Thursday, September 15, 2011

i am here.

back in february tad lowe went to russia and made this video. kyla linked me, i watched, and thought, 'ok. imma go to russia.' and here i am!

i bought the ticket back in july... gate 1 travel had this ridiculous deal for tickets, hotel + for way under a grand. i thought on it for weeks... the last day it was available for purchase, i decided to just do it. just before i booked, i was looking for my passport and my roomie asked me if i was planning a trip... turns out the night before, she had had a dream about me going to russia... without knowing my tentative plans. i figured that the final sign and booked immediately.

as some of you know, i went through a short freakout afterwards, as i read accounts of horrible racial violence, and strong warnings against solo travellers, not only of colour, but of anything... not russian. i lay in bed at night imagining every terrible nationalistic, rascist scenario... finally, after much more research and incessant questioning of russian friends, and friends who had visited, i decided to just go, plan well, and be smart.

some of you also know the ridiculousness i went through to get my visa. SIX visits to the russian consulate. six. i mean, i did get to meet this dj, and this ex tennis player (now women's singles u.s. open champion sam stosur's manager), and several other lovely people whilst queuing, but still... six times?!

so anyway, finally, here i am! i don't speak russian, and i don't know anyone, but i am very happy and excited to be here... i was thinking on the plane, as i looked down at the delicate webbing of lights that made up paris (connecting flight), as morning was breaking, how lucky i am to be able to see so much of the world... and every time i travel it blows my mind how much there is to see... i hope i will be able to explore a whole lot more.

my goals for this trip: a) to prove that the russian visa is worth the trouble, and b) russians can be nice, warm people... even to black girls like me.

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