“Capturing” the Russian Culture

When I first arrived in Russia, I wasn’t struck by immediate beauty like my recent visit to Rio de Janeiro. There were no beaches, no mountains, no natural beauties. The people weren’t initially particularly friendly either. But the culture has grown on me a lot, and as I’ve begun exploring through the city of Orenburg … Continue reading

People > Politics

Everyone is well aware of the political turmoil going on in Russia. Believe me, I heard all about it before I left to come here. “Aren’t you afraid of going there?” “Is it really safe?” “Why did you choose Russia?” But you see, the problem with all of these questions is 1) they’re uninformed 2) … Continue reading

Warming up in the Cold Culture

Russia isn’t a comfortable place for social butterflies. Not much of Europe is, really. Russia is described as a “cold” culture not just because it gets down to -40C in the winter. It’s cold because the people aren’t welcoming unless they know you and you’ve established a relationship with them. You don’t go up to … Continue reading

Travel Haze for Dayz

We were told the plane ride was going to be long, the longest one I’ve ever taken. But I’m used to travel. I’ve never gotten jet lag before. I’ll be fine, I thought. A full 24 hours later (counting the 8-hour time difference in Moscow) without sleep and I’m passed out on the airport floor. No shame. … Continue reading


**Inspired by my time in Brasil**   I long to see you again. The days we spent together, Cycle through my mind like a film reel.   I remember walking through the crowded streets, Our shoes worn from the dusty ground, Our shirts damp from the hot sun.   We rode together and laughed, Our … Continue reading

The Beautiful Horizon

Belo Horizonte, or “beautiful horizon” in Portuguese, is a city of some 3 million Brasilians. It’s the fourth largest Brasilian city overall located in the second largest state, Minas Gerais. This city is full of culture — from food, to local lingo, to natural wonders, to futbol fans. Mirante, one of the city’s highest points, overlooks … Continue reading