8 days, 76 kilometers, 1 cave discovered, 2 rocks conquered by rockclimbing, 7 new friendships and 1 emotional breakdown.
Matea (25), participant of Outward Bound Summer course “Dive into yourself!”
The one who came up with the name of the programme, really hit the mark!
What kind of people apply for something like this? What are their expectations and goals? What kind of influence can this experience have on them?
One week after the best adventure of my life has finished, whenever I tell someone about it, and I am doing it gladly and often, I still get into it completely all over again, like I am living every single moment again. I will try to put on paper at least a part of my impressions, and thereby hopefully make the ones who will read it want to get this experience by themselves!
To be able to understand this, I will start from myself.
I am an average 25-year-old girl, I am working 7 hours per day, 5 days a week, I am always planning and I have to know everything that I will do at least one week before. I love the feeling of safety that I get from the fact that I can have everything under control. I am trying to stay in shape, so I often go running, cycling, hiking on Sljeme at the weekends, I live alone and I function very well in the routine of the everyday life that I created for myself.
While I was searching the internet for ideas to spend my holidays this year, I found this 8-day programme on Velebit. I read the infoletter and thought that this is exactly what I needed, I will get for a bit out of Zagreb and my habits and see my life from another perspective. Where does it lead me, am I happy in the safe zone and stability that every day offers me, am I missing something out and is there anything else that could fulfill me better…
I am physically ready, I love challenges, I will learn some new skills, try out new activities and push my limits a bit further then during a two-hour-hike to Sljeme. I will enjoy the fresh air, wonderfull scenery, the view from Velebit, meet new people and talk with them in English, which will be very useful for me because I usually have rarely the chance to speak it.
Was that a moment of crazyness or a clamour of the adventurous child in me, which I forgot that it exists a long time ago, I really don’t know, but I applied.
8 days, 76 kilometers with a backpack of minimum 15 kilograms on the back, through forests, karst and rocks, steep paths and unbelievably demanding and scary terrain, sleeping bags under the open sky in the middle of the habitat of hundreds of birdsorts and about 40 sorts of mammals, from which 3 are big beasts – bear, wolf and lynx (unfortunately we didn’t have the chance to meet them), making food on the bonfire, some new learned knots, one showering with ice cold water from a well, orientation in a jungle with compass and map on which some marked paths don’t exist anymore and the new ones are not marked yet, one cave discovered, two rocks conquered by rockclimbing, from which one is 105m high (as a comparison – the cathedral in Zagreb, which is the tallest building in Croatia, is 108m high, so try to imagine that!), view from 1300m from the top of Bačić kuk, chilling at Budakovo brdo with the view on Pag and other islands, ziplining, scuba diving, 7 new friendships and one emotional breakdown. All of that is behind me.
The pride and satisfaction I felt on the last night when I realised all the things I tried out, what I did and accomplished in such a short time was so strong, that it’s overwhelming me again while I am trying to find the words to explain it.
I did it, every day was a challenge itself, every day prepared me for the things that were about to come and every day I was ready for more, I could do more and I did more.
Indeed, I dived into myself and discovered unbelievable strength, will and desire that I always had inside of me, but I tamed it and hid it behind the walls of my own choices, always following the easier and safer way.
It is hard to point out one thing as the main result of this adventure that made the greatest impact on me, but if I had to choose one, I would say that this „thing“ were the people. I didn’t find the success only in myself, but it was the result of a beautiful collaboration of complete strangers, who were put in the same fire, connected with, I would dare to say the same destiny, because each of us was in this group for a reason, to make an impact on the lifes of others. My group, these wonderful people, such different characters, lifestyles and ways of thinking, they were there when it was hard for me and when I wanted to quit, they were the support I needed. The laugh, positivity and serenity that they sended despite all of the wrong ways we took, made all of the ways the right ones.
Everything happened just how it was supposed to be, every decision we made as a group hid some experiential learning and every one was just the right one. The people are the thing that made this adventure the adventure of my life! Thank you.
Now I can do everything, I found my courage to make decisions, safety in the unplanned, undiscovered and unexpected. Free from my habits I see my future in trips, just like this one was.
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