Monday, December 8, 2014

Half Way Across the World

Saying goodbye to friends is never easy. It becomes increasingly difficult when those friends are now half way across the world. Moscow, and all the wonderful people I met there, will always be in my heart. I truly loved my experiences there: both the hard stuff and awesome stuff. Living abroad was really a trial for me! Not speaking the language, not knowing anyone at first, low temperatures, and a little too much free time really tested me. However, I learned so much about myself and also about the world. I am so grateful I had my husband by my side and our experiences really strengthened us as a couple.

I never imagined how magical Russia is during Christmas time. Seeing Red Square in its full Christmas splendor should be added to everyone's bucket list. Ice skating in Russia is also top notch!

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The journey home was...arduous..painful..exhausting. Between the 17 hours spent on the plane and very little sleep--I was pretty dang grumpy at some points. I was particularly annoyed when a Russian man thought that it would be okay to wake me up at 4 AM and proceed to question me. My Russian isn't great to begin with but if you wake me up and start asking me for cigs? My Russian becomes exceedingly snarky. At least he found the situation extremely humorous. I did not. When we finally touched ground in the U S of A, I immediately started singing the Utah state song "Utah! People working together! Utah! What a great place to be!" I think if Drew wouldn't have been so tired, he would have been super embarrassed. But I can't help it! I love Utah. I realize that it might that have the glitz and glam of foreign cities but it is home. And I am convinced that nothing feels as good as coming home.

We tried to take the most touristy picture. Mission accomplished!
The most interesting part about being abroad was hearing and reading all sorts of political views. Political tensions between the United States and Russia are particularly intense right now. The longer I was in Russia, the more open-minded I became and the more I could see valid arguments coming from the Russian media. The media in the US and the media in Russia really damage viewers. The portray the opposing country as, well just that, an opposing country. After  all the years of progress and "ending of the Cold War", I hate to see our countries regress to us versus them mentalities. As naive and innocent as it sounds, what the world really needs is more love. More understanding. More befriending of those different from us. It really broke my heart to hear so many stories of people from Ukraine, Syria, and other countries and all the immense hardships they personally endured, and are still enduring. I don't know how to make the world a better place, but I want to die trying!

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