Category: Post-Soviet Countres

Sockeye salmon in Kamchatka

Detour to Tolbachik

Tolbachik – a 3,085 meter volcano on Far East Russia’s Kamchatka peninsula. I had been told that, on a clear day, the top of Tolbachik crater is the best [accessible without a helicopter] viewpoint in Kamchatka. The mountain is surrounded by several other glaciated volcanoes, most of which are very active. There was a promising-looking half day of clear sky…

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Skiing in Armenia

Tsakhkadzor, Armenia. 7 March, 2017.     Tsakhkadzor is Armenia’s biggest and least impressive ski resort. With 4×2-person fixed-line lifts and one non-functional 4-seater, the resort cannot handle large crowds, but that’s okay, because there’s no reason why a lot of people would want to go there. The slopes range from so flat that you have to walk instead of…

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Transnistria: The country you won’t find on a map

  Wedged between the Dniester River in eastern Moldova and the Ukrainian border exists a small country unknown to most of the world’s population. Transnistria is home to over half a million people but you won’t find it on a world map. The UN recognizes Transnistria as a part of Moldova, but, in fact, they have a completely independent government,…

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Hitchhiking in Georgia

    This post is a supplement to what I wrote for Journal of Nomads about police assistance while hitchhiking in Georgia. Check it out!   Georgia is a country not quite like anywhere else in the world. This goes for everything – food, language, culture, as well as hitchhiking. Hitchhiking in Georgia is an exciting experience and a unique…

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How to get a Russian Visa as a USA Citizen

A google search makes obtaining a Russian visa seem like a super complicated process for Americans, but actually it’s quite easy. All you need is a few papers and anywhere from a couple minutes to a couple hours to wait in line at the embassy. Also, you don’t need to be in your home country, as many websites will lead…

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Kyrgyzstan Chapter 2: Hospitality and Generosity

    Kyrgyzstan, the land of hospitality. A place where simply walking down the street with a smile earns you invitations into people’s homes for shared meals and accommodation. A place where nobody worries that you might be a psycho killer or a robber because you’re a guest to their country. A place where money is lacking but natural resources…

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Kyrgyzstan Chapter 1: Initial Interactions

  Background Traveling in Kyrgyzstan was an experience completely different from anywhere else I’ve been. I mean, not just a cliche “they have different architecture and good food” kind of unique, but this country added a whole new level to my understanding of how people live in this world. Being located in Central Asia on the western border of China,…

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April Showers Bring May Powder

5:15 AM, Friday, April 29, 2016.   BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP!!!   “Oh shut the…….$@#&! Wake up!”   I rifled through the blankets, struggling to find my phone in the dark to make that horrible noise go away. Having already hit the snooze button twice, I was running late. Lazily, I brushed my teeth, took a quick look in the…

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First Impressions from Gudauri

I stumbled across the border into Georgia without a clue what I was getting myself into or how to even get to Gudauri, the resort town in the Caucasus Mountains in northeast Georgia, where I was going to be a ski instructor for the winter. I’m not talking about Atlanta, I’m talking about the former Soviet Georgia, the unique country…

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