Touchdown in Mother Russia

some ‘bloody’ church
So this is the first step in my journey and I figured it best to start before I forget I ever intended to keep a blog.

Ultimately I hope to share my experiences and keep a digital travel journal. However as this is the first entry it will be focussed on my leaving of home and why I decided to go on this journey.

WARNING: I’m somewhat scatterbrained and don’t always plan things out so if this doesn’t read terribly well I do apologise but it is what it is.

Having lived at home my whole life (my university was incredibly close to home) I felt it was important to take myself away from my comfort zone where I know everything. A friend recently went travelling around the same time last year and his excitement about the trip was somewhat infectious.

I’ve always been fascinated by different cultures, the more estranged from my own the more intriguing they are. This is why my focus is on non-European countries and particularly countries with funny writing. Figuring the best way to learn about a culture is from the people of that culture I thought it best to travel solo, encouraging me to interact with others. Throughout my travels I will be volunteering in various workplaces in exchange for accommodation and food, often living with people from the village/town I’m in. Alongside this I hope frequent stops in hostels will further connect me with people from different corners of the world who are likeminded. That being said if everyone is likeminded I’ll never learn anything so hopefully the opportunity to engage with radically different views will strengthen my own and instil more compassion with conflicting ideas.
The past academic year I have been completing my NQT (newly qualified teacher) year. With this under my belt I am now fully qualified as a teacher. It was the perfect year to do this as I was teaching year 6, their adventure into the great unknown of secondary school echoing my own journey.

We produced an amazing end of year production, Into the Woods, thanks to the great work and support of countless members of staff. The finale number of “children will listen” made all the more emotional by the fact that they rarely do! However I feel the story is aimed at all ages and people, the naive, the ‘wise’, the idiotic, and ultimately is a story that should give you a sense of humility and comfort knowing that sometimes the right thing isn’t always as easy to see as you would expect.

It questions expectations of people and shows you that maybe you misunderstood them or allowed your preconceptions to interfere with your appreciation of an individual “Witches can be right, Giants can be good”
I spent the summer in Latvia with some very close friends celebrating their marriage. It was a beautiful day full of little traditions and games that really brought all these people that don’t know each other together. Dancing until the early hours to a combination of System of a Down, Kanye West and what I believe was some sort of Latvian children’s show, felt like no time had passed when surrounded by happy people. As I said to my friends, I wish them the best of luck together but I know they don’t need it as they have each other.
Apart from a few things inbetween my summer has been spent relaxing with friends, catching up and just enjoying pleasurable company. As I have been planning this journey for a long time we all knew the day would come when I’d be saying “see you in a year” but it still felt strange when goodbyes were exchanged. I don’t like the term goodbye as it implies you won’t see someone again (according to my mum it comes from “God be with you”) and I bloody well intend to come back home! So with that, rather than goodbye, let’s just leave it as, see you soon.

where should I go?
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