I can not be considered an experienced traveler, because I just started writing travel pages in my book of life. My discovering the world began just eight months ago, when I decided to become a volunteer in Europe. At that moment I did not know what to expect, because I had never been abroad before, but I always had a passion for traveling.
Eight months ago, I first came to the airport not to meet someone, but to fly away. When I got on the plane, I was as excited as a child might be when he first came to an amusement park. Can you just imagine this feeling? There are no enough words to describe the whole range of my emotions: happiness, inspiration, excitement, and fear. Yes, fear. I was afraid to go alone to another country, I was afraid to start a new chapter of my life, I was afraid to change my life. It is always easier to stay in your comfort zone and not change anything for many years, but who said that this is the best solution? Who said that staying in your comfort zone will make you happier? Was I happy then? I don't think so.
I remember very well the day that divided my life between before and after. I was sitting next to the porthole and was looking at the clouds and the Earth with a sinking heart. Two hours later, my plane took me to Italy, and a new chapter of my life began so suddenly and unexpectedly that I could not even breathe. It was a strange feeling that overwhelmed my soul. I realized that dreams came true, I finally left my boring routine life to explore new countries and new cultures. On the other hand, I was afraid that people would not be able to understand me, because I did not know Italian, and my English was not so perfect. I think this is a common fear for many people who start traveling for the first time in their lives. Yes, I am not ashamed to admit that I was full of fears, but I believe that each of us has fear at least once in our lives, but the main goal is not to let these fears break us. I knew that, most likely, I would face some difficulties, but I decided to take a step forward and jump into this tempting unknown.
During my volunteer project, I think I have done more than I have done in the last 25 years. I explored the Dolomites while hiking, ate real Neapolitan pizza in Naples, climbed Etna Volcano in Sicily on the first day of winter, celebrated the New Year in Milan with my new friends, and finally saw the cities I heard about and read a lot - Rome, Venice and Florence.
Every time, being in a new city, in a new country I always meet many interesting people, and each new meeting changes me and my life. And I think this is one of the main advantages of volunteering abroad: traveling and making friends from different countries that will help you learn new cultures and languages, as well as experience new beautiful moments together.
It is never too late to change your life and start traveling and exploring new countries and new cultures! And the Erasmus plus program and the EU Solidarity Corps offer even more that you can expect, just follow the links below and discover all the great opportunities you can take advantage of: