During the two years I have been blogging, one thing I have never mentioned about myself is my ancestry.. it was never really important to blog about.. until now.
Recently, i finally got the chance to visit my family’s home land.. Russia. I had never been and have always wanted to go!
The opportunity to see where my relatives came from was a real gift,(and it was one more reason to make me appreciate my career).
My moms side of the family is 100% Russian. My grandparents came to America in the 1930s. Like so many immigrants migrating from the Eastern world, they arrived at Ellis Island, NY, and began a hopeful and “free” life in America..
Growing up, I had always heard stories about my grandparent’s lives in Russia. I know it had been a rough life for them there, and when they left, many of their relatives were left behind. I always tried to picture in my head what it must have been like to live there..How cold it was and what impact communism had on the people ( my family). I had always always wanted to go and see the culture for myself. I know Russia had changed a great deal since my grandparents parent left, but It was still a dream of mine to go there. A few weeks ago, that dream finally came true.
About a year ago I had cyber connected with a wonderful Russian woman living Moscow that was the editor in Chief for a corporate travel magazine called “Top Flight”.( a magazine targeting business and private jet travelers). This woman communicated to me that she enjoyed reading my blogs and asked me if I would like to contribute some pieces to her magazine!
Of course I was thrilled and said yes. My articles would be translated and published in Russian only, but I didn’t care. It would be great experience for me and international exposure for my blog!
Over the last year, we communicated via email many times and I always looked forward to hearing from her. I could tell she was a wonderful person and someone I would like to know.
So on the day I was told that I would be taking a work trip to Moscow, I was excited beyond words..and immediately wrote to Veronica in hopes to have the chance to finally meet her as well.
The long awaited Trip
My first steps out of the jet and on to the tarmac where exciting ones. The air was cold and crisp and there was snow and ice covering the ground. ( exactly how I always pictured Russia to be). Russian speaking customs officers escorted us into the FBO to process my temporary Russian visa. Travel FYI, in this country, a visa is a must. Your passport will not get you into this country or allow you to leave.
Although I was exhausted by the long working flight from the US, I was still antsy to look around and experience the culture.
My friend and editor- Veronica, not only met me for lunch AND presented me with copies of the magazines my blogs were featured in, but she was also gracious enough to give me a wonderful tour of Moscow. We visited places like the “Red Square”- The famous Moscow Kremlin and its grounds, the beautiful Russian orthodox cathedrals, and the bridge of Love. I was so appreciative to visit these historic landmarks and hear about their history by her account. Just walking the streets, using the underground train with her, and people watching, was a great experience in itself!. Now, with my grandmothers stories floating around in my head, I could finally have a better understanding of my own Russian heritage!
The Food 🙂
Of course I have to mention my love for experiencing the distinct food every culture has to offer. Here in Russia, I enjoyed my favorite turkish coffee, syrniki and bilinis for breakfast, and pelmeni or Pirozhki for dinner! Obviously I love anything made of a pancake or dumpling substance! 🙂 Russian salads are also one of my favorites…yum!
I cant even tell you what a gift this trip really was, and to think.. I actually got paid for it.. 🙂
I try to never take for granted all of the wonderful things in my life, including a career that has made so many of my dreams come true!
Even if i never fly another day, I have the experiences and memories to last a lifetime..