You just need to go off the beaten track to experience an amazing adventure. Łukasz Długowski (facebook.com/mikrowyprawy), a journalist, traveller and author of the book “Mikrowyprawy w wielkim mieście” (“Microjourneys in a big city”), talks about microjourneys and his travel-environmental project.
Micro-journeys (the so-called pocket trips) are short trips and adventures close to where you live that last only a few hours. They are a chance to meet new people and discover interesting places. They offer almost everything that distant travels do, but without the disadvantages – meticulous planning and high expenditure of time and money. You can go alone, with friends or family, regardless of the amount of money in your wallet or your physical condition.
OFF TO A GOOD START
How to start exploring the world on a micro-scale? First of all, you have to leave the house, and more specifically, go off the map. By following the old, well-known track, you will always pass the same people, see identical landscapes and experience similar emotions. Therefore, start with changing the everyday route to work. Thanks to that, you will get to know a new part of the city that you have not discovered so far, as well as you may unexpectedly end up at the place where magic begins. You can also try doing something more: get on and then off a train at a station, in a place that may seem random, but will be a promise of new sensations. This is how Łukasz Długowski, the author of the bestseller of “Mikrowyprawy w wielkim mieście”, finds the most interesting places: – I go off the trail, to places that have no attractions and are not described in guidebooks, to nameless areas. Thanks to this, I discover the most beautiful destinations and the most wonderful people.
PLANNING WITHOUT PRESSURE
A few hour trips do not require much preparation. However, it is always worth checking the weather and bringing the right clothes and equipment when going to the mountains or the river. It is also definitely necessary to get supplies, however there is no point in planning everything down to the minute. Then, instead of the expected experience, you can encounter another task and thus lose the spirit of adventure. The most interesting micro-journey of Łukasz Długowski? – canyoning down a lowland river.
I went to Bolimów Landscape Park by the Rawka river, which is 30 centimetres to 2 meters deep and 2-4 meters wide. Together with a friend, we threw our things into rubbish bags, packed them into backpacks, and dressed in wetsuits (neoprene outfit) and helmets we jumped into the river. We did it for ourselves, for our own pleasure! Canyoning is most often practiced in the rivers of the Alps, but, as you can see, you can also experience this adventure and in Poland.
FOLLOWING THE MAŁOPOLSKA TRAIL
You can take a sleeping bag and spend the night by the Vistula, opposite the Tyniec Abbey – the view of the morning mist falling down on the river is amazing. No wonder that photographers are already gathering there from 3:00 am to take extraordinary photos. The Bolechowicka Gate and the Silesian and Żywiecki Beskids near Kraków are also beautiful. Another traveller’s suggestion is to walk along the trail between Kraków and Zakopane. According to Długowski: When we leave the city, every piece of land has the potential to be used.
RESCUING A RIVER
The traveller wants all people, not just a handful of activists and researchers, to start carrying about the environment. Therefore, he decided to implement a new project. In order to make ordinary people interest in nature conservation, he is now working on the organization of a wooden rafting cruise on the Bug river. Długowski will start from the Ukrainian border and intends to traverse 572 km to Warsaw. That way, he wants to publicize the issue of regulating rivers, which has been concerning ecologists. With this project, the journalist also wants to raise money for the creation of the first civic reserve in Poland, run by the “Dziko” Foundation, of which he is a co-founder. Łukasz Długowski believes that in this way he will be able to encourage others to establish similar places and fight for nature in Poland – for us and for the future generations.