Mój kolega z Birmy / NYC i jego wrażenia z wizyty w Polsce

Do tej pory widywaliśmy się tylko w Nowym Jorku, a teraz siedzimy na jednej kanapie u mnie w domu. Zainspirowałam Soe do podróżowania, zostawił swoją pracę w finansach i od września podróżuje po Europie. Spędził sporo czasu w Niemczech, Holandii, przyjechał odwiedzić mnie w ZG, a kolejnymi przystankami będzie Francja, Belgia, Luksemburg i Warszawa. Ze względu na zieloną kartę, w grudniu wraca do NYC, ale w styczniu wybiera się już do Brazylii. Z kolei wiosną przyjeżdża znowu do Europy, żeby odwiedzić południe kontynentu. Nie mógł odwiedzić teraz wielu krajów ze względu na skomplikowaną sprawę z wizą, ale ładniejszą, jak dla mnie mnie, część Europy zobaczy w przyszły roku.
Na kilka ostatnich dni zaplanowałyśmy z mamą polskie menu, żeby choć w małym stopniu zapoznać gościa z naszą kuchnią. Były krokiety, pierogi ruskie, barszcz, żurek, bigos i wiele różnych przekąsek. Soe spróbował kiedyś w NYC moich pierogów, a na Greenpoincie żurku, ale w końcu w domu wszystko smakuje lepiej. Moi rodzice jak zwykle spisali się wzorowo w roli gospodarzy, a Soe, co było do przewidzenia, poddał się urokowi moich psów i już zapowiada, że będzie za nimi tęsknił.
Zadałam mu też kilka pytań dotyczących podróży z pomysłem dodania ich na bloga. Początkowo myślałam, że przetłumaczę całość, ale niestety nie mam czasu, musze przygotować się do jutrzejszego powrotu do Anglii, więc zostawię Was z orginalną wersją.

Why did you decide to travel?
There are really many more reasons, but the most important ones are – to be free, to live on my own terms, not have other people or the conventional wisdom tell me what to do. to take risks, before it gets too late, and also to push myself away from my comfort zone. to meet old friends and new people, everything really does feel better when it’s shared. to try something different and new in order to appreciate the old. to open up to new mentalities and possibilities. to have fun.

What is your biggest excitement about travel?
To learn. To learn about people, the food, the habits, the history, the common desires for happiness. I love to listen to other people, and they always have something to teach or share something with me. The food has always been delicious too – not just the restaurant food, but the everyday stuff that is prepared for breakfast, lunch, and dinner in the regular kitchen. I love the history because it gives color and perspective to the culture and how and why people act. I’m always amazed at how far a genuine smile can get me to find new connections.

How is the experience so far?
Amazing. Couchsurfing has been amazing as well. When things have looked down or bored, CS came to the rescue. Sometimes the best and most memorable experiences are the unexpected ones. I really enjoyed riding the Dutch bikes, to eat the local food and attend the local fairs, and seeing the environmental efforts of the European countries. It has also been amazing to see all my old friends again as well.

I know you’ve only been here a few days but what are your thoughts about Poland so far?
With all the subtle differences in the cultures and languages, the people of Poland are still very similar to the people of Europe. By that i think if we go back far enough, we all start to share similar characteristics and if you go even farther, we are all human. I really like Zielona Gora, it’s such cute little town, and this has been helped too much by the hospitality of Ula and parents. The food has also been really special – cooked with great love by Ula’s mom. and the alcohol too.

What is your travel philosophy?
To never rush things when visiting places. I stayed one month in Hermany, two weeks in Holland, and hope to take things at a normal easy pace so I hopefully won’t get burned out on such a long trip. I want to take risks in order to create memories. I want to travel in a way that’s tries a little bit of everything, and what the locals do. For example, I really enjoy traveling around on car rideshares, on trains, and hopefully in the future I will be on buses, boats, and hitchhiking as well. I also make an effort to visit the small towns and try to live the day-to-day life of the people of that country, to try to be more than just a tourist which I can probably do when I’m old as well. I want to connect with people, and to share a smile and a laugh with others.

What are your plans after going back to the U.S.?
To be honest I don’t know. Three months ago I thought I would have to find a job again. But I think my ideas and future thoughts are changing constantly as i take in new experiences. I know that I want to accomplish something meaningful in life. So i’m trying to combine the two. You know, it’s good to have some direction and a rough plan for the future so I have some support and self-confidence that what I’m doing is going to be okay, and that way I won’t regret it later because I didn’t think it through enough. Then, I let the travel take me to unexpected places and people, and let the experiences change and shape the way i think and feel.

Any other thoughts/comments?
I must say the support from Dad is one of the biggest encouragements. Having a supportive parent or person to love my efforts and ideas gives me a lot of strength and confidence to continue in my travels even when I run into some obstacles. I cannot thank him enough for supporting me for everything.
I really think about the quote from a movie “There is no gene for the human spirit” a lot. I think I changed a lot from since I was 16, and I think we’re all capable of achieving our hopes and dreams. In the end, I think this trip is big one achievement that I’m very proud of myself, and I want to continue to take many risks.
Travel is such a great way of expressing my freedom, from the system to fulfilling the inner wanderlust and thirst for exploration. It was such a great feeling to quit my job, and to be able to stick to my own principles.