One of the hardest things about living a year abroad, at least as an exchange student, is that you get to know people. And then, all too soon, you have to move.

Even if it’s just Chinese girls that you’ve mostly had contact with in your classroom or met as you pass each others in the hallway, leaving is always hard.

International friends

As much as I love travelling, and as much as it’s made me quite restless – sometimes there is nothing I want lesss than staying in one place for the rest of my life – one of the biggest downsides is that I have friends scattered across three continents, some of which I rarely get to see.

This can, of course, also be a positive – it means that there’s always, if not accommodation, then certainly people who are glad to see you wherever you go. But it can also make you blasé, in the worst case scenario. Or, at least, very restless. If you stay somewhere for too long, you get the feeling that there’s people on some part of the globe whom you need to see, and places you need to be.

But as much pride as I take in calling myself an International Citizen, there are still places that take up more space in my heart than others. Right now, Moscow is obviously one of them. I think, for as long as I live, Moscow and St. Petersburg will remain two of my all-time favorite cities, not least because I lived and learned Russian in them for so long.

Hopefully, as I grow older, some of my restlessness will disappear. Until then, my heart will always remain in the last city I fell in love with.