Once in Berlin…

… so, once we arrived to Berlin, my friend left on her way, and I took mine. It was a time for nice german holidays!

P1080730

I contacted my host Henry, and went to his place. It took just a bit more than  5min. to understand the metro system of Berlin and after that I felt like at home.

My 4 days home was one room flat, with quite cozy kitchen, a lot of japanese spycies, and big windows. Henry has made me a launch – pasta with fish and salad… Isn’t it a nice feeling when you are somewhere and somebody you don’t know yet is preparing you launch while you’re taking first shower in 2 days?

As Henry was working, I didn’t want to disturb him, I went for a walk in the city. Actually, to be more precise, he gave me his old, crapy bike and I went on a ride with it. Half of the way I was thinking that I will break, another half – I was surprised how it didn’t brake. Anyway, it broke just next day.

I’m terribly bad with maps, I don’t understand, why if in map it’s shown that you should turn to the left, in real life you should turn to the right… The consequence of me, not having good relationship with them, is quite cleer – one hour of looking for one street which was supposed to take me to East Side Gallery. Anyway, I didn’t lose my hope and last guy, whom I asked where was that street, said that I should go just 4 km further and I’ll see it… Sonnellea, or something like this is still one of those streets which you remember with fear.

Berlin, 2013

Berlin, 2013

Anyway, after that 1 hour of riding everywhere, passing park, full of wheet smell, I found what I was looking for. The Wall. The paintings. The words for freedom. The sense of humour.  The atmosphere. I was trying to imagine what did those people who paintend it, felt. What was their emotional state in that moment. What was the feeling to live in Berlin in 1989. I was 4 in that moment… What was the feeling to see people from the other side of the wall. What was the feeling to wake up next morning of August and realize, that you already live in another world… It should have been so amazing, emotional and interesting.

East side gallery

East side gallery

 

… evening eating hamburgers and drinking german beer went just fine. To be hosted by someone you don’t know is amazing experience. You never know what you’ll meet, where you’ll sleep, but probably for sure you’ll get some inspiring stories.

Berlin has something. Something special. It is not city like, for example, Rome, full of ancient stuff, ancient stories and histories. No, it’s the heart of the history of XX century. It’s the reminder of what was done and alert that it shouldn’t repeat. The history can’t repeat itself, but first of all we have to learn and to understand it.

This is what I liked the most of Berlin – being honest and not trying to avoid the responsability. Like, I guess, one president of Germany has said: we are not responsible for what has happened 50 years ago, but we are responsible for what will happen next. Just brave and wise nation could say this.

to be continued…

  • Berlin (theadventurousintrovert.wordpress.com)

The soul of freedom

… I woke up at 7am that day and the first thought in my mind was: TODAY! Today I’m putting my backpack on my back, today I’m going on the road and nobody knows what will happen. Today I will learn to wait and see, that I never can be sure about anything, each moment is a surprise.

I guess, this is one of the most important points of travelling. During the travels I discover, that even the most obvious things can turn around and become the huge surprises having big influence to the life, or at least to the way of thinking.

So, That day, especially morning,was full of waiting and inpatience. I was turning around in my room, making my bag, taking the things off and putting them back again. Counting the passing moments until I have to put the bag on and go. And just before leaving my home, I saw on FB one job offer. If I had sent them my CV, they would have taken me. I have no doubts. Almost. But I didn’t. I decided, that if there was this job offer, it will be more, but now I need to go. Go to Germany, Spain, and later Denmark.

… we met on the road at 1pm. My friend was ready for a travel, and we both started to go until “good point” where we could start to hitch-hike. Our plan was to do this in two days, because one night seemed too perfect plan. In 10 min. first truck has stopped and the man behind the steering-wheel in polish told us that he goes to Poland. As it was our direction, we didn’t make any more questions. Later he discovered that he is going to some village which was on the way to Poznan, some 450km from Lithuania. In the other words, it was almost a half way of the trip with the first car!!!!

The sad part was that the driver was taking only in polish (and probably sometimes he thought that he does so in russian) , and we both were bad in both – russian and polish. Latter was worse. So, no normal conversation was established. Even though we managed to tell him that after Berlin we go to Spain and my friend to Portugal, he told us a bit of his job and helped to understand where we are. If not him, maybe instead of going to Poznan, we would have gone to Wroclaw, which was completely not good for Berlin…

After some 5-6 hours ride he left us on the way to Poznan, wished good luck and went back to his village to see his wife.

It didn’t pass another 20 min. when we were already sitting in one 23 years old guy’s car. He had very poor english, but he managed to offer us to smoke some wheet after some 5min since we entered the car. It took quite a lot of time to try to convince him that we prefer him not to smoke in the car unless he’s really good driving. But when he didn’t understand english, it was complicated.

After some 300km, which took us to Poznan, he offered us to sleep in some kind of place, called Hotel. He had a room for him and there was one for his workmate, but as he didn’t come, there was left one spare room. We looked at the dark sky (it was 10pm already), looked at the clouds full of rain and decided to take the offer. So, we spent a very comfortable night in Poznan, took a good rest and got ready for last 250km next day.

P1080717

“Hotel” in Poznan

Next morning our wheet smoker took us on the highway and left back to Poznan. After it we took quite a lot of time to get some cars to Berlin, but it was a beautiful sunny day, so we didn’t lose the hope. One of the last drivers was, let”s say, german businessman, listening to Beatles in his car, drinking water and black coffee. And the last driver, 50 years german, who has a 27 years old son was a real german, how we could imagine them – strong and strict. When he stopped and we entered the car, he started to say something in german, and just because of some strange human logic we understood what he was saying. Anyway, we managed to have some mini conversation in this language. Since that day I’m thinking to put in my CV one more language – german.

Berlin met us full of sun and weird people. “The amount of weird people we see here in 5 min would be reached in one week in Lithuania” – said my friend. “And in Kaunas it would need even more time”, – joked I.

P1080759

Berlin

To be continued…

 

 

 

On the road

2013-06-04 18.22.14Again.

The same emotion of moving out of the comfort zone. Bittersweet joy, little worries of how is it going to be this time, open heart for new experience and wish everything to be ok.

In few hours first time on my life I’m going to put my backpack (until now it was an orange bag or luggage) on my back and I’ll go on the road. There I’ll meet my classmate and we’ll stary our journey to Berlin

Can’t wait to see Berlin. No, can’t wait to start the travel, to be on the road and see what happens. If I open my heart, I suppose, I will meet people with the same opened hearts.

On Sunday I should go to Bremen. I will visit my classmate from school, I haven’t seen him for 8 years… When I was 12, I was inlove with him 🙂 Now he is married. He’s always been on of my best friends in school.

Next day it will be Dusseldorf, but just for a while, once I’m there, I should go to the airport and in early morning of next Tuesday I’m leaving to Santander. And in the afternoon finally I’ll reach my destiny – San Sebastian. 🙂 Again this year. For another two months. Some easy, peaceful feeling in my heart.

And during this time I expect to firewell my past and let it go. When I do it, new winds will come.

 

In which corner of the Earth you are now?

IMG_9255

Vigo, 2010

Lately one of the first 3 questions which people ask me, is “in which corner of the Earth you are now?” It’s very strange, because this was the question I was asking others and I never expected to be asked this. Sometimes the dreams come true, don’t they?

I learnt to move from my cousins. When  I was small, they were already travelling, studying, working abroad and I was looking at them and wishing to grow up and to start doing the same as soon as possible. Even though, I started my “mover carrer” quite late – I was 22 when it was my first time on a plane, going to USA. Before I had been outside Lithuania, but that was completely different comparing with what happened after coming back from America. I came back after 4 months to Lithuania, got my bachelorus degree and it hand’t passed 12 months since arriving to LT when I left it again, that time – to Spain. It was in 2009. Since that day I learnt to travel alone, to travel on a low budget and with small bag. I even didn’t have a backpack, and didn’t know anything about it 🙂 2008 and visit to States had opened one door which never closed and since then I understood – that I don’t want to get out of that place, and I don’t want to close that door. At least for the moment.

Well, everybody has travelled a lot, more than me, I’m not going to tell here all my travels, experience and discoveries, I just wanted to reflect a bit on the thing, that unexpectedly I became the person I wanted to be – the one, who’s being asked in which part of the world she is. And the answer: In Lithuania is going to be valuable just for couple next weeks. My plan for this year was to spend 2 months in Lithuania, and the next 10 abroad. It seems, this plan is working!

I’m coming back to Basque country this summer, and from September I will be studying in Denmark, in Copenhagen. 🙂

Before going to San Sebastian, me and my coursemate will go to Berlin, I hope to visit Bremen and Dusseldorf also, before flying to my beloved Euskadi.

Looking at the backpack on the floor in my room makes me feel good. Great. Amazing. Happy. Feeling alive. Once again. I’ve been trought tough time since last year, and I still have pain, but it is in other place in my heart. It’s like a cancer – I know that I have it, and I learn to live with it. I just don’t want it to disturb my ability to enjoy the things.

I can’t describe this feeling which I have everytime I move to some unknown place. That bittersweet mixture of worries and a bit of fear, the joy of the possibility to be able to open all these unknown doors and to see what’s inside, the uncertainty about what’s waiting for you next and other emotions. I don’t even listen to music when I’m in a new place – I want to hear it, and while I don’t feel it, while I don’t feel the part of it, I can’t drawn in my world.

So, in two weeks I’m starting my new experience, new period of learning, meeting people and creating myself! And I know – everything will be just fine.

WHY YOU SHOULD TRAVEL YOUNG

I hope, this guy won’t be angry at me, that I’m sharing his great reflection on travels. I feel so much everything what he says…

WHY YOU SHOULD TRAVEL YOUNG

Posted by  (Google+) on Tuesday, June 26, 2012 · 62 Comments

Use this shortlink to link to this story:

Traveller in the sunset

Photo by Geoff Heith

As I write this, I’m flying. It’s an incredible concept: to be suspended in the air, moving at two hundred miles an hour — while I read a magazine. Amazing, isn’t it?

I woke up at three a.m. this morning. Long before the sun rose, thirty people loaded up three conversion vans and drove two hours to the San Juan airport. Our trip was finished. It was time to go home. But we were changed.

As I sit, waiting for the flight attendant to bring my ginger ale, I’m left wondering why I travel at all. The other night, I was reminded why I do it — why I believe this discipline of travel is worth all the hassle.

I was leading a missions trip in Puerto Rico. After a day of work, as we were driving back to the church where we were staying, one of the young women brought up a question.

“Do you think I should go to graduate school or move to Africa?”

I don’t think she was talking to me. In fact, I’m pretty sure she wasn’t. But that didn’t stop me from offering my opinion.

I told her to travel. Hands down. No excuses. Just go.

She sighed, nodding. “Yeah, but…”

I had heard this excuse before, and I didn’t buy it. I knew the “yeah-but” intimately. I had uttered it many times before. The words seem innocuous enough, but are actually quite fatal.

Yeah, but …

… what about debt?

… what about my job?

… what about my boyfriend?

This phrase is lethal. It makes it sound like we have the best of intentions, when really we are just too scared to do what we should. It allows us to be cowards while sounding noble.

Most people I know who waited to travel the world never did it. Conversely, plenty of people who waited for grad school or a steady job still did those things after they traveled.

It reminded me of Dr. Eisenhautz and the men’s locker room.

Dr. Eisenhautz was a German professor at my college. I didn’t study German, but I was a foreign language student so we knew each other. This explains why he felt the need to strike up a conversation with me at six o’clock one morning.

I was about to start working out, and he had just finished. We were both getting dressed in the locker room. It was, to say the least, a little awkward — two grown men shooting the breeze while taking off their clothes.

“You come here often?” he asked. I could have laughed.

“Um, yeah, I guess,” I said, still wiping the crusted pieces of whatever out of my eyes.

“That’s great,” he said. “Just great.”

I nodded, not really paying attention. He had already had his adrenaline shot; I was still waiting for mine. I somehow uttered that a friend and I had been coming to the gym for a few weeks now, about three times a week.

“Great,” Dr. Eisenhautz repeated. He paused as if to reflect on what he would say next. Then, he just blurted it out. The most profound thing I had heard in my life.

“The habits you form here will be with you for the rest of your life.”

Photos by Geoff Heith

My head jerked up, my eyes got big, and I stared at him, letting the words soak into my half-conscious mind. He nodded, said a gruff goodbye, and left. I was dumbfounded.

The words reverberated in my mind for the rest of the day. Years later, they still haunt me. It’s true — the habits you form early in life will, most likely, be with you for the rest of your existence.

I have seen this fact proven repeatedly. My friends who drank a lot in college drink in larger quantities today. Back then, we called it “partying.” Now, it has a less glamorous name: alcoholism. There are other examples. The guys and girls who slept around back then now have babies and unfaithful marriages. Those with no ambition then are still working the same dead end jobs.

“We are what we repeatedly do,” Aristotle once said. While I don’t want to sound all gloom-and-doom, and I believe your life can turn around at any moment, there is an important lesson here: life is a result of intentional habits. So I decided to do the things that were most important to me first, not last.

After graduating college, I joined a band and traveled across North America for nine months. With six of my peers, I performed at schools, churches, and prisons. We even spent a month in Taiwan on our overseas tour. (We were huge in Taiwan.)

As part of our low-cost travel budget, we usually stayed in people’s homes. Over dinner or in conversation later in the evening, it would almost always come up — the statement I dreaded. As we were conversing about life on the road — the challenges of long days, being cooped up in a van, and always being on the move — some well-intentioned adult would say, “It’s great that you’re doing this … while you’re still young.”

Ouch. Those last words — while you’re still young — stung like a squirt of lemon juice in the eye (a sensation with which I am well acquainted). They reeked of vicarious longing and mid-life regret. I hated hearing that phrase.

I wanted to shout back,

“No, this is NOT great while I’m still young! It’s great for the rest of my life! You don’t understand. This is not just a thing I’m doing to kill time. This is my calling! My life! I don’t want what you have. I will always be an adventurer.”

In a year, I will turn thirty. Now I realize how wrong I was. Regardless of the intent of those words, there was wisdom in them.

As we get older, life can just sort of happen to us. Whatever we end up doing, we often end up with more responsibilities, more burdens, more obligations. This is not always bad. In fact, in many cases it is really good. It means you’re influencing people, leaving a legacy.

Youth is a time of total empowerment. You get to do what you want. As you mature and gain new responsibilities, you have to be very intentional about making sure you don’t lose sight of what’s important. The best way to do that is to make investments in your life so that you can have an effect on who you are in your later years.

I did this by traveling. Not for the sake of being a tourist, but to discover the beauty of life — to remember that I am not complete.

There is nothing like riding a bicycle across the Golden Gate Bridge or seeing the Coliseum at sunset. I wish I could paint a picture for you of how incredible the Guatemalan mountains are or what a rush it is to appear on Italian TV. Even the amazing photographs I have of Niagara Falls and the American Midwest countryside do not do these experiences justice. I can’t tell you how beautiful southern Spain is from the vantage point of a train; you have to experience it yourself. The only way you can relate is by seeing them.

While you’re young, you should travel. You should take the time to see the world and taste the fullness of life. Spend an afternoon sitting in front of the Michelangelo. Walk the streets of Paris. Climb Kilimanjaro. Hike the Appalachian trail. See the Great Wall of China. Get your heart broken by the “killing fields” of Cambodia. Swim through the Great Barrier Reef. These are the moments that define the rest of your life; they’re the experiences that stick with you forever.

Traveling will change you like little else can. It will put you in places that will force you to care for issues that are bigger than you. You will begin to understand that the world is both very large and very small. You will have a newfound respect for pain and suffering, having seen that two-thirds of humanity struggle to simply get a meal each day.

While you’re still young, get cultured. Get to know the world and the magnificent people that fill it. The world is a stunning place, full of outstanding works of art. See it.

You won’t always be young. And life won’t always be just about you. So travel, young person. Experience the world for all it’s worth. Become a person of culture, adventure, and compassion. While you still can.

Do not squander this time. You will never have it again. You have a crucial opportunity to invest in the next season of your life now. Whatever you sow, you will eventually reap. The habits you form in this season will stick with you for the rest of your life. So choose those habits wisely.

And if you’re not as young as you’d like (few of us are), travel anyway. It may not be easy or practical, but it’s worth it. Traveling allows you to feel more connected to your fellow human beings in a deep and lasting way, like little else can. In other words, it makes you more human.

That’s what it did for me, anyway.

Days in a luggage

This was the name of my travel diary which I had some years ago. I just decided to make my blog a bit more live, so a part that I will be posting my everyday pictures, I will put some of them also here. I’m not a professional photographer, I just like fixing the moments 🙂

So, take a look and enjoy.

IMG_4360

Time square. New York, 2008

Rome, 2009

Rome, 2009

Porto, 2010

Porto, 2010

Brussels, 2010

Brussels, 2010

Madrid, 2010

Madrid, 2010

Navacerrada, 2011

Navacerrada, 2011

Toledo, 2011

Toledo, 2011

London, 2011

London, 2011

Santander, 2011

Santander, 2011

Segovia, 2011

Segovia, 2011

Trakai, 2011

Trakai, 2011

Riga, 2011

Riga, 2011

Brugge, 2012

Brugge, 2012

Ghent, 2012

Ghent, 2012

Alcala de Henares, 2012

Alcala de Henares, 2012

El Escorial, 2012

El Escorial, 2012

San Sebastian, 2013

San Sebastian, 2013

Barcelona, 2013

Barcelona, 2013

Vigo, 2011

Vigo, 2011

Lorient, 2010

Lorient, 2010

Niagara falls, 2008

Niagara falls, 2008

Step 100. Walk with love and death

courage

So, here I am… After 5 months… Step by step… With little breaks, ups and downs, but I’m here – the last step. I didn’t believe I will arrive here… But I did. I did it!

And the last step talks about the fear. The fear we all have and the fear which doesn’t let us do the things we wanna do. We look at others, who live their dreams and think, that they are special ones, the chosen ones, because they don’t have that fear. But we don’t think, that they have it, they have it everyday, just they face it and fight it.

Last week I was talking with one hungarian girl. She is studying law.

– Do like what you are studying? – I asked her.

– No, I try to find it interesting, but it’s not always interesting. – she said.

– But why do you study it if you don’t like it?

– Well, I like history and I think, it’s very important to know the law in our society. Also I could work in the company of my father.

– Ah, so this is what you’d like to do?

– No, well, I will try, maybe I like.

– And what is what you’d like to do?

–  To travel. I’d really like to travel.

It was very sad to hear this… A person has dreams, but does what he/she is expected to do… The person, which is driven through the life by the fear.

And it’s not easy, god, it’s not easy to face with the fear. Fight with it. Find the strenght, and motivation to do it. Never give up, even when the support of the family and friends is lost.

But we shouldn’t ever forget that the only one thing which stops us from making our dreams to come true – is a fear to fail. On the other hand, in Lithuania we said: the one who doesn’t take a risk, doesn’t drink champain.

It’s up to us. It’s up to us what we choose. Be victims. Be the ones who pitty themselves and their lifes. Or be happy.

I chose to be happy.

I chose it 5 months ago. And I’m still on it.

It’s not the end. It’s the start of my new path.