‘During traveling, you get to find your true self.’

Under the Same Sun Moscow

Evgeniya (25) is living in Moscow. She’s working as a waitress to save up money to make her dreams come true.

What does happiness mean to you?
I feel happy when the sun is shining, when I listen to music or when I’m around people who want to grow, love, smile and connect. When you are smiling and shining, it will come back to you. The distance of traveling made me understand how important my family and home is to me. A place where you can always come back to and everyone is happy to see you, that’s priceless.

What is your background?
I was born in Samara. At my fifth we went to Shelkovo a city in the Northern district of Moscow, where I still live with my mom, her husband and sister. The last two years I travelled through India, Nepal and Sri Lanka. Since I am back I am working in a restaurant in Moscow. Before my travels I had different jobs. I worked as an administrator, in a fitness club and as a hostess. Traveling alone has really enriched me. During traveling, you cut everything that beholds your happiness. You get to find your true self. Asia was eye opening for me to do more with my hands. I already painted and I made clothes. But now I have decided to pursue my dreams and try to make a living of my art.
Since I am back in Moscow, I see Russia has changed over the past two years. The city is showing me different colours. During traveling I became a vegetarian and I’m happy surprised to see Russians are living a healthier lifestyle too. They eat less meat and drink less alcohol.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Do you have a dream?
In the tropics! I would like to move to Bali and make a living of my clothing label: Exterhazy. I make tropical collections. Beach clothes with beautiful prints, everything hand made. I’m working hard to save up to make my dream come true.

Are you familiar with a quarter life crisis?
I recognize it from my mom. When she was 33 years old she found a new husband. We moved to Moscow, she stopped working and became a housewife. She drastically changed her life. In my generation I see that girls are getting more independent. Taking responsibility for their own happiness, instead of depending on guys. During traveling I discovered that going to new places and meeting new people, made me appreciate home and everything I have more. I think when I step out of my comfort zone every once in a while I won’t have a quarter life crisis.

What wise lesson did your parents teach you?
My mom always told me to be kind to people and help them when you can.

What advice would you give to your younger self?
Love other people, especially the people that are close to you. You’ll find happiness is in love, not in money or status. While traveling I met a lot of people and I still feel the love. I don’t know if I ever meet them again, but the friendship will be forever.

When was your last moment of happiness?
A week ago I was walking to the underground and a guy just came up to me. He wanted to talk, so I spoke to him for two minutes. When I hugged him goodbye he suddenly kissed me. I was so surprised that I ran away. I don’t know anything about him, but it felt like we knew each other for a long time. It was my first kiss after three months and I was smiling the whole way back home in the metro.