In Belarus: access denied
Hi, how are you?
I love using this phrase because almost everyone in Europe either laughs or is surprised. Not many people here ask the simple question; how are you doing?
I’m going to be honest, I hate posting on social media etc. so please bear with me through this trip because I’m not very good at it. I’m going to try and post more often, but as you can imagine it’s extremely difficult to be posting content while waking up in a different country everyday. I’ll have loads of in depth experiences and conversations to share with you post trip. My focus is to stay present and enjoy the people I encounter and places I discover.
Experience of the Day:
Yesterday, was super intense! I was on a train from Minsk, Belarus to Vilnius, Lithuania to meet relatives I had never met before. Just outside the border crossing a border patrolman took me off the train and sent me back to Minsk Airport (two hour taxi ride.) Apparently the law is you can only travel in and out of Belarus through the Airport in Minsk. So just a heads up for all of you planning a trip to Belarus… don’t do it! Lol just kidding it was rad, but seriously be prepared.
I ended up staying the night at the airport in Minsk and caught an early flight to Kiev or Kyiv, Ukraine for the day (awesome city!) It was earlier than planned on my itinerary but at least I’m on track still with the number of countries and I’ll have to make up Lithuania towards the end of my trip.
Up until that point of getting dragged off the train, everything was going too smoothly it seemed so I needed that quick reality check. Not everything always goes according to plan and you can either get discouraged and give up or push forward with an open/positive mindset.
Conversations of the Day:
A friend of mine in NYC has a girlfriend from Belarus and her parents (Nikolay & Natalia) offered to host me for the night. Nikolay told me the one thing he does every day to make him happy is exercise. He loves to lift weights and was a bodybuilder at one point. His wife, Natalia told me that the one thing that makes her happy every day is to cook amazing food (it really is amazing.) But more than that, the reason cooking makes her happy is because it makes her husband happy. I find that to be the ultimate scenario in life. If what brings us happiness every day also brings happiness to others, that is as selfless and loving as it can get.
Quote of the Day
“It’s the uncertainty, insecurity and unknown that provides the beauty, wonder and preciousness of life.”