How I came to be here is a long story. As a Canadian living in Poland, I am often asked why I exchanged a life in Canada for a life as an expat. My attempt at a response was often a confused stutter that made little sense. To avoid this today, I normally just go with: “Why not?” because there is no simple answer and the answer is a journey.
It all started when I officially became an adult. I was a fresh-faced 18-year-old who was craving freedom. At the time, I was studying graphic design, read books at a speed that scared my parents and painted portraits in black and white. But the schooling system made me feel trapped and I felt stuck in the inflexibility of modern society. A solution appeared when a friend suggested that I accompany her to Australia for a few months. I jumped at the opportunity. The idea was to travel for 90 days, combining New Zealand and Australia. For weeks we visited New Zealand’s Northern Island and Australia’s East Coast. When I returned to Montreal, I suffered from the unoriginal traveller’s depression as I tried to go back to a normal routine. It didn’t stick. I was in desperate need of adventure.
Thus followed trips to Peru, Bolivia, Mexico, etc. Hitting Central and South American destinations, you would think that my Spanish would be better than it is. It’s not. I then decided that I couldn’t officially leave Canada until I saw more of what it had to offer. A friend and I embarked on a cross-country drive to the West. We spent half a year working odd jobs and moving around Banff and its beautiful mountains, the Okanagan Valley and its lush green landscape.
When I returned to Montreal once more, I still felt the need to explore further. This time, I did things differently. I took up a 2-year working visa for the United Kingdom. I made Birmingham my new home and lived and worked with an eclectic bunch of insanely talented people. I travelled around Europe, preferring the Eastern European countries for their charm and personality. When my visa finally expired and after much debate, I applied for a visa to remain in Poland. The reason for this was love; love for a man, also love for Europe, love for Krakow, love for a new challenge. Everything fell into place quickly, from my first office job to a temporary residence card.
After some time, I got bored with the office work and took up my old travel journals. With them, I relived passed adventures. Out of them, I created short literary travel articles and ended up creating my first blog called Raymond The Fox. The name was taken from an illustration of a Polish artist depicting a fox in a large yellow field.
Now, I am ready to leave the office lifestyle. I do not have a final destination in mind. As the – cheesy – saying goes: “It is the journey that counts, not the destination.” Let’s see where it takes me.
To see my literary travel stories, please visit me at raymondthefox.com.