Monthly Archives: January 2015

Experience of a lifetime

Now that I’m back in Finland and back in Jyväskylä, it’s time to try to sum up the last few months. I won’t say that I loved every second of my time in Croatia because that isn’t true. But that’s all part of the pattern almost everyone goes through when starting something new.

Step 1: Going for an exchange to Croatia was a big step for me. I have never before traveled alone or had to manage things by myself like that. I was afraid to go and hesitated about leaving. I can’t thank my boyfriend and parents enough for being so supportive and practically forcing me to go.

Step 2: The first month in Croatia was filled with excitement and exploring new things. Even going to a bakery or grocery store felt like an experience.

Step 3: At one point I was so lonely, homesick and sick of studying that I was counting days to get back to Finland. I didn’t want to do anything or go anywhere. I just felt like staying at my moldy apartment and crying.

Step 4: I felt really stupid when I realized the situation I was feeling sorry for myself in. I also got some new energy since I was half way of my trip. I realized there’s really not much time to waste. I went to Ljubljana, Bled, Belgrade and Rijeka. I got to know some amazing people and saw some amazing places.

Step 5: Now, over four months and five countries later I have no regrets. It truly was an experience of a lifetime. There are moments when I find myself looking at pictures from Zagreb, from my home streets. There are even moments when I don’t feel like home in Jyväskylä. “Having to” speak Finnish everywhere feels boring. Everything is the same as it was when I left. It’s just me that’s changed.