I’ve been here in Riga for almost seven weeks.
Now there’s familiar faces, and familiar places. Still a lot to discover and lot to experience.
But since I decided to take 5 planes to get to this city a couple of months ago, there has been always this question: why Latvia?
I’ve asked this to myself at the start, of course, but mostly, is the people I am meeting who ask me, why?, why you decided to come here?
The first time I answered, I was certain that my story was unique, and amazing. “Because I wanted to do something else, I wanted to be a volunteer, and travel, and discover a new world. I mean what could be better than a far away country, with a completely differente weather, people, culture and language?”.
And yes, of course this answer is still truth. But it is not so unique I’ve come to realize. There is many (MANY) of us in this world, who dream and believe and have an aching desire to see and taste and smell and touch different cultures, in many different ways. This is a beautiful fact.
Then, for many other times until now, and I am certain that for many more times in the upcoming weeks and months I got and will get this question:
And the truth is, the reason is always changing.
Maybe on the first week was because it was so cold that I couldn’t speak when walking outside, or because I saw the Daugava river frozen.
And as the days go by, there has been many reasons. Latvia because;
The beer is great and it always comes in 500ml glasses. There are folk dances that I really want to learn. I feel at the top of the world when I can understand new words in latvian language. I have amazing and inspiring people around me creating and working in Bambuss and in other NGO´s. I can bike the streets with no uphill streets. I can take a one hour bus and be at a magical lighthouse and pier. The wetlands and forests are beautiful and huge.
I am meeting incredible people from France, Croatia, Ukraine, Ireland, Italy, and of course, from here, amazing latvians. Free movies at KKC on wednesdays. Lido and its potato pancakes. I can drink lots of tea. Random thursdays with Vivaldi and walks back home. The arrival of spring feels like a dream; the old town also feels like a dream. The national library is amazing. So many people speak english, so many people as well are interested in spanish. So many people smile when you say: Es esmu brivpratiga.
And there might be also hard times, we never know. But the whole point of these is that we should always have a reason why we are doing what we are doing, even if its really tiny, even if we don’t want to share it with anyone. Reasons to be and to do, make life much more consicious and much more beautiful.
Latvia is much more than just a: why not?
Don’t ask why.