home - edward sharpe & the magnetic zeros
As my time here in Europe is coming to a close I figure it’s time to share:
When I first began the long administrative process of applying for Erasmus, never did I expect the experience of the past eight months. I set out on this adventure with little expectations and no real plans. What I got in return was an experience so invaluable that I will carry with me through the rest of my years. What I am taking away from this entire experience is the yearning for seeing new places, meeting new people, and trying new things. Essentially, I have developed an appetite for being on the move.
As I prepare myself for my journey home I have mixed feelings. I am psyched to see my family and my friends, to be in the cities and towns I know, and to, of course, drive my egg. I have thoroughly enjoyed the last eight months more than I ever thought imaginable and I’m quite saddened to see it all come to an end.
My European experience has exceeded all expectations, introduced me to the nicest of people, has been pure debauchery, has been sobering, has been expensive, tough at times, baffling, mystifying, and fun. But above all, it has been an immense learning experience.
I have encountered the most hospitable people – the Dutch grandma who cooked for us in the Asian part of Turkey, the warmhearted Thaibult family in the North of France, the Austrian man and his Hungarian wife who drove us in the cold when we couldn’t navigate the streets of Vienna, the friend of my cousin who opened her doors when I had no money…the list goes on.
I have gained so much from this experience I can’t even begin to explain. Although I lost contact with some friends and family, ultimately broke up a good relationship, and lost some belongings along the way, I wouldn’t trade a day for anything. I have gained friends from all over the map – each with a different upbringing, a different background, language, schooling, and stories. I have encountered so many different traditions and cultures, people and places.
Although I missed the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, Toronto G20, my lil’ sis’ graduation, and an earthquake in Ottawa; I celebrated the Spanish World Cup win, tried to understand Hungary’s sixth Democratic election after the end of the communist era, experienced Easter the Austrian way, and had three flights cancelled due to the [Eyjafjallajökull] Icelandic volcano.
I am extremely fortunate for the open-minded friends I’ve made and the engrossing places I’ve seen. I have had many eye-opening experiences in the last eight months having visited some 30 cities in 14 countries. Without sounding like an unappreciative rascal, the experience has made me realize how BIG this world is – how many places I haven’t seen and how many cultures I haven’t encountered. I have developed this yearning for experiencing and trying to understand different cultures, something that can only be achieved through traveling. Erasmus helped me to understand just a little.
I can’t explain the gratitude I have towards my parents for making the last eight months what they were. Thank you to my family and friends for being so helpful and supportive, through the fun times and the bad. I am forever indebted to y’all.
Next on the list: South/Central America.
LOVE YOU AND SEE U IN 1 SLEEP.
— garance doré