So today it finally hit me, my time in Italy, and as an Erasmus student is coming to an end.
Saturday night marked the last ESN Pisa Gala for the year. It was so lovely to see just how far we had all came since our first Erasmus event in September 2016.
ESN Pisa is made up of a range of young people like myself, from all backgrounds and all countries. Last night, we were all in one venue, blissfully happy, although maybe slightly suffering from the heat in Akua Keta, but happy non the less.
My first question is, where has this year gone?
By the time I leave I will have lived in Italy for three weeks short of a year.
I have never been more proud to say I have lived abroad in Italy.
The people here are so friendly, and welcoming. The feeling of family really is such a huge part of Italian Society. The Italians I have met really are some of the kindest and happiest people.The things I have learnt from both them and myself this year would never happen anywhere else.
The friends I have made her are truly special, and I would like to thank them for sharing this year with me, you have taught me so much.
Life is a little more slow paced to what I am used to at home, but this is because they sunbciously prioritise their happiness and well-being over stressful situations with work. This is not to say they do not work hard, because they work incredibly hard. Maybe they just have the perfect balance. This has been one of the greatest lessons I have learnt here in Italy, with perhaps a little drop of of self-love.
Everyone in ESN Pisa has the same mindset, they want to learn as many things and meet as many people as possible. Everyone is exploring and travelling hoping a long the way that we may find a little more of ourselves.
We all have a taste for adventure, and everyone I have grown close to has a huge heart to match.
But this year, I have lost and found myself more than I dare to admit. The best days I have had here, have certainly been some of the best days of my life.
Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean everyday has been easy, because it hasn’t.
But whoever, I end this year as, I am happy that everything that has happened has allowed me to hopefully be a better human-being.
The current events happening around the world at the moment are sad and scary at times. I will not get political in my blog, but it is communities such as Erasmus, that remind me that the youth of today can be so compassionate, and understanding, despite what we hear in the news.
Empathy is the biggest strength of any human being, and if you find the ability to use it in everyday life, the world will be a far better place.
The people I have met here, do not see countries or race, they see possibilities for friendship and learning. For this, my heart will always be filled with so much love for Europe, and the people that live there.
Im sure everyone’s Erasmus experience is different, the day in day out experiences, the things you have done, and the way in which you spend your time.
But there is one thing I think is universal, In all Erasmus students, past and present.
That is the feelings and the emotions you experience, the most important of which is love.
Erasmus is one community, of young, ambitious and friendly people from all over Europe and further a filed. We are all looking for something, but Erasmus our family, and Erasmus is love, an unconditional love, that knows no boundaries.
But, my question is, how do I leave? How do any of us leave?
How can I go back to my old life, without the people I have met here?
I feel as though I am leaving a whole world behind. My little Pisa bubble is about to pop.
Surely I will not leave in one peace? I feel as though apart of me belongs here, and always will.
If this year has taught me one thing, it is that home is not a place, it is a feeling.
The feeling of belonging, surrounded by those you love.
The feeling of love is where you call home, and when I leave, my heart will be torn. But it will be torn up between the people that have left a mark on me this year and for this I will always be grateful.
My home is no longer England, but it is the people I have met, the dysfunctional family I have made here, and when I leave, I will never feel the same.
But I will be comforted in the knowledge that dotted around Europe will be my friends, and in them I hope to have left a little piece of me.
I know I will never be the same, but for that i will always be grateful.
Erasmus truly isn’t a year in your life, it is ”your life in one year”.
Grazie Mille a Tutti, you are all so special. I am sure no matter what you do, or where you go next year, the sweet sound of ‘Despecito’ will bring you straight back to Pisa, Italy.