This month we introduce you to Justyna, a solo traveler from Poland currently exploring the world.
Tell us a bit about yourself:
Hi! I’m Justyna and I run the One Penny Trip blog. I’m a pure travel junkie but this is probably something you could expect me to say 🙂 Yes, I love traveling to off the beaten path places, very often with people I met somewhere on the way or simply solo. I left Poland in May 2013 and since then I’m kind of moving around. Currently I’m in Germany for a longer while.
What made you decide to go on a RTW trip?
I wouldn’t call RTW what I’m doing. It’s more like just heading where life drags you. I don’t have a plane ticket or the itinerary and didn’t really plan it to go this way. Long story short. At the end of 2012 I promised myself I will visit one new place each month, which meant 12 new destinations by the end of 2013. I made it but meanwhile, since blogging was not a source of income to me, I lived and worked in 3 different countries to be able to travel easily and gain money. So answering your question, I think there was just something like my inner voice telling me, go, go, go” and not really thinking about it, I packed my stuff and moved abroad within two weeks 🙂
What has been your favorite place so far?
Can I name my top 3? I can’t really decide for one of them. They are all different from each other but at the same time are super close to my heart – it’s Austria, Israel and Ethiopia. I lived in Vienna for 6 months and it’s been one of the best times of my live mostly because of people I’ve met. Israel, especially Tel Aviv, was like a dream place to me. I fell in love with the city vibe, cafes on every corner, sunny beaches, smiley people and matkot – the game all Israelis play while at the seaside. And Ethiopia… I’d say it’s a country we highly underestimate and which is absolutely incredible in terms of culture, nature or historical sites. It just surprises you wherever you go. Oh, and they ALL have an amazing coffee! I just had to mention it as a coffee junkie 🙂
Where are you most looking forward to going?
I’d really like to visit Costa Rica and Central/South America in general. Besides this, on my bucket list I still have places like Nepal, Iran and the whole Africa.
Tell us about your favorite food or meal you have had on your trip
It was in the Middle East. In Palestine I was staying with a local family I met via Couchsurfing and one time they prepared a dish called Mulukhiyah which is a type of a dense greenish soup you eat with rice, chicken, meat and lemon. Another delicious thing was Zarb aka. Bedouin BBQ 🙂 I tried it when I stayed with Bedouins on the Wadi Rum desert in Jordan. Imagine a huuuge pot having three layers – on the bottom they place rice, middle layer is for meat and the top one for vegetables. The whole thing is covered with something like a thick aluminium foil and…stranded deep in the sand for 3 hours. Before they cover it with sand though, they throw some embers under the pot and the heat does the rest. It was the softest meet I’ve ever eaten.
What has been your best splurge?
I don’t think I had any… I usually travel on a budget.
What do you find hardest about long-term travel?
Like everyone, I miss my family and friends the most. It’s something you can’t avoid I think, but luckily we live in the modern world and things get easier with Internet. Besides this I don’t see any bigger disadvantages.
Other than family and friends, what do you miss most about home?
Well, I miss Polish food haha 🙂 I’m a good cook, but I will never be able to prepare pierogi (polish dumplings) the way my mom does it.
Any tips or words of advice for those dreaming about traveling?
Stop dreaming, start doing. The easiest way to start, if you’re not a freelancer or a a famous travel blogger, is to find a job abroad. Use your strong sides – your native language or talents. Be creative, open-minded and take the opportunities life gives you.