I’ve lived in Kaunas, Lithuania for a full year. I never EVER in my wildest dreams thought I would say that. My goal was to move to Lithuania stay at least 3- 6 months, get to know its people and its culture a little better, travel, write and of course improve my language skills.
Honestly I never thought I would last 6 months living in Lithuania but a whole year has passed me by. Some days I can’t believe it’s gone so quickly, other days it feels like I’ve been here a lifetime. It’s had its ups and it’s had its downs for sure, but it’s been a rewarding one year, I knew very little about what it would be like to live here.
Living in Lithuania and the experiences this year, many of which I’ve shared with you right here on this blog, twitter, Instagram and Facebook will stay with me forever. As I have stated many times before on this here site, Lithuania is a hidden gem which takes time to discover. Even Locals I feel sometimes tend to overlook its qualities, so this post is a reminder to myself and those coming to visit, those living in Lithuania to appreciate all the little things that make Lithuania a very beautiful place to live in.
Here are 8 things I’ve learned about living in Lithuania this year. Enjoy
I’ve been told that in the past Kaunas was a pretty dodgy place to live in, and I’ve heard some complete horror stories. That said to me Kaunas is perfectly safe. I can in all honesty say I haven’t experienced anything or heard of anyone having any real problems with safety or any form of crime. Even while traveling around I’ve felt completely at ease and relaxed, thinking about it now it’s probably the safest I’ve felt anywhere. I think if you use common sense, in a whole Kaunas and Lithuania is a safe place to live.
Not too big but also not too small
Kaunas only has a population of about 300 thousand people. Lithuania has a population of just under 3 million people. Therefore, as cities go and countries for that matter, it is relatively small meaning that the countryside can be easily reached if needed. It doesn’t feel crowded here, when I visit the UK I feel lost in a sea of people, yet here it feels just right, it has all the assets and facilities one would need.
Lithuanian summers are amazing
May and July of last year were two of the warmest months I’ve experienced anywhere! And I come from South Africa so that’s saying something…
You have to give me this one, I come from Africa. I still act like a little kid when it snows and let’s be honest, waking up and seeing a cloak of white outside makes even the worst places look magical.
Parks, Forests, Lakes, rivers, seaside, beaches you name it Lithuania has it (Just out my Instagram page if you don’t believe me). Every season is as beautiful as the last. The nature here is incredible, words just don’t do it justice. Every summer people flock to the lakes or the forest to escape the city life. There really is sense that Lithuanians and nature are closely connected. Even the major city’s such as Kaunas, Vilnius and Klaipeda have some magnificent parks perfect places to sit and daydream.
Lithuania is authentic
I think for now Lithuania is very much still true to its customs, traditions and beliefs. How long that lasts? I’m not sure I get the sense that Lithuania is very much influenced with western culture and trying to fit in. I love that Lithuania is authentic and unique. Kaunas especially is a breath of fresh air in a globalized world, a place that doesn’t seem to compromise its simple authentic pleasures, while managing to embrace what’s new in the global village. I very much hope it stays this way.
Granted I have spent more time in Kaunas and will argue with you until the cows come home that Kaunas has the better old town, however Vilnius and Klaipeda’s are just as gorgeous. The Old Towns in Lithuania somehow hold true to their unconventional styles while also being up-to-date on the latest trends. Many of the neighbourhoods have a sleepy atmosphere in the daytime, but at night are an energetic mix from struggling musicians to people, socializing and partying together until dawn. Old Towns here in Lithuania are in some way the heart and soul of the city.
I would go as far as to say that Lithuania has to be one of Europe’s “best value for money” destinations. But that’s not just for tourists. Even locals can plan a night out in the city without spending much. You can find a fulfilling and tasty meal easily for less than 10 euros, There are cheap museums some even free, In the summer months the cities, Kaunas especially is full of a wide range of activities with no admission charge. Best of all beer is tasty and cheap!
This is a bonus one but I had to throw it in here, I love sūrelis! I love it so much that if I left Lithuania I would ship the stuff over to where ever I lived. What is sūrelis? It’s a soft sweet cheese covered in chocolaty goodness! You have to try it!
Well there you have it 8, okay well 9 reasons why I love living in Lithuania. I’ll be following this blog post up with another, detailing the things I disliked about my year in Lithuania. So look out for that one. If you liked this post, please share it on Facebook, Twitter or Google Plus using the links on the side. Or leave a comment! :)