How Travelling to 40 Countries Has Taught This Polish Travel Writer Not to Judge Others

Why are we so quick to judge other people? Maybe we all need to be like Etramping travel writer Agness Walewinder. She has traveled to over 40 countries and learned that we should not assume we know anything about a country based on the news and hearsay.

Let’s follow her journey along her travel buddy Cez. In this interview, they share their wonderful stories with us, including their memorable 10-hour long-standing train journeys in China!

Adventurer Agness Walewinder

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

Sure can! I am Agness and I am a travel writer of Etramping. I’ve been all around the world, to nearly every continent. Currently though, I’m back in my home country with my travelling buddy Cez! We’re just having a little down time before we head right back out there and get travelling again. The next one’s gonna be a big one!

I would like to think I’m pretty outgoing. I love to meet people when I travel. Actually, though, I used to be a lot less confident, but now I’m so used to it I can pick up a conversation almost anywhere and with almost anyone.

In my spare time, I’m always thinking about travelling. I have just always loved travelling so much. Before I started doing this online travel blogging thing full time, I would try to find any kind of employment to help me get out there travelling (even some pretty terrible jobs). I didn’t have enough spare time to listen to music. It was work, travel, work, travel.

Now I have a bit more spare time, and it gets used to plan the next journey (or the one after that). When it comes to music, I probably listen to the same music as everyone else. The past week’s top charts are my go to.

Adventurer Agness  Walewinder

How and why did you get into adventuring and travelling?

I get asked this a lot, and I hate to disappoint, but it wasn’t some great epiphany. I just have always liked travelling. Right from the beginning, I never stopped dreaming about getting out the door and exploring the big, wide world! There’s just too much of It to not want to see it.

Why is adventuring and travelling important for you?

Why is it do important? Well, probably because I’ve learned so much from the people and places I’ve visited. One of the big ones was probably North Korea, which really taught me not to judge a place based on what you hear back home (or in other places). I think it is important to get out there and see the world from different angles and have different experiences. It just makes the world a better place!

Adventurer Agness Walewinder

What have been the best parts of your adventures and travels?

All of it! Even the ten-hour long-standing train journeys! (I love those!) That particular ten-hour long-standing train journey took place in China, between Chongqing and Zhangjiajie. Basically, when the beds and seats run out on the trains in China, you can still buy a standing ticket. I had to make the change from Chongqing to Zhangjiajie, or I wouldn’t have had enough time to see the whole place. Because I had left booking the tickets to the last minute, I didn’t have another choice. Being a true travel aficionado, I couldn’t just have given up, could I?

Of course, 10 hours actually standing is practically impossible, so you end up sitting on the floor (along with a lot of other people because the train is so busy). It’s surprisingly comfortable, almost like going back in time to our roots, before we had fancy things like chairs and beds.

Being serious though, people seem to become a lot friendlier when they have a standing ticket. People try to pick up a conversation with you and you end up learning a lot you wouldn’t otherwise know. If you’re ever in China and there aren’t any seats on the train left – definitely grab a standing ticket!

Adventurer Agness Walewinder

What have been the most difficult parts?

Being a couple of travel bloggers, not enough sleep is a regular occurrence for us when we’re on the road. So, maybe a few problems have come up in the past, and maybe one or both of us have gotten a bit crabby about it. But (and it is a big but), we always work it out.

The first thing is that we never blame each other. It’s just not worth it. Instead, we focus on the problem and try to get it solved. Missing luggage? Where did we leave it? What do we need? How can we get those things? It’s all about solving the problem and doing it as a team. Do we fight? Very, very rarely (hey, we’re only human).

Also, in the beginning, it was a little bit tricky to try and fund our adventures. I used to work extra shifts and pick up any extra work I could, just so I would be able to fund my next adventure. Cez had a bit of a different view and decided that he was probably not going to travel even if he was a rich guy (living the life that he was), so why not just go ahead and travel when he didn’t have as much money. That’s probably how we did so well with the budgeting! (He used to be in finance).

Agness and Cez
Cez and Agness

How do you eat and sleep on the road?

We tend to try and stay in convenient and easy to access places. We had this great experience once with Couchsurfing in Dubai. Plus, it was cheap as chips! They can be bad sometimes, we’ve all heard the stories, but sometimes you get to meet some really great and awesome people! Like, really awesome!

Food-wise, I think that the best way to do it whilst travelling is probably to eat locally. We’ve been all over the place, and there are so many places where food is such an integral part of the culture. This is especially true in Asia. They love to show you what a good meal is there!

Adventurer Agness Walewinder

How do you prepare for your adventures and travels?

Actually, we’re all about fit travelling. Sometimes it’s not about preparing for your travels, but just getting stuck in and enjoying yourself. That’s what I do when we get out there! Sometimes I just try to find places where I can get active! Of course, it’s always nice to have a good itinerary, just make sure that you don’t stick to it if something even better comes up! Keep an open mind.

I’m also probably a bit spontaneous as well. There have been more than a few times where plans have changed at the last minute. The thing is though, I’m also definitely a planner. I mean, It’s impossible to work as a travel writer without at least being somewhat prepared and with some form of plan. I want my writing to reflect how the world is open for spontaneity, but then it also has to be structured and reliable. I owe it to my fans to make sure they have interesting new content.

Agness and Cez

How do you finance your adventures and travels?

We have a couple of clients who we write articles for and help give them a bit of an advertising boost. Of course, that doesn’t mean that we don’t still value our main mission. We are still all about helping make sure that people can get travelling on a budget. We want everyone to experience the experiences we have had, thus we share plenty of useful travel tips with our blog readers and social media followers.

How do you balance normal life with adventuring and travelling?

I’ve spent most of the last 10 years away. Of course, there’s always a need to return home. I like to go back and catch up with family and friends. I make sure to try and do it at least once a year. At the moment, we’re living back in Gdańsk in Poland, so I’m pretty close to everyone and able to keep up with everything. Of course, not long now and we’ll be back out there, exploring the world!

Agness and Cez

What has been your best adventuring purchase below $100, and what other favorite gear do you have?

We got some of these camera accessories from a company called, Pixter about a month ago, and they are just fantastic. Seriously, they’ve made taking pictures whilst we’re on the move so much easier. Now we only have to use our phones, and the lenses are just so useful for what we’re doing. It’s incredible. We definitely recommend them to anyone who takes lots of pictures and wants convenience.

You know, for the long flights, it’s good to have a decent neck pillow. I like the Travelstar Hoodie Neck Pillow. It just stops my head from getting cold halfway through a flight!

Adventurer Agness Walewinder

In your opinion, what’s the friendliest country, and what is your best advice for new adventurers and travellers?

So far, I’ve been to 41 countries and it has been an experience. Still over 100 to go, but we’re making it there. The friendliest country? I’m going to plug Poland, my home country. Anyone who hasn’t been there, I recommend it. We have some great food too, not just friendly people.

Also, I’m in Amsterdam at the moment. The people here are really friendly and helpful. You also feel incredibly safe. During the wine festivals, a lot of people get drunk, but everyone is still really good natured and fun to be around. Another recommendation.

Ultimately, get out there. Do it. Have fun. Make memories. Tell everyone!

Adventurer Agness Walewinder

What will the future bring?

So many different things! Too many to list! However, we are planning to explore different countries in Europe this summer (our epic road trip is coming up soon!) and finally make it to few countries in South America at the end of this year. In the first part of 2018, we’re scheduled to go on a trip to Antarctica with Oceanwide Expeditions (you know, the most south you can go). We’re super excited about seeing the penguins and going to one of the last unspoilt bastions of the planet Earth! I’m just a bit worried about the cold. I mean, it can even get too cold for me on an aeroplane haha.

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  1. Good day. I have a polish friend here in south africa that i really think would love to make contact with agnus. If there is any possible way for you to get in contact with Magda (polish friend) please please dend me an email. I think it will mean more than my words ever can describe to her. Thank you and i really hop to hear from you. Adri

  2. Sorry agnes i see i spelt your name wrong

  3. Thank you, Laarni, for having me here. This summer I’m going to add at least 15 more countries to my list and I can’t wait to interact with fellow travelers and locals. Hope your readers will enjoy reading this interview and it will inspire them to travel more often and further.

    Greetings from Brussels!

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