Ana Balica

Hi, I'm Ana.

I'm a software developer. I mostly do Python. This blog is about my adventures with code, travel experiences and relevant life events.

Here's what I'm doing now.

Occasionally I give talks.

Please don't take my words for granted, because Internet is full of bad advice, and I might be part of it inadvertently.

Why travel?

And Siobhan says people go on holidays to see new things and relax, but it wouldn’t make me relaxed and you can see new things by looking at earth under a microscope or drawing the shape of the solid made when 3 circular rods of equal thickness intersect at right angles. And I think that there are so many things just in one house that it would take years to think about all of them properly. And also, a thing is interesting because of thinking about it and not because of being new.

Now I feel abashed to say I travel to see and discover new things. If I insist on being honest with myself, than it becomes clear I lost any interest in the surroundings long ago. The reason might be the likelihood of old European cities – somehow they all look the same.

People (including myself) travel to show off in front of friends and family. Everybody enjoys sharing the beautiful moments of their life. You should have something to put on Instagram and brag about it. Otherwise what’s the whole point of visiting Tour Eiffel if you’re the only one knowing about it? I don’t necessarily see anything wrong with that – people, social animals, are predisposed to share with their peers and expect their positive acknowledge.

Traveling is stupid and a waste of time. Why then do I keep planing my next trip?

I love pinpointing my TripAdvisor map with new visited places and I feel good about myself. But this isn’t the main reason. Traveling drives challenge.

Everybody chooses different challenges. Some prefer extreme spots, others do stand-up comedy. By definition I consider myself an non-shy introvert with a mediocre creative impulse. Even being brave enough, it is still troublesome for me to ask for directions from unknown people on the streets, to maintain a lovely chit-chat with newly met people and to not look at them suspiciously. I remember that one time when I was crusading in circles around an area, because I was too afraid to ask for directions. Obviously that day I was one hour late for my first German language course.

When I go on a trip, I have this fear of getting lost, not being able to make my way to the final destination, being despised by people around, lose my flight, etc. Somehow during journeys I push myself to become brave, confident and powerful. New circumstances trigger my survival mode.

My favorite part of traveling is the transit from source to destination, being done particularly alone. I have these stories when a handle from my heavy bag rips off and I have to drag it for a long time, when I address the fast passing crowd to help me buy a ticket because the ticket-lady doesn’t speak anything else besides Polish, when I arrive at 5AM in Kiev and have less than 10 UAH to get from the bus station to the airport in time, when a Greek speaking Romanian allows me to wait inside the train wagon and calls my friends to pick me up, because it’s 2AM, cold and dangerous outside.

I pull myself together and do something I would never do. And since in my native city I know how to get around, I don’t even try to get out of my comfort zone.

Maybe it doesn’t make any sense to you, but it does for me. There is something about traveling, even now in the era of Internet, Google Earth and Google Street View. I choose to shape my life and personality with the power of inner and outer discovery.

I travel to challenge myself. Why do you travel?