04 janeiro 2019

Why not?

Do me a favor, do an EVS. Leave your hometown, your family and your friends and go abroad. And if I can give you a suggestion, move to Lisbon. One of the best things about being part of the European Union, is having the possibility to go on Erasmus. EVS, ESC, Erasmus+, it doesn’t matter the name. What matters is that everyone should take advantage of it, and experience living in another country, at least once in life. Why? Because life is so short and the world is so big, and you have already spent 25 years living in the same place. Aren’t you tired? Don’t you feel it’s time to really live the world? Going on holiday somewhere is not enough. To get to know another culture, you have to live it. Probably you will not manage to get to know each and every culture on Earth, but why not giving it a chance? What do you have to lose? Nothing. What do you have to win? Everything.

Just go to the EVS database (I know you have already saved it in your bookmarks), have a look at all the projects, think about which countries you would like more (don’t be just the average Italian… people can also survive in countries where it’s not always sunny), choose some projects that would be right for you, and apply. It’s so damn simple.

I will not tell you to go to Portugal because it’s beautiful: you already know. I tell you to move to Lisbon because the language sounds like Russian and at the beginning you will not understand a word. I tell you to move to Lisbon because you don’t like to eat fish and they will just try to offer you bacalhau in every possible way. I tell you to move to Lisbon because climbing up and down in the streets of the city centre will make you miss riding your bike so much. What I mean is, go out your comfort zone, so that you can really say “with every broken bones, I swear I lived”.

And once you are there, just take advantage of every single moment. Meet the local people, talk to them, fake your best italo-spanish-portuguese accent, learn why they laugh when you try to say “pão”, eat queijo & fiambre in almost everything, ask for a menu “pequeno-almoço” at Padaria Portuguesa at 4h in the afternoon, teach portuguese people that spaghetti is not a side dish, decide if you like more Sagres or Super Bock, listen all the time to Brazilian Funky and never to Fado, climb 75 steps to reach your house, learn by heart that “este comboio não para em Arroios”, go to the night bakery almost every night even if you are not hungry, have a cafezinho while you wait for the 747, go to IKEA to work when you have tele-trabalho, look everyday for Ryanair offers to go to Azores (and Madeira, and Spain, and France, and Cabo Verde…), pretend you’re still a student and ask for discount on museums tickets, buy thousands of black-and-white tote bags and take pictures of graffiti for your Instagram, visit abandoned hotels and steal broken azulejos. In every situation, just ask yourself one question, “why not?”.

Again, life is so short, and you only get one. What are you waiting for?

Letter to my past self,

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