening place and I hope to some day make it back there again.
It was pretty astonishing arriving in Ljubljana earlier today. I had seen all of the pictures of the landscape and beautiful pictures of the city area, but was honestly pretty unsure if it would actually look like that in person. Well, I was proven wrong. The city is even more beautiful in person. The town seems so welcoming as if I am still in my hometown in Arkansas. Even though I’ve been absurdly tired all day from the flights, I have still been able to experience the amazing community of Ljubljana and can’t wait for what comes tomorrow!