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Travelling with Andy – A soloist's empath guide to one hand

Introduction and flying to Poland


View Andy's Trip to Eastern Europe on Andy_in_Europe's travel map.

Welcome to my travel blog for my trip around parts of Eastern Europe in August 2023.

Firstly thanks to everyone who made this trip possible. I'm very grateful to be able to travel, especially as I am travelling next to a country at war with another. My best advice here is to avoid watching the news when travelling. This blog isn't about the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, nor the sensationalised build-up of Nato forces on the border of Poland and Belarus. It's about something I have needed to do for 23 years. I promised someone I would return here after meeting them when I worked here in 2000. So let's begin.

I hate living vicariously through the travels of others but am fascinated by people who do. If we were to pluck a travel author from the ether, it would have to be Bill Bryson, as the thing that saves him is his dry wit and observational humour, which he seasons his work with for those laugh-out-loud moments. My first travel recommendation would be to stop reading this and do something that doesn’t guilt you into booking that overdue holiday you can’t afford but deserve.

There are many ways to travel the world. For those of you who can’t leave the confines of your rocking chair, for the moment at least, I’m hoping that sharing how I do it will at least provide you with a few snots out nose chortles, maniacal grinning, and sweaty forehead open-mouthed moments. If I make you feel anything else, I value your time here and will try not to put you through the warmth of sitting in an accident of your incontinence.

I'd like to briefly explain this format and my way of travelling, which may or may not be different from your own, but for me. I want to skip over the boring bits of travel and avoid absolute moment-by-moment dictation, which I’m saving for a tome of books called the time in-between anything interesting happening and explaining things in excessive detail (verbosity) that anyone with Google could make a better fist of in less time. Remember, dates and times are largely unimportant unless you are the one making the trip. Writers (nod to my fellow group I fondly call the Americans) either plan the bejesus out of something or make it up as they go along. Travellers are no different, and some travel writers tend to adopt this position we reserve for Tibetan Monks practising thoughtfulness overlooking the Qilian Shan. I have planned the first half of my trip. I will ‘pants’ the other half using a method that utilises synchronicity and an Ouija board, a D&D excessively sided (now plural and singular) dice and a Walther PPK handgun.

I do want to incorporate a record of a profoundly reflective and interconnected travel experience for myself. I want to offer free and general travel advice, which I will immediately seek a disclaimer for as, by way of previous recommendations, I feel that adopting anything I do (or say) with any expectation or guarantee of it being sound advice would equate to things like jumping off bridges and into lakes being mistaken for literal rather than figurative suggestion.

And certain parts of this trip through my creation process will be primarily made up (aka BULL), and some names will be changed to protect the innocent. As a storyteller, I feel entitled to embellishment for broadly comedic effect. My experience in making stuff up is legendary. Still, the most fun for me is the application of the uncertainty principle when pitching the absolute yet incredible truth about an event without anyone believing it. It all happened exactly how I remember it, and in any of Einstein’s quantum equations, the observer (act of) changes the very thing we observe.

I may colour this with profound and deeply considered wisdom that I don’t personally possess but somehow ended up sitting on the edge of the (European river goes here) watching the watcher (Osho). When collections of travel experiences like my own are analysed, I feel there is something larger at work when I travel. In this, there is divinity to any adventure. Beware of false prophets here, and let your inner faith (or lack thereof) guide you whenever you read things from my perspective. I will try not to disappear or turn this into a creation theory dissertation for the discerning. But in the same way, it’s impossible not to picture a giant pink elephant after reading about one; I may occasionally misbehave here using the same technique to which you are, unfortunately, subject.

I will temper my use of big words here and limit my profanity and morality level to PG (where possible.) Simply kids, no swearing and going to bed at 8.30 pm. You’ve probably fallen asleep in my language well before this moment.

Without further ado, please welcome my search for a European Anima – (a philosopher’s guide) as documented by someone who should know better.

Posted by Andy_in_Europe 04:27 Archived in Poland

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