Twenty years ago last March, I was a college student who was thrilled to be on his way to Russia as part of a university study abroad exchange. Twenty years ago last March, I found myself a stranger in a strange land. It was 1994, and I was one of the first foreigners allowed inside the closed city of Nizhniy Novgorod. On my first day in the city, I made eye contact with Nataliya.
Twenty years ago in April, we went on our first date. We dined at a nice restaurant (Dom Aktora), had a few drinks at the Admiral Cafe, and sat together on the side of a hill as we overlooked the Volga River.
Twenty years ago this week, Nataliya and I were married.
Rather than renew our vows, we renewed our first date. We dined at a nice restaurant (Sotto Sopra), had drinks at Tio Pepe's, and sat together on the side of Federal Hill as we overlooked Baltimore's Inner Harbor.
A lot can happen in 20 years. Life events pass by quickly and, before you know it, decades have passed. So many things change. And so many more stay the same.