OLYA'S PASSIONS

PR, Advertising, Journalism, Public Speaking, Photography, Traveling and all those simple things that make me happy

Category: My modest treasure

Did in 2012 what I have never done before

Published a text on Wroclaw Uncut, the most popular online magazine in English from Wroclaw. You can check out the article here.

Horseback riding in the forest

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Wall climbing

With Ania and Kamila, my strong trainers

With Ania and Kamila, my strong trainers

Zorbing together with screaming, shouting and laughing out loud

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Rafting in the South of Poland

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Canoeing on Odra River

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Experienced a challenging ropes course activity

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Mountain climbing in Romania

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Traveled to Rome

Amazing ceiling in the Vatican Museum

Amazing ceiling in the Vatican Museum

Discovered Prague, the City of Kafka

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Became an Erasmus student, it is synonymous with partying all week long

One of our "traditional" flat parties

One of our “traditional” flat parties

Moved to Poland

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Fell in love with Wroclaw

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Shared the flat with other 4 people from different countries

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My Erasmus family: Jamie (England), Laura (Spain), Filip (Portugal) and Malte (Germany)

Visited a salt mine

I couldn't resist not to lick the wals :D

I couldn’t resist not to lick the wals 😀

Celebrated my birthday in the Alps

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Spent almost all my summer in Milan

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Reinvented the relationship with myself

I started to buy flowers for myself

I started to buy flowers for myself

Cooked polish traditional “Ruskie Pierogi”

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Read human books

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Became the aunt of a beautiful little princess

My niece Beatrice

My niece Beatrice

Had the first vacation with my mommy

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Started blogging 🙂

Now I feel a deep gratitude for all the beautiful things that happened to me in 2012 and for all the beautiful minded people I have in my life.

Dare to dream, make wishes and be happy in 2013!

All the best, Olya!

Letter to Santa Claus

Dear Santa,

This year my letter will be short.

I wish health, harmony, happiness for me and for my beloved people.

From all the Christmas presents I’ve ever received, I remember and treasure a very special one. When I was 18 I’ve got an unique diary designed to keep inside 100 dreams of my life, one dream per page. It was the best gift for a dreamer like me. This magnificent source of motivation, enthusiasm and inspiration is like a “nightstand book” for me. Even if I’m not opening it every day, I can easily visualise my biggest dreams before falling asleep. And in the mornings I have new ideas for my sweet diary.

And now, Santa, I’d like to share with you some of my dreams.

Dream…
I wish I have a magical sleigh like yours and be able to visit my family and friends more often. I wish they could come to me here in Wroclaw, because the city is amazing. I wish we all could have enough time for spending it together, having fun, being crazy, playing games and board games as well. Oh, I’d give anything right now for an “Alias” or “The settlers of Catan” game with my friends.

Dream…
One of my biggest dream is to have a house with attic. Now I’m living in a such a house, I can enjoy the first rays of sunshine from my roof windows and I can hear the rhythm of the raindrops on my walls. I wish a library attic, but as far as I’m like a “nestless bird”, traveling from one place to another I cannot walk around carrying all my books with me. I feel sad when I have to leave my books somewhere without light and air, closed in boxes stored in the basement. I don’t want to betray my books, I’d like to have them with me, so I could return to them whenever I feel like. Even if I need to touch the book properly, to feel it’s smell, I think a Kindle could help me “to restore” the relationship with my books.

Dream…
And now the last, but not the least, I wish I could bring back to life some precious things I’ve done during all my childhood. Suddenly and inexplicably, all those fantasies, which made me become a colorful minded kid, immortalized on drawings vanished away. They are alive just in my memories. I want to give them a second life, I hope that with a simple set for painting, some watercolors and brushes I’ll be able to face this challenge.

Happy Birthday for my Sweetest Taboo!

She is Taboo, my best friend.

Today Taboo turns 24.

We used to be together always, especially on our birthdays.

Now we are far apart. Even though she is in my heart, I hope she felt it while watching this short “happy movie” we prepared for her birthday.

I want to say thank you to all Erasmus students from Wroclaw that contributed to this surprise. I hope you all enjoyed to say birthday wishes in Romanian, in a completely unknown language for you. Thanks, you are great!

A huuuuuge THANK YOU to my beloved cousins, as well. Criss and Dumi are the best in preparing the italian delight Tiramisu. I have never tried a better tiramisu than theirs. This is Taboo’s favorite cake and it was her surprise breakfast this morning 🙂

Thank you girls for being accomplices.

Taboo, happy happy birthday!

13 Things that made my summer unforgettable

My summer passed as a lightning strike through my life, so fast, so intensely, so tumultuous. I was afraid of this summer, as I’m afraid of storms. Even though, I always kept in mind that “after the rain is sun”. More than that, now my life became a real rainbow. I would like to share with you 13 memorable events about my summer!

1. This summer, Katya, a dear friend of mine got married. It was one of the best weddings I’ve ever been. I am very happy for you guys, wish you to love each other all your life, as you do now.

My friend's wedding

Hold her in your arms forever!

2. This summer I poured my lungs with salt air at Salina salt mine, that reaches a depth of 208 meters. It was a great salt therapy. Still it was pretty cold down there, 12 degrees all around the year. So, the winter cap and the sweatshirt were very useful 🙂

Salina Salt Mine, Romania

3. This summer I climbed to the top of a mountain, for the first time in my life. It was a crazy idea, I thank my friend for this challenge. It took us 8 hours to reach the top. Sincerely, I wasn’t prepared for this kind of effort, I should admit it was huge. I thought I would give up half way, but no, I resisted till the end. I knew I’m strong- willed, but this adventure exceeded my expectation about myself. By the way, there are bears in the Bucegi Mountains in Romania. “WARNING- BEARS” notice didn’t scare me as much as the mounds of bear shits we’ve seen in the woods. Hopefully we didn’t meet any bear, but we had all the chances 😀

Bucegi Mountains, Romania

I was freezing up there

4. This summer I spent almost 2 months in Italy and tried to communicate with locals as much as I could. Now I feel confident about my Italian and speak it fluently together with the gestures Italians do.

Gesticulating as Italians

Gesticulating as Italians

5. This summer I got to know Modigliani, Toulouse-Lautrec, Klee and got more close to Picasso. I found an old collection of Art books, it made me so curious that I didn’t give up until I finished reading all the books. These painters had different life paths, but all of them are so fascinating.

Picasso sculptures

Museum of Picasso, in a castle that used to be the artist’s studio, during his stay in Antibes, France

6. This summer “I’ve killed the materialistic beast” that lived inside of me. For me, Milan is far from the meaning “fashion capital”. I consciously ignored all the seasons sales and didn’t buy anything except the things I really needed. I stopped measuring my happiness through things I own. Happiness is about the world within us.

Duomo di Milano

Milano by night

7. This summer I visited Rome. It was a great city break together with my travel soul mate. More about my trip to Rome you can read here and here.

Breakfast in Rome

“When you’re in Rome, do as the Romans do”

8. This summer I attended an opera performance at La Scala, the world renowned opera house in Milan. It was a magnificent experience.

Teatro alla Scala

Waiting for “Don Pascuale” to get into the scene

9. This summer I had the best birthday ever. A weekend in the Alps with my family is more than I could wish for my 24th anniversary! About the surprises for my birthday I wrote here and here.

The Alps mountains, near Asiago

Having fun in the Alps

10. This summer I had a divine journey in the South of France. A lot of thanks to my angel from Antibes.

French Riviera

Côte d’Azur, mon amour!

11. This summer I experienced how does it feel to miss somebody.

Vatican wall

Unlock my soul

12. This summer I saved Sisi, a little dog, that I found alone and scared in the middle of the street. I tried to find “her family “ in the neighborhoods, but there was nobody. I was afraid she can get hit by a car, so I took her home, hoping to find any announcement about the dog’s loss. I couldn’t keep it over the night, but found her a great place to stay. At the second day, “the adoptive mother” took Sisi to the veterinary, hopefully she had a microchip and we found her mistress, an old wheel chaired lady. She was so happy to have Sisi back. I enjoyed Sisi’s company, I am going to have a dog someday, surely, a bigger one

Sisi in the arms of my mother

Meet Sisi, the lost and found puppy 🙂

13. The most enthusiastic thing about this summer is that I started a big adventure called Erasmus experience. I’ve just arrived in Poland one week ago, but I’ve managed to do so many things already. I’ve met a lot of people and some of them are really special. I do believe that “people make the place”, from this point of view Wroclaw is just amazing. The good news is that I’ll have plenty of time to discover it. The city is very colorful. Colors give a kind of “aura” to this place. You just go outside and you can easily feel Wroclaw’s vibe and energy. At the same time, the city is peaceful, clean and very green, at least during the summer. Needless to say, Wroclaw is situated in “the heart of Europe”, very close to Prague, Berlin, Vienna and other places worth sightseeing. I’m thrilled that I’m going to visit these places very soon.

Rynek, the main square in Wroclaw

My colorful Wroclaw!

What was special about your summer?

P.S.

This is one of my favorite songs from the times I used to be a DJ at a radio station. Enjoy!

My home is where my heart is

I have a dream. I wish to be home, a home full of life, freshness, light and warmth, a home with big tall wide opened windows, just to let all the sun come in.

Sometimes I feel like I’ve lost the sense of “home”. This is a strange feeling and I’m not comfortable with it at all. It makes me feel a kind of guilty because I have a wonderful family, that I adore, and is always waiting for me to comeback to the house where we grew up, to the house that used to be “our home”.

A friend of mine made me discover a talented girl with a kind voice called Ingrid Michaelson with her song “Are we there yet?”, apparently I’m not the only one “in trouble” with this kind of thoughts. “…home is where heart is”, this is what she says, as many times I listen to her song, as much I start to believe in this idea.

And here comes up the next question “where is my heart?” The answer I found yesterday on a picture posted on Facebook by a friend of mine. It says “If you want to know where your heart is look where your mind goes when it wanders”. It didn’t take me a lot of time to say to myself that I really think a lot about my family and friends, and a piece of my heart is always with them. No matter where am I, or where are they.

If you want to know where your heart is, look where your mind goes when it wanders"

Photo of Anna Zhmurko

So, it means my home is where my beloved are.

Dear friends, keep your beloved ones close to you and be happy!

Thank God I’ve got true friends!

On Monday I turned 24. I received tones of birthday wishes from my family, my friends, my classmates, my university colleagues, from people I worked with, from people I admire, from people I get inspired by and from people I’ve learnt from.

I would like to thank them all for their kind words, I’m happy to have them in my life. I hope they felt the warm thoughts I sent back to them.

The most emotional moment of the day was when my 2 years old nephew started to sing a happy birthday song for me, while my sweet little niece was dancing in her mother’s arms.

My nephew Cesar and my niece Beatrice

Later in the evening I found a big surprise on my Facebook wall. Two of my very special friends made a video for me.

Dear Taboo and Nick , I’m sure you’ll be reading this post, I miss you crazy people! Thank you for the wishes!

Here is the video 🙂

Happy Birthday to my travel soulmate!

Every day is a special one, but today I have much more reasons to be grateful to the Universe!

A dear friend of mine is celebrating her birthday. I’m so happy she is a part of my life, because I have so many things to learn from her. She has a brilliant intelligence, she is strong, ambitious and generous. She has high standards and thinks big about her goals, she always achieves them, but not always is aware of that. The thing I admire the most is her rebel spirit, that made her become a fighter.

She is used to fight against injustices of life, against regrets and disappointments, but I wish she starts fighting for love, happiness, peace and harmony.

We don’t meet each other too much, because there is almost 2000 km between us, even though, I feel her as close as 6 years ago when we first met, during our stay in Germany.

Our friendship is built on our “escapes”, this is why she is my travel soul mate.

The most enthusiastic thing is that today, on her birthday, we are enjoying Rome, together.

My dear friend, happy birthday and let your heart fulfill with light!

P.S. And don’t forget “when you need a friend, you got my hand” 🙂

Give and you’ll be given in return

Here we are, “to give or not to give?” this is the question of my first blog post. You may think Hamlet had a more existential problem, but this one is worth taking into consideration, too.

Some weeks ago, one of my friends posted a status on her Facebook wall, sounding like “never ask for what ought to be given”. We had a short conversation on that, but we didn’t go in depth of the subject. For this reason I was still thinking about the idea of giving and receiving. By giving, I mean helping, advising, doing something good for others.

Obviously, when somebody gives, other receives. But I truly believe the phenomenon of giving and helping is more than that. It works like boomerang, it returns to you when you throw it in the right way. And the right way is to help by being honest and sincere, to give without waiting to be given. Nobody ought to do something for us, but we can do something good for others. The Universe will find a way “to return the favor”.

I was very surprised to find this principle in business as well. The concept is called Giver’s Gain, firstly used by Ivan Misner, the founder of Business Network International (BNI). The philosophy is this: if you help other people, others will want to help you in return.

Erik Deckers and Kyle Lacy, in their book “Branding Yourself”, explain that “Giver’s Gain means that if you add value to someone else’s life, you have gained goodwill. If you add enough value to other’s lives, the goodwill visited back on you will be returned many times. So, you, as the giver, gain more goodwill by being helpful than you will if you are selfish and try to keep all the opportunities to yourself.”

Giver’s Gain philosophy can be applied in any kind of activity, but in Public Relations it becomes a rule. PR is about building relationships and the “giver’s gain” principles help in strengthening those relationships. I learnt this lesson from my experience.

“The best way to start practicing Giver’s Gain is just to step into the circle and be the first one to give”, say Erik Deckers and Kyle Lacy.

So, my online friends, I’m ready to give you a part of my energy, creativity, optimism, enthusiasm. I’m ready to share with you my experiences, dreams and passions.