This post was published a few years back on my Facebook page, so I decided to translate it to English and publish it on the web.
Are you the “guy” like this one? Sometimes when I hike in the mountains I meet interesting people. Mostly hikers with whom I exchange a few words out of decency and mountain code of conduct. When I woke up that morning it wasn’t even at the top of my head that I will meet someone, especially that I’ll speak with someone about the purpose of life, travels, differences among people and individuals who chose to live their life differently.
Specifically, it is about the “guy” in the photo above, who I met on top of the Ojstrica hill above Bled (Slovenia) at 5 am. There was one more photographer that left very quickly and two of us stayed there for quite some time. We began with the: “who are you, what are you doing, where are you from and where are you going next”. After the first sentence, it was clear to me that I was not talking to the ordinary guy who just came to see the sunrise over Lake Bled.
The “guy” is from America and has been on the job he doesn’t like for ten years. He’s been thinking of quitting for a long time, but the corporation he was working for did not want to let him go offering him various bonuses and benefits. He says it only made him happy for a moment, but after a while, he was still unhappy and wanted to quit. This dragged on for five years until he finally got the courage and quit sold all the unnecessary things and bought a plane ticket to New Zealand to set out on a journey without a plan. He travels mostly by public transport (bus or train), and he carries his things in his backpack. After that, he flew to East Asia from where he reached India, across India to the Balkans, and now he is sitting with me waiting for the sunrise.
We talked about how fast everything is today, even people who are travelling and want to see and explore a new place stay there until they take a selfie to show off to relatives and friends and move on. He does not want to travel like that and he stays at every place for at least a week or two until he “absorbs the place“.
I absolutely agree with this, you can’t spend an hour or two somewhere and say you’ve visited the place. Well, you were there physically, but what have you seen in that hour, except for the things the tour guide showed you or the things that you have read about on the internet? Are you not interested in what that place looks like at dusk, dawn or any other season? Or is it only interesting for people who are a little bit “different”? Or, these slightly “different” people are not at all different, but everyone else is so preoccupied with some of their thoughts, problems, stresses and needs that they no longer notice what’s going on around them.
They live safely by the recommendation of their surroundings. Everyone knows that they have to go to work to get paid, to have a secure pension and to live well. Normally, if you are successful in copying everyone else then you are expected to buy a good car, have a nice house, get married and go on vacation for two weeks. In the end, your life goes by working eight hours a day to get a paycheck to pay off your loan and you can’t wait for the holiday in the middle of the week to connect it with the weekend or make a real one. The “guy” said I would not do so and went his own way.
I really liked this guy’s opinions or better yet, lifestyle. He is not limited to a two-week annual holiday, nor does he have to go back to finish a project with a client and he can absolutely devote his time to travelling, being at that place, living at that place. I think this is the only real way to get to know a place, people and customs. Personally, I’m more happy that I got a chance to meet this “guy” than to spend a couple of days in Bled and see the lake/castle. I know that I will come here again, but I do not know if I will see the “guy” again.that I will come here again, but I do not know if I will meet the “guy” again.
I asked him where he was going after Bled, or how much more he is planning to stay here, to which he replied that he was planning to go to the Alps since tourists have crowded Bled in recent days, but he does not know when. We ended the conversation slowly as I was planning to go to Vintgar Gorge immediately after opening to avoid the crowds, and the “guy” remained sitting on a bench watching the lake and sunrise.
As I was returning to the car, I thought about the “guy” and concluded that the way he was thinking was very similar to mine, that I recognized the “guy” thinking in some of my fantasies about life. No matter what rules society imposes on, I think everyone should try to live by their own rules, be happy and become a “guy” in some way.
I would probably never have met a “guy” or come to Ojstrica at half past 5 in the morning if I had listened to individuals from my surrounding who said it is stupid to do photography and it is much better to dedicate yourself to college and professional carer. I’m terribly glad it turned out that way, and I can’t wait to meet more people like that. I also hope that someday I’ll be a “guy” to someone too.
Here are my other posts from SLOVENIA
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