Another Monday, another blog post. I am 99% sure I’ve used this as a first sentence before, but I lack creativity so much that I’m simply going with it.

Last Monday was the start of the last full month of our EVS. It seems like from now on, everything is just the last of something until we leave. It’s almost starting to feel like a bit of a farewell tour already, even though we’re still on to things.

As we made our daily walk down to Crow Park by the Lake on Wednesday, we couldn’t help but notice what a lovely day it was and subsequently decided to take a day off. Back in the office, Trevor was so generous to let us go for the day, despite it being a rather spontaneous request.
We went on to take full advantage of the weather and took kayaks out for a few hours on the lake. Me being a member of West Cumbria Canoe Club, I have free access to the club boats at Derwentwater Marina and only have to pay a small launching fee for guests I’m bringing along. Low cost, high reward!

Next was Friday night, which we spent at Viviana’s flat, the Italian volunteer who arrived about two weeks ago. She insisted to make pasta for us as a thank you for helping her settle in into the new environment and on the first steps of her 10-month volunteering journey. She also insisted to buy us a certain beverage that is brewed after the traditional German purity law because, and yes that’s the reasoning, we are Germans. That and having an Italian cook pasta and we’re full on stereotyping. But it’s also the type of intercultural experience that you get fairly regularly when doing an EVS, even though I kind of forgot how that’s actually “not normal” in life back home. There’s definitely something special about it that I’ll miss when my time here is over. But at the same time, I probably have plenty of other international opportunities ahead of me, I just need to look and find them.

Saturday saw us walk up Blencathra. With 868m it’s one of the highest of the northerly hills in the immediate Keswick area. Personally, I think it’s a bit strange how it doesn’t sound high at all compared to the Alps but feels higher than it sounds once you’re up there, mostly because you start at close to sea level. It almost feels like my entire relation to heights has changed since coming to the Lake District. Having been to the Alps a couple of times too, it sounds like a bit of joke to say that the highest mountain in the Lake District (in England in general) doesn’t even reach 1000m. But once you realise you still have to work a long way up to the summits, it’s not that much of a joke anymore.
Because we started our hike early, we also finished quite early, so we could spend some time with our friends, enjoying another lovely evening.

Following an eventful Saturday, we essentially spent the whole Sunday doing nothing besides watching the FIFA Women’s World Cup Finale and going out for an ice-cream by the lake alongside our favourite dog Noah, which is definitely a very Keswick thing to do.

While this chapter is slowly coming to an end, the beginning to the next one is, quite literally, right on my doorstep. That’s because, as of this week, my friend and I got the confirmation for a flat we’ll be moving into for university. Another big step in life, I’d say, is definitely moving out. Well and now that is my next big step once I’m back in Germany. That is as long as I get accepted into university of course, which should hopefully work out well for me.
These are very exciting times, but also very scary times. And I think that’s absolutely okay. Scary in the sense of having a healthy amount of respect for this new situation and taking this new challenge on with a positive, and in my case probably still a quite cautious attitude.
As Emilia touched on last week, there are no right or wrong steps and decisions in this position. It’s more about taking a step forward and seeing where it takes you. If you like the direction, embrace it. If you don’t like where you’re going, you get always stop, gather yourself and take a step back or start over. As long as you’re moving and not shying away from those challenges you’re probably on the right path, regardless of it being in the long run or the nearer future.

– By Max