Your family waves goodbye to you from behind the security gates, they do so until they cannot see you any more. Probably another year will pass until they will see your face again and you can see the pain on their faces, but all that’s left to do is smile and wave back at them. Show them that you are happy and that they don’t have to worry about you, which is partly true. You feel blessed indeed that you get the opportunity to live and explore other cultures but your own, but saddened by the fact that your family is almost 1.5k miles away from you.
“Come, let’s take a picture of you and your brother so we have one for each year.” Your mother says, her voice slightly trembling. He’s eleven now, and nearly the same height as you. He was half the size he is now when you first left and barely knew how to speak properly, now he’s telling you all about game graphics and all of the mods he’s creating for different games and how he wants to create his own website. And that feeling hits you again, you feel like a walking paradox. He’s spent half of his lifetime without you by his side.
On the way to the airport you pass by all of these familiar places you used to spend your time around for your first eighteen years. They used to look so mundane and boring, yet now they seem more alive, prettier. Nonetheless, you feel a slight detachment from them, they don’t feel like home any more. “Imagine if we didn’t have your brother, after dropping you off at the airport me and your dad would just cry our eyes out,” your mum says. You know she’s right, but at the same time you know that even if your brother is only eleven he already has plans to leave them as soon as he finishes his A Levels. You did so even earlier than that and all you can do is bite your lip and mutter a “yeah, I know.”
“I don’t know how you could leave your family so young and just start new somewhere else, far away from them.” a friend tells you. And you try to argument your decision by stating that since you were five years old you’ve dreamt of living in London and so when the opportunity presented itself to you, you just went for it. Back then you didn’t really consider all of the pros and cons of moving abroad, you just wanted to experience something different. Thankfully, you had your best friend by your side for the first three years which you just took for granted. But now, looking back at it you realise how lucky you have been to have someone to support you every step along the way. You remember how you both learnt how to take care of yourselves, cook, wash your clothes and live a life without having a mum to clean up after you.
previous night – 23:30
Now she’s back in Bucharest, surrounded by a loving boyfriend and her work mates whom all support her. And then that feeling hits you again. Sure, you too have friends that support you and care for you, yet you are stuck in a workplace with colleagues over the age of forty whom you have nothing in common with; and mainly desperate and horny university students, eyeing you at any chance they get. You know you need to change something, yet you don’t want to just jump into the first opportunity you get as you did previously and ended up quitting after a few weeks. You know that you want to have a career media or NGO related, yet all of those positions require you to have plenty of experience you yet haven’t got. And then you feel stuck again, but you know better times are coming ahead. You just wish they could come sooner.
previous night – 19:30
Twenty paid holiday days a year. That’s all the days you get in a year to split between travelling and engaging with new cultures and spending time with your family too. You know they want you to come back to them every holiday, yet you feel the urge to travel to unfamiliar places too. You know that your parents will turn fifty in a few years, yet you also know you will be half of their age soon enough and you already feel like you don’t have enough time to explore and experience all that this world has to offer.