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Waking Up

By Yana Moyseeva
March 2006, Cardiff
A digital story from Capture Wales

The grass isn't always greener.

Yana comes in search of a dynamic future to the UK. But with no work permit it isn't easy... and she's starting to miss what she left behind.

"For 19 years I lived in a quiet neighbourhood in Sofia. Cherry trees grew along with strawberries and tomatoes in our garden.

My parents used to take me to look at breathtaking views and historical places, which spoke about my identity. But at the time, all I thought was... Boring!

I came to the UK to study, hoping for a dynamic future. For a while everything seemed great and I told my parents, "I don't think I'll come back. I love Britain."

But it wasn't long until I realised that apart from fun life here meant struggling with being a foreigner. With no work permit or the chance to have a job doing what I loved. I had a year of big misery.

I'd been in the UK for four years and I'd done a lot of travelling. I felt that I knew more about other countries and cultures than about my own.

I never felt so homesick. I went home.

And then it happened. I realised that I can't live without the view of the mountain from my window... or the sound of snow under my boots on a cold December morning... or those summer nights when I stroll on the beach with the warm sea on my feet and the sky able to take anyone's breath away.

I can't imagine a life without those big gatherings of family and friends, where every five minutes everyone says, "Aye na zdrave" or "Cheers".

I can't believe it took me 23 years to understand the value of these small things that I once took for granted. Sometimes in life we have to lose something in order to appreciate it.

I'm grateful that I woke up in time to realise that nothing is worth the sacrifice of the things we love the most."

Yana Moyseeva

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