I’m going to be traveling to Poland soon and I’m excited! It’s a place I never thought I’d be able to go and now it’s happening. Doug is going to be a speaker at a conference there so we decided to extend our trip and take a river cruise on the Danube. I’ve always had travel dreams but getting the chance to do it has been a challenge.
I always got caught up in being “responsible” and missed out on too many great opportunities. When I was 20, a gorgeous French guy named Emmanuel asked me to go with him to Majorca. I said no because I was going steady with another guy. I was also paying for my own apartment. I’ve been able to travel a little through the years, but there are still plenty of places left on my bucket list.
Catching up with my kids
My travel dreams include catching up with my kids, who have managed to globe trot extensively. I sparked their love for travel when we took a trip to Spain several years ago. It was my first trip to Europe. They were 16 and 18 at the time. Doug and I planned to leave 2 weeks earlier and they were supposed to meet up with us in Madrid our 3rd week there. I was nervous, as their mom, because they’d be home alone for 2 weeks with their uncle checking on them occasionally. They flew into a Madrid a day before we arrived from Seville on a train, which made me even more insane.
Thankfully, everything worked out. My son was a Boy Scout who eventually made it to Eagle. Their uncle took them to the airport (Los Angeles International) where they flew and changed planes at Heathrow. They took a taxi to the hotel in Madrid, hopped on a hop on hop off tour bus, and by the time we arrived, had already been to the Prado Museum, the Palace, and a bunch of other sites. Since then, they took an escorted group tour together to 9 European countries. My daughter spent 6 weeks on a Loyola Marymount summer abroad program in Greece, went to Israel for the Birthright program, Costa Rica, Japan, Ireland, and back again to Greece. My son joined the Air Force, spent two years in Japan, and has been to all sorts of exotic destinations.
When it comes to travel dreams, my kids are much braver than I
While the kids were on their 9-country trip to Europe, Doug and I were on a sailboat in the Grenadines. We stopped at an Internet cafe on Union Island so I could check my son’s bank account. (he was 17 at the time) It was down to zero and he still had a week left to go on the trip. I couldn’t figure out what happened and was worried he wouldn’t have enough money to eat. A couple days later, an entry came through. It read: Skydiving – Interlocken, Switzerland. My son and daughter had BOTH jumped out of a helicopter. Yikes!
I’m glad I didn’t find out ahead of time because I would’ve had a heart attack.
Still, I’m happy they have the travel bug
Their dad, who passed away when they were 11 and 13, didn’t understand the concept of going on vacation. He grew up in Michigan and had never been outside the state until he moved to California. When I first met him, he’d never flown and I had to show him how to get on a plane. Once we were married and he was working as a cameraman, he went to Africa twice on film shoots. The first time he went I was 9 months pregnant and couldn’t fly with him. The second time, I had two babies to take care of and was left at home again. He had a great time there, but still saw the trip as work and couldn’t wait to come home. I hate to say it, but if he hadn’t passed away, I may never have fulfilled any of my travel dreams.
I guess stuff happens for a reason
My kids also may not have traveled if life hadn’t worked out as it did. I’m sure they would rather have their dad around, but it wasn’t to be. Now that they’re grown and out of the house, it’s my turn to realize my travel dreams.
Traveling to Poland – I can’t wait!
Doug was invited to do a presentation in Poland for a film festival called CameraImage located in a small town called Bydgoszcz. We’re leaving for a 3-week trip that will include Warsaw and Krakow and then a river trip on the Danube from Budapest to Prague.
My late husband was Polish-American, so I’ve tasted pierogi, kielbasa, bigos, sauerkraut, and other Polish delights. I also had a Polish acting teacher in the early 80’s and our acting troupe was supposed to go to Poland but the Solidarity movement happened. We had to cancel it because of the unrest. In preparation for our doomed trip, we learned a Polish drinking song and several Polish phrases.
Polish Drinking Song
Sto lat! Sto lat!
Niech zyje, zyje nam.
Sto lat! Sto lat!
Niech zyje, zyje nam.
Jeszcze raz! Jeszcze raz! Niech zyje, zyje nam.
Niech zyje nam.
My family’s roots are also in Poland and Russia. My dad’s family comes from Bialystok and Augustov. which were part of Prussia for a while. We won’t have time to travel to either of those two cities, but I’m planning to visit the Jewish war memorials in Warsaw and Krakow. Both Bialystok and Augustov were decimated during WWII.
My mother was upset that I won’t be going to Slovakia because that’s where her mother’s family came from. I’ll be flying over it, Mom! Her father came from the Ukraine and became a coal miner in Pennsylvania and Colorado.He was lured back to Russia in 1938 after reading propaganda in Pravda about how great it was to live there after the Russian Revolution. We assume he was killed by Stalin as a traitor but have never been able to find out for sure. I’m glad my grandmother chose to have the rest of the family stay home in Colorado.
Traveling to Poland will be an adventure and I can’t wait to share with you when I come back.
Do you have travel dreams you haven’t fulfilled yet? Please leave a comment below.