Everyone has a story. Here is mine, probably more eventful and dramatic than average, but I am glad I am still living it. I am not going to say, I would not have it any other way.
There are things that I would have done differently, but nothing I can do about it now. One thing is for sure, I lived my life like there was no tomorrow. I saw a lot of our beautiful planet Earth and I hope to see much more of it.
Early Years in Poland
A long long time ago, a girl was born in Poland. Her name was Iwona Lorenc. She was a mischievous little creature, always asking for trouble. A fragile but independent spirit, she was roaming around her city of Gdynia always living to her fullest, even without her parents’ approval.
Iwona grew to become a party girl in high school, but that did not stop her from having good grades. She ended her formal education with a master’s degree in economics from the University of Gdansk.
She loved her family and friends in Poland, but her world slowly became too small. With the limited possibility to travel internationally, she felt trapped in her country, at that time under a strong grasp of a communist regime. She wanted to fly away to see the rest of the world, and eventually, she did.
Coming to America
With a supportive husband on her side, she left Poland in 1986, spent nine months in a refugee camp in Italy, then arrived in the USA as a political refugee. Eventually, she landed in Scranton, PA, where her husband got a job as a math professor at the University of Scranton.
When in the USA, she started using an English version of her first name, Yvonne, so it could be easier remembered and pronounced in her new country. The USA was good to her. She too got a job, gained her freedom to travel, and a few years later her only son was born.
Yvonne never felt like a stranger in America. She developed a long time friendship with a local Polish community but also with her American neighbors and colleagues. Life seemed like a fairytale for most of the 25 following years, with traveling being a huge part of it.
To support her appetite for a new adventure, she slowly became a travel hacker, without even knowing that a term like this existed. Essentially, she developed a strategy of using points and miles to generate free travel: Basics of Travel Hacking.
Life is not a fairy tale
Unfortunately, life is not a fairy tale and her wonderful life collapsed with a big bang. Her marriage fell apart after 33 years and that was only the beginning. Just a few months later she was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer.
After a brush with chemotherapy, she decided that the quality of life is more important to her than “beating” cancer. Her goal was to go on with her life by accepting her condition as a chronic disease and make the best of it with a minimal insult to her body.
Yvonne started blogging at the tender age of 58. It was quite a challenge to enter the world of pins, tweets, and hashtags, but she managed to crawl through it. Unfortunately, she lost her first website when she got really sick. Her domain expired, someone bought it, and her website was gone!
After almost a two year gap without her own blog, she felt a need to build a new one to express herself and share her advice with other travelers. Blogging helps her to focus on pleasant memories versus on struggles of her daily life.
- Check out her cancer journey – Living and Traveling with Cancer.
The struggle was real, but she survived. Just like before, the world is still calling her name and she answers it with every opportunity she gets.
Apart from blogging on her own site, Yvonne writes for a popular family travel network, Traveling Mom. Her pictures are available for sale on Fine Art America.