Youth Exchange Blog: "Green yourself" in Florence by Gilleke

On one particularly nice Monday morning my friend called me with a very interesting offer. He told me he was going on an Erasmus+ project to Florence, Italy in October of 2022, and asked me to go with him. I thought no more than 5 seconds before responding “Yes, of course!” and that’s how one of the craziest experiences of my life began. I’ve been on one Erasmus+ project before, to Germany in spring of the same year, so I thought I already knew what was coming. But nothing could’ve prepared me for this wild adventure that I was about to be a part of. I knew that I’d be meeting many new wonderful people who would become my friends, and that the project would be equal parts of creative working and heaps of fun free time.

But another surprise was coming my way: I was picked to be a group leader for my Estonian team! Being an experienced traveler and a good people person, I was glad to hear that. Arriving in Florence, I was the happiest I’d been in a long time. Our days were filled with interesting activities, including group work, individual learning and of course fun parties.

What I found really rewarding was leading my team and playing a big role in organizing the tasks, I loved speaking in front of people and sharing my opinions. I really got to express myself and felt happy and confident at all times. I struggled a bit with the cultural differences; even though I’ve lived in Italy, communicating and sharing my personal space with contrasting strangers left me a bit tired after a long day.

All in all though, I was satisfied with the results of the project. I now know much more about myself and the environmental issues we discussed, including recycling, reusing, carbon emissions and climate change. After all, the project was called Green Yourself, and I find myself being a much greener and considerate person than before. I would 100% recommend that everyone who has the possibility should take part in a similar project, meeting with like-minded and well-educated people always makes you a better person. 281480179_102801715784687_528085590075196716_n