*Photos in this post are taken from my trip to Warsaw, Poland.
To some of my new readers I wanted to share with you that my blog is about personal growth and learning. I welcome you to share your experiences and stories so that we may better grow together! Continue reading
Whenever I travel, one of the first things I make a habit of doing, is to find a journal.
The trick is to not just pick any old lined notebook but find one that will remind you of the place you’ve been.
“Zawsze bądź sobą, chyba… Ze możesz być Batmanem!”
“Always be yourself, unless you can be Batman!”
Those that know me best, know I strongly pursue the mantra of being true to oneself. Those who know me better, know I also look to Batman for major decision making.
Needless to say I think I found the perfect travel journal for this trip!
I always log my entries by date, time and location. I’ll usually even include a calendar that summarizes the daily activities in case I don’t have time to write and wish to recall what events occurred that day.
It may seem a little overboard but it really doesn’t take much time. Plus, years down the road it’s often rewarding to look back and be able to reminisce pretty accurately all the things I experienced.
My journals are by no means “pretty,” or visually appealing but they carry a lot of energy. On more than one occasion I’ve had people be drawn to my journals and comment on their richness just by merely being in proximity. (I attribute some of this to my tendency to also spill food and random things onto my journals so they really engage multiple senses …) You can “taste” the experience … Literally.
My Warsaw Batman journal, so far has recipes, foods I’ve eaten, places I’ve been and things I’ve done and want to do.
I believe it’s important to track – not only in your travels but in your life – where you are now, where you were and where you want to be. It keeps you accountable for your progress as a human and serves as a way of inspiring yourself to get off your butt and do something. Or maybe serves as a way of reminding yourself that you are worthwhile and have grown and should be content with your own achievements.
Day 2 April 6,2016
Good morning Warsaw! Okay it’s not exactly morning, more like early afternoon. Today is day 2 of experiencing Poland with me as a Noob!
I had a hard time adjusting to the jet lag especially since I’m still getting over a chest infection.
Adams grandfathers condo is quaint, and history and memories seem to seep from the walls. The building itself was probably erected sometime around the Second World War and even the key is reminiscent of time that seems unreal.
Our main reason for coming to Poland is to deal with some family business. Being an opportunist I also see this as a chance to improve my Polish and broaden my understanding of the Polish culture. While we have family stuff to do, I’ve also made it my priority to enroll into daily Polish language lessons.
Funny thing, and I’m noticing that it’s something particular to my situation, but for the second time since I started pursuing the Polish language, that I have heard the response “this is unusual because we don’t get people asking to learn polish. Usually it’s Polish people wanting to learn English.”
Here we are now. Waiting for Adam to get his ID and I’m taking this time to write.
Tomorrow – jutro (you-tro) (if all goes well with the Polish school) I begin my Polish lessons.
Do widzenia. Goodbye
For the next few posts I’ll be bringing you all to Poland! Join me in a crash course on what it’s like to experience Poland as a Canadian traveling with my partner, a native Polaki.
We were greeted by Adams ciocia (Aunt) pronounced “Cho-Cha” in English phonetics, and his cousin Piotr (Peter). They gave us a quick driving tour of downtown Warsaw showing us the main historical structures and landmarks. Adam was following along marvelously with the details and descriptions, I on the other hand was having a little bit of difficulty.
I’ve mostly travelled in Spanish speaking, Asian speaking and English speaking countries and this is the first time I’ve been to a country that was Slavic based in language.
Trust me it’s culture shock. From being used to reading things in French or Spanish with Latin based words, it’s always been easy to derived roots and meanings.
Now I’m faced with something completely foreign altogether exciting and intimidating. Now I really understand how scary it is for people to travel when they only speak English.
Even so I am not completely unprepared, over the last couple years I’ve taken the initiative to take a few polish tutoring lessons and sought out resources to aid my learnings. I have a coarse grasp of the alphabet and pronounciation and I understand some words and nouns.
Ciocia and Piotr remind me of my family. They had a basket of food and wine and beer ready for us because they knew we’d be hungry after our many hours of travel. We toasted a sweet red wine and I stuffed my face with cold cuts and rye bread as the dialogue continued around me.
When I first arrived I was intently watching facial reactions and trying to Matrix my way into understanding the language but by now I was exhausted and no longer able to concentrate on trying to translate.
Tonight I sleep. Tomorrow I will awake in Poland.