My Travel

I would like to be a man of the world,
Be everywhere at home
And everywhere on the road.
Desiderius Erasmus (Dutch philosopher, 1465/69 — 1536)

Ich möchte Weltenbürger sein,

 überall zu Hause und

 überall unterwegs.

                                                                                                        Erasmus von Rotterdam

I count myself as a person who constantly need to move or travel — whether it’s a long walk in the city or a big journey to another country. And I must say, until now i had luck with travelling

During my first 22 years, I managed to live in three countries.
I was born in Russia, in Saransk which is situated about 630 km east of Moscow and is the capital of the republic of Mordovia. After completing the second year of university (2007) I went to Germany, where I worked and lived one year in a lovely German family in Heidelberg. Actually, many students of my university go abroad during their studies – to live in a new culture and improve the language.

During my first year in Germany, I decided to start a second European education. After a long searching time I chose to study Tourism Management at the University of Bremen. People who work in this field need to know many languages. Therefore, we were given a choice of 4 new foreign languages (we were supposed to speak English): Spanish, French, Portuguese and Indonesian. This choice wasn’t hard for me — si, senor, una cerveza por favor.

A normal student of my degree in Bremen spends the whole third year abroad, normally in a country where the new language is spoken. This course includes six months of studies at the university and six months of internship in some organization possible in almost every country in the world except Germany. Our university has a huge number of partnerships with universities all over the world, allowing mutual exchange of students. Most universities (except for English-speaking countries) cancel the educational taxes for exchange students. Everything else (apartment, food, transportation and entertainment), the student pays him- or herself.
At first I really wanted to go to England. But as a Russian citizen I would have to pay three times higher taxes relying to an EU citizen. For a semester in the United States or Australia you would pay 5 or 6 thousand euro for taxes per semester. I decided to consult with the teacher, and he suggested me something. I already know English — so why not go to a country where people speak Spanish, to improve my already fourth language. The idea seemed reasonable. Such an opportunity may present itself only once in my life — I could choose any country in Latin America or stay in Europe — in the heat and passion of Spain. In spite of the attractive idea of crossing over the ocean, it seemed safer and closer to stay in Europe.

After choosing the country I had to determine the city in which I’d spend at least six months. And again I asked for advice, this time my teacher of Spanish. She said without hesitating — vete a Madrid!

I want to tell you some facts about our teachers here — they are quite open to students, their issues and concerns. With one teacher, we went to a bar to watch football, another always dances at our parties, and the third went to the concert of my choir and then we celebrated this event in a restaurant. As you may understand – we have fun together.
Sometimes I think that myself I don’t really take any important decisions, and try to shift them on to my relatives and friends. Anyway, I am more than satisfied in the result of my previous decisions.

So… Spain. I always wanted to try a big-city life. And Madrid suited perfectly — despite more than three million population, it has an excellent transportation system. Despite crowded streets, it is always comfortable. In the first months I have already had a small room, made new friends, got favorite clubs and parks. So I decided to stay in Madrid for a year. During this year I visited many Spanish cities, as well as the neighbor- country Portugal.

The most frequent question is: which country do I prefer? The answer is difficult. Each country has its charm. As soon as I came to Germany, I was surprised by the prevailing order here; by the fact that people plan all the meetings and are generally punctual and polite. In Spain, on the contrary, people are slower, the meetings are appointed for a rough time, but Spanish climate, relaxed atmosphere and these Spaniards with big-big hearts made me fall in love in the country of Cervantes and FC Barcelona. So what about Russia? There are my home, my best friends and memories. Every time I am happy to go back to the Saransk, further to Samara and spend these few hours before the plane on Red Square in Moscow.
Will I go back and, in general, what will happen to me — I have not the foggiest idea. This is another decision that I let to my destiny and rationality.

I heard somewhere, that in a foreign country a good dictionary will serve much more than a sharp knife. Therefore, learn foreign languages and travel, travel and travel more to get back home someday.
According to Erich Kästner (German writer, 1899-1974), the hidden meaning of travel is homesickness. I’d add — where exactly is your home — it’s up to you.

another wave

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