14 June 2013

Light, Choices, Russia

It's strange how much light fills this country. When I came here in the dead of winter, I went quite a few weeks without sunshine. The cold, the gray, the ever-nights felt like they were swallowing me whole. I was Jonah in the whale. I never knew the time, the day. I felt turned, I didn't know which way was up, which way was down. There was just snow and black skies. And how odd that they are all now light?

In St. Petersburg it's the White-Night season. I've heard it's all quite romantic up there. 

Anyway, our sun kissed home has been filled with frantic emails, skype interviews, and long kitchen talks and bottles of wine. But decisions have been made. Decisions I feel comfortable standing next to.

Ben and I have decided to stay in Russia. 

When we were offered our second contract (which, up until a month ago, we had our fingers and toes crossed for), we immediately began to see dollar signs and other countries. We forgot about why we had really come here and it all felt very rushed. When we sat down and began to think about it all, we realized that we did not come to Russia to make lots of money. We had come here to learn Russia, live in another country, live in a big city, have an adventure. 

And to leave it all right when we had just felt comfortable here? After we had made friends, learned new words, knew where all the cool places were... well, it just wasn't sitting right. 

There have been some opportunities to make a bit more money here in Moscow, but we have decided against many of them. We are still waiting on some reach-jobs, but we feel that our current job situation is so good, why would we change it for an extra thousand bucks? We love our boss, we love our students, we know what we're doing... money isn't everything. And we make enough. Really, with our new contract, we'll make more than most of our friends back home. I think we just needed to take some time and put things into perspective. It's a nice feeling.

So, the small apartment we stay. But it's good; exciting things are still on the horizon. Our Germany trip is creeping up and plans to meet my parents in Amsterdam for Christmas and New Years are falling into place. And if Ben and I save well, we may even afford to meet some of our friends from the states in Thailand. 

A lot of happiness. A lot of sunshine. 


  1. Hi Lisa! Thanks for pretty blog.
    I think you understand the main in Russia:
    "money isn't everything"


    1. Спасибо! Я согласен, деньги ничего нет.

  2. this post is so moving, wow. i'm happy to hear you two are remaining in russia, it seems like such a lovely place.

    your blog has only pushed me further into wanderlust, that i hope to one day live abroad in germany and experience new places and new people, like you and ben.

    best wishes and i hope your summer in russia is a beautiful one.

    casey xx

    1. Oh, thank you so much! I hope you go to Germany as well; I'm sure you'll feel just as changed as I do. Good luck!

  3. What a huge decision for you two. How exciting!! I am so glad you are feeling so comfortable and happy there. Cheers to more good times in Russia!

  4. That's so exciting! I'm so glad that you two value your bosses and students and friends more than extra money - it shows how happy you must be to be living there!

  5. I really adore your blog :)

  6. I hope you enjoy your Russian adventure! My fiancé moved to Munich and I went with him for as long as I could (without getting kicked out of university!) and I loved it. Soak up the culture and enjoy the ride :) lovely blog!

  7. Thank you for sharing. I think you've made a very good decision in deciding to stay, and I feel confident (without even knowing you, how crazy) that the next few years will be your best.


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