Elena is a young Russian woman who quickly realized that she was a lesbian. Faced with pressure from her family, she had to date men waiting to escape.
“I never wanted to be with a man; I knew that from the very beginning,” Elena told Prospekt. “And, of course, I didn’t want to get married, but the problem was that my family and pretty much everyone around me was forcing me to date men and eventually set me up with one of them.”
On the internet, Elena meets a lesbian Canadian woman, Meg, and after six months of online communication, they meet in Kiev, Ukraine.
What Meg ignores then is that Elena has planned to flee Russia.
“Meg can do everything, she is a musician, she plays the piano, flies planes, sails boats. […] To me she was this incredible woman, she simply stunned me with what she could do, and, of course, I pretty much instantly fell in love with her,” Elena explained.
“She didn’t know that I was going to leave forever,” she added. “She thought we were going to Kiev to find out whether we truly loved each other, and that if we did, I could eventually immigrate to Canada if I wanted to. We had no idea that we had to literally run to Canada from Russia.”
After a few days together, Elena receives phone calls from her parents. She opens up about her relationship with a woman and explains she won’t return.
Elena’s mom wants to say goodbye and offer to meet at the Kiev train station. Elena accepts without knowing it is a trap.
Later at the station, her father suddenly appears and tries to convince her to go home, they fight, the police intervene and arrest them all.
Quickly released, Elena leaves with Meg while her parents return to Russia. But Elena realizes that her parents have stolen her passport and that she cannot go anywhere.
A few days later, one of her former colleagues in Russia will steal her passport.
Elena and Meg then cross the Turkish border where they will stay to buy a boat and take sailing lessons.
After two months in Turkey, they embark on the crossing of the Pacific Ocean to Canada.
After 10 months of a perilous journey, the two women arrive in Vancouver in April 2007.
“The North Pacific was the toughest part of our trip,” Elena told Prospekt. “Before that, I had never seen nature being that dismal and threatening. In the open ocean, hundreds of miles off the coast of North America, we found ourselves in the worst sea conditions that we had ever experienced. Many times we thought we wouldn’t make it, and once we had to run south for good, but eventually we got to the longitude where the wind wasn’t northwest anymore and then again headed to Vancouver Island — for Canada.”
Still together, Elena and Meg live aboard their boat.
Elena has shared all the details of this extraordinary adventure in a book entitled “Talking to the Moon” that will be available soon.
For more information on the book’s release or to discover excerpts, visit the following website: https://www.cadenza.ca/