Agata Mleczko has a PhD in Social Sciences and left her fulltime career as a researcher to witness, feel and taste the culture, language and way of life of different people around the world. She uses her online blog, nullnfull.com to share her experiences.
“Before I travel to a country, I read about its history, people and culture,” says Agata.
“I use my academic background to travel meaningfully.”
However, she specifically chose not to read up on Rarotonga, instead sticking to her preconceived ideas of the island.
She arrived last week on a hot, humid day which was followed by several days of rain, and says the dampening experience provided a sharp contrast between her image of paradise and the reality.
But despite the bad weather she has enjoyed her stay on Rarotonga, which she describes as “abundant”.
“I take the island as it is. Everything is so intense. The sun burns, the rain washes away everything, vegetation is lush and it all together makes an impression of plenitude,” she said.
“The island is always changing; this can be seen when the tide of the sea comes in and goes out.”
When she isn’t blogging about her travel experiences, Agata runs a business in Italy arranging for tourists to taste and enjoy Italy as the locals do. She arranges accommodation, and activities including cooking lessons, wine tasting, bike riding and meeting local people.
Agata is also working on a project for Eland Publishing called “Travel with Books”, that aims to encourage people to read more travel books and discover how fascinating travel literature can be.
She will visit Japan in the next few weeks after being inspired by the books “Japanese Chronicles” and “The Way of the World”, by her favourite author Nicolas Bouvier.
Meanwhile, Agata has visited the two museums on Rarotonga to learn more about the island’s history, people, and culture.
“I think people meeting people and doing things are much more important than just watching landmarks and touristic sites,” she says on her blog site.