Indulge in Poland

Name: Courtney Crisp
Job: Guidance Counselor/Clinical Psych Master’s Student
Current City: Newport Beach, California
Where did you travel? Krakow, Poland

IMG_8390Bianca, a close college friend, and I hanging around Rynek Głowny.
It was amazing to explore Europe together.

IMG_8385Sukiennice (Cloth Hall) in Kraków’s Rynek Głowny (Main Square).
Almost 80% of Warsaw was destroyed in World War II but 
Kraków still has most of it’s historical buildings intact

IMG_1270Me being too tall for our hostel room in Krakow.

IMG_8399Pierogi! Polish dumplings – pure deliciousness.
The fillings range from meat and potatoes to blueberries.

IMG_8396Me relaxing with a Polish  beer at the end of a long day of exploring the city.

IMG_8403Vodka tasting. Vodka in Polish is drunk neat (without any ice, water, or mixers).
Not for the faint of liver. Luckily I’m Polish so it’s in my blood.

IMG_8467A mashup of nationalities and travelers we met at our hostel on a pub crawl.
A few Brits, an Australian, a Spaniard, and the two American girls.

IMG_8417A rough sketch of my family tree. I went to the mountains of Southern Poland to try and find where my family was from. Along with these names, I had a few old pictures, the name of the town, and very general memories from my uncle when he had been with my grandma in 1991.


Walking  to the house with our Polish guide and friend, Mateusz.  This journey was meaningful because it was the house my great-grandma was born in. My great-grandma (and my grandma) had always wanted to come back/visit Poland, but couldn’t because of the wars and subsequent Iron Curtain. A lot of her family died in World War II (shot by Nazis, Auschwitz). I have a picture just like this one but of my grandma walking up the same path. 

IMG_1347Hanging out in the field in front of the house. The air was so clean and beautiful up there it was unreal.

IMG_1372Poland has what I like to call “Catholic kitsch” everywhere. Here is a shrine of Mary right by their house.
My great-grandma and her family used to walk the long way to church and take breaks at all of the shrines.

IMG_1321My grandma’s cousin, who was hanging out and chopping wood outside. I didn’t expect the house or my family to be from such a rural area. Mateusz told us their mountain accents were so thick he could barely understand them. It really struck me later that Aleksander (my grandma’s cousin), has lived through and seen so much (World War II, according to family folklore Nazis killing his father and brothers, Communism coming and going). And despite it, he’s outlived my grandma’s entire generation in America. Maybe it’s the mountain air.

IMG_1368Aleksander, his wife, and I.
There’s a picture from 20 years earlier of my uncle and grandma in this exact spot.

IMG_1297The Lesnica bus stop. It’s the most ridiculously small rural town you’ve ever seen.
I was honestly surprised they had a bus.

IMG_1304Ulica Gile! Gil is my family name – this is the street they live on.
During Communist times the streets weren’t named or labeled at all.

“It’s always good to remember where you come from and celebrate it. To remember where you come from is part of where you’re going.” – Anthony Burgess 


Author: Grown Up Truth team

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