Every time that I have to bring an end to a specific phase of my life I end up with a bittersweet feeling. On the one hand, I am excited about the next step, the new beginning. On the other hand, it is always hard to leave things behind. It hurts to know that this experience as a volunteer, just as it has been, will never repeat itself, that it’s something that will never come back. It is hard to say goodbye to all the things that were and to all the things that still could have been.
I will miss sharing a flat, even if the cleaning did bring up some arguments. I will miss Alberto’s loud music and all the stuff that he leaves around, like his caps or the salt bottle canister. Having coffee together at 11 pm, just before the beer. I will miss Ana’s incense and her habit of stealing my flip flops. Dancing in the kitchen with Carlijn without music and for no reason. The random nights when we would end up in one bed gossiping and sharing experiences from the past.
There are also some things that Slovenia has taught me that I hope I will carry back with me. Mostly, these are little details that I never tended to notice before, but that now are deep down my skin. Small things that might seem irrelevant, but that can bring an unexpected amount of happiness. A beautiful sight from the top of the mountain. The ritual of making coffee for everyone at work. Sharing the silence with a good friend. The thrill as your heart is throbbing in your chest when speeding on a bike. A rainy and greyish day after a hot week. Being able to see Triglav on a clear sky. And, of course, the sea. The ever-changing sea that can be bright and clear and turquoise during the day but also black and melancholic at night, with that salty smell and that wind that can blow beyond your skin and even your bones.
I hope I will take this peace home with me. The počasi way of life, which in Slovenian means “slow”. I hope I will remember to notice the beauty in small things around me, that I will look around more and try to live without hurries. And even if I cannot get rid of the hustle and bustle of the daily life, at least I should remember that I cannot be everywhere all the time and that is OK. That what really matters is to be fully aware, fully present, with all your soul and body, wherever you are.