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Soul Adventurer - Weronika Ulicka - Soul Adventurer

Soul Adventurer – Weronika Ulicka

Please introduce yourself, what’s your name, where do you come from, what do you do for a living?Weronika Ulicka, Polish. Occupation: illustrator. I returned to Poland after a year of traveling. I travelled from Spain, through Morocco, to Senegal and Mali, and finished in France. It was supposed to end there, but after two months in Poland I’m counting down the days to leave again. I want to travel in the same direction again- Africa, but the plans are much bigger this time; I would like the trip to take longer and to lead deeper.

Briefly, what was your lifestyle like before?

Moderately interesting, although happy. But from time to time I was thinking about this hut in the forest at the end of the world, where one day I would come and live and wash clothes in the river.

Was there an event or moment that actually propelled you to make a change?

There was no turning point that enlightened me or turned my life upside down. Rather, it was an evolutionary rather than a revolutionary turn. I always knew that I would end up like this. It might be a question of genetics.

How/what did you do to change your life? 

I got angry at myself and after three years I gave up my job, which I despised. Where I was being given the least responsible job for fools. I left to fulfil my dream of being freelance with the assumption that “from now on I only do those jobs I want”. I put the motto into action, but only to pack my backpack after a year and say to myself I can still earn from drawing, but not for the next twelve months.

Were there any obstacles?

There were lots of obstacles on the road but first and foremost was fear. What will happen if I’m wrong. You can read about such adventures only in books. A sense of responsibility built up by myself and other ideas about what life should look like, did not allow me to believe that I can do it, but when I started everything was just simple.

What was the hardest thing to let go of from your previous lifestyle and how did you overcome it?

Attachment to life. I have discovered that I am clinging to what is known and safe: people, places, small and large routines, which gives a delusional sense of peace of mind. I had to unhook myself.

Can you describe a typical day of your life now?

The average day is more questions than answers. When I think I know everything, suddenly something happens that turns my judgments upside down, as if it wanted to rebuke me for lack of humility. The average day is one in which I go somewhere not knowing what will happen in the evening. It’s one that ends somewhere else than it began and the average day is also the one where I am staying in one place. There are not two days the same, even if I wanted them to be.

What is the best thing or the best moment regarding your new lifestyle?

I value the right to discomfort. I am waiting for it happily, I give in to it. I fall into new situations and finally say, I do not know anything, I do not understand anything, i just hope that the answers will come. I value the right to put my beliefs and expectations to the test, the luxury of saying: everything in my time and living in accordance with the rhythm of sunrise and sunset. I appreciate the fact that I don’t need to have too many things and close my life in the 50 litres of my backpack.

How do you feel about your lifestyle in regards to your mind, body and soul?

It’s not a vacation anymore, no return ticket, no certainty what will happen tomorrow. There are moments of self-doubt and the rightness of choice, willingness to return and questions: maybe it would be better to have this home, this family and free weekends? This is what the mind deals with in crisis moments when it forgets how much power it is to face the unknown.

The body is doing its job at the time, meaning trying to withstand it, but the worse it is, the better, because I finally discover with delight the body’s ability to cope with the sun, thirst, multi-kilometer wandering and chattering of the mind. And the spirit, even if it is forgotten, rises to the heights and after some time each step is a step on the spiritual path, and a helping hand – the work of providence. I am coming to conclusion that the universe loves me and there is a caring spirit in every tree.

Do you have any regrets?

Sometimes I think I should have done it a long time ago. But I could not, if it happened otherwise. It is as it should be. So regret anything does not make sense.

What do your friends and family think? Has your change inspired anyone else to change anything about their lives?

I would like it but it is as it is, they already know.

What advice would you give to anyone who was thinking about making a life change?

Every day, do one small thing that you are afraid of. The next major steps won’t be so terrible. If this is the right way, all fears will disappear as soon as you take the direction, because most things are easier than they seem. And watch out who for who you take advice from. For a giraffe, crossing a river is not the same as for a lizard, as the Senegalese parable says.

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