Leaving Russia: A Personal Odyssey
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Published in: September-October 2009 issue.


“ADVENTURE” is a word that was always exciting and special to me, but I never knew I would experience an adventure I could only dream about. An adventure that brought me from Russia to British Columbia, Canada. My first truly bold and independent step in life was choosing to be with the person I love. There were two things about my decision that my family and friends in Russia were unhappy about. My partner is foreign and she is a woman.

I met Meg in 2005. We found each other through the Internet and we desperately wanted to be together. In February, 2006, I completely changed my life by leaving my hometown in Russia to be with Meg in Kiev, the city where she had been born. Friends, colleagues, parents and Russian society would never accept a woman doing what I did.

But all that would come later. In autumn, 2005, Meg and I started to write to each other constantly, but as a Russian girl my life had to follow patterns established through the centuries. A girl grows up, gets married, has children, keeps her husband satisfied, and dies without a chance of achieving her dreams. Nobody would even guess that I dared to wish for better.

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