I'm in London now!
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14 apr201914 The 2-year trip around the half-world naturepeopleplacesLondon, United KingdomLondon, United Kingdom 14th of April will undoubtedly always be a special date in my life. Even 50 years from now, if I ever live that long, I will look at that date in the calendar and remember a small step for mankind but giant leap for me. Every time I think about the process that drove me to finally make the decision of my life, I am puzzled and surprised. When I came back from Nepal in November 2016 nobody, not even me, could expect that three weeks later I would be adamant to leave the job, the country, and the life I had built. It as a very special moment. I had a job offer on the table from a bank but between having a formal chat and them coming back to me I made my decision. Now I can be grateful for their undecisiveness or beaurocracy, whatever that is. Imagine if I hadn't had time to think!My... Comments (0)more...16 mar201916 A short story of identity peopleLondon, United KingdomLondon, United Kingdom It's bloody right when people say travelling teaches us things we might never learn otherwise; it's true that it opens our minds and heart; it's true it helps us destory walls and prejudices quicker than melting icecaps in Antarctica. I spent exactly 33.38% of my life in the UK, 60% in Poland, and the remaining few percent in many different countries. When crossing borders and mixing languages one tends to realise that barriers we are all taught to recognise are disappearing. Suddenly it is not about where you were born, what language you speak, where your parents are from, or any kind of physical characteristic. Everything becomes much simpler. It comes down to the unspoken, unknown, and unexplainable energy between two peole that either puts somebody in your universe... Comments (0)more...10 mar201910 But sometimes they come back placesworkLondon, United KingdomLondon, United Kingdom The second part of Peyton's drawing was a little bit more optimistic than the first one. "But sometimes they come back" is not perhaps the most optimistic quote of the century but it contains one ingredient we, as humans, desire every day - HOPE.When I left UK my life has suddenly became this crystal clear, turbulent, and compelling ocean of possibilities. Yes, that is much better description than just "flexible plan". The truth is, it was flexible. I always had some kind of a plan in my head. Where I wanted to go, what I wanted to do but ultimately the universe dictated all my moves. One of those plans was coming back to the UK, especially before the infamous Brexit, but I did not attempt to put anything in motion. Until the end of last year that is. I... Comments (0)more...28 feb201928 People always leave peopleplacesWilmington, United StatesWilmington, United States Peyton Sawyer hit a nail in the head with her artwork saying that People Always Leave and despite it being a very simple concept I didn't realise its full meaning until I was in the UK for couple of years. All of us use the phrase "I miss you" all the time. Sometimes we forget about it the next minute but sometimes those three words are just the tip of the iceberg. The iceberg being unendurable need to have certain people in your life and be a part, however small, of theirs..When I left my Polish home at the age of 19 a lot of unfinished business had been left, well, unfinished. It was never my goal to stay in the UK for a long time; I never believed it would even be possible. "One, maybe two years and I will have to go back" - though my younger self. Suddenly... Comments (5)more...26 nov201826 The Magic of Tree Hill and Capeside placesWilmington, United StatesWilmington, United States Hollywood East - that is how sometimes people call Wilmington. From a small English colony in 1720s (first permanent settlement) to a place that is known all over the world (to a limited few) and a cultural hub in the eastern parts of North Carolina with a population over 120 000 in a matter of three centuries. Quite impressive if you ask me!When I was in New York I knew I had to leave it as the cost of living there is way too high. After having decided to visit Sam in Clayton I had to think about my next move. It had been the first time when I didn't have a clear direction where to go. My contract with MovingWorlds was finished and I didn't have anything new in the pipeline, so the world was my oyster!I decided why not go to Wilmington. I have always wanted to do that and... Comments (0)more...11 oct201811 The Avalanche of beauty and trouble - Ava Gardner moviespeopleplacesSmithfield, NC, United StatesSmithfield, NC, United States If you've met me in the last three years it is very likely I have mentioned, once or twice my passion for music, dance, and movies from the past. I started watching them shortly after I had begun doing what I had always wanted - dancing. Since I had chosen tap dancing I began watching musicals from the 1930s and fell in love with Ginger Rogers and Fred Astair, obviously.Since then my passion has been growing exponentially and so far I watched 165 pictures out of 487 that I want to watch. Along with my passion the list of movies I want to watch is growing.As with anything else you develop your unique sense and liking from which your favourites arise and one of them is definitely Ava Lavinia Gardner. Surprisingly her middle name, which I happen to like very much now, Lavinia, sounds... Comments (0)more...29 sep201829 The Other Durham placesDurham, NC, United StatesDurham, NC, United States Durham Durham! I miss the original Durham, every day. I remember when I lived in Bishop Auckland, a bit to the south from Durham, and only visited the city few times. Every time I liked it and it became my goal to be able to live there one day. I had decided to move to New Brancepeth before I found my then new job. One thing was clear - I wanted to go so I did. Almost 15 months since I left it I found myself in North Carolina in a very close proximty to, as I like to call, the other Durham. It woud be wrong not to check it out and compare the two! From Raleigh it was pretty straightforward to get to Durham, taking one bus to the Regional Transport Center and then another one downtown. Once I arrived I was going to wait for another bus to take me to Duke University but I haven't... Comments (0)more...12 sep201812 Clayton & Raleigh - First look at North Carolina placesClayton, Raleigh, United StatesClayton, Raleigh, United States So I had to leave Colombia. Unfortunately countries never give you more than 6 months on your tourist visa even though I wasn't ready to wave goodbye to Guatape and my dziupla. I decided the cheapest way out was to fly to New York, which may have been in my mind ut not reality. After two weeks in New York I decided it was time to move as living in NYC is not the cheapest. I wanted to stay on American soil in hope that some of my work contracts I have been trying to get will come true and I wanted to be within short flying distance to potential interviews.I scanned the map and after few conversations I decided to visit Sam - my roommate from times in El Porvenir, where we both volunteered for Honduras Child Alliance. Turned out he lived in Clayton, North Carolina, a small town... Comments (0)more...30 jul201830 San Carlos - hidden gem in the heart of Antioquia natureplacesSan Carlos, ColombiaSan Carlos, Colombia When one makes plans to go to Colombia it is very possible that their very first stop will be Antioquia and to be exact Medellïn. After all it is The City of the Eternal Spring, Escobar tours, and much more entertainment. I will make an assumption here but I think most people do like such busy cities. Tourists, expats, and locals alike have to get away from that busyness every now and then and especialy during long weekends. The most common/possible destinations for such weekends definitely include Guatapé, Rionegro, San Rafael, or Santa Fe but Alexandra and I found, amongts those touristy, well-developed towns, a gem that made my stay in Colombia a thousand times more memorable. San Carlos is called the hydro-electrical capital of Colombia due to many dams in the region... Comments (0)more...21 jul201821 The Recycling Story - chapter 2 natureGuatapé, ColombiaGuatapé, Colombia Few weeks ago I wrote about the basic history of recycling and most of all - the types of plastic, which is the least recycled material despite being the most present.I have visited 11 different countries during last few years but things change quickly, therefore I can't say for myself what recycling is like there right now but I can say few things about the countries I have lived in recently.  But before I get to particular places, let's talk about the foundation. Recycling vs demographicsThe more countries I visit I always get mixed feelings in regards to recycling. It is most admirable when even in small towns the public garbage bins are duplicated and their purpose becomes more narrowed. At the same time my eyebrows raise, my forehead gets wrinkly, all when... Comments (1)more...16 jun201816 The Recycling Story - chapter 1 natureGuatapé, ColombiaGuatapé, Colombia Brief history of recyclingWhen it comes to the history of languages word recycling is just a baby. According to Etymonline the word recycling was first recorded in 1924 and used as a technical term in oil-refining and similar industries but its broader consumer sense dates from 1960. Modern defintions vary a little bit but of course oscilate around the same phenonmenon, this one is from United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)Recycling is the process of collecting and processing materials that would otherwise be thrown away as trash and turning them into new products. Recycling can benefit your community and the environment.It doesn't mean that our species only started reusing materials in 20th century. If you thought that was true you were off by a half million... Comments (0)more...12 may201812 The bright side of living off-grid natureplacesGuatapé, ColombiaGuatapé, Colombia It has been 5 weeks since I moved to Guatapé, or as locals call the area here Quebrada Arriva - located 5 km (3.1m) from the town itself or 6km (3.7m) from the nearby El Peñol. After all those weeks I am still as excited to be here as I was when moving day came upon me. When I looked at my life's history and where I lived throghout the years it is always clear I am a "small-town boy" as they say. 0 - 5 years old - Bolechówko, small village in Poland that had only nearly 600 habitants in 2014, so in 1987 you can bet it was significantly lower5 - 19 years old - Murowana Goślina, small town situated 20km (12.5m) from Poznań, established in XIV century and few years ago had just a little bit over 10 000 people19 - 23 years old - Bishop... Comments (0)more...14 apr201814 365 days of freedom, beauty, truth, and love peopleplacesGuatapé, ColombiaGuatapé, Colombia I don't really celebrate my birthday, nor do I celebrate birthday of any "gods", but I decided I will always celebrate the day I have stepped out of my comfort zone and took my life into my own hands again.During my 10-year spell on the British land I said many times how quickly time had flown. What was even more surprising is that not a lot was happening most of the time due to my workaholism but the feeling of time escaping through my fingers was still present. It's 18:45 here in Colombia, which means in the UK it's 15th April 00:45 - exact time when I boarded my bus to London at Durham Bus Station. Today marks exactly one year since I left my cozy house Edward, my job, my village, my friends, and decide to embark on this journey. Has the time flown quickly?... Comments (0)more...24 mar201824 Guatapé - The land of stones and water placesEl Peñol, Guatape, ColombiaEl Peñol, Guatape, Colombia I haven't written anything about Medellín because there was not much to write. Very large city with many tall buildings, too many cars, and a lot of air pollution. I found myself living next to one of the bigger roads, so the city noise is a normal thing for residents here. I developed a way to block that noise and focus my brain on sounds of the birds that sit on the trees around the area. First two week in the city I spent battling a common cold and next two weeks I had so much work that I didn't have time for anything else. The area I live in, El Poblado, is quite touristy (like San Blas of Cusco), therefore I tried not to judge a whole city based on one district. After few weeks I have longed for a bit of a break outside of the city and the opportunity came when... Comments (0)more...15 mar201815 Finding soul in the (corporate) machine peopleplacesworkDurham, United KingdomDurham, United Kingdom Looking for the new beginningDuring the last 12 months I spent on the road I have been asked many times about what made me take a leap of faith in regards to my career, what or who was my inspiration, and how was I going to survive. It brings me back to one conversation in early February in the kitchen of the office of my previous employer. One of my colleagues, after having heard I was leaving, with no hesitation said he could not believe I was doing it, that I had some guts to go along with a plan like that, and that he wished he could have done something like that too.It took months of preparation and planning to make sure my risks were calculated, my future was at least reasonably safe, and my goals were clearly defined - foundations of a good plan!It is never easy to just pack... Comments (0)more...26 feb201826 The heart of Quispicanchi - Urcos natureplacesUrcos, PeruUrcos, Peru When somebody is talking about Peru, Cusco, and/or Sacred Valley, few obvious places come to mind: Machi Picchu, Rainbow Mountain, Puno, Pisac, Ollantaytambo, or Urubamba. My last Tuesday on Peruvian we (Bettina and I, as it was her last day on Peruvian soil) decided to spend a day in some less touristy part of the Sacred Valley. My vote initially went to Maras and visiting the salt evaporation ponds - and we all now that anything to do with salt is of interest to me, Betting opted for Urcos, and yes ultimately we agreed Urcos will be the best bet. Kudos to you Bettina, the choice was perfect!Urcos is a small town situated around 50km south-east from Cusco with population of only a bit over 4000 people and a capital of the province Quispicanchis (one of the 13 provinces of Cusco district)... Comments (0)more...23 feb201823 The Lost crops of the Incas - The Mother Grain foodCusco, PeruCusco, Peru Do you now what is the Mother of all grains? Guess, just guess...  If you said QUINOA then you are absolutely right! Chisiya mama (which is quinoa in Quechua language) was so crucial for the life of the Incas they considered it sacred. Derived from Spanish spelling of the Quechua name kinwa or occasionally "Qin-wah", it originated in the Andean region before they were colonised and baceme nation-states, where it was successfully domesticated 3000 to 4000 years ago for human consumption, though archeological evidence shows a non-domesticated association with pastoral herding some 5200 to 7000 years ago.  Imagine the Incas domesticated it 4000 years ago and it only made to the US in the 80s! Nowadays its presence is growing especially in vegetarian and... Comments (0)more...21 feb201821 Farewell Cusco, it's been great knowing you! peopleplacesCusco, PeruCusco, Peru 165 days, that's 14 256 00 seconds I spent in the sacred city of Cusco. I didn't know I would be going here until late February last year. After haing agreed to go to Honduras first my availability changed and I didn't know if LAFF would wait for me that long. When I received a positive answer I was so happy. It meant I had 9 continuous months of volunteering secured, which I hoped would get me closer to my life goals. Get to know Latin and South America, learn Spanish, improve my salsa, meet great people, but also advance with my professional ambitions that stopped advancing a while ago. As you may know I am in Colombia now where I will be working as Data Analyst/Salesforce Admin (Dev). An opportunity that would never happen without LAFF. When I started volunteering in... Comments (0)more...13 feb201813 Cusco, Cusco es tu nombre sagrado! peopleplacesCusco, PeruCusco, Peru Cusco, Cusco es tu nombre sagradoComo el Sol de Incario immortal,todo el mundo te lleva en el pechocomo canto y bandera triunfal.This is the first verse of the Cusco anthem, which in short four lines show how proud people were and are of their native land.Your name is sacred like the immortal sun of the Incan Empire, whole world carries you in their hearts while signing and waving the flag of triumph.I think there wasn't a day when I didn't think at least once what this place would have looked and sounded like had the Spaniards never been granted a permission from Queen Isabella of Portugal to conquer Peru. I imagine Quechua would still be a primary language, maybe (a big one) Huáscar and Atahulpa would get along to preserve the empire instead getting into... Comments (0)more...27 jan201827 Rainbow mountain, alpacas, and spirits of the mountains natureplacesVinicunca, Canchis Province, PeruVinicunca, Canchis Province, Peru Vinicunca, as that's how Rainbow Mountain is called in Quechua, is one of the most popular hiking destination in Cusco (despite having been opened to tourists for just three years). The main reason is of course to see the magical spectacle of colours of the mountain and the whole valley caused by many different layers of rock formations. I wish I knew the chemical and physical magic behind the colours. But that's not only reason. The changing difficulty of the trek is a good way of testing yourself before some more difficult treks. I personally didn't know if I'd make it. After another stretch of few weeks filled with health problems, hospitals, and having been bound to my chair at home, I was at first sceptical about going. Then I thought it has been two weeks of feeling not... Comments (1)more...3 jan20183 Believe that dreams come true every day, because they do naturepeopleplacesworkKathmandu - Aanbu - Khaireni - Gorkha - Pokhara, NepalKathmandu - Aanbu - Khaireni - Gorkha - Pokhara, Nepal The first time I thought about going on a trip like that was probably around March-April 2016. The thought itself was in my mind for much longer but it was always just a dream I was never ready to chase. At least that's what I chose to keep telling myself, for absolutely no right reason. Volunteering, helping people, using your skills for good, all those things sometimes get a bad name because it's being branded as cliché at best or described as voluntourism, or even white-saviour complex at worst. Many times I also get challenged with an argument, whether it's about my volunteering or country A sending aid to country B, that charity should start at home. They're right but only to an extent. I have been sick of people constantly criticising those who decide... Comments (2)more...21 dec201721 One step closer to moving my world placesworkMedellin, ColombiaMedellin, Colombia I have been trying to tell myself that my decision to leave UK has been a long process but truthfully days after I came back from Nepal I knew and sensed that my future is about to change drastically. Those who know me will not be surprised when I say that I needed a bit of a plan. For some reason I just can't travel for the sake of travelling and taking pictures 16h a day, don't get me wrong I like taking pictures but it can't be the main goal. Of course the reason has its name workaholism. In the past it would be very negatively charged behaviour that cost me social life, friends, girlfriends, and in general living my life as I should. It became obvious that if I ever want to make it to the non-profit sector professionally, not only do I have to transform my skills but... Comments (1)more...14 dec201714 Unexpected gaLIMAtias! placesLima, PeruLima, Peru Why Lima? As some of you know I was travelling to Medellín, Colombia to talk to Moving Worlds, a company that helps skilled volunteers (experteers) to find great opportunities for really meaningful work with non-profits. I actually found my Honduran and Peruvian opportunities through that site. Few weeks ago it turned out they were looking for kind of a mix of Salesforce Admin/Developer with Data Analysis skills and some Web Development. Yup - that fits me perfectly.I sent them a message and started advising them remotely straight away, mostly in things related to Salesforce integrations and how to design the database and keep the data. I'll be honest the paid remote contractors only focused on writing code without even thinking who is going to use the data and how. I'm... Comments (0)more...11 dec201711 So tonight I'll be your Brooklyn, so cold and yet so far away! placesNew York, United StatesNew York, United States I can't exactly name the point in time when the dream to visit US appeared in my mind for the first time. It could be when I began to learn English in the first year of my high school and the learning didn't start or end at achool. It was the music, lyrics, TV series that made me want to understand more of the language but also see those places even if they weren't real.  Or maybe it was while I lived in the UK and realised that the world doesn't end on Poznań or Bishop Auckland, and that there's more to it, way more. When I was planning my exit from the UK I decided to apply for a tourist visa to US as a Polish citizen. The initial plan was to apply as a British citizen but after having been rejected twice for British naturalisation I decided that's... Comments (0)more...6 dec20176 First half of the Cusquenan adventure foodnatureplacesCusco, PeruCusco, Peru Exactly three months ago I arrived in Cusco. 6th September seems like a different lifetime ago and yet it has only been three months. They say the older we get the different our perception of time is. When you're 15 a lot more can happen in a year than when you're 25. Do you believe that? I used to, nowadays I think it's just an excuse for people who can't or don't want a lot to happen in their lives.After 12 weeks I can say I have a pretty good life here in Cusco. It has its routines and stability but at the same time always interesting and daring - I can't call it boring even if I wanted to. Beginnings are always difficult but I learned that humans can adapt to anything and I have too. At first it wasn't easy even with simple things lie weather. High-altitude... Comments (1)more...5 dec20175 Experteering with LAFF workCusco, PeruCusco, Peru It was just a typical Monday morning, my last Monday at Salecycle - 3rd April - when I received an e-mail from Latin American Foundations for the Future confirming that I was accepted as a volunteer. My heart was buzzing as I had only 11 days left in the UK and my plans only included few weeks in Canada and then 3 months in Honduras. It was a perfect timing and couldn't be more happier when they also agreed to wait for me until September so that I could finish my placement in El Porvenir. Before I arrived I had my own doubts about what's it going to be like but in places like this you have to have positive attitude. So far every trip had its ups and downs, happy and not so happy moments, each trip also featured some mistakes on my part that I wish I could change, so when I... Comments (0)more...3 dec20173 First trip to Willka Qhichwa natureplacesPisac - Lamay - Calca - Urubamba, PeruPisac - Lamay - Calca - Urubamba, Peru Who doesn't like a road trip?! If you don't then you can leave ;)Today I tagged along with Taylor, Ange, Libertad, and their mum to a trip to Sacred Valley (Valle Sagrado de los Incas, Willka Qhichwa) in search of perfect wedding reception spot. So far during my stay here in Cusco I haven't travelleed much and this seemed like an awesome opportunity to see few places. The primary reason for the road trip was to inspect few places that Angela & Taylor are considering for their wedding reception.Before we got to business we visited Pisac - well known for its ruins and Sunday market (I have to say I fell in love with all sorts of markets here!). The city was erected by the most important Sapa Inca Pachacútec who was responsible for transforming Kingdom... Comments (0)more...27 nov201727 The most expensive broccoli in the history of broccolis foodCusco, PeruCusco, Peru Broccoli is such a normal, typical, and casual vegetable, wouldn't you agree? It's not my favourite but I like it, especially in stir-fry or mashed with cauliflower. It was a very common day, 23rd November, and after work I decided to make stir-fry for dinner. Vegetables, mushrooms, chinese spices, and soy sauce was exactly what I needed. Usually I boil my broccoli and cauliflower before I use it in anything but this time I decided to keep it on the fire for longer without boiling. I have to say the dish kicked ass and it disappeared very quickly.That was beginning of the end. Stomach cramps within two hours of eating, not sleeping at all, and then Friday at work wasn't the easiest of workdays. Later I tried to go to salsa lesson as usual on Friday night and for a... Comments (1)more...
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