Sunday, January 29, 2012

Pizza does taste better in Italy

Even if it's half cold and just a margharita, eaten at 1am during a walk in between cathedrals and churches, it is delicious.
Buena notte Firenze!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


What do you go for:

a safe OK


a potential awsome / failure and hardship that will follow


Thursday, January 5, 2012


When 2010 was coming to an end, I wrote it was the best year of my life. It's with great joy and yes, quite a lot of pride, that I can without a doubt state what follows: 2011 was the best year of my life. I truly hope I've created a new pattern right there.

11 words to describe 2011?

Risks taken.
Lessons learnt.
Growing up.

.     .     .     .     .

Last Friday night I went to a birthday meeting of a friend where I met a fellow 'work on yourself to change your life and be happy' believer and practicioner, with whom I had a captivating conversation. When she asked what I did, I said I had just signed a year long contract of employment at a travel agent's earlier that day. I must have seemed not as excited as I 'should' have, because she smiled and said: 'Oh, don't worry - a year will be gone in no time.' at which point I answered that that wasn't even an option.
Letting a year go by? This is so NOT happening!

Later I went for a junior high school reunion and a friend said she didn't like NYE because it meant the year was over, she didn't know what the future will bring and if 2012 won't be worse than the previous one. Seriously? A beautiful girl, graduating two schools she seems to be enjoying, with a guy she seems to be very happy with, doing things she loves and she doesn't want the New Year to come 'cause it might be worse? Why the heck should it? Isn't it better to look at it that way: I don't know what 2012 will bring - what exciting opportunities, people and encounters? With all I already have and know, it can't be anything but great!

Saturday morning I was taking an early train to Cracow, where I was spending my NYE, and all I could hear was people saying how quickly 2011 had passed, how little time it seemed. I was listening to them thinking how sad that was and wanting to scream in their faces: CHANGE IT! If you don't even realise when your time's gone, it basically means you've wasted it. When I look back at this year it feels like an eternity. IndiaSpain? Heck, even Iceland seems so long ago and it's been only 4 months or so!

.     .     .     .     .

I cannot and will not say I'm sad to see 2011 go because honestly, it just doesn't matter what digits we try to fit time into. We already know all too well how an hour while having fun with friends and the same 60 minutes when waiting for your exam's results are somehow totally different periods of time. What matters is how much use we make of whatever time we have. Oh, and please remember - everyone has the same 'amount of time'! (The constant: 'I wish I had as much time as you do' lines I hear from people) It's what and how we do it that makes the difference and has the power to change the year some have not even noticed into what feels like a decade to others.

January - still accommodating in India, although already having my own friends and spots in Btown; sunbathing in Goa while friends hate my guts and freeze their buttocks off back in Europe; attending my first Indian wedding and being told 'I'm too Indian to be true'; realising I shouldn't force things in lifemalaria alert.

February - partying like crazy; discovering the world of Btown's salsa loversthe last fairytale wedding; acting irresponsible and paying in bad conscious but being rewarded with one of the most surreal weeks I could imagine.

March - coming back to Poland, seeing two best friends on the very same day I arrived in Warsaw and after a half an hour chat feeling as if I'd never left, as if India were just some distant dream; attending TEDxWarsaw, learning the power of networking and meeting two people I call good friends now; for the first time in my life having this inexplicable feeling of missing something I'd never seen, a place I'd never been to before - it's time to hit the South of Spain!

April - discovering and falling in love with Andalucia; going to Granada for 3-4 days and staying 2 weeks; watching Semana Santa processions and spending Easter time with an Andalusian family in Jaen; coming back to Poland to celebrate my grandparents' 50th wedding anniversary (granny and grandad for the win!)

May - taking a job offer and learning as much as I possibly could, seeing how I worked there only for around 7 weeks; socializing, meeting a lot of people but also learning the dark, well hidden part of others - am most grateful for both types of encounters.

June - quitting the jobbuying tickets to Iceland to join Antoine on his trip through the island; winning $ in a contest on fb; a crazy 4 day-hitch-hiking-sleeping-on-the-beach-spend-30EUR-on-one-meal trip to Sicily with Paulina and her friends; taking a bus to Berlin only to hitch hike to Denmark with Chloe on the very next day and volonteer as a member of the Esperanto group at Roskilde Festival - so last minute and so many new experiences!; meeting people from all paths of life and learning new lifestyles; going back to Berlin.

July - my first solo hitch-hiking trip to Berlin and seeing a small fraction of the crazy art hapenning in the city; gathering all the gear needed for my next adventure; setting off for London, hitching a ride with a Polish guy who later becomes my 'private shuttle bus' of a kind; seeing Zosia, Marta and Nahum, feeling so proud of where they've come and what they've achieved.

August - finally, after all those years, Iceland!; meeting Antoine after almost 2 years and travelling around, which I won't even attempt to describe unless I've a couple of hours of spare time: clifs, fjords, volcanos, lava, horseback riding, hikes, getting shut off in a shelter, diving in between tectonic plates, soup eating on a glacier; getting my first interview published online.

September - meeting Paula in Montpellier and starting our 'Flowery South of France' trip ending on Costa Brava; no words for how much generosity and selflesness we experienced, how much fun we had in those beautiful southern towns: hitch-hiking, sharing all the pastries local pâtisseries had to offer, honey making, meeting Michał and Ewelina, sleeping in the dunes, making pierogi out of 2kg of flour, crazy ride with the Spanish to Barcelona; my only unfortunate CS experience till date; baking cookies in a villa overlooking the hills of Costa Brava and taking them over as the Bee to the neighbours to apologize for the loud music at nights; hitch-hiking in the middle of a freaking highway in Poznań and praying for my life; a birthday party in my summer house and getting ready for uni - yes, I was about to get my student ID again!

October  - starting university only to drop out after 3 days and get offered a job a week later which won over the project of taking a travel guide course; helping out at Centrum Studiów Polska Azja conference; first business trip ever, first contacts made during travel fairs in Poznań; filling in for a friend during her dance class and finding out women loved my teaching.

November - moving out of my parents' place; a major breakthrough comes when I decide to try teaching dance (been offered to do on that some occasions before but always thought too little of my skills to agree) and organize my first workshops, which I believe were quite a success; getting a bit too busy at work at times; the first pre-planned leave - buying a ticket to Brussels for a couple of days (which now in perspective might be a lot more important than I'd have imagined) experiencing my peoples' sense of 'patriotism' on the Independence Daytaking up the sweater challenge (ummm let's get back to it some other time:P); socializing a lot lot.

December - now that was a month! magic weeks almost all month long; meaningful meetings; amazing conversationscreativitythe trip to Brussels that was so many things; skype addiction confirmed; the most amazing Christmas ever; an amazing NYE weekend and a start of craziness that, it seems, will be continued, and how!, in 2012.

Pfffew, it took me forever to even write those highlights down, not to mention actually living all those things!

And how was your 2011?