It's no secret that Dovile and I find London a hectic place to live which is possibly why we always find excuses to escape! This time it was to celebrate Saint Johns Day in Lithuania, Dovile's home country!
This was my third trip to Lithuania and each time I visit I grow fonder of the simple, relaxed and affordable life style they have. Lithuania is a former soviet country before becoming independant in 1991. In 2004 Lithuania joined the European Union and in 2015 gave up there national currency the Litas in favour of the Euro. For a relatively poor country (compared to other european countries) this has no doubt opened up lots of opportunities for the younger generation but Dovile tells me that supermarket prices have increased alot more than the wages. For instance a loaf that previously cost 2 litas now cost 2 euros (approx 7 litas), an increase of 250% yet wages have not increased at the same rate. Over time wages will increase but for the time being it has unfortunately meant low income earners are struggling. To put the struggle in context the average wage in Lithuania is approximately 600 euro.
The good news is that Lithuania is still a cheap place to visit which is one of the reasons I keep going back. I like to compare a countries affordability by it's uber and beer price. In Lithuania you pay approximately 3.50 euro for an uber from the airport to the city centre and 1 euro for a beer in the supermarket. Bargain!
Being off the European tourist track not everyone speaks English fluently but alot of the younger generation do. All of the Lithuanians I have met are friendly and the country is safe.
Saint Johns Day falls on the 23rd of June each year and the locals tell me these day it's pretty much an excuse to catch up with friends/family and throw a party. This year a group of 12 of us (a mix of Londoners and Locals) hired a lakeside villa for 180 euro and chipped in 15 euro each for accomodation and 10 euro each for food. The villa which slept 12 people had it's own private jetty, wood fired BBQ, outdoor sound system, volleyball court, basketball hoop, full size football goals, sauna and a wood fired hob tub! I am told saunas are very common in Lithuania.
Check out the video we put together of the amazing time we had! If you would like to know details of the villa we rented get in contact with me and I will pass them on.
I would love to one day spend some time living in Lithuania to enjoy the hustle bustle free lifestyle and explore more countries in the region such as Latvia, Estonia, Belarus and Russia. Hopefully it won't be too long before this becomes a reality. Now just need to find a remote job!