Monday, 19 December 2016

The truth/s

We all have a system of right and wrong - a system of true and false
It is either inherited or developed. 
It is an astonishingly powerful system that gives us grounding. 
It is our is our compass that we consult to navigate through life

The fact is, though, that we are not always open to admit to ourselves that our "truth system" is incredibly unique and others might not share it or rather have a very different one. 
We rarely respect the other people´s truths as it might not simply occur to us, that their truth is so very unlike ours.

We judge others based on our truth. Once they do not fulfil our expectations, we end up upset, disappointed or let down.
Does that ring a bell at all?

One wise person told me, to open my mind that "the coin always has two sides"...that there can be two versions of a story.
Once, when discussing my essay with a professor, with whom we disliked each other very much, I tried to use the "two-sides of a coin" argument. With an arrogant smirk on his face he told me "Julie, there are always more sides of the coin".

Do we grant the people we disagree with the presumption of innocence (/ the right to their truth)? 
Do we make that painful effort to open our eyes and mind to other versions of truth? 
Do we think that anything beyond our truth is simply false or can we put ourselves in their shoes for a while and try to see the truth from their perspective?

Whatever the answers to those questions are, opening my eyes and understanding that there is an infinite number of truths which I need to respect and cherish has made my life easier, happier and more colourful.

What do you see? 
Which truth/s do you choose to follow?

Monday, 17 October 2016

Crowdfunding campaign

Yes, it is the way it is. 
I decided to be yet another person asking you for your support.
Because I like to experience, collect experiences and write about them. And the fact it, that I have chosen probably one of the most expensive places to do so.
Now, I am not asking you to finance my fun life here, but I wish to cover the administrative expences that I have been faced with. 
And so I am turning to you - if there is any way you could support me, even by sharing my post, that would be highly appreciated.

If though you want to find out how did it all begin, click here.
I have moved to New Zealand officially!
I am now staying in Wellington to deal with the bureacracy papers. I don´t think that I will be staying more than 2 weeks here. 
As lovely as Wellington is and Wellingtonians are. It is not exactly, what I came to New Zealand for. I am not scared anymore. I have left my fear at home and am fully plunging into the adventure.

Where next?
I am probably going to catch a ferry to Nelson - a town at the nothern tip of the south island and try to look for a job there. The ideal would be to get a job in the Abel National Park. I would love to get to know those two islands through working in the different national parks. That would be the dream for me - to keep on changing my location - the location always being a national park. We shall see. :)

Sunday, 25 September 2016

6 facts about glutenfree people

I decided to make you life easier if you meet a glutenfree person, so that you will understand us better 
>you are welcome humans<
Unfortunately, I do not seem to have the energy anymore (after 12 years of constant questions) to explain what gluten is and what is means to be glutenfree.
 Ask uncle Google or auntie Wikipedia (no, I am not being paid by either of them) or consult some other sources.

The "So what happens when you eat something with gluten" question
Firstly, well done, for being curious and for wanting to know more, you should be getting plus points for that. 
The truth is though, we have probably answered this question like a 1000 times and we will have to do a lot of that yet. Well, taking in account that our bodies understand gluten as poison...what do you think? But we tend to politely answer with "all sorts of digestive problems". That sometimes would not stop the curious souls who like to continue with another question "like what?". I usually answer "well, I get really bad stomach cramps, but some people are even much worse".

It is not a choice, ok?
Being allergic to gluten is not a food choice.
It is a life full of "Sorry, I cannot have that" and dealing with disappointed faces.
It is a life during which you constantly have to check the ingredience list for even "traces of gluten".
Yes, it became so modern now.
Essentially not feeding on too much amount of gluten can be good for you. But blindly following the trend without particularly knowing what gluten is...uhm...

The word "diet" in the phrase glutenfree diet 
You think you might loose 1 or 2 kilos with this "diet"? Awww, bless you, you are in for a surprise. Only once I gained 10 kilos within a year when I got diagnosed, some doctor told me how tricky this "diet" was. Although, I have not been eating more I was not eating the wheat flour anymore, which our bodies transform into active energy - something to burn easily. However, the substitute flours such as the corn or rice flour are understood as passive energy and our bodies store it. You want to loose weight? This diet is not going to help (to put it lightly).

The invitations to restaurant can be a nightmare for us
Oh, do you really want to take us out to a restaurant? Well, personally I refused to go to restaurants for about 10 years actually. I could not face the annoyed waiters, looking at me as if I wanted to make their lives difficult and the food choice varying from chicken breasts with potatoes or chicken breasts with rice. (P.s. I hate chicken breasts)
Some of us might still find it uneasy to go to restaurants, unless that is a gluten-free which case do go ahead and take us there, because we will be in heaven from being overwhelmed by the possibility of actually being able to pick what we can eat.
This is a picture of me and Emma (also glutenfree) in a completely glutenfree place Bluebell Tearoom in Stirling enjoying the proper English tea in a glutenfree version.

Travelling can be slightly challenging
Bare with us when we get a little stressed while travelling. Not everywhere we can find a place where can find something glutenfree to eat. We might get hungry, we might get stressed or even upset. In this case, please encourage us and be nice to us.
I have not had such a bad experience myself. The only place where I struggled a bit was my trip to Balkans. Having said that, I should say that being glutenfree interferes with my travel destination choices more than I would like to admit to myself.

Oh and by the way?
No need to apologise to us. Don´t be sorry that we cannot eat what you offered. It is very kind of you that you did and there is nothing to be sorry about. Not your or our fault...just somewhere along in the DNA did not go all that well, not a big deal ;)

Thursday, 22 September 2016


Hi friends,

So today it is two weeks till I will be leaving Europe.
You probably have a couple questions to ask, I would have too!
Do you feel like you did not ask me everything you wanted to?
Don´t worry, Here is a little Q & A session for you.

>P.s. Let me know if you´d like to know something else<
Photo source:

Q: Why New Zealand? 
A: Honestly? That place just seems like a fairytale place - outdoor wise and people wise. I love the fact that it seems like the whole world is concentrated there - mountains, lakes, beaches, forests, volcanos and so on. 

Q: What do I want to do there? 
A: I would love to get to know those two islands through working in the different national parks. That would be the dream for me - to keep on changing my location - the location always being a national park. 
Q: Are you going alone?
A: Yes, I don´t know anybody there, I am travelling alone and it feels fine. Yes, one more proud female solo traveller here - since the age of 14. 
Q: Aren´t you scared? 
A: Well, I did nickname myself constant worrier not so long ago, didn´t I? To be people kept on asking me so much that I started to be a little. But the truth is, I am moving to New Zealand because I am an unusually curious curious that it prevents me from feeling too scared. Whether that is a good thing I leave up to you.
Q: Am I excited? 
A: Yesss! So much the every particle of my body shivers.

Q: What are you going to be doing there?
A: Well it is a work and travel visa, so I will work and travel.

Q: How long do you plan to stay?
A: I stopped planning the unnecessary and unpredictable. So I will just leave it up to the circumstance, but if you still need a time frame - the visa is valid for a year.
Q: So are you parents paying for it? 
A: No, a year ago, when I finished Uni, they stopped supporting me financially and I fully support that decision. Though I tried to put aside as much money as I could have, I am Czech and I worked for an NGO. That means that all Czech money will loose all it´s value once I travel anywhere else, especiallly New Zealand. Plus...anyone who has ever worked in an NGO knows, how the salary looks like.
Anything else? 
Perhaps the following ones, right? Don´t pretend that they did not cross your mind :)
- No, I am not leaving because of a broken heart or a crazy family background.
- No, I am not going on a spiritual journey to discover my inner self. 

Saturday, 30 July 2016

Auntie love

Those of you who know me probably never really expected that I will be an aunt and my sister will be a mum so soon. 
Well, life happens...literally. 

More than a month ago, my sister gave birth to an adorable baby boy and I became an aunt, a proud aunt.

This post is a bit of a confession and also a beginning of a route to discovery what being and aunt means and feels like.
A can already say that my feelings have been all over the place - from deep love to an irrational fear. 

Every moment of being an aunt teaches me something new:
- My ear-drums shake wildly and try their best to endure the intense cry. 
- My mind (constantly preoccupied by worried at the normal state) let´s go and let´s itself being absorbed by the rare split moment when he actually stares in my eyes.  
- My heartbeat almost instantly synchronises with his heartbeat while I hold him against me. 
- I get goosebumps when he rests his pillow soft palm on my face.
- I surf on the wave of adrenalin when that makes me sweat so badly that I feel the drops of sweat running down my lower back while trying with all my might to calm down the roar coming from that 3,5 kilos of a new human being.

Nothing really prepared me however for the amount of responsibility and fear that will overwhelm and almost paralyse me.
Holding a baby - not yours, yet as close to you as it can be - comes with an incredible sense of responsibility. It bloody is not some sort of a thing you can replace, or an animal you can pet. It is a living breathing, ear-drum-shaking cry producing human being with a future...a future that you want to be the brightest as possible.
My mind immediately became an over-producing typewriter of all the possibly horror scenarios that might happen to the baby
No matter how stupid your thoughts are (when was the last time you tripped over your legs while walking on a flat surface really!) you still want to make sure that you will be just insanely extra-careful.

Now might be a time to admit that I also turned into an over-protective and over-caring lioness and to say that I did not hesitate to cycle 20 kms forth and 20 kms back to the nearest cherry farm, to pick the darkest possible cherries so that my sister can snack on them and the baby (in my mind) can get the best possible nutrion.
Yeah, I know...the cherries from the local supermarket might have been just good enough, but there simply is no arguing with a proud aunt. 

The precious precious moments of peace
You know that sentence from cheesy romantic books "I looked at his eyes and I was lost"...that actually is the truth for me and my little nephew. 
His glance can wander, but from time to time he does focus on me. He looks at me with his eyes that you still cannot tell a colour of...the eyes that yet have seen so little of what is to see out there and I am completely lost. 

I cannot help but wonder...
What do I see there? Do I see anything? Do I see what I want to see? Do I see the end of the world / the beginning / the ultimate truth or innocence? 

And what does he see? Does he see the almost 25-year-old person who never thought she would be an aunt before she was a mother? Does he see the person who is still trying to figure out what she wants? Or does he see a person whos eyes have the same colour as his moms and whos voice is almost identical to hers and yet have so little in common?

Well, I guess I will just have to find out in the exciting days and years of being an aunt to come.

Friday, 29 July 2016

3 best compliments I ever got

Few days ago. I overheard a conversation of a couple when one person was almost attacking the other one, trying the make him say a compliment. 
That really got me thinking what does define a "compliment", why do we need to hear them and if it is only after hearing them that we actually get a full grasp of what the comliments referred to.

I am not a person seeking compliments and validation, but I hearing some nice things about myself understandably brightens my day.
That, with all honesty, does not happen very often. 
When I get compliments, they sound ... uhm ... special. 
The overheard conversation really scared me though and so I decided to go ahead and share with you 3 best compliments I ever got. 
The aim is to show that if compliments occur, can take any form and you can always take them in a way you want.

Disclaimer - the following sentences might not have been originally meant as compliments, but I choose to take them as such. 
I absolutely love the fact that Mr. Darke and Mr. Hernandez were able to notice those particular qualities of mine and comment on them in a very heart-warming way. :)

1. "You seem very awkward, but you don´t hide it, you own it. Is is a unique quality." Mr. Darke

2. "If I were your legs, I would run away. All that running, mountaneering and shit." Mr. Hernandez 

3. "One can just never tell, when you´re on your period, you are just nice all the time." Mr. Hernandez 

Saturday, 30 April 2016

The Halfmarathon

I always knew that one bright and sunny day I will run a half-marathon. I just never knew that the day would come so soon.

When I run, I run for the joy. I run in the woods and parks and don´t really enjoy crowds of people joining in.
When I run, I prefer to have animals around, not 11 thousand people.
When I run, I run with a pepper spray and my ID. A pepper spray just in case I´d need to protect myself and the ID in case the pepper spray fails and they will need to identify my body.

Though it might not sound like me, I always wanted to run a half-marathon. As a matter of a fact, I posted this image from one of my morning runs on 15/05/2015 saying "Make a wish. Mine is to run half marathon one day."

Before I proceed to how it all happened, I think one should clarify the misconceptions that float around a half-marathon Prague run.

It is going to hurt!
"Julie, prepare yourself, there is going to be pain, it is bloody going to hurt" - well, that is what I heard multiple times from people with whom I discussed it with. I can tell you one thing. If those people ever got the kind of period pain some of us get, they would never say that a half-marathon hurts. And just to clarify, I am not putting on a brave face, I actually have a very bad tolerance to pain.
At one point I did feel my left Achilles tendon going stiff and ache a little, but after a while the pain went away.
It can hurt...but welcome the pain, acknowledge it and let it go. There might even be the voice telling you to stop and slow down...but let it just pass you ears. You have much more strength than you think.

They are important, you do want to choose shoes that will comfortably carry you through a distance that might usually take up a day of walking. My advice is don´t stress it. If your shoes are comfy, don´t feel bad that they are not Nike or Adidas. Mine were old, second hand shoes that I actually did not even have time to clean up from mud.

>"ewww Julie, why are you posting pics of your blistery feet?"..."well, you are very welcome world<
Cobble stones will kill you Julie

"Running on coble stones is the worst" - honestly it is not the most fun thing to do, but people who say that should try wearing highheels and walking (not to say running) on cobble stones.

Make sure that you sleep well
Let´s all take a moment and acknowledge that sleep is the best.
I love to sleep and I can turn into a grumpy monster if I don´t have my 8 hours a night.
It probably is very desirable to get as much of it before the run as you can, right? Well, yeah probably...but the nights before the race I barely was getting 5 hours of sleep a night. You can do it even if you don´t relax enough before it.

Energy drinks and all that jazz
Ahhh, so many people had those energy drinks and gels and all those fancy thingies to make you think that they give you energy and all. I never had any of this and hell I did not need it. I found 4 chewing gums (my alltime favourite lime ones) in my pocket and that was it.

What a rebel you are! (?)
As you can see, I probably broke every possible rule you might read in some sort of a running guide, which I never actually read anyway. Truthfully, I did not even know what was the exact route of the run! I am not a rebel, I just don´t think one should overdo it. There is a million pieces of advice floating around on the internet, but your body will know better than any technology, smart food or anything.
My running results said that I run every 5 kms in exactly the same speed (with the difference of few seconds) and I had no idea about this, did not have any apps to measure this or anything. Seriously, your body will know what to do. Don´t even try to run behind someone, just do your own thing.

Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!
One does not have to win it, you don´t have to finish even. Just bloody enjoy it! If someone was filming my face, they would have thought I was on drugs - I was honestly smiling all the time, the atmosphere was absolutely intoxicating, people cheer, other runners give you smiles. Just charge energy from all the people around, they scream it at you, don´t be afraid to receive it. Even if I did not finish it would have been worth it, don´t feel like you need to prove anything to anyone, not even yourself.
Embrace the adrenalin lifting up your feet and let it carry you.

Run for yourself, you can do it
Don´t run for anyone else but yourself. I did not have anyone in the audience and when I called my mum to actually tell her what I did (since I did not know if I was going to do it, noone knew) her first reaction was "God, you tell me you did not finish last". The truth is you are in this alone (though there might be another 11 thousand people around you) and you alone will accomplish it and cheer from it the best, so enjoy it. :)

Here is a TIMELINE of how it all happened:
Thursday 31/03/2016, evening, in the tram
My friend Petra posted on Facebook that she is sick and wants someone else to run the Saturday half-marathon for her. I reply to that if one can still do that and get a prompt answer that I should do it.

Friday 01/04/2016, throughout the day
"What have I done", I keep saying to my wise friend Barbara:
  • if I don´t run it, I will hate myself and think what a coward I am
  • if I run it and cannot finish, I will think what a quitter I am and I will hate myself
  • if I run it, finish and became ill from exhaustion, I will hate myself
Barbara listened to me with raised eyebrows and said "Julie, you just have to stop being such a perfectionist and being so hard on yourself".

Friday 01/04/2016, night, my bed
I cannot sleep, I just can´t. I am going through different scenarios in my head. Not a minute of sleep that night. Well, that´s perfect, not enough sleep before a race, just what I needed.

White wine for dinner?
Sunday, 02/04/2016, 0:30, the front of Hemingway pub in Prague
I flip a coin, it lands on my palm and as I uncover my right hand I see the result. Ok, it says that I am running then, oh wait I am running in 9 and half hours and I am still in the centre of Prague and tipsy! I hear a question from my friend, Anna Maria, whether I made sure I ate something starchy, like potatoes. "That is supposed to be good for you", she says. I stare stupidly and my forehead starts to sweat since I am thinking "uhm, not really, I had three glasses of white wine, is that healthy for me?"
>see if you can spot the 1 Czech Crown of my wall of coins that have helped me make decisions<

Sunday, 02/04/2016, 1:30 am, my bed, falling asleep
After I sit for a while in the pub with Anna Maria, Sarah and Rosa I realise that I need to get home while they wait for the absint. I text Petra "You know what? I think I am going to do it". I am finally in bed and think that I shall see in the morning, that my body will tell if we can do it. There is a sentence, that my best English friend Charis once said, ringing in my head as I am falling asleep "I won´t be able to do it, but can do it Julie, you have the balls".

Wake up time!!!
Sunday, 02/04/2016, 07:01 am, my bed
Why did I wake up this early?! I could have been sleeping for another two hours! Don´t you want to make sure that you get a proper rest before a race like this? What am I even doing. I plunge into a bathtub with hot water, trying to relax my muscles. Still cannot make a decision.

Sunday, 02/04/2016, 08:00 am, after getting out of bath
Ok, let´s check out the shoes then. Oh bloody hell, they are ridiculous, I can´t run in those shoes, what would people think. Wait, what! Would I really make this kind of decision based on what might people think? I don´t even have any work out music on my phone, I go online and quickly download first collection of songs that I came across and the name of it - THE BATTLE - caught my attention. It turned out to be perfect for the run.

Sunday, 02/04/2016, 08:30 am, our garden
I open the door to our garden, it´s 9 Celsius degrees and the morning haze just lifted up giving it´s way to a blinding and beautiful sunshine. I step outside and breath in the fresh air, it´s a little chilly, yet perfect for running. All of a sudden I hear a massive roar coming from the centre of Prague and cutting through the cool air. So, it´s beginning, the moderators must have arrived and they are welcoming the media and the early arrived people. Well, this is kind of scary. Do I really want to be a part of it? Wait, but how can I sit home and feed myself with stupid excuses why did I not do it.

Sunday, 02/04/2016, 09:00 am, my room, listening to Spotify
As I am reaching for my sports bra, the special kind that gives your chest a very boyish look and successfully eliminates the painful boobie bounciness, my Spotify playlist if on shuffle and decides to play some songs for me. Two very familiar songs come up. Those are the songs that I would always start my run with (until I got sick and tired of them) Battle Cry and I Bet My Life. "Ok, this is a sign, I should really really do it". Aren´t we humans just suckers for "signs"?

Sunday 02/04/2016, 09:20 am, getting on a tram, meeting other runners
Why did this bosy looking runner just give my dirty shoes such a dirty look? They are dirty, so what...get your skinny runner ass out of the way! Why does everyone around me bloody look like an absolute pro? Hang on...why am I comparing myself to other again, that sure is a highway to hell, I need to stop. Ok, I am just going to do my own thing and let the symphony Vltava, that the loudspeakers along the race expoded with, fuel my trembling feet.

The race infact was just ok. I thought, I would run 15 kms, I think I can do that and if I do, I will be proud and get home. In my 13th km I asked myself how do I feel...and I felt ok. So I kept running. Then before I knew it, it was my 17th km...and I realised, it´s only 4 kms till the finish...hell yes, I can do this easy!!!
I finished in 2 hours and 38 minutes. It is not a winning time, but it is win. :)

Did I hit the brick wall every runner fears?
Actually, I never had that feeling. I had some mild crises...but nothing I was not able to slide away with some encouraging and body-phrasing thoughts. A half-marathon is not enough to wear you down and to torture you. You don´t have to put up too much of a fight to get through it, I promise!

A final note?
Honestly, halfmarathon is not too much of a struggle, it is not too much for your body, you can do it even if you will have to push yourself a little. The struggle of thinking and stressing about it is probably more severe than running the actual race.