My Story

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 landed in the USA as a political refugee. The USA was good for her. She got a job, gained her freedom to travel, and a few years later her only son was born there. Now, Yvonne never felt like a stranger in her new country. She developed a long time friendship with a local Polish community but also with her American neighbors and colleagues.

Life seemed like a fairy tale 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 than a term like this existed. Essentially, she developed a strategy on 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. She got divorced, sold her dream home, and 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. She decided to go with her life by accepting her condition as a chronic disease and make the best of it with a minimal insult to her body.

It was not easy for her to move on during these difficult life changes, but she survived. Just like before, the world is calling her name and she answers it with every opportunity she gets.

Blogging Career

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 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. 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.