Moving to Poland
When I was twenty, I studied abroad in Spain, and one night we were out at a popular expat bar. While there, we ran into three women who were teachers at an international school in Valencia. I was immediately intrigued and knew that I wanted to teach internationally at some point in my career.
One morning in October, I woke up and realized it was time to chase my dream. I applied to teach at and interviewed with many schools, but Krakow was the one that caught my attention. On August 8th, I arrived in Krakow, Poland, to teach for at least two years. While I never considered living in Poland before January, I am currently absolutely in love with my choice and the life I am starting while here.
Traveling to Poland was so exciting, nerve-racking, and exhausting. The day was finally here, and the countdown on my phone reached zero. I was a mixture of nerves and excitement. I wanted to cry and scream out in excitement at the same time. I was finally living out one of my dreams! Now I just had to leave America and arrive in Poland.
Peace Out, USA!
The first step was slowly saying goodbye to my family. I said goodbye to my siblings and our dog before my parents took me to O’Hare. Saying goodbye to my mom was the hardest of them all. She wanted me to go and experience this new adventure but at the same time, wanted me to stay close to her in the US. After a tearful goodbye and a firm hug, I went through security to begin this new journey.
It seemed like the wait in O’Hare took forever, but I finally boarded my first flight to Finland. I was so excited to finally get this journey off the ground, but I was also exhausted emotionally and physically. I waited to see who would sit next to me on the ride over, and to my absolute joy, the answer was no one! That’s not a bad way to begin an international move.
Several hours later, I arrived in Helsinki. Again I was so excited to get off the plane, having completed the first leg of my journey, but I knew the waiting game was next. Sometimes waiting in an airport is relaxing and calming, and other times waiting is excruciating. This time it felt like the wait was extra long. When was I finally going to board my flight to Krakow?
One thing I do enjoy about airports is the people watching. I like to consider myself a professional people watcher. But, after a while, I was even tired of this hobby. After many cups of coffee and hours imagining the other travelers’ lives in the airport, it was finally time to board my flight to Krakow! I was almost there!!
I honestly don’t remember a lot of this flight. I think I slept a lot. Nerves started to kick in as we got closer. I realized my boss never emailed me to confirm he would meet me at the airport, and I hoped everything would be fine once I landed. As we started to descend into the airport, this was the gorgeous view from my window. I absolutely love these white puffy clouds. Despite the nerves, things felt right.
My First Few Days in Krakow
My first few days were met with meeting new friends, finding an apartment, and eating out at every cute place we could find. There is such excitement in the air when you move to a new country. Everything is new and exciting. It is this feeling that you hope you can hold on to throughout the years. Hopefully, the awe never turns into blah. This picture is from a small little cafe. Something I’ve already realized in my time in Poland is that they have delicious lemonade. I’m sure I’ll return to this cafe plenty of times over my years here.
Finding an apartment was stressful, to say the least. When we arrived, we had 3 days in a hotel paid for by our school, and during that time we had to find an apartment. We worked with an agent who seemed less than enthused to try to find me an apartment at all. The first time I went out with her, she told me she hadn’t even looked for any apartments for me yet. Thankfully I went with a friend who asked to see apartments we both might like. I ended up renting one that she looked at but didn’t want.
We then took a trip to Ikea, but we haven’t yet moved into our apartments. That was slightly difficult. What was I supposed to purchase? What was already in my apartment? Would the color of the bath towels I bought look good with the color scheme in my bathroom? Ikea is always so overwhelming, and we took an extremely overwhelming trip there to gather the essentials.
It's the Start of Something New
I felt it necessary to get a cute picture of me at the beginning of this trip. The beginning of this adventure moved at an overwhelmingly fast pace. I have tried my hardest to live moment by moment and truly stop to enjoy the world around me. Here I am, standing on a street in Krakow looking like a boss. Inside I’m a mixed bag of emotions and am still too jet-lagged. Hopefully, I’ll be able to take a picture here at the end of my time in Poland before I move on to my next adventure.