poniedziałek, 27 sierpnia 2012

What are your plans for today?

Look what I found:

See? I was serious about filters and stuff.

A sticker.

I thought it's cool and empowering, so I just sticked it on my laptop. But then I realized that it's not really that cool. It was a day like this when Marco Polo left for China, but no pressure, dude. This is one of those traps. Whatever you do, there will always be an Asian third-grader doing it gazillion times better. Or Marco Polo (who hit the road for the first time at the age of 17 and had nothing to say, because his father decided for him). 

There is no point in comparing yourself to others. Just do your job, make your mistakes, fall down, stand up and fall down again. There are you and your aim. If Hussein Bolt was checking where are other runners, he wouldn't be Hussein Bolt.

piątek, 24 sierpnia 2012

Thirteen: Come back to Japan

I have managed to spend 20 hours in Tokyo, while I was having a very complicated trip from Chiang Mai to Mexico City. The trip was a part of a pretty big adventure, a week before I changed my plans totally and decided to quit a year-long trip in Asia and go for the Unknown. In a strange country engulfed with a civil war, with a man I loved madly. Well, it's a long story. 

I managed to set my foot on a Japanese soil which was a unique experience. There are places in the world, which make you feel like in a different reality. I remember feeling like this on my first day in India. After I left my hotel, suddenly I felt like I am in the middle of 4D National Geography documentary. 

And Japan is just different.

It's silent and clean. And people are super nice. And I managed not to get lost. And everything was clean, did I mention this? It was so clean, that you could lick pavements. There are ladies wearing real kimonos, and there are real hand-pulled rickshaws. You go to a country, having all those stereotypes in your head, knowing that these are only stereotypes you shouldn't follow and yeah, surely all those tales about cows in India and kimonos in Japan... let's be serious, no one does it anymore. And suddenly, it turns out that they actually do it. Surprise.

A Lady wearing kimono! Just like this, going to a grocery store or I dunno, to buy a new katana or to rake her zen garden.

A hand-pulled rickshaw! And it's not even a Hokusai's print!

I felt so zen there. Super calm, no hurry. Probably because I was just high with a drug called love, but I bet Japan itself had something to do with it too. I want to see Hanami, and sleep in a house with a paper walls and go to Kyoto and just get lost in Tokyo like Bill Murray and Scarlett Johanson in Lost in Translation

wtorek, 21 sierpnia 2012

Super-duper depth of field

Apparently I have some catching-up with my blog to do, right? I was wondering if I should write about it, but I don't think I can resist: I got a new camera and it's awesome. Which means that now all my dreams will be photographed with a super-duper brand new digital SLR camera. And an automatic mode, unless I learn how to use it properly. The day I brought it home, I took a picture of every single flower I found, all my fingers (and toes), books, and pretty much everything I found, including that awesome lamp I didn't even know is that awesome before:

Yay! That's me! Everything looks prettier with a depth of field, even me!

And all the pics have cool depth of field, so I should probably put some filter on them, add something about love in helvetica and start a fanpage "Ten Awesome Years Photography" on Facebook.

poniedziałek, 13 sierpnia 2012

Twelve: Run a hostel

I did many jobs so far. I was an event manager. I was a kindergarten teacher. I was a marketing trainee. I was a human rights educator. But the best of my jobs so far was being a receptionist in a hostel. I loved it. I loved meeting people.
Like that guy, who stopped in Warsaw during his trip from Amsterdam to Beijing on a horizontal bike.
Or that Dutch girl, Wytske, who was researching on Polish Jews
Or Ale, a geeky Italian, who became my best friend
Or Raffaella, the cutest sweetest little babe ever.
Or the University Orchestra from Coimbra in Portugal
Or those elder ladies from Israel, who came back to Poland after 60 years in search of the country of their childhood.
Or Ayesh, Josh and Andrew, Australians who are just an example on how one can crash an album-release-party of one of the most popular Polish rappers and steal all Red Bulls from the frigde.

It was just fun. And my bosses were honest and carying for us. And I love taking care of other people.    And it helped me to get rid of my shyness. And Iąm still coming back there and hanging out with receptionists and guests and suddenly realizing that I just wanted to visit the hostel and for some reason it's 5 am and I'm coming back barefoot from a party.

That's why I want to run a hostel. I was wondering if it's not too big aim for the next 10 years, but... aim high, right? If it won't work, it won't. But if it will, it's gonna be legen - wait for it - dary. I'm totally able to make my hostel the best one in Europe. If you have spare 30 000 euros, now you totally know how to invest it.

wtorek, 7 sierpnia 2012

23-year road trip. Mr. Holtorf, you are my top inspiration!

You might have heard about this guy already. Back in 1989, when the communism in central Europe collapsed, Gunther Holtorf and his wife Christine decided to go to Africa for an 18-month trip. They packed what they needed into their blue Mercedes Benz Wagon and... never came back. Christine passed away some time ago, but Gunther continues their trip, which so far took 23 years and 800 000 km (500 000 miles). He is 74 now, doesn't use a Facebook, Twitter and digital camera. He owns two super retro Leicas and travels by the very same car.

Isn't it mind-blowing? It's one of those things that make me super excited, and unable to find words to describe how cool it is. How is it possible, that no one has heard about him before!? It's such a story, and he managed to escape from all those media predators, sponsors, blogs (ekhm), breakfast TV shows, glossy magazines... If this guy is 74 now, it means that he started the trip when he was 51. (The next person who says "I'd love to do it, but I'm too old for it" gets a high five. In the face. With a chair). He repairs the car when it gets broken (which doesn't happen often, they have never had any major accident, long live German technology). He is perfectly fine without Internet (and, ekhem, let's say blogging). He was travelling with a love of his life. How cool is that!? You can read more about him here:

czwartek, 2 sierpnia 2012

How it all started

I can't say there was one big factor that made me start this project, but I can surely say, that Bronnie Ware, a paliative nurse from Australia was one of the biggest. I've read an article about her and her blog. Bronnie takes care of people in last weeks of their lives and asks them about what they regret. The answers are surprisingly similar and I will let myself quote them:

1. I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
"This was the most common regret of all. When people realise that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it."
2. I wish I hadn't worked so hard.
"This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children's youth and their partner's companionship. Women also spoke of this regret, but as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence."
3. I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings.
"Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result."
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
"Often they would not truly realise the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying."
5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.
"This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called 'comfort' of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content, when deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again."

This is mind-blowing. After I read it, my head was spinning, I had all those questions and doubts. I still have them. Should I leave everything and go travel? What would happen with my social security then? Should I put all my effort into becoming an illustrator even though I know that only the best ones can make the ends meet? Should I quit my job here and go to Mexico, where I spent six happiest months of my life? It still is spinning to be honest. I've no idea about what to do, but I also think, that an extremely important thing is to keep your eye on your goals constantly. CONSTANTLY. That's why I run this project.