Category: Travels

The feeling of home…

That familiar smell of Starbucks coffee and books… Here I am, back again 1 and a half year later, at my favourite bookstore Barnes and Nobel’s in Webster, New York. Sitting in my little corner with my coffee and all the books I’ve already managed to buy in no time. It feels like a dream that I am here again.…

You get in life what you have the courage to ask for

Three years ago I was part of AIESEC – the world’s largest non-profit youth-run organization. An organization that provides young people with leadership development and cross-cultural global internship and volunteer exchange experiences across the globe. Here I was, 23 years old, naive, insecure and nervous sitting at my first national conference in Aalborg and listening to different presentations about leadership,…

Are you excited to go back home?

A question many people have been asking me lately. A question I didn’t give an honest answer to, because I haven’t been honest with myself either. When I first arrived here all I did was creating different countdown apps for going back home to Denmark. I have been counting months, days if not even minutes. I wanted to be with…

When you have more than one place that you call home…

Life is funny, you never know what to expect. It always surprises you. One day you are in control and second day life shows you how you can’t control everything. Things just happen. Before coming here I had it all pictured in my head – how it was going to be. And it turned out to be everything else than what I expected. I was the first one who said, “oh I could never extend my stay, why wouldn’t people want to go home after a year? That is so long being far away from everything you know”.
Coming here wasn’t easy, being here isn’t easy, but I have grown with this job. I got used to the cultural differences, I accepted the fact that things are different here than in Denmark and it is okay.
Kids drive me crazy from time to time, but I have also learned how to handle that and not let it affect me like before. Reading my old posts and remembering how I felt in the beginning, it is so different from how I feel today. I feel different. I handle things differently than what I used to. Before I would cry my eyes out over small things, text my friends how I want to go back home and even question why I chose to do this. Why go through so much struggle, when I could just pack my bags and leave?
But I stuck through, I didn’t leave and I have learned how to deal with the different situations. Something has changed and I feel stronger as a person. The struggle I went through shaped me into the person I am today. I am now more aware of what I want and don’t want in my life. The problems in Denmark that seemed so big at the time feel so small now compared to what I went through here and what I am experiencing here. The world is a huge place and there is so much out there. Once you’ve had your expectations turned thoroughly upside down, you start to see that there are other, sometimes even better, ways to do things.

Couple of weeks ago I received an E-mail that I could leave Rochester early December. During the summer I loved the idea that I could leave earlier, go back to Denmark and surprise my family, celebrate my birthday and New Year’s with my friends. I would get all excited about the idea. But when I actually saw the e-mail saying, “choose between these flights Irina and let us know by tomorrow” I got tears in my eyes and I just couldn’t bare the thought of leaving so early. I was so focused on counting my days to go back home without realizing that this place has also become my home – this city, this house, my room and most important the people here. My host parents and my host kids, my friends from the au pair school, my friends I’ve met here in Rochester – they all sure did crawl into my heart. You realize how quickly time is passing and that in very short time this whole experience is going to become a memory. My tickets are already booked and I am leaving on 5th of January and I will be back in Denmark on 6th of January. My host mom and I have already planned my goodbye party… I can’t believe that it is so soon. You finally feel that you have it all under the control, you finally got used to it all and then you have to leave. I hate goodbyes and I still don’t like airports. But I have accepted the fact that when you travel you always leave a piece of your heart behind at the place that becomes your home far away from home.

I am trying not to think about me leaving and I am trying to enjoy every moment that I have left here. I still have 73 days to go and I have a whole list of things I want to do 🙂

On October 8th my dear mom and sis came to visit me. It all felt like a dream. It was so good to see them again and hug them and kiss them again. They stayed here for two weeks, and we had such a good time. We went to Toronto, for my mom to see her best friend she hasn’t seen for 16 years. And then we went to NYC and afterwards we stayed here in Rochester for couple of days and spend some time with my host family. Mom was so excited that she got to see where Home Alone movie was filmed. We watch those movies together every year around Christmas. She wanted to see the place so badly that we walked through the whole Central Park to find it lol.

My childhood friend Christina (we have known each other since we were 10) was on vacation in NYC too, so we met up with her and had a beautiful day together in Central Park. World is such a small place and you meet people when you at least expect it.

My dear Caleb from au pair school, who is an au pair in NYC came too. It was so good to see him again. We haven’t seen each other since the au pair school, but yet nothing has changed. We were so excited to see each other that when we hugged I broke his sunglasses lol.

My host kids were so excited about having my sister here. It was so cute, they wouldn’t let her go. Suddenly I wasn’t so cool anymore cause I am old lol.

When my mom and sis left I was very sad. When I arrived back home to Rochester from Toronto Amaury welcomed me home with a bunch of balloons. I am so lucky to have these kind of friends in my life. It really made my day ❤

Everything happens for a reason

On 1st of August 2015, I was supposed to turn in my master’s thesis, after that my plan was to move to Copenhagen and find a job and settle down. I had it all planned, but then I started writing my thesis way too late – it was a combination of not knowing how to start and laziness. When you are…