Travel journal

01.Preparations

map, microscope, coffee
Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Beginning

This is how it started.

As it usually happens in life, not everything can be planned. Plans to save money, proper preparation were ruined. Although theoretically there is always the possibility of postponing the travel date, I strongly advise against it and I am not in favor of this. There will never be a perfect moment, perfect condition, perfect savings, etc. Just like in life – we never have 100% perfect, so also here. Postponing decisions in time is a sign of fear of the unknown and undiscovered. We are afraid to perform in front of people, change jobs, or just go on a trip around the world. We are afraid that we do not speak other languages, that we do not have money in our account or we are afraid of various dangerous situations.Contrary to appearances, the world is not just as we are fed by the media or the ubiquitous Internet, which, in the pursuit of sensation, inflates every incident to hysterical dimensions. Yes, the world is dynamic and changing. New threats appear, but let’s not get crazy. With a little common sense, some predictability and a conservative lifestyle, we can confidently explore and conquer the world. And never in history has travel been so accessible to ordinary people (like me) as it is today.

Believe it or not, I don’t have any savings for this trip, and life has verified my plans (as I mentioned) and thanks to the courtesy of a handful of people I am finalizing this plan as optimally as possible.

Last November weekend was approaching. I got rid of most of the equipment, clothes and books, and in the evening I stopped renting an apartment, officially becoming homeless. You do not even realize how much you can collect while living for a year. The most important things and documents went with my brother to Poznan, the rest were either distributed or ended up in a garbage container. I am packed in one backpack and through Warsaw I am going to Poznan for a concert. I have half a night of the train journey ahead of me and will stay at the train station until morning.

Saturday welcomed me with a frosty morning in Poznan. The sleepless night is also taking its toll on me. I try to be active in order to warm up the body, but it comes to me with great difficulty. The cold and bitter wind do not help me with anything. Around noon, I decided to go for a walk around the Old Town.

I know Poznan perfectly – although it has changed enormously over the years. I studied here two decades ago and I spent great student days here. Today, however, it is a completely different city that has always impressed me with pro-Western aspirations. It is closer to Berlin than the capital of Warsaw. It was here during my student days that I dreamed of traveling by the Trans-Siberian Railway. Who knows, maybe I can fulfill them. The trip is spontaneous, so everything is possible.

Town Hall with a christmas tree in Poznan.

When you are sleepy, time passes very slowly. Despite the late autumn sun rays, the cold penetrates my body and is unbearable. I can barely bear it and in the afternoon, tired, I reach my friend’s block. However, he is not in the apartment because he is at work. I am tired and decide to rest immediately. Two trees in the estate are enough for me to put up a hammock. I hang it quickly, to the surprise of older people walking their dogs, and lie down. I don’t care what happens, I am extremely tired – I have to close my eyes for a moment. I put the backpack under my head and, tucked into the down jacket, I cover myself with the hood. Even though only the tip of my nose is sticking out from under my jacket, I feel they are freezing, it is even cooler, and the wind is getting stronger. I remember my autumn / winter trips to Scandinavia or Iceland. It was similarly cold and maybe more frosty there and I managed, it will work here too. I give in to weariness and go to sleep for over an hour.

After a sleepless night, I can stretch myself in the hammock.

The freezing rain woke me up from my sleep. Chilled to the bone, I judged the situation, the backpack, the shoes were in their place, around the living spirit – even a dog would not go out in such weather. I looked at my watch, it was four in the afternoon.

The friend should be home by now – I thought. So I rolled up my hammock, picked up all my things and went to the meeting. Soon my brother arrived and my brother and I went to the Poznan International Fair for the birthday concert of Grabaż and his band “Pidżama Porno”.

 
Pidżama Porno birthday event
Birthday concerts are organized in Poznan on the first Saturday of December.

This is another sentimental journey. This is because the reactivated band “Pidżama Porno” returned to traditional birthday concerts at the beginning of December. And just like during my student days, I could sing to the rhythm of the group’s hits so well known to me.

Last meeting and concert with my brother.

A great concert, despite an incident that happened just before it started. I was hit with a plastic cup on the head by a boy who was really aggressive – why? I was unlucky to be standing there. A brother and another person neutralized him to avert the threat. I myself withdrew from the stage. My brother joined me after several minutes. It turned out that security and the police asked his brother to talk about the situation behind the scenes. The aggressive young man was asked to leave the concert. From that moment on, we had fun singing old hits from our student years. Throat torn – great.

The next day I was resting after yesterday’s impressions. Originally, today I was supposed to be flying to Oslo and further to Asia, but due to the fact that I was not scheduled to visit the office until 04/12, I was forced to change my plans. I borrow and rebook the ticket. On December 10, I will be flying from Copenhagen to Krabi, Thailand. It is the last transfer window before Christmas at a reasonable price. Later, ticket prices are high.

Having an unplanned additional week of stoppage, I return to Lodz for a few days. The owner agreed that I should work this week. However, thoughts circulate more and more intensively around the trip. I am feverishly looking for an insurer to insure myself and a doctor’s office where I can get vaccinated. Contrary to appearances, both tasks are not easy and obvious. After a few hours, I find a doctor’s office – I will be vaccinated tomorrow afternoon. In small steps forward. I find accommodation with friends.

Time is passing faster and faster – vaccinations today. The upfront costs can be terrifying. You can also argue whether it is worth vaccinating or not? However, I assumed that ideology should be put aside. I am traveling to another part of the world and if even a little vaccine is to protect me from disease, I really have nothing to think about.

My advice.
If you want to get vaccinated comprehensively - plan it at least six months in advance. My first mistake - two weeks before my departure, I decided to get vaccinated.

It takes most of your time to be fully vaccinated against viral hepatitis. Approximate costs are as follows (they may vary depending on the place where you vaccinate – costs are also reluctantly given and you find out about them during an interview with a doctor):

viral hepatitis (type A and B)
PLN 240 / € 53

I had the biggest problem with this vaccine - I looked for it for a week because many immunization offices did not have it in stock. To have 100% immunity for life, you need to take three doses - the second after 1 month and the third after 6 months. For obvious reasons (lack of time), I only took one dose.

typhoid fever
PLN 235 / € 52

One dose providing protection for 4 years

tetanus, whooping cough, diphtheria, polio
PLN 160 / € 35

One vaccination with immunity to 10 years is required.

rabies
PLN 165 / € 36

Vaccination should be taken in three doses - the second after a week, the third after three weeks.

So the bill came out simple – PLN 800 / € 176 plus PLN 100 / € 22 (consultation with a travel / tropical diseases doctor).

I was also planning a visit to Japan, so I could use a vaccination against Japanese encephalitis. However, the price – over PLN 400 / € 88 per dose (you have to take two doses) was too expensive for me, and they didn’t have the vaccine in stock.

Vaccination against cholera is also recommended (two doses of PLN 190 / € 42 – here I agreed that I would optionally take it next time.

As for the procedure, the entire visit lasted about 30 minutes – I received four vaccinations alternately in both arms, without any allergic or pain problems.

Before the weekend, the last repackage of the backpack – I only take a small backpack weighing 7 kg with me. Therein:

These are all my belongings that will travel with me as hand luggage. The rest of my belongings came with my brother earlier and are sealed in the basement with a friend in Poznan.

I’m wearing thicker clothes (it’s freezing after all), as soon as I land in Thailand I will get rid of unnecessary clothes.

I don’t take medications and repellants with me – there are pharmacies there too, I can buy them on the spot. Similarly, when it comes to my other things, I will buy them gradually as needed.

Last weekend stayed in the country. I use it to visit my friends in Frankfurt (Oder). After the weekend, I return to Poznan – my departure base.

In a dozen or so hours I am starting an irreversible journey that will change my life (I hope). May I be lucky. Keep your fingers crossed – World – I am coming.

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