I have always admired people who are well-versed and well-traveled, people who suddenly charm a tired group of souls with their travel stories. Travelling, I think, is partly popular because it gives people to chance to collect these stories, it gives them the opportunity to shine.
Travel Stories: The Time I Slept Under a Tree In Poland
One of my funniest travel stories starts with the usual “The time I…”. In my case it was the time that I slept under a tree in Poland. I was 19 years old, the morning before I had packed my bags, jumped on a ferry and caught a plane for Warsaw. It was the first time I set foot in Poland, my vocabulary was scarce and I really did not know what to expect of the country. In Warsaw a pickpocket was smarter than I was, so when I arrived at my final destination – Lublin that was – I found myself the proud owner of a few coins and a piece of paper saying where I was going. Gone were the euros and as chance had it, I had managed to forget my debit card in the cash machine back home. It was midnight. The taxi driver only spoke Polish and German. My Polish has since improved but not my German. It was, however, one of the few times in life that it turned out that knowing German might actually be beneficial for one’s survival. And it was pure fortune that I was in a country where a few coins could last for almost forever. Or at least for a week – including the taxi ride.
Unless you have spent some time living in a catholic halls of residence you might not be familiar with the fact that nuns are very strict when it comes to their rules. You might have guessed, but you probably don’t know what it means in real life. I would later find out that there were no rules that could broken – not a single one. And doors would always close at midnight. Not a minute earlier, and not a minute after. So, on my very first night in Poland, on the very first night of my gap year, I found myself sleeping under a tree.
And it was raining. A lot.
My stay in Poland turned out to be spectacular and there are many more travel stories to tell. There were times we got drunk on cheap Polish vodka, we crawled through windows, visited small idyllic towns and witnessed how Poland joined the European Union. Nonetheless, I must admit that sleeping under a tree was not a negative experience for that 19-year-old. Life teaches us a lot of things, and on that night I learnt to be humble(r).