This week by chance I ended up at Waszawa Lotnisko Chopina – Warsaw Chopin Airport. And today, it is exactly a year since I got my last passport stamp and a year since I arrived back in Poland in the middle of the pandemic. I got that passport stamp in Cape Town in South Africa…
Then we flew Cape Town to Windhoek (Namibia). Then we flew Windhoek to Luanda (Angola). Then we flew Luanda to Amsterdam (The Netherlands). Then we flew from Amsterdam to Warszawa. And then, the world changed. Masks weren’t even compulsory then but Malina and I wore them anyway.
Then we touched down in Poland, from the Netherlands and I haven’t left Poland since!! Therefore, I broke 5 records today in my adult lifetime. Incredible!! Poland is the winner, it has beaten Australia and previously Northern Ireland as the longest time I have spent in one country as an adult.
22nd February 2020 – 22nd February 2021. It’s a year today since I –
1.Was last on a flight. (previous record 1 year – Australia)
2.Was in a country other than Poland. (previous record 1 year – Australia)
3.Crossed a border. (previous record 1 year – Malaysia to Australia to New Zealand)
4.Visited a new city/town. (Previous record for that was 5 months I think – Northern Ireland)
5.Got a passport stamp. (previous record 1 year – Australia)
This week by complete chance I made it back to Warszawa Lotnisko Chopina for the first time in 12 months. And I didn’t even mean to go back there. When I got there, the place was so empty, so deserted, so different.
There was nobody else around, the doors were all shut – there were COVID testing zones and no entry anywhere. It was sad but then again, this is the life now.
I was only there by fluke as I was supposed to be teaching at a business nearby (a rare bit of face to face work) but the metro was cancelled. The metro system in Warszawa wasn’t working that day, so I had to act quickly or risk being late for work. The next bus just happened to be heading the right way and later to the airport. Once on-board, I realised that it would be quicker for me to take this bus all the way to the airport before changing buses at the airport onto the 148 bus straight to work. So the metro being closed actually changed my route and gave me this memory and an opportunity to see what is happening at Warszawa Lotnisko Chopina. But it was sad to see. Still, it’s been a year now so I thought I’d share my photos from this week.
At the moment, I am happy to be here and to have broken my record of 366 days in ONE country without moving – a record in my adult life. Perhaps travel will be possible again soon. Here is a video I made at the airport in Warszawa: