The first quarter of 2018 is officially gone and I think it’s time for another update of what I’ve been up to. I tried to keep these updates to monthly basis but as you probably have noticed I failed… Time is passing by way too fast for me and it felt like I was about to write a new update one after another, and to be honest I didn’t really enjoy that. So from now on I will keep them to quarterly posts only as I think I can manage those!
The beginning of the year was supposed to be epic in a way but it was just regular for me. That’s because I’ve decided to cancel my trip to Central America in February. I really wanted to visit this part of the world and I still do want to go there at some point. Now however the timing seemed to be terrible for me and I felt totally unprepared for this trip.
If it was a region I’m well familiar with, like the Balkans or Caucasus, I wouldn’t have to think twice about going. But here I was much more cautious and after having a huge battle in my mind what to do I’ve decided to listen to my guts and postpone this trip for now.
It seemed like others were more disappointed than me, I came to terms with this decision really quickly as I believe I will get to Central America eventually, when the timing is better.
But even if I didn’t go to what was supposed to be my major trip of the year I can’t complain. I started the year in Kiev, Ukraine which is one of the cities I really like going back to. There were not many NYE celebrations around the city but that was fine as I had my flight back in the morning (and I started a year with the new stamp in my passport).
It was still funny to visit Ukraine at this time of the year as I was already after Christmas yet they were only about to happen there so the Christmas atmosphere and Christmas markets were very much present in the city.
A week later we had an extra Friday off at work, thanks to the Epiphany being on Saturday this year, and so together with my friend we made a good use of our free train tickets and went for a long weekend to Slovakia. After spending few hours in Kosice, which still is my favorite Slovak city, we went to High Tatras.
We had a base in Poprad, staying in AquaCity Poprad (I can definitely recommend it!) and travelled around a bit. We were so unlucky with the weather though, only very briefly in Strbske Pleso we could see mountains (I almost missed the train as I had to run back to the lake to take some pictures).
Our biggest misfortune however was when we wanted to go to Lomnicky Stit – it takes 3 cable cars to get there and when we were about to board to last one it was cancelled because of the poor weather conditions. On one hand I really understand that, safety first, but I can’t help feeling disappointed, going to the top of Lomnicky Stit has been my dream for years! Guess I need to go back there when the weather is better. At least we could see Tatra Ice Master with so many amazing ice sculptures!
Only few days later I abandoned the depressing Polish winter and went to catch some sun in Israel. And it was so refreshing! The weather was really good and – what’s more important – warm for most of the time so spending only 4 days in such a lovely place has done miracles to me!
I finally visited Tel Aviv and I loved it! There was so much modernism around as well as some street art and concrete that now I really want to go back to Tel Aviv and see it properly. Jerusalem and Bethlehem were pretty great, as always. Israel is still one of the most fascinating and intriguing places I’ve ever been to and I really would love to spend more time there, trying to understand the place.
February was the first month in years (literally!) that I haven’t travelled anywhere. And it felt really good. But as soon as March came the madness has started again! Already on the first weekend I went to Lviv, Ukraine with some friends, using one of my tricks of getting from Krakow to Lviv smoothly.
It was supposed to be the trip focused on exploring the local cafes and bars and that’s exactly what we did! I haven’t had such a fun weekend in a while and even if it was slightly exhausting I enjoyed every second of it! Lviv is one of those places where I can keep returning to and I always find something new and interesting there!
A few days later I set off for another Balkan journey. There’s something about this part of the world that makes me returning there over and over again.
Together with a friend we flew to Montenegro (via Bratislava, where we attended one of the anti-government demonstrations) where we rented the car and saw a lot in those 5 days we had there! I don’t even have a driver’s license so those road trips were a new thing to me and I enjoyed them so much, especially the ability to stop wherever I wanted to and see whatever we wanted to.
Not only we saw a big part of Montenegro, we also went to Croatia (Bay of Abandoned Hotels!!) and Bosnia and Herzegovina (Trebinje). We even almost made it to Albania too but at the very last stage the road to the border was closed and we had to go around a lot so we’ve decided to skip it after all. Montenegro is such an incredible country, I just adore it!
A week after returning from Montenegro (again via Bratislava) I flew to Bratislava again, to go to the Balkans again. This time I had more time in both Bratislava and Budapest (from where really cheap flights to the Balkans are) and a friend of mine who was going with me didn’t know both cities so we spent some time sightseeing. The weather was amazing and it was so good to be outside all day long – I’m longing good weather and spending the whole day out and about!
Sarajevo, where we were going to, was a completely different story. A short flight from Budapest and we arrived to a real winter wonderland! I literally haven’t seen that much snow this winter, it was beautiful! Funny as exactly a year ago I was visiting Sarajevo, wearing short sleeves and 365 days later it was winter in full swing.
One day I was supposed to go to Mostar with my friend but as much as I love Mostar it’s Sarajevo that stole my heart and I’ve decided to stay in the city. At least I finally could go to Ilidza and some random areas such as Grbavica and Alipasino Polje. And now I really have a feeling I know Sarajevo well and I’ve seen all of it! Still it doesn’t stop me from going there again in September.
… and everything else
There were some big changes in my life recently hence the timing for my trip to Central America wasn’t right. At the end of January I moved to another place in Warsaw and that took so much of my time and energy. No one really believes me but I hate changes and this one made me really nervous and anxious.
I’ve spent past 8 years living in the other part of Warsaw and loved it there. I never had problems that I had to share places with other people. But then I got the opportunity I couldn’t miss, a flat for myself for a really good price, only slightly more what I was paying for my room. So now I’m back in Wola and I’m getting used to it again.
I lived here before, some 9-10 years ago, and to be honest I couldn’t stand it. Fortunately these 2 tram stops I’m away from my former flat makes a huge difference and I’m kind of enjoying the area now, or at least I’m getting used to it. But I do feel good there, and in my new flat, and I know it will be only better and better. Too bad I had to postpone the Central America trip but I knew it was the right thing to do as I really needed to settle down in the new place.
Other than that things were good. Work was and still is crazy busy but I’m not complaining. I like being busy. I spent the majority of my free time hanging out with friends, cooking, reading or just taking things easy and enjoying life. Oh, and I religiously watched the Olympics as winter sports are so my thing! I guess you could see that recently I was really behind with blogging but I think I simply needed this “me” and offline time so I’m not even sorry for that. But I have plans to be more active here as my motivation is finally back!
Plans for spring
So far spring seems to forget about us as it’s supposed to snow tomorrow… that’s so typical for Easter recently! I so can’t wait for warmer weather when I will be able to spend my afternoons outside! I also have some major travel plans for next 3 months!
On Friday I’m going to Ukraine with a friend, we will visit Kiev (as it will be her first time there), Dnipro and Kharkiv. 2 days after we’re back I’m going to Cieszyn for the annual summit of Polish Travel Bloggers that I’m co-organizing.
5 days after Cieszyn I’m taking my mum to Armenia for few days – it’s been her dream for a while and since her birthday are coming up I scored some cheap tickets and we’re going, just in time for the commemoration of the Armenian Genocide. 2 days after I’m back from Armenia I’ll go to Russia for 9 days, I just got my visa! It will be my first time in Russia and I’m really excited! Together with a friend we are going to visit Moscow (and 30 Seconds to Mars concert!), Kazan and Sankt-Petersburg.
In May I’m also planning a weekend in Lithuania because it’s been some 2 years since my last visit there. I will most likely use the visa-free opportunity to go to Brest, Belarus for a weekend too. At the end of May I’m going to visit another new country that has been on my bucket list for years – Azerbaijan! On the way back I’ll stop for a day in Tbilisi, Georgia to catch my flight to Istanbul to spend a long weekend there with a friend. And all of that while having a full time job! Even I sometimes get confused with my travel plans.
Hope your winter was good and spring will be even better! Tell me your plans in the comments below, I’m really curious to hear all about them!
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