Valentina’s final article | One year full of emotions, acknowledgements and new understandings

One month has passed since the end of my ESC. I didn’t want to write my final article immediately after the end, I needed time to elaborate all the experiences that this year in Bulgaria brought to me.

Every day that I have spent in Plovdiv brought me different thoughts and emotions. It’s hard to recap them all, because they are still mess up in my head and I am not used to put them in words. For sure, I can say that was a great experience for me, in which I have the possibility to get empowered.

My time in Plovdiv has flown so fast, one year have already passed. One year full of emotions, acknowledgements and new understandings. Because this year was firstly a great opportunity to discover myself. My strengths, my fears, my vulnerabilities. My goals, my behaviours, my attitude.

On 1 October 2021 I have started this experience without so much expectation, with the attitude “whatever come will enrich me” and, at the end, I can say that what I gained is much more then I have ever thought and I have achieved goals that I have thought I would never reach before.

The environment in Smokinya allowed me to grow, both personally and professionally. I have found here the space to express myself, to test different things, to implement ideas and to learn how to do things that works for me and for others, but also to make mistakes and to accept that everything cannot be perfect.

I have loved the work in Smokinya, because I was also able to meet a lot of people from everywhere, who brought me different inputs and ways to see the world outside. This gave me the possibility to realize that there are many perspectives and none of them are right or wrong, they are just there to be discovered, known and embraced.

This experience was so powerful also because I have had near me people who allowed me to explore, to grow and to improve myself, so I want to thank who shared with me this year.
Thank you Tisho and Sipi, who have given (and still giving) me the possibility to be part of Smokinya, to let me work freely on my ideas and to implement them. Then, my “fellow travellers”, with whom I have shared moments that made me feel happy, stressed, understood, supported, sad and amused: thanks Loïs, Vladan, David, Masha, Igor, Vicki, Eli, Sveta and Marisya, each one of you has given me some glimpses that inspire me and allowed me to questioning myself.
Thank you also to Yana and Valentina, who gave me an important support during this year.

Right now, I don’t know exactly what the future holds, all I know is that with this experience I have improved myself in a complete way: it has given to me tools to be more free, determined and self-confident. One of the biggest acknowledgement that I have brought back with me is that to reach my goals I will be committed, I will put energies on them and I will work hard to get results.



This program is co-funded by the Erasmus+ / European Solidarity Corps program of the European Union.

The European Commission’s support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents, which reflect the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein. //
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Valentina’s final article | One year full of emotions, acknowledgements and new understandings