Erasmus. 4 months of your life that you get to spend in another country, away from normal life and away from everything familiar. I guess you could call it a parentheses when looking at the span of things. Well these past few months have been the best parenthese of my life.
Exactly a year ago, I was filling out my destination wishlist for Erasmus. I had places like Budapest, Athens, Zagbreb and Lisbon in mind. To be honest I only looked at the Tallinn fact sheet by accident. It ended up going on my wishlist, but I wasn’t too keen on actually ending up so far up North. Nonetheless, the day our destinations were announced I saw ‘Tallinn’ next to my name and at that moment I knew where I would be ending up. The next 8 months were spent mentally preparing myself for the leap.
Late August, just before actually setting off to my soon to be home, I broke down. What the hell was I getting myself into? For a moments time I didn’t want to leave. I didn’t want to pack, or move, or have to settle in somewhere new, I wanted to stay exactly where I was. Yet at the same time, I knew I was yearning for something bigger. The mixed emotions left me feeling confused and anxious about the months to come, but I was going to leave and that was that.
When the day came, I was wide awake at 5 am and spent the next 7 hours pacing back in forth in my apartment until the time came to go catch my flight. Once I arrived at the airport, all of my anxiety finally disappeared, this was happening, and I accepted it. There is a strange feeling that overcomes you as you in the middle of travelling from one chapter of your life to another. You leave the past, knowing that when (and if) you ever go back it will never be the same, meanwhile trying to focus on what lies ahead. This travel time, sometimes a few hours, sometimes a whole day, is just an interlude, nothing significant but at the same time so meaningful.
Once I finally arrived – I let myself be overcome with excitement rather than dwelling on how great the previous chapter was.
The next few months proceeded to be the best of my life. Moments so full of happiness I wouldn’t be able to explain, and then there were a few sadder moments too. However, I chose to focus on the good and the happy and let those moments outweigh the few bad ones.
Tallinn is a great place to spend one’s Erasmus. The city is full of history, and charm. With beautiful old buildings, hidden underground tunnels, historical churces…
Estonia is rather small so travelling around the country is easy. Also, it’s close to other countries, so weekend excursions to Scandanavia, other Baltic countries, or even Russia are easily do-able.
Not to mention, the cost of living is realitively low. This means you have more money left over for travelling and going out. And speaking of going out, there is no way you’ll get bored in Tallinn, every week there are multiple parties, and you’d be missing out if you didn’t show up to them. #Munt
Now I would be lying if I said it was the city alone that made my Erasmus so great, because despite how amazing Tallinn is on it’s own, it was most definetly the people I met here that made my stay so special.
The first people I met were my roommates, Rachel and Pauline. We went on to spending an interesting few months all together. Weird conversations, late nights, kitchen experiements, and of course helping each other stumble home after a few too many (sorry girls). I got lucky with my roommates and I am happy to have spent my Erasmus co-habitating with those two lovely ladies.
I met a variety of other people that made my semester unforgettable. I won’t name them all here because you’d be scrolling down for ages. But every single person I met contributed to my experience in Estonia in one way or another, and I am thankful for each and every one. We had some wonderful moments all together and I coudln’t have asked for a better group of people to share my Erasmus with.
See you soon Tallinn ❤