Let me introduce myself-I am Anna,I was born in Warsaw,Poland.When I was 4 yo,I moved with my family to New York City for 4 years,then came back to Warsaw for 3 years and to New York again for 4 years.Then I came back and lived in Warsaw until I kind of moved out.
I actually was a late bloomer independent traveler(but it’s never too late).I spent my teenage and student years on travelling with travel agencies with friends.I really started in summer of 2010.Me and my bff,planned(not precisely at all) a 3 week trip around Norway,from the south to the (not so far,Lofoten the farthest)north and back to the south.The tricky part was,that it was to be done only by hitchhiking and couchsurfing(our first time doing both).Long story short,we managed,had a blast and got to experience Norway firsthand.I fell in love with nature there.But also with travelling independently.Then I did some short trips with friends,Erasmus students who I took care of.And in 2012 I went off on my first solo trip(after a failed trial of hitchhiking the Balkans with a girl met online,I quit that after the first night in a forest in a tent by a road).I went to the Baltic countries.I figured I’ll travel by bus and sleep in hostels,no hitchhiking or tent on my own.I went to Lithuania,Latvia and Estonia.Riga,Latvia ended up being my favorite,mainly because of the people I met in the hostel,in bars and on couchsurfing.That was when I learned the cliche,that you do learn a lot about yourself when travelling solo.You also experience adrenaline,a never ending challenge and constant drifting into the unknown.In the meantime I took a 2 year break from University,thinking of never coming back,but to have the option just in case.I planned to travel long term.I ended up going on many short trips with friends and then solo trips to Georgia and Goa,India.In India somehow,I had a revelation,I was ready to travel long term for sure.
After all these trips,I knew I had been living in Warsaw for far too long(apart from travels,I was annoyed to always have to come back to living in the same place).Until the year 2014,then I went to Inveraray,Scotland to work in a hostel.I was a Joint Hostel Manager(there were only 2 people working there:P) and Publicist(managing the website,blog,social media,pr,marketing).It was heaven on Earth.I had just a bit of work.I was living in a beautiful small town.I had contact with the guests.I had a cool challenge doing the Publicity work and had a creative flow of ideas.I had plenty of time for myself,to travel,wander around,read,do yoga,jog,explore.My idea was,that I could work in Europe during the summers and travel during the winters.And so I bought a ticket for 4 months,to India for November.I was a bit in panic.I am afraid to solo travel around there,that’s the reason I bought a ticket.I thought if I’m afraid,I should face my fear.But I got a ticket to Thailand instead:)So,I was to be in Mumbai 2 days and then safe and civilized Thailand.In the meantime,I also started to give English lessons on Skype,so I was already working when travelling,plus I still did the publicity work for the hostel.I went off to India,then Thailand,traveled around there,plus Cambodia and Vietnam.Then went back to Scotland.
Glasgow wasn’t my thing from the first night out there.But I tried to get a job.I was still teaching through Skype,but Polish money in the UK isn’t so strong.I loved this possibility though and didn’t want to lose my students,so I was trying to get a job which could fit in with teaching.It wasn’t easy.In Poland I never had problems with getting a job,which wasn’t complete shit.Here I didn’t even get the job of a waitress.I got a part time job in a guest house,but it was a bit shady.I had secured a hostel job in Edinburgh,which became the best option.
In Edinburgh I met like-minded people,who traveled and worked,traveled for work,or worked to travel.I still kept teaching through Skype all summer,connecting it with my hostel job.Working night shifts to do that,didn’t leave me with much time to enjoy Edinburgh though.But the thought that I would have money to travel plus to pay some part for my school,that I was planning to finish kept me motivated.Then on the day of my flight back home,I a)first time in my life missed my flight cause of a fire on the highway b)lost my second flight cause of c) losing my bag with everything.I had taken up almost all my summer’s pay,to not lose money when drawing it out in Poland(I know,how stupid,never again).And apart from the money,I had all my documents,my DSLR camera and 2 phones.Fortunately I had my laptop in my luggage which I left at the airport and my phone that I use, in my pocket(the chargers were in the bag though-but whatever).
So my travel plans were quite ruined.With this situation I didn’t feel like going back to school,after not having traveled for about 9 months,I knew I would quit school again if I didn’t travel soon.So I skipped school and got a job in a corporation for 2 months.I was still teaching through Skype and gathering new Skype students.I got a one way ticket to Bangkok for March.The company wanted me to stay longer,but I couldn’t. I actually got a migraine,I was so overworked,with this job,teaching,maintaining my great social life that I so much enjoy in Warsaw plus ME time.ME time was suffering too much.Fortunately,I live with my parents when in Warsaw,so I did not have to work to pay the bills.Call it egoistic or childish,I call it sacrificing to achieve my goal,which is being self-sufficient,with a remote job,which one day will allow me to support myself even in the richer countries in the world.For now,I can do this in South East Asia.I do have to go back to Europe unfortunately,to finish the school thing.Then I will have more opportunities to work and live around the world.One of them can be teaching English in for example Japan,or somewhere(in Asia they need a degree,doesn’t matter the qualifications or experience).
I have this blog,which is not making any profits,to gather other travelers’ stories,interesting places,pro-social or remote business ideas,anything to do with living differently.I hope to interview people or present their stories here.I know that many people don’t live their life the way they would like to.I want this blog to inspire,give ideas of achieving your perfect lifestyle or purely entertain.
I must say,I prefer to present others’ stories,as I don’t know how exactly I want to live yet.I know at my age-30,people have a direction.I find my way good as well,I am flexible:)I try to gather many different skills,working different jobs,live in different countries,try all kinds of lifestyles,to maybe find one direction.However,I don’t think I have one and I don’t have to have one.This world gives so many opportunities and why not try all of them?I have been teaching English for 10 years altogether,so this is quite a long time of doing the same thing.Now,that it allows me to travel,I don’t think it will ever get boring.I just need good WiFi and to get up at night(the only minus of the time difference between Europe and Asia).I travel with a laptop,that’s the only additional burden apart from working a bit at night.I am writing this from a beautiful Thai island-Koh Samui,which I explored by scooter and will spend some days here relaxing at the beach,enjoying good food,shakes and Thai massages.So,the advantages greatly exceed the burdens of this lifestyle:).I just can’t be in one place for too long,and then I can be happy.I do have a place on Earth that I call home-Warsaw,where I have the people that I love and whose company I enjoy a lot!However,I do not see myself living there for long.Having to be there,or close to it,for one year is a tragic vision for me already,but I know it’s a must.I know I will want to settle down in one place from time to time,for a month,2 months,maximum for 2 years.I have hobbies that I can’t develop easily when on the road.Even exercising or doing yoga is a challenge,but I would like to work more on DIY projects,making,remaking things,baking,cooking,selling things(trying to:P),learning new skills which require focus.So being on the road for too long can get a bit disorderly.With time I think I will come up with an idea and the means for a lifestyle which will allow me to balance all the things I want to do in life.For now I am travelling around Asia,teaching through Skype and trying to gather interesting stories plus interesting products to buy here and sell in Europe!
This is my story,but I want your stories.If you travel and work,are an expat,travel long-term,live differently in any way,then please contact me.Share your story to inspire others!
Now I am in Thailand.I plan on going to Malaysia and Indonesia and I’ll see what then.For now,here are some of my photos from Thailand,which I post on Instagram(onehapeehipee).