It has been a little over a month since I have come to Tirana. Since I have been here, I have had the chance to analyze how I feel about Albania, and along with it, my Albanian identity. Having moved to the United States at a young-ish age, at 9 years old, I have held the memories of Albania very close to my heart. It is difficult to explain, but in America, I have never felt completely American due to the fact that I continue to practice the Albanian traditions. Since coming to Albania for the internship, I do not fully feel Albanian, either. This past June, I could say that I have lived half of my life in Albania and half in the United States. In Tirana, I don’t know many people, so I don’t quite feel like I belong fully. Speaking the language fluently, however, helps in the sense of belonging. Furthermore, it has been somewhat difficult to get to know new people since I am at each specific part of my internship for only two weeks, meaning I have to meet new people each time. The sense of fully belonging somewhere is not there for either place, and I continue to struggle with it even here.
Thanks for reading,