Since a month I am deeply absorbed with others exchange blogs or facebook groups. It is unbelievable hard for you coming back home and adapt into new-old environment. For those who just came back from their exchanges, I feel really sorry for you guys and if you would like to share with ur feeling, youre more than welcome to email me.
The only reason why I havent posted anything since a month or so is just being busy with moving out from Poland to The Netherlands. As I wrote in the previous post, I just moved to Amsterdam. I started my university week ago and there is a new chapter in my life, which I call " from caterpillar to the butterfly " sweet, isnt it ? I am super excited, cause in 3 weeks I will host my Colombianhost family here, in Ams. Just can not wait more till I will see my mom, dad and lovely auntie. It has been 1,5 year since we havent seen each other, thats a lot. I am sure we are going to spend hours talking.
I will probably go to Colombia in December or february. As soon as I will know my exactly schedule I will book my ticket. Does anyone want to go with me?
Responding on all your emails and PM I am really happy to give you more knowledge about Colombia. More I travel around Europe, more people I meet, I find out that people are really scared going to South America, specially Colombia. I am here for you guys to break the ice and help with organizing your trip. I am not the travel agency, however I know a lot and I know what Europeans are afraid of and what they should be aware of. I am really happy to help people discover Colombia. I do that from last 3 years and you have to believe me that there is nothing better than chatting about CO.
If you are planning your trip to Colombia soon, send me an email and I will give you the best advices and tell you the crazy ideas for having (safe) fun there !
Coming back to the "hottest" topic which is right now ..coming back "home" I would like to quote one girl. I saw her thoughts on facebook and she gave me permission to publish it.
" So you come back and, to be honest, it is terrifying. I was more afraid seeing Zagreb from the plane two weeks ago than I was seeing Mexico in the same way a year ago. So you cry the first night and keep repeating how you want to go back, but in the end you pull it together and start living it day by day.
People ask the usual questions, "How was your trip?" (trip, huh), "Are you back for good now?" ("If 'for good' means the next six months, then yes.") and my personal favourite "How does it feel now?". The question leaves me mouth and eyes wide open until the interrogator gives an answer themselves "You feel like you never left, like you are living a dream, right?" and I just smile and nod.
The truth is, I still don't know how I feel about being back, about this place. I have spent nights trying to write something that would help me understand. I don't know if I feel and think too much or nothing at all, so I can't write.
But it doesn't feel like I had never even left, it doesn't feel like a dream at all. Of course, the answer to that question could never be made small enough to fit into the building hallways or a tram station, so I just smile and nod. But I guess it really feels like... not enough. Just... wide open and half empty. It feels like missing puzzle pieces that have been gone for some time now and you are aware of that, but there is nothing really you can do. You can call the puzzle whatever you want, a heart, a soul, but still it feels more like something a butcher would be responsible for. That is the price of travelling, losing your puzzle pieces, finding the place where you belong and falling in love half way across the world and then leaving.
I watch people now, mostly those I don't get along with, those close-minded people that couldn't believe I am going alone to México for a year. It was the best thing that has ever happened to me, but it had a price, and in that, I guess they were right. So I watch them, and in the same time I envy them and pity them. They have never left this place (and they most probably never will), they are in relationships that last years, if they ever had to be separated from their partner, family, friends it was at most for a few weeks. They have no puzzle pieces missing. So how do I explain when they ask how it feels, the feeling of leaving everything you love behind. How easy it is. How goodbyes are said hundreds of times, but never really meant and then you're gone. How you are driving through that city for the last time and it feels like flood is coming up behind you, drowning everything out. How the world is so small when you are halfway above the ocean.
How fucking easy it is to just leave and you cannot believe your feet are moving one in front of the other when your heart is shedding behind you and then you are in your home town coming out of the airport and you cannot believe you are still there after all the tears you spilled into the ocean and then the two weeks passed and you are still trying to write the letter, but how do I write that we will be okay when I am afraid my puzzle will fall apart without all the missing pieces.
Those close-minded people, I envy them and pity them both because they do not know this kind of pain. My heart and soul feel half empty now because when I left they grew larger. Sometimes I want to be just like them, fall in love with my next-door neighbour, not question any of the authorities, never leave my little old town, because just imagine having a life like that... Imagine kissing the one you love every day. Imagine seeing your best friend at school every day. Or just, imagine seeing them, kissing them, being able to touch them and feel the warmth of their skin and not the computer screen... So yeah, sometimes I think they were right and I want to be just like them, silly and shallow and whole and having the comfort of fighting with people and not breaking my head over the fact that I'm leaving in three days and should not be fighting right now!
But most of the time I am really thankful for the pain and my missing puzzle pieces because without losing them I would never know the joy of finding them again and I would never appreciate having them the same. "
strong huh? When I was reading it for the first time ( out of hundred) I felt like her. I felt like every exchange student in the world, coming back and trying to adapt. It is hard. I know that and I survived it also. But it gets better and you built a new, different life. Coming back to your home city will never be the same as you had before you left. You have changed, your friends have changed, everybody got more mature but you see the world in different lights. You feel like you dont belong here anymore, you feel like you should just leave everything here and come back to you exchange country?
well I had questions like that in my head too, Ive been crying for nights and months but now when I am totally over the big "coming back depression" I started to appreciate each day I have spent in Colombia and what is the most important, I started to take my life seriously. Colombia for me is not just a country I went to my exchange, partied all year long and made friendships forever Ok, everything is really important but FOR ME, the most important thing I have learned there is LOVE. Love to people, to culture, to family and to spread the love around you. That is what I do here, online, www.nataliaskotnicka.blogspot.com, I spread the love and knowledge about Colombia and I do it with passion. I would love to help each person who is scared going there. In my opinion, you have last 7-10 years to visit Colombia, cause after some time it is going to be so americanized and latin culture can disappear with time. But it is only mine, personal thing.
so, does anyone want to share with coming back feelings ? Do you remember how you get welcomed by all the people at the airport ? I DO and it is unbelievable how hard is stop missing your moments of your life.