Tag Archives: travel

Wolin Viking and Slavs Festival

Every year, thousands of people from all over the Baltic region flock to an island in northwest Poland called Wolin to attend the festival of Vikings and Slavs. It’s essentially a big renaissance fair, but with a Viking flair. I just might have to move our time table to make it for this year’s celebration. Maybe I’ll even score an outfit and take part in the battle.

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February 5, 2013 · 12:57 am

Escaping to Poland (link)

It seems like more and more folks out there are looking for options that don’t include maintaining a presence in the USofA. Everyone has a different reason, it seems, but the key point is that everyone HAS a reason. Sure, there are the die hard patriots out there who wave the red, white, and blue, cook burgers and hot dogs on the 4th, and watch football religiously on Sundays after church, but the numbers of disillusioned are growing.

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February 1, 2013 · 9:38 am

Oh Canada…

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So the wife and I decided to pack up the kids and take a little trip across the border to America’s hat. We were meeting up with some friends of mutual friends for a get together, some of which we hadn’t met before. This, apparently, set off some red flags in the minds of the border patrol agents; my story of a fun adventure to meet people in person I knew only casually otherwise sounded a lot like a possible terrorism suspect transporting guns/drugs/money across the border. I was in for a long, ridiculously polite interrogation.

First off, understand that I had been driving for 12 hours through the night (prime time for baby transport) so my mental filter was set to “open”. Are you a gun owner, sir? Why yes, Mr. Canadian, what self-respecting American isn’t? Any scary black rifles with armor piercing incendiary fragmenting laser-guided bullets in a 500 round clip? Of course!

The next series of questions definitely turned some heads, and cemented their curiosity.

Agent: So, what brings you to Canada?
Me: I’m visiting a friend.
Agent: How did you know this friend?
Me: I met him on the internet. We’re members of a discussion group.
Agent: An online discussion group? What do you talk about?
Me: Oh, this and that. Mostly politics.

And then came the question that finally woke me:

Agent: Do you have any trap doors or secret compartments in your vehicle?
Me: Uhh… what?
Agent: It’s okay if you do! There are a lot of reasons why some people [like you] would want to avoid traditional institutions like banks and have alternative means to keep valuables safe.

At this moment, I realized that I wasn’t just a married father of two crossing a friendly border any more. No, it appears that Canada has significant concerns:  “some people” crossing their southern border smuggling in weapons and drugs. Now, where have I heard that before? And why does Mr. Canadian think I could be one of these fine individuals? Was it my mountain man appearance, or do Canadians think American gun owners are potential terrorists? Perhaps they were doing their best to be impartial, like our TSA.

Meanwhile, Ms. Canadian border agent was furiously jotting down notes which I can only imagine determined my ultimate fate and looked something like this:

Pros

  • White
  • Traveling with wife and children
  • Driving a ridiculously boring vehicle
  • Purports to be visiting a friend’s ski cabin for vacation

Cons

  • A little TOO white
  • Traveling with a convenient cover
  • Driving a vehicle with plenty of space to hide guns/drugs/money
  • Member of some kind of political “discussion group” joining people he met on the internet in a cabin in the woods, probably in order to plan the assassination of a Canadian politician that no American cares about, but by god needs to be protected.*

In any case, it was the most polite harassment I have ever undergone, at least as polite as being asked 12 times if I was sure I wasn’t smuggling weapons can be. And we only got in to our destination a few hours late. I also had a serious burst of Canadian traffic on my blog, as Ms. Canadian claimed to be technologically retarded (and judging by her computer use, she was telling the truth) and also claimed not to know what a blog even was, so I showed her mine. I’m pretty sure she kicked it around the office, so maybe the CBSA learned something about international travel beyond their border.

 

*No Canadian politician was harmed or threatened harm in the course of our trip, unless you count general admonitions of Harper’s terrible government by drunk Canadians as harmful.

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Learning the Polish language

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There’s a great little summary of some language help resources over at Roosh’s new site, Return of Kings, tailored specifically for the Polish language. If you are unfamiliar with Roosh, he’s an international traveler known best for his guides on how to attract women in the various countries he has visited. His new project is a cooperative effort focused heavily on self-improvement and men’s issues. If you get the chance, take a look at what he has to say. Some of it can be shocking, and most of it is politically incorrect, but you can’t clean the house without getting a little dirty!

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International travel woes

Not this time, terrorists!

So some guy decided to stop taking his meds and load up on booze on his way to New York recently. Apparently, that doesn’t sit well with passengers any more, so they taped his ass to his seat with duct tape (though, it looks more like 100mph tape, for my army readers) and finished the flight in relative silence. He wasn’t charged with anything, because passengers just wanted to get on with their lives rather than talk to police about some nutjob, so I suppose he’s roaming the streets of New York as we speak. Hopefully, the city that never sleeps will keep an eye on this guy, but I won’t hold my breath.

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Pulling the trigger

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It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way…

For one Viking family, the world is very much as Dickens portrayed. This desperate winter season hearkens a hopeful spring, when we will take to the waters like our forefathers and invade Poland with the promise of riches and valor to come. I suppose “take to the waters” might be a bit of hyperbole, as we’ll likely fly coach, but the sentiment remains.

The decision to transplant my family to another continent, to a nation with a foreign culture and language, was not a decision made lightly. Many factors led to this decision, starting years ago; decisions I made as far as my previous education, my wife’s family background, my experiences in the military, and the life my wife and I have lived since becoming one unit. I’ll break down my goals, my progress, and my reasoning that led me to where I am now, and share my experience and ideas with anyone interested in something like what I’m doing, or just interested in general.

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