FuckUp Nights were organized by Dragan from Hiking Adventure Croatia at Paklenica hut on Saturday 12th of March 2022. And as a proper FuckUp night should go, we fucked up and didn’t document the event on a digital device.
Still, it was a mutual enthusiasm of everybody and the fulfilling surrounding of Paklenica that brought us a spectacular night.
Paklenica hut is placed around 6km (around 3mi) from the main parking lot in the canyon of Big Paklenica. Stone stairs and a wide path lead all the way there. Surrounded by leafless forest, the murmur of Paklenica river nearby, and the rocky cliffs of Velebit, the canyon is a real treat for a newcomer, as well as an experienced Velebit hiker.
FuckUp Nights at Paklenica hut
I was kindly invited by Dragan from Hiking Adventure Croatia, to be one of the speakers at FuckUp nights. Until then I didn’t even know such a thing existed. Even before checking what it’s about, I said: “Yeah, sure, I’ll be there.”
And it ended up being a great experience.
After meeting people at Paklenica hut and checking out the surroundings the evening started. While warming around the fire with peka, grilled meat, wine, beer, or rakija, we untied our tongues and the chatter started echoing through the forest.
The presentation was opened by Filip Vulić, who shared a story about the turn that he took in his life by opening a kayaking travel agency. It was the unfulfillment with his previous job that pushed him towards outdoor life and kayaking.
Gillie Sutherland shared funny experiences from working abroad as a travel agent and showed us how a fuckup can be settled with a pint of beer and a smile.
Šime from Highlander spoke about willingness to jump into action as a drive that can be recognized by others and get you far. Challenges always pushed him further.
Irena, who’s running the Paklenica hut, shared everyday issues we deal with when working with people and how a fuckup can become an opportunity.
I, as a NoSelfie travel agency, spoke about how any failed project isn’t failed at all, as the effort to do something is there. And that effort will take turns and eventually get you where you want to go.
Further into night other stories came forward
And then, after hearing five speakers that were meant to speak, other participants started sharing their stories as well.
Saša from Skochypstiks went from a passion born after seeing a short video about parkour when he was seventeen, to a company that exports parkour-focused goods to forty-four countries worldwide.
Beta outdoor skincare rose from trying to find solutions for their own everyday issues. Meaning: girls were eager to find a way to take care of their own skin while living an outdoor active life.
Similarities in different businesses
Different areas of interest, different stories. And yet so much in common.
I could go on and name all the different fuckups each one of us passed through: from forgetting about a reservation for fifty people, over dislocating your shoulder by others’ fault to sinking your own ship due to forgetfulness.
But actually what I found interesting is similarities in the drive that pushes each of us forward.
Like in everything, there’re always obstacles you need to cross. And each obstacle is just a solution to be found.
Need to control every single aspect of your business, makes you realize you can’t do it by yourself and you have to find people you can count on. Burn out skin inches you and while solving your own skin problem, you realize others have the same problem. And there you go a product.
Unfulfillment with an occupation pushes you to find joy in another. And so on, and so on.
To cut it short: it’s the enthusiasm and willingness to jump into action that takes you far. On the path, you’ll make mistakes, take wrong turns, but each of them will bring you something new to learn.
And all the shared stories went the same way: from problems towards the solutions, towards “obstacles we need to cross or jump over”, as Saša nicely said.
Why was Paklenica an excellent choice for Fuckup nights?
Paklenica offers an endless amount of hiking trails. For me personally, it’s yet to be discovered. Every hiking trail will give you something different. You might prefer one amongst the others, but each turn offers something unique.
Just like all the stories we heard the night before.
The following morning we were scattered in front of Paklenica hut, soaking the warmth of the early morning sun. The fresh cold mountain air was quickly waking us all up. The tireless murmur of the Paklenica river below is an excellent choice for self-hypnotizing while drinking a morning cup of coffee.
And then, we were off in five minutes!
When it comes to organization, Dragan was punctual, easy-going, and to-do point. No delays, backing up or prolonging. Let’s go!
Led by Dragan we went to visit Crni Vrh at the height of 1115m. The hike was around 17km (10mi) long. Some continued towards the main parking lot, others circled around back to Paklenica hut for a lunch.
A fistful of snow along the way was helpful in cooling down from the warm sun. Beech, pine tree, and oak all around. Shy millets and cyclamen bringing us new spring. And then, after climbing through the pine tree forest breathtaking sights wherever you look.
Three sixty gave us the view on the highest piques of Velebit called Vaganski vrh as well as the Adriatic Sea on the south.
To sum it all up
If you wanna get high, go to Velebit.