Hello, my name’s Tom!
Add the “asz” ending to the English version of my name and there we go – that’s how I am officially called in Poland – that’s where I come from.
Throughout my short life I have successfully managed to master a fairly large set of skills, among these – the ability to postpone everything till ‘tomorrow’, making something out of nothing and conversely – seeing nothing interesting in doing something which quite a few people would recommend me to do (‘forget the creativity, originality and spontaneity, work your ass off, plan your career, live the stable life and don’t even try to stand out of the crowd!’). These are just some of the finest examples.
However there is one ability I’ve never succeeded in mastering – to stay in one place for longer than a few minutes without my legs itching to change their physical location.
The world around with its endless curiosities, diverse cultures and tons of various ways to live a lifestyle of a madman seemed to be just way too interesting for me to be stranded in the same geographical coordinates.
Back in 2009, at the age of 19, just after finishing my high school, I raised my thumb on the roadside in my hometown in Poland hoping to get a lift which would take me as far as to the Lithuanian border (roughly 300 miles). Just to realize that my first driver could only take me to a small town located only about 15 miles from home.
But this is how my first intrepid travel experience started, taking me all the way through Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia to the Southern stretches of Finland. And that was the first time I’ve learned that less than 10 euros a day is definitely a reasonable budget for Europe, allowing even for the moderate consumption of beer.
Since then I got completely addicted to the travel lifestyle of an intrepid fox and the way of sightseeing I call the ‘stray cat experience’ (upon ticking off all the ‘must sees’ take the random bus to the random location in the city you are currently in, get lost in the area around and see what curiosities will you face).
Hitchhiking got so terribly embedded in the deepest realms of my mind that even if I sit comfortably on the driver’s seat (which fortunately for everyone rarely happens), I keep on looking at the roadside, hunting for some good hitching spots.
CouchSurfing proved to me that not only it’s possible to travel nearly for free while meeting the greatest human beings in the universe but also that the leather couch occupying the living room at my parents’ home is definitely not the most comfortable I’ve ever napped on.
Leaving my motherland and settling down on a tiny island called Britain, I’ve soon completed the prerequisite for not being treated like a lunatic anymore (read: I’ve graduated from the uni/college), in the meantime having tons of fun thumbing my way around Europe, with the average budget of 10 euros a day. (less that I would spend during one beer session in one of London’s pubs)
Soon I’ve realized that my travel stories received quite a strong attention from my friends (and my family worrying constantly whether I would finally give up my habit of sleeping on the train/bus/petrol stations). That’s why I thought that it actually wouldn’t be such an appallingly terrible idea to establish a written online resource containing some of my finest (or quirkiest) experiences from the road, rail and air.
After months of saying “tomorrow I will work on the layout!”, in the late 2012, a few days after the end of the world I’ve finally established this website. And then I decided to take it down. And then set it up again. Probably for a bit longer now.
Right now I’m continuing what’s gotta be the most exciting chapter of mylife. Being literally sick of the eye-candies of Europe, I’ve left everything behind, moving on to the far East. And it’s been the hell of a journey and the brand new lifestyle so far. Otherwise why would I spend three years battling with the everyday struggles of living and travelling in Asia?
I’ve gotta say I’m also a language learning addict. Besides English and Polish, Mandarin Chinese is my strongest language, closely followed by Russian. Give me some time (and booze) and there’s a high chance we’ll have a fairly acceptable (if not a little painful) conversation in German and Spanish too. All in all, I seriously believe that language skills are as important when on the road as the possession of the passport and the spare pair of boxer shorts.
Whatever I do and wherever my road takes me – I will be more than glad if you would like to join me. All in all Chinese expressways cater for the really L A R G E number of users. There is clearly enough room for all of us!
Join me on my travels and get inspired by whatever I experience and whatever I do on the road. Maybe except yelling “this is panda style!” while dancing to that famous radio chart Korean tune on the stage in the local club in Chengdu, wearing a cute panda hat. Go for an Angry Bird instead.
Wish you tons of fun! Enjoy!