Saturday, September 5, 2015

Barcelona 1

New chapter, half year for a little retreat..

As many of you know, I study in Amsterdam in Hotelschool The Hague. Part of my education is to go abroad twice, first time after the first year and second time by the end of the bachelor program.
A month ago I started new chapter of my life calls “Barcelona”, yeah in this city I haven’t lived before J. As almost everything in my life, it was spontaneous and unpredicted decision to leave Amsterdam and go there. Few weeks ago I wrote that I will go to Bangkok and start my internship over there. That was the plan, which has changed due to some circumtances. Because of  being rejected from Bangkok, I had some time to think about my life, in which everything has to be always planned, however those plans never meet my expectations. Why is that ? is it just my imagination? Is this what I have to change ? to be honest I’ve been thinking a lot about my destinations and why I am going to those places… after weeks of sleepless nights  I came to the conclusion that everything happens for  reason. I know, the phrase is old and everyone knows it, however the question is if everybody understands it ? repeat over someone this sentence is very easy, but when your plans turn into ruins ,  you start to understand what this phrase really means. Then you analyze your last moves and you see that  .. Everything happens for a reason 

As you know, my new life in Colombia started very unpredictable, fast and without planned it before. If you are new on my blog, I can shortly say that I was about to move to USA and…. I landed in Colombia J

The goal of this post is to make you see how unpredictable life is and plans we make aren’t necessary. Those plans keep us busy, keep us safe in our comfort zone then we do not worry about anything else but we stick to the plan.

What happens when suddenly our plan changes into something totally opposite ? accept it.

Everything happens for the reason… this sentence took me from Amsterdam to Barcelona for 6 months. I can say that I got tired of constantly moving, however I know that it is good for me and for my self -development. I am young, almost 21, I just started my life. However I miss one little piece- HOME. I was 15 when I moved out from my family house and now I know it was obviously too early. I was hungry for a world, I wanted to travel everywhere, never stick to one person, never stay at one place longer than 2-3 I decided to travel and do international schools around the world. In 6 years I lived in Colombia, Poland, Netherlands and besides everyday life I have been travel to Japan for 3 months, back to Colombia, back to Poland, back to everywhere where I wanted to…
I don’t regret these 6 years, however now I miss home. I miss having one base, one home, one place where I can always come back after short holidays. I know it is a bit impossible because of my career I chose, however I’ve learned how HOME plays enormous role in our lives and how planning doesn’t help in living.

So I accepted Barcelona as it is. I have a really nice-dreamed internship. I am a first contact when meetings are taking place in a hotel ( W HOTEL BARCELONA) I have  nice flat, nice roommates, I am meeting new people  and everyday is different for me. No routine, which I miss but I know its good for me to live this simple-holiday alike life. Its good to not have any routine, live the fullest and do not worry about anything.
 Last months, showed me that I should really go with the flow, take everything what they offer me, do not make any plans and do not expect anything from anyone.
So my goal for upcoming 6 months is to think a lot about myself. Take care about my health, my body, my soul- Little retreat before I will come back to Amsterdam.  I got a plan, which I will share with you in couple of weeks, now I wanna keep it for myself and start doing something to calm down, to stop follow, to become healthier and stronger.

To finish, if you will come to Barcelona one day, please do not hesitate to contact me and meet me for a coffee ! honestly saying,  two weeks ago I met one of my blog reader and it was such a funny day on the beach in Barcelona !

xx Natalia

Friday, June 26, 2015

motivate others, motivate yourself and spread positivity...

And it is happening. I became the most happy person the world. Remember my post about giving more from yourself and therefore you will receive double ? yes. so I am now the best example of it. Recently, I had a very bad period of time. I was very stressed, I had to work my ass off and study even more, I had to find time for my friends and therefore I couldnt combine all these things together. What happened today, I just found out that all my entire family is coming to Amsterdam for a weekend to cheer me up, to attend parents day at my university, to be with me.. The message I would like to deliver now is, that no matter what is happening there are always those amazing caring people for you.   
" even miracles take time to come.." and yeah.. In exactly few hours my 4 miracles are coming here, for me. 
Right now, I decided to not taking care of anything, which is not worth to but to take care of people and things that really matter for me. Our everyday concerns are about rubbish. We think about the things, which are the least important. Whatever you do and you feel like you cannot do it anymore- breath, take a break, think about the goods you have around you and think about your little pearls. PEARLS ? yes. they say "collect moments, not things" and so I do it. I have just few more days in Amsterdam to finish my first year and what I can say, very honest, that I wasted so much time on people and things, which were not worth it. But it was a good lesson. I feel so strong now. and it didn't come after few weeks of trying, but after  months. Today is actually the day, which made me realize all those things. You may ask how come? how can I leave the things behind and focus on the priorities ? That was my question from the past weeks, and because of today's surprise, that my parents, little sister and my brother are coming just for a 2 days to be with me, as they were really worried about me,  and  that they want to show me the love of people who care the most about me.. 

I made really nice friendships during this year, also I have my best friends in Colombia and in Poland. I have my family and I love everyone but with the different quality of love. This is the most important for me after this year:  getting to know more good people,  feel the inner happiness and spreading the smile around. When you smile, others smile. When you see tired  and sleepy people, who don't have energy anymore, please stop. tell them compliment, joke with them and believe me that you will make their day. it really works. 
For the last 3 weeks I had to make myself super busy in order to not think about my concerns, so basically I was working 18 hours daily, at school and my part time job. My body and my brain were exhausted but even then, I felt like I am the one who have to cheer others up. I was always giving everything what the best from myself to others. Everyday at my work, fine dining restaurant in Amsterdam I was treating every guest super special. I left my personal issues behind, I was smiling, running with a tray full of glasses, which weighted like 5kg. I was never thinking about the money but about giving the best out of me and make them also feel special. I am really happy and I feel unique how my parents raised me up. 
Dear Mom or Dear Dad, if you are reading this now, please accept my biggest words of being thankful of how you raised me, how you showed me the world and especially how the happiest person  I am that I know all these things what I know now.  Its only because of you both and your efford. 
And now the time, which just came now-  to pay me off all the tryings and painful moments is just priceless. The moment, when you realize that you made x number of people happy - it is the most beautiful moment. It takes time, as everything. And time is the only 'thing' you can never resit. Thats why when you feel like you didnt do enough for others, when you feel that you have to catch up with your family, friends, the moment when you feel that you want to do something for others..  - DO IT IMMEDIETALY. there is always the right moment to do it. It is never too late. forget about the stupid fights, forget about what happened in the past. Focus on yourself, focus on being good and  be a kind person. 
motivate others, motivate yourself and spread positivity. 
for everyone, enjoy your deserved holidays and all the summer. 
with the word of being grateful for all my family and friends,

Monday, April 20, 2015

World citizen

World citizen.  Sounds fancy doesn’t it ? the more I live in Amsterdam , more people like me I meet. And believe me- I love it because of this very fast click between us. Fast click? Yeaa we kinda have the same things  in common, we had to leave our ‘mother country’ when we both were quite young, we started to explore the world and we are always ready for spontaneous trip anywhere. 

If you recognize this behavior, please PM me haha J

Saying honestly, I’ve been thinking about this topic a lot since  a few months already, especially since  last august when I moved to Amsterdam. There is no day when I am not asked 
where are you from ? “ and then everybody can see this little smile on my face… why? Because it is really hard to define where I am from since my heart is divided around the word. Born in Germany, then lived in Poland, then moved to Colombia where I made family & friends who are from every part of the world, then the Netherlands, where now I am starting to making really good friends… and next half year,  from September I will move to Bangkok for the next 6 months. So… WHERE AM I FROM? The answer isn’t easy at all. they say that you are from where your family is.. but.. no, i don not agree at all.  Having very important people on every continent in the world doesn’t help at all to define this question. But what is more, I realized that I am not the only one, I meet more and more people who have the same issues. Last week, I met a really nice guy who is German,  left piece of his heart in Mexico and another part in China and now he lives in NL.. We were laughing how difficult is define “where are we from”?
Of course there are a  lot of advantages and disadvantages of this situation. The advantages are pretty clear;  being open minded, knowing perception of different cultures, knowing how to behave when cultures collide, having family and friends around the glob, non stop traveling etc… however I have noticed that no one never talks about disadvantages which occur after a while, when being abroad for a longer time.. and this you have to keep in mind, if you decide to leave your home country to discover a world ( especially when you are very young, like I was 15 when I decided to take my future in  my hands and discover the world )

When you are teenager you don’t really realize how much you need your home, parents, friends from local high school… you would like to escape as far as possible to not be bored anymore at one place you live longer than you want to. So the next step, very easy one actually is to find organization with which you will go abroad for a specific period of time. Then the last one, you finally pack your suitcase, crying,  cause you are not sure anymore if you want to do it, if this all is worth it all, you have doubts… but you have your ticket, your host family is waiting for you and what is more… the world is waiting for you. After the last hugs at the airport, after 15 hours of flight you are finally there and then every doubt you had, suddenly doesn’t exist anymore. Why? Because you are at new place, you want to know yourself better, finally you are on your own.  That’s actually what I felt when I arrived in Cucuta, Colombia in 2011.

Bet let me be honest and talk in present, 2015.

As I mentioned before, it is really hard to answer the question regarding my nationality. Of course my passport is Polish, but my heart is everywhere. Is it good or is it bad ? the opinions are divided. I cannot deny the fact that it was too early to leave home, cause right now I really don’t know where is my home. Of course my biological parents and siblings live in Poland so I should call Poland home, but I don’t. I have too many feelings towards other people and I feel connected to so many other different places and countries that I just don’t have one home. And again the question, is it good or is it bad ? or maybe this is my destiny. To travel, to discover and do not wonder about the things that ‘normal’ people do ? I think it should be my answer. On the other hand, the older I am , the more I think about settling down. Ok, I am just 21 this year but  believe me , it is heartbreaking seeing my friends or my 2nd halves to leave to another country or to their home countries. What is more, I have also noticed that if I have to express myself in one sentence it would be “ non stop looking
‘ non stop looking ‘ for what ? yeah, I cannot answer this question now, but it is true, I am non stop looking for something I haven’t defined yet.

Especially now, in April there is a period when your finals are coming and you think about having a gap year and going abroad to find and explore sth new. Right? Think about it as for defined period of time, one year , few months and you will be back, fully ready to study. But is it true? That after months on the other continent with totally different people you can just like that come back to your home country and start living as you lived before ? NO. trust me and other exchange students I talk to.. that this is not possible at all. once you decided to leave your home for longer than just holidays, then you will never come back the same person. unless you did not like the hosts, country or new culture.. then you will be homesick and want to come back home asap. And actually this version happens in 80% of people who decide to have a gap year in totally different culture. Why does it happen so often? because not everyone is ready for it or born to do it. and there is nothing wrong with that. trust me, nothing wrong. People with a strong sense of home and home country do not fall into other countries and other 'families' as people like me. Example; my exchange year in Colombia. We were 12 exchange students in my city, around 60 exchange students in Colombia ( mostly from Europe and USA ) and believe me or not.. only I came back twice per year, only I have a strong relationship with my family and friends there, only I fell into Colombianos and only I want to do something big for this country ( secret for now ) only I am crazy and skype every sunday, only I come back for every Xmas leaving my biological family to spend this magical time with people who fell into me and I fell into them. logical? not for everyone... but this is just an example. It has nothing in common with easily adaptation in other country, but with a heart and personality. People who know me well, they know how hard is being me. Recently I was asked a question " How is being you, Natalia " ? so now I can ask you the same question... I am not going to answer here, but please, think about yourself..

More thoughts regarding being a ‘ world citizen’ will come..
But in a meanwhile..
If you ever spent in Bangkok more than a month, not as a tourist, please shoot me an email                    ( with some tips.  I am going there by the end of September and will be under contract of the W hotel. I will very appreciate anything you can tell me about this city or in general south Asia as I have never been in this part of the world.

Have a nice week
un beso


Friday, March 20, 2015

Colombia missing

Exactly 2 months since I came back from Colombia. And I started really miss it. 
Family. Friends. The vibe. The sun. the smile. The care. The values.

What I still develop inside me is my family value, which the oldest followers know. When I moved to Colombia I was young, European teenager, who knew everything what home and modern society was teaching. Now,  I call it ‘ the bubble’, in which most of the people still are. What is the bubble ? it’s a house, car, money, holidays, clothes, parties ..our everyday life. I thought I had perfect life because I had everything I wanted… Until I went to Colombia.. and I saw how the life really looks like and how should look like.
 Most of you probably still don’t understand how family is important in our life. I have never realized before living in Colombia that I was not used to tell people how important they are for me and how I love them. What has changed, now I cannot imagine a day without telling at least one person about his/her importance in my life. Well, the emotions and experiences I had in Colombia, created a person like I am now and believe me or not but I am very happy with myself, who I became and who I still want to develop.
 I feel like 15 years in Europe meant nothing and taught me nothing. First family parties, first people around me, first everything was just done in a very unusual way. People who have travelled or lived in Colombia may already notice the warmth of people’s heart , who say ‘ hola, como estas ? ‘ and they really mean that.  First family bdays, first xmas with my grandparents, first hearing about emotions and love -out loud- made me notice the importance of the second person (friend/boyfriend/girlfriend) or family in life. I noticed that all the material things we own mean nothing if you cannot share them with the people who really love you. In Colombia family is saint, you will always find time for them, you will call your parents everyday to check how they are, you will be for them every time. Why ? because you care, not because you have to.

Friends- to Cristina, Hugo, Pacho
In Colombia I also learned what is the real friendship. After coming back to Europe, there is no single day when I don’t think about my dearest Cristina, Hugo y Pacho and of course  every time I talk to them, I feel like we will always be for each other, no matter what I can always count on them and they can always count me. Bonding with people is very important, but we have to select them. We have to collect ‘the pearls’ instead of shells, which will never be able to open. Honestly saying, at my uni I attended 4 mindfulness classes, in which I built up my thoughts about people around me. I love people and I cannot imagine my life without them and that is why I would like to offer them as much as I can.
Pacho, Cristina, Hugo, Me- typical party at my place :)

I was thinking about taking good vibes from people, keep it for myself, develop and then spread them over. I have noticed that a lot of people feel just left alone, they are in the wrong environment and they pretend to be happy, instead of giving the best of themselves. I am not responsible for other people lives but I would like to make everyone happy, which sounds ridiculous but it is still possible. How ? by compliment them everyday, saying nice word.  The simplest example, but I can say that I am a bit proud of it happened 2 weeks ago, just before ‘ women day’ in Europe. I went out with my friend for a dinner and when we were walking back home I saw beautiful pink roses. I thought “ lets buy them and have a cozy pinky room with smell of 20 pretty roses” however when I entered to the campus I changed my mind and I decided to give all those 20 roses away to girls and see if  they will smile. Believe me or not, but there wasn’t a girl who didn’t smile and who didn’t say thank you, from the heart.
At this point I was pretty sure that I made theirs evening. And what now? I gave away many roses to the girls I have never met, now we always say Hi to each other and even sit together and have a cigarette between classes, exchanging everyday experience and just smile to each other to make our day better J
Trust me, that with the simplest thing you can make someone’s day.

You may ask yourself why am I writing this here, isn’t suppouse to be a blog about Colombia and cultural things ? well, it is actually. Because without Colombia I would never realized these beautiful things and values in myself. 
That’s why friends are for, that’s what my 3 dearest Colombians taught me all these things, by giving a small spark everyday and by showing me the smile I should give to other people.

The vibe and the smile.

Look at this picture and I don’t believe you wont smile J

the picture on your right : after almost 30 hours of travel, my biggest luggage stayed in NYC, so why not having fun at the airport as a typical Colombiana does? climbing up on this band was always my dream :))

my brother and me, Bogota, December 2014 

The values :
 Here I have to stop for now. I hope I gave you enough inspiring thoughts that you will figure them out by yourself. Mines, I will keep for myself.

Ps. Getting out of the topic,
 For summer/ late summer I have group of young 10-15 group of Polish people who will fly to Colombia. If you would like to join them, please do not hesitate to email me (you can find my email address in the right corner). The plan is to see and experience real Colombia. Low cost budget, lot of experience. It is going to be fun !!!