Hey ! I am Joëy and you might have read some of my articles…
As my one-year volunteering journey with the European Solidarity Corps draws to an end, I find myself overwhelmed with emotions as you can imagine… This beautiful city has become much more than just a place of work; it’s a place I now call home, filled with countless memories and cherished moments… Join me as I take you on a journey through my volunteering experience and the love I have developed for this extraordinary city.

From the moment I arrived in Krakow from Belgium, I knew there was something special about this place. The stunning architecture, the rich history, and the warm-hearted people instantly made me feel welcomed and at ease. As the days turned into weeks and weeks into months, I discovered the true beauty of Krakow – the sense of belonging and the feeling of being part of a close-knit community.

My volunteering experience in Krakow brought me more than just professional growth; it gifted me with lifelong friendships. I met incredible individuals from diverse backgrounds and nationality. Together, we formed a tight-knit family. Sharing laughter, adventures, and even challenges, harder moments, we were there for each other through thick and thin. These friendships will forever hold a special place in my heart, transcending time and distance.

Krakow gifted me with a plethora of unforgettable moments. From exploring the city’s historic landmarks to immersing myself in its vibrant cultural scene. Each day was filled with new discoveries and experiences (for real). The simple joy of strolling along the Vistula River or enjoying a warm cup of coffee at a local café, a beer in Eszeweria, a glass of wine in Hevre… became cherished rituals, etched into my memory forever.

This year of volunteering in Krakow was not just about the city, the volunteering and the friends; it was also a journey of self-discovery. Stepping out of my comfort zone and immersing myself in a new culture allowed me to grow as an individual like I didn’t expect. I learned to adapt, to be more open-minded, and to embrace change with grace. The challenges I faced (and I faced a lot of challenges…) only made me stronger, and the support I received from my fellow volunteers and the coordinators of Internationaler Bund Polska bolstered my confidence.

As the time to bid farewell approaches, my heart fills with A LOT of conflicting emotions. On one hand, I am excited to carry the invaluable experiences and memories with me on my future adventures in Belgium and elsewhere. On the other hand, saying goodbye to this city and the friends who have become family is undeniably bittersweet and one of the hardest moment of my entire life.

Krakow has left an indelible mark on my soul, and I know that a piece of my heart will forever remain here. Forever.

As I reflect on my volunteering year in Krakow, I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the opportunities, growth, and love I have experienced. This city has become more than just a place I volunteered; it has become my second home, a place I will always hold dear. Oh yeah.
From the friendships that have enriched my life to the countless memories that bring a smile to my face, Krakow will forever be a part of my story. As I bid farewell to this beautiful city and the wonderful people I have met, I carry with me the lessons learned, the laughter shared, and the love received. Krakow, you will forever hold a special place in my heart.

If I have a very last word for you : “Don’t give up”. I said many times “I want to go back to Belgium” and I promise, the last thing you will hear from me is “I want to stay in Krakow <3″…

Thank you for an unforgettable year!
Thank you everyone!
Thank you IBPolska!

Your dedicated volunteer forever,
Joëy <3