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Justyna Śnieżek is your true “off the beaten path” traveler. Trading television for travel, Justyna prefers to experience her dream destinations rather than being content with watching them on TV.

Never content with merely seeing “the sights”, she likes to fully immerse herself into each new culture to truly disover a destination – a philosophy which has seen her offroad hiking in Salzkammergut region of Austria, break down in the middle of no-where during a trip through the Alps, and wind up in Tel Aviv during Yom Kippur – a religious period of time where the whole town completely shuts down.

She travels for the freedom, for the memories, and so that once she hits 70 she can say “I’ve seen and done everything I ever wanted”. Justyna Śnieżek is this week’s inspiring traveler.

What do you love the most about travelling?

#1 The feeling of freedom. Freedom of choice and going wherever and whenever I want to. As I usually travel alone, I also love meeting people on my way – other travellers or locals – everyone is inspiring in their own way!

#2 Collecting memories. This is one of the greatest things. I love going through my old blog posts or pictures, reading my notes, and all these just to remind myself how many things I’ve achieved in life so far.

Collecting memories: Offroad hiking in Salzkammergut region, Austria.

Collecting memories: Offroad hiking in Salzkammergut region, Austria.

What inspired you to start travelling?

It’s difficult to say and I can’t really answer this question, but as far as I can remember, I enjoyed “being on the way” since I was very young. My family never used to travel a lot, but when we did, we were paying a visit to Polish mountains, where one part of my family lives, or Western Poland. Those places are both very close to nature which I really enjoy.

What is ‘One Penny Trip’ all about?

Good question. I started One Penny Trip back in 2012 when I was setting up my New Year’s Resolutions. At the very beginning it used to be just a diary I didn’t really share a lot. It became something more when I left Poland and moved to Austria.

After a few months of living abroad I decided to have a proper domain and started writing in English (that’s why posts older than July 2013 are no more visible on the blog).

Most of the people think One Penny Trip is all about travelling on a budget, but the truth is, it’s only one of its faces. There’s also the second one, having more significant meaning to me. It’s presenting stories from my travels. Besides all this fun, adventures and great memories, I try to encourage people to look around and see something more than that which is at top of their nose.

Exploring Little Petra, Jordan. Experiencing more than just that which is at the top of your nose!

Exploring Little Petra, Jordan. Experiencing more than just that which is at the top of your nose!

Your New Year’s Resolution for 2013 was to visit a new city every month.  Did you achieve this?

Yes! I reached even 16 of them – London, Oslo, Cologne, Vienna, Salzkammergut region, Bobec, Budapest (twice), Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Eilat, Aqaba, Wadi Mousa (Petra), Munich, Prague and Paris.

Reached the Lourve in Paris.

Reached the Louvre in Paris.

Wow, how do you afford to travel that much – are you rich?!

Rich in memories – that’s for sure! But money…well, everyone has different priorities.

Some people spend them on partying every Friday (it’s Friday today and I’ve been working on the blog the whole evening), some spend them on doing shopping every weekend and some, like me, buy a plane ticket whenever there’s a chance. I think I’m subscribed to all possible cheap flights aggregators!

I use a lot of Couchsurfing, hitch-hiking and local providers. It all cost less and brings more fun.

You have a pretty strong opinion about TV – can you tell us a little about this?

Is it really so strong? The only thing I say is that’s it brings you more value when you experience things than when you see them on the TV and believe everything they say, like if you were brainless and not able to verify information creature.

TV shows facts in a very distorted way. We barely see good things – it’s everything about war, conflicts or death. World is not like this and travelling is the best way to make sure about it.

The world is a beautiful place. Turn off the TV! Sunset in Wadi Mousa, Jordan.

The world is a beautiful place. Turn off the TV! Sunset in Wadi Mousa, Jordan.

One thing which you don’t like about travelling?

Going back home.

One of your philosophy’s is that travel is about people and moments. Who is the most memorable person you have met on your travels?

Hmm, I’m not sure if I can really point one person, but the first who comes to my mind is the Argentinian guy I met in Austria. He sold all his goods, bought a ticket to Europe and started travelling spending not even a single cent on accommodation or transportation.

Hitch-hiking and using only Couchsurfing or his tent, he travelled country by country. He was also the one who opened my eyes a little and showed such life is really possible! You don’t need to be a millionaire to do this – really.

Biggest cultural shock you have experienced while travelling?

It happened when I was in Israel during Yom Kippur – the most important Jewish holiday. The experience I have from taking part in religious holidays in Europe is far away from what I’ve experienced in Tel Aviv.

Western people don’t care that much about spiritual and traditional matters. We are a mixture of many different religions and when some of us celebrate, others may have fun in a club.

During Yom Kippur, Tel Aviv was simply dead. No shops open, no cars on the streets, no people eating. All you could see were bikes and groups of tourists walking along the boulevard. It looked like if someone had closed the city for cars. I was really surprised these times people still stick to their tradition on such a big scale.

Israel.  View of Tel Aviv - the whole city closed down.

Israel. View of Tel Aviv – the whole city closed down with the exception of a few tourists.

Funniest or most embarrassing travel moment?

In July, together with my two AuPair friends, we organised a trip in the Alps. One of them had to be back on Sunday morning to baby sit, but we all really didn’t really feel like going back so we started coming up with some stupid excuses she could use for not showing up when she should.

One of us mentioned something like “Tell her the car broke down in the middle of nowhere!”. You can believe it or not, but 15 minutes after it was said, we were standing on the roadside trying to catch a ride. The car really broke down. So here comes my tip: be careful what you wish for!

Three things you can’t travel without?

My camera, a notebook (a paper one – it never runs out of battery) and music.

Which destinations are at the top of your bucket list?

It’s New Zealand, Iceland and Ethiopia, which I will finally visit in May!

What kind of wisdom can you share with others from your own experience travelling?

Don’t plan things in details. Planning is good for school or work, but not for travelling. Enjoy whatever your journey brings you.

Wadi Rum dessert - view from the bedouins' camp-001

Enjoy whatever the journey brings. Wadi Rum dessert – view from the bedouins’ camp.

Why should people travel?

A book could be written in this subject! I just think it’s an amazing experience which creates you as a person – your way of thinking, personality and resistance.

You become more open and start think brighter since you know how great and surprising the world can be. It’s all also for having memories and being the one who, turning seventy, will be able to say “I’ve seen and done everything I wanted”.

I've seen and done everything I wanted!

I’ve seen and done everything I wanted!


Justyna is a Polish travel lover, a little bit of nomad soul and the owner of In May 2013 she left her country to see more and experience live in different places.

Follow her on Facebook to keep up to date with her posts!


  1. Wow, what an inspirational read. I love the name of your blog Justyna. It reminds me that travel is accessible and doesn’t have to be all about luxury hotels and resorts.

    I am currently traveling in New Zealand and I have to say I’m just overwhelmed by it’s beauty. I know you’ll love it here too.

    • Thanks Charli. Oh, I can imagine how stunning New Zealand can be – enjoy it there! :)

  2. I love interviews, I always get some great advice on things I could do or where to go. I don’t know if I will ever be able to say Ive seen and done everything I wanted to do at 70 though, maybe at 700 ? :)

    • I’m the same – my bucket list continues to grow with every interview I conduct/read!!

  3. Nice interview, Megan! Justyna has an interesting perspective on television. I grew up in a lower middle class family with no money for travel, so for me TV, movies, books and magazines were like a window to a great big world I had no idea existed. Shows like Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom and the Jacques Cousteau specials on public broadcasting were a huge influence on me, alongside National Geographic and the Indiana Jones movies. Without them, I’m not so sure I’d be doing what I do today.

    • Interesting how different influences like television can mean different things to people with similar passions and goals! I personally also love escaping to far off lands from my television set, but probably need to do less of it :D!!

  4. I had never heard of your blog Justyna, but I’m certainly following now. I can’t wait to read about when you go to Ethiopia this May!

    • You and me both! I’ll have to have her write a guest blog for me on Ethiopia – the destination fascinates me!

    • Thanks Beth – I’m glad you like it! :)

  5. Very inspirational! Loved reading this interview. I love your resolution to travel to one new city every month–great job on making it!

    • Thanks Jenna! Glad you enjoyed the interview :)

  6. Great to meet Justyna, a fellow Polish Girl crazy for travels! :) Always nice to find a new blog to follow :)

    • Glad we could provide you with some extra reading material!

  7. I have never been to Ethiopia or Iceland, definitely high on my list. Great interview!

    • Thanks Ron! Hope you get there soon!

    • Sorry, I meant: Inspiring interview!

    • Thanks Molla – agree; she’s an inspiring woman! I loved reading about her trip to Ethiopia – hoping to get there at some point in the future myself. Will definitely drop you a line when we have the opportunity to travel!

      Have a wonderful weekend!

  8. Loved reading this interview. I love your resolution to travel to one new city every month–great job on making it!

    • Thanks Begoha! So glad you enjoyed the interview – Justyna is so inspiring :)

  9. wow, Meg Jerrard very inspirational interview!. I love your resolution to travel to one new city every month–great job on making it!

    • So glad you enjoyed it Adisu – yes, Justyna is an inspiring woman indeed!

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