I am currently spending some time at my family home, with mom and brothers (and husby, of course). And…I have no motivation to write. AT ALL.

This doesn’t sound like a big deal. But since I started on Storytellers on Jan 1st, 2017 I haven’t stopped writing for longer than 2-3 days when my health issues made it impossible. This is my first actual “vacation” from writing in two years. Brain’s all like “we are on holiday, bugger off, I refuse to do gramer en spelink”.

I forgot how it feels to actually take some rest. I always told people writing relaxes me. Which it does, but perhaps after two years of going nearly non-stop a week off might be a good idea…? It’s not burnout, although had I gone at this pace further I might have reached one. Brain is just not interested. There’s snow, there’s my mom’s food, my brother’s kids (send help – 7-year-old twin boys), a new tattoo tomorrow. Even when we were in Iceland I kept writing, in fact being there gave me extra motivation. Right now? Nope. I do absolutely nothing useful, don’t bother getting dressed before noon, eat tons of sweets. (Note to self: you WILL do extra workouts when you come back home.) I don’t even read anything more serious than music magazines.

Do you find it easy to take an actual break? A real holiday without either feeling guilty about not doing Things And Stuff? I’m new to this and need pointers…

First things first: “on a budget” is not a precise scientific phrase. I live in Amsterdam, which most tourists consider to be expensive. When I go to Reykjavík I am shocked by how expensive everything is. Therefore “on a budget” should be understood as “cheaper than the others”. And, let’s face it, as an author that hasn’t even published anything at all yet and spends tons of money on research books (and on non-research books…) I am poor. This article is going to make me look like a cheapskate. Good! Because when it comes to spending thousands of euros I AM a cheapskate due to not really having thousands of euros.

To prove this works (buy my book on social media guruing that will bring you $10,000…sorry, wrong guru) – we went twice so far. Four days in June 2017 cost us approximately 2/3 of what we’d spent on four WEEKS in April 2018. First time around accommodation constituted about 50% of our spending. Second time around – 80%. We stayed at the same spot in Reykjavík. So what did we do differently?

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Since I first visited Iceland in 2016 I never stopped missing it, thinking about it, reading, gawking at photographs. We spent almost all of April 2017 there and it didn’t help. I am homesick for a country I never lived in.

 

Part I: Poland

I was originally made in Poland. I never met my biological father. My Mom raised me as well as she possibly could, but she had no influence over the ever-present homophobia. I left that country in 2006. While the LGTBQIA+ organisations grew and started to fight for our rights, so far results are rather unimpressive. I mean, it’s lovely that there are Pride parades gathering thousands of people. It’s just that they don’t really affect anyone except those who partake in them. When Husby and I visit my Polish family, because of the Polish law we are not only considered not married, we’re considered to be total strangers. We always buy extra insurance to fly us home in case there is an accident because I wouldn’t be allowed to make any decisions on behalf of my husband.

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