Nearly 6 months and counting. That is how long I have been in Armenia, drinking the icy mountain water and enjoying the perfection of life from the homeland. Nearly 6 months later, I am still constantly in utter awe. Perhaps the initial childish excitement will fade over time, or perhaps it will not. No one can claim either as truth. All I know, at this moment, watching the world blanketed in white, wearing a bright pink Canada Goose jacket that the cold here is no match against, and trying to catch snowflakes with my tongue, I feel free. I feel whole. I feel strong. My smile is brighter than ever and my heart as light as a feather.
I live in Armenia. Why? Because I can. Why would I not? I can easily live anywhere in the world, teach, further my studies, get another degree, create the grounds for a great career. And then I wonder why. I ask why. Why are you asking me why? I have a great position where I work, I learn a lot. I teach on the side when I desire to and can easily find a job teaching anywhere within the country. University is so much cheaper here and I would probably not have to take out a loan as is the case in Canada and the US. I am setting down the groundwork for a future career. And for a family. I check out the best schools, learn about the best doctors, understand how traditions are incorporated into modern life. I build a network and create a circle of friends that are good for me. I have settled into Armenia. So why do you ask me why I came?
It is winter now in Armenia, officially. Ice has covered the roads, snowballs are flying about, traffic’s all that worse and I don’t miss Canada for a moment. I’m laughing here. I’m a child once more. Except I am an adult as well. I take care of my own needs, pay for my own lifestyle and am responsible for my own actions. An adult with a child’s heart. People around me are similar in nature too. I belong here. I belong in this part of the world and would not trade it for a thing.
Christmas is around the corner and I look forward to spending it with family in Toronto. Is it strange that I’m more excited about the flight back to Armenia? I’m nervous about going back to Canada for the holidays actually. I’m so used to Armenian everywhere on the streets at the moment. I’m used to the simplicity of life here. I like walking to and from work. I love watching people as they smile and laugh on the streets. I’m happy when my country is so alive and full of joy. Watching the children throw snowballs yesterday made me laugh. I joined in the fun, as well. And they started making snowmen. I love every moment I see thus. Those smiles, the excitement lighting up the eyes, the joy emanating from young lovers and parents as they watch their children run about in the white world around them; I can’t think of anywhere else I would rather be.
Winter is here and I am in wonderland. Good thing no one else can see my goofy grin!