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Pain Fuels Life

POLAND | Tuesday, 30 September 2014 | Views [1378] | Comments [1]

When we first began planning our trip to Poland, most advice came in two categories. Both residents and travelers alike either recommended Warsaw or Krakow as the best city. Warsaw fans claimed Krakow was dull and touristy, while Krakow lovers were convinced there was nothing at all to do in Warsaw. Having made an enjoyable visit to Krakow once before with friends, I convinced my husband it was worthwhile, so we planned the majority of our time there. But we decided to spend time in Warsaw as well, to get our own feel for the two highly contested cities. Finally, since my husband loves coffee and I love him (and his coffee addiction) to pieces, we planned a short stay in Poznan to visit Stragan Kawairnia, a coffee shop off of this list and to help break up the long rides on the Polskibus.

Did I mention my husband loves coffee?Did I mention my husband loves coffee?

We started in Warsaw, where we spent 4 days exploring Old Town, eating pierogies till we were bloated, drinking Polish beer, and reveling in our first travel adventure together. We were then to have two days in Poznan, followed by 7 days in Krakow. Here is where the trouble began.

The Grand TheatreThe Grand Theatre

We did not want to leave. Upon first setting foot in Poznan our eyes met in unspoken agreement. This was a place we could call home. Our AirBnb hosts, Marcin and Dominic, were the kindest and most gracious people. Everyone in the city was friendly in fact, smiling, laughing, not caring at all that we didn't speak a lick of Polish.

A beautiful park and fountain across from the theatreA beautiful park and fountain across from the theatre

The food was spectacular, from pancakes at Manekin to "pierogies z piece" (dumplings from the oven) at Chatka Babuni. The city's connection with goats ranging from two butting heads at the clock tower, statues to "ride" in a square and even an aptly-named hostel was refreshing and quaint. Add to that the small-town feel, surprising in a city of over 500,000 people, and we were hooked.

Pancakes at Manekin, filled with mascapone and strawberriesPancakes at Manekin, filled with mascapone and strawberries

Yet we were to leave the next day in the early afternoon. Surprisingly, after only having been in town one short day, sipping on coffee, marveling at the beauty of the square, the river, and cathedral island, the feeling of being torn from home was overwhelming.

Lech brewery tour, highly recommended!Lech brewery tour, highly recommended!

As we boarded the bus for Krakow, I took a last longing glance over my shoulder at the  town that held my heart captive in its unassuming elegance. The gnawing in the pit of my stomach for the next 7 hours was not one of hunger.

Another angle in Old TownAnother angle in Old Town

Looking back, we could have easily changed our Polskibus tickets for a few złoty and possibly have shifted our AirBnb reservations to enjoy more time in Poznan. But sometimes this experience is necessary, even essential for the enjoyment of travel. If, as you drive off into the distance, you are satisfied with your length of stay, your level of exploration, what has been accomplished? Have you really "known" the city, experienced the culture? Possibly, but unlikely.

A pair of goats, worn on the backs from people "riding" them for photosA pair of goats, worn on the backs from people "riding" them for photos

Sometimes feeling a burning desire to stay, to keep going, to eventually return is what spurs us on to further travel in a city, a country, the world as a whole. The pain of departing often serves as an indicator of growth, connection and change, which is why we all travel in the first place: to become something different and better than what we are. Embrace the pain. Let it become the motivation behind your adventures.

One of my favorite views of the whole tripOne of my favorite views of the whole trip

Tags: heartbreak, leaving, life, pain, poland, poznan

Comments

1

soothing article. Poland's beauty.
I wrote a dissertation..comparative study of the Poor theatre of Jerzy Grotovski and Third Theatre of Badal Sircar. Poland suffered Holocaust and India suffered Partition. Throughout my research, i just felt how a misconception of one person can bring havoc on whole generation. Each day I pray this world should live in peace and harmony. We take birth and we die. Lets keep it simple.

  Vishakha Sen Mar 16, 2017 4:50 PM

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