I have chosen the Russian word for “Good Bye” as the title of this article, mainly because it is time to say good bye to my writing hiatus and hello to my new adventure coming up in September. After giving much thought to what I wanted to do, I have decided to travel to Russia for my next world destination. It will indeed be my first time visiting there, and it is one of the places that I identified as a goal in my last book. How I arrived at my decision was a bit different than I had envisioned, but as I have mentioned before, some times things don’t quite work they way you think. But when the opportunity comes, you have to take advantage of it. After spending all of 2018 stabilizing my career, and dealing with the challenges of a job displacement, I made a commitment to have another adventure in 2019, but to also heed the financial challenges that 2018 had placed me in. My first choice for a trip was to travel to the holy land of Israel, and through the Sinai Desert to Egypt. This plan would achieve my 6th continent by visiting Africa, as well as some of the most religious places of the Christian faith. The trip I had mapped out would have been amazing, but unfortunately, the continuing rockets red glare, and bombs bursting in air of that region had me rethinking my plans. I normally don’t buy into all the hysteria surrounding the world, but there are some instances where caution must be exercised. Perhaps, some time in the future I will be able to make that trip.
A second option I looked at was taking a real outdoor adventure trip to Iceland. Over the last several years, Iceland has become the place to go, as the world has discovered its natural beauty and unique culture. Sadly what goes hand in hand with popularity is expense, and Iceland has become known as one of the most expensive places to travel to. The discount airline Wow Air ceased flying, and has really left a void in service to the area. I really wanted to travel here because this would have given me the opportunity to see the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights), but I just could not make the itinerary work, and I was unable to take advantage of any travel perks that I had stored up. So that lead me to choose to travel to Russia, and start to plan my next adventure. Even though I have wanted to travel to Russia, the trip I have planned was not what I had originally thought about taking. I thought my trip to Russia would have me taking the Trans Siberian Railroad through the entire country and end up back in Asia. In order to take that trip, you need to realistically allow for at least 3 weeks travel time. I simply did not have that much vacation time saved up, so I had to alter my plans a bit. I still would like to see Siberia, but it will have to be on a different adventure in the future. So let me tell you why I chose to make this trip, and what prompts me to select a place to travel to.
I have always been intrigued with History, so I often like to visit places that have long histories associated with them. Russian history is a class I took in college, and found it very interesting with civilization that dates back 1200 years. I also like to travel to places that are not well understood, and often painted by Western Media in unfavorable light. The truth is, I feel media is more dangerous to our way of life than any nation is. So I like to visit places that fly in the face of the stereo types, and I have never been disappointed when I have. Traveling to Russia may not be for everyone, but for me this will be another in a series of many world adventures I have had the pleasure of taking. Part of the fun is immersing myself in as much of the culture as I can, which means learning some of the language, discovering the food, and watching Fiddler on the Roof, or Dr. Zhivago. It will be a fast 4 months before I leave, and there is still much to finalize including my visa, which is by far the most difficult visa process to have approved that I have had to deal with. I am grateful to be making this trip, and can’t wait to say dasvidaniya.