I don’t remember when exactly did it all start, my passion about the country living, but certainly I realized that after my visit to Suwałki, the Northeast part of Poland, when I had a unique opportunity to spend a few days in more than one century old, traditional farmhouse.
I always enjoyed my weekend escapes to the countryside, especially since I moved out from the mountains to the city 11 years ago. Living in a big city is fun, there are plenty of things to do and you can never complain about lack of events there, but on the other hand I developed a strong desire to go back to nature. I simply missed the view of a starry night, which you cannot experience in the city center never ever, the sunbeams shimmering through the leaves, the lovely song of birds waking me up in the morning…
But the countryside is not only the nature – it also means hospitable people, unique culture, folk traditions that are still kept alive, fresh, organic grown food, which you can pick up by yourself directly from the garden patch, it’s a lazy Sunday afternoon with blackcurrant wine or morning hike in the grassy hills. Maybe I’m just getting old (I already turned 30…), but I really started to appreciate the slow life of the province, especially when I can compare it with my life “on the run” in the capital.
Getting to the countryside may sometimes be quite challenging. I’m sure you know that it’s sometimes much easier to get from one city to another on the other part of the world, or much faster to fly from Warsaw to London or from Tokyo to Seoul, than to get to the small villages literally “in the middle of nowhere”. The bus ride from Warsaw, the capital of Poland, to my hometown 400 km away takes sometimes 7 hours. If I add 3 more hours, I can fly from Warsaw to Tokyo, which is exactly on the other side of the World. But the time spend on the way definitely is worth the effort. The views, food and fresh air are things that any city will never be able to give you, no matter what.
As I said, this is relatively recent trend in my travels. I never had the time to discover the countryside abroad before. Only once, when I was 19, I had an opportunity to live in the Southeast part of England, but the countryside there was heavily industrialized and had very little to do with the things I’m looking for now. Surprisingly, with my move to Tokyo last year, nothing has changed, and I even fell in love with the countryside much more. In Japanese the countryside is called “inaka” (田舎), and it means not only the place, but all the things I love about living in the countryside. So I travel a lot, whenever it is possible, giving such places as Kyoto or Nikko a wide berth and taking the journeys to the prefectures my Japanese friends call “there’s nothing there”. I’m in love with this “nothing” so much ♥
I’m not sure if I’ll be able to make you fall in love with the country living, but if I manage to convince at least some of you to give it a try, I’m sure the nature, food and hospitality of locals will do the rest 🙂 So take a look at this section in the main menu of the blog and get ready for the new experiences!