For anyone who doesn’t know any better, Poland is pretty great. With beautiful cities all over the place and prices around half of what you’d expect to pay in Western Europe, Poland is a budget traveler’s paradise. It’s getting more and more popular along the backpacker circuit (particularly the party hotspot of old town Krakow), but even so, it remains comparatively quiet, considering all the old-world charm (and spectacular vodka) that’ll greet you at every turn.

                Part of the reason it’s such a positive memory for me is that years later, I met an American guy who had never been to Poland, and had grown up on American playgrounds, hearing Polish jokes all time, poking fun at his culture. He had no idea what it was really like. All I wanted to do was share what made Poland so enjoyable for me, and inspire him to go visit. I think I succeeded.