Bucharest – "I was in Moscow, living the life I thought I needed after moving to the capital to find success. But the only thing I was missing was actually being happy. In 2012, I wanted to help my sister find love and I created an account for her on a dating website, hoping she would not give up again after a few months. As fate would have it, and as a musician herself, she met a fairly famous orchestra conductor in Romania and they are very happily married now.

After she got married she decided to force life’s luck and return the “favour” by insisting, every time I visited her, that I follow in her footsteps. She said maybe it would change my life, too. I was hesitant about moving so far away from home and moving to a country where I barely knew the language.

During one visit I ended up going on a date; I didn’t feel like dating, but my sister was very pushy. She always dreamed that I would live in the same city as her and get married, but I never had faith in this option. She had two kids and I felt bad that she was spending so much time on the dating website, trying to persuade me.

I came to Brasov to see her so many times that it started to feel like home; it felt like that pretty city that made me feel safe and where I could find meaning.

In 2016 I met a guy who gave me a ring after just one week. I felt so comfortable with him, more like myself than ever, so I said “yes” when he suddenly proposed to me in front of his parents after one week. I alread had a plane ticket, so I went back home and when I woke up in Moscow I remember thinking: "Oh my God, what have I done?"

I started thinking about everything I would miss if I decided to move abroad. But then I remembered this new feeling of being complete that was beyond everything I already had in Russia. I knew I would miss my friends and occasionally the food, but I can cook that anywhere!

When I came back to Romania, it was the beginning of the most wonderful period of my life. I realized that I never loved anybody as much as I love my partner. It doesn’t matter how much money someone earns, how they look, what they do. It's like are from different planets, but he is my greatest love; I love him more than I love myself.

Now I believe that heaven is here on Earth and it is created by our ability to love. We must concentrate on love. The rest is just a distraction: businesses, hobbies, fashion, and all that stuff.

Home is where my heart is, this isn't a cliche. I did not find true happiness until I left Russia and met the most surprising person ever, by accident. Changing countries was not easy, looking back I know it was a huge risk, but I do not regret it at all. I learned that the essentials in life are the ones you can take with you from place to place, even if you do not have luggage with you."

SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities