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Emily Frazier
United States 2023 participant
13 Jun, 2023

A Journey of Personal Growth and Lifelong Bonds in Armenia

2 min read

Life has an extraordinary way of surprising us, and sometimes it takes a bold step out of our comfort zone to experience its true wonders. I had grown tired of the monotony and routine of my life back in the United States. Within me, there was an undeniable desire for something more — a yearning to explore, learn, and grow.

I knew that leaving behind the familiar and embarking on this journey to Armenia was the right decision, but it did not come without its challenges. Moving halfway across the world with no family or friends and not speaking the language is an incredibly daunting experience. The sense of isolation and uncertainty that accompanied this transition was overwhelming at times. Everyday tasks that were once familiar and effortless suddenly became challenging obstacles. Simple interactions, like grocery shopping or asking for directions, became intimidating endeavors.


Moving to Armenia pushed me beyond my comfort zone and forced me to confront my own limitations. These experiences taught me the importance of resilience, adaptability, and the power of stepping outside of my comfort zone. I found myself acquiring new skills, developing a greater sense of self-confidence, and learning to embrace ambiguity - something I have struggled with my whole life.

Living in Armenia has expanded my horizons and reshaped my worldview. I had the privilege of exploring historical sites that witnessed centuries of civilization, engaging in thought-provoking conversations with locals, and participating in initiatives aimed at social change.

Stepping foot on the soil that holds the roots of my ancestry evoked a deep sense of connection and belonging. The sights, sounds, and smells of this land enveloped my senses, bringing me a deeper understanding not only of my heritage but of my own life and upbringing. Eating my favorite childhood foods and meeting people who used the same expressions and gesticulations as my beloved grandparents assured me that I was exactly where I needed to be.


One of the most cherished aspects of stepping out of my comfort zone and moving to Armenia was the opportunity to meet lifelong friends who have come to mean the world to me. These friendships blossomed through shared experiences, laughter, and moments of vulnerability. Despite our many backgrounds, we discovered a common thread that brought us together—a genuine desire to return to our homeland and grow as people.

These friendships became my anchor in a new place. Through unwavering support, encouragement, and shared adventures, we forged bonds that transcend physical distance. Whether it was exploring the Armenian countryside, celebrating local festivals, or simply gathering around a table to eat and laugh until our stomachs hurt, these experiences created lasting memories that continue to enrich my life.

Stepping out of my comfort zone and moving to Armenia has been a truly life-changing experience. I have grown as an individual, acquiring resilience, adaptability, and a deeper appreciation for the beauty of change. This transformative journey has opened my eyes to the wonders that lie beyond our comfort zones, and I am grateful for the profound impact it has had on my life.

Armenia has awakened in me a deep sense of gratitude and appreciation, reminding me of the immense value of connection, personal growth, and the boundless potential that lies within us all. Now, as I prepare to leave for my next adventure in life, I know I will always have these lessons and friends as the greatest souvenirs of the last 10 months in my homeland.


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