Holaaaaa, Hello, Bonjour, Ciao.
I am Matias and I am 19 years old, I love to find out, get new experience, and live incredible things.
My life in these last years has taken a crazy turn.
I finished high school almost two years ago and I didn’t know very well what to do with my life, I didn’t know what career to study or which path to take. I love architecture, technology, sports, psychology, philosophy, and many other things, but I didn’t want to take the step to study something, I wanted to live, to know, to travel, and to open my mind.
I remember the day I finished high school I told my mother I wasn’t going to study the following year and I wanted to go and live abroad, to have the opportunity to travel, which I had never had before, and to learn English. My mother didn’t take it very well and I had a strong discussion with her, but without any doubt, it was one of the most important and rewarding days of my life.
The summer arrived and I started to work as a barman in my town, so I was able to save money to make the trip I wanted so much 🙂 My idea was to leave in September with a friend, but the plans didn’t work out, my friend wasn’t ready to take that step. Then I had the opportunity to participate in my first Erasmus+ project. It was an exchange in a small mountain village in Portugal for 12 days, everything seemed like a dream, everything I had imagined, I wanted was being lived. Without a doubt, I fell in love with these opportunities so much that on the last day of the project I started looking for more projects, I could not miss these opportunities. They allowed me to travel, meet people, learn English and everything was completely free. I got off the plane in Spain and the same day I did an interview for a project that was starting two days after, in Italy. There was no time to lose, 24 hours later I got back on a plane, but this time in the direction of Italy.
This project was different, it was a training course about meditation, motivation, strengthening your attitude, and giving that little change which allows all of us to reach what we dream of.
Without any doubt, this project made me change my sense of life, my thoughts, and my attitude. It gave me the opportunity to know myself better and to feel that person that I have always been, but who never gave myself a chance.
I returned home with a million things on my mind and with one clear idea: I bought a ticket to London to live there and started a new life that I wanted so much, I no longer minded going alone, but I preferred to live that experience alone. So I went to London at the age of 18 without job, but with some money in my pocket and a suitcase full of enthusiasm and motivation. Unfortunately, three months later the virus started and changed our plans. I lost my job as a barman in a hotel where I had a great time. I returned to Spain to spend the quarantine with my family.
After some long and hard months, I found another Erasmus+ project and without any doubt, I went. And after that, to another one, but I wanted to do something different, I wanted to do a volunteer of some subject that I liked, so I found this project. I remember I was super excited and enthusiastic to do this interview with the organization. I felt that this project was for me as I love technology, photography, edition, social networks.
At the beginning, I was very nervous but I was dying to listen to the project and to talk to the organization, and without a doubt, it was a wonderful interview that made me feel special. I was able to express myself just as I am, and finally, they gave me the opportunity, but unfortunately I had to turn it down, because I had to do important things in my country and the project was about to start.
I participated in another project, but this time in Spain. When I was there I saw they had set new dates for the project. I contacted the organization to see if I could participate in the project this time and I had the second interview with them. They told me that I had the place again so I didn’t hesitate to get all my things to my parents’ house since I was living alone, and 2 days later I flew to Bulgaria. Honestly, it was a bit crazy, I won’t deny it, but I really wanted to participate in this project and live this experience.
I spent one night in Sofia in a hostel that had some strange showers, that had no curtain or glass or anything, I think it’s typical in Bulgaria, but it is a bit fun for me. The next day I was on my way to Blagoevgrad.. I slept the whole trip and in the bus station I met my super nice colleagues, I truly love them! That day I was very tired, but we went to take some beers to an Irish bar. I was very surprised, because Bulgaria is a very cheap country and to in Spain you spend a lot of money and you can’t do it very often, so Bulgaria is really good 🙂
After drinks in the Irish bar we went to the flat to continue the party (oouuuuuu yeees!). I loved that they welcomed me super super well and I felt very comfortable, we are very different people but we understand and respect each other.
The next day we went to a very nice office and there, finally, I met Kiril and Antoana (they are super nice). That day I laughed a lot and I had a super good time, I knew little about the city of Blagoevgrad, the food was so nice and there´s one thing that I liked is a society that differs from mine. I am very grateful to have the opportunity to live this experience and share it with such incredible people.
This article is created by Matias Epelman as part of his personal project. He is a participant of the “ESC: European Skills and Competences” project, co-funded by the Bulgarian National Agency of Erasmus+ Program Human Resource Development Center.