Part One – Before the trip
For me, Armenia and its people represent kindness and dignity. This perspective is based on my experience since childhood as I lived among Armenian people, or maybe they lived among Persian people? Regardless, that is not important. The important thing is that there are many Armenian people living in Iran. Iranian-Armenians are citizens of Iran and ethnically Armenian. They are mostly concentrated in Tabriz, Tehran and Isfahan‘s Jolfa quarter, and an estimated 70,000 to 200,000 remain in the country. Armenia and Iran share strong history and this encourages me to grab my backpack and discover Armenia. Maybe I will even discover part of my own culture and heritage there.
This trip is a result of the American Embassy in Kazakhstan refusing to give me their precious visa 🙂 this will be another story, the story of how I was rejected for the first time in my life. The story of how politics separated us. Therefore, Sativa went to New York to visit her family and I planned an alternative trip on short notice. I am not a solo backpacker so I called my buddy, Farhad. He is a dear friend, a great backpacker and a fellow Iranian. We will reunite in Yerevan, Armenia. We plan to spend 9 days together. Our plan is as usual, no itinerary, no map, no plan really. Just follow the advice of locals and discover Armenia.
My flight is really strange and funny, operated by two different Airlines; AirAstana will take me to Istanbul with a short stop in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, then AtlasGlobal will take me to Yerevan from Istanbul. The whole trip takes 12 hours and I will arrive at 2 am. Well, a true backpacker must be super flexible and adventurous, ready to move under any circumstances… (but I guess this is a bit excessive). This indeed is the beauty of backpacking and traveling. One big thing which makes me proud to be a backpacker is that I can travel without a specific plan, especially the kind that is planned for me, like resorts, tour agencies, and all inclusive trips. I prefer to go where the road takes me, where local people live their everyday lives. I love to walk with them, talk to them, go to their homes and feel the culture. To be honest, I don’t understand people who spend fortunes and do as the tour agent says and stay in resorts and come back home.
I prefer to go where the road takes me, where local people live their everyday lives. I love to walk with them, talk to them, go to their homes and feel the culture.
I will fly to Armenia on July 17 and will return on July 26, Sativa will come back to Kazakhstan on July 28 and after 2-3 days we have to go to Astana, 1200 km from Almaty, where we currently live. We have to go to the Malaysian Embassy in Astana to get our visas. Then come back to Almaty and take our lives and relocate to Malaysia. We will be living there probably 3 years, maybe more. Before going to Armenia, I have to clean our apartment and return the key to the landlady who is so sad that we are leaving. We gave away plenty of things, all of our lovely babies (plants), basically whatever we couldn’t pack or take with us to Malaysia.
I am excited about Armenia, backpacking and of course being with Farhad. A true friend, a very reliable one. Last time we met in Malaysia and we had a backpacking trip to Laos. That was 2015 and unfortunately, I did not take any notes and can’t write about it now, but I want to make a short video clip about that trip soon…!
The second part of the story will be about our trip to Armenia with many pictures and videos. Check back in a couple weeks to find out how this trip went.
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End of part one!