Next up in my Dlaczego Kochamy Polskę (Why do we love Poland?) series is Thom Brown, a writer and wanderer currently in Warsaw and loving Polish life and culture. Similarly to myself, Thom also promotes a lifestyle of freedom, professional writing and working from a computer. Let’s hear what Thom has to say about life in the Polish capital, and his other jaunts.
Where are you from?
Where in Poland do you live?
I began by staying in hostels in Praga District and the city centre in Warsaw, but now I have a flat in Wola.
When did you first travel abroad?
I’ve been travelling abroad with my family since I was a child, but I first went abroad on my own age 18. Then again at 19, then 20, then 21…
What is your favourite city in Poland and why?
Warsaw is my home and it has such an inclusive and friendly atmosphere. It’s the perfect place to come and work. You get all the benefits of a large, modern capital city, with the charm of the Old Town and low living costs.
What is your favourite town in Poland and why?
After Warsaw, I spend most of my time in Serock. This is easy to reach from the Capital, but offers escape from the crowd. The river, beaches and woods give a calming break from the chaos of the city.
What is your favourite village in Poland and why?
I’ve stayed in the village of Rębkowo, in an isolated house in the middle of a forest. Less than 50km north of Warsaw, this offers a completely different experience. One of main ways Poland differs from the UK is in its wildlife and in Rębkowo it’s possible to spot deer, elk and boar. I love wandering around the forest collecting skulls. You can’t do that in the city.
What is your favourite province in Poland and why?
Mazovian Voivodeship because it contains all my favourite places.
Why do you like living in Poland?
Poland has enabled me to build a free and financially independent life and welcomed me despite my appalling lack of Polish skills. Although I originally came here to travel, I’ve realised that it’s a perfect place to live. I’ve always wanted to live in the centre of a big city. Here I’m in the centre of a big city, in the centre of a big continent. I get the adventure of being far away from my hometown, while also able to fly back in two and a half hours. I can easily travel to surrounding countries, but even within Poland there are so many cities to explore as well as mountainous countryside, which I’m hoping to get to soon. I’ve also made some of the best friends here.
As a freelance writer, I have been able to work on the things I really enjoy and still afford a comfortable flat in Warsaw. This has given me the financial security and breathing space to work on really exciting projects, such as putting together a book on becoming a digital nomad and Ancient Greek philosophy. This wouldn’t have been possible in the UK. Perhaps most surprisingly, it’s also warmer here!
What is your favourite Polish drink and why?
Not vodka, sorry. Polish beer is up there with the Germans, so anything cold in a can is perfect.
What is your favourite Polish food and why?
Food is something I struggle with when abroad. My top purchase since being in Poland has probably been Heinz baked beans – the one thing that’s cheaper in England! However, I also love going to the home of a Polish person, where they cook large amounts of amazing food from scratch. My favourite is usually the pig meat.
What is your favourite random fact about Poland?
They cracked the enigma code before we did.
If you didn’t live in Poland, where would you live?
Possibly Berlin as one of my top three favourite cities in the world, but I also fancy somewhere warm and cheap like Thailand. Sweden is also somewhere I’m planning to live if possible.
You can stay connected with Thom on these links:
Thank you and Dziękuję bardzo to Thom for being the latest in my series of Those Who Love Poland! If you love Poland and run a blog or are a travel writer, please get in touch, you can be featured, either e-mail jonny (at) northernirishmaninpoland (dot) com or head to my contacts or work page and get connected! You can also subscribe to Northern Irishman in Poland by filling in the form below! Safe travels!