Friday December 2nd
2:30PM – Landing in Poland
After stepping out of the plane, I have to take the shuttle, awaiting for all the passengers to get in I can feel the wind and the cold on my face. Oh yeah I am in Poland! Passing through customs, I am ready to practice my polish with the taxi driver until I see Marta with a big board with my name and her camera on. I start to laugh and give her a big hug, we both have the giggles and cannot believe this is happening! Off to get a taxi (so yes I did not practice my polish at all) we share social media tips in the car and discuss how Instagram is the platform for photographers and travellers. Marta also tells me what she does for Photler and how she is a passionate photographer amateur. With her smile on she sneakily takes videos and pictures of me whilst I keep talking!
3:00PM – Arrival at the office
Tadaaaah this is it, I am in Photler’s office with all eyes staring at me. I receive a very warm welcome from every single member of staff amongst who, Piotr the CEO, Aga my favourite Customer Service Manager, Wero the Marketing Guru and Maciej who I had not met but seems to know me already! And the last but not least Piotr (another one!) the developer fixing all my bugs or completing my requests for hibiscusandnomada.com
3:10PM – Meeting Room
After some warm welcome and a tour of their beautiful and modern office, we sit down in the conference room all Photler team and I to discuss future projects and collaborations. This is also the opportunity for me to tell them who I am, who is Hibiscus & Nomada and what drives me. I also came along with my business plan that I read outloud to them. I remember seeing their faces smile but also some comments and question marks. After reading and explaining the last page of it I say “So what do you think?”. For one second I told myself “Oh dear they think I am nuts…!” until Wero confessed “Well…(longest well ever) we are speechless”. Right at that moment I tell myself “Hallelujah!”
Because it is so rare to find alchemy between people I find this relationship with Photler a privilege. I feel lucky and grateful that our paths crossed. It is hard for two people to believe in each other if they are not on the same page. Not only Photler and Hibiscus & Nomada are on the same page but also they share the same passion, vibes and willingness to help others. Photler was launched in June 2016 to help photographers create their personal brand. That same month, Hibiscus & Nomada was launched to generalize travelling and show young people that you can see the most beautiful places in the world on a budget, backpacking.
3:30PM – Quick interview
Before we all head to their favourite pancake restaurant (and now I know why it’s their favourite) Wero comes to me with a little piece of paper with a few questions to answer post-meeting. So here they are:
Weronika: Why did you decide to meet us?
Marion: The question is Why not? Haha. As mentioned in the meeting room that Friday, the way I travel around Europe is by looking for a flight “London to Everywhere” on Skyscanner from a Friday to a Sunday. I remember seeing Poland showing up on my screen and told myself. Wait a second, first of all I have never been to Poland, second of all it is £11 one way (helllllooooo!) and finally Photler is in Poland! Right that second I email Aga and say “Hey how about I come meet you guys?” the longest 5 minutes of my life (just kidding!) when she goes “OMG yes!”. And here I was booking a return ticket to Poznan. To where? Yes Poznan, a town in Poland, 2-hour drive from Berlin. Not only did I want to visit Poland and travel once again, I also really wanted to meet the team behind Photler.
W: Why is it important for you to meet the team behind the product you love (as we hope you do!)?
Because since day 1 I had the chance to speak personally with the CEO, then he introduced me to Aga who would be looking after my account and then the marketing and social media team were in touch. Every single person felt special to me, their great personality was something unique I had never experienced before. It’s like if we both want the best for each other.
W: How was your experience in meeting our team, seeing our office, spending time with us?
A.M.A.Z.I.N.G I had such a big smile after that afternoon. I felt surrounded with love, good vibes, energy and creativity. Seeing these people happy, smiling, laughing and interested in my project was the most rewarding part. I started Hibiscus & Nomada because I felt like there was a gap in the market of Travel Guides and Backpackers. I did it for others not thinking it would grow that fast in such a short period of time. This is just a dream come true not because I was looking for success but because I am happy to see that other travellers share the same lifestyle and passion and that my tips and recommendations are useful to other. And this is via a beautiful and functional website that this all works well.
W: What did you see in Poznan, how did you like it, are you coming back to Poland?
Everything! This city is soooo beautiful. And the most funny part is that all the pictures I shared on Instagram have received lots of comments and likes. A lot of igers did not know about the city and now are dying to visit. So Poznan, wait for a lot more tourists coming!
Sightseeing: Imperial Castle, Stary Rynek Old Town, Fara Church, Christmas Markets, Royal Castle
I did write the City Guide to Poznan here if you want to read more.
I loved Poznan, especially the part that it is not so touristy so whenever polish people were meeting me, they were thrilled and would like to know more about my visit, and also where I am from. I don’t know if this is all around Poland but Poznan people are very funny and sarcastic and I LOVE IT. Yes I am definitely coming back to Poland, I have hear Krakow is very pretty, I also want to visit Warsaw.