You only live once, this is the first mantra that I learnt when I was living in Australia. I try to put it into practise everyday, but you know, sometimes it gets in the way. In my case, I live in Málaga (Spain) and this year (three months ago) I became a teacher of Social Sciences. I was so happy to have my certificate, surrounded by my family and my friends. But I always have this tic-toc inside me. This tic-toc is a small voice saying me: “Look Iria, it’s time to travel, it is time to discover the world”. Also I have another voice - a rude voice - inside of me; it is the voice of fear and it says to me: “Iria you need to find a full job, you need to earn money in order to pay bills, you need to live your comfort zone”. And now I am going to tell you my second mantra, you can’t live with fear.
And with these two mantras I decided to come to Greece and start my volunteering in Praxis. And now that this adventure is coming to an end I can say that coming here was the right decision. Because these two months I have had amazing experiences, meeting incredible people and developing myself. Yes, this summer I am not the richest girl in the world. Wait a minute, what does being rich mean to you? It's a very interesting question. For some people to be rich is to have money, for me it is to be at peace. Traveling and discovering new places and new cultures is what brings me happiness. So, after these two months I can say that I am the richest now.
Also we live in a capitalist society and we grow up thinking that everything in our lives needs to have a personal purpose and an economical result. If you think about it, it is so sad. We only do things in a selfish way. Volunteering means breaking the rules. It is about doing something for others, it is about opening your mind and being more human, more empathic with the rest of the world. When you are a volunteer you create a new family, you choose to learn about different cultures and feel other countries as your home. This experience will be in your heart forever. So please be open to go out of your comfort zone, to live new experiences and to work for a better world. Make a change, make an impact in the society and inspire others to be better. Be creative and work, because this opportunity is amazing. Enjoy each day, any podcast on the Radio and any activity in the city with local people.
And remember, you only live once.
IRIA TORRES GUTIERREZ
Iria is a Spanish volunteer in Praxis organization, writing her own experience about the project.