One day I was walking in the streets of Yerevan, and suddenly I realized that I was feeling like I was walking in my apartment. That was a pretty nice and warm feeling. It made me realize how emotionally connected I was to Yerevan but it also scared me. It was clear to me that my city had become my comfort zone. This was when I decided I had to change something. No matter how cozy and relaxing comfort zones feel, they stop our growth and progress. So, when I had the opportunity to go to Poland in the frame of the European Solidarity Corps Program, I was sure I should take the chance.
Now, as my project is over, it’s time to look back to the last five months of my life and reflect on it. My volunteering experience was wonderful, and I believe that doing it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. This was the first time I traveled this far from home for several months. It was some kind of an experiment for me to re-evaluate my life. I wanted to change my environment and “find” myself in a new way. I wanted to take a break from my routine life to revise my future plans and set new life priorities. Now, I can say that my experiment succeeded. This experience helped me a lot to know myself better, become more self-confident, and independent.
I volunteered at the FRSP office in the frame of the project “Empowering regions through volunteering”. It helped me develop many personal and professional skills. I was helping to promote different volunteering projects and find candidates for them. I was also conducting Russian and English classes for the local people, preparing different video materials on entrepreneurship. One of the best experiences I had here was helping to organize the Youth Exchange project “Make Yourself More Employable” in Katowice. I spent an amazing one week there. I not only practiced my event management skills but also met amazing people from six countries.
I believe the most valuable thing about this project was meeting new people. I am very happy to get to know the FRSP team and the other volunteers. All the people I met made my project as memorable and enjoyable as possible. I made wonderful friends who became a part of my life. We traveled together, laughed, shared our life stories, had serious and deep discussions. Each of them made me who I am today.
Moreover, I traveled a lot, saw many beautiful places and historically important places. I communicated with people from different cultures and traditions and discussed many important topics. This is education that they don’t teach at schools. When you visit a place where important historical events took place, you remember it for a long and you understand it better. It helps a lot to look at many things from a different point of view and become more aware. So, this experience gave me a chance to discover many new cultures and learn a lot about history, art, architecture, religion, and much more.
I want to take the chance to thank my sending and hosting organizations for all the support they gave and for this amazing and memorable opportunity. I loved this project a lot and leaving Poland made me sad. However, I understand that this will soon become a beginning of a new chapter.