Making friends in Warsaw
While travelling, your eyes are opened afresh every single day. One important thing I’ve learnt while travelling is: people are freaking amazing. They will help you in any way they can, if you just let them. Our society often pushes us to make it on our own, and asking for help might seem like a sign of weakness. But for me, it’s a sign of strength. Of showing you are brave, brave enough to say: Hey, in the end we’re all in this together and today I can’t do it on my own. Shirley MacLaine has been quoted to say: “The more I travelled the more I realized that fear makes strangers of people who should be friends”. She gets it down to a T.
I was originally going to stay in Kraków for one week, but my second Couchsurfing host cancelled my stay. I asked my first host if I can stay for an extra night and he gladly let me. But I needed to figure out where to go after that. I felt like I had already seen Kraków in the four days there, so I wanted to move on.
In my hostel in Zakopane I had met Tomasz, who lives in Warsaw. He had been praising the city so I decided to go there. And how did I find a place to stay on such short notice? I asked for help. Tomasz contacted his friend Rafał, who let me stay in his apartment for three nights. I feel extremely lucky to have met both Tomasz and Rafał who are probably the most fun Polish people you could ever come across! Tomasz also had days off while I was in Warsaw so I had great company every single day and someone to show me around the city!
Another place really worth visiting is the Invisible Exhibition. The exhibition gives a very good insight into everyday lives of blind people. After a short introduction into things like braille, visitors are taken into the exhibition. All the guides are blind, and for an hour, so are you. The exhibition consists of different rooms, such as a home, a park, the store, the street. It is pitch black inside so you can only use your other senses. The exhibition is – pardon the pun – extremely eye-opening.
I think things happen for a reason. If my Couchsurfing host in Kraków hadn’t cancelled, I probably wouldn’t have visited Warsaw at all. I had a really amazing time in Warsaw and I’m grateful for everything Tomas and Rafał did for me. And all because I had the courage to ask.