That’s it, I’m leaving London.
For a month, to be specific 🙂
Although it’s a great city that I honestly love, it’s good to take a break once in a while. So I’m heading for Bratislava, my hometown (and the capital of Slovakia) in a few days and I’ll stay there for the most part of September.
And why such a change?
Well, every time I visit Slovakia I’m being scolded by my family and friends for spending too little time with them. So when a couple of Slovakian errands amassed in my diary I decided to suit all that upbraiding and actually try to have some fun and slow down during my next trip instead of running back and forth in a constant stress (fellow expats probably know what I’m talking about).
As a location independent freelancer I’m lucky to be able to work from anywhere (which I happily take advantage of frequently on my travels) so I asked myself ‘Why the heck not?’
Besides, September is a really nice time of the year in Bratislava – it gets warm enough to wear shorts but the temperature isn’t unbearably high like most of the summer. Perfect Indian summer before welcoming rainy English autumn, if you ask me!
Although I don’t call Slovakia my home anymore (as some expats do with their homeland even after several years), the older I get (or the longer I live abroad), the more I sincerely look forward to coming back, at least for a visit. This time I started thinking about the whole list of things that I look forward to. I’ll share it here in the hope that it might inspire someone to pay a visit to this beautiful little country. Or just to remind me of all those things when everyday reality starts to be overwhelming and I begin to long for coming back to the UK immediately.
Things that I’m looking forward to in Slovakia (in no particular order):
And all that pleasant, sunny and much warmer weather than here in London!
3. Soya & Tofu goods
Such a simple thing but it does make a difference to your eating habits when you’re a vegetarian relying on your regular dose of protein from soya! These locally produced soya spreads can be bought in every supermarket in Slovakia and are great as a quick breakfast on a freshly baked loaf. Unfortunately I haven’t found anything similar in UK and even though I make home made spreads from time to time it’s just not the same. Even locally made tofus taste much better than those in UK. (and I thought what a jackpot it is moving to a bigger city, ha)
4. Sweets & Waffers
Especially locally made waffer bars! When it comes to sweets, my Slovakian idea of a perfect sweet bar differs from that established in England. The thing I miss the most here are all those various waffers you can get in a Slovakian supermarket. Horalky (think thin waffers filled with peanut butter and covered in chocolate) is the most famous product and reportedly anyone from abroad who tries them falls in love instantly. This particular brand can be bought in London (if you know where to look) but Slovakian waffer deliciousness only starts here!
5. Tech events
Startup culture is getting pretty big in Bratislava and as such there are many cool coworking places sprouting all over the city hosting numerous interesting talks and events every month. That’s something for my digital nomadic soul!
6. Trendy Old Central Market
Speaking of events, I can’t wait to finally attend at least one at the Old Central Market. It’s a very hip place nowadays with lots of things going on, something like London’s Borough Market and a concert venue in one. And although I was part of the team that worked on its reopening two years ago I’ve never had a chance to actually visit it since its reopening. I’ll have a whole month this time so hopefully I’ll be lucky to visit at least one farmer’s market!
As my parents don’t live in the capital anymore I long for the calmness of the countryside. I can’t wait until I will be again sitting on the terrace (with our hyperactive dog running around), inhaling fresh air, looking at the clouds above my head and just be. Total zen.
As my boyfriend’s relatives live there I’m lucky to always have a reason to go there. With its gorgeous architecture and never fading trendy feel Vienna is always a great idea! (especially if you live one hour by train).
9. Relatives & High Tatras
Visiting my relatives in the northeast part of the country and beautiful High Tatras (Alpine-like mountain range). Oh my, I so miss proper mountains here in London!
Hanging around guys from my beloved Milk studio is always well spent time and hugely inspirational! And I just love to loiter around the studio itself, it’s such a lovely and magical place!
So, this was my list of things I look forward to in Slovakia. What do you enjoy to do when visiting your native country? And what are the things you can’t stand there?
By the way, I’m taking my brand new Nikon D3200 with me and intend to photo-document everything interesting so if you want to keep up with me, be sure to follow me on Instagram!