This page will provide you more information about my private interests and what the majority of the blog posts are about. The whole website was originally a travel blog where I posted photos and stories for my family and friends to describe my travel adventures in Slovak and English language and most of the content is still dedicated to this. If you want to discuss or get an advice on any of these topics, do not hesitate to get in touch with me or follow me on Twitter, Pinterest and on Instagram as @repikova.
EXPAT LIFE AND LANGUAGES
I am an experienced traveler and expat. I come from Slovakia, former Czechoslovakia – a communist country in Central Europe, that is now a standalone republic carving its own path on the global scene. After finishing my studies in 2003, I decided to experience the life abroad primarily to learn and compare. So far I lived in these cities:
- Piešťany, Slovakia
- Passau, Germany
- Conegliano, Italy
- Paris, France
- Stavanger, Norway
- Abu Dhabi, UAE
Life of an expat is not easy, you need to learn and adapt quickly and often create a new social circle. But I enjoyed living in every of these places, made a lot of friends and traveled around the country and further afar.
Thanks to my expat life (and I should also acknowledge formal schooling :-)), I also learnt more than 10 languages. Besides my native Slovak, I understand Czech and I am fluent in English, German, French and Italian. I have limited knowledge of Russian, Norwegian, Swedish, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese and Latin. I believe it is easiest to learn a language in a country where it is spoken, but you can start learning anytime, anywhere.
TRAVEL AND PHOTOGRAPHY
I like travelling and discovering countries, people, their cultures and food. During my time on the road I take a lot of pictures, write a travel journal and seek new experiences. I travel light. I can fit things for one month of travel in a cabin sized baggage. I’d better do – I often travel solo and carry my luggage myself. 🙂 I prefer air travel, trains or my own car for shorter distances. In my destination I use public transport and hire a car for longer distances. I already stayed in expensive hotels but also camped in tents. I try out local meals in restaurants, but also street food. Check the map of countries I visited so far and read more about it.
Martina has been to: Andorra, United Arab Emirates, Albania, Austria, Switzerland, Cuba, Czech Republic, Germany, Denmark, Spain, France, United Kingdom, Greece, Croatia, Hungary, Italy, Jordan, Liechtenstein, Sri Lanka, Monaco, Macedonia, Malta, Maldives, Netherlands, Norway, Nepal, Oman, Poland, Qatar, Russia, Seychelles, Sudan, Sweden, Slovenia, Slovakia, Thailand, Turkey, Vatican, South Africa.
Get your own travel map from Matador Network.
I am a tennis enthusiast. I never played or even learnt playing tennis professionally. At a younger age, my go to sport has been swimming and I was quite good at it. But I grew closer to tennis when I helped at a local tennis club during international tournaments. My language skills were certainly put to a good use. 🙂 And I enjoyed not only the organisational and referee part of it, but also I started to play more often in my free time as a result. I also like to watch tennis matches and have visited Roland Garros, Wimbledon and Olympic tennis tournaments.
NEW EXPERIENCES – GOLF, DRAWING, DIVING…
I am eager to grasp new information or try out new experiences that would enrich my life. I spend a lot of time on internet – reading a lot about various topics. I ignore click bait titles or articles that should be a common knowledge. I read also books. Not as many as I would like, though.
I focus also on expanding my comfort zone. I try out new things and experiences – learning how to drive a power boat or fly a plane in a flight simulator, playing piano, surfing, diving, skiing, archery, golf, indoor skydiving or trying new ways to learn languages.
And if I like it, I make it a hobby for some time to master it. For example:
- I long dreamt about trying out diving. At the end of 2011, I went with friends to Maldives – and really enjoyed it.
- Then in 2013 I decided to learn playing golf. I first signed up for a few lessons. The next season I was already a member of a golf club regularly practising on the driving range.
- 2014 was my food experience year. One of the benefits of living in Abu Dhabi was a fantastic restaurant scene with cuisines from all around the world. I also traveled a lot that year and sampled local food.
- And in 2015 I decided to learn drawing. I went from terrible to surprisingly good and I constantly work on improving my technique!
- Last year I learnt Spanish. And spoke with locals during my visit of Cuba.
What are you planning to master?