Three Months in Russia

Posted in Russia by Priya Ramachandran.

Three Months in Russia

There was a brief moment right before we quit our jobs when we wondered how wise a decision it was to give it all up. Letting go of familiarity to dive into romanticised unknowns is not easy. As humans, or more specifically, as urban dwellers, we always complain about our circumstances.

#Airport with a view. #Goa #Goi #wife #Silhouette #window

A photo posted by Lovell Dsouza (@lovell) on

We lament about wanting different things. We constantly cry ourselves hoarse about how our lives totally suck, only to do nothing about it. Because, let’s face it. Monotony is comforting. It’s the feeling of being home. It’s knowing that tomorrow is going to be the same as today and being reassured that you don’t have to face the prospect of any scary change. This is exactly what you signed up for.

Cobble-stoned street.
Cobble-stoned street.

A few days ago, as we walked on the cobblestone streets of Moscow on a bright summery evening, I thought of that moment and how brushing aside that tiny doubt about taking this big leap has changed our lives significantly. We are independent professionals now. The Internet is our office. And while we can work from the comforts of our home, we can also work from anywhere in the world.

Moskva River
On the banks of the River Moskva at dusk.

Hanging out with a #new #baby. #teddybear #chotabeam #sexyfeet #tantri #Moscow #Russia

A photo posted by Lovell Dsouza (@lovell) on

This decision is why we could on an impulse, turn a visit to Baby P and our family in Moscow into a full-fledged sabbatical from our lives in India. For the next three months, Russia is going to be our home, our office, our stomping grounds and our chance to explore a new land, a new culture and a new perspective.

Alexandria Park
An evening stroll in the Alexandria Park.
Alexandria Park
Locals pose with the flowers of Alexandria Park

It's just been a few days and we are overwhelmed already. Russia in summertime is a phenomenon that has to be seen to be believed. Russia in summertime is a riot of flowers, colours, ice creams as you walk, puffy white clouds against blue blue skies, sudden thunderstorms, awe-inspiring grandeur all around, making merry in the town squares, skateboarding across parks, dancing under the fountains and making the most of happy sunlight even at 10 in the night.

Dancing with the fountains
Summertime fun in the fountains of Park Kultury.
Walking under the fountains of Alexandria Park
Walking under the fountains of Alexandria Park

Russia in summertime is a carnival. It’s joy all around. A stark contrast to the images of cold, stoic and dangerous Russia that is fed to us by popular media. We’ve already unlearned so much about this part of the world. And are continuing to do so.

State Historical Museuem of Russia
State Historical Museuem of Russia in the Red Square
GUM mall
GUM mall in the Red Square.

Over the next three months, we hope to see autumn in St Petersberg, experience the beauty of walking around alien landscapes, take a dip in the Lake Baikal, enjoy an epic Trans-Siberian rail adventure across remote parts of Siberia, camp in the Gobi desert and come back with our minds as wide as the universe. So much to see in this beautiful, strange world.

Alexandria Park
A fountain at the Alexandria Park.
Luzkhov Bridge
Locks at the Luzkhov Bridge

For now, I can only feel extremely thankful for having achieved what we set out do when we took that monumental decision in the first place. We are not ‘lucky’. We made a choice. To live every single day meaningfully instead of constantly dreaming of better, distant tomorrows. We are living the life we want, right when we want it. Not five years from now. Not in the future. We are living it now.

Today, we are happy. And that, for us, is enough.

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