"It's a wonderful world!" hunterV's Profile

January 2, 2015: My Fourteenth Anniversary

Hello, fellow travelers!
I enjoy being a VT member! January 2 is my VT Day. I have been an active VT member for more than ten years already! Time flies!
Thanks to this powerful web site we have a very good opportunity of meeting lots of travelers and reading their interesting stories about the places they have visited or live in.
I was glad to join this marvelous site in January 2001! It's great to have so many virtual friends in different countries!
We help each other and enjoy this opportunity a lot!
It's a pity I don't travel as often as I would like to. I travel mostly on business: as an interpreter, as a participant of different seminars and conferences and as a teacher leader with school students' groups.
I have managed to visit lots of wonderful places and have described some of them here.
I hope the descriptions of my trips and pictures will be useful for you and we will continue sharing our impressions in the future.
Hope to hear from you, too.
Best regards & happy travels,
hunterV (Victor)
From my collection of cute sayings.
* It's no use having a good memory unless you have something to remember.
* There is a guaranteed way to get what you want: want less.
* It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education. (Albert Einstein)
* It's not hard to meet expenses, they're everywhere.
* Life is what happens to you while you are planning to do something else.
* Reality's the only obstacle to happiness.
* The road to success is always under construction.
* You can't have everything. Where would you put it?
* Wasting time is an important part of life.
My students and I have always liked this saying:
\\\\////oOo\\\\////oOo\\\\//// ------ A MeMoRy LaStS 4eVeR ------ \\\\////oOo\\\\////oOo\\\\////
\\\\////oOo\\\\////oOo\\\\//// ----------- NeVeR DoEs it DiE -----------\\\\////oOo\\\\////oOo\\\\////
\\\\////oOo\\\\////oOo\\\\//// ----- TrUe FrieNdS StAy toGeThEr -----\\\\////oOo\\\\////oOo\\\\////
\\\\////oOo\\\\////oOo\\\\//// -------- AnD NeVer SaY GoOdByE -------- \\\\////oOo\\\\////oOo\\\\////
If you wish to travel far and fast, travel light. Take off all your envies, jealousies, unforgiveness, selfishness and fears.
~ Glenn Clark ~
Year after year I feel I understand Thomas Paine more and more when I read his words about mankind:
"The world is my country,
all mankind are my brethren,
and to do good is my religion"

Thomas Paine (1737 - 1809), "The Rights of Man"

My favorite cities in the world

1. Lviv, Ukraine
2.Odessa, Ukraine
3. Stuttgart, Germany
4. Kiev, Ukraine
5. St.Petersburg, Russia
6. Cologne, Germany
7. Chicago, USA
8. Vienna, Austria
9. Washington D.C., USA
10.Vitsebsk, Belarus
Traveling became my passion in my student's years when I studied the culture of the English-speaking countries. Although I had to travel without seeing most of the time, I wanted to learn the habits and ways of those countries not only from textbooks, but also from TV, radio, newspapers and magazines.
My friends and I had to put up with the total absence of foreigners in our city. We could not even dream of meeting one at that time when the Soviet Union was a secluded country. But we enjoyed listening to the VOA ("Voice of America") Special English programs after we had installed an extended SW antenna into an old radio set in our room in the dormitory where we stayed.
It was very interesting and exciting to get the first-hand knowledge from native speakers over the radio, especially in the times of the information vacuum in our country.
As a rule, we got the feeling of the foreign culture through music listening to songs and learning by heart the songs of "Queen", "ABBA", "Beatles," "Pink Floyd", "Boney-M" and others.

My favorite hotels that I have stayed at

1. The Governor's House, Washington D.C.
2. Congress Plaza Hotel, Chicago
3. Holsteiner Hof, Timmendorfer Strand, Germany
4. Slavutich, Kiev, Ukraine
5. Molodiozhnaya, Moscow, Russia
6. Orbit, St.Petersburg, Russia
7. Passage, Odessa, Ukraine
8. Unter den Linden, Berlin, Germany
9. Vitsebsk, Vitsebsk, Belarus
10. Bratislava, Kiev, Ukraine
In 1981 my friend Oleg and I, students of a teacher-training college of foreign languages, were selected for a study trip to "friendly Germany" ( the GDR), or East Germany, where we had a month-long intensive German course at Erich Weinert teacher training college in Magdeburg.
Luckily, I was selected the next year for a business trip to the "friendly Iraq" as an interpreter at a Soviet-built cement plant in the city of Samawa in the south of Iraq where I spent one year translating for a Soviet technical assistance group.
It was a custom in the Soviet Union to built factories and plants for developing countries that were regarded friendly towards the USSR.
Our technical assistance group worked at the Portland cement plant built by the Soviet Union in the seventies.
The city of Samawa itself is located 270 km to the south of Baghdad.
It was a very serious job and a good way of practising my knowledge. Besides, it was a good financial start in my career. I think I did my best and managed my everyday duties as an interpreter in that faraway mysterious country.
After a short break I resumed my trips abroad in the summer of 1990 when I was selected for a cultural exchange trip to Germany as an interpreter with a folk dance ensemble from Luhansk. That Ukrainian ensemble was a participant of an International Folk Dance festival called Grenzlandtreffen (Border Countries' Meeting).
At that time I was a part-time interpreter of "Sputnik" youth travel bureau in Luhansk. I began my interpreter career at "Sputnik" travel bureau in 1988. Sputnik had the monopoly for travel business at that time. My aim was to be selected as an interpreter of a cultural exchange group from Luhansk. I could not afford a trip abroad and did not want to give up the idea of seeing the world with my own eyes. I didn't get any salary for my part-time work that I did regularly at the "Sputnik" office then. My volunteer interpreter job at "Sputnik" was a prerequisite for my future trip to Germany with a return visit as an interpreter. Instead of wages, I was selected to accompany a cultural exchange group to Germany as an interpreter, which was a good reward for the job I had done I think, especially if we take into account that a trip to the West was a big event in the Soviet times. Any trip to the West was preceded by lots of "coordination" work and approval "from above".
Now it's a free country, thank God. Things have become very much like in the West: you only have to choose a route, get a visa (if any), buy the tickets or a package tour and - off you go and enjoy!
So the job of an interpreter and a translator became a good source of my inspiration and joy.
As a result and thanks to my American friend Brant I received a professional translator's license on November 23, 2006. One more date to celebrate in my calendar!
I keep my finger crossed.

My favorite towns

1. Altenkirchen, Westerwald,Germany
2. Rubizhne, Luhansk region, Ukraine
3. Balingen, Germany
4. Yalta, Crimea, Ukraine
5. Syeverodonetsk, Luhansk region, Ukraine
6. Calw, Black Forest Area, Germany
7. Weyregg, Austria
8. Alexandria, Virginia, USA
9. Lublin, Poland
10. Horlivka, Donetsk region, Ukraine

All in all I have visited ten countries outside Ukraine. Most of all I have traveled about Ukraine having visited twelve of its regional centers (half of their total number) and lots of smaller towns and cities.
My travel reasons are, first of all, business trips (teachers' conferences, seminars, professional development courses and workshops) and vacation at the Sea of Azov or at the Black Sea.
I would like to visit more European countries and to revisit the cities I have already been to.

My favorite airlines I have traveled on

1. "Austrian Airlines", Austria
2. "Lufthansa", Germany
3. "Malev", Hungary
4. "United Airlines" USA
5. "Ukraine International", Ukraine

If you are interested to learn more about me, you can take a look at some of my pages on the Internet:
My internship in the US
The High School Where I Teach;
My Site about Philip of Luhansk
My another site about our local saint

My favorite airports in the world

1. Frankfurt/Main, Germany
2. Boryspil, Kiev, Ukraine
3. Chicago O'Hare International Airport
4. Vienna, Austria
5. Dulles International Airport, Washington D.C.

Some Favorite Poems

If I could, I'd comb the sky
and collect the stars,
quickly pile them into a basket
until it overflowed with silvery light.
And then I'd give the basket to you,
because all things precious
and beautiful
should be yours today.
(Author Unknown)

Too many times we stand aside
And let the waters slip away
'Til what we put off till tomorrow
Has now become today.
So don't you sit upon the shoreline
And say you're satisfied
Choose to chance the rapids
And dare to dance the tide...
(Garth Brooks,
The River)
So many gods,
so many creeds,
so many paths that wind and wind
while just the art of being kind
is all the sad world needs.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox
an American poet

Memories of My Travels

Most of all I have traveled by train, but I also like traveling by plane when I go on a business trip.
My wife and I had our honeymoon in Leningrad (now St.Petersburg) when we could afford it in Soviet times. But now a honeymoon there would be unthinkable for the newly-weds because of huge travel expenses.
Now I would have to pay all my monthly salary for a flight to the Ukrainian capital, to say nothing of flying to St.Petersburg.
No matter how you might condemn the hard Soviet times with their totalitarianism, but the best thing about those times was that we, rank-and-file citizens, could afford traveling almost wherever we wanted within the fifteen republics of the huge Soviet Union. Connections were the only thing that was lacking about traveling abroad then. It was rather hard to get a package tour abroad without any connections resulting from your Communist party membership. If you were a non-party member like me, then you had to rely on the good will of the "chosen few" who might be willing to make an exception for you...
Thank God the situation has completely changed and now I do not need any consent "from above" (from dominating Communist bosses I mean) for my travel abroad. The only thing you need (and often lack) is your financial means...

Coming Back Home

I have always enjoyed my membership in *VirtualTourist.com and am proud to be its member and to have many VT friends. I am thankful to the VT team for the great work in providing the community with all necessary services.
Our community is simply wonderful! It has become the source of inspiration for me.

I would like to add the following quote about traveling that I liked a lot:
And then there is for the traveler the great joy of coming home again. He who never leaves his home sees all its imperfections; but the voyager, when his lust for new scenes is satiated, turns his thoughts towards home with longing and affection. However humble his home may be, it contains all the things with which he is most familiar. He loves them, and being parted for a little while from them increases his desire for them. So the traveler, besides the delight of travel, has the additional satisfaction of a fuller appreciation of his home.
(From Fifty Model Essays by Joyce Miller)

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Real Name
Syeverodonets'k, Ukraine
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