Until next time

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All good things come to an end, but the most beautiful things pass in a blink of an eye. One day you’re arriving to the country of your dreams, the next moment you know, you’re already crying in the airplane wishing for more moments with loved ones.

I have already spilled many tears in my exchanges, and said many heart-warming toasts, so I don’t want to repeat myself. For that reason, I am going to write small thank you notes instead. Because there are so many people who need a thank you from me.

Thank you Pi Youth Association for choosing me as your volunteer among many applicants, and for believing I can be the one to contribute, gain, and exchange experiences and knowledge with you. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to spend a year in, for me, the most amazing country in the world.

Thank you Macarena and Šarune for being kind and understanding flatmates, and a firm pillar which I could rely on when I needed the most, and that I always knew that you are here to listen, to help, to laugh with me, to lend each other money when needed, to gossip, to be angry, to learn about each other and our cultures, and share those little moments and jokes that nobody else could understand, just by looking at each other.

Thank you Fatma, my wonderful mentor, for making me feel younger than I am. And even though you are so small, you have such a great power of mind and soul that it motivated me to never give up on things. Maybe you don’t realize it, but your strength is rare, and I can only imagine what a powerful and unstoppable woman you will be in a couple of years. Thank you for sharing our smartest and stupidest moments, and also our matching tattoos!

Thank you Ece for your silly spirit and incredible laugh, limitless sacrifice, love and devotion. The pureness and goodness in you will always remind me that I should be more of a person like you, never wanting to hurt someone but at the same time not to forget to take care of yourself as well. You were always like a sunshine brightening even very dark days, and you should never lose that attitude!

Thank you Firat for the way you made me feel. Whether it was good or bad, you always showed as a true friend ready to talk, give advice, and cheer me up. The time that we spent maybe wasn’t so long, but somehow it felt like years (probably because you talked so much that a normal person would talk in years instead of 6 months 😀 ). Having you by my side also showed me once again that for happiness you don’t need many friends – as long as the ones you have are golden, like you.

To Begum, Ilayda, Tugba – sometimes just spending a short time with someone can mean much more than years with someone else, and that’s what I got with you. Thank you girls for being sparkly like stars, helpful and kind, always with something silly and random to say and make my day. 

Thank you Muhsin for always being so kind, and funny in a sarcastic way that made me think if I am hearing right or wrong. You were always someone we could talk to and have things explained by. You were always there as a bridge between the organization and us, making us feel so welcome. Thank you for the wonderful trips and not complaining about our girlie needs 🙂

I would also like to thank the wonderful people I met during the course of design, and especially our teacher Nur, whose playful and shiny eyes made every class seem like a meeting among friends, surrounded by pure warmth of the heart.

I want to thank all of the other people who crossed my life during this year. You probably don’t know or realized, each one of you left an impact on me, like small puzzles making my Turkey picture complete. I can’t fit you all in a blog post, but if I were to write about all of you, I would lose my whole summer. Thank you for every word, smile, or touch that I felt deep in my mind, enjoyed, and learned from.

Lastly, I would like to thank my beautiful, extraordinary, magical city of Izmir. My now center of the world, and a place of the most remarkable memories. Thank you Izmir for your shining lights, for wind in my hair, for sea waves splashed all over my dress, for the street noise that made me feel lost in you, for the days of burning sunlight, for the most beautiful pink skies of sunset, for the feeling of belonging.

That is something I can’t forget. Times will change, I will feel less sad for leaving, I will watch the sunsets in some other cities, but I will never be able to forget the moments. The feeling I had. So this is not a goodbye, it is until next time. And thank you, thank you in advance, for welcoming me back soon.

About Valentina Botica

I am a 26 year-old girl from Rijeka, Croatia, a lover of Turkey who is an EVS volunteer in Izmir's Pi Youth Association. Graduated journalist with an overall enthusiasm for media. Both dog and cat person, trying to teach people what is 'teal' - my favorite color, similar to the color of Bosporus. I am a part of Erasmus Student Network and a strong believer that 'Mobility is a Lifestyle'. More about my experience in Turkey can be found on my Instagram @velntajn.

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