Alice in Alania and beyond

Just over a year ago, I realised my dream. It really is an indescribable feeling!

After reading Mikhail Lermontov’s “A Hero of our Time”, my dream got more substance. I wanted to step into his world, breath the air he breathed and walk in his footsteps. So, I went on a scouting trip of the Caucasus to find the best town to settle in, to make my home base, so to speak. After spending time in Pyatogorsk (Five Mountains), Nalchik, Circassia, Vladikavkaz, Makhachkala and Astrakhan – for reasons I can’t completely explain – my choice fell on the capital of North Ossetia-Alania, Vladikavkaz.

Thankfully, my first email to the North Ossetia State University was not ignored, but kindly received and replied to. My journey to my launching pad here at the southern frontier of the Russian Federation was strewn with challenges and ridicule, but it was all worth it, because now I’m basking in the warmth radiating from the open hearted people here, and I’m driven by the desire to explore this wonderland to the limits.

“Never stop striving towards living your dream”, that’s my advice to everyone who took the time to read this column.

PS. Make sure it’s your own dream and not someone else’s.