Because the -40 degree weather is not happening when you have options in warmer countries.
Olga was a very short ride on Wednesday but she had a pretty big story.
You see, Olga had connections to a country that frequently mails me love... that is far far from here..
"Hello. Sorry it's the morning and I'm taking a minute to get going today.."
"Well that's pretty normal I think. Especially this week. But in a couple of days..."
"Yes! Are you doing anything for the holidays?"
"Really? You don't have family to go to?"
"Not this year. It's kind of a long story. It's my fault and my choices but I'm also a bit of a black sheep from the family too so that adds to it a bit. But enough about that... Are you doing something with your family?"
"Not this year."
"Oh. Well I hope that you're a white sheep and good with your family."
"I am. It's just.."
Olga moved from Russia almost 10 years ago. She came out here for school where she had learned graphic design. At some point she ended up getting married and ended up staying here. She told me a little bit more about this journey.
"It's really difficult to come out here. The Visa process is not even guaranteed. You could apply and wait months and pay $200 and they could deny you. They denied a friend of mine. She never got a reason. They don't have to give you a reason either."
I was shocked. I had no idea about the process of getting a Visa out here. I have a friend/former lover* that did things the opposite way with going out of the country and working but it was eye opening to hear the other side.
I changed the story back to the weather a bit.
"Well at least you're here now! And you won't be dealing with the winter. This probably seems like nothing to you here being from Russia then huh?"
"It's -40 degrees right now back there. I'm going to Mexico for the first time this year. My husband and I are going to Puerto Vallerta. No cold this year... not even with the prices to fly back being half what they normally would be any other time of the year. I'd rather not."
Immediately I thought of an article I had read recently via my friend Mark Horvath's social media for his site Invisible People linking about how homeless camps were being destroyed in San Diego. I told her about it and felt compelled to ask her a bit about how homeless are treated out there.
"They have to find somewhere to go or they'll die. Some people actually get drunk and just fall asleep and die. It's terrible."
We both paused and just left a moment to feel the sadness together.
"I'm glad that you're going somewhere warm for Christmas."
"I'm glad you're going to have some work on Christmas. I hope you have a great holiday!"
"And you as well. Thank you ever so much for sharing your story with me Olga!"
And that's how Olga didn't end up going home for Christmas but ended up here once upon a time ago.
Yep there's a blog about warm coming up on Invisible Me too so I guess you'll have to stay tuned for that one as well.