Bound for Central/ South Eastern Europe

“We find after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us. Tour masters, schedules, reservations, brass-bound and inevitable, dash themselves to wreckage on the personality of the trip. Only when this is recognized can the blown-in-the-glass bum relax and go along with it. Only then do the frustrations fall away. In this a journey is like a marriage. The certain way to be wrong is to think you can control it.” — John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley

With September 1st (and the adventures that will follow) on the horizon, I’m preparing myself for being unprepared in the only way I know how. I’m reading Milan Kundera’s The Book of Laughter and Forgetting and John Steinbeck’s Travels with Charley, and realizing that Kundera will always be a self-righteous, misogynistic pig, while Steinbeck will always be a humble, yet all-knowing artist. But both dig deep into the themes I obsess over the most: memory, history, family, relationships, and understanding culture. Therefore, I press on with my literary pre-adventure non-planning.

That being said, here is the email I sent to my family and friends, in search of contacts in Central/ South Eastern Europe. I’d like to stay as far away from couchsurfing for as long as possible (not because I’m concerned about safety, but just because I want to extend the web of friends I’ve already created). So, dear readers of my blog, do you know anyone who could host or meet up with me in Central/ South Eastern Europe??

Dearest family and friends,

As some of you may already be aware, I will be flying to Prague on September 1st with the intent to remain as intentless and aimless as possible. This means that I have done little in the way of making preparations. I hope that in the coming months before my flight, I will somehow continue to abstain from making any major plans. Doing so goes against my better judgement and everything I’ve ever been taught, which is essentially my goal for the next few years.
However, some amount of arrangements must be made if I’m to sustain myself for a satisfying length of time (don’t ask me how long that will be, because I have no idea). The way I form connections and create knowledge is entirely through people, and although I am traveling to the home region of my grandparents, I don’t know a single person in Eastern Europe. So I’ve already begun the process of becoming certified as an English teacher, I’ve signed up to be a volunteer farmhand in exchange for food/board, and I’m just about to sign up for a couchsurfing account. But before I go around staying the night at a perfect stranger’s house, I’d like to reach out to all of you and ask:
Do you know anyone in the Czech Republic (or Central/South Eastern Europe) who might be willing to host me? 
This could be anywhere from one night to a few weeks or even months. The response I get to this email will hopefully dictate my travel plans.
Please feel free to forward this email to anyone and everyone who might be able to help me out, perhaps with a little summary of who I am and how we know each other. I am, of course, more than willing to negotiate some kind of a trade in exchange for a roof over my head. I’ve included my contact information below, and attached a semi-recent photo.
I also wanted to take a moment to thank you all for your friendship and warmth. I wouldn’t be who I am today without all of you. I feel confident plunging into the unfamiliar knowing that I have such a supportive community of folks back home.
Love and blessings,
Shani Chabansky
(650) 906-4392

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