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Meet the Gypsies : Marysia of My Travel Affairs
1. Who are you? Where are you from? Where are you now?
I’m Marysia, crazy Girl from Poland. I travel extensively for 9 years now and can’t really imagine myself settling down any soon. I have been living in Spain, London and currently in Tel Aviv.
2. What’s your packing strategy? Heavy or light packer? Backpack or suitcase?
I have always been a light packer, always managed with a single cabin luggage and a handbag. I remember a two-week trip with my Girls to Lebanon and Turkey. I had the smallest bag and still I was the one who had a different outfit for every day with matching shoes and accessories and I was the one who was lending them hair fascinators for the wedding we were attending ha ha ha
But those days after 9 years of always being so restricted I sometimes go crazy when I travel in Europe and take fancy outfits and a big bag.
3. How do you afford your travels? Budget traveler or lean more towards luxury?
My blog brings some little profit, not enough to fully support my travels yet but hopefully I will get there one day! It would be truly amazing. So far I live from two companies I have invested in 7 years ago after quitting my full time job in London. I’m a lawyer by education.
Total budget traveler when on of the beaten path adventures. Once in Europe I do enjoy fancy restaurants, sailing weekends with friends and fine red.
4. If you could go anywhere tomorrow, where would you go?
Pakistan and Madagascar. Without a doubt or minute of hesitation I would jump on the plane to one of those destinations!
5. Is there anywhere you won’t travel to and why?
No, I’m ‘wanna go everywhere’ type. I do not have problems with visiting politically unsettles countries and territories, actually I was always more interested in unusual places and destinations. You know North Korea, Iran, Yemen, and Iraq.
6. What’s the most adventurous thing you’ve eaten?
I would eat anything once so I do not really consider any food really crazy adventures. You know being Polish I may be accustom to weird food more than other nations. Maybe not as much as any Asian, but you know: tripe soup, duck blood soup. Tongue, brain, cheeks, chicken feet, blood sausage etc. Some of those I love, some of them I will never have again. I have only one regret, when I was in Santa Barbara 4 years ago there was this amazing taco place famous for eye tacos, and I really couldn’t make myself try one at that time, it was not about the taste rather the texture!
7. You’re a big fan of photography. What do you think is the essential photography gear to travel with?
Yes, I love taking pictures! I do not consider myself professional, actually quiet far away from being one, but I’m totally addicted to it and I think I have developed my own style by now. I always have my Canon 650D with me, few different lenses but I have learned I’m too lazy to switch them when needed, so recently I’m constantly on 18-200mm lens. I find bigger impossible to handle without a tripod and I never have one with me. Yet again, lazy me! I do have a professional bag where I keep all my lenses, flashes, extension tubes etc. I always have a small compact camera with me as well, just in case something happens.
8. You’re from Poland, a country I have yet to visit. What are the best things to see and do there and do you think you’ll ever settle down there?
Poland is super beautiful and a very diverse country! From the Baltic Sea, through Mazury Lake District to the Tatry Mountains. We have 23 national parks, which have everything from shifting sand dunes to virgin forest and bisons – Europe’s largest mammals. So if you love nature, trekking and various outside activities Poland is for you!
If you are a history freak we have medieval cities and some of the oldest Universities in the world (Krakow). Largest brick building in Europe (Castle of the Teutonic Order in Malbork). Beautiful ports which are symbol of ‘Solidarity” and Polish Democracy (Gdansk).
If you are WWII enthusiast we have Wolf’s Liar, which was a war headquarter of Hitler where he was almost killed in Operation Valkyrie (unfortunately unsuccessful).
Chopin, Copernicus, Hevelius, Curie were all Polish. We have a very rich history, culture and heritage and believe me you will need several weeks to really discover Poland.
Even though I love my country and I always come back home with a smile on my face I’m not sure I will ever settle down there, to be frank I’m not sure if I will ever settle anywhere!
9. Diving and Horseback riding are two of your favorite activities. What are your favorite destinations you’ve done them in?
Yes, I love diving and horseback riding. I love skiing and all possible extreme sports! The more adrenaline the better.
As for horseback riding I have tried in many countries, but it doesn’t come better than Poland! Beautiful countryside and fast horses.
As for diving my two best destinations so far were Oman and Aqaba in Jordan. Easter Island was great diving as well but for more kind of surreal experience even for such a diver as me!
10. Books are also one of your passions. What are you reading right now?
Yes, huge passion and addiction. I have always been reading like crazy, from the very moment I have learned how to read! And not being very modest I do that in few languages, but mostly English and Spanish those days.
At the moment I’m reading two books. ‘Scenes from Village Life’ by Amoz Oz and ‘Silent House’ by Orphan Pamuk.
I felt in love with both of those authors many years ago and from the very first few lines of their novels. By now I think I have read almost everything that have been published in English. But if you would like to give it a go and I really think you should, start with ‘A Tale of Love and Darknesn’ by Oz and ‘My name is Red’ by Pamuk. Once you like it, you can forward from there.
11. Most importantly, where to next?
I’m currently in Tel Aviv where I kind of live, those rare moments when I do not travel of course. End of October is dedicated to TBEX Conference in Athens and week in Poland. Than Italy for few days and off to Sri Lanka in mid November for more than a month. After that going back to Poland, as it is my Golden Rule to be back home for Christmas! Family and friends always come first!