Poland:If These Walls Could Talk…

Our 2-month stay in Poland is coming to an end tomorrow, and we will definitely be back. We have had an amazing time here, but what is really on my mind, is the story behind the Poland we see now. What the walls would say if they could talk. I’ll start with this picture…DSCN8967.JPG

You will notice many different colors and varying ages of brick. This is the side of the Malbork Castle, which was 50% destroyed during WW2. I’d read history books, but walking through it has a different effect. The scars from destruction on buildings, and stories from locals, planted many questions in my mind about why people (my ancestors included) left here, what life was really like and what has happened. This led me to study more about the history of Poland while here.

Discovering in detail the sheer brutality and oppression that has occurred on this land, in the not so distant past, is hard to comprehend. Families just like mine, just like so many I know back home, suffered to the full extent of the word.  My family lost track of relatives during WW2, and I am sure this is the case for far too many other families. With 6 of the 8 death camps from WW2 being located in Poland, this country experienced millions of people lost; brothers, sisters, grandmothers, aunts, uncles.

I learned that those who did survive, were then under communist rule by the USSR until 1989, and were on food rations and strict surveillance. A photographer captured photos that speak volumes from the time when martial law was enforced, though he wasn’t able to develop them in Poland at the time due to the socialist surveillance system. 1989 puts Poland with 26 years of independence now.

We noticed how others our age are very aware of current events and their history here, and I can understand why; such harsh  events happened very recently.

It is a good thing to see families abound in Poland now, businesses thrive, store shelves overflow and buildings are being constructed everywhere. I am thankful that despite horrible tragedy and violence, there is now independence, freedom and growth.

A few of our favorite things about Poland were:

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Baltic Amber

Delicious Food and Great Drinks

Great Architecture and Beautiful Churches

Lots of Birds

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The Castles

Great Public Transportation

Malls with Good Products

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Beautiful Parks and Landscapes

and Friendly People

Now we travel on from here. Tomorrow we will pack up our bags, check out and head to our next destinations in Italy. We are very interested to see how it is…

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Take-away from Poland: A life where food is sufficient, a house is available, and a person is free to go about daily life as they choose, is truly something to be thankful for. Many people have had these basics of life taken from them, and longed to simply hear their child’s laugh again, have a warm home, or have a full plate of food.

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5 Jobs That Can Be Done From Anywhere

The more we travel, the more we meet other travelers, and everyone makes money in different ways. Digital nomads of many trades are common. With questions about how one can travel and work, here are just a few jobs I’ve come across that can be done from..well…anywhere!1149321_4461935765084_57536907_o

  1. Teaching English

Teaching English is in demand in many places around the world, and we have met several people who do so in foreign countries, as well as online. Jobs ranged from weekly Skype calls, to tutoring locals independently, to teaching in institutions.  While a BA/BS is preferred, one is not required by law in many countries in South America, Central America and Eastern Europe (although some institutions will have their own requirements). An accredited TEFL certification can increase the chances of getting a job too. TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) is a 4-6-week intensive course which teaches practical training and different language methodologies.

Here you can see a chart on teaching English abroad in 50 countries, their education requirements, visa rules, estimated pay and some other good info.

2. Translation

Knowing two or more languages is also a ticket to working from anywhere. The globally connected marketplace needs translators who aren’t tied to an office. Translation jobs are available online through dedicated translation sites like Proz or Translatorscafe. Additionally, freelancing platforms like Freelancer have a translation category with many opportunities. If wanting to translate professionally, going through the ATA certification can help to gain credibility, as it is one of the most respected and recognized credentials.

3. Web Design

We have also come across web designers who have cut the cord from their corporate jobs to go for it solo from any remote location they choose. Quality web designers are highly sought online, and the average rate as of 2015 is reported at $21/hour. While training and experience is required, those who have it are sitting on their ticket to work from anywhere.

4. Research Assistant

I never knew that being an efficient Google searcher was worth money, but that is a highly sought after skill set. Many companies are looking to outsource research for a wide range of topics, from cold calling lists, to the latest research on robotics. Flexjobs is just one of the websites offering remote research gigs.

5. Writing

Lastly is writing. There are so many types of writing that can generate income. English speakers are in high demand and jobs are available for writing anything from short stories, to blogs, to glossaries, to birthday cards. There are also big opportunities in sales, legal and technical writing. We have met many people in the writing business, on many levels. Freelancewritinggigs, Guru and Freelancer are a few places offering jobs.

These 5 jobs are just a few that can be done from anywhere, many thanks to the digital age.  The internet has opened up  opportunities that weren’t available a decade ago, granting freedom to work from home, an iPad or another country. Woohoo!

My 10 Favorite Shots by Jr. Photographer Slade Regier

Slade Regier is 7 years old and loves to take pictures as he travels. He took over 200 pictures in Old Town Gdansk, Poland and chose his 10 favorites to share with you.

These are all SHOT, EDITED AND WRITTEN ABOUT by him. I’ll hand it over to Slade from here…

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This is the pirate ship in the Old Town and I like all of the details on it.

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This is amber. You can find it at the beach here on the Baltic Sea, but it is kind of hard to find. I like amber because it looks super cool carved into stuff.

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This is the sunset in Old Town Gdansk and we get to see it every night. And, sometimes, we go out on this bridge that’s outside and take pictures.

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I like this picture because it’s a picture of me and my stuffed animal named Sharky.

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These are swans, you may have seen these before, but there are a lot of them here!

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This is the picture of the sun reflecting off of the water. We went down the bridge to take this picture.

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This is a picture of leaves, but I edited it so it looks way cooler.

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This is a picture of the bridge that we took the sunset picture off of.

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This is a picture of bricks. They are piled up outside about 13 steps away from our house.

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This is a picture I took of a bright red door that looked super cool.

Thank you for reading this if you did read it!

-Slade Regier

Why Would Someone Be a Perpetual Tourist?

If you could do anything, what would it be?

Skydive?

Go to space?

Be a doctor?

For us, we have always had the itch to travel. We like to go, see, and experience what’s out there.

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This “itch” has inspired us to adapt our lifestyle so we can travel and take pictures year around. But what is it about travel that gets us? Why would someone be a perpetual tourist?

One could answer “Why not!?”, but there is a real answer and it’s not the sights, food or culture per se.

As we see amazing places in Poland, we have all felt in awe. We have been struck with curiosity about the origins of certain places; what are the stories and inspirations behind these massive structures with insanely intricate details?

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We have enjoyed days together in beautiful places, bursting with fall colors like we’ve never seen.

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At the end of they day, ARE these things at the heart of our desire to travel? There has to be a very good reason because…it is not easy. We make sacrifices, we miss family, we miss friends, we create our own income and we only own what we can carry. (Think about all the things you would leave behind if you could only carry one suitcase.)

Then there’s the problems that peek their pesky heads at the darnedest of times. Whether it is a lightning storm that knocks out the power for 3 days (when our entire business is online), or a life threatening pancreas attack that put one of us in a foreign hospital. Shit happens and we have had to fight for what we want. lightning

So what makes travelling important enough to us that we are willing to subject ourselves to this? In the most challenging moments, the reason is uncovered.

It comes down to asking what we want out of life.

Will we settle for anything less than what we want? Will we make excuses and work jobs we never wanted? Will we trade freedom for comfort and convenience?

Hell no. All the hard parts that we work through, reap to us the life that we want. Living our dream is only hindered by excuses, complacency and fear, and it is realized by facing those fears and being honest with ourselves.

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So as for the reason why someone would become a perpetual tourist, it’s not just the delicious food, fine wines, pubs, friends, diverse cultures, beautiful sights, adventurous lifestyle or the excitement. That comes and it goes.

It is the process that subtly unfolds.

Questions abound, which beg to be answered. Limits are pushed. Comfort zones are eliminated. We are humbled as we make fools of ourselves in different languages. We are tested. We grow. Each place reveals a new understanding of the this planet we live on. We gain a greater understanding of what is going on on a larger scale.

By travelling, we scratch that itch within us that desires to learn without ceasing;perpetually.

There are many paths to take in this life, and that’s ours as of now. What has inspired you to choose yours?