Before beginning my solo WWOOFing/cycling journey in Sweden I decided to go back home for a month. I thought that it’s a good idea to spend some quality time with my beloved ones before I will take to the road. These few closest to my heart people are my strength, inspiration, motivation and happiness and that’s why I wanted to load my batteries with their positive energy.
First I flew to my second favorite place in Poland and the home of one of my best friends – Krakow. What a welcoming! Seeing a happy face of your best friend waiting for you at the airport has no price. It’s been about two years since I have visited Krakow and I missed it a lot. The city is an old capital of Poland that thankfully wasn’t destroyed during the wars. It enchants with its beautiful old town and park surrounding it. I fell in love with it for the hundredth time. A few years back during my master studies I was lucky to live in Krakow for 6 lovely months. Memories I cherish like a treasure.
However, the next day I took off and went to Korbielów, a village in the mountains by the border with Slovakia. There, at my aunt’s guesthouse we had a big family reunion of my Dad’s side. It was a memorable gathering since both of my cousins who live in America came down with their families and I haven’t seen them for many long years. All my dear cousins from around Poland arrived as well. I was thrilled to see all these faces and spend some quality time with them. We went hiking in the mountains (Pilsko, 1,557 m) and for long walks; we feasted and talked for hours. I wish we could repeat it more often. When all of them left, my father, his wife, my sweet half sister and I, we stayed for few more days. Our little holiday ended up with a day trip to thermal baths in Slovakia.
On the way back I stayed for 2 more days in Krakow. My buddy took great care planning my stay, making me laugh and smile, eat and drink and talk and talk and talk about all the things in the world. We met with friends, went biking, ate delicious food, and swam in the artificial lake located in the stunning surroundings on the outskirts of the city. Loaded with love and energy I finally went home to Warsaw.
Here again at the train station my dear friend waited for me. It was another lovely day, feeling like home again. Did I already mention how lucky I am to have them all? 🙂 Warsaw, my dear Warsaw! Late spring and summer are my favorite months to be at home. Everything is green and blooming. Restaurants and coffee places have outside gardens where people are enjoying warm evenings sitting long into the night. The city feels very alive thanks to numerous concerts, festivals, open-air film screenings, expositions, market fairs and many more events. Year after year the Vistula riverbanks are being filled with new bars and summer clubs that every night are crowded with smiling and dancing people. I love to see Warsaw like that, more outgoing and happy.
I hadn’t been home for 8 months and for the past two years the longest I came back for was two weeks. This time I planned an entire month for my visit and after all it passed away like a sea breeze.
I went to visit my grandparents and stayed with them for few days. I just love my long conversations with my Grandpa. He is such a wise and knowledgeable person that you can start any subject you like and he will always have something to say about it. Then I went to spend the weekend with my best friend at her summer cottage by the forest. As we always do, we watched many movies, discussed them, took walks and talk for endless hours. Every time it feels like we have never lived apart and I believe that’s the magic of true friendship.
I’m glad to be surrounded by these few people who make me feel this magic. It doesn’t matter for how far or how long we live apart, once we meet it feels like it was yesterday when we last time seen each other. And I’m fortunate that I could meet with all of them during my visit. Even more! I spent at least a night with most of them. We ate breakfasts, drank coffees, and cooked dinners, went out and visited old and new places on our city map. During the day I cycled the streets and at night I danced by the riverbanks. I have seen cute baby boys of my two lifetime friends and thought about how many times we imagined ourselves as mothers walking baby carriages. I visited my friends’ bike shops, repaired and changed parts of my two-wheeled companion and got many advice on the cycling part of my trip.
I also stayed with my Mum at her new pretty and stylish apartment. I’m happy to see her joyful with it. It took time, but finally she has what she dreamt of. Together we visited vegetarian restaurants and travelled the city looking for equipment for my trip. I could tell that she is worrying about me, but still she smiled and helped with preparations. It was time to move up to the seaside.
There was one more stop on my schedule before taking the ferry – a camping site on our Peninsula Hel, where my wonderful cousin was teaching windsurfing. I haven’t seen her in way too long and I missed her even more. She herself is a unique adventurer who has lived most of her adult life abroad, surfing the waves of different coasts of Europe. I stayed with her three days, we talked as much as we could, even windsurfed a bit, and moved on to the next stop – the harbor.
It’s been one month and even though it felt like not enough (it never does, really), I had an urging feeling, a voice calling me out to pull myself together and take to the road. I knew I would be back, I always am. I just can’t live without them for too long.
Later on just for fun I tried to sum up this month in some numbers and details. What I came up with is that I arrived by plane, departed by ferry, travelled the country from
south to north by train, bus, car and bike, visited the old and present capital, hiked and windsurfed, saw my close and distant family, met with my best friends and colleagues, slept in 12 different beds in 6 cities (6 of them just in Warsaw), seen 5 movies and visited loads of places that I won’t even try counting and all of it in 31 days. Wow, what a month! I stuffed at least 6 months in one! I was more tired than before arriving but also happy as a bee and loaded with positive energy and love. Ready for my journey to begin! See you on the other side of Baltic Sea 🙂