a little about us...

We are Ewa, Bart and Aleksander. Ewa and I were born and raised in Eastern Poland in the 70s and Aleksander came to the world in Canada in 2008. We are kind of modern Eastern European nomads moving from a palce to place in our beautiful world in pursuit of happiness.

We both left Poland at about the time of the big political change in Eastern Europe and the collapse of the old system. Ewa left our country in 1990, when Poland was already a part of the so called "free world" and as for me, it happened in 1989 when I managed to sneak to Italy, with a huge help from my auntie, together with my brother to join our mother in a refugee camp. In 1990, we both found ourselves in Toronto, Canada, the city that became our home for the next 9 years. And although we both come from the same region in Eastern Poland and arrived in Canada at about the same time, our paths did not cross until a few years later.

In 1997, we decided to get married, but it was not an easy task since our mothers did not approve of the relationship. We had to elope and do it in secret. 2 years later, after Ewa completed her studies in anthropology, we moved again. This time it was across the Pacific Ocean, to Japan. The original plan was to go to Japan for no longer than a year, but we extended our stay to almost 6 years.

After arriving in Japan, our goal was to explore the country and its people and to make it more interesting we decided to move around the country trying different regions and different environments. We started from the island of Shikoku, known for its mild climate and beautiful, wild, and unspoiled by tourism seacost. From Shikoku we moved to the main island to the outskirts of Osaka to try a large city life. The city life lasted only a year and we came to a conclussion that we both preferred more relaxed country life. And from Osaka we moved again. This time it was to a mountain region of Western Saitama prefecture.

During the 5 and a half years in Japan, we travelled across the country by bicycle, train, car, boat and on foot. And during the times when we did not travel, we tried as much as possible to engage ourselves in our favourite activities - photography, painting, quilting, pottery making and discovering local cousine. We also became somewhat busy in trying to rescue abandoned animals, 2 of which ended up staying with us and later moved with us to Canada, Japinski and Aizumi. Unfortunately, Japinski passed away a few years later for unknown reasons, but Aizumi is alive and kicking and currently staying with our friend in Toronto.

The longer we stayed in Japan, the bigger our thirst grew to explore more of Asia. And althugh the most popular destination for travellers has been for many years South-East Asia, we concentrated on China, probably because it wasn't crowded as much with tourist and also probably because of a nostalgic feeling that we felt in China of those years. China, being a communist country, somewhat reminded us of Poland from our childhood. We crossed the country from west to east and north to south by trains and buses. And the more we did it, the bigger our thirst became to explore those places between the major destinations, far away from the tourist world.

The thirst to explore "the real China", those places that we could see from the train window passing by never having any time to visit, gave birth to an idea of the bicycle travel. And the last 2 years in Japan we spent on planning a bicycle trip around the world. Unfortunately, we only ended up crossing the European continent from Portugal to Turkey, with a little bit of Morocco, in about 5 months before abandoning the plan due to different reasons. But the dream still lingers and the life is not over yet.

After the cycling trip, once again we found ourselves in Toronto and stayed there for over 3 years. We tried to lead quiet, slow and relaxing life as much as it was possible in a large city like Toronto. In the next 3 years we had our second, "real" wedding and also, our son, Aleksander, was born. His arrival changed our lives and we decided to leave a big city and move back to Japan.

The 3 of us, currently, live in a beautiful town of Chichibu right at the foot of Chichibu-Okutama mountain range and the national park of the same name. We continue working as English teachers in the local elementary and junior high schools. As for Aleksander, he attends a local kindergarten learning the Japanese way of life :) .

Our current stay in Japan is a continuation of exploring the country its people as well as a try out of a new life that is more under our own control. The first step towards the new life was letting go of our TV set - a step that is very possible even though does not seem so in today's society. And most importantly it gave us a great feeling of freedom.

And what will follow next? Well, the future will show...

euro bike ride.