The 31th May of 2016 I took a direct flight to Spain, but let’s go a little bit back!

After my graduation in Communication Sciences and one of the most exhausting moments of my life, I needed a break. Not a whatever kind of break, not an unproductive laziness, but a break ‘to set me free’, as I like saying.

I actually felt the necessity to set free a big part of me which I used to repress or it used to be repressed by other people or circumstances.

An important role, in this context, was played by the uncertainty about my future and an abundant dose of tiredness. Yes, I wanted to leave, I actually had to. So I frantically started looking for a job abroad, especially sending my curriculum to London and Paris – I never received an answer from or I didn’t fix to the job or I wasn’t in the place yet, so companies were lazy or unconfident about knowing me, etc.

An afternoon I was in a bar, next to Teatro Massimo (in Palermo), with my two best friends: we were having a coffee and chatting and, as usual in that period, I expressed my need to leave and there the miracle happened (I’m choosing to use this word consciously): they had just received an e-mail from CESIE organisation about a project in Torrelodones, a half hour from Madrid, in a Kindergarten, which used Waldorf education method.

I didn’t think twice.

That same afternoon I read any detail about the project: I had to help educators in daily activities with children, like painting, gardening, cooking, etc., and later my mentors also asked me to teach Italian to kids. I got any information about EVS, about Waldorf education and immediately I contacted CESIE, I sent requested documentation and in a few days I had two interviews with my future mentors.

31th May 2016: ticket in my hand, baggages, goodbyes and departure.

I still believe it was the first time in my life I had no fear: I only wanted to stay there, because something was saying (screaming) me it would have been a unique experience.

So it was, my EVS’s year revolutionised me: my project constantly put me to the test personally and professionally, I had the opportunity to know myself, to meet other volunteers from any part of Europe with whom I had important ideas and experiences exchanges, I had many local friends (I still have them and currently I have more Spanish friends than Italians); I grow up and I changed, I gave and received love, I set my creativity free; I travelled, knowing Spanish culture, I improved my Spanish, but also English and French knowledge; I made new strong relations and made the old ones stronger.

I’ve learned what means “to enjoy the little things”, like to receive a drawing as a gift by a child, having a walk with my friends and their dogs in the mountain and breathing autumn’s fresh air or preparing a cake all together and sharing it, reading a fairy tail, and “to see things as children do”, like when there’s an imaginary circus in the garden made by only two chairs for the spectators, eating invisible popcorn and the ‘acrobats’ jump from 20cm – wow, that’s so dangerous and unbelievable! – or when it’s snowing and we have to open our mouth up to the sky because “it’s not snow, it’s ice cream!”

I owe my change to them: my children.

At the end of my EVS, I kept working two more months for my school before they had summer holidays: it was a wonderful gift to me. We wanted to finished the course all together. I’ve enjoyed my experience, my children and their families, my Spanish friends and their love until the real end.

I came back in Palermo in August to see my family and my baggage has never been so heavy, not because of the objects I’ve collected. I’ve brought with me so much richness, new perspectives, new dreams, a new sensibility, many lessons, lots of memories.

As soon as possible I’ll be back to Spain, because as Luca – a 5 years old child – said to me “you only go to Italy in holidays, now Spain is your home”.

Thanks to the European Voluntary Service: I didn’t look for you, but you found me and gave me the best experience of my life.

 Thanks to CESIE, to my best friends and to Spain to welcome me and let me feel at home.

Simona Busalacchi