Saturday, November 1, 2014

Adriatic Tour–Slovenian Quality of Life

There are several more stops made in Slovenia, but before I describe them I would like to remark on the impressive Slovenian lifestyle.  This does not include having a lot of material things, a huge home or having a high income with a lavish lifestyle.  In fact the average income is very low (some of us may consider it poverty level).  But the majority of Slovenes have pretty much the same income—there is not a big disparity between rich and poor.  Their need for a lot of materialistic things does not exist.  There are very few billboards or marketing of any sort.  In fact, I did not see one and we criss-crossed many of the highways and back roads of this tiny country.  (This lack of billboard “junk” on the countryside was so pleasant—the only signage you see is street signs and the name of the village, town or city.  They seem to be standardized throughout the country and have a low-profile appearance.)

IMG_3070The family is the center of their life.  A sense of home and land is very strong.  Homes and land are passed from one generation to the next (all made of stone—lasting hundreds of years).  Most often you will find generations living in one home with each floor dedicated to a young family, another to grandma/grandpa each with separate entries (like a condominium).  Not one home was unkempt.  You will not find rusting vehicles/machinery or trash piles like you so often do in the States.  Almost every yard contains a small garden and window boxes hang on the homes stuffed with flowers.  The Slovenes see the home and surroundings (yes, even common spaces like parks) as an extension of themselves.  And they are spotless.

Relationships with family and friends are tended just as carefully as their environment.  It is common to see the cafés filled with locals of all ages catching up with gossip over a cup of coffee (kava).  On any day of the week.  No one is absorbed watching their smart phone; the focus is on the present company.

I am certainly not an authority on the causes of crime, but in my opinion, this overall sense of belonging, community and pride must contribute to the extremely low crime and non-existent drug use in their country.  The Slovenes are struggling economically, but they seem happy.  They are happy. 

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