I may or may not have forgotten to write my blog post last week, as it was my busiest week yet! With August 15th being a national holiday in Poland, I took a (very) long weekend for a side trip to Kraków and Zakopane (see my last blog post for details on Kraków). I spent Monday-Wednesday hiking in the Tatra mountains near Zakopane, and it was honestly my favorite experience in Europe so far. I am an outdoorsy girl, and I definitely needed an escape to nature after living in the city for the past month. The Tatras were absolutely beautiful, and luckily I found some fun hiking buddies to go off the beaten touristy hiking paths with. Our main adventure consisted of a 9 hour hike up to the rocky peak of Kozi Wierch, and although I legitimately thought I was going to die on a few occasions either by exhaustion or by rock slide, the views were 100% worth it.
When I returned to Warsaw, it was only for two short days. I have finished putting together the website for Fulbright, and I am now working on updating their main website with information from this year’s wave of incoming grantees. I am becoming quite comfortable in the office, and it truly does sadden me that I will be leaving so soon. I really enjoy the company of my coworkers, and I feel very valued and appreciated here. It is a great work environment, and I wish I could stay! I feel like I am learning a lot about what it is like to have a job in this field. Although I am only an intern, I feel like my work routine is similar to what it would be if I were a full employee. Since I will be entering the workforce soon, this has been a bit of a comfort to me knowing that work life is something I can handle and enjoy.
Remember how I mentioned that last week was extraordinarily busy for me? After my two days back at work, I caught another train to Gdańsk, one of Poland’s oldest towns on the Baltic coast. Gdańsk is a very beautiful city, and it was lovely to experience Poland’s varying landscapes all in one week. I particularly enjoyed exploring the booths set up all over the city for St. Dominic’s Fair, which has been an annual tradition in the city since 1260.
As I am preparing to leave Poland later this week, I can’t help thinking about how much I want to return. I have had a few of my coworkers suggest that I apply for a Fulbright grant after I graduate, and I am honestly pretty confident that I will. Poland is such a beautiful country, and I desperately want to spend more time exploring its cities, absorbing its nature, learning its culture, and meeting its people.