Time: a measure commonly defined as “the indefinite continued progress of events in the past, present, and future regarded as a whole”, expressed in years, months, weeks, hours, seconds. 315 days, 8 hours, 31 minutes and 29 seconds have passed since my first day away from home, away from my securities and certainties, on the verge of redefining my complete being. We do think of foreign places, unknown realities, as something extremely mystic and exotic, spots where, in loneliness, we can lose ourselves to finally find the true essence of our tangible nature. I was able to find mine, able to make up my artificial paradise, lucky enough to wring out the best from every single millisecond of my new life abroad. But Time was constantly there, ticking hands moving too fast on the watch-face, reckless sand grains flowing down into the neck of the hourglass; moments that will never come back, unique sensations lived once and only once. We thus learn how to respect Time, to make the best out of it, to purely enjoy our usual grind, as little surprises are always round the corner.
John Steinbeck once wrote: “A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike. And all plans, safeguards, policing, and coercion are fruitless. We find that after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us.” Words I could not agree more with. I did not pick Sweden, Sweden picked me; a trip came quite unexpected, an outstanding good fortune which has thoroughly marked my life view in the remote depths of my soul. We are growing beings, all characterized by an unbridgeable thirst for knowledge, driven by an earnest desire for adventure. Leaving home we look up, perhaps for the very first time in our life, and in looking up we do truly grasp the reality which surrounds us, that same reality which had constituted the cocoon-like environment of our previous existence. We look up, we establish a link with the ones who surround us, we act as empathetic beings, as real human beings.
Lots have changed during these ten long months. People, places, memories and emotions have struck and shaken every single nerve and fiber of the real me, carving lairs into my heart. I got to know marvelous people, who have made me feel at home since the very first day of my brand new Swedish life, standing by me in bright and bleak sides. I say goodbye to Sweden today, still looking forward to a billion new adventures which await me.