Yesterday my birthday. It is still unbelievable that I'm 28 already! For me, I still feel like a 15-year-old and, for sure, do not feel like being a grown-up person. It seems so funny sometimes, while the rest of my friends are planning families and kids, I still haven’t decided what I want in my life. I do not even know where I would like to live, so what to say about having family and kids. However, what I know is how much I learned during my short life on earth!

I found out that I love travelling!

First of all, I was born jut right after the collapse of the Soviet Union. This means that all borders at those times were closed for us. You were not able to leave the country, and others were not able to enter it. Furthermore, my hometown was a very small town in the west of Lithuania, with around 25 thousand people living there. I still remember how excited I was whenever parents were taking us for the trip to the big “city” (with 150 thousand people) or the seaside!

Everything changed when I turned 16 and my parents, for the first time, have been invited to go to visit their friends who are living in Italy! It was my first trip outside Lithuania! As they love traveling by car, we have been driving around 2000 km to get there at the same time visiting different countries on our way there – Poland, Czechia, and Austria! This was the first time I saw the mountains in my life! The view was incredible!

After my first trip, I fell in love with traveling. I understood how much there is to explore in this world! Different cultures, landscapes, and people!

I realized what I want in life!

On our second trip, we went to Switzerland! My parents, again, have been invited to visit their other friends. She was living there already for 6 years and working in one of the international companies.

At that time, I was 17. It was the moment when I had to think of my plans and what I want to be in the future. I had to think of the universities I want to go to and the studies I desire to choose. At that moment, I was so impressed that a regular person from a very small village in Lithuania could move and live in a country like Switzerland! I could not believe this could happen and I realized I want something like this in my life too.

Can you imagine that this trip was a stepping stone into my current life I have right now?! After this moment I decided to go to an international university with only the English language to learn it! I knew, without it, you will never get anywhere.

I became more open to other cultures!

Since the moment I got into my university, I met so many people from different countries! Some from Russia, Belarus, Moldova, Germany, Nigeria, Ukraine, and others! All of them were so different and, at the same time, so interesting to talk to!

Imagine that our lecturers came from the USA together with their families to teach in a small university in Lithuania! Who on earth could imagine someone would even do that?!

The other girl I met, also from the USA, was telling me that the reason she came was that she was hearing a lot about Lithuania. Her grandmother was from here! So the girl wanted to see what Lithuania is!

I truly believe, that if not the university I would not be in the place I am right now! At that point in my life, I discovered that all of us need to be more open. We shouldn’t lock ourselves from other cultures and other people!

I understand what it means to live alone and far away from the loved ones.

The next step in my life was moving out of my homeland! During the study times, I was always wishing to go to other countries for Erasmus, or have summer work and go for the Work and Travel program. However, it remained only a wish! I was never brave enough to make it happen and I regret it right now! 🙂 If you will ever have this chance in your life, make it happen!

Even I did not make my Erasmus dream come true, I was strong enough to make my other wish – live in another country, come true.
There was a time when I got tired of working in one Lithuanian company and realized that my English skills are going to be useless soon. Then I decided to apply to the company outside Lithuania. After one month, I received the confirmation that they are hiring me. This was the time when I moved out of my homeland and started living a new life and I realized how strong I can be. Yes, it is never easy to leave everything behind. The other foreign country, no language skills, no friends and family.
The beginning is hard, but now I can tell you, it is worth it. You learn so many things in life which will help you in the future!

My dears, I would like to summarize my points by wishing all of you to go out of the comfort zones, travel more, meet new people and always seek to become a better version of yourselves! Age is just a number, with each year we are becoming wiser and better versions of ourselves!