Totally Off Topic For a Change – I’m Going to Russia!

My Mom is taking me on a trip to Moscow and St. Petersburg via a small cruise ship on several Russian rivers. The trip is almost 14 days long. We’re going in the mid summer season of 2010. Who knew that you had to get a Visa to go to Russia? I personally think that in today’s world of global travel getting a Visa is simply a $200+ tax to go visit their country. I personally don’t know of too many other countries that require a Visa, but I’m sure that there are some.

I casually asked our travel agent about shots and was directed to the CDC website where I am glad I have started a year out as I have to get Hepatitis A (2 shot series), Hepatitis B (2 shot series), Tetanus, Typhoid, and a booster on Mumps, Measles, Rubella, and Polio. Good grief! I got three shots this past week and both of my arms are so sore that you’d better not brush up against me or I will have to literally howl in pain. You’d have thought that I was going to the ends of the Earth to have this shot list, but I am visiting small villages in Russia and the CDC says that if so, you need these extra immunity protections.

I feel like maybe I should be learning some kind of conversational Russian. Who wants to go as the “Ugly American”? I have experienced, by traveling abroad widely, that if you make an honest effort to speak in the native language that your experience and interaction with others is much more special and meaningful. So, I will have to start checking my library for Russian language tapes. I don’t think I will be able to learn the alphabet so I am just focusing on knowing how to say some important phrases. At least that’s a start!

My husband and I are taking our whole family to Paris, France and then to Brussels, Belgium this summer as well and so I am working hard to brush up my French as I had been a fluent speaker. I had lived for a year with a French speaking family in Brussels my senior year in high school with the AFS foreign exchange program. Maybe I will be able to use French in Russia as well.

If you have any tips on traveling to Russia or where a family of six should stay in Paris, take just a moment and click comments below and give me your tips. I would be most grateful!

Next week I am off to the San Francisco area to watch my husband get his MBA degree from the Navy Post Graduate School in Monterey, California. We’re turning our trip into a mini-vacation with my Mom watching the kids for a week. I’ll be back in full force the week of the 28th, but please come back and visit our blog next week as I have already written and scheduled some great content pieces to keep you entertained and educated.