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goa

I was lying on a lime green lounger and pondering the rest of my life. Most of my best decisions are made lying down, and so I have always spent a lot of time supine. In fifteen years, I’d be seventy. I didn’t want to grow old with worry and regret. At home in Washington DC, my grown children lived by themselves. Back in Ireland, I no longer had parents to fret about. I was free to go – well, anywhere. I should seek adventure before my arthritic knees gave out, and before my arteries clogged.

I would have to work of course, but traveling the world might be cheaper than continuing to commute into Washington DC, paying for dry-cleaning, and keeping a refrigerator stocked with bags of salad I only meant to eat. Since I was on holiday in India – on a beach in Goa–I decided to channel Dame Judi Dench in the guise of Evelyn Greenslade in Best Exotic Marigold Hotel—except I didn’t want to live with other expats. How could I wear floaty clothes, and a serene expression, while indulging a desire to taste, feel, smell, see and hear the most beautiful things in the world? I’d have a beer and a biryani and then I’d get started. This would be my Marigold Moment.

I ended up in Armenia – I had to look it up online when the offer came – sandwiched between Georgia and Turkey, Iran and Azerbaijan and on speaks with only two of those. Armenia had a revolution in Spring 2018, a bright spot in 6,000 years of troubled history. In Armenia, there is plenty to taste, feel, smell, see and hear – but only some of it is beautiful.