On travelling the world and journeying deep into oneself
Hang on! Maybe there’s a way of combining the two?
Insights talked to Aleksandra ‘Ola’ Wesołowksa, content specialist at MakoLab, about exactly that!
“So, why not come with us?”
“So, why not? We will!”
We had our venerable QEK Junior caravan, meaning that all we had to do was buy a better, more powerful car, a four-by-four. At the time, though, it was more of a rallying cry than anything. None of us expected that everything really would work out like we were thinking and that we’d be off, slowing down and drinking in the world. Because we love doing just that. We believed and we worked hard to make the trip happen. The middle of June arrived and we couldn’t have been happier. On Monday 13th June 2022, instead of heading for work, we set off for Georgia.
What’s interesting is that I almost certainly wouldn’t have moved to a new job before the journey, but then I saw the MakoLab job advert. What I’m going to say now is absolutely serious and not just for the sake of our conversation. I wanted to work here. I’d been working on marketing projects for years and, as you know, openings like that rarely crop up in IT companies.
My first thought was “N-o-o-o, don’t go sending your CV right before taking a three-month trip”… that’s what we were planning, while our friends were planning five months.
But then my partner said “Listen, really, why not? I mean, you want to work there, so just apply. If they invite you to an interview, then you’ll have to tell them you’re planning the trip”. Because he was sure that we weren’t going to give up on that.
And that’s exactly what happened. During the interview, I was open about my plans, because I didn’t want to take the job from someone who was more available. But here I am, as you can see and hear! And I’m grateful that my then future employer trusted me.
During those first three months, I obviously prepared a wide range of material, for publication, as well, for the period I’d be away. So I had plenty to do. And, as you’ll remember, what I’d prepared more or less lasted until I came back. I had loads of help from our team and all credit to everyone for that. I wouldn’t have managed without you all! Really.
It was quite a stressful time, because I wanted to prove myself worthy of the opportunity and to say thank you for employing me. And I had to explore a new sector and familiarise myself with everything.
As for the rest, we agreed everything, wrote it all down and then, up until June, we worked our way worked through the list, ticking off the points as we went.
There’s one conclusion. Life really is simple. We like hampering it and complicating it, though… and we’re very effective at that.
We knew that, we felt it, but we needed that journey to remind us of it. While we were staying in Turkey and in Georgia, we had the chance of meeting and spending time among some wonderful people. They were open and they showed us, reminded us about what really is important. Their world isn’t problem-free, of course, and that’s the result of all kinds of conditions… though that’s not what we’re talking about today. But I knew that the way they work on those problems is completely different from the way we do. And at the end of the day, they head up a mountain or along by a river and look on things with detachment, grateful for what they have. However banal it might sound. So many of us forget about that in our daily lives.
Slowing down came completely naturally to us. We started living more sparingly, more ecologically. As I said at the time, we were drawn to the bosom of nature and that meant free accommodation… the Turkish Riviera for zero zloties. That kind of world, in concord with the natural rhythms, is where we discover ourselves. But I’m not talking about doing nothing. I’m talking about absorbing, about learning, from others and from nature. Living close to nature. Developing harmony. The fact that you can read about that in a dozen… or dozens… of books is a different matter.
This year is for challenges in our private lives. Pleasant ones, but there are several milestones ahead of us. Plus we’re also making every effort to use our working time as interestingly and effectively as possible. So, this year’s about work and focusing on ourselves and our professional growth.
Next year, we’ll be gathering money and collecting equipment and then, either at the end of that year or during the one after, it’ll be the wide world again! I hope.
Of course, we also love weekend breaks and we haven’t given up on seeing Poland and the world, but we know we need to keep up the pace. So, we will be slowing down, but only in a while. What matters to us is knowing that slowing down, nurturing ourselves, our needs, our minds and the rhythm of our days is, and always will be, number one with us.