What was the first country you visited? Who with and why did you choose it?
The very first country I visited was Germany, but it was just a quick stop on the way to Portugal and Spain so I only briefly saw Berlin and Frankfurt (returned to both many times in future). I was 13 years old and together with my mother and her friends we were going by train to the south of Europe for some beach holidays there. But since my mum is a big traveler too (and has been dragging me around Poland since I was a little kid) she decided it would be too boring to just fly directly to Spain. Hence we took trains all the way down there. It took us around 3 days to reach Portugal but we've seen pretty many interesting places on the way, including Paris. It was a real adventure and must have made me fall in love with this crazy way of independent travelling and backpacking.
When did you start a travel lifestyle? What inspired that change?
I guess this must have been in me since I was a kid (again, thanks to my parents). My first solo trip was just before I turned 18, I went to Austria and Slovakia. When I was still in school and then at the university I always tried to travel around at least few times a year - for a short weekend trips or for longer journeys. Knowingly I started calling it a lifestyle around 5 years ago. I was already working full time but was doing my best to be away at least once a month (plus adding lots of daytrips around Poland). I'm working really hard to have more days off, I'm not afraid of overhours at work (I'm always the one who is up for working extra as I can see a profit in it). All my actions at work are made for a benefit in travelling. In Poland we have 26 days off per year and that's actually pretty much, over a month for travelling. But that is not enough for me! It is a hard work but surely worth all the effort. It wasn't an inspiration per se, one day I just realized that (no matter how cliche it sounds) travelling makes me trully happy. Meeting new people, getting to know different cultures, discovering new places and trying new food - whenever I'm on the road that's when I feel my life is just how I want it to be. And again, however cliche it sounds - travelling changed me a lot and I kind of like the person I'm thanks to it.
Do you have a base you travel from? Or is it continuous travel? And why do you choose that style?
I do have a base. I live and work in Warsaw, Poland. It's actually a perfect places to be based in - there're so many good and cheap connections to the nearby countries so I can easily explore Central and Eastern Europe, even if just on the weekend trips. Flights connections are pretty decent as well (however soon I will be done with all the destinations you can fly to from Warsaw;)) and getting to Berlin, Prague or Vienna (that offer even more awesome destinations) is a piece of cake. As I've mentioned before I do have a full time job, the one I truly enjoy and don't really want to change it. Warsaw is a good place to live in (and not only because of the location), I have a lot of amazing friends around and even if I'm not travelling I'm never bored. I think I have a really good balance between travelling and "real life" and actually have the best of both worlds. I know there's a trend that only if you're travelling full time you're considered a true traveler but I have to disagree with this. I like my life how it is, lots of shorter trips and having a place to return to. And I don't think it makes me a worse kind of traveller than the others.
How do you fund your travel lifestyle? Is it something you do when travelling or are you a saver?
I don't earn all that much but I'm good at saving, especially that my goal is clearly set. I made travelling my priority so I try not to spend money on things I don't need and any extra amount goes for my "travelling account". Of course I also don't want to be extreme in here so I do like going out with friends for some food or drinks, I read a lot and buy many books. But I don't go too crazy when I get a salary. There's always a trip (or five) waiting for me in the future so it's easier to save when I can see what the money will go for.
If you could tell yourself one tip before you started your travel lifestyle, what would it be?
Don't listen to others commenting on your choices. If you choose your dreams and don't do what you're supposed to do at the certain age (start a family, buy a house, have a grown up life) it's fine. It's your life, no one will live it for you. And there will always be someone saying nasty things or asking all the same questions all over again (do you actually work? did you robe a bank?). It's not an easy task but learn not to care about that, don't let them feel you're doing the wrong thing. Just focus on what makes you happy and keep doing that!
What does "Living The Dream" mean to you?
Realizing what makes you happy, what your dreams are and then doing everything you can to achieve them so they will not be just dreams. Desipte all the difficulties and obstacles, wind blowing in your eyes, staying true to yourself and living the lifestyle that you choose for you, not the society. After all you know the best what things make you happy and how you want your life to look like!