I haven’t been on the subtle side of describing how difficult my trip through Russia was back in 2013. When I think back on that trip, the feelings are not warm or fond. I felt relief to leave the country, and I hold firmly that I will likely never go back. The logic is that there are too many places to visit and far too little time in one life, so while I don’t argue there is no value in travel to Russia, it is not where my travel priorities lie. I want to see Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, the Philippines, Japan… I want to see Mauritius, Zambia, Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa… I want to see more of South America… I want to go back to Spain, Denmark, Ireland, India. There is too much world and too little time.
With confidence, I say this: I am done with Russia.
However, just recently, I went through the videos I shot while I was in the massive country going from St. Petersburg to Ulan Ude (and onward to Mongolia). The thoughts and the sentiments I have after seeing what I videotaped couldn’t feel farther from what my memories tell me. I almost think I had a good time in Russia. I almost think no one was rude to us, that not a single Russian lady (wearing socks and open-toed sandals) said “Fuck you” to me. I almost think I’d like to go back.
Instead, I remind myself of the truth and thank myself for keeping a bright demeanour as best I could. That, and I thank the kind people who I did chance to meet, the ones who made the trip worth it at all.
Also a big thank you to my patient travel partner (and videographer) Sara for putting up with my vision for this montage!
Here it is, enjoy! Oh, and ps – I didn’t have the space on my vimeo account for HD, so regular D will have to do.