Meet locals. Airina: “Every trip is like a small life”

So today I meet Airina – she is the guide in Travel Addicts Club. I think it would be fair to say the passion of her life is travelling. But Airina isn’t just another traveler – there’s something special about her, I just can’t figure out what exactly it is. Then a light crosses my mind – despite all the adventures and stories about other countries, Airina has her own strong, deep travel philosophy. She doesn’t search any adventures, she’s searching an experience. And sometimes adventures find her.

A few days ago Airina got back from Georgia where she spent a month. The next stop on her travel map is India. She’s planning to spend at least a couple of months there. 30 is the number of the countries Airina has already been. And she always travels alone. ”Don’t you miss a friend?” – I ask her. She smiles and says: ”Actually no. I’m really good with myself”.

Photo Ⓒ Airina Pinevičiūtė

For how long do you travel?
First time I travelled about 10 years ago. Till I was 20 years old all foreign countries I’ve seen was our neighbor Latvia. My family didn’t travel at all.

The very first trip was by yourself?
No, no, nothing like that. My first destination was the Balkans. I started the trip with three other guys from France. But they have talked French all the time. So after a couple of days I got bored and decided to continue the trip alone. I remember this trip so well, like it was yesterday. First 10 days on the road alone. I’m sure that if I traveled there now, there wouldn’t be so many impressions. But then it was more than amazing.

Photo Ⓒ Airina Pinevičiūtė

On this trip you’ve realized that you can and know how to be and travel alone?
Definitely yes! It‘s so good to know that you can travel alone, take care of yourself and this isn’t scary.

How do you choose your destinations?
The most often criterion for me is mountains.

Probably people ask you about Lithuania? What do you tell them about us?
First of all, that Lithuania is a small independent country – not a part of Russia. That we have our own language and it is not Slavic. Quite often I just take a map and show where exactly Lithuania is. Sometimes I meet people who know Lithuania really well. It’s nice to hear that they like Lithuania.

Photo Ⓒ Airina Pinevičiūtė

What 3 places would you recommend to see in Lithuania?
First of all Vilnius! No doubts. Then seaside, Nida of course. And – this belongs from how much time you have – I strongly recommend to take a trip and see Lithuanian forests and lakes.

Vilnius. Do you have any special places here?
No, the magical spirit of the city is everywhere. Especially in the old town. So you definitely should find some time to take a walk in cozy old town streets, check out the parks, the churches. Vilnius has so many churches and for those who are interested in this culture, there is so much to see. And if you’re looking for nature – try to climb the Three Crosses Hill – I like to joke it’s practically a jungle there!

Photo Ⓒ Airina Pinevičiūtė

You mentioned Nida – let’s talk about it. What do you like most about Nida?
Oh, Nida is absolutely one of a kind. The special calm, dunes, reeds in the lagoon – these little things are essence for me. Bike path all along the lagoon or even weather vanes in the sky – you can’t describe it with words, you just have to see it. Feel it.

Would you recommend foreigner to come to Lithuania? Is it worth?
Sure! But then again – what country isn’t worth to see? I think it all depends on your expectations, you should just realize what are you looking for and then every trip gives you something good.

Photo Ⓒ Airina Pinevičiūtė

What does Lithuania mean for you?
To be honest, I don’t know yet. It is my homeland and takes a big place in my heart. I can’t imagine what it would feel like if I couldn’t come back here.

Written by Edita Norkevičiūtė

7 ways to have fun on a rainy day in Lithuania

We have a saying in Lithuania, that there is no bad weather, just a bad outfit. And we totally agree with that! Since it was raining for the last two (or three?) weeks, we have some great ideas to share with you what to do when it rains. Believe us – they are tested and voted the best!

Everyone loves to eat and we are not an exception. But if you think we are saying you should grab a cheeseburger and lay down in front of TV – you’re wrong! We are talking about an adventure – go to the local food market, find fresh products and make best dinner yourself. Don’t know how to cook? Not a problem, you can always get a guide – professional chef, who knows how the magic in the kitchen works. Also, he knows lots of good local stories, not just about the food. Good company, delicious smell, maybe a glass of wine – and the rain is not a problem anymore!

Photo Ⓒ Marla Singer

Rainy days make you sleepy – this is not a secret. But don’t waste your time sleeping while you have limited time and so much to do! Well, we know that the coffee is always a good idea, but the cup of really good coffee is probably the best! And if you like the black magic, you should definitely meet Vilnius’ craft coffee roasters. While you’ll be tasting different worlds, they’ll tell so much you haven’t even imagined about coffee. And soon the raindrops on the window will be nothing more than the natural music.

Photo – Crooked Nose & Coffee Stories

Different kind of drinks! 
What can sound sadder than a rainy Friday night? Or any other rainy night in the city on your vacation? Our advice – take an umbrella and go try some local beer! We are talking not about getting drunk, but about tasting different types of beer and learning the difference.  Believe us, it is not as easy as it sounds, but it is a really cheerful pastime. Plus, you will definitely find your favorite beer and then the taste of it would never be the same.

Photo Ⓒ Nendrė Žilinskaitė

So it’s raining. You can always run away from the rain and do something you’ve never done before. Something crazy, I don’t know like… visit a nuclear power plant! Sounds incredible? Yet it’s true – you can definitely go to Visaginas and get into a Nuclear Power plant with access to stand on a reactor and a visit to the control station. Don’t forget that this is an unfinished clone of the Chernobyl Power plant and is the biggest in the world. So… who cares about the rain?

Photo Ⓒ Beata Voitechovskaja

Okay, sometimes it is the best to face your trouble. In our case the trouble is the rain so we do recommend getting a raincoat and go enjoy the rain! Even more – we know the place where the rain would be perfection. Go to a swamp and enjoy the fresh air, raindrops on your face and use the opportunity to take a close look to nature’s life. See that beauty? Well rain here is the necessary condition. Don’t be afraid to get dirty and if you do – don’t worry, cause the experience is worth a few drops of mud.

Photo Ⓒ Akvilė Jodkauskaitė

Rainy days are the best for laziness and doing nothing. But then again – you kind of wanna do something. Believe us – we’ve been there and know the feeling. The best solution for this one is a SPA. This relaxing time give you the chance to enjoy everything around you and – this is the best part – you have a legal reason to be lazy. Plus – it’s raining outside…

Photo Ⓒ Akvilė Jodkauskaitė

However, if SPA looks a bit too calm for you, this one will be perfect. We are talking about the sauna – it’s like a special experience for your body and mind. Be sure, locals love this activity, especially when it rains. So, why not to try?

Photo Ⓒ Antanas Minkevičius


Written by Edita Norkevičiūtė

Meet locals: What does your life look like when you live in a magical place?

When I met Zolenas, I told him that some of my questions could seem a bit strange, but his everyday life looks almost magical for me. Why? Well, first of all, because he lives in Pervalka – small village in Curonian Spit. And my dearest friends, if there are some magical places in the world, then Curonian Spit is definitely one of them.

24 years – that’s how long Zolenas is a fisherman. ”At the beginning there was no romance at all, it has been just an opportunity to start a business” – says Zolenas. And even though about his experience he talks like this isn’t something big, there is a sparkle in his eyes that gives away a little secret – he loves his work.

Photo Ⓒ Antanas Minkevičius

Let’s talk about the adventures – is there any memorable stories to share?

I hear this question a lot – smiles Zolenas. But there is just one story – you have to be sure that you’ll be safe. This isn’t a forest where you can find out a way, even if you got lost. A few years ago on spring I didn’t mark the fishing net. We just moved from the shore, when the big fog came. It was so thick that I couldn’t see anything at all. Shore, horizon – all gone. I had no idea, which way I need to go. The funniest part is that I was like 200 meters away from the shore.

What did you do?

I called for my colleague – he was on the shore – and asked him to give me a sign – the sound or the light. Actually, it was a common thing before, especially in autumn. Now it’s easier, especially with all the equipment. I remember at the beginning, it was a bit like spells – you take a compass and a watch. If there is a fog, you must be very careful, always keep an eye on the time. Otherwise, you’ll be stuck on the net or get lost.

Photo Ⓒ Antanas Minkevičius

Have you ever found another ship in your net?

Yeah, sometimes that happens. Not that long ago I ordered a net – special order, new net. I was so excited to try it! I set the net and when I came back in the morning – the net was all ruined! Brand new net! It didn’t catch not even a small fish. It was sad. But that happens. For that, one morning I’ve found a yacht in my net – what’s the catch!

Photo Ⓒ Edita Norkevičiūtė

I’ve heard that fishermen and sailors are really friendly – if they see that someone needs help, they always help. Is that true?

Yeah, it’s absolutely true. This is like the unwritten rule. It’s because it’s not that easy to get help when you are in the water – it doesn’t matter it is a sea or lagoon. And when you see that someone is in trouble you can’t just ignore that. It could be that you are the only one who can help.

Photo Ⓒ Antanas Minkevičius

Let’s talk about Lithuania. What is Lithuania for you?

My homeland. The place I live. Where my family, my kids lives.

Would you like to change it?

Well, I never thought about it, but probably no. I like it here. This is my home.

What TOP 3 places you would recommend for a guest to see?

Every place has something worth to see. It depends on what you’re expecting for. Here I would say that the Parnidis dune is one of the most amazing things. I love the bicycle patch from here to Nida – it’s in the woods, so the journey will be calm and peaceful. But my favorite place probably would be the Dead Dunes. It is sad, that not everyone can see the beauty of Dead Dunes. When you are on it – you can see the view and yes, it is amazing, but real beauty is to see the dunes from water – every time I see this I can’t figure it out how nature does this amazing thing. It is breathtaking view. It is worth to come here just for this one.

Photo Ⓒ Antanas Minkevičius

Written by Edita Norkevičiūtė

Guide to Vilnius: Read this before you go

Every time you decide to take your backpack and go on an adventure, you  can hear all kinds of tales and scary stories about your destination. Well, Vilnius isn’t an exception – we’ve heard a lot of stories too! The truth is Vilnius could be city of tales, but those without dragons and monsters. And the scariest creature here would probably be a trolleybus. An old one.

Photo Ⓒ Akvilė Jodkauskaitė

So here are some most popular tales about Vilnius – let’s check if it is true.

There’s a story saying that… it takes ages to go to Vilnius

Well… no. Actually, it’s really simple to reach Vilnius. One of the simplest ways is to take a plane. Don’t listen the stories about long, tiring flights – for example, it takes no more than 2,5 hours to come here from London. So it’s like a perfect time to admire the view, chit-chat with a neighbor, take a nap and voilà! Welcome to Vilnius!

Photo Ⓒ Antanas Minkevičius

There’s a story saying that… the prices of taxi are really high

Not true. We have a lot of different taxi companies and they are ready to drive you everywhere you need for a decent price. The journey from airport to the city center takes about 15 minutes and costs about 10€. Convenient and fast train ride (7 minutes) costs less then 2€. Sounds good deal, right? Or you can always use Uber!

Photo Ⓒ Akvilė Jodkauskaitė

There’s a story saying that… it’s hard to reach other cities from Vilnius

It’s the question for science-fiction writers. Since there is no problem traveling to Vilnius, there is absolutely no problem to go away. You can choose a flight to 47 different cities from VNO. Soon, there will be 4 more. So this tale might be true only for one reason – once you visit Vilnius, it is too hard to leave!

Photo Ⓒ Akvilė Jodkauskaitė

There’s a story saying that… Vilnius is like a medieval city

Actually, this is true. We do have medieval old town. You’ve probably heard that it is one of the largest surviving medieval old towns in Northern Europe. And we are proud of it! But that doesn’t mean that we live here without electricity and other facilities. It’s a joke, but we know – a lot of people think that instead of modern capital city Vilnius is more like a big village. Well, it could be true if village means nature. The best part about Vilnius is that here you can find everything from the groves and parks to modern city signs. Some say that Vilnius reminds Paris – with cozy historical old town and a small island of skyscrapers like Défence.

Photo Ⓒ Rytis Šeškaitis

There’s a story saying that… there’s no chance to talk in English here

This one is my favorite! And of course it isn’t true. 20 years ago, it probably would be difficult to find someone who could tell you the right direction on the street. Instead of telling you the price the cashier would write it down. But today everyone knows English. Maybe not everyone could retell Harry Potter fluently, but communication and navigation might be easier than you expect! So next time in Vilnius feel free to ask anything you need to know!


There’s a story saying that… Lithuanians don’t smile. At all

Yes, we do. It is true that Lithuanians are serious people and sometimes our face looks like we’ve been eating lemons all morning. But that’s just a camouflage. The truth is that Lithuanians are kind, sincere people who sometimes… just forget to smile. But we always, always smile back. And that’s a good start. I think…

Photo Ⓒ Akvilė Jodkauskaitė

Let’s come and ruin those myths yourself!

Written by Edita Norkevičiūtė