This is it (Epilogue)

After we left Krakow, we spent hours and hours on the road till we got where that was all supposed to end, the Polish-Belarus border where we had our passports stamped again. Our visas expired and we couldn’t stay in Europe any longer… It started raining incredibly heavily, that was the biggest and most terrifying thunder storm even a more scarier one that I saw when I was spending a summer at my Granny’s in a village years ago… Someone said that was Europe saying goodbye… That was a very loud and emotional goodbye…
The train that was taking us from Brest to Moscow jerked us back into a grim reality… I wished our trip had gone on and on and never had to end… All we had left was an incredibly heavy suitcase, loads of gigabytes of photos and mind overflowing with fond memories of the days that never seemed to have gone by so quick. As we got on the train, it hit me how much I’d be missing Europe and all those feelings I had experienced during my trip there… I was ready to shout from the mountain top “Europe, I’m in love with you, you’ll always be on my mind whatever I do and whatever I go. I know we’re not supposed to be together so I’ll stay in love with you forever because I will never get to see your true colours so you won’t left me disappointed and heartbroken…”
Never in my life have I learnt so much within such a short space of time… Not just about some facts of the history of the countries we have visited and also about people around me and more importantly, myself… We were given a chance to find ourselves miles and miles away from home and mingled with unknown crowds and see a multiple of faces and hear a diversity of languages… We were now international!!!
I didn’t really expect I’d ever get a chance to go abroad even though my degree in English and German fuelled my desire to see what life is like across the border. And I did learn to see, feel and hear in a new way… Yes, the sky and air are the same wherever you go but it is a vibe that makes a place different from all the rest. I was fascinated by European vibes and the way they made me feel the way I’ve never felt before.
That was a fairytale that finally came true and of course it never turns out the way you imagined it would be. I knew I would never be the same again once this fairytale happened to me… I grew to love my own country in some other extraordinary way and became more acutely aware one of the problems we are facing as a nation. It was time to get back to normal and be Russian, but not a Russian I used to be. I was feeling sad and even my favourite band playing in a taxi that was taking us home from the railway station the morning when we came back from Moscow didn’t bring any solace… But I was happy I did it all for me and nobody else… All those places I’ve been to will never be just a picture (pictures don’t so them justice anyway), all the things I took back home with me are a living memory of what was one of the best things that has happened to me so far… Writing about it in the language I’m hugely passionate about was sure the next best thing. Travelling is unarguably the best thing you can do with your time and money. I’m grateful to everyone that inspired me to embark on this life-changing trip and helped me make it possible, you know who you are! Here is to lots and lots exciting things to come!

P.S. As I’m writing this, I’m about to pack my bags for another trip… Well, that’s going to be another story I think. BON VOYAGE to me again!!!

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