Stesutyun Hayastan

Five-and-a-half months after I arrived in Armenia in April, minute after minute, my time here is coming to an end. And it’s fitting that just like the sky today, I’m feeling grey. I learned so much, grew so much, lived so much. I picked up nuances about Armenia  that tourists can’t possibly grasp in two weeks or even a month. I met amazing and interesting people from all over the world, even some from my hometown of San Francisco Bay Area. I got to improve my Armenian vocabulary and interact with our people on a daily basis. I got to see how they live — some good, some not so good. I experienced the loving side of Armenia and it’s annoying sides, too. I was forced to adopt a more spontaneous approach to life versus having to schedule each second. I introspected and lived it up at the same time. And most importantly, I got the opportunity to give back via “Hearts of Armenia.”


(Gloomy Fall day in Yerevan)

The question people naturally ask me after this experience is, “Will you ever live in Armenia permanently?” It’s a tough question – the short answer is “ayo!” but there’s so much more that goes into it. I don’t know what the future holds, but I do know that my love affair with Armenia is not over. It’s one of those romances that never truly dies. I know I will be back very soon!


(My final heart spotting on my last day in Armenia)

For now here are some pros and cons of Armenia I observed while living here:


  • Social, spontaneous culture
  • Easy to meet Armenians from all over the world
  • Small city so it’s easy to get around
  • Close to Europe, ideal for traveling
  • Big fish, small pond mentality
  • Walking versus car culture
  • Inexpensive compared to America
  • Safe environment to raise kids


  • Unhealthy living: a lot of indoor smoking and drinking
  • Small city so no anonymity
  • Lack of career advancement and low pay
  • No good Mexican food!
  • No guaranteed access to everything you want

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