"The education system in Moldova is far from ideal. Teachers are not always progressive, and students don’t seem to care about studies. So many people choose to study abroad. At least half of my high school classmates left the country. I was planning to stay regardless of this situation but my parents decided that I should go to university in Hungary. It was comforting for them that Hungary is relatively close to Moldova but it is in Europe and it was one of the less expensive options. I didn’t want to go. I was being stubborn but they convinced me that this was the right thing to do.
My first impression was that everything is big, look unfamiliar and so different, and that I would never be able to fit in. How will I be able to find my way around? I was 19, I had never lived alone and I was by myself. But I knew that it was good and something I had to do, and this pushed me. I was 100% sure that I would move home after university.
But as soon as you move abroad you perceive that the world is not locked in one city, that there are opportunities. When you go to Europe you see that people are more open-minded, there are more chilled perspectives on life. You meet different people with different backgrounds and you realize that you can go anywhere if you want. After I graduated I was made a job offer and by that time Budapest already became my home.
I met my best friend on the first day I moved here. Now she’s my family here. I was lucky, I don’t think everyone has the luxury to find someone they can connect with so easily. I like the people I work with as well. I think that’s a kind of work family. Budapest is magically beautiful. It changed a lot since I came here. It became more open minded and people speak English much more than they used to. You always have places to go to and new things to discover.
Sometimes I feel like getting away from adult life, going back to my childhood home. But it’s sad to go back to a place where you grew up, a lot of your childhood memories are linked and where your family is living; and see that the situation is very bad. You always want your loved ones to be comfortable and not just survive. I like living here much more and I would like my family to be able to do the same but it’s not possible. Now it’s really hard to live in Moldova. You just get by but planning your retirement or vacation can be a challenge. There’s no war or natural disaster but it’s still a poor country with a bad economic situation and I would like them to live better than they do now.
If I had to describe the past 8 years I would say... unexpectedly long, surprising, grateful,challenging, I'm living in my favorite city in the world, I'm happy, and I found myself."