How My Husband and I Traveled to Russia for a Year

Beyond Borders: A Deep Dive Into the Nomadic Way of Life

I was lucky enough to have my wife (and now best friend) travel to Russia for a year at the end of the summer of 2011. We spent four months in the country and had a blast. Our biggest highlight wasn’t a museum or an art exhibit. It was simply spending time with my wife for a year without any type of phone, computer, or internet access.

The country is a vast mosaic of ethnicities, religions, and cultures. For example, there are Russians, Tatars, Bashkirs, and Ukrainians. Russians were the first to arrive, arriving as early as the 9th century. The Tatars, a Turkic nation, came in the late 1100’s. Finally, around 1000, the Bashkirs migrated from Mongolia and settled.

While I don’t pretend to know Russia intimately, I have visited the country several times and know a thing or two about it. When my wife and I travel to Russia they do so on the cheap. We rent a car, which we use to drive around Russia and take some of the most incredible hikes we’ve ever experienced. We also eat there, of course, since most Russians are open to taking in the best of the local cuisine.

We met a couple of Russian professors who also were just out of college. They were studying for their master’s degrees in Slavic studies at the University of Moscow, which sounds like quite a leap. That’s where their enthusiasm for travel really caught my eye. They were looking to see the world, but their goal was to learn about Russia.

So they decided to do what some of us dream of doing and make their own adventure their goal as well. They drove to Estonia and found a job as translators with the Estonian government. They then decided to spend a year in Moscow and learn Russian. They planned to travel around Russia and see as much of the country as possible for a year.

In an effort to save

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