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My visa photo, taken exactly three years ago today, for my first journey to Russia. Now the visa is getting ready to expire, and after so many adventures in this country, it's time to explore new places...where visas aren't required. The world is a big place, filled with diversity, intrigue and beauty on so many levels. Don't be afraid to explore or push your comfort zone...in your own country and in distant lands. I've spent over half my life in some type of school or university, yet I continue to believe travel is the best education in the world, a pathway for enlightenment and self-discovery in ways you can never imagine. Such things can't be taught in a classroom, or recreated by a professor and a chalkboard. If I had it to do all over again, I would have never invested so much money in my doctorate degree. It taught me absolutely nothing about life, or myself. But we must accept the bad choices we make in life, learn from them, and move on.

With travel, your entire perspective changes, and first world problems about which we all complain seem meaningless and absurd. On your deathbed, don't you want some exciting stories and legacies to pass along to your children, grandchildren, friends and relatives? Something besides..."I sat at my desk every day, and now I'm ready to die..." Think about it. There's a stereotype that Americans think of nothing but work, but I don't see this with any of my friends. A new generation is born, where there is a prime value placed on work/life balance. A lot of Americans are no longer content to waste their lives away in the office, and because most of our work is now done at computers, many people have the luxury of doing their job from anywhere on the globe. This includes me.

Enjoy the moment, always, and don't say "in the future I'll do this, or when I'm older", because we don't know if these days will come...

Comments

( 121 comments — Leave a comment )
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edward_210
Jan. 22nd, 2016 02:43 pm (UTC)
на русском писать надо дамочка
aborigen72
Jan. 22nd, 2016 02:48 pm (UTC)
Re:
Хочешь объясниться ? учи англИцкий :))
ты то кто? - edward_210 - Jan. 22nd, 2016 02:54 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: - peacetraveler22 - Jan. 22nd, 2016 03:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Why? I'm American, and write in my native language - English. - (Anonymous) - Jan. 22nd, 2016 04:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: - (Anonymous) - Jan. 22nd, 2016 04:44 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - edward_210 - Jan. 22nd, 2016 04:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Jan. 22nd, 2016 09:34 pm (UTC) - Expand
Недоделанный - edward_210 - Jan. 23rd, 2016 12:52 am (UTC) - Expand
leo_sosnine
Jan. 22nd, 2016 02:49 pm (UTC)
Hard to tell what travelling gives you on top of saying "I sat at my desk and now I'm dying". Maybe just an additional phrase like "I travelled this number of countries and now I'm dying"?

Always strikes me as weird when people who travel try to point out that travelling makes them (somehow!) better persons than they would be if they didn't travel.

I agree that living in a 3rd world, especially socialist country gives you some perspective on how some seemingly good ideas always tend to produce bad results. But, actually, you don't have to travel and waste tons of money to get a clue, all you have to do is study, research for significant facts on that and think a for more than just one iteration of thought process. Besides, visiting 3rd world countries isn't of course equal to living there.

In the end it boils down to what people enjoy. I can tell that not all people enjoy traveling: I for example don't. I hate it and why would I put myself into lots of trouble of getting proper documents, wasting money for transportation and hotels, living in subpar conditions in unknown environments, accepting most likely higher risks for me not to manage to arrive to the final point when I can tell that "I did that and now I'm dying" to someone?

After all, I can watch everything I need on youtube or something. And if I don't do that then probably I'm not interested in getting this information even for free, why would I spend on travelling.
peacetraveler22
Jan. 22nd, 2016 02:58 pm (UTC)
Yes, not everyone enjoys travel. I understand, and am not suggesting I'm better than anyone else. And simply traveling to the next town in your own country can sometimes teach you a lot. So, having a lot of money isn't necessary for such experiences. However, I strongly disagree with you that reading about a place, or simply looking at photos or videos, gives you a true understanding of a country or people. This can only be obtained by walking on the soil, communicating with locals, and being present in their culture, if only for a short time. So, what makes you happy in life? Work?
(no subject) - leo_sosnine - Jan. 22nd, 2016 03:05 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jan. 22nd, 2016 03:07 pm (UTC) - Expand
perycalypsis
Jan. 22nd, 2016 02:51 pm (UTC)
you kill me with your smile

Btw ... When crossing the Russian state border at Vladivostok Free Port, an 8-day visa can be issued immediately at the border. Foreigners will be allowed to enter the Free Port zone and the area adjacent to it including 14 municipalities: Vladivostok, Artem, Ussuriisk ...
peacetraveler22
Jan. 22nd, 2016 02:54 pm (UTC)
For visa and passport photos, you are expressly told not to smile. But when someone says "don't smile", it's almost impossible not to! :)
viatcheslav
Jan. 22nd, 2016 02:56 pm (UTC)
What interesting things have you seen in Russia?
peacetraveler22
Jan. 22nd, 2016 03:18 pm (UTC)
Just read my travel stories from Russia, and you will see. :) A different way of societal interaction, facial expressions, expectations of officials and government, acceptance of suffering as part of ordinary life, scary roads/drivers, kind people, interesting landscapes, lots of snow and frozen landscapes, just to name a few.

Edited at 2016-01-22 03:18 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - viatcheslav - Jan. 22nd, 2016 03:31 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jan. 22nd, 2016 03:35 pm (UTC) - Expand
qi_tronic
Jan. 22nd, 2016 03:02 pm (UTC)
I came to a conclusion that people are more or less the same everywhere.

After travelling to America, England, Germany, Italy, Greece, China, India, Bali, etc. I think I've seen all the possible varieties.
I now want to travel only if I will get some new knowledge there, not just walking around and taking photos.

Honestly, I think the typical American reaction on onther countries is quite shalow.
Something like "How can you live in this way or in those surroundings" or "What strange stereotypes you have".

I think people live almost the same life everywhere.
They sleep, eat, drink, pee, etc.
They have certain emotions inside or no emotions :)

Look at these girls.
www. adme. ru/tvorchestvo-fotografy/fotograf-pokazal-krasotu-zhenschin-so-vsego-mira-856560/

They are just dressed differently but they are the same. The girls.
To understand this you need to look deeper, beyond concepts and values which normally occupy our minds.

PS. And I do not want to be on a deathbed :)
I want ro realize my nature.
peacetraveler22
Jan. 22nd, 2016 03:10 pm (UTC)
But you continually tell me how Americans and Russians are different...:) I don't think people are the same everywhere. Political, social and economic disparities prevent this. You really think life is the same for women in the U.S and Saudi Arabia, where they can't even drive, or do anything without a man being present? "Realize my nature..." I don't even know what this means. :) And, unfortunately, we cannot escape death.
(no subject) - qi_tronic - Jan. 22nd, 2016 03:20 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jan. 22nd, 2016 03:56 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - qi_tronic - Jan. 22nd, 2016 04:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - theodorexxx - Jan. 22nd, 2016 06:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jan. 22nd, 2016 06:10 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - theodorexxx - Jan. 22nd, 2016 06:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - qi_tronic - Jan. 22nd, 2016 03:11 pm (UTC) - Expand
kremlin_curant
Jan. 22nd, 2016 03:08 pm (UTC)
Not first time I run into the young or middle aged ZheZhe user who believes she (yes, only she) must obtain some adventures experience in her life to retranslate it in the future to her descendants about. When I was young I thought the same way.
But today when I'm close to 60, I don't feel any imperative to take a seat and write down some memoirs about my life neither to inform about it to my young relatives. Btw I don't see they are interested in my past also.
peacetraveler22
Jan. 22nd, 2016 03:14 pm (UTC)
I want to do something valuable and positive for the world while I'm alive, and I've already done it through my legal work. So, it just depends on your personality. Some people are content to simply work, sit as a vegetable in retirement, and never leave their hometown. My dad is like this. He has absolutely no desire to leave the USA, has lived in the same house his entire life, and will probably die there. But this is not my personality. Men are more selfish in nature and ego driven...women are typically more compassionate. :)) However, I've met plenty of young men who are actively engaged in social change through travel and storytelling. One of them is here - https://www.facebook.com/bcserna/?fref=ts.
(no subject) - kremlin_curant - Jan. 22nd, 2016 03:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jan. 22nd, 2016 03:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kremlin_curant - Jan. 22nd, 2016 03:35 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - qi_tronic - Jan. 22nd, 2016 03:37 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jan. 22nd, 2016 03:41 pm (UTC) - Expand
lavagra
Jan. 22nd, 2016 03:29 pm (UTC)
Shannon. what do you think about Baltic states -Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia?
peacetraveler22
Jan. 22nd, 2016 03:31 pm (UTC)
I like them a lot! Friendly people, cheap for an American tourist, and interesting villages and rural areas. I especially like Estonia. I have some reports from these countries. Just search the "Eastern Europe" tag, or "Latvia" and "Estonia." I went on a big road journey with Alexander (macos) in this region a few years ago. Great memories!
maksipes
Jan. 22nd, 2016 03:34 pm (UTC)
What was it? It seems like a cry for help. Are you trying to escape from sad reality by traveling? o man.. it is not working out. you realize it's too late to change your live. you're over the hill and now everything will always be down the hill. and you can't change it. yes, it's tough but this is just a midlife crisis. just accept yourself as you are and your new direction to the bottom of hill.

I thought only men suffer from this.
peacetraveler22
Jan. 22nd, 2016 03:35 pm (UTC)
Midlife crisis? :)) I felt the same at 21 years old, that's why I went to work for the airlines when I graduated university. With my life, I'm happy, thank you. Why do you refuse to believe it? :)

Edited at 2016-01-22 03:36 pm (UTC)
dorli87
Jan. 22nd, 2016 04:01 pm (UTC)
You puzzled me a little. Could you explain please.
What do you mean "invested so much money in my doctorate degree"? Did you have to pay for some courses or what?
Your degree allows you to obtain more money than without PhD, is not it? And spent those money for journey. I see such connection))
peacetraveler22
Jan. 22nd, 2016 04:04 pm (UTC)
Of course, I had to spend money, and obtain government loans for my doctorate degree. Higher education in the U.S. is very, every expensive. I worked full time during the day, and went to law school at night for four years to get my doctorate degree. The cost of a law degree in the U.S. is typically well over $100,000 USD. So, yes I earn a high salary as a lawyer, but when you factor in the cost of repayment for student loans, it isn't that much in the end. The best part about my job is that it's flexible, thus I don't need to be in the office everyday and this makes travel easier.
(no subject) - dorli87 - Jan. 22nd, 2016 04:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jan. 22nd, 2016 04:28 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - dorli87 - Jan. 22nd, 2016 04:37 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jan. 22nd, 2016 05:01 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - dorli87 - Jan. 22nd, 2016 05:15 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jan. 22nd, 2016 05:23 pm (UTC) - Expand
perycalypsis
Jan. 22nd, 2016 04:19 pm (UTC)
I think a lot about things I haven't done. Dive in the Great Barrier Reef; ride the Orient Express; lick tequila from the body of a dead stripteaser
peacetraveler22
Jan. 22nd, 2016 04:21 pm (UTC)
Why does the stripper have to be dead? In the U.S, you can lick tequila from girls' bellies in a lot of bars. It's part of the show and entertainment. :)
theodorexxx
Jan. 22nd, 2016 05:51 pm (UTC)
If you had no degree would you be able to pay for your travels?
peacetraveler22
Jan. 22nd, 2016 05:57 pm (UTC)
I don't know, but probably. I know plenty of people who have done well in life without even a college degree. Plus, I travel in inexpensive countries most of the time, where I know people and don't have to pay for hotels, rental cars, etc. I sometimes use my airline miles for tickets, and don't stay in or eat at high class places. So, travel for me usually isn't very costly, esp. in Russia.
(no subject) - theodorexxx - Jan. 22nd, 2016 06:05 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jan. 22nd, 2016 06:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - theodorexxx - Jan. 22nd, 2016 06:17 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jan. 22nd, 2016 06:20 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - theodorexxx - Jan. 22nd, 2016 06:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jan. 22nd, 2016 06:23 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - theodorexxx - Jan. 22nd, 2016 06:26 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jan. 22nd, 2016 06:31 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - theodorexxx - Jan. 22nd, 2016 06:33 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jan. 22nd, 2016 06:35 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - theodorexxx - Jan. 22nd, 2016 06:37 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jan. 22nd, 2016 06:38 pm (UTC) - Expand
pro100_petrov
Jan. 22nd, 2016 06:07 pm (UTC)
Movie to understand, what is Georgia and Georgians.
peacetraveler22
Jan. 22nd, 2016 06:14 pm (UTC)
Thanks! Another reader also recommended this movie. You've been to Georgia?
(no subject) - pro100_petrov - Jan. 22nd, 2016 06:19 pm (UTC) - Expand
letberg
Jan. 22nd, 2016 06:28 pm (UTC)
Doesn't your degree help you to earn money to travel? And the education - you probably know a lot of things: languages (Latin? French? somewhat else?), history, culture and literature. The base to perceive the world on. And your ability to speak with so different kinds of people.
peacetraveler22
Jan. 22nd, 2016 11:48 pm (UTC)
I studied Spanish for five years, so I know this language okay but still am not fluent because I don't practice enough. My best people and communication skills came from my time working for the airlines. In this job, I had to communicate and understand different accents, and people from all over the world. Problem solve and help them get to their end destinations all over the world during weather disasters, flight disruptions, etc. And I still do this today as a lawyer to some extent.
irisha8787
Jan. 22nd, 2016 06:47 pm (UTC)
"Some people are content to simply work, sit as a vegetable in retirement, and never leave their hometown."
"On your deathbed, don't you want some exciting stories and legacies to pass along to your children, grandchildren, friends and relatives? Something besides..."I sat at my desk every day, and now I'm ready to die..."

How can you judge? If people don't travel, that doesn't mean they are living a boring wasteful life. You can be productive in your hometown, in your family, participate in sports, you can make a difference even if you are never leaving your town - duh, online!

I sit at my desk every day and I love it. You know why? Because I love my job. I have so many challenges in my day to day work, that make my brain boil.

Another thing.. you will never have exactly the same experience as a tourist that people who actually live there. If you are there for a week talking to the natives, they might not even tell you the real struggles they might go through in they day to day life. You are shown only a sneak peak, but sometimes reading a memoir written by a native might give you more insight than just going buying souvenirs and eating local food.

Also, a lot of people travel overseas, while don't know the history of their own city or state.
Just my 2 cents.
peacetraveler22
Jan. 22nd, 2016 06:52 pm (UTC)
I see now that my post sounds a bit judgmental, but this was not my intention. Of course, there are many ways to be active and lead a meaningful life. For me, it's through travel and exploration. Perhaps others achieve the same euphoria and self-satisfaction through work. If so, you're lucky. As a lawyer, I also use my mind constantly and my job is to problem solve. It's interesting work, but nothing more. Work is not my passion.
(no subject) - irisha8787 - Jan. 22nd, 2016 08:26 pm (UTC) - Expand
moskitow
Jan. 22nd, 2016 06:48 pm (UTC)
I'm always laughing when my friend and I are going on some local adventure like biking or kayaking and asking her husband to join us. He usually replies:"Oh, but Tour de France(Football/tennis/or whatever) is about to start and I wanted to watch it on TV!"
It doesn't feel the same for me to read about a country rather than to go there and have adventures(get lost a couple of times and find a completely secluded wonderful place, away from the common tourist trails).
I love to travel.....and plan my trips myself(not even sure what I like more :))
peacetraveler22
Jan. 22nd, 2016 06:54 pm (UTC)
Then we are the same. :) I'm glad someone can relate to my adventurous spirit.
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