why and how you go for EVS (With your Led Zeppelin greatest hits as soundtrack)

     by Angela Maddalena

By now, I’ve been abroad for quite a lot (it’s about 7 months), and today, sitting by my computer, I started playing with the Idea.

Which idea?

To write, for a change, about motivations.

I don’t really think I will be able to write the ultimate “Galaxy Guide for EVSers” (or yes?), but I’ll try at my best to explain why one particular EVS girl (ye, surprise, it’s me) did what she did and how.

Because, who knows, it may be interesting for the next brave knights that will be willing to try the Adventure.

First of all, my reader and possible future knight, this IS an adventure: don’t underestimate it. Nothing will be easy or free from compromises. ou countraire, you must know that, even before starting, this may be a difficult process.

I’ve been speaking with lots of people from all over, here in Sofia, and the majority of them reported little problems related to family, love, friends and so on when they said out loud first time that they were leaving.

Even if, like in my case, your family is sooooo not sereotypical for an italian one, and your mother never tried to stop you with tears in her greenish eye or sense of guilt or pictures of grandmothers, it is never totally easy to just go.

Is it?

First time I was four. First time I tried to run away, I mean. Dad was working all day and my little brother was demanding an incredible amount of attention from mamma; I felt like there was nothing for me there (well, I felt the four years old girl’s equivalent of this line), so I took a bread, two t-shirts and my favourite stuffed animal and I left.

Mamma opened the door after I had slammed it, just a little bit, and did nothing. I lasted half an hour, kicking stones in the back of the house.

In time, I tried again and again. Every time, I was lasting a little more, going a little further, but always coming back. They were totally in their comfort zone with this habit of mine. they actually stopped to take me serious.

That’s why when, almost an year after finishing university and coming back “home”, I said that I wanted to go, dad only asked me if I was serious. “do you really, really want to do this? Don’t you think you are way too old for those kind of things, already?” He asked.

I said nothing. “You’ll see,” I thought, “how serious I am”.

And, yes, I was. They got it, eventually: I was not happy, I needed to try.

My history as a runaway took into consideration, he was knowing me better than I was. I suspect now he always knew I was made for this: run around, majority of times in circles, and getting lost multiple times in the process, try to find out how to escape from my demons without considering that I had them inside. “There is no way out from this, y’know”, he might had wanted to tell me “those demons are gonna follow you wherever if you don’t face them”. But he didn’t. Mamma neither. I think they wanted me to learn by myself. I have no idea how they did it, back in the times, how they faced their owns, but I know now there was no other way than this, to make me understand. Because, see, I don’t listen. Is nothing like on purpose, no, is just not in my nature, to listen to advices.

I grown up with music, especially hard rock and seventies music, and with an incredible amount of books about pirates.

My first istinct, when things are not quite right, is to jump on the first train out of city: sooooo long, love u sooo, fare thee well!       

And things were so much worst than just not quite right: it was a brilliant mess.

See, don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate my country or people. I am the most happy girl in the universe if I can spend my time chatting in my language, as well. And I do miss home, and the whole italian peninsula, and THAT feeling. That one inside your body, when you come back from long journeys and your own blood seems to be boiling. And you smile and say to yourself that this is the final pleasure, the real reason why people travel: to go back home, in the end.

And I totally miss a real cappuccino, also, but this is another story.


Still, I needed to do this, to try this way out, last try ever as an amateur runaway girl.

You, dears, may someday find yourself in the same position I was. I wish you that, if you decide to try the Adventure, it will be just and only because you took a gap year and you don’t know how to fill it.


But, if you will be running, as I was, then you may find this that I’m saying quite interesting.

All my life, I was trying to go (faster and further) somewhere else.

To stop somewhere more that two or three years was quite painful to me, because by that time the demons were always able to find me and start again to talk to me (off course people this is just a manner of speaking, is not like I “hear voices”, y’know) and all the Led Zeppelin in the world were not enough to shield me from them.

Friends have moved away, friends have died (you don’t really want to know about this and btw I don’t really want to write about this), I have found myself a stupid job as waitress (“what did I paid your university for, my girl, what for?” this is my dad, again) and was spending my salary in dresses and wine, closing expired relationships, wondering around half drunk all the time, eating nothing and feeling quite fed up of all of this.

I snapped, took a decision, sent my cvs to approximately every organization in the East (I was sure, but I have no idea why, that I wanted to go East). It was not difficult to find one project I liked, not difficult to make them like me. I’m likeable (If I want). It was not at all difficult to jump on that plane, because nothing was stopping me. Errata corrige: no one was.

Difficult parts came later (but this part of the story will be in the next article, so be a little patient), but, from my seat on the plane, when we took off from Rome’ airport, I felt, finally, very light, fearless, fond of myself. It was starting, and believe me, it was amazing: I was really feeling like there was something, out there, that I needed to finally know, just like a song I love says:

“…Many have I loved, and many times been bitten
Many times I’ve gazed along the open road
Many times I’ve lied, and many times I’ve listened
Many times I’ve wondered how much there is to know
Many dreams come true, and some have silver linings
I live for my dream, and a pocket full of gold
Mellow is the man who knows what he’s been missing
Many, many men can’t see the open road
Many is a word that only leaves you guessing
Guessing ’bout a thing you really ought to know, oh, oh, oh, oh
Really ought to know
I really ought to know
You know I should, you know I should, you know I should, you know I should…”



The “Angie’s Blog” is a rubric led by Angela Madalena (Italy)

and is part of the project “Freedom of (Hate) Speech“. It is funded under European program “Erasmus+”,
KA 1: European Voluntary Service and Training Course for Youth Workers.

National Agenda for Bulgaria: Center for Human Resource Development