The end of 2018 was a bit hard for me. You know how it is – sometimes bad things can cover the good ones because they have stronger emotional load. In total, it’s easy to forget about good time, take it for granted or state that it’s not that important or spectacular. We tend to diminish our achievements, postpone the celebration or say that something is not good enough to be proud of. I don’t know anybody who doesn’t experience these feelings from time to time. However, the most important is to be aware that something like this happens. Take a deep breath and without analyzing too much, remember the good moments of the past. And it does not matter if it was a great holiday, an unexpected visit of someone we like or a gift that caused a smile. The best moments for me are those that showed me something new, taught me something, gave me kick of energy or reminded me that what I do, makes sense.
Those were the moments I focused on while creating this personal list of my best moments of 2018.
I. Travelling with luxurious train in India
When in February I was invited by the Incredible India and the government of India to travel on board of “The Golden Chariot” – one of the most luxurious trains in the whole world – I seriously thought that I was dreaming. The 10-day long trip through the southern territories of India – Karnataka – was one of the most extraordinary and unique travels I’ve done not only in 2018 but in my entire life. Thanks to it I had a chance to get to know India from a totally different angle than before, which was a very inspiring experience (you can read about this trip HERE).
II. Publishing my first book
I have the impression that I was sitting with my laptop, writing down my stories from trips to South America just a second ago! They are so intense both in my mind and heart! And then I realized that it’s almost been a year since my first travel book Ameryka Południowa – śladami cudów natury [South America – the path of nature wonders] was published! Dear me, the time does fly! Publishing the book all by myself was marked with lots of perturbations but I made it through and finally I made my dream come true. Thanks to your reviews and messages I regularly receive, I know that it was a success and that my book is an inspiration for you. This is the best reward I could dream of.
III. Trip to Nepal
Nepal was one of the few countries this year that was totally new to me and which I went to for the first time. I have to admit, I love travelling to unknown destinations, where everything is exciting, when you don’t know what to expect and when you can learn a lot. For me the journey to Nepal was a lesson of humility, maturity and another proof that we, human beings, are able to bear and endure much more than we might think and that will to live is an extremely powerful thing. Sometimes travels make us open our eyes again, verify our approach to reality and breathe the faith in people back into our minds. The journey to Nepal meant all that for me. And I am tremendously thankful for that (more stories about this trip HERE and HERE).
IV. Sentimental trip to Florence for my 30th birthday
This year I turned 30. I had a chance to celebrate my birthday in a place, which is very close to my heart and filled with so many memories. My Florence. It was the city I studied in 7 years ago and this was the time that strongly shaped my stubbornness, self-confidence and the sense that I am really a relentless survivor. It took me 7 years to return to this city and it was like a time capsule. I travelled back in time, I remembered, how long was the path I took and I realized that I’ve been working and cobbling my way to success and fulfillment for many, many years. And when I look back, from the point I am in now, I feel proud. I couldn’t think of any better place to celebrate another year of my life.
V. Sunrise on Danube Delta in Romania
I was in Romania when I was a child but I never reached the area of the Danube Delta. And until I’ve seen it with my very own eyes, I was not aware that we have such incredible wonders of nature here, in Europe. Because sometimes we keep chasing after places that everyone recommends, have awesome marketing and are often shown in media, but in the same time we overlook beautiful places that are so close, at our fingertips. Danube Delta was my biggest travel discovery of this summer and watching the sunrise while on the boat on the river, surrounded by hundreds of thousands of birds – one of the most memorable and magical moments of 2018 (more about this this amazing place HERE).
VI. Article about my work in the biggest photographic magazine in Poland
When I saw in my mailbox that I received a proposition for an interview about my work, travels and photography from the biggest photographic magazine in Poland – Digital Camera, I felt really honored. When it comes to photography, I am self-taught. Maybe that’s why I was pleased even more that my work is being noticed and appreciated. I hope that my case would serve you as an example, that we are the only obstacle in our lives and you don’t have to me an outstanding individual to fulfill your dreams and do what you really love.
VII. Climbing the Plain Morte glacier in Switzerland
At the end of August I was invited by My Switzerland to represent Poland during the first such meeting of bloggers from all over the world. Everyone was assigned to another group, which focused on specific activities and places. I had the luck to get the mountainous Plain Morte region. I was the only woman in the group (it didn’t worry me even a little bit, quite the opposite J). Our plans covered mountain trekking, outdoor photography and the biggest glacier in the country – Plaine Morte. I think that visiting glaciers in various parts of the world will become my hobby. It was my second glacier, after Perito Moreno in Argentina.
I’ve always thought of myself as of a girl that is into sunny climate and roaring of the ocean. Well, at least here nothing changed and one of my dreams still is to have a small house somewhere at a stormy ocean. However, in the course of time I’ve got fascinated by the severity of mountainous peaks, their inaccessibility and that nothing is just given there, you have to earn every view. Plaine Morte just fueled this love in me (more about this climb HERE).
VIII. Reunion with friends back from the studies in South Korea
It’s been almost eight years since I’ve studied in Seoul. But I’m still friends (I should write it with capital F!) with a bunch of people I studied there with. Since that time we’ve regularly organized reunions in various countries (one was in the Netherlands, once in France and the last time was in Belgium). Despite the fact that all of us have our lives, careers and families we put a lot of effort in order to find a few days only for ourselves and our friendship. We come from various countries to one, fixed place and we just spend time together – talking, laughing, cooking and dancing. Simple stuff but for us it’s unique. This is one of the most valuable bonds I have. This international friendship that has lasted all of these years regardless of different cultures, distance and obligations. It lasts because we all, collectively and individually, cherish it and look after it. Every time someone asks me, if it’s worth to study abroad, I give them this as an example. It really is worth doing, because what you gain and win stays with you for the rest of your life. And it’s truly beautiful.
IX. New love in my life – motorcycles and driving lessons
It had to end this way. I’ve been always drawn to motorcycles but I always lacked the context. But one ride and one incentive, that is the motorcycle trip in Nepal, was enough to make me fall for two wheels. Motorcycle gives me such a unique sense of freedom, independence and allows me to travel in a totally different way than I did before. And I am so into it! In the autumn I took a motorcycle driving course for 125 ccm (in accordance with the new traffic law in Poland, you only need driving license for cars to be allowed to ride motorcycles up to 125 ccm). But when the spring comes, I intend to take a serious, full A category driving course so that I would be able to drive larger bikes. It would definitely give me a new level of freedom.
X. New apartment – boho style <3
It was the landmark in the last year. I’ve moved into my own apartment and for the first time ever I was able to design everything from top to bottom. Of course that it all ended in travel-boho style :)
I’ve put this decision off for many years, investing all my money in travels. And I don’t regret that I’ve waited so long. The other reason was that for the recent few years I’ve barely lived in Poland. First studying abroad, then I worked and conducted research for my doctoral thesis in various parts of the world and then I intensively travelled because of my blog. Ultimately I would like to divide my life between Poland, which, all in all, is my home, I’ve got family and friends here, and another country (which one? I’m still puzzled).
XI. Spontaneous motorcycle Road Trip in Mexico
Mexico has been on my travel dreams list for so long. But every time I was about to visit it something came up and all the projects misfired. At the beginning of December I made a spontaneous decision: I’m going, that’s it, nothing is going to stop me. I bought the flight ticket overnight. And then, in a complete madness and ecstasy, in only few days, I wrapped up the details. I’ve drove around the Yucatan Peninsula with my friend on motorcycle. The whole trip was full of spontaneity, mulling over on road, changing plans but we managed to see so many delightful places. I’m preparing for you an extensive report from this trip, expect it to be published in January ;)
For me this journey was definitely too short and made me only more fascinated by this region and I am planning to return there. Like, even right now I am thinking about how I could get back there as soon as possible.
XII. Swimming in cenote in Mexico
I was never a huge fan of caves until I visited a dozen of cenotes in Mexico. I realized that I was not a fan of caves, because I did not even have a clue how beautiful and mysterious they can be. Even wandering inside, checking all the nooks and corners was an experience on its own but the moment when I dived in a cave 25 meters underground in complete darkness and the cleanest water I’ve seen in my life, I realized that this is only the beginning of my adventure with these wonders of nature.
XIII. Recommendation of my book in National Geographic Traveler Poland
Oh, the moment, when you arrive home after another journey and in a news-stand at the airport you find a magazine National Geographic Traveler, in which they recommend your book Ameryka Południowa – śladami cudów natury as a position really worth reading… It’s priceless. This moment was so happy that at the very mention of it I grin and just can’t stop.
XIV. Reaching over 120k readers from all over the world every month! Motivation is so high now!
This year was the second anniversary of creating my blog, so it’s still pretty young :) (I’ve got the impression I’ve been writing it whole my life, though) After two years of devoting every moment to the blog (travelling or not), learning everything from scratch, continuous improvement, I finally feel that the whole project developed and gathers more and more wonderful people who love the world. It’s visited monthly by over 120k users from all over the world, which is even more incredible and motivating, because it shows that passion has no limits!
XV. Sunset in tulum for the end of 2018
It might seem that it was only a sunset, but in my trips I collect such simple moments and feelings that accompany them. I do a “freeze frame”, drink the moment in and take a picture of it in my head. Then, when I’m sad I remember those beautiful moments and I also realize that I am such a lucky woman, cause I had a chance to experience all of these. The trip to Mexico was the last one in 2018, so my last sunset at the ocean was in Tulum. Silence, calmness, roaring waves and thousands shades on the sky. For me it was the perfect end and summary of this year.
When I’m thinking about it now, it was not that bad and I am glad that I made myself create that list.
Would you share your favorite moments with me? I would really love to hear what made you happy, inspired you or gave you the drive and boost :*