Few days before to travel for this new experience in Romania, a lot of my friends asked me why I had decided to give up my normal life in Italy, my family, my political community, my social involvement in Bari, taking this “crazy” decision to move in Timisoara. My answer has been always the same: “Because I just can’t do without it, this travel doesn’t start today. This travel started 5 years ago”.
Zakopane, Poland. November 2011. I am a student of Political Science in Bari, engaged since some years in working as a volunteer in a Student University Union, with some dreams in front of me and a lot of doubts. During a normal university day, a friend of mine told me that during the summer he has participated in a very interesting experience in Portugal. It was related with an European programme called “Youth in action”, and he told me that for little money you could find other projects like that, in all of Europe. He suggested me to try to apply for this project in Zakopane. I did. The host organization from Poland, few days later sent me a mail: “You have been selected for the project!”. My EVS started that day.
It’s very strange how your life can be changed in just few days. I still have a lot of memories about Zakopane in my mind, but I never couldn’t forget some specific moments. The excitement of my first real trip. My shameful English. My first energizer activity. The team building activities. The intercultural night. The congratulation of the guys for my mother’s “Pasta al sugo”. “Bella ciao” sung by youngsters from all Europe. The Zubrowka. The difference of the customs. The difference of the cultural backgrounds. The beauty to discover people, places, unknown landscapes. The amazing of the multiculturalism and the integration among people. The sadness to say goodbye.
All these memories have always been followed me in all the experiences I had later. In my normal life in University. In watching movies in English with English subtitles to improve my language capacity. In Mardin, Kurdish part of Turkey, dancing their traditional music and dances, or watching, speechless, an 8 year’s old child carrying her two little sisters in a wheelbarrow in absolute poverty.
In my first time in “Yugoslavia”, land of contradictions and absurdities, with a tragic and bastard story. In the humility of the people of Kljuc, Bosnia, and in that man who was monitoring the infinity of the lands, drinking a can of beer from the top of the rocky mountain. In the patriotic and nationalistic pride of Croats and Serbs. In a reflection in a puddle of Belgrade’s bell tower.
In Goran Bregovic and in his songs that everyone in the Balkan countries sing. In Burek and Rakia, that everyone in East part of Europe eat and drink. In this Balkan anthropological paradox. In taking pictures, from a Georgian’s farming village, of a Sea called “Black” that during the sunset turning rainbow.
In my 5 months lived in Szczecin, Poland, during my Erasmus. In all the Countries, cities and villages that I visited in these 5 years, that let me understood that there is a huge difference to be tourist and to be traveller.
Now I’m here in Timisoara, because Timisoara is just a part of the trip. I’m here because I need to challenge myself again. I want to improve my skills, to learn new capacities, to know new people, to discover and exceed my limits. I’m here because I deeply believe in the concepts of integration, multiculturalism and cooperation among people. I’m here because I believe in a world without walls and barriers. I’m here to develop my knowledges, and fight against any kind of racism and prejudices.
I’m here because I hope it could be the best part of this trip, started in Zakopane, that I don’t want to stop.