mountains

Meet the Host: Špela

· 3 min read ·

Meet Špela Čampa, our Slovenian host of about 2+ weeks and one of my favorite humans on the planet. She is a traveler, animal lover, ultra runner, and she makes some dang good Turkish coffee.

Špela in her natural habitat
Špela in her natural habitat

Špela (pronounced Shpay-la) and I met the way most friends meet — on a 4.5 hour bus ride from San Jose to Sámara in Costa Rica in 2014. We both (individually) had signed up to volunteer on La Playa Buena Vista, a remote turtle reservation on the Pacific Coast of the Guanacaste Province, and we both started on the same day.

There’s really no choice but to become best friends when you’re names are so closely linked, you have nothing but turtles to talk about for 10 days, and you are paying to wake up at 5am each day to perform physical labor. In this case, we were digging holes in the sand, lugging sacks of sand to the beach, then filling the sacks with wet beach sand to lug back to the holes and fill them up. In doing this, we created a more favorable environment for turtle eggs to hatch. The work wasn’t glamorous and I’m not sure it’s exactly what we had envisioned. That said, it certainly is a funny and fulfilling time to reflect on. Rice & beans, sunshine, and physical labor can definitely cultivate bonds.

Even though we only spent 10 days in the same place, Špela is the closest friend I have out of everyone I met during my half year in Costa Rica. She came to visit me in Boston in 2016, and I visited her in Slovenia in 2017. During that time, I fell in love with the country and I have since been itching to get back! James and I are so grateful Špela agreed to be our first host of our adventure. Let’s learn a bit about her…

What’s your favorite thing about where you live?

Living in Ljubljana, I like it how everything is in walking distance and you can get fresh fruits from the market. Living in Slovenia suits me because I can go hiking, skiing, swimming, cycling and do all activities I can imagine only an hour away.

Teach us some local slang…

  • Kva je zdej? = What’s up? You use it when you see someone on the street.
  • Adijo pamet! = Something that blows your mind, usually in a negative way.
  • Naj gre v maloro. = Screw this.

Where is the best place you’ve traveled to?

Everywhere I’ve been, I liked certain things and learned something new. Top 3 countries that I’ve traveled to are Norway, Costa Rica and Peru. I like Norway because it has this active but calm way of living, Costa Rica brought me one of my best friends and it was such a joyful trip. Peru is rich with history and it has wonderful hiking trails.

What makes you laugh?

When I conquer a certain goal in my life - from climbing the mountain to some small personal goal. Also sometimes I laugh at a joke that I come up with and no one understands it - those are the best.

What is your favorite meal of the day? What would you eat/drink during it?

Breakfast for sure! I love it when I have time in the morning and can enjoy my meal. I would make myself avocado toast with eggs or granola with almond milk. Of course there is always coffee on the table.

What’s your superpower?

Making everything fun.

Describe what it’s like to host Sheila & James in three words.

They make an amazing dinner! :)

Sheila and Špela back in 2014, just a few days after meeting
Sheila and Špela back in 2014, just a few days after meeting
The two again, digging up a turtle nest to relocate to the sanctuary
The two again, digging up a turtle nest to relocate to the sanctuary
Špela’s first visit to Boston in 2016!  Boston Logan Airport ➡️ Harpoon Brewery
Špela’s first visit to Boston in 2016! Boston Logan Airport ➡️ Harpoon Brewery
Sheila and Špela during Sheila’s first visit to Slovenia in 2017!
Sheila and Špela during Sheila’s first visit to Slovenia in 2017!
It's us!

Adventure travel blog by James Simone & Sheila Murray. Travel along with them on their backpacking trip(s) as they actively explore the American West, Europe and beyond:

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