23 November 2014

Leaving Moscow


This is sort of a strange entry to write. I feel like for so long, I have been digging my feet further and further into the ground, growing out roots, feeling secure in where I was.
Not liking it, but feeling at least secure about it. Everything is about to change and it is going to change fast.

I have not liked Moscow for a long time. I felt bad about sharing that here because I know people come to my blog because they're interested in Moscow or Russia or expat life and I feel like by admitting I don't see very much good in here anymore, I've left something or someone down.

But I do not belong in Moscow any longer. I feel angry and resentful towards this city... towards it's people. It's a lot to explain (and I will write a post later on explaining more in depth about my decision), and I really want to move on from it, but I can't help the way I feel. I want out.

Ben and I were planning on leaving around the springtime. As we stood in the immigration line coming back from Moscow, he leaned onto me hard and whispered, "I hope our visas get rejected."
I pushed him off of me and stared at him.
"Don't say that! Why would you say that?"
He sighed and looked up at the ceiling.
"I just fucking can't go back."
Though I heard myself giving words of encouragement, I knew exactly how he felt. By the time we got home, we both confessed to the other how wrong Moscow was and how desperately we wanted to go home.

But we need to make money. The money to move back to Boston and start the next chapter of our lives.

We sat with our schedules, our calculators and our calendars and mapped out precisely how long it would take to make the proper amount of money we would need to start our new lives. It was a lot of money, but it wasn't impossible. We made great money! Four or five months tops.

And then the ruble crashed.

That great money we were making? Practically cut in half. Our landlords called and said they wanted to increase our rent. Our students started canceling lessons. We were hardly saving anything.

I called my mother in a total panic.

What. The. Fuck. Are. We. Going. To. Do.

She comforted me and told me she'd help me if she could. I went home and ran more numbers, sent out more requests for students and stressed.

And then she wrote me an email with a new idea: just come back home. You already have tickets for Christmas time, we have your grandmother's apartment for another few months, and you could find jobs here easily.

I felt a little skeptical. I didn't want to leave, not really. I wasn't ready. We'd worked so hard to get these visas to make this money. We already had jobs and a place to stay. I didn't want to jump.

But Ben came home and he jumped for me.

"Yes. Yes. Yes, we need to do that. Oh my god, yes that is the answer to everything."

And slowly, it all began to sink in. And then all at once I was completely excited.

We are leaving Moscow in 29 days.
I cannot even wait. 


  1. oh, i'm glad that you guys get what you want. good luck with the new chapter in your life

  2. I feel for you all/am kind of pissed off at this post. I hope you guys can find your happiness somewhere else.

    1. Awwww thanks Poll. I'm sure we'll cross paths again :)

  3. Lisa, I don't think there is anything wrong with admitting that a situation isn't right for you. I can understand the pressure you might feel to steer people towards the positives of Moscow but you also have to do what is right for you guys. To quote Lennon, "There is nowhere you can be that isn't where you're meant to be." In other words, everything happens for a reason and this was supposed to happen this way.
    I am absolutely thrilled for you guys. Like I said on Instagram, Sean and I visit Chicago pretty frequently and I would so love to meet with you guys for dinner or something this spring after you guys get settled. Best wishes, girly!

    1. Come to Chi!! We'll be only staying until the spring, so hurry up! :)

  4. As a long-time reader, sure I love reading about life in Moscow but I just like reading about anything...through your lens! :) Good luck with this move and I hope you have some good last weeks in Russia.

    1. Thanks for reaching out :) I'm glad I have a 'long-time reader' :)

  5. Good luck with the move, I'm happy to hear you are getting out of an unhappy situation!

  6. Wow I can understand your feelings completely and this sounds so much like conversations my husband and I have had over the last few days, I think quality of life always needs to come first so I think its brave to choose to be happy even if it means sacrifice:)

    1. Yeah, it's always a hard decision, but sometimes it's just the necessary one to make.


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