Usually, I’m not a person who would adhere to philosophical sayings. But, one of my experiences made me believe. “The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page”. Here comes the life-changing experience I got as a volunteer through AIESEC in University of Kelaniya.
I’m Sudheera Fernando, the Former local committee vice president for marketing for the term 21.22. I’m well known for my daring nature. And I do not take things much personally. Accordingly, My character has allowed me more space to enjoy my life. As a result, I make the full out of the situations that come across me. Thus, this volunteer program was solely based on travelling under the Sustainable Development Goal 08, Decent Work and Economic growth.
Indeed, I would say I was very excited before the commencement of my journey. But from the beginning, I knew this would be very challenging. Above all, this is an experience in a completely different social and geographical setting. I began my adventure from Krakow in Poland. It is a Southern Poland city near the border of the Czech Republic. Also, it is a well-preserved medieval core and Jewish quarter. It was an ancient city among the tourist destinations Wawel Royal Castle, Basilica of St Francis, Collegium Maius, Kazimierz, St. Mary’s Basilica, and Wieliczka Salt Mine.
Most importantly, it is the second-largest city in Poland. Indeed, I would say it is really happening. As I was engaging with some locals, I met a fantastic kid. And his passion was trekking. And to specify, the youngsters in Krakow, including the whole of Poland, were good at football. With that country as inspiration, we taught them cricket, the major highlight of Sri Lankan sports and most popular in Sri Lanka. Also my favourite.
I have to say this journey to spend six weeks in a foreign land was initially challenging. But the presence of my best friend Malaka made it bearable and memorable. And he, too, joined this experience. Two of us wanted to travel as much as we could and gain a lot of experience.
During the second week of the exchange, we went to Budapest. It is the capital of Hungary. The name “Budapest” itself comes with the geographical aspect. I was lucky enough to visit it and get an idea of the fantastic diversity in different countries. The river Danube divides this city, Budapest. The Chain Bridge built during the 19th century connects the hill area called Buda with the flat land called Pest. Thus, this city is collectively known as Budapest.
Moreover, Budapest is well known for its adventurous activities. So, you may see along the roads there are places made for axe tossing, and people are gathered around it. And Buda Castle, the Hungarian parliamentary building, Margaret Island, Dohany Street Synagogue, Gellert Hill, and St. Stephens’s Basilica are some of the many attractions.
After spending a few days in Hungary with some other friends, we headed towards Vienna, the capital of Austria. It is situated on the other part of the river Danube. Most probably, as we got to know, Austria is a land of intellectuals. Mozart, Beethoven and Sigmund Freud are residents of Austria. The Vienna architecture was outstanding as they had enormous castles with minute inscriptions. And glass played a significant part in construction materials.
In the coming week, we returned to Klodzko, another city in the southwestern region of Poland. It was situated in the valley of the Eastern Neisse River of Lower Silesia. Since those days were rainy and gloomy, I would hardly name them as good. Yet, we enjoyed our best. Above all, I met many new people during these journeys and made good friendships. Among them, Joanna and Anita were unforgettable characters. And they made my trips more lovely and amusing.
My next destination was my dream city Amsterdam. It is the capital of the Netherlands. It is more or less an artistic heritage, with an elaborate canal system and narrow houses. Getting a chance to visit the Netherlands was one of my dreams come true. It was a chance to tick off one of my bucket lists. As a person who loves travelling, I won’t ever forget the event I got to wander through these magnificent cities in the heart of Europe.
And then to the dream city Amsterdam. Yeah, you all know that it is all about fun when it comes to Amsterdam. As a person who loves travelling, I got the opportunity to wander through beautiful cities in the heart of Europe.
In conclusion, don’t wait. Just join AIESEC in the University of Kelaniya. Drag the opportunity and explore the world.