Julia's life

My travels, interests and observations


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The story behind my trip to the USA

Time went so fast. I can remember my dad talking to me about doing a year of high school in the US. I think I was twelve when we first started talking about it. At that time it sounded pretty cool. I was young en didn't really look at the details of course. When I got older this plan started growing. I went to see school three years ago. My cousin needed to go to the school when I was visiting Bennington. The school looked very nice. I was considering the idea but I was getting nervous about it as well. At that time three years sounded really long and I didn't really think about it a lot.

Two years ago this plan started to get very serious. I was getting scared about going away for so long and I didn't want to go anymore. I liked my life! I had a boyfriend and the idea of being without him for so long made me sad. I was also very close to my family and friends. I need my family. I could not imagine being without them. I had great friends and I had a job at the Albert Heijn supermarket and i liked my co-workers.. I liked working there.

There were so many things I I did not want to leave behind

After a lot of thinking and talking I figured I did need to do this. I knew I would regret it if I would not go. I was still very scared. It was all I could think about. After a lot of talking to my teachers, my family and friends I decided to do it. Saying goodbye was really hard. The day I left was the hardest day in my short life. I really miss everybody, but I think I made the right decision.

Hopping On a Plane to the Philippines to Search For Martial Arts Training


A while back, I had the good fortune to connect with Simon Payne who is one of the oustandingly cool and interesting guy. I know a lot of people want to do meaningful thins with their lives, but are scared to take risks. Simon saved a small amount of money and just jumped off into the void... and it worked. I hope his story inspires you like it does me, here's Simon -

My story begins when I decided to quit my job, sell most of my things and move to Philippines to study original martial art called Kali (also known as Escrima or Arnis). For those who doesn’t know it, it’s a kind of fencing but with rattan sticks. It’s an offensive, fast and extremely effective martial art. The training includes even fighting with steel blades, knives and many different weapons including bare hands. I’ve been studying the modern version of Escrima in Czech Republic for last 8 years and before that historical and sport fencing.

I've always had rich imagination and before arriving in the Philippines I assumed that everyone would know where to find where to find some Escrima schools. I dreamed about finding some old skilled grandmaster that would teach me.

I decided to travel to Davao City which is in the south of Philippines. I knew that my friend John will be there at the same time. I didn’t know him in person but that was my only contact. He was just starting a company there. Looking back at my decisions I obviously didn’t use my brain as much as other people would. If I did, I’d choose bigger city like Manila or Cebu which are well known for martial art schools.

I searched using pieces of information from web but it wasn’t helpful, most information were outdated or useless. I wandered the streets and asked people for any leads. Sometimes at night searching trough dark corners and shady streets where I felt uncomfortably insecure. Sometimes I’d find an abandoned gym where someone used to practice but they must have moved somewhere else.

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