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Thank You Wroclaw

As a person who wants to see everything I could of the world, I’m grateful to a lot of cities. However, Wroclaw, the city in which I currently reside, will probably always hold a special place in my heart.

Discovering Wroclaw was rather a complete surprise to me. When I first came here in the 1990s, it wasn’t a particularly remarkable city. Perhaps this is why, when my family and I first considered moving here, I expected that its most endearing aspect would be its proximity to so many other towns with greater reputations — cosmopolitan Berlin was a short distance to the northwest, the fairy tale that everyone said Prague was sat an equally short distance to the southwest, ancient and beautiful Krakow overlooked the Vistula from a hill somewhere to the east, the college town of Poznan was just to the north, and the capital city of Warsaw was off in the northeast.

However, the timing of our move turned out to be just right. This was the period in which the city became a European Capital of Culture (an honor shared with San Sebastian, Spain, in 2016). It was also the period when high tech corporations began flocking here to tap into the growing number of skilled workers who were coming to this town anyway from so many places around the world. Restored ancient architecture poked its head out from under the changing cityscape and found itself in the midst of a growing cultural center, with literary giants publishing and winning Nobel Prizes, and creative folks of all stripes developing communities in which to share inspiration and ideas.

If I were to express appreciation for just one aspect of the city I am most thankful for, it would be for the chance to build my own creative community here. The expatriates who attended InterNations get-togethers in Wroclaw included many of the usual individuals who were simply trying to have a good time with new and interesting people, or who were perhaps networking for a variety of reasons with their fellow global minds. However, there were also those here who wanted to express their inspiration and share the products of their imagination with the world, and meeting these people added considerably to the atmosphere that I found came with living in Wroclaw.

So, my thanks goes to this city for being the fertile ground for creativity that it is, and for doing what it has to attract the friends I’ve made here, or who I will someday soon make. Wroclaw will always hold a special spot for me, no matter if I permanently settle here or someday, for whatever reason, move on to some other new and interesting place.

 

A nomad at heart, Ben Angel has circumnavigated the globe two times west-to-east, and one time east-to-west. Although currently a freelance writer, he’s worked as a civil engineer, a journalist, a brewery tour guide, and a consultant. He’s the proud dad of a son and daughter. Ben joined InterNations in Argentina in 2010, and continued with it through Chile and Belarus on his way to Wroclaw, Poland.


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