Manca Korelc is best known for her extensive knowledge of LinkedIn, marketing, and sales. She loves to share the knowledge with the biggest Slovenian companies and firms on how to use social media and benefit from it. Manca Korelc has done more than 210 lectures and workshops in the last couple of years and she does not plan on stopping anytime soon.
However, Manca Korelc is one of our fellow Slovenia lovers, more specifically she fell in love with Slovenian lakes. In 2017 she launched her project “Moja jezera” (in translation “My lakes”) in which she visited over 1050 lakes. The project Moja jezera quickly gained a lot of traction and attention in the media, which gave “birth” to the idea of writing a book about the beautiful Slovenian lakes. This year The Slovenia Lakes book is finally going to be released and we couldn’t have been any more excited.
We have to start with an easy question. Why lakes, Manca?
I’ve been allured in a very special way to waters in all their forms for as long as I can remember. Streams, rivers, torrents, waterfalls, confluences, seas, lakes. Do you know the feeling when you look at something and immediately calm down? These feelings arise in me when
I am close to the lake.
Were you always drawn to lakes or did you develop this love for Slovenian lakes later in life?
I believe that lakes are my love ever since I remember. And I love them a little bit more every day.
Can you tell us how the project “Moja jezera” was born or where did you get the idea?
In spring 2016 I bought a trekking bike, and in the first season it became the thing for me. Every weekend I was cycling with the motivation to finish as many kilometers in a single day as I possibly could. It began with 100, 150, 200, 252 kilometers, and eventually I achieved my personal best of 368 kilometers in a single day!
In December the same year I felt like giving a home to the many thousands of kilometers I managed to achieve during the year. A place where riding a trekking bicycle around Slovenia would have a new meaning, and nature lovers could receive a plethora of ideas for active, sporty excursions or lazy Sunday visits into the wonders of nature.
And because I love lakes, the idea came out to visit all Slovenian lakes by bike. A simple thought, that has changed my life forever.
What is the aim of your project “Moja jezera”? Is it just your let’s say personal diary or a promotion of Slovenian lakes? Maybe a mix of both?
Great question. At first it was a sport-tourist project to promote cycling and lakes, but year after year I realize that it is in fact a very personal journey for me.
What have you learned from starting this project?
I have gained a lot of confidence in different dimensions – it is easier for me to ask people almost anything, since I am often in the position to ask owners of the lakes if I can approach their house to see the lake. I can make decisions more confidently since I have been in so many different situations, I need to make a decision quickly. I have become a master of planning cycling tours… I learned a lot about Slovenia in general, and as well a lot about project management because after a few hundred lakes, all the photos and coordinates for the lakes to go need a system.
Do you think Slovenians have a lot of knowledge about lakes?
In my opinion Slovenians know a few like Blejsko, Bohinjsko and Cerknisko, but we have lack of knowledge about not so famous lakes. The mission of Moja jezera is to encourage people to explore the lakes they haven’t seen yet. But on the other hand social media like Instagram have motivated people to discover more. For example Lovrenška lakes or Plansarsko lake are a big hit on Instagram.
Manca, we noticed on your website that you have visited over 1000 lakes. Do you still keep count and can you tell us how many lakes you visited till now?
I have visited 1056 lakes and I am still counting. Since the beginning of the project I am enjoying the rise of this number. It is a big motivation for me to keep on going. It motivates me to grow in other specters of life, too.
When did you decide to write a book about lakes in Slovenia?
I was thinking about the book a few months ago, when I met Niko from The Slovenia. He is actually the one asking me if I would write a book about lakes as a part of The Slovenia books family. I was so excited and happy, that I responded with a yes in a second. It was like he knew that was my wish.
With so many lakes in Slovenia, how do you decide which lake you will visit this weekend?
Planning is the toughest and as well one of my favourite parts in the project. It depends on how many lakes I want to visit, how many kilometres and hours do I want to cycle. I usually decide the region first, then a major lake in that part and then I start planning. I am able to look into google maps for hours.
We want to ask you which is your favourite lake in Slovenia, but we are sure there is more than one. Can you name your top 5 lakes in Slovenia?
Kočevsko lake, a small heart lake by Kočevsko lake, Lake on Zvoh on Krvavec, Hodoško lake and one that I keep as a secret. 😉
Which lake over the Slovenian border has left a big impression on you?
Kerið, a volcanic crater lake on Iceland. I am a big fan of North and Iceland was a destination, that has changed my travel bucket list completely,
Which Slovenian lake is the most underrated lake and which one in your opinion is overrated?
No lake is overrated I would say. Bled is most famous, but with a reason. The panorama from Ojstrica is truly magnificent. Most famous are those that offer a variety of activities. Underrated in my opinion are all lakes that we do not visit, because they are not far away from our home. And those that offer no restaurant, no mountain panorama, no water sports, but plenty of empty space that we can fill with our thoughts.
We noticed that you visit Slovenian lakes with your bicycle. How many kilometers do you make on your bicycle per year?
Huh, I have no idea, around 2 thousand, I would say. I don’t measure that precisely. For me the most important is lake number and the rate between the number of kilometers and lakes per day. The record is 85 km and 55 lakes in a day.
In April, Slovenia has strict restrictions due to the epidemic. People were not allowed to leave their municipalities. Was that difficult for you as you were forbidden to visit many lakes in Slovenia?
Yes, I missed cycling on the other side of the country very much! But I discovered a few around Ljubljana.
Which lake did you miss the most during that time and which lake was the first one you visited after the ban on leaving your municipality was lifted?
My favorite is Kočevsko, and I visited that, since I have a family there. First weekend after the restriction was gone, I went cycling from Slovenska Bistrica to Ormoško lake – which is the border to Croatia. As far as it goes.
It looks like we will be spending our summer holidays in Slovenia this year due to the epidemic. Do you have any plans for your summer vacation? Will it involve a visit or two to your favorite lakes in Slovenia?
I will spend my vacation in Pomurje – I am in love with that region. It is so calm, like a lake in the middle of nowhere. The plan is to visit all the lakes there.
You are an amazing lecturer who has an extensive knowledge of social media. How do you connect the love of lakes with your business? Is there a parallel perhaps?
My business passion is LinkedIn, a professional social media. I rarely post about Moja jezera there, since it has almost nothing to do with business. But since I will become an author, I plan to add more content to it. Lakes give my personal brand a really unique dimension and at business events we have a nice topic for a small talk. 🙂
LinkedIn and lakes have been quite separated, but I intend to change that, since lakes are a big part of me.
Which is the biggest achievement that you are most proud of?
The fact that I have developed an unstoppable drive to follow my dreams. My biggest motivation is to grow constantly – as a LinkedIn professional, a sports woman, a lake researcher and a person in general. My energy to reach my goals is insatiable.
To be more exact: 3 years ago I cycled alone across Slovenia from Hodoš to Piran in less than 24 hours – it was a 368 kilometres long tour that pushed all my physical and psychological limits like nothing before or after. I cried more than 100 km of pain and exhaustion, but I refused to quit. Once you achieve such an extreme, you become insuppressible.