I am on my way to Greece for the summer holidays. I am sitting at the airport and waiting for the time to pass until my next flight to Athens. Since I moved to Sweden in 2014 I have been to Greece and back so many times. I have been to so many different planes, travelled with so many different airlines, through so many different places. Since there is no direct flight from Gothenburg to Athens I have waited so many hours to so many different airports.
But the feeling is always the same. I look forward to go visit my family, my friends, my dog. I look forward to see the bright greek sun and the blue sky. I look forward to visit familiar neighborhoods and places that I have spent most of my life. I look forward to eat real greek food, fresh fruits and vegetables that I have missed their taste so much! I look forward to go to the sea and lay on the beach and just feel the warm sun in my face. I am sure that all of you have similar feelings when is time to visit your home countries. No matter how nice and exciting the student life abroad can be there is always a special connection to the place that has been our home for most of our life.
The funny thing is that as the years pass I feel more and more a connection to Gothenburg too. Every time I return back to Sweden from my holidays it takes less and less to get into the everyday routine and to feel that everything is in order. After being in Gothenburg for so long I feel familiar with this town too. There are neighborhoods here that I want to visit too, places that I want to go, food that I want to eat (not fruits and vegetables though hahaha). And maybe the sun in Sweden is not always as warm as in Greece but still we all know how incredible it feels when it is sunny in Gothenburg and how many amazing things you can do in this city is when the weather is nice. And maybe I don’t have there my family, my greek friends and my dog but I have new friends that have been there for me in the same way like the older ones. I have people there that I know we experience the same challenges and adventures and we have created a bond that might be new, but is quite strong and can be time-lasting.
I know that living abroad can be funny but also difficult and challenging sometimes. Student life can be both demanding but also an awesome experience. I know that each one of us have their own little story to tell about their experience in our lovely Gothenburg. And I think that’s the most amazing thing with living abroad. That it gives you the opportunity to get all these new experiences that you will take with you no matter where you are or end up being. Even if you don’t stay in Gothenburg after you finish your studies or even if you have decided to continue living here the things you did in this city, the places you have been , the people you have met, the difficulties you faced and all the good times you had, will always follow you. There will always be a part of who you have become.
And I see that now whenever I travel back to Greece that it’s still me, the person I ‘ve been before I moved but with a small part that is new and it includes all of from my experience of living aboard. And that makes everything, even the most familiars, to feel brand new! That makes my holidays in Greece even more exciting like I am going there for the first time, each and every time!
So whatever you do this summer and wherever you go take a moment to think how things might look after you have been living abroad! It can be exciting!
Enjoy your summer holidays and see you back in our beautiful Gothenburg!