We’ve kept in touch over the years and she has since moved back to her native Poland, where she owns and operates her own tour company these days. During our visit to Warsaw a few months back, we were fortunate enough to spend a couple of evenings drinking vodka and catching up!
Where do you live:
What do you do for a living?
I’m a tour manager and a city guide. I run my own tours in Warsaw called Wow! Tours.
What is your favourite country/countries? Why?
I love traveling to scarcely populated lands. Iceland, Mongolia, Lapland would be my favourite picks. Also mountainous areas, partly for the same reason.
What type of travel do you normally do? Why?
I mostly backpack. It suits me best because it offers flexibility, helps travel close to local people and allows to stretch my budget.
What is the most unforgettable or profound travel moment you’ve experienced?
Oh my, don’t make me choose one only… Here are a few (in random order):
Climbing to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro.
First close encounter with puffins in Iceland.
Dog sledding in Lapland.
Sky diving in Lesce, Slovenia.
Night views of New York City from the 86th floor of the Empire State Building.
Bicycle racing down the Death Road in Bolivia.
The scariest moment you had while traveling?
Travelling in the Himalayas on some mountain roads that were barely wide enough to fit one vehicle. The driver was taking corners with cars coming from the opposite direction.
What is the greatest food you’ve eaten while traveling?
All sorts of tropical fruit that are extremely hard to find in Europe, such as durian, jackfruit, atemoya, jabuticaba, acai, etc.
Is there something you cannot travel without? What is it?
Toiletries. Boring but true ☺
If someone was traveling to your current city, what is one activity you would suggest them to do?
In warm & sunny weather: rent a bike and cycle along the Vistula river – through the forest on the right bank and then along the modern boulevards on the left bank. These are two completely different worlds yet only a river apart.
In cold & rainy weather: Go for a stroll through the streets of Warsaw (best from the Savior square to the Constitution square to the Palace of Culture and Science) while listening to ‘Warszawa’ by David Bowie. Once you get cold (or wet), step into Wedel café at Szpitalna street for a cup of an amazing hot chocolate.
Also, regarding visitors to your current city, what is one food/restaurant they must try?
It’s so hard to pick one… I’d say try pączek (a Polish donut), especially when freshly made and still warm. Make sure to chase it with a shot of nice Polish vodka 😉
What is one piece of advice you’d give to other travellers?
Ask yourself at least twice a year: When was the last time I did something for the first time? Even during travels (especially long term) it’s easy to fall into routines.
You are stranded on a deserted island. You’re allowed one book, one album, and one food. What would you choose for each?
Book: Women Who Run With the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes.
Album: I’d take another book instead. Something like DYI life hacks for people stranded on deserted islands 😉
Food: Asian fusion (that’s broad enough to ensure variety, haha).