“Where is your accent from?”, most people ask immediately after they meet me. I get a kick out of the fact that I can never get away with my accent in the U.S., after more than 20 years of living here, but I am asked if I am a Latina when I travel to Mexico, Colombia or Cuba and speak my mediocre Spanish.
A few years ago, this made me consider a Get-Rid-of-Your-Accent-in-One-Week course I saw advertised in a local paper, but my American husband convinced me that these things don’t work and that I should never lose my accent since it is part of me and that me is pretty special (good strategy, Mr H).
“Wait, don’t tell me!” is the usual follow-up by the same person who just inquired about my accent, wanting me not to tell them, but rather allow them to guess where I am from. You know, originally. I’m not sure why this little game has so much appeal. The range of responses I have gotten over the years is fascinating. I have been thought of as Italian, French, Russian, Spanish, Cuban and even Venezuelan (this last one is a serious complement, given Venezuela’s reputation for having the most gorgeous women in the world).
So far, after all this time, no-one has guessed correctly. Some have come close once I shared a few very obvious clues. And there have actually been a few who excitedly replied that they had been to my country and even my hometown after I revealed my origin.
Don’t get me wrong: I don’t mind playing this little accent-guessing-game. I actually enjoy it, because it gives me a chance to tell people about my beautiful native country. After I explain I’m from Slovenia, they usually want to know more.
My Native Country: the Beautiful Slovenia
Not many know where Slovenia is exactly, even if they’ve heard of it, so I like to start with coordinates: south of Austria, west of Italy and north of Croatia (a dear fellow ex-republic of Yugoslavia). To the east, there is Hungary.
Then, I tell them about the charming Ljubljana, one of Europe’s hardest to pronounce (for the non-natives), but most picturesque capitals. The city, known for its castle on the hill and the Three Bridges, is protected by the green dragon (read on) and also happens to be my beloved hometown.
Once I mention the stunning Alps, the beautiful rolling hills, the crystal clear blue rivers and majestic waterfalls, the incredibly picaresque villages, I definitely have people’s attention. I tell about more castles and the underground caves and the white horses.
10 Reasons You Must Visit Slovenia
It is easy for me to go on. I’m always ready with a long list of reasons why everyone should visit Slovenia. A few months ago I wrote an article about this for Hilton Mom Voyage, a family travel blog, where I contribute stories about our family’s adventures around the world and share travel advice and tips. The article listed 10 reasons one should visit Slovenia though I could easily find more. It received quite a few “likes” on social media, so I’m sharing it here in case you would like to read it. You can find out about that green dragon, if you are curious.
Bottom line: come visit, not just to see all the things I listed here and in my Hilton article, but also to experience the most green country in Europe (yes, this title is official) and the genuiness and authenticity of Slovenia. Aside from the list of reasons you should consider it for your next vacation, I also have a list of references to back me up: friends who have visited Slovenia after I told them about it. They all came back gushing and thanking me for the recommendation. As a bonus, in Slovenia, you can meet more people with an accent similar to mine.
Have you been to Slovenia? If so, please take a moment to tell me about your trip in the comments section below. If not, I hope it is on your travel bucket list. Let me know if you have questions or need help planning your trip.
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I love travel, especially to international destinations. I get fired up by unique adventures, memorable experiences, and discovering other cultures. I enjoy sharing it all on my blog, along with my photography and travel tips.
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