★ First Time Leaving Home ★

On Earth there are 7 444 819 000 people. Some of them are worried, some are happy, others are sad. But I was neither.

I was studying at high school, and I didn’t feel anything. I used to wake up every single day without any motivation. I tended to flow through my daily life moved by inertia. I did not know what to do with my life. Then I thought that it was the moment to have a gap year. I started investigating, and with my mom’s help I found something interesting: EVS. When I first heard about it I immediately knew it was for me.

After searching for months, I finally found a project which suits me perfectly – the Balkan Youth Festival. Then, my adventure began.

I was not afraid of the unknown, just melancholic for all the people I had to leave in Spain, where I have my whole life.

I took a plane from Barcelona to Sofia. The saying goodbye to my family in the airport was the hardest thing for me, because I am very close to my family.

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My dearest family

By the time I had realized what was happening to me, I was already in Bulgaria. My future mentor Ina, and my flat mate Leti, were waiting for me at the airport. Despite landing at 3 o´clock in the morning, when I arrived in the apartment, there was Maja – my second flat mate, welcoming me with an enormous plate of spaghetti.

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Myself wih Maja and Leti

I slept for a few hours, after which Maja, Leti and me left to the hotel Legends in Sofia, where the on-arrival training took place. On the training, I met lots of people, many of them Spanish. We got on really well, and we started building a good friendship. Moreover, we learnt a lot about EVS program. The surprising part of the training for all of us volunteers was the fact that we had a lot different food to choose from for each and every meal.

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On-arrival training (Some of the volunteers), photo taken in the South Park, Sofia

After a week in the hotel I felt accomplished. My first days in Bulgaria had been amazing, but I had not seen anything about Sofia. Therefore, we invited some of the volunteers from the training to our apartment in Sofia. During their stay, we had a lot of fun moments, bonding, sharing experience from the training, and we explored Sofia together on Friday afternoon in the Sofia Free Tour.

Right after the on-arrival training, I visited the office and met my supervisor Emilia. She gave me a warm welcome, patiently answered all my questions, and introduced the first tasks I would have to do for my BYF project.

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My welcome into the office
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With my mentor Pres, and my two flat mates

Within two days I was going through various emotional stages, as a consequence of being surrounded and exposed to a lot of different things. Even though it was very intense, it did not make me tired. Instead, I was pretty much astonished.

Now I have to admit that my first days in Sofia have been way better than I could have ever imagined. Leaving my comfort zone made me feel alive, and I could leave my apathetic behavior and start feeling something good again.

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