Destiny, Outbound to Poland

Since I last wrote I actually switched back to live with my first family. I switched families because it was what would benefit my exchange and my happiness the most. I created such a good relationship with my first family and I am so happy to end my exchange with them.

In April I had my Euro tour, I saw 7 countries in 18 days. Verona, Capri, Barcelona, and Paris were some of my favorites. I discovered that I want to live EVERYWHERE! I created memories with my exchange student family that I will cherish forever. I also spent quite a chunk of money so watch out outbounds you will need to save up.

I turned 18 in May and got to celebrate with my host family. They got me a cake and a four-leaf clover necklace so that I would have good luck in all that I do. Then I went to London on a Rotary trip. It was so amazing and we got to stay with host families while we were there, so we got a real feel for what British people are like. I really enjoyed this aspect of the trip because I liked experiencing the culture from a native’s point of view. We got to see Tower Bridge, Big Ben, the Parliament, Westminster Abbey, and of course Buckingham Palace. My favorite part was the tour of the Harry Potter Studio where the movie was actually shot.

In June, we had our last meeting with all of the 70 inbound students. The weekend consisted of writing on flags, a lot of tears, and sharing our favorite memories of each other. My exchange friends have become my family and they always will be, whether we are together or spread out across the world. They made my year so memorable and I am so beyond grateful for them.

For my last Rotary trip, we went to Prague in Czech Republic. We saw Prague Castle, St, Charles Bridge, the John Lennon Wall, the Wallenstein Garden, and went on a boat tour. Again, this was another outstanding trip that I took too many pictures on. It’s so hard to pick my favorite trip because they were all so special to me. I never thought I would ever even get the chance to travel and see so many different countries, I am extremely blessed.

I had my last Rotary meeting with my host club and exchanged banners with my Counselor. I gave a speech to my club thanking them for such a beautiful year. They really enjoyed my speech and they said they would love to see me in the future. My counselor told us that we made him so proud because we were such good kids and had a great love for Poland and that made me very happy.

The last few weeks I have just been living my normal life in Poland, spending time with my friends, exploring new places in my city, kayaking in the river, and of course eating as much Naleśniki as possible. Life in Bydgoszcz has become so natural to me and it's strange to think in a few short days I will be “leaving home to come home” as they say. I finally got to see the slack line competition that I have been waiting to see since the beginning of exchange. The Brda river runs through my city and competitors from different countries come to walk across the river on a slack line very high up. I was overjoyed when I saw this and felt so complete because I realized I did it all. I saw everything I wanted, I traveled to so many new places, I experienced Poland, its culture and traditions, and made the best friends of my life. I have Rotary and my grandparents to thank for that. I come home this week and cannot wait to share Polish culture and my experiences with everyone.

Dziękuję za rok wymiany, to był najlepszy rok w moim życiu. Do zobaczenia.

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