Sunday, May 9, 2021

Settling Into My New Life Abroad - Krakow Two Weeks On

 As I prepare to move into my new apartment, I've taken a city tour, walked several times around Rynek Główny (Main Market in English), discovered the 270-store, three-floor modern mall and train station, and now feel more settled into living here.

Rynek Główny: The main square of the Old Town of Kraków, Lesser Poland, is the principal urban space located at the center of the city. It dates back to the 13th century and is the largest medieval town square in Europe.

Meanwhile, I've sent out a few resumes, opened a bank account, and figured out my monthly budget. Money goes a lot further here because everything is so much cheaper than in the states. Food, housing, utilities, you name it, it's cheaper. I ordered a 30 cm pizza with 5 toppings delivered for under $7. In the states, that would be $15 to $20 at least. Breakfast or lunch is only $3 and $4. When I go grocery shopping, I can get three bags of groceries for under $10. My one-bedroom apartment comes fully furnished with a 24-hour security guard, AC, W/D, DW, flat-screen TV, and includes all utilities besides Internet/Cable and is less than $700 a month. Internet is $13 a month. With basic cable, it's $23. And a big plus is you don't have to have a car in Krakow, which means no monthly note, no maintenance or upkeep costs, and no insurance. 

Paying for things is relatively easy as credit cards are accepted in most places. I have used my Capital One credit card because they don't charge international fees. I have not needed cash but once when I tried to order Chinese food. The small restaurant only accepted cash. 

There will be more to do starting next weekend as things start opening up here. Poland has been in lockdown and mask mandates for several months. Hoping this summer, it gets back to normal as Krakow is supposed to have an amazing nightlife. In just walking around, I have spotted several places I'd like to eat dinner or have cocktails in Rynek Główny.

Located on Łobzowska Street, my apartment is less than 10 minutes from Rynek Główny, about a 15-minute walk to the mall and only five minutes to mass transit. The hostel I am currently staying at is one block east of where I rented an apartment and ideally located close to everything, which helped me find an apartment. 

Food and food shopping. I don't know about the suburbs, but in the city of Krakow, grocery stores are very small. Smaller than Manhattan grocery stores, which means you don't buy in bulk. You really go several times a week to buy fresh food. And there really isn't a lot of processed foods available here. For example, in the states, there is an entire aisle of cereal. That doesn't exist here. Like I say, I haven't been out to the burbs yet. It may indeed exist there.

Oh, and there's a wine store 2 minutes from my new apartment! That will be especially handy on my way home from a cold winter's night! It's cold here in the Spring, like down to the 30s at night. I will have to prepare myself for those blustery winters here, but I grew up in the Midwest. How bad can it be? 

There's so much more to discover. I've not even been here two weeks. Every day is a learning experience. Next week I move into my apartment, adventure out to Ikea for household items, apply for a PESEL number (equivalent to a Social Security number in states) and start learning the transit system. I guess that will come with trial and error. If I end up getting lost, that will just be another adventure I can write about!

Friday, April 30, 2021

Arrived in Krakow, Poland

I am finally in Krakow and settling into international living. I've already noticed things are much cheaper here than in the US. 

My Day 1/2:  I arrived in Krakow on Wednesday, April 28th, after leaving Lafayette, LA, on Tuesday, April 27th, around 1 pm. Krakow is seven hours ahead of CST, the time zone I left. Wearing a mask for nearly 20 hours is NOT my idea of fun, but alas, I could not have gotten here without having worn one in the airport and on the plane, three planes actually. I went from Lafayette to Atlanta, from Atlanta to Amsterdam, from Amsterdam to Krakow. 

Upon arrival in Atlanta, I was directed to a gate for international travel to process my COVID paperwork. Yes, they check to make sure you have a negative COVID test before boarding international flights. I had an hour layover and then boarded the plane. They also do facial recognition photography before boarding the flight. Why I don't know. 

The flight was eight and a half hours, and besides having absolute crap to choose from as far as inflight movies, it was a relatively pleasant flight. I sat next to a woman who works for the US National Security Council based in the German Alps, and we talked for hours. So, when she spilled red wine all over my seat when I got up to go the bathroom, I didn't get mad. Thankfully she had wiped most of it off before I got back to my seat.

By the way, you get free booze on international flights. I don't remember that from my travels abroad before. The inflight meal actually wasn't bad either. I flew first class from Lafayette to Atlanta and comfort class from Atlanta to Amsterdam.

I cannot sleep on planes, and by the time I got to Amsterdam, I had been awake for at least a day...when you are flying internationally, you lose track of what time it is. 

Arriving in Amsterdam, I had half an hour to get to my plane and go through the passport checkpoint, which was in another terminal. When I got to the passport checkpoint, it was packed. I told one of the passport workers about my time, and she let me cut the line. Thank God!

I landed in Terminal D. My plane was in Terminal B. And because Schiphol Airport is constructing a new airport to be finished in 2023, they let the existing one go. Most of the electronic walkways were inoperational. I was hurrying as quickly as I could.

Upon arrival at the gate, the entire Kenyan football team waited to board a bus to take them to the plane. It was to be a packed flight to Krakow. In fact, the flight from Atlanta to Amersterdam was also packed. So, much for people not traveling in times of COVID.

Standing in line for the bus, I met a Polish couple I briefly talked to, and then KLM announced that the plane was having technical issues, which gave me time to sit down and catch my breath.

About an hour later, we all boarded the bus, then the plane, and just short of two hours, I arrived in Krakow. Unfortunately, part of my checked baggage did not. I made it through customs having proof of a negative COVID test and a working Visa. Then I went to baggage claim, filled out a report, and called the driver who had texted, telling him I was delayed. I was completely spent at this point, no sleep, running from one side of the airport with a heavy carry-on bag and still wearing a mask.

The driver was Polish and very nice. We talked about world politics, which I enjoy. My company had the wrong address for the hostel I was to stay at, but my driver was ahead of the game and said there are two hostels with similar names, and he drove me to the correct one.

When I got to the hostel, I had to provide my work permit and Visa because US citizens still aren't allowed in Europe without a Visa. I stayed at a hostel because hotels and restaurants are closed because of COVID until mid-May. When I got to my room, I broke down and cried. I was so exhausted and questioned my sanity of moving abroad during a worldwide pandemic.  My body was still on US CST, and I didn't sleep a wink the first night in the hostel. 

Day 2/3: Much better day. The last of my luggage arrived in the afternoon. The hostel manager has been so nice, bringing me breakfast and Americano coffee in the morning. I stayed in my room my second full day in Krakow and took a short nap, but I didn't want to sleep too long, for I had to get my body used to the new time zone. 

Day 3/4: I ventured out today. Getting some water and paper towels at a small grocery store. Still jet-lagged. Took some photos and headed back to the hotel. Setting up a bank account and looking for an apartment next week. Not in a hurry to start work. My Advanced TEFL class doesn't start until September. I have a creative work Visa, so I can work as a writer and a TEFL instructor. Planning on seeking part-time writing work this summer.

At least now, I have something to write about again. 

Sunday, October 4, 2020

My Next Adventure - Poland & Beyond

This month, I should be in Madrid, Spain, starting my career as a Language & Cultural Assistant in the city's school system.  However, as it has for many around the globe, COVID upended my life and sent me off in a new direction. 

In June, I was supposed to get my school assignment in Madrid, but alas, that wasn't to be. The Ministry of Education restricted the program to specific age groups. I was crushed as this was a lifelong dream to live abroad and had prepared for several months to live in Spain. However, I didn't let this news distract me for long. Within weeks, I found another program in Europe that may be a better fit for me. Plus, just this month, the city of Madrid went into another lockdown because of the virus, which no one is a fan of especially freedom-loving me.

I have discovered that the Universe does know what it's doing. When one door closes, or you are redirected in some fashion or another there's something better awaiting you.  After considering English teaching opportunities in Thailand and China, I have been accepted into an English teaching program in Poland. I probably wouldn't have chosen to teach English in Poland, nor did I want to teach adults. I was looking forward to exploring Spain and Western Europe while teaching young children. After being in the corporate world for most of my career, I welcomed the change of working in an elementary school setting. But God had other plans for my life apparently.

I will be leaving for Krakow, Poland, in January 2021 to be a Business English instructor. I may be instructing a Business English class at a language school or teaching executives in a business setting. 

With a three-year contract, I will be able to work part-time and travel throughout Europe and meet some interesting people, which I have the few times I traveled abroad. I'll have a retirement income, so I won't have to work full-time! Plus, the school helps with placement and does the invoicing to my clients, and handles the taxes in-country. English Wizards, the firm I will be working for, is also expanding to other Eastern European countries, so I may move to Prague after a year or two in Poland. 

In Krakow, where I hope I end up living first (there are several cities in Poland you can work and live in), you can get a fully furnished apartment for less than $500 per month. There is no need for a car as mass transit takes you everywhere. Plus, I can always rent a car if I want to explore other countries by car. But flights and Eurail are dirt cheap compared to traveling in the US. The cost of living in the US is utterly ridiculous. From healthcare to travel, the US is one of the most expensive countries in the world to live in, let alone retire. 

I've already got my Polish Work Visa and am now applying for my Temporary Residence Permit. I just started learning Polish, as I had already started learning Spanish. I hope to say basic phrases before I go, but man, this language learning is not my forte. Once I am there, hopefully having to use it and hearing it, will make it easier. 

So, on this adventure...I already have income from retirement and clients in the US, am guaranteed a job once there, the cost of living is reasonable, you don't have to have a car, which eliminates the cost of car insurance and maintenance, and healthcare insurance is much cheaper as the cost of healthcare is much less expensive in Eastern Europe. And Poland hasn't been struck as hard or is handling the COVID restrictions in a less extreme way than Spain or Italy.

The remainder of the year, I am concentrating on working out, tying up loose ends in the states, visiting with dear friends, and having fun. Hopefully, there will be a cure or at least therapeutics available to treat COVID soon, so the world will again welcome travelers. 


Monday, March 25, 2019

2019 A Year of Preparation - Sitting on Empty

If your life has been torn asunder and you aren’t sure of what’s next, you are right where you need to be. 2019 and the years preceding it has been hell on wheels for many lightworkers or those choosing to ascend.

I believe I speak for many on a spiritual path that the last several months and years have not been easy to endure. In preparation of 2020, 2019 is the last push to finally let go and release all that doesn’t serve us. All that we cannot take with us on our latest journeys, all that would hold us to the old paradigm has to dissolve. Whether you do it or the Universe does it for you, you will find yourself having to sit empty at some period this year.

In fact, waiting for the new to be birthed is where many of us find ourselves at this moment. We are still in a Mercury retrograde as I write this and heading into April. Sitting in limbo has caused many a sleepless night, but the worry doesn’t help anything to come faster. You just must be patient and wait on divine timing.

My life has significantly changed over the last several years, and I am finding it hard to be around lower vibrational people, work environments and situations. I have kept to myself, cried a lot, looked back a lot, and released a lot. But this next chapter just stumps me.
Having had a successful journalism and communications career, I have struggled to figure out what’s next for me. I have tried several careers on and investigated others including sales, marketing, teaching, nursing. Nothing really seems to appeal.

Life has become a dull ache that can’t be remedied. I know not where I go from here. I am living in my sister’s country home in the middle of Connecticut where people go to disappear. And I have done quite a good job of it. After a flooding incident in Louisiana, I found myself without a home. Here I am after a year of soul searching not knowing still what’s next.

Pondering my fate doesn’t seem to bring answers. Although, I do have one idea that may seem a bit off beat. I am seriously thinking about just buying a small motorized RV and heading down to Florida to live out my life. However, I must build my freelance writing business which has been very hard to do in this economy. It seems everyone with a computer thinks they are writer coupled with the fact that many freelance writing jobs are actually paying 1 to 2 cents per word. That’s fine for students living at home or for a second income, but for a person having to support themselves, it’s downright insulting.

So, I wait for April to commence hoping it brings the much-needed change. I believe this past year many lightworkers have not been able to move forward. The more I change vibrationally, the more the planetary energy seems to affect my life. And according to many astrologers, 2020 is going to be huge for planetary energies lining up.

That means 2019 is a year of preparation for 2020 when many planets will align that have a global effect on systems, society, and life on this planet. In fact, here’s a blog on The Astrology of 2019: Preparing for the New Paradigm.

“The planets are now giving us the chance to break free of our stubborn ruts, addictions, and delusions, and to find momentum after a series of stifling retrogrades, explains Juliana McCarthy, who has been studying Western Astrology for over 20 years. “As we finally move forward, we can call on our discernment to determine where to apply our energy, making sure that all we do resonates with our deepest desires, sanity, and well-being. We’re using the pain of last year as fuel to become wiser, more integrated beings, then building our lives and the world from there.”

That’s why it feels like we are stuck. We are processing and letting go and until we completely purge, jettison and bid adieu to the old. Otherwise, we cannot leave the old paradigm. We are being given a choice. Hold onto the old or let go of all we know to be true about life and jump into the unknown.

For me, it taught me how my dysfunctional childhood kept me from all God wanted me to have. I’ve settled because I didn’t know my worth. I was so starving for love that I would settle for crumbs when I deserved the entire fricken cake.

I won’t settle anymore. I won’t compromise. What I’ve learned this past decade is that we are all evolving as human beings. Those that want to let go of the illusion of what society has drilled into our heads about who we are supposed to be, and those that want to remain in the illusion. It’s all lies, but there are those that will choose the ease of a lie over the truth. For further information about the illusion we live in, read my blog "Awakening In a World Full of Lies."

Television programming is part of the illusion. I stopped watching regular TV programming a decade ago. I never was a big TV watcher, to begin with. I just felt that life was not meant to be a passive experience. I didn’t understand why anyone would sit in front of a screen and watch made up stories about life. I still don’t get it. My 18-year marriage ended because I didn’t want to watch TV 24/7. I wanted more for my life.

And yet these last two decades I’ve searched for the meaning of life, and all I have seen is pain and people being ugly to one another. If you’ve ever seen the movie “The Green Mile” you know what I am talking about. One of the lead characters played by Michael Clark Duncan who is on death row for a crime he didn't commit says “I'm tired, boss. Tired of being on the road, lonely as a sparrow in the rain. I'm tired of never having me a buddy to be with to tell me where we's going to, coming from, or why. Mostly, I'm tired of people being ugly to each other," I can totally relate. We need to start being kinder to one another. We are all going through this ascension together.

And, yes, I’ve run into people who have inspired me too. And honestly, those people are closer to God and have a spiritual practice. They spread God's love wherever they go. I admire them.

Somehow I know I will come out of this funk I find myself in, but it’s been slow going for now. This year will test our mettle. Do we really want to let go and move forward into the unknown or shall we cling to the known even if it doesn’t satisfy us?

The choice is ours. No one can make it for us? Let go of the blame, the unforgiveness, the anger and the bitterness of what was and embrace the undiscovered Universe that awaits us in 2020!

Stay open for miracles. Much love and light!

Sunday, December 9, 2018

2018 The Year of Saying Goodbye to the Old Paradigms

Soon we will be ushering in a new year but before we do that we must honor and release what no longer serves us. We want to enter 2019 fresh and ready for new beginnings.

And that’s what 2018 has been all about. I haven’t posted a blog in four months because I have been processing all that has gone on during this past year as well as past years, and with so many planets in retrograde the last half of 2018, it was the perfect time to do so.

This year for me has been a year of great transition. In fact, the past few years have been transitional, and with major change comes major stress.

If you look at the top 100 stressful life changes, you will be able to determine how much stress is in your life. Over the last few years, I’ve undergone many on the list, and my score is 553, which indicates I was due for some type of illness or breakdown.

However, I am not the type to breakdown. I externalize my stress. I get angry. Angry at the world. Angry at myself for not knowing better, for not doing better. I even get angry at God and the people in my life.

When you go through so much change over an extended period without let up, it begins to build up in your body. Many internalize this stress and become depressed or ill, others like me externalize it and get angry, which is a healthier alternative. Depression is merely anger turned inward.

Yes, there have been days I have been depressed, but I am a doer. I can’t sit still for very long, and I search for the answers. I am also open to looking deep into the ugly sides of myself which takes courage.

In order to get past the anger, I’ve had to realize that there are valuable life lessons along the rough and winding road I have taken. And that everything, even the bad things, happens for a reason. So, what have I learned?

In my career, I do not like to be a manager of people. That while I enjoy being part of a creative team, I would rather be a sole contributor. I am an introvert, and I must honor the INFP in me. If you haven’t already discovered your Myers Briggs personality type, please Google free Myers Briggs test. It will open your eyes to see how you view the world and how others view you.

In my love life, I was chasing men like my father and brother who totally ignored me as a child. So, what did I do, I found men who I had to chase and convince to love me. Until I woke up and realized the toxic relationship pattern, I would keep repeating it. In part, I must thank my brother for helping me to see this because he had to move in with me after having his own life issues and I saw first hand the toxicity.

I saw that he wasn’t capable of a loving relationship that I deserved from a brother, and I didn’t take that on as my fault anymore. How could a little girl be the cause of all the dysfunction in a family? They aren’t. I realized that I was lovable and deserved better than I had gotten from my family growing up. I truly believe that everything is meant to be, but you must be awake enough to see the lessons.

Probably the hardest lessons we must learn is walking away from people we love knowing that person isn’t capable of change or giving you the love, you truly deserve. Some people don’t want to change, don’t want to wake up to a new reality. They like being dysfunctional, or they do not truly have the capacity or courage to change.

The walking away has become easier for me because I truly don’t mind being alone. One of the gifts of being an introvert is that you thrive in being alone. I know so many people that would rather be in a dysfunctional relationship then bearing alone time. And the great gift of being an awakened empath is that now am able to see them from a mile away and stay clear.

After several years of being divorced and dating, I’ve realized I am worthy of great love, caring love, passionate love, but I had to find all my demons and expose them, and with the help of the people who entered my life I was able to learn that valuable lesson.

We are entering a new paradigm of being in 2019. But’s that’s if you’ve done the work and let go of the old and learned the lessons the hard knocks have come to teach you. In order to birth a new beginning in 2019, you still have time in 2018 to let go with forgiveness, realizing all has happened to awaken you to a new way of seeing the world, a new way of being in the world.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Lions Gate A Portal To New Energies and A New Way of Being

Today is the Lions Gate or the eighth day on the eighth month of the year in the astrological sign of Leo, which is represented by the Lion. The Lions Gate is supposed to open a portal to other planets to help elevate the consciousness on the planet, say several new age experts.

“The Lionsgate Portal is considered a gateway into the heavens and into higher realms of consciousness. During this time, higher frequency energies from the star, Sirius are beamed down onto Earth, in order to help advance the human race and raise the consciousness of the planet,"   Forever Conscious website

In my own life, I have noticed a major shift in creativity during the several weeks, which began with the recent eclipse cycle. Since then, I have launched two blogs and several social media sites for my two blogs, which includes this blog and one I am creating with my sister.

My latest blog is called Baby Boom Sisters. I love writing about my life experiences and including my sister who I spend most of my time with here in Connecticut makes it even better. I don’t know where the blog is going to go. It’s just a lot of fun doing it. And the saying is, "follow your heart, your bliss, your truth, and the money will follow."

Perhaps I am finally on the right track after nine years of wandering the country and ending up back in Louisiana for several years. My old blog began in Louisiana and was entitled Following the Light. I took that blog site down during the last full moon eclipse on July 27th. I was done following. I was done being led by my wounds.

Sometimes we must go back and understand where and why those wounds originated and heal them. I did a lot of healing in Louisiana, and it wasn’t an easy experience to become conscious of what I was attracting. And I until I became fully conscious of my thoughts, my words and my vibration, I kept repeating and repeating and repeating the same painful experiences.

Your wounds will lead you. They will hold you in place until you are conscious enough to identify them and then change that pattern. Sure, there will always be scars, healed over, but when you become aware of them and how they affect what you are attracting, things change. Things start to manifest differently.

And I believe that’s what the Lions Gate is all about. It’s about the end to following and being led by our wounds. We are Lightworkers who now must lead the earth into its next phase of evolution. The 5D evolution is upon us. This past nine-year cycle has been ridding ourselves of all the belief patterns that held us into the 3D world.

No more excuses Lightworkers. Take up your bed and walk. We are being given the energies to rise. Rise and follow your heart and not your painful past. Start today.

Here's Ask Angel's website for more info on Lionsgate. For additional information on Lions Gate, just Google it and read or watch what resonates with you!

Next up the 11:11 partial Solar Eclipse on August 11, 2018. Read my previous blog about the eclipse here.

Namaste and much light and love!

Monday, July 30, 2018

August 2018 New Beginnings on Steriods!

August is nearly upon us, and we have one more Solar Eclipse on August 11, 2018. This will be huge a day numerically. This date boils down to 1/11/11. As 2018 numerically August is an 11 year in a nine-year cycle.

Here's Tania Gabrielle, Master Numerologist to tell you more!

It is now the time to put your intentions out into the Universe and to take that huge leap of faith because the universal energies are behind you in your quest to fulfill your dreams. Just do it. If there was any time to put yourself out there, ask that person to marry you, profess your love, call that person and ask for a job, the TIME is now during this month.

Up til now, we have been letting go and getting clear on what we want. And by now you should know. Let go of those fricken fears and go for it. And if it fails, it wasn't meant for you. Doors open when they are the right doors. Doors remain closed because they weren't right for you in the first place.

But by now, after all, we have been through, we know what we don't want in our lives and we know we want we DO want. If you don't, you better get clear real quick. However, like me you've asked the hard questions, let go of the people, places, and things that have held you back, didn't honor you or you just weren't passionate about. And you are ready to soar to new heights.

If you want to hear more about how August will bring a new reality here's a great video.

This is the month to start something new, something that you love, something that you lose time in doing. So don't sit around licking your wounds any longer. Make that call, send that resume, join that gym, start eating right and tell that person you love them. It's hold them or fold them time, lightworkers.

May God bless you with all your dreams!

Settling Into My New Life Abroad - Krakow Two Weeks On

 As I prepare to move into my new apartment, I've taken a city tour, walked several times around Rynek Główny (Main Market in English), ...