середа, 30 грудня 2015 р.

The sense of HOME: back to Sicily again

You know all those overly used phrases? "Home is where your heart is", "home is not a place, but people", etc.?
Well, of course those words are used way too much, but only because they are true. What no one usually tells you is that your heart has an ability to be at two, three, twenty places at once.
It doesn't mean less love for your first home though.
It just means that when you are happy, your heart grows. Infinitely.

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When I started this blog, I was living in Kyiv, Ukraine - the beautiful and charming city, where I was born and raised. I was working from home, so really needed a sort of a creative outlet – something that will motivate me to write, to take photos, to dress up once in a while and tell someone about my life.
For example, about going to Pyrohiv (in Kyiv)

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… to Lviv (in Western Ukraine)

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… or to Lithuania – I loved it so much that for the first time in my life I wanted to leave Kyiv and move. 

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Than after many different, good and bad, experiences, my life took a really unexpected turn and I moved to Thailand. By this day it’s the craziest adventure in my life, for which I’m so grateful to 2013 version of me. I still have dreams about Thailand, Laos and Cambodia – cities, temples, flowers, people, islands… FOOD!

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Bangkok, Vertigo bar

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After shooting with an Indian actor Ankit Raaj 

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Chiang Mai - Bangkok

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Angkor Wat

Those crazy times changed me so much that after two month in Kyiv I started looking for an opportunity to go and see other places. I was searching for international programs, projects, volunteering opportunities anywhere (focusing, for some reason, mostly on Lithuania, Morocco and Mexico).
But as someone wise said – if you want to make God laugh, tell him about your life plans. Because even though I didn’t really want to go to Italy (weird, right?), and dreamed about other places instead, 9 months after returning home from Southeast Asia I landed on Sicily (with one pair of Thai sandals, big hopes and a new camera).

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La Cala - Villa Giulia

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Porta Felica - Foro Italico

Here I spent a wonderful year, doing my EVS, traveling a bit, gaining experience in humanitarian field and studying Italian… Actually for about 6 months I thought I will never start speaking and end up wasting a great opportunity. But in November 2014 my mom came to visit me, we took a one-hour train to Cefalù, where one Sicilian gentleman got very curious about where we are from. The whole way I served as a translator and, to my surprise, a quiet descent one. After that everything became easier.

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Leaving Sicily in May honestly broke my heart. But the sad reality is that if you are from Eastern Europe, you are really dependent on your visa, and it was expiring.
I came back in July – to be a trainer in a training course and too see everyone I loved and missed. During this time I already knew what I wanted to do, so I applied for two PhD positions in University of Palermo. To my surprise, I actually got both scholarships, so one month and a half ago I landed on Sicily again – with a huge suitcase, backpack, baby-blue blanket I got for my birthday this year, woolen coat and a huge plaid scarf. My friend’s husband, who took me from the bus station by car, looked at me very attentively and asked only one question: “Oh, so it’s cold in Ukraine?” I said yes (the embarrassing reality was that it simply didn’t fit into my suitcase)

So now I’m back here, in one of my homes. I have many:
-          Ukraine, my beautiful country,
-          a small city in Czech Republic, where I lived with my parents when I was little,
-          Vilnius, where I felt so at peace
-          Chiang Mai and Bangkok, even though at those times I never felt at home there,
-          and, finally, Palermo and Sicily in general.

I know that eventually I will have more homes. But I also know they will always have a place in my heart.
Because you never know where life will take. So better do your best and open your hear wide.

Disclamer: all the photos belong to me and my friends. Any reposting without proper credits is forbidden. 

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