One Way to Greece

One Way to Greece

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Shall we, my love? Let's go! Hello, people call me Niko I hope you're in a good mood We'll be focusing now on our beatiful journey from Poland to Greece, that we did in 2021 But I want to share with you a little bit of how it all started We go back to the 29th of March 2015 And at that time I was living in Poland I had a Greek lesson with a German Erasmus student in the middle of the afternoon and it was a Sunday and later she has invited me to an event where people gather and share about different topics That day was about bicycles and travelling I do remember well That day they played the movie 'Janapar' which was the spark of my rebirth On that particular day, I knew what I had to do Two bike trips and one backpacking journey later It was time for me to share this amazing experience with someone and it's on the 26th of April 2021 that Gosia and I started this journey without having an idea where it would end Last year, me and Niko went on an epic journey regardless of the pandemic regardless of the worst heatwave in 30 years It was Niko's third long-term bike trip and for me, it was the first It was beautiful and challenging at the same time with many unforgettable one-in-a-lifetime experiences This trip taught me more than any job could Most importantly, how to be happy accept the unknown and live in the present You might be wondering, why we've decided to go to Greece Greece is special in our hearts because Niko is half Greek and he wanted to go back to the roots. He's already cycled on his own to Greece from Poland in 2017 and this time we wanted to do it together You're curious why I wanted to give it a go? I wanted to see if I can do it and what comes with it I was craving an adventure with its highs and lows filled with laughter and tears the most breathtaking views and the most challenging hours that eventually taught me how to change my perspective from the negative to positive, when I really really felt like I just wanted to give up now, whenever there is a challenging situation in my life I focus on one positive thing it helps me to get through it the same way it helped me to climb a steep road in 40 degrees weather and 30 kilos on my bike I've known only one big challenge in our bike trip it was actually to acknowledge my growing frustration for each time that I slowed down, stopped or restrained myself and fully adapt my pace and needs to Gosia's all these decisions were taken by me and I needed to take responsibility over my feelings I realised, that if I were her having such an experience for the very first time I would probably have given up, or else I needed to remember that we are all different by experience She made it through and did improve a lot She tried to catch me, so many times and getting on her nerves as she saw that she could not and I grew patient and I know that she has changed a lot with her own strength and capabilities I really admire her It's true, there were some tough moments during the trip I wanted to quit twice The first time it was just before Belgrade Serbia was actually one of the most welcoming countries we passed on our way however, the drivers there are a bit crazy They don't see you because you're on a bike and they give you no space when they pass you by I remember that we camped outside of Belgrade and decided to take the main road along the Danube that was leading to the city at one point I was paralysed on the side of the road with so much traffic and no one giving me even a tiny bit of space I was afraid to move Niko was of great support at that time He came back to look for me calmed me down and gave me strength to continue he also suggested attaching a high visibility vest onto a stick that I placed across my side bags that gave a clear sign to the drivers to give me some space on the road without Niko I wouldn't be able to do that journey he always found ways to cheer me up and give me energy to move forward, he was very patient with my changing moods and for that I'm grateful One of the other tough moments was in Greece We experienced one of the worst heatwaves they've had in 30 years with wildfires ravaging natural forests, destroying peoples' homes and livelihood it was scary - γεια σας (hello) - kαλημέρα (good morning) - που μένετε (?) sorry we don't speak Greek - where do you stay? Lavrion σήμερα Lavrion (today Lavrion) - it's not allowed to be here in the forest ah really? sorry - because we have problem with fire - so you must only the city - only city, only city πάμε μέχρι Lavrion (we go to Lavrion) ok ok ευχαριστώ (thank you) - have a nice day Thank you καλη συνεχεια (good day) Little did we know that this forestry area we passed through would be on fire just a couple of days later when we were coming back to Lavrion from Kea island I wanted to quit twice but I managed to pull through and I'm really grateful for that I wanted to continue with the adventure, see where it takes me and that curiosity was stronger than fear Apart from challenges we had plenty of beautiful moments during the trip some of them were just climbing a ridiculously long way up and admiring the views but most of the time the most beautiful moments were the ones with people we met on our way We spent a weekend cycling with our friends in Boruszowice We were laughing all night We filled the space with djembe sounds and interesting conversations Guys, we're doing it What we've planned and what we wanted to do together, we're doing it We're cycling together in Boruszowice yea, we're leaving Boruszowice we're getting to... Tarnowskie Góry! I'm tired just kidding! We met a Polish-Greek family in Ząbkowice Śląskie where they have a little Greek restaurant called 'Mała Grecja' They offered us food, place to stay for the night we communicated in Polish, Greek and English and exchanged a lot during those couple of hours that we spent together it was amazing We still keep in touch and video chat from time to time We also met Vuk and his family in Serbia We talked about life, and music and the universe The things that we are part of but in daily life we kind of forget how connected we are with each other and the world We met a Polish-French couple that hosted us in Jelenia Góra They went themselves on bikes from France to New Zealand and they shared their stories with us, which was inspiring We met Steffanio on a pier in Slovenia and Slobodan in Serbia We met a lot of friendly people on our way and we want to say Thank You for your kindness interest in our journey and generosity We will never forget that The more I travelled, the more I was convinced that borders should not matter anymore it's again just a mind creation that grew bigger and bigger through centuries and that served only egoistic people I've crossed almost all Balkan countries and was amazed so many times by the resemblance of the people from a country to another like Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia and so on they share so much like language, culture-wise, music-wise dance, dishes, other customs and so on but unfortunately may still hate each other because of the past political conflicts they grew with Balkan people are far different from the limited perception of the ones that do not travel much and I secretly wished that everyone should do long term travelling whatever the way, and wherever they wish to go for the change that happens within you since I've started travelling I feel it would be worth for everybody to get out of their comfort zone so you say that travelling definitely helps you to learn more about yourself, discover more your true self? yes, yes, definitely because at the end it's only, all the experience that you have along your life, or along your journey, like we did it's only happening inside, so after all, it's only, you know, experiencing oneself and knowing more about oneself and would you do it again, bike trip? yes! right now - where would you go? pretty much anywhere I would say we discussed about France and yeah, doing the 'Tour the France' why not I think it would be great yeah I'd like to know more France actually because now I couldn't say I know France much but I know Poland and in a while I will know more Greece than my own country so basically 'Tour de France' I think the Balkan countries I've done quite a lot I'd like to go, maybe Italy if possible warm countries, I'm more into warm countries also towards Asia through Turkey, then we have a friend in Azerbaijan Cingiz, if you listen to me - we will come for the marinated garlic we will come for You :) if you've never tried Azerbaijani marinated garlic, oh you're missing out it's absolutely amazing so yes, and Middle East and Asia also Japan could be interesting to see but time will tell our abilities will tell but I would do it - would you take a lot less stuff? - I think we had too much stuff I will take one underwear, one pair of socks and - and your zafu and my zafu, that's it - I have a question for you Niko yes, please Can you tell people How to be happy, how to find happiness in life Do you have any advice? the question, that everybody is looking for happiness look inside of you - in what sense? can you guide them? it's about guidance now? I mean, because the bike trip helped me to understand you know what's important in life and I think people look for the wrong things and they think that, you know, the material things will make them happy but this is really not true From my own experience, it started, I would say with minimalism the less I had, the more time I could give myself but to what exactly basically to start looking inside of me, what I have emotions, sensations, and feelings...and to try accepting everything what I have inside also accepting the people and the surrounding how to be happy...just take your time and look inside of you

what you're made of, and live with it, live with it at least, you should be grateful for being able to breathe yes appreciate the little things people usually say it, but I think they don't really know what that means like, I can tell you that for me during the trip it was quite hard sometimes to take a shower we couldn't take a shower for two, three days and then I was able to take a shower, it was amazing it's such a simple thing when we found a shower on the beach for example we were like...yeah! We can take a shower and we can wash our clothes and actually it's amazing to be grateful for this I think, during our daily lives that are hectic we're just focused on all the chores, the job that we have the shopping...we kind of forget to be grateful for the little things being able to do your laundry it's amazing so I think living day-to-day being grateful for what you have I think what I learned is.. one smart girl once said that you will never be happy with what you get if you're not happy with what you have and it's so true if you can truly be happy with what you have and when we're on a bike, we have really minimal things we can't take a lot of things with us, we're on a bike so you start appreciating the smallest things just being able to have a warm meal being able to have a shower, being able to wash your clothes and feel clean again it's incredible to live the day to day like that just appreciating everything that you have that what makes me happy - and get closer to nature because what is also travelling by bike as well as travelling, you know, walking it's just that you the speed compared to when you drive, when you drive a car, is different basically you have more time to observe what is around you you are able to finally be conscious of many more things be careful also so many times, we...on the on the streets and path, we saw dead animals and when we were on the bikes we also found out...oh there is a snake here, let's avoid it or small insect, all these living species that, you know, it's living so, we should not take for granted that we have a car and we can do whatever we need to pay attention also to the very small things that live around us I know what you mean, so you kind of develop this kindness to every little thing like to the nature around you to the plants, the trees and also to the little insects that are on the road, that we normally don't pay attention to at all and you develop this gratitude and kindness and respect for the nature it's just when you take the time and when you basically bend to see what surrounds you, those very small things then kindness is natural within you and it grows more and more when you understand how grow flower or how live ants or how you know...yeah

so you develop kindness by observing yes, when you observe the nature when you're more conscious of the.. what surrounds you you become conscious after observing when you observe, you become conscious, you understand more how it works and you become kind as well because you're part of it, it's basically I don't think that killing a cat and killing a human is very different It's a living thing We need to be conscious and be careful about these living things that's it I won't stop doing bubbles - Niko yes that's me Why do you think that everyone should do it, experience the world by bike? not necessarily by bike but at least to travel and to discover new things to open oneself to new things, new countries, new languages, new people because even before the pandemia it was my wish and now even more because, you know people tend to limit themselves even more stay home or refrain from travelling yes I wish that people keep on travelling, and long-term not only like flying from point A to point B just to spend like one week and then... living intensively, walking here and there without taking the time long-term travelling, not necessarily by bike, but can be walking, can be hitchhiking with a van, but long-term I wish for the people what deeply changed in you how that journey affected you? yeah, I changed, definitely I am truly happy, I don't think I can say that about me before the trip I think I was really living in my mind, like maybe, getting over the past and fearing about the future but I wasn't living in the present moment and I think what the bike trip really did to me in a positive way was just you don't know what's gonna happen the next day you don't really worry about that, you don't really worry about where you're gonna sleep you're just in the moment, you enjoy every moment and you're present, you're present in the surrounding where you are you observe the nature, you appreciate every contact you have with the people around you and you don't worry about, like next week, oh, I have to do this oh I haven't done that, you don't have those thoughts because every day is as important as the other day you're not waiting for the weekend do you think you're thinking this way now, after the trip? yes, it definitely stayed with me, like this is what's amazing, every day I'm waking up and I'm happy and I'm grateful and I appreciate everything you know, like I appreciate the shower in the morning, I appreciate the warm breakfast on the table I appreciate the fact that I can just go out and admire the nature look at the little insects or butterflies and really be in the moment and live in the present, you know not to live in your mind and fearing about the future. So this is definitely

one of the most positive changes that I've experienced because of the trip Another thing, which is super interesting as well is how to deal with negative emotions, so The first tough moments that I had during the trip it was going up with my heavy bike and I really didn't like climbing with the bike, I dreaded those moments I was frustrated and I didn't know how to deal with it I was kind of focusing on the frustration and asking myself Why am I doing this to myself, you know It's so difficult going up the mountain with like 30-kilo luggage on my bike and then something changed I tried to deal with those emotions in a way that...ok I think you helped me actually, you told me When I'm climbing up, it's difficult, try to think of something positive in your life even like one thing and I've started practising that, so when the times were tough, and we had another kind of maybe it was super hot, especially in Macedonia or Greece it was more than 40 degrees weather and we had to climb with the bikes I was trying to...instead of focusing on the frustration I was trying to focus on the positive things, so I was focusing on the fact that, I can do it I'm able to go by bike some people are not able to cycle some people are not able to travel I'm able to go see the world by bike see those beautiful views so I changed my perspective and it stayed with me to this day that if there is a challenging moment instead of just focusing on the negative that doesn't bring you any energy to actually deal with the situation you focus on everything that you can that you find positive in that situation so I'm really grateful for that for that change yes, I'm grateful too. thank you so Niko, what is so beautiful about travelling by bike excuse me? What is so beautiful about travelling by bike? So beautiful? The freedom of moving pretty much everywhere you want and whenever you want except in some situations like which situations? where you actually cannot go somewhere for any reason I would say also...discovering new landscapes, culture cultures people as well and that help you opening up that's all about discovering who you are what you conceive in life it breaks also your preconceptions it breaks your own limitations yes, at first, we don't feel like it ah...sorry

so at first we don't feel it we don't feel that this is something, change happening inside of us it's happening anyway and we probably figure that out a little bit later when we... especially when we slow down and when we settle for sometime we look backwards in our mind and we discover that eventually something has changed this is the...opening opening up, that is beautiful Tell me, what were the most memorable moments from the trip for you From my trips? - from this trip From the last one? - yeah I think it's again about the people I think all the things we shared, all the things we've exchanged even just waving or smiling in the street We can take the example of Serbia, where people want people want the stranger to feel all right in their country to feel that everything that he preconceived in his mind or her mind was totally different from reality They are very gentle people, very friendly They are good help if I may say this yes thank you What you truly own Isn't your home, isn't your phone Keep looking where true love is Because it fades, just like a breeze What you have to know Is when possession meets obsession It shapes your mind in a prison Swiping away good sensations The faster you go The sooner you bow If you keep that flow You will just blow So my advice to you is to Close your eyes and see through The universe deep inside yourself That manifest you at your best Who you really are Isn't a star nor a superstar Keep wishing to find it all Avoiding to fall into the hole What you have to feel Is the energy flowing through your body That shakes your heart and your soul Even if other think that you're a fool The faster you go The sooner you bow If you keep that flow You will just blow So my advice to you is to Close your eyes and see through The universe deep inside yourself That manifest you at your best What you need to care about Isn't your shape, isn't your look Keep thinking but not too long About the real meaning of my song What you have to consider Is to take care of each other Until you finally discover That real love Is to share And if you agree with me Not to stop completely To spread that love daily And walk your path consciously Then I'm sure of one thing We will improve drastically That society rejecting infinity Will get back to humanity and unity so let's see which line we are if we oh no, I don't see any bike in here! no bike signs, oh my God I'm lost...where to go? where to go, I don't know. I have to stop somewhere and think, and think 'Policja', it's written 'Police' Will I be able to cross the border, today? Hello, Dober dan - passport passport, you have my passport my love What? you have my passport I have your passport? - yeah, here It's recording by the way Poland and France Poland and France - yes Beautiful countries Do you need our Covid vaccines? - thank you

We didn't know which one to pick Where we go? to Greece, yes, on a bike - from? From Poland I know, we're crazy. Everyone says that. - how many days? cycling? - months? two months? - two months? two months, and after Croatia we go to Serbia and Bulgaria (we changed it to North Macedonia!) and Greece - exactly You're going with us? Quit your job, come with us! - I'm old man So we can go, yeah? Thank you! Bye - have a good day oh yeah! This is the border - we are in Croatia! This is the border We are in Croatia! woohooo - heey! Where is my passport? Oh my God, we did it man, we did it! How do you feel? How do you feel my love? I'm feeling awesome, I'm feeling awesome Awesome? Oh my God, oh my God We crossed the border! - we crossed the border Aah, a picture. We have to take a picture, with the Border sign...! Trrraaa Republika Hrvatska Officially, crossed the border! Goodbye It's up to you how you look at life We wish you find beauty in yours The same we found beauty in ours When we got to Crete The wind was tossing our hair Sun kissing our skin Freedom in the air When we got to Crete The sound of waves touched our soul The sea reaching the mountains Our hearts, whole We didn't know where to go We ended up on an island where the magic flows We didn't know, where to go We ended up on an island, where the magic flows When we got to Crete The stars were smiling from the sky We camped in the mountains Waved city goodbye When we got to Crete The nature tickled our toes Sharing the energy That makes us grow We didn't know where to go We ended up on an island, where the magic flows We didn't know where to go We ended up on an island, where the magic flows Check my phone he is so cute he doesn't even bark Hey you, thank you for being you thank you for...not em..... not barking, I don't know how to say this, thank you for not barking all the dogs are barking when we pass by and you're the only one not barking thank you! so we're fixing the yurt Vangelis is at the top putting some plastic cover, on the top of the yurt You can also go there, to see the cover, from above to see...oh, right let's do that, let's climb the ladder wait...I'm gonna do that

ok, cool... I climbed up on top Vangelis is there he's holding onto the ladder The rain is coming We go? - no, we stay Let's go - let's go You're leading the way Woohoo wow, you are running so fast cycling, I mean very interesting way of cycling - Ladies first Thank you How was it? It was great...I lost my hair tie - oh no, second time? But it's great There were no...I think when the sun sets

The little fish go away Ah really? You didn't see any fish? I saw some but a bit further voila A beautiful day that is coming to an end Come again? A beautiful day that is coming to an end Aah, this day was incredible - a little bit cold You can take my towel Marta, do the same as me Not a kiss, not a kiss Very good Like this? Am I doing it right? - a lot better Very nice How was it?

2022-04-30 20:36

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