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”.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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