What better way is there to gather knowledge than by traveling. One of life’s greatest joys is exploring the world and learning more about its treasures, cultures and inhabitants. It is a gift like no other that expands one’s horizons both intellectually and spiritually. That is the reason why the Erasmus+ programme is so important to modern society: it provides young people with the opportunity to travel and therefore overcome borders, gain professional experience and build friendships along the way. My experience with Erasmus+ left a lasting impression on me that will stay with me forever and it continues, to this day, to inspire me. I applied to the project with hesitation, but left with a love for the unknown and curiosity for what more it has to offer. I took part in the “Media Movement Starts” project, based in Kirklareli, Turkey - a small town near the Bulgarian border with seemingly little to offer. However, I couldn’t have been more wrong as it soon became my second home and very beloved place. The project exceeded my expectations by a milestone. Thanks to the responsible tasks I was given I gained important new skills that will be useful in various situations and mainly in the professional world. The tasks heavily required teamwork as well as communications skills, which not only improved my English, but also helped me learn a vast amount of other foreign phrases. During the cultural evening I enjoyed both Turkish and Romanian drinks, sweets and interesting stories I was also able to learn a lot from other people, which helped me build a team-mindset and overcome problems with the help of other participants in a friendly group setting. I also had the chance to travel to the beautiful cities of Edirne and Luleburgaz, eat traditional Turkish cuisine and visit famous landmarks and museums. One of the days we went on the most wonderful walk in the snowy mountains of Kirklareli, exploring the local flora with an amazing guide. We relied on each other to overcome difficulties such as building paths over rivers where there were none.
The energizers were more fun each morning and the tasks were creative and non-tiring. I had the most wonderful time during all of the different activities. Still, my favorite part of my stay was getting to know people from different cultures. It is a great privilege to call these strangers I had never seen before my friends. The bonds we share now are ones that will withstand the test of time and distance. There is no greater feeling than the feeling of unity between us representatives of different countries. A more pleasant time does not exist than the late nights spent with other participants performing traditional dances together, teaching one another, each of us open to learn and acquire something new from his fellows. These people accepted my culture and were curious to find out more, the same way as I wanted to be closer to them and indulge in their world. These nights I will never forget, and my mind will always wander off to the distant but vivid memories of us dancing and singing, enjoying our company under the domes of astonishing mosques, and moreover sharing everything together like brothers. Now that I have found the beauty that hides behind each and every county I am eager to explore it even more and meet more young open-minded people, who will show me more of the wonders of the world. Erasmus+ changed my life and I will be forever grateful for the experience it gave me. I think it is a great opportunity for young people to see the world, find like-minded people and learn new skills. If you want to embark on an adventure, Erasmus+ is surely something you should consider and not regret.