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The reason why

Published by Miriana Giai Gischia — 11 months ago

Blog: A walkabout song
Tags: Erasmus tips


[…]in Sherpa country every track is marked with cairns and prayer flags, reminding you that Man's real home is not a house, but the Road, and that life itself is a journey to be walked on foot.

from “What am I doing here”, by Bruce Chatwin

Chatwin is one of my favourite authors, he analyses the idea of travelling in all its shades.
The conclusion is often that the mankind was not born to stay, but to walk and explore.
We were created in the desert, shaped to overcome its tough perils, always wandering, beating a rhythm that we cannot found in the green quiet prairies, where we get easily bored.

The journey is part of us.

We are the journey.

About me

I am the typical kind of girl with her head in the clouds, who stumbles into her own feet while walking, who enters the shower singing out loud, with the smile on her face even though, maybe, something is not going in the right way.

In my life I’ve always been interested in a lot of different things and went through any kind of phase: there was the time I wanted to be a fashion designer, then a teacher, later a dentist… At the end of the high school, I also thought about a career as an engineer, but I realized that there was just one thing I’ve never given up. I’ve always been drawing.

This is why, in the end, I decided to apply to the “Design and visual communication school” at the Polytechnic of Turin. Just a way to apply what I thought I was good at.

I knew I would have had my Erasmus year as soon as I stepped over the threshold of the university. -How did you know it, then? - you may wonder, dear reader. Honestly? I have no clue, it was just a gut feeling, but it turned out to be true!

About the place

Actually, even while choosing the university where to study, I had already considered moving abroad. I remember very clearly taking in consideration the possibility to attend a very specific program of the Polytechnic of Milan in which I was supposed to get my bachelor in India.

Anyway, during my first year of university I was obsessed with the idea of living in Japan or, at least, to find a destination in Asia. Sadly, the few Asian cities in the Erasmus list were only available for engineers.

In my second year, it was time to choose, for real, and to decide how to rank the favourite destinations. In the very first place of my “top 6” it was displayed - Stockholm, Sweden -.
This is where I am living right now.

About the reason

We can link the yearning to leave to a teenage rebellious moment (I am 21, but I guess I still haven’t overcome this phase - LOL), but, with a careful analysis I realized there are more subtle causes.

Growing up, I’ve never felt that travelling was a big issue in life; maybe because in my family a trip is seen just as a way to spend the money one’s earned so hardly and not as a journey to enrich the mind and the soul. This point of view is quite easy to explain, it is the one of those who worked hard to get a better life, who made efforts, sacrificing any kind of shallownessin order to settle down. I admire my grandparents and parents for this; they taught me the importance of perseverance.
They’ve always insisted in the value of the education as well and, in fact, it was thanks to books that I first approached the idea of travelling.

Later in my life, I would have known people which experience was essential to modify that same concept which I grabbed out of ink and paper.

First of all, one of my dearest friend was, and still is, really passionate about travelling and she already had an exchange period during the fourth year of high school. At that time, I was passively involved in all her changes, decisions and improvements. She had the courage to leave and she came back stronger than ever, because, when you have to manage life on your own, even the worst defeat can be the best winning.

Similarly, some years later, other friends left our Bel Paese (beautiful country) to explore new and exciting places in the world.

Although I was influenced a lot by others opinions and desires, there was still one authentic reason why I wanted to leave, a personal one, which was laying in my heart, waiting for the proper time to come up.
I wanted to leave to get out of my comfort zone, to push me harder and challenge myself with a full immersion in a new society, language and culture.

I had to experience something completely apart from my home country, Italy, in order to test my limits and to rebuild an identity, at that time, worn out by my previous life itself.

The reason why

In conclusion, it doesn’t really matter what kind of reason you have to leave, the important thing is to have one. One very strong reason. Because the Erasmus is fun, but sometimes you could feel alone, misplaced and disoriented and in those moments, you really need something to which you can hold one.

Don’t forget, of course, the important role played by those who you love, back home. Their help and words can be extremely powerful.

And remember that, if you want to escape any troubles, they will just follow you as your darkest shade (unless you decide to go somewhere really dark… as Sweden in the winter… I know it’s a very bad joke haha).

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