Living abroad changed something in me. After spending 9 months in Sundsvall Sweden through the European Voluntary Services when I returned to Sibiu I felt like a new person and looked at things in a different way.
I tried to make something of my life when I went back. I have great memories of enjoying trivia nights with friends, chipping away at a social media job for an artisan chocolate company, volunteering for festivals and events. But when the new government got elected in 2017 and tried literally overnight to push a law through to protect corrupt politicians, something stirred in me. And I wasn’t the only one feeling it. It was great to see the reaction from a massive group of other Romanians who took to the streets and started protesting against the new government who so blatantly showed their corrupted nature. No matter the freezing cold or rain, everyday we went out and we marched, shouted and sang to protect the country’s integrity. When after a year the protesting ended, I was exhausted and overwhelmed by the silence that took me. In the quiet it became clear to me. No longer did I want to stay in the country that I loved and where I met so many beautiful people, but that also ate away at me through frustration and a growing feeling of powerlessness.
Some of my friends were living in Amsterdam and after hearing their stories I decided that would be the best place for me to go. When one of my friends from Sundsvall surprised me by setting up a Facebook group for me with other young people from Sundsvall living in Amsterdam, my welcome party felt complete! Living here now for a number of weeks has made me realize that this was the best decision for me. I love the multiculturalism, the beer ;-), the positive energy, the freedom and the amount of things you can do in the city! I love signing up for educational and artistic activities. Things are so well arranged here. It took me just one hour to get my Social Security number! It’s those little things that make moving forward easy.
In the end, all of the above is really wonderful, but it’s the fact that nothing or no one is holding you back that has really allowed me to focus more on me and my own development. Spring is coming and it feels just like that. Thank you for that Amsterdam! I finally feel at home.