Middle place

How does it feel to be in your ‘middle’ place? Since I moved out it was already four and a half months. Not much. I agree. However, it seems like forever. I will say it again – thanks to the great surrounding, my hard work to organize life pretty quickly and my luck. Since this is my third country to live in, I was wondering how would it be to be back in my ‘second’ home (?). The time has come…

I am back at the Heathrow & the familar smell of dumpness hit my nostrils again. 

It felt weird. Weirdly good and just weird. Inside I felt some kind of calmness. I was in the place well known to me. Something that was my world for over two years. Culture. People. Nature. City. Rush. The language used around was familiar. I even heard some polish people talking. I felt closer to my Friends. Saw few familiar brands. Typical English pubs. British people in shorts in 10° C. Girls full of makeup. Any age range sitting in the pub laughing with their mates. The same grey sky that almost never changes. A bit of a light wind and a chill on your face. 

It didn’t feel like home though. Felt like something inbetween. Inbetween Poland and Italy. Like a short passage I did in order to find my place. Something that is needed but doesn’t seem like a real thing. 

After getting to the hotel and realizing – I am back home tomorrow! – I was back to normal. Good to see some familiar faces from the past but feels even better to be back in present – Italy.

Now sitting on the plane, I am realizing one very typical thing for expats…

It is not due to the time, you start calling a place your Home. You either feel it from the start or you just move forward.

I’m a legal alien…

To all my fellow expats – I bet you have had a feeling, when you have felt weird. Akward. Not comfortable. Alienated. Well – good news! This is completely normal. Sometimes every person wants to simply hide in their own four corners and become invisible to the world. Why does it happen to the foreigners more often? Probably because what is the most difficult is to melt with others. To get to know, understand and acquire the new culture. You may say ‘What does she know, she has been travelling only within Europe?’. Trust me, crossing the boarder makes a difference everywhere.
As we are people full of energy who need to explore what’s new and unknown, I can also confirm that even if we have those moments (or at least myself), we still make ourselves to move our ass and go forward. Thanks to that, I have actually discovered what is the best about being a ‘stranger’ and how to use this to my advantage.
It’s a new day, It’s a new world
You have one and only (or sometimes few of them 😉 !) chance to have a fresh start and change what you didn’t like about yourself or maybe were not motivated enough to work on in the past. I have noticed that I seem to be interested in much different things than only few months back (and shortly you will get to know what that is). I am discovering new things and try not to go into too mainstream places, but want to explore what is hidden and usually slightly different. Have I ever considered myself as the art lover? No. Do I enjoy going to the modern art exibitions now? Yes. Why? Because it is new for me. Exactly as I am new for others here. This means a perfect time to work on my flaws and try to be the person I have always wanted to be rather than a #grumpycat. I am not talking about the change of personality, but small things. In my case… people can feel free while talking to me in the morning now. I will not freeze anyone with my sight 😉
2. I am not the only one…
Sometimes feeling like… OMG! People must think I am crazy! At least I thought so. Changing places so often. Travelling even when I am dead tired. Meeting new people and going out with them. Loving long train trips and getting lost in every place. Surprise! There are more people like that. In my case, I have actually realized that others can be much more spontaneous, much more courageous and have so much interesting life experience I would like to learn from them! I have found people who have the same sense of humor, the same need of adventure and the same need for craziness in their life! The fact that you are also the only one that cannot settle is also quite comforting.
3. I got these fresh eyes ….
While for locals everything seems simple and boring, for me there is nothing homogeneous. I see everything almost with child’s eyes. Small things can make me really excited. On the other hand, big things can make no difference, as potentially I have already seen it somewhere else. Those are the little moments that make the biggest impact and make me the happiest! Wow.. just realized another positive… I see much more things that are worth being noticed and admired! Though… I must say it now. Every time I see somewhere a thing from Poland, I will go mental and make sure that everyone around sees that and is aware how proud I am at that second.
4. We can help you, We’re gonna help you
This is amazing! Obviously being blond, blue eyes, short girl is an advantage and definitely brings more empathy. But now imagine adding to that being a foreigner and not knowing the local language, habits and area. Checkmate! Even if you don’t need help, you will always find 5 people on your way that will help you despite. There is something amazing about the fact how much in some cultures, people feel responsible for expats and how badly they want to help. I appreciate it and cannot be more happy, greatful for that. Although, there are moments when I’d like to say.. ‘Hey! I am not 5 years old. I can handle it.’ This is only due to my pride though… 😉 (maybe I should look at point 1 and try to get rid of it).
5. These are things I don’t understand
How many ridicolous misunderstandings have I have since I moved out of Poland? A LOT! My favourite is curva. My face is more or less like that everytime I hear it –>>>
Znalezione obrazy dla zapytania oops cat
curva – a turn in italian. In Polish – just google it! 😉
But my motto would be.. Do you want to see the world in a different way?’. Trust me there is nothing more inspiring than being in a new place and once you try moving around, you will always have this need to go beyond your own capabilities. In the end impossible doesn’t exist. There are less and less things that scare me and more and more things I’d like to experience, because opening for the ‘newness’ is what I am craving in my life.
Coming up next ->> The Heart of Darkness?
A presto!

klaet you have had a feeling, when you have felt weird. Akward. Not comfortable. Alienated. Well – good news! This is completely normal. Sometimes every person wants to simply hide in their own four corners and become invisible to the world. Why does it happen to the foreigners more often? Probably because what is the most difficult is to melt with others. To get to know, understand and acquire the new culture. You may say ‘What does she know, she has been travelling only within Europe?’. Trust me, crossing the boarder makes a difference everywhere.

As we are people full of energy who need to explore what’s new and unknown, I can also confirm that even if we have those moments (or at least myself), we still make ourselves to move our ass and go forward. Thanks to that, I have actually discovered what is the best about being a ‘stranger’ and how to use this to my advantage.

  1. It’s a new day, It’s a new world

You have one and only (or sometimes few of them 😉 !) chance to have a fresh start and change what you didn’t like about yourself or maybe were not motivated enough to work on in the past. I have noticed that I seem to be interested in much different things than only few months back (and shortly you will get to know what that is). I am discovering new things and try not to go into too mainstream places, but want to explore what is hidden and usually slightly different. Have I ever considered myself as the art lover? No. Do I enjoy going to the modern art exibitions now? Yes. Why? Because it is new for me. Exactly as I am new for others here. This means a perfect time to work on my flaws and try to be the person I have always wanted to be rather than a #grumpycat. I am not talking about the change of personality, but small things. In my case… people can feel free while talking to me in the morning now. I will not freeze anyone with my sight 😉

2. I am not the only one…

Sometimes feeling like… OMG! People must think I am crazy! At least I thought so. Changing places so often. Travelling even when I am dead tired. Meeting new people and going out with them. Loving long train trips and getting lost in every place. Surprise! There are more people like that. In my case, I have actually realized that others can be much more spontaneous, much more courageous and have so much interesting life experience I would like to learn from them! I have found people who have the same sense of humor, the same need of adventure and the same need for craziness in their life! The fact that you are also the only one that cannot settle is also quite comforting.

3. I got these fresh eyes ….

While for locals everything seems simple and boring, for me there is nothing homogeneous. I see everything almost with child’s eyes. Small things can make me really excited. On the other hand, big things can make no difference, as potentially I have already seen it somewhere else. Those are the little moments that make the biggest impact and make me the happiest! Wow.. just realized another positive… I see much more things that are worth being noticed and admired! Though… I must say it now. Every time I see somewhere a thing from Poland, I will go mental and make sure that everyone around sees that and is aware how proud I am at that second.

4. We can help you, We’re gonna help you

This is amazing! Obviously being blond, blue eyes, short girl is an advantage and definitely brings more empathy. But now imagine adding to that being a foreigner and not knowing the local language, habits and area. Checkmate! Even if you don’t need help, you will always find 5 people on your way that will help you despite. There is something amazing about the fact how much in some cultures, people feel responsible for expats and how badly they want to help. I appreciate it and cannot be more happy, greatful for that. Although, there are moments when I’d like to say.. ‘Hey! I am not 5 years old. I can handle it.’ This is only due to my pride though… 😉 (maybe I should look at point 1 and try to get rid of it).

5. What do you mean?!

How many ridicolous misunderstandings have I have since I moved out of Poland? A LOT! My favourite is curva. My face is more or less like that everytime I hear it –>>>

Znalezione obrazy dla zapytania oops cat

curva – a turn in italian. In Polish – just google it! 😉

But my motto would be.. Do you want to see the world in a different way?’. Trust me there is nothing more inspiring than being in a new place and once you try moving around, you will always have this need to go beyond your own capabilities. In the end impossible doesn’t exist. There are less and less things that scare me and more and more things I’d like to experience, because opening for the ‘newness’ is what I am craving in my life.

Coming up next ->> The Heart of Darkness?

A presto!

kla

straight to La Dolce Vita

So far from home – Too high to know – Are you really there – Or is it just they told me so

Sometimes I ask myself a question – how the heck I made it all the way to Italy? It can’t be only hard work, but it is definitely not purely luck. Was it always easy? Hell no! My way to Dolce Vita had a bit of turbulences, some pebbly roads and spiky nets to went through. I was a bit off those days – not because of bad mood or something in particular happened in my life, but after 4 months in a new place, I have realized that I have again reached the point where I have to settle. Stop being a tourist, but to make this place my home and to organize my life. Probably you have already realized that this is not the easiest thing for me, but actually for the first time this seems right for me (believe it or not I have changed houses 12 times in the last 8 years). Constant Traveller’s Mood is good, but.. to some extent. Then I need to also have my own place. My own ‘palazzo’.

Why is it different this time? Probably thanks to the people I have met. I was always lucky and had great Friends and colleagues around, however, for the first time I can literally feel the motivation and constant having my ass kicked in order to move forward. What is the best about it is that they do it naturally. Possibly they don’t know what a great impact they have on my life now. Well… if they read this post, they will finally realize. Maybe I should be less Polish here and simply share what I think more openly? This is another story.

Few weeks back, one of my friends here asked me what has changed in my life after the move. Surprisingly, that was one of the most difficult questions. Because at that stage, I thought that probably only the place around me, the job, the culture has been different. How wrong I was? Completely wrong. As extremely stubborn person, I would have never thought how I could have changed in 4 months. All thanks to the #ladolcevita.

First of all, I have started to listen to others. I always liked having those two or three people I look up to and to follow them, but now it seems stronger and I strive for it. It is not because I have suddenly stopped being confident or lost my energy. It is because I really feel that they care and they put themselves in my situation. When seeing me down, they will always cheer me up – usually by saying something super ridicolous in Polish or provide me with some ‘literal’ meanings of some ‘unliteral’ words. In any case – both is working. What has also changed is that for the first time, I am not trying to influence what is happening around me or people’s action. I am surprised myself how I am accepting the reality and I don’t fight it. Seems I am weaker? I think smarter.

Still remaining a spontaneous soul, I have recently went out to Milan to meet other expats living in Italy. I made the decisions within 5 minutes to meet completely unknown to me people and basically I didn’t know anything about them. My friends of course were a bit worried, but they know me. I am crazy but within limits (or not?). The first feeling I had when I met them was – great sense of humor! Extremely ironic and with no boundaries. This is what I like! During the conversation, I have also realized how creative they are, and also how similar experiences we have. Seems they have had the similar feeling with me as they have invited me to join their Team of the Cool Kids Club in Milan and now I am organizing the coolest group of expats in Milano along with them. Gives a kick. Gives motivation. Gives energy. The coolest thing about is that they really treat it seriously and I am learning so much from them, but at the same time I really feel like we get along well and this has a very good basis for a long-term friendship. What brought us closer is what took us further from our Friends from our countries – the will to discover and the need to move around. Getting to know new people. Organizing events. Creating social media. That will take my nights in the next months and I can’t wait for that!

I would have lied if I have said that I don’t strive still for new experiences, places, people. I am travelling a lot around and I am still not scared to go somewhere on my own. This allows me to discover my new world. I love it trip by trip more. Again thanks to marvellous views, cities but… above all… people. Recently I have gone for a trip to Bologna. Booked a hostel for a change. To meet new people and check out how hostels have changed since last time I went to one (few years back on my road trip to Benelux). First moments – a bit dissapointing. One extremely boring guy that didn’t even say Hi back and another one who didn’t even notice me in the common area. Yaaay! I rushed out immidiately. The last thing I wanted to do is to try to make any contact with such friendly people. So I went out. Surprisingly I haven’t met much people this time, but I also didn’t try myself to make any contact. After the disappointment in the first hour, I thought that I can’t be bothered.

Bologna is beautiful. The atmosphere, old buildings, history and… students. I think I am still a student inside. Definitely didn’t grow up yet and I am not even closer. When people ask me how old I am, I simply tend to be surprised myself, that I am over 22! 😀 After 25km of walking I went back to the hostel in the late evening. Hoping not to meet those two intersting guys and have my peace in bed to fall asleep. I opened the door and saw 3 girls from Germany. First sentence – exchange of names. Second – inviting me for a night out with them. YES! I was extremely tired, but put my grip together, shower, super elegant outfit (vans shoes and t-shirt) and yes, I am ready for a night out! When I met them in the city, it appeared that they have already met italian group of students, which didn’t surprise me as in Italy it would have been unusual not to meet anyone. This time though, I had a really good feeling about them from the first sight. A bit of craziness mixed with seriousness and ‘not giving a f*ck’ (my personal favourite!) approach. 10 minutes with them and I already found a common ground. And again irony was in the air! Really open and easy going, therefore, we have finished the night actually in the morning, going through the most random topics that were surprisingly sophisticated considering the time and.. % (americano! 😉 ) I must admit, I have learnt quite a few things from them. and have noticed the interest of experiencing new things. Same feeling I have day by day, but maybe in different areas. What I have noticed though is that… they almost did not use their phones while showing us around. How badly I am addicted to the social media? Especially now while having the new project open? EXTREMELY. The girls I met in the hostel were also really fun and they remind myself from the Uni. Full of energy, brave and open for new experience. Ahh wait… this hasn’t changed at all, but I am happy to see that there are more crazy girls around as I know how happy and achieved they will feel in few years time!

So what is my plan for the next months? Settle? Yes. In my own weird way, namely:

  • every weekend new city or new place in the city
  • stay active
  • … not sleep.

Hope to see you all in the Cool Kids Club! ->>> https://sites.google.com/view/ckcmilan/home or find us on FB!

A presto!

Kla

‘don’t blink’

…and I don’t listen to Salvador Dali. I blink.

My holiday is officially gone. Not that I can complain as this year, I have been travelling quite a bit and have managed  to visit a lot of new places and I am still planning some weekend gateways in Italy, but … as always, holiday is always too short. Anyone is brave enough to say I am wrong? Well, please share your days off with me. I perfectly know what to do with them.

This year, as I have just moved to another country, I have invited my best Friends and we have decided to do some explorling around the area I am currently settling in. I was kind of responsible for organizing the trip – our schedule, hotels, being a driver etc. Was I perfect? No… I failed a lot of times. Have changed the plan uncountable amount of times and got lost at least once every time we were going somewhere. In the end though, I think we had a great time. Personally, I have forgotten about all the stress linked with the move, new challenges and have simply disconnected from my everyday life. Just enjoying having my Friends around. We don’t see too often, so I just had to take the most out of those days.

There we go… I picked my Friend Ewa from the airport last Thursday and unfortunately, the weather completely messed up with our plans from the very start. I wrote in the past, I don’t like having plan. In this case, I did have it and.. had to change it. Instead of a nice walk at the Lake, we had delayed plane due to storms, huge lightning, heavy rain and bedtime at 2 a.m. We woke up… another storm  coming. Nervous checking of the weather forecast was not very promising. Crazy idea in one second. Let’s try Torino! Weather forecast seemed fine. Ok. Let’s go. Only 2 hours of drive, so we can easily make it a one-day trip. Almost the whole way the clouds were heavy and dark. First 30minutes in the city was kind of a nightmare, that led us to the nervous laughter and a feeling of giving up! But we didn’t! After looking for few supermarkets, getting lost in the not very beautiful and safe looking park.. we have made it to a beautiful square, had really late lunch and… the sun came out! Our day has started… Our trip has started. Since then everything must have gone right. Next day we picked up Asia and Happy T(h)ree Friends were together again!

Torino by night

I don’t want to bore anyone with all the trips we took, sights we have seen and all the mishaps that ended up in a great adventures. What I want to write about today is my feeling from the first exploring of the place which will be my home for at least next few years. What is exciting, what is scary, what I have learned by now and what is still in the learning phase. Because any expat knows that first few months are only the surviving moments and only after that you can start actually learning the new world around you. Frankly speaking, despite being few years in the UK, I still don’t feel like I have been completely adapted to that world. But this is for another story.

Ewa, myself and Asia

Italy – country of love, food, landscapes, family… Seems like a paradise and I must admit it is very close to that. I have experienced only positive energy while being here and even small problems that occur with the whole bureaucratic world do not change this feeling. What I have experienced those days is that no matter where you go and which way you take, there is always something to look at. No.. sorry, to stare at. The beauty of the country is just not to be described. I have already seen a lot of places in Europe, but never so much beauty crammed in one place. We were walking many kilometers a day. Doing some trips by car. Taking train, cable cars. Walking up the hill. None of this was boring and none of this waste of time or… our energy, which trust me was very limited in the heat we have experienced. Every day while coming back home, I was just stunned and couldn’t believe that this is my new place to live and where to go next. My Friends shared the same feeling and experience with me. They were happy for me, probably calmed down, as they remembered my first quite difficult months when I first moved abroad. Both them and myself have discovered that I am simply another person. With a smile on my face. 24h/7days/week.

We have met some people. In the B&B we have rented, on the street, in a restaurant. Each of them with their story. Each of them with different experience and each of them made an impact on me. Even if we only spoke for few minutes, I felt I have taken out something from them. First person that really impressed me was an elderly Lady that had the B&B in Verona (really beautiful city btw though Casa di Giulietta was the biggest disappointment of the trip). She was running this place for few years already. It seemed that she has given her whole heart to this house and guests. Every morning getting up to personally prepare the breakfast, have a chat with each guest. She has decorated the place in a very stylish way that described her passions and personality. She is a person very interested in life and very caring. As all Italians I have met by now. There is a stereotype saying about Italian hospitality and by now I have experienced it in the best possible way. Even on the street, we  had some people stopping us, helping with the way. Once we had a situation when at very late night, me and my Friend were a bit lost, but decided to take some photos. At that stage some strange to us Italian guys came over and started talking. In Poland what you do at midnight… Run. Here, they showed us a way, told us a bit about the history of the place. Nothing intrusive. Probably trying to flirt, which is kind of understandable in the country of love, but nothing uncomfortable. Really funny. 15 minutes of chat and every goes their way. They proved me how easy it is to start talking to people on the street here. This is not that common in any other country I have visited (well, maybe in Spain as well).

The next day, completely devastated after the day in Gardaland (which scared me to death!) and sightseeing all morning in Verona, we have finally made it to Desenzano del Garda. I forgot to mention that from the previous day Ewa has already left for another holiday trip, so it was me and Asia continuing the italian journey.

Me and Asia in Desanzano del Garda

I almost screamed when I finally saw BEACH! After a week of sightseeing in a full sun, it was a great relief and relaxing time. What I loved there was that dogs are allowed on the beach. Not very common approach, but in Italy it is natural that you bring the dog to the store, restaurant, beach. This is what I love about this country as well. They love pets/animals. Obviously, in my head people that love animals are the best kind of people! 😉 The same day we have also met a Band from South America. I must admit that the only way I remembered their name (my Spanish lessons back in a day were not as advanced as I could have thought back then) was thanks to very explicit story on its origin and it actually made me laugh a lot. I will try to look it up and maybe share some links in the future. I’d love to share their energy! In any case, I have thought I was so brave to leave from Poland while not knowing anyone in the UK. Wait a minute.. was I? I had a contract in my hand, help from HR, some relocation package. They have left to another continent, dropping their probably more or less settled lives to come to Europe. Kind of other side of the globe. The only plan is to follow dreams and to show their talent, which I must admit stroke to me. Everyone has different reasons for leaving, but you need to have the courage to follow your dream and they definitely had it. Short moment but made me think. I said I was jealous of that. Some adrenaline in veins, not knowing what’s the next day, instability, lack of settlement. Yes, I am jealous. Not brave enough to do that though. Possibly also not talented in anything enough that would allow me to make any kind of money to survive…

Verona by night

Ok, but what scares me in Italy. One thing, that was not that obvious for me probably in the UK as I was surrounded by other expats, so I felt that such life was normal. But what I seem to be missing is some kind of link to the past. I have felt it with my Friends now. Having spent my whole High School with Asia and having her now here was a great time. Because we understand each other without a word. I know what she wants by only a look I get from her and the other way round. I am not saying I won’t be able to make such close friends in Italy, but in the end we have grew up together and experienced a lot of teenage ‘problems’ and overcame some challenges, which simply made us closer. I miss it. This is why I really wish they will come here as having them close would be so much easier for me to share every moment.

In Menaggio at Lago di Como

Still to learn.. Italian people have time. Time for everything. I don’t. I mean, I have the same time as people here, but I am not used to … use it. In Poland we have learnt to be stressed about everything. Every little thing, but in the end what is the reason of that? To shorten our lives? In this stress, we tend to lose the focus on good things. On happy moments. I really hope to be able to learn this and give up my previous habits. I also want to be that happy with no self-created executioner hanging above my head waiting for me to make a small mistake. Just relax and take things easier than in the past. Not less serious, but with less nervous approach and headache.

Monte Brè

Probably my longest post, so if you have made it till the end, I hope you will also share your experiences on the foreign place you have lived in or visited that made an impact on you. I am really interested if you have similar thoughts on the world surrounding us.

Keep in touch,

kla

simply solo-travelling

Sometimes being on your own brings the best ideas to you. Very often you start seeing things you haven’t noticed before or maybe you even avoided seeing. Of course, there will be times that you will simply get bored, but in the end if you get bored with yourself, then maybe there is something wrong that needs to be fixed? 😉

Time to check if we like ourselves! 😉

I love people and I love being around them. I like listening to new stories, but also sharing my experiences or thoughts. What I also love though is my own peace. Being on my own and from time to time just dissapear in my own world. Going somewhere and just being with myself. So once in a while I just make a solo trip. Some time ago I have booked tickets to Budapest and Bratislava (in the end I only ended up in the first capital as it was so beautiful I really did not want to leave!). I have asked my friends if they want to join, but no one actually could, so I said – this is the time again! Some of them told me that I am crazy to travel on my own, I will get bored, won’t do anything in the evening, no nightlife etc. etc. How wrong they were! In the end, it wasn’t also my first solo trip, so I knew how to get ready.

So off I go. Tickets in my hand (OK, in my phone), passport, backpack and lots of positive vibes of excitment! I am ready! Until I realized I have forgotten half of cosmetics and a charger for a camera. So in the end I had almost no make up look and a lot of hope for my camera’s battery (thank god fully charged)! I need to work on my packing abilities. It is still crawling, despite numerous moves in my life …

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But ok.. I am in Budapest!!! The weather was amazing. View from my hotel – breathtaking, although I did not spend much time there. I took the shower after quite long trip and went to explore. Not only the city, but the culture, the atmosphere and the people. Because this is something that always brings most of my attention. The variety of culture, habits and looks. Where the fashion mixes with cultural elements and different stages of life, there I find a lot of magic. The exploring made my nights sleepless and mornings very early. Coming back at 1 a.m. leaving at 9 a.m. with full smile and no mark of tiredness!

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Parliament in Budapest captured from the cruise trip on Danube River with legenda.hu – beautiful views and great audio guide

What I have noticed this time was significantly increased number of people exploring the city on their own. With the map, phone and a backpack. Just moving in front of them in their own pace and simply taking a break from the ‘normal’ life. I started wondering why solo-travelling is more and more popular; at the same time asking myself a question, why I actually enjoy it so much and have this need of on my own time. The most important and first thing that came to my mind was getting a distance. The distance from everything. One could say to distance yourself from problems, but I don’t think this is the only reason. You also need to look at your life from another perspective to check if by the rush you are not missing some opportunities or if there is anything that you could do better. Or simply to chill from overthinking – which is also very often the case which overwhelmes a lot of us. It does happen to me for sure. It also gives a scope to realize how much we’ve already achieved and open for new adventures ahead.

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still scared of flying …

Experiencing everything only with my own eyes is completely different than doing it partially with our travel partner’s eyes. In the end you only share your comments with yourself. I stop wherever I want to and focus on looking at the world with my own eyes only. I see it as I want to and grab every second of it. I am always really happy for every next second that is in front of me and with the thrill, I am looking forward to it!

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Alicante – also one of my solo-travelling destinations in the past

Being completely dependent.. from yourself! You need to plan everything or decide to go with the flow and not have any structured plan. This time I had the idea what to do. The second hour of the trip I have changed everything as I have felt that I need something else from the trip. With the map in my hand, I was walking around, discovering every corner of the city – in completely different order than anticipated. It worked really well though! When you are alone, what is also really good is that the public transport trip with 4 stops and changes does not make any problem anymore. You know you need to do it, you have your goal – so you just do it! I treat those moments as a great adventure and a way to talk to locals! Admit it – how many times you were discussing something with your trip partner. You have decided to go with your idea to go to one place, despite the fact that your partner originally did not want to. OK, you agreed to stick to your idea together, but inside haven’t you had this feeling as if you did something wrong by convicing to your plan or that maybe the other person is upset? Of course, you can talk the whole topic through 10 times, but the feeling is there. This is the nature of the human – which does not happen when you are on your own.

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Realizing that I actually feel comfortable with myself. I can go to the restaurant and have a meal or drink on my own and not having my nose in the phone. I can just look at the street and observe what is happening there, read a book or focus on the local dishes which are always my favourite part of the trip!

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Ruszwurm Cream Cake – love at a first bite bringing memories from Poland ❤

I can’t see myself being on my own that long back at the uni. Now I can’t imagine not having this time at least few times a year! Very important lesson is also to ask for help. I am the kind of the person that has always had problems with that. When you travel on your own, I am sorry to admit it, you will always find yourself in the situation, you have to ask for support. Definitely help is also needed after all the selfie fails I had…

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Last observation was connected with the kindness I have experienced from others. I am no longer seen as an alien when I ask for a table for one, but actually people are very helpful, nice and start conversations, ask questions, provide some pieces of advice, introduces to others. Despite being on my own, I have always felt support coming from different sides. This brings me a lot of believe in people’s kind nature.

To sum up I can tell that I have discovered a new way of travelling and I will continue to do so – I am already planning some weekend gateaway shortly. During the times on the bench I have made some notes, I’d like to share at some points with you, some things I haven’t normally noticed in my quite fast pace life, but to be continued…

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words, words, words

I was back in Poland recently. For a week. Just to hang out with Family and Friends. Walk around my city and visit some places I haven’t been to for a while. I like coming back, because surprisingly, this is the only place where I can actually ‘un-attach’ myself from my current life and look at life from another perspective. 

What stroke me this time were actually my Friends’ observations about myself. It was funny, but at the same time slightly surprising! The comment I want to share with you was ‘You are not Polish. You are way too positive.’ I guess you know who I am talking about! Am I positive person? Yes, but I worked hard on becoming one. It took me years to get there and to focus on good things. I don’t complain too much and if I do, I try to make it in the funny way. If something bad happens in my life, I erase it pretty quickly from my memory (like a blackout!) and when people ask me how am I doing, I always reply with the smile; and I smile for real. Because our lives are way too short to be miserable and just to talk about problems. In the end we all have them, but we also all have to handle them, so we already think enough about it.

As a proper linguist deep inside, I love looking for new words. I find those blogs, pinterest etc. just to have a new word that would ever closer describe how I feel. Which to be fair is not easy, as I very often have so many mixed feelings inside, that I don’t know myself what I am actually feeling (mixed but not shaken ;)). And ‘words…. don’t come easy to me.’ 😉 Sometimes creating my own words, but then it is usually closely connected with just revealing my real silly side/moments! Admit it – have you never had a moment when you really struggled to find a word to describe your inner feeling at that time? I had it plenty of times (despite the fact that I talk a lot, I can be made speechless from time to time), so today’s post is about the most interesting words I have come across by now and on how the word can affect your mood, motivate and just make you smile or even happy! Is it naïve? Potentially yes, but who said being sometimes naïve is a bad thing? 😉 (I feel like I am repeating myself!)

HYGGE

– the cozy feeling you get when you’re enjoying the good things in life with friends

OMG – I missed one single word for this so badly and there it is! Now my best friends will only hear this word and since I have clearly no idea how to pronounce it, I will discover my personal way to do it. Girls – HYGGE in 4 weeks’ time!

STRIKEHEDONIA

– the joy of being able to say ‘to hell with it’

Do you remember #hntgaf post? This is just a perfect finish missing to that! Strikehedonia – my personal favorite. 

STURMFREI

– the ability of being alone and to do what you want

I love the word because a) it is German b) it is about being free c) shows that sometimes being alone is not bad d) doing what I want. Simply beautiful on so many levels.

QUERENCIA

– a place where one feels safe, a place from which one’s strength of character is drawn

Actually, as I started this post. I have just recently revealed such place for myself. Does it mean I want to be in that place all the time? No. This is just another ‘timeline’ one needs to have in order to look with an objective eye on the surroundings.

FLANEUR

– someone who strolls aimlessly but enjoyable, observing life and their surroundings

Because life is simply about observing and gaining from that.

EUDAIMONIA

– the contented happy state you feel when you travel

You can be happy cause you passed exam, when you got new pair of jeans or won a competition. Is this happiness compared to the one when you travel? For me not. Now I can use another word for that. Next step – research on the origin. 

INEFFABLE

– too great to be expressed in words

F – word…. Oopsie! 

ARCADIAN

– idyllically innocent, simple and untroubled by fear or worry

Everyone should be arcadian way more often those days…

RESFEBER

– the restless race of a traveller’s heart before the journey begins; the tangled feeling of fear and excitement before a journey begins

Nothing to add! ❤

ELEUTHEROMANIA

– the intense desire of freedom

Freedom of mind. Freedom of body. Freedom of thought.

COCAIGNE

– imaginary land of luxury and idleness

Sounds a bit like …. 😉 

I hope that spreading those words will also spread smiles on the faces and they will be used more often. Or at least more people will focus on their meanings in their lives.

But now… STURMFREI!

Oops… I did it again

The famous Britney’s words are flying in my head in the past weeks. What did I do this time?  I took a bit of a swerve (or as my new friends would have said ‘curva’ 😉 ) and just took a different path in my life. I got this chance to move to another place – sunnier, beautiful nature, and most importantly with always smiling and helpful people. Delicious food, mesmerizing lakes and mountains, peaceful rhythm of life and the time to notice and glorify the smallest things in life. Smile and simple ‘ciao’ everywhere and from everyone. You don’t know each other, but a simple hello is just so natural. Fresh fruit, vegetables and small markets in every corner with the must – Gelato. That’s right – Italy, you got me. #loveitaly

This is my second major move and second major decision. It has been easier thanks to many factors, but also the people that I met just made it so simple to me and natural. My Family and Friends were checking on me every day and were so surprised that I was just calm but also have been calm themselves as I was telling them how well I am actually taken care of here this time. Despite that though, there are always things that are challenging but also the ones that motivate me to further changes. Smaller or bigger, with the move even the tiniest thing becomes a huge achievement as we are always busy with settling and organizing our lives, but also few changes at the same time sometimes feel impossible but yet… ✔✔✔✔

As I am a fool for listings, I have been doing a small list of the things that I actually see have changed in my life, myself or how different surrounding is having an impact on my daily… let’s say behaviours.

1. The new ‘will’ to move.

Sometimes, or in my case always, when I settle and I don’t feel 100% good in the place (and I kind of moved out when I was 18, so I know what I am on about 😅), I just get lazy. Lazy about stuff around me, lazy about myself. Yet, I am not saying that I end up on the coach with a glass of wine, but I also don’t give everything from myself in my personal environment and I just live boring life (as for me boring = no plans for the weekend, evening or every single minute of the day). 

So what I have discovered is that again I wake up every day and I just want to do things. It doesn’t matter what. I can go hiking, to the gym, walk in the city or go sightseeing and exploring cities nearby, have a drink with friends or dinner on my own. I just want to do something. Again – I barely sleep, so it includes also walks in the late evening and the views here are just breathtaking. I sometimes just sit at the bench and stare in front of me. People can think I am a bit strange or start preparing the straightjacket for me, but do I care what others think? No, so I keep on starring. #carpenoctem 

So, my Friends, to share with you. Me – the laziest ass in this planet, have actually started going to the gym, hiking on my own and… most surprisingly I do it with pleasure and I like it! I have some motivators here as well, probably without them, I wouldn’t even start thinking about putting on my sneakers, but nevertheless, now I even pack my stuff for the gym with a smile. Yes… even my Parents do not believe it until today, so I have to send them updates from the gym. 

2. The will to explore.

No, I won’t devote another passage to the sightseeing and moving. What I mean by explore here is to go deeper with my interests, that have been always there, but kind of dissapeared in the past months or I was just not that motivated to look into them and check what has changed. Since the move I devote every single spare minute (and I don’t have a lot currently) to reading and collecting news about fashion, about my icons, any updates with #mafia? ;), street art, photography, music and really need to go back to that thought of playing an instrument. I really think that me being a tiny part of music or music being a huge part of my life is a bit missed and needs to be woken up again. I realized that I am so interested in those topics and have so much to discover still there. I am already planning few trips just to focus on those topics and also I have a lot of people to talk about those on and on as yes.. I can talk for hours if I feel connection with somone and I am passionate about the topic. I can also listen… I think 😅

3. The will to build.

Not literally… obviously 😉 but to build the space around me. To focus on what’s important and what I can easily get rid of. What I like and what describes myself and what is just the irrelevant rubbish taking the space. I like minimalism. I didn’t even use to like any colours except for black. The spaces around me need to be clean and reveal what’s inside of me. Now I have another chance to put it all out. I have always loved decorating and designing, so I am just loving every minute of it. Especially living on my own is giving me the full possibility to go crazy. Well, not too crazy but complete Klaudia’s style (which can be arguable – if good or not, but as the wise man said – you don’t argue on the taste!). 

For now, I have only built my muscles while moving the staff from the temporary flat to the new one… how I hate packing! I swear to stay in this flat until the contract expires – no matter what! ✋✊

4. The will to share the experience.

I am so lucky, as I have actually moved out to the new place at the same time when one of my Friends (www.shinealife.com). And yes, the type of the move is different, the aim is different, but the initial reason remains the same. To find a place for ourselves and in Emily’s case for her little Beauty 💞 Sharing our daily experiences and even smallest events from our lives gives me a kick and is a great moment of the day. As I know, that we are in the same place. Also, I remember about my two constant Polish ‘ass kickers’ that push me to go forward all the time and I don’t know what I would have done without whatsapp, as I wouldn’t be able to write a letter every 5 min! And I do tend to have stupid ideas, but I am so lucky to have them to support those ideas and make my life simply… more interesting. 

5. The will to smile.

I have always tried to smile a lot, even if I didn’t particularly felt like smiling, but I believe that this is very important element of our lives and make them just easier. I tried to do so to everyone. Sometime probably looking a bit creepy on the street. In here.. I wake up and the smile is just there. On my face. Despite the weather. The traffic. The rude lady in the townhall. Just smile cause I feel like doing so all the time.
Of course I have a lot of fun here as well! I think I have invented my own italian dictionary and I am constantly teaching the proper polish to my friends here (at this point I hope none of them is planning to use it in Poland though😨). On the streets everyone (literally every tourist) will ask me about the way or how to buy a train ticket and I will try to explain using any language I know or if I see it doesn’t work then giving up with simple ‘scusi, non parlo italiano’ and apologetic face (I actually feel really bad that I am not as fluent as I was with my English in the UK at the start). It feels sometimes embarassing, that I came to the country and I can’t fully communicate in the mother tongue, but this is another story and I am working on it hard 💪💪

To finish with #mychecklist

1. Flat ✔

2. Bank account (my nightmare in the UK) 

3. Residency – half-way ✔

4. Italian language – only my personal one mastered the rest is being a bit of a failure till now ….

5. Pizza ✔✔✔✔✔✔

6. Americano – new coctail introduced to me that became my numero uno ✔✔✔✔✔


So my recent favourite quote (no wonder I loved McDonald’s!):

P.S. second day with no electricty or gas… weirdly enough, I kind of liked it… 

missing Poland?

Living in Poland for 23 years. Did I get bored? Probably yes, but… maybe I just got too used to it, that I wanted a new challenge. I don’t know myself. I wasn’t fed up. I wasn’t unhappy. I didn’t have to. I just left. For myself. First year – I was at least twice a quarter at home. I hate flying (I am scared as f**k!!!), but I made it to sometimes ‘score’ 6-8 flights per month – home, for work, travelling. Personally I am really surprised, I didn’t have stroke on the plane by now or head full of grey hair! (prosecco is a great cure). Anyway, then.. I started to be in Poland less and less often. Why? Because I was meeting my Family and Friends outside Poland. I am in touch with them on a daily basis (as mentioned before, I text – don’t Skype or call.. I just find it boring after first 2 min unless you have something specific to talk about 😉 ) What’s the point of above senseless ‘stream of consciousness’? That actually there are things I DO miss in Poland. Saying that, I would have never suspected myself to do so! Just few days ago, I went for a very quick trip home. I would say that travelling home took me more time than actually being home. One hour to the airport by taxi and bus, two-hour long flight, rented car and 350km trip home – total of around 9 hours. But it was worth it! Cause it made me realize some very important things, that despite Family and Friends I visit Poland for some other reasons and for those reasons I believe all of you should visit my country at least once.

Architecture & History

To start with – I know nothing about architecture and just a bit more about history, but what I love about Poland, that even if you are not a specialist, you can feel this specific atmosphere everywhere. Each place has its spirit. The ghosts of past are everywhere and it doesn’t matter if the story of the place is happy or less fortunate, you feel mesmerized by the place, as if you were in different times or it simply inspires you to think. About anything. I love old buildings, lovely restaurants and magnificent cathedrals or castles everywhere. Possibly it is me being very sentimental, but I do love the way our cities have been built, but also developed in the modern times. It’s very Western, but still with our Slavic element. Driving through Wroclaw or walking in Gliwice with my Friend, just made me realize that this is a place I will always call my home.

Although… there are many reasons I don’t belong there, but this is the great subject for the next post, so let’s focus on other things that make me sentimental (yes… me.)

my hometown – Bielsko Biala

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Style

I am very sad to admit it, but since I am in the UK I kind of stopped (temporary!) caring about the way I look. I have never reached the point to leave the house with completely no make up or in the old tracksuit, but still… looking at my wardrobe, I can tell that I became lazy. The reason for that is very simple. In the UK, people do not judge you (at least not openly). In Poland – they do. You feel it everywhere. A bit of fat on your belly or no most trendy top in your wardrobe and people already put you in some kind of drawer. Is it good? No. Do I miss it? Yes. As you might have noticed, I will ask my favorite question here now.. Why? I miss it, because it made some pressure on me to make an effort. I like fashion. I like observing people and despite not like being observed, I should be aware, that people do that and why not play with your look to make things interesting? I don’t say follow all trends blindly, but maybe set up your own, special ones! I think fashion is fun and I have been always jealous inside of people that have this something that give them so much courage and creativity. What I must say here… in Poland I notice myself observing people, in a positive way, much more often. It is because of rat-race, but who said it is a bad thing.. to some extent.

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Food

Pieeeeroooogi… I din’t have time to try them this time, but this is something I love and no one does better ones that my Grandma. She is amazing because of so many things, but Pierogi make her super special! 😉 I don’t cook much in here, as for one person that doesn’t make sense and Polish food is also very fat, so you can’t eat too much of it yourself unless you are trying to be a sumo fighter (believe it or not, I am not!). Polish cuisine is very different and we have some specific specialties, that other Western countries don’t. We would pickle everything and add cabbage to anything, but this is something I love. I grew up on this and I miss it. What I also miss particularly.. Jagodzianki… Just look below…

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Language

I miss Polish language. I miss it a lot. I don’t have too many opportunities to speak it in here. I have one close Polish Friend and we don’t see each other as often as I would like to, so in the end I exchange few sentences in a week at work and then English everywhere. Not that I don’t like it, but it makes me so happy to speak in my mother tongue! And yes.. when a foreigner says even three words in Polish, they already have my heart 😉 I appreciate any effort with Polish. It apparently is super difficulty. Obviously as a native, I don’t see it, but I find it sometimes funny (good funny), when my Friends try to pronounce something (I must say though that my Italian Friend is really good with this! She’s natural! 😉 ). So do I miss all the ‘sz’, ‘cz’, ‘rz’, dzi’.. yes, I do!

Yes.. this is one verb to play:

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Views and Nature

The nature is so beautiful. I think I haven’t appreciated it enough, while living there. I had amazing view from window and I just took it from granted. I would never live in the countryside again, but.. it has something again magical. Beautiful hills, powerful mountains and various trees. Wild animals. I love just looking at it. You would see me very often in my house in my room, just staring through the window and appreciating the view I actually ignored for most of my life.

not from my window:

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There are so many small things that I realize I am missing every day when I visit my country, on a daily basis I wouldn’t even notice them back in Poland but now they have completely different meaning. The place you grew up, flavors, nature.. it all stays within you and only those elements are able to make you feel like home.

In the end it seems to be truth…

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i follow music

‘Without music, life would be a mistake’ Friedrich Nietzsche

Surprise, surprise – at least for many of you – I used to sing. In a small band,  choir, for fun and I have mastered karaoke. I don’t do anymore due to lack of time, maybe I simply gave up as I didn’t see any reason to follow that teenage dream of becoming an artist. In any case, I don’t sing but that doesn’t mean that music is not part of my life anymore.

Listening to music in the morning when I brush my teeth, on the bus to work, at work, after work on the bus, when I read, study… all day long. I sometimes listen to one artist for the whole day and sometimes completely different genres within few hours only. It depends on the mood, weather, my plans and mindset. Have I ever thought how does the music affect my life? Of course, I tried to analyze which songs I choose in particular cases. However, the more I thought about it, the more I failed and ended up in swiping the songs and turning off my playlist completely. It has confirmed – the choice of music needs to subconscious. Considering that, is there any particular impact that music has on our body or brain? Thank god for our beloved uncle google, who has opened the new door in front of me! So let me share with you some interesting facts about music vs. …

music vs. creativity

Do you remember your music lessons? The teacher asked you to close your eyes, played some classical music and then asked you to describe what you’ve seen. As a teenager I have always thought – what for? It appears there is a good reasoning behind this exercise; which, believe it or not, has actually stimulated your visual attention. Having said that, it appears that it actually does not only apply to pupils at school, but also stroke patients, that seem to have improved this ability while being exposed to classical music. Moreover, I believe that this stimulates your creative thinking and allows your imagination to expand – in the end it should not know any limits!

music vs. exercising

What about exercising? How many of you listens to music while jogging? Well.. maybe not me, as I am not friends with sport, however, I can tell that many of you does from what I see in parks etc. Not sure if it is connected with rhythm, motivational or aggressive lyrics and/or simply to have the feeling of time passing faster. The result is one – music does help us in exercising and as scientists confirmed (btw. why the use of word scientists with no other proof makes us all believe in it?;) ) it makes cyclists – cycle faster, joggers – jog faster and sleeper – sleep more.. no.. sorry, I was just thinking about myself…! Let me just quote:  A 2012 study showed that cyclists who listened to music required 7% less oxygen to do the same work as those who cycled in silence. Despite that I still don’t suggest cyclists to listen to music on the road!

music vs. our personality

The most interesting one for me. I don’t believe that it is 100% true though. However, let’s check yourself and for my friends… you can check my personality based on the list at the end of the post 😉

Blues fans have high self-esteem, are creative, outgoing, gentle and at ease
Jazz fans have high self-esteem, are creative, outgoing and at ease
Classical music fans have high self-esteem, are creative, introvert and at ease
Rap fans have high self-esteem and are outgoing
Opera fans have high self-esteem, are creative and gentle
Country and western fans are hardworking and outgoing
Reggae fans have high self-esteem, are creative, not hardworking, outgoing, gentle and at ease
Dance fans are creative and outgoing but not gentle
Indie fans have low self-esteem, are creative, not hard working, and not gentle
Bollywood fans are creative and outgoing
Rock/heavy metal fans have low self-esteem, are creative, not hard-working, not outgoing, gentle, and at ease
Chart pop fans have high self-esteem, are hardworking, outgoing and gentle, but are not creative and not at ease
Soul fans have high self-esteem, are creative, outgoing, gentle, and at ease

taken from – North, A. C., Desborough, L., and Skarstein, L. (2005). Musical preference, deviance, and attitudes towards celebrities. Personality and Individual Differences, 38, 1903-1914.

To close this post a small thing to share with you – Spotify has decided to make my TOP 2016 list and here you can find some of the songs that have been included. It seems I really like ‘following’ 😉

  1. Lykke Li – I follow rivers
  2. Arctic Monkeys – Do I wanna know?
  3. OutKast – B.O.B.
  4. Dawid Podsiadlo – Forest
  5. The Beatles – I’ll follow the sun
  6. Kanye West – All Of The Lights
  7. Death Cab for Cutie – I Will Follow You Into The Dark
  8. Hugo – 99 Problems
  9. alt-J – Left Hand Free
  10. Tegan and Sara – Here I am

 

Maybe it is worth to give a little thought and check what your latest playlist says about your mood and attitude? Are you positive, sad or motivated? If you’re curious, last song on my playlist – Santigold L.E.S. Artistes.

get lucky

My Mum has always been winning a lot of competitions. Not only in some magazines, or local quizzes, but she’s been few times on tv shows, won some projects – long story short – she’s been always very creative and this has been rewarded (money, holidays, car, cosmetics etc.). Few years back, there was a reportage filmed based on her luck. It was even called Lucky one. It’s been broadcasted in the national tv channel and since then people always ask her – how have you done it?!

In my Family we have been always believing in the word luck.  I have tattooed it for a reason. I think it has completely different meaning though than for most of you. a dictionary would define it as ‘a purposeless, unpredictable and uncontrollable force that shapes events favourably or unfavourably for an individual, group or cause’. So how my definition is different? I do believe that you can bring the luck into your life or at least help it a bit! I don’t mean some lucky charms, prayers or other spiritual rituals. There are numerous more rational ‘tools’ that will bring the luck to you and you won’t have to keep your fingers crossed before making any decision.

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Plenty of times in my life, I have heard that I was lucky to achieve this and that. Then I think – seriously? Was I only lucky? It is so easy to say – oh.. you were lucky to get this. I don’t have it but apparently you have better aura. People love linking the achievements of others just to some external forces and that you have no control over it. Well, we do have control. Quite strong one. How come? Let me think… I guess it is called hard work. I know that we like to believe that all good things come from heaven and are given on the silver plate just in front of us. Unfortunately – sorry to break this myth for you – it is not. People who spend most of their lives in front of TV may only get lucky in gaining more fat and  be completely brainwashed. Would we call this luck? No. Anything that comes in our lives is triggered by our actions. Easy example brought up at the beginning of this post. My Mum. she has been reading a lot, studying languages, expanding knowledge on her hobbies, stimulating creative thinking, opening for new cultures… thanks to that she had courage to try her skills in many competitions. As she has always been very confident she got into and then based on her knowledge she won many times. Many winning projects, that she has made were of the price of uncountable sleepless nights, researches etc. etc. …

Ok, but as some of you might know me – I am not complete realist. I stomp hard on the ground, but I also see some external factors, again that are simply results of our actions or who knows… maybe there is some divine force behind it? (can’t believe I wrote it actually!). Very important word – Karma. What is it? Simply – what comes around goes back around – look one of my previous posts. You helped somebody – you will get some help in the future. You hurt someone – you’ll get hurt. As simple as that. I hope this is not the only reason why people help each other – to get something back, but it should be a good motivation to start with. Putting others first is a great magnet for your own success.

Also, I didn’t put the image of clover for no reason on this post. I already rejected the idea of lucky charms, so why this small plant? I think this is some kind of metaphor. What is as unusual as four leaf clover, but also so desired and could bring a lot of positivity into your life? For me it is Friend. I think this is a big personalization of luck for me. To share good and bad moments, successes or failures, to cry from laughter and sadness. So maybe also for you the famous clover is only the metaphor of something different?

What would you say about positive thinking? Could this also be the magnet for your good luck? Yes! Yes! and Yes! When you focus on positive things, you always bring them to yourself. As I wrote before, positivity, smile, good attitude are the elements that work like magnets for good things. Again – something you have control over. So use it! New opportunities – go for them! You won’t get lucky unless you actually try to experience new things. How many times I have heard ‘look, what you have achieved! I would have never done that?’ why? Maybe because you haven’t tried? 😉

I will keep on stimulating my luck. What does it mean for me? Surrounding by positive people and friends, focusing on my own dreams, looking out for new adventures, not closing myself for new experiences and last but not least to focus on supporting others – let’s make sure to make friends with Karma. Will it work? For now I can surely say – I took over one feature after my Grandparents and Parents – good luck.