The importance of travelling

As the proverb says: travel is to live. Since I started travelling often I realised how true this motto is. I tend to measure my time from one trip to the other, so when my day at work is particularly hard I’m motivating myself with simply stating when I’m going to visit some great place. Right now I’m counting days until my next adventure: I’m going for a weekend to Brussels, Belgium with a couple of friends and that is exactly what makes me endure some tough moments.

The impulse to travel is one of the hopeful symptoms of life.

So why is it that sometimes we forget travel makes us happy and instead we rot at home? Mostly it’s the amount of chores we impose on each other, deadlines, sometimes feeling overwhelmed with social issues and workload. I know that when I become corporate robot I forget about anything really and simply sink in all the chores. If you’re in the same place right now where you walk and walk but you’re always in the same spot and feel zero motivation to move and drive anywhere really, here are several reasons why you should keep going and never give up on travelling.

1. Travelling broadens horizons and makes you a better person

It sounds strong, doesn’t it? Like getting into a car and driving to a nearby city for a sightseeing tour would make you truly a better person. And yet… It’s true, or at least I believe so. Going on an excursion always broadens your horizons. Even if it’s very short, to a place you’ve already been to, it’s still going to teach you something. It’s going to build up your experience and simply make you wiser. Example? Visiting another nation and learn about their culture.

Bonus anecdote: When I moved to Portugal (for my Erasmus) I was pretty much disgusted with all the people simply snapping their fingers to call a waiter at a restaurant. I thought it’s so rude! And yet… it’s normal there, so I learned that when I’m in Warsaw, I don’t have to get all airtight and silently rant and rave on their bad manners, but rather understand they might come from a completely different place than I do.

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A photograph of Prague, Czech Republic 2018

2. You can learn another language and improve your CV (resume)

Learning languages is vital. I don’t think I can stress enough how amazing it is to be able to communicate in a foreign language wherever you go. Right now, I’m using skills I learned years ago and can (hopefully) successfully communicate with you, my dear Reader in English. Before I moved to Portugal I used to learn the language from books and some additional classes, but only when I moved my knowledge of Portuguese sky-rocketed. Knowing languages can improve your position in applying for a job or even grant you get one!

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Nazare Beach in Portugal, 2014

3. Travelling makes you stay younger

Ok, I might not have any scientifical proof that it’s true, but I do believe travel makes you more active and therefore younger. Constant planning and plotting stimulates the brain and sightseeing is a great way to reach your 10000 steps needed for a healthy lifestyle. Moreover, when you spend so much money on plane tickets and hotels you just can’t afford food anymore… Just kidding, although it might be true in some cases. For New Years Eve this year I travelled to a city of Torun in Poland. Just for one day, a very short trip. And during this day I visited so many places, I walked more than 20 km in less than 10 hours!

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Barcelona, Spain, 2014

4. You can make friends from across the globe and cement relationships you already have

Meeting people from around the world not only broadens the horizon (see point 1), but also creates connections which not only let you have so much fun, but also allow you to travel further and cheaper. I keep in touch with many of my friends from Erasmus and we’ve exchanged many trips (I travelled to their hometown, they visited mine) for a fraction of a normal price. But what’s most important? The memories, because as you know, people forget years and remember moments. All these precious moments laughing at similarities and differences between our cultures (sometimes very distant, hello, my Brazilian friends!), teaching each other various things or simply hanging around could never be the same if I only had friends from my own country.

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Porto, Portugal, 2014

5. Travel lets you experience amazing cuisines

Oh, the food… how I love it. One of the best virtues of travelling is trying out different cuisines, flavours and products. My long time dream is to visit Italy, Parma, to be exact, and try all the amazing dishes there, including pizza with potatoes and different flavours of pasta. When I visited Croatia last year I fell in love with white wine (Grasevina), sea food, eating freshly caught tuna grilled at the beach, watermelon at noon under an umbrella, and so forth. Celebration of food teaches us love of life. I also learned several tricks of Croatian and Portuguese cuisine and definitely improved my cooking skills.

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A great steak in Lisbon, Portugal

So let’s go on an adventure!

So, don’t dwell on tough times, take a look at some sites with cheap flights, bus or train tickets or even, for a free trip, pack your bag and venture to a place you’ve never visited in your city. Learn new things and don’t let work and chores overwhelm you. Travelling really is a sollution for sadness!

Do you travel often? If yes, did you learn anything interesting during your trips?

Let me know in the comments.

A weekend at sea – Sopot and Hel [POLAND]

Vacation at Polish sea is a debatable matter. I never experienced such, even being Polish and living four hours away by car, as I think it’s overpriced, not that attractive (rather cold water all year-long if you ask me) and so much less appealing than simply flying to Croatia and enjoying perfect beaches with even more ideal weather.

This year though, my future in-laws moved to Gdynia, a harbour town on the north of Poland, and I visited them twice already. Since being a blogger is all about sharing and, as a classic put it, sharing is carrying, let me share with you some beautiful places I’ve visited while on those trips.

Gdynia

Most of the time seen as the least appealing city out of entire tricity area. It’s a home of fisherman and harbour, most well known for riots that ended Communism in Poland. I really grew to love the city. It’s a part of a rather large complex, but in the same time, still a rather small town, mostly modern, due to it’s complicated history. Gdynia is a great place to visit, with the biggest, natural cliff (on the Orłowo beach), museum ships in the harbour (including a destroyer and a frigate) and a great “old town”.

Hint: if you ever find yourself venturing to the Tricity area, remember to stay in Gdynia for the night, as it’s perfectly communicated with Gdańsk and Sopot and in the same time prices are way lower!

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Gdynia is quite famous for great examples of modern architecture, such as monumentalism and early functionalism. In the same time, you can quite effortlessly find great views of the sea, long promenades, cute marinas, yacht clubs, sandy beaches and beautiful waterfronts. Let’s not forget about the most important aspect of travelling: food. I visited several restaurants and I love all of these, offering exquisite dishes in an acceptable price.

Welcome to Hel

Hel is a rather small town just at the top of the Hel Peninsula. Engulfed from both sides with the Sea, it’s one of the most climatic and enchanting places in northern Poland. It was my first time visiting Hel, and the Peninsula as a whole. Absolutely loved it. Especially for the fresh air, great views and very few tourists.

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You can take a rather long walk along the tip of the peninsula, look at the sea hitting the shore from three sides and even visit a seal center, located not far from the walking trail. It’s best to stop by the center during the feeding time, so you can see all nine to ten seals perfectly. Also, who doesn’t love those cute animals?

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You can also travel to the marina and see fisherman’s’ boats and even war ships!

Sopot

Sopot is a resort city and one of the most popular touristic destinations in Poland. The town is enchanting, sheltered from an open sea by the Hel Peninsula, which makes water in the sea a lot warmer. Clean, spotless sand of rather white gold colour creates a beautiful scenery, even in rather autumn/winter conditions.

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It’s probably most well-known feature is the longest wooden pier in the old continent (over 500 meters), which happens to be a great venue for recreational and health walks.

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Concentration of iodine in the air at the sea is doubled compared to the land, which makes it a perfect spot for health walks as well. If you are quite rich, you can always stay at the Grand Hotel in Sopot. That is a rather long-term dream of mine to stay there for a night or two. As it would probably be a financial equivalent of going to Croatia for two weeks, I never fulfilled my childhood dream, but just imagine: what an amazing feeling it must be to wake up, open the curtains and see only the sea.

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Oh, and can you imagine, sipping champagne from one of these fancy, tall glasses at the pool in a place like this? One day, Grand Hotel, one day!

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I don’t think I’m going to visit Polish sea for summer holidays anytime soon, but I do think that it’s a great destination for a weekend trip, especially with the airport in Gdańsk. So, if you’ve never had a chance, check Gdynia, Sopot and Hel out!

Dorota