I grew up feeling as if there was much more than what I saw around me. I felt the whispers of faraway places calling me to come closer.
I think it's because I grew up with a Polish mother and a Swedish father, always knowing there was more than one culture. When I was 12, we moved to a very multicultural area in the town of Lund, south of Sweden. I found myself surrounded by the world in the form of my best friends, neighbours, boyfriends and classmates and their colourful vivid homes, with foods, music and religions from all over the world. But it wasn't enough. I craved more.
Once I finished high school, I knew I needed to go. If I stayed at home, I would have read only one page of all the amazing big book of life.
Travelling was always part of my destiny. I had no idea what to expect out there- I just knew I needed to go and find out. I wanted to see all those places for myself that my mother and my friends' parents had come from.
In Lund I worked as a carer, taking care of old, sick people in their homes. I freelanced and could work as many hours as I wanted in between trips. I saved up money and then I went. I was never afraid of being alone. In fact, I loved it and longed for it. Alone, surrounded by the world, I felt at home everywhere.
In the middle of a humid bustling city on another continent I felt at home, like I landed in myself. When everything around me was foreign, I connected to myself. I learned to trust myself and listen to my inner voice- my intuition.
I found myself in places so far from what I came from, looking so different from everyone around me, not speaking one single word of the same language, not having the same religion or culture to share. In Mandalay, in a busy street stall dishing up some spicy curry, surrounded by people that spoke a language foreign to me, I started feeling like myself. Or in an old colonial Portugese bar in Maputo, sitting with a notebook and a pen and a port wine in an old fashioned glass, I felt like I was finally free to be just me. In a rickshaw traversing through the dirt in Pnomh Penh; that's where I could hear the voice of my soul speak clear and direct. In the clear Caribbean waters of Tulum, deep down, only hearing my own breath; I could finally connect to myself and my essence.
Travelling has changed me. It has changed my life. It has opened my mind and my heart and it has made me see life so, so differently. Travelling solo as a woman has never scared me. In fact, I found it comforting. I love the world and I feel the most alive when all my senses are alive and working.
When I was 7, I started writing. I was writing every single day and when adults asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, my reply was razor sharp, "I want to be a writer." All my trips were accompanied with notebook and pen.
On the 26th of February 2017, at a beautiful hotel in Ostuni, Puglia, in the south of Italy called Casa d'Autore, I started writing my first book. I wrote the last chapter on the 5th of June 2018 in Ibiza. Now the editing work begins. The book is based on real life experiences; a fraction of all the ones I've had over the past 20 years of travels.