The last month of service turned out to be some of the busiest weeks of the last two years. No stranger to moving, I tried to allow myself plenty of time to pack up all of my belongings. As always, there is more to do than first thought and I found myself scrambling the last couple of days to finish up. All of that chaos instantly vanished from my mind as I handed over the key to my landlord for the final time. I literally wanted to hop and skip down the street as I walked away. Free at last!
My post PC trip turned into a six week long trip through the Balkans and Italy. During that time I will travel to four new countries and run my first marathon. After which, I will meet my mom and stepdad in Venice. After stuffing ourselves with homemade pasta and pizza, we will return to Albania so they can see where I lived for two years. This made some goodbyes with Albanians better and just provided confusion during others. My favorite person in town, Gergi, held me hostage at his cafe for a few hours the night before I left. He cried twice. Held my hand most of the time and told me exactly what he thought of me over the last few years. Luckily these were all good things. He is someone I will actually miss and I am happy I will be able to see him again before returning home.
My group held one last going away party in the capital. A large majority of the volunteers living in Albania came out and it was the perfect way to say goodbye to everyone. I found parts of it sad, but mostly just exciting. The people that I became close with and want to see again, I will. In America. And if we enjoyed hanging out in the world that is Albania, I cant help but think of how amazing it will be in the land of the free!
As with all government organizations, there is a lot of paperwork to close peace corps service. That is mainly what my last few days in country consisted of. Signatures, interviews and wrapping up two years of my life. Crossing that final t, felt a bit like the ending of an era. Dotting that last i, officially moved me into the full time tourist category. I am now 26, jobless, homeless and happier than I have ever been.