Teens, today is an important date to me. Exactly one year ago I started my Erasmus experience in Madrid, one of the craziest experiences of my life. I will never forget it and I miss it a lot. I miss the people I met, the places I visited and I'm blessed to have had the chance to live five months abroad. Those five months will remain in my heart forever.
So, to celebrate this date, today I'm posting the last text that I wrote on the blog just some hours before I came home in February, five months after everything started. I haven't been in Madrid since then but I know that city has a special place in my heart.
(p.s. - I haven't started correcting my book yet but I'm trying my best to find some time to do it.)
Last post before going home.
I never thought I would find the strength to write anything here by now. It's four minutes past five in the morning and this is the last time I write from my bedroom in Madrid. I can not believe my Erasmus is over. In four hours and a half I leave on a bus with Lisbon has its last destination.
Can you believe? Five months. And how they went by so fast. And so many good memories and so many people I will remind with all my love for the rest of my life.
All this time I was here I never had a moment that I wanted to give up or just go back to Lisbon. Thank God I had the chance to have this experience, I am so thankful.
My bedroom might now empty but my walls are full of stories. I remember the first day that I got here and how nervous I was. It was my first time away from home. But there were sometimes that I felt that home was here. And of course there were times I missed my parents, my family and my friends but the people I met here made this story unforgettable, incredible and fulfilling.
I have to say that there were many times that I felt alone but I found true company in myself and I reflected a lot about what was happening to me and what this experience was teaching me. And being in a residence instead of a home-stay or with other Portuguese people helped it a lot because when I wanted to be alone I would just go to my bedroom and be alone for has much time has I wanted (though I had people knocking on my door every five minutes).
The people you meet when you are out of your comfort zone for so long just naturally become your family. They start to be the people you count to have meals with, to go for walks, to go shopping, just to hang out or go for a coffee, and, or course, to party, rage, get drunk, and just forget about the world. And they also become your greatest friends and people you can count on all the time, probably because they are in the same situation has you are and they find a safe place with you. The bounding becomes natural and you start to see them more has a family then your friends. For that tim you're away, they are all that you have. And they become part of moments you will hold in your heart forever.
But being away from home has its ups and downs too. I wanted to shoot myself when I found myself at the hospital the other day because of my gastroenteritis, full of sick people. I hate hospitals. And of course you have your own ups and downs. Everyday is not pink, rainbows and with the sun smiling at you. You just have to figure out how to deal with yourself and your own issues but, most of all, find a way to balance everything in your head and calm down. And when you feel sad or lonely, or you find yourself in a really bad day, you just have to remember the good times and how lucky you are to have the chance to have such an amazing experience.
I will never forget the first time I went to Kapital (the disco with seven floors); all the concerts I've seen (Katy Perry, 30 Seconds to Mars and Kanye West, M.I.A., Ke$ha and Steve Aoki); the first time I went out in Madrid, specifically to Joy, where my jaw dropped when I say an almost naked woman dancing inside a huge champagne glass; the first time I had croquetas, which are one my favorite foods in the entire world by now; my first night and how I slept terribly; all my classes, my teachers and my classmates, who were always really helpful; the only time I went to Mercado de San Miguel with two Portuguese friends of mine who were visiting, where I stuffed myself with such good food; the only time I went to Sala Heineken to see The Zombie Kids which was one of the wildest nights of my life (if you come to Madrid on a Wednesday make sure you go there, it's insane); the times I went to Orange Cafe on Wednesday nights and never felt to sweaty in my life; all the walks I did around the city and the marvelous places I had the chance to visit; and so many other things. But what I hold the most in my heart are the people I had the chance to meet during the last five months that totally changed my life. I made friends for life. I met people who changed me has a person and made me view that the world does not spin around me. I lived with a blind person in my residence and I always wanted to do as much as I could to help him and he made me see how lucky I am and how fortunate I am. Living with so many different people that come from so many different countries make you realize that the world isn't that big of a place and that, "even though we have hundreds of miles who separate us, we are not as different as we think", as a good Finish friend of mine would say. We are young. We all want to get to know this world and find our own place in it.
I'm not going to cry now, I don't even feel like doing it, but I know that I will cry a lot on the bus back home. And I have eight hours to digest everything that just happened during the past five months. I want to thank everyone for making me feel at home when I need the most. For being there for me when I was in "crazy mode". For being my family away from home. For all the moments we spent together and all the things we discovered together. All the laughs. All the tears. All the conversations. Everything that made me become the person I am today and that made me see that I'm much stronger than what I think and for believing in me when nobody else did.
By the way, I leave this place with a document which has 260 pages that hopefully I will have the chance to call book one day.
I love you all, from the bottom of my heart.