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Russia in WWII and How to Visit Volgograd

“Is it true,” asked my Russian cabin mate on the 22-hour train ride from Volgograd to Kazan, “that Americans believe they won the war?” I already knew the sad answer. American schools teach our participation in the war and not much about Russia in WWII. This video...

Photography equipment

First-Time Solo Travel: How to Hit the Road Alone with Confidence

“Waiting for the fish to bite or waiting for the wind to fly a kite. Or waiting around for Friday night or waiting perhaps for their Uncle Jack or a pot to boil or a better break or a string of pearls or pair of pants or a wig with curls or another chance. Everyone is just waiting...

zero waste deodorant

What is the BEST Zero Waste Deodorant​ for Travelers?

Most zero waste journeys start with a reusable water bottle, but my zero waste journey started with deodorant. After my PCOS diagnosis, I decided to cut plastic from my life, starting with my beauty routine. Deodorant was an easy swap since I can’t forget it (like a reusable water...

first time in Moscow

What to See Your First Time in Moscow

My expectations before my first time in Moscow were low. Would it only be Soviet-style buildings and melancholy designs? But, after exiting the Leningradsky Vokzal, the train station with trains to and from Saint Petersburg, Moscow immediately proved me wrong. Moscow is like New York City...

Russia Packing Guide for Studying Abroad in Winter

Packing is difficult for me. It stresses me out. I either put it off until last-minute or pack weeks in advance, leaving me weeks to overthink every single item. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a Russia packing guide.  In preparation for four months in Russia, I packed and...

guide to saint petersburg

Guide to Saint Petersburg for First-Timers

The guide to Saint Petersburg I read before moving to the city did not prepare me for life in this city. Palaces dressed in soft hues with swirling ornaments transported me to a time of royalty. My eye for the Russian Empire’s splendor diminished as I crossed yet another canal via a...

aifs review

AIFS Review: Studying Abroad In Saint Petersburg

During the Spring 2017 academic semester, I studied abroad in Saint Petersburg, Russia with AIFS. I was nervous to study with a program I knew little about, so today I’m sharing my AIFS review of their Saint Petersburg program so you feel more at ease. Jump Ahead Cost and...

budget London

How to Travel on a Budget in London

If you want to stick to a budget in London, self-control is necessary. You’ll quickly overspend without financial discipline. I’m not an extreme budget traveler. Instead, I save money where I can to spend it on what matters. A budget in London of $79 per day is a sweet spot in...

best London day tour

The Best London Day Tour

The internet could not answer my one burning question about London–what was the best London day tour? Since every traveler’s needs and wants are different, I summarize the three tours I took below and describe each tour’s ideal traveler. This way, you can determine the...

How to Receive a Free Expedited Passport

Do you know how it feels to discover gold? I don’t, but I bet it feels similar to this. Today I’m sharing with you my secret to a free expedited passport. First, let me clarify “free.” This is not a way to avoid paying regular passport fees. Instead, it’s a...