Amsterdam, The Netherlands: I am closing the decade by doing something I never thought I had the guts to do: travelling by myself. I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
Once upon a time not long ago, a friend and I arranged to meet in Amsterdam, a place where I’ve only spent a couple of hours 5 years ago. We booked the flights, paid for the hostel and soon we were counting down the days to our reunion. But this fairy tale didn’t have a happy ending: one day I received a message from said friend explaining that they never wanted to talk to me again, and then I was blocked.
Albulena, the peanut butter to my jelly for the past 20 years, is getting married. The lucky fella in this incredible love story is Dardan, whom I only just met very recently, because of obvious reasons to people who know us (like the whole moving to Australia thing). Due to a lot of their family living in Kosovo, it’s time for a destination wedding.
I am home. I sit on my dad’s balcony with a glass of wine in my hand. This is where I live now. My hair’s bleached almost pure white to get rid of the excess green. I have a job in telemarketing that I hate. My friends have been scattered around the country, making it harder to see them spontaneously, but like my family, they’re a lot closer now than they have been for the past few years. My plans to go back to school have been compromised by new laws, so I’m back to square one. Here I am, just trying to make a life for myself in a country that is home, yet seems so foreign to me after a long time on the road. I’m standing still, but constantly moving.
2014 has come and gone quickly. Just this time last year, I was preparing for my final exam and packing up my things to put in storage. I was daydreaming of colourful sarees, paradise beaches and freedom. Now, a year later, I am doing almost exactly the same. I have booked a flight to Cambodia early next year, and have been granted a Working Holiday Visa for Australia. I am excited, nervous and poor. I still have a lot of planning and purchasing to do before I’m ready for departure.
As everyone sits down to reflect on their year (usually with that stupid Facebook feature), I’ve created a list (yes, another list) of some accomplishments/experiences that I found worthy of sharing with someone. I clearly live an exciting life.
THIS YEAR I
Visited 10 countries (if you count Burma)
Was (only) reported for pornography on Facebook twice