"Magic Russki's Sensually Transmitted Wanderlust" RusskiPower's Profile
Years travelled - 33
Countries lived - 6
Countries visited - 48
Languages spoken fluently - 5
Languages on the enough-to-get-me-around level - 12
There is a theory that wanderlust is transmitted via the milk from the cows that have grazed next to rail tracks.
Where I grew up we had no railways but we had to fly a lot. It must have been my childhood diet of inflight meals or all the aircraft exhaust I have inhailed that travelling is my overriding passion.
I'm a university-trained language teacher with long experience of teaching my mother tongue Russian as well as Japanese, Thai and English at the language school and university level. I majored in Oriental Studies and lived half of my life in Japan, Thailand and Holland where on top of my business career I have always had a part time language teaching job, just for the love of it. This is how I got to teach Japanese people Russian, Dutch people Thai and Thai people English.
I use best hand-picked tutorials and the teaching methods and approaches I have developed based on my own 25-year experience in language learning. I am fluent in five and conversational in a dozen myself. Mastering a language takes both system and fun, I know how to provide both.
Based on my specialist training, solid business background and own international relocation experience, I have developed and successfully taught cultural orientation courses for expats. I give cross-cultural awareness seminars for professionals moving to Thailand, Japan, Russia and the Netherlands (Holland). Based in London, will travel.
I have excellent recommendations from my previous employers and students that can be furnished upon request. I'm available for private coaching in London within Travelcard Zones 1-3.
Japanese, English, Thai, Russian language courses, teacher, translator, interpreter in Central London.
My other cultural/linguistic link: Japanese, Chinese, English, Thai, Russian, Laotian (Isarn) language school, courses, translation, interpreting in Bangkok, Thailand
As you can see I have dotted this planet quite extensively. I like to think that the massive amounts of effort, time and fossil fuel invested in this activity have not been wasted. I try to share the beauty of the world the way I see it with others in accounts of my travels illustrated with beautiful photographs.
I only post my best pictures (tens out of thousands) and share my cultural insights and surprise discoveries that I think are original. No pictures of the "here we are by the passport control" or "here I am pigging out on the economy class in-flight meal" or "here I am faking a grin in front of I don't know what monument" kind are posted. You also will not find there mind-numbingly detailed descriptions of transportation connections, restaurant checks and hotel service rants that sometimes seem to be the order of the day in travel blogs.
Argentina Has It All: 6,500 KM By Car In El Norte Argentino
Le Grand Tour of China
Royal Tour of Morocco
Drivin' USA: New York City + 9600 KM Through The Southwest
Alpine Adventure: Vienna to Munich via the Adriatic
Slow Autumn In Russia: Moscow, Kursk And The Countryside
In The Land Of Whimsy: Prague - Karlovy Vary
Mueang Boraan (Ancient City), Thailand
In The Wake Of A Bygone Realm - Austro-Hungary (Budapest to Trieste)
The Twee Town of Haarlem
How To Do 9 Countries In 4 Days
Summer in Alsace
Amsterdam Without Prejudice
Cuba - The Pearl of The Caribbean Trapped In An Ugly Shell
What I would like to see:
Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium
Normally, my travels are well planned in advance so that I can hit as many worthy spots as possible within a limited span of time -- but it is never a rushed schedule, allowing ample time for immersing in the local atmosphere and soaking in the local vibe. I use Microsoft AutoRoute to create detailed route maps like this: Loire Valley Trip.
Before hitting the road I do an extensive research on local customs, sightseeings, food, accommodation. That helps to steer clear from tourist traps, bland "international" fare, and characterless chain hotels.
The main objective of my trips is aesthetical appreciation of the region. This includes indulging in culinary delights. I always make a point to order food I have never had before.
That is often combined with visiting the settings of my childhood stories and history textbooks. Say, Chinon means a lot to me because that is where François Rablais comes from. The Eiffel Tower for me is something from Jules Verne's "age of steam and iron". And just sitting around in the New York Coffee House in Budapest sends shivers down my spine because it's where Imre Kálmán wrote his music.
More stuff I do on my trips:
- ethnographic/historical museums
- spas and hot springs
- national parks
- farm stays
- wild camping (sometimes) - never on regular camping sites
- roadside picnics in scenic spots (e.g., on Francois I's hunting grounds
One of the greatest pleasures of travelling is local grocery shopping: I always make sure to bring back whatever the area is famous for -- but only those things you can really use, so no mantle-piece dust collectors.
Usually, it's foodstuffs and drinks:
- wine and cheese from the Loire Valley
- horchata from Valencia
- crate of beer from Prague
- fruit and traditional ointments from Thailand
- herbal teas and a gaucho knife from Argentina
- rhum from Cuba
- caviar and chocolate from Russia
- coffee and black pepper from Vietnam.
On top of long vacations, I make grocery foraging trips to France, granted the closest French city, Lille, is a 2.5-hour drive away. Lille serves me a springboard for longer trips in France, several times a year.
On such trips I combine culture-vulturing and leisurely drives on scenic countryside routes with dining in roadside auberges and filling up the car trunk with the delicious produce of this generous land -- well enough to last me until the next such trip. Sometimes, I even manage to bring back huge platters of seafood, laced with ice in a cool box.
Easter In The Valley Of The Kings: Val De Loire
1. Seafood platter in Lille, FR
2. Empanadas in Salta, AR
3. Riesling in Eguisheim, FR
4. Sushi in Osaka, JP
5. Goulash in Prague, CZ
6. Grilled prawn in Rayong, TH
7. Water chestnut dessert in Keczthely, HU
8. Crayfish in Stockholm, SE
9. Russian pies in Kursk, RU
10. Frutti di mare pizza in Trieste, IT
11. Ice-cold horchata in Madrid, SP
12. Malay fish curry in Penang, MY
So far, I have made it to 4 continents - Europe, Asia, Africa and America.
I would love to visit some day more of:
- US Northwest: Las Vegas - Death Valley - Napa Valley - San Francisco - Redwood N. P. - Portland - Seattle - Vancouver - Great Falls - Salt Lake City - Bryce Canyon - Las Vegas
- Latin America: a 4-week fly-and-drive tour of Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil, Chile and, hopefully, Bolivia: Rio - Buenos Aires - Montevideo - Cordoba - Termas de Rio Hondo - Salta - Jujuy - Potosi - Antofagasta - Atacama - Santiago - Bariloche? - Mendoza - San Luis - BsAs
- The South And Southwest Of China: Guangzhou - Kunming - Chengdu - Wuhan - Xiamen - Guangzhou
- Renaissance cities and the gentle countryside of Northern Italy;
- road trip of the Palaces And Forts Of Rajasthan
- the countryside of South of France and Northern Spain (roughly the Santiago de Compostella Pilgrimage Route area)
- Indonesia By Land And Sea: Singapore - Medan - Palembang - Pontianak - Kuching - BSB - Jakarta - Borobudur - Surabaya - Denpasar - Singapore
- Hanseatic cities of the Baltic Rim (Bremen to Tallinn)
- South China Sea adventure: Hong-Kong - Macau - Hanoi - Ho Chi Minh City - Manila - Kao-Hsiung - Xiamen - Hong Kong
- road-trip of South Africa: Cape Town - Stellenbosch - Franschhoek - Paarl Wine Route - Betty's Bay - Hermanus - Garden Route - Grahamstown - Port Elizabeth - Durban - Zululand - Mbabane ( Swaziland) - Kruger N. P. - Blyde River Canyon - Pretoria - Johannesburg - Sun City - - Bloemfontein - Gariep Dam - Cape Town
- Japan and Korea
- Oz & NZ
Personal Pages (2)
Written Sep 29, 2007
Written Nov 16, 2006
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Top 10 Pages
- Argentina Intro, 10 reviews, 21 photos
- Fes 4 reviews, 10 photos
- Morocco Intro, 4 reviews, 6 photos
- Provincia de Salta 2 reviews, 6 photos
- Prague 2 reviews, 4 photos
- Dubai 2 reviews, 3 photos
- Rayong 1 review, 3 photos
- Top 5 Page for this destination Chinon 2 reviews, 2 photos
- China Intro, 3 photos
- Russia Intro, 3 photos
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