"Traveling through the countries of the former USSR is very interesting."

REFERENCE Andrei Sapunov – Traveler, Regional, Writer. Born in 1977 in Kiev, graduated from the Faculty of International Economics of Kiev National Economic University named after Vadim Gapetman. Traveling since 1997, visited more than 40 countries, special interest – the CIS. The author and co-author is more than a dozen guidebooks, including "Baltic", Belarus, Uzbekistan, "Kiev", "Ukraine and Moldova", "Central Asia. Practical guide to Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan, "Mexico".

– I do what I drive in different cities and countries and write book guidebooks. I have a hobby and work are combined in one. I started traveling in 1997, after graduating from the Institute. The first trips occupied two or three months a year. Then the desire to ride increased, and the trips took a significant part of life. Financing My Travel Writing Books and Sale. I do not have sponsors, I’m all organized yourself.

– Over the past 16 years, a real revolution occurred in travel. We, as the inhabitants of the former Soviet Union, in the early 90s it became in principle the opportunity to travel abroad. Previously go, for example, in Israel was a big event. And now, please – a stamp in the passport, and Israel is open for you, a mexico is open, in which it was very difficult to get a visa before. Argentine Argentine, Brazil, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam … Plus, the Internet gives such excellent opportunities as the night have people in all points of the globe – for this there are World Hospitality sites: Couchsurfing, The Hospitality Club.

Traveling through the province of Russia, you can stay in local tourist clubs. In many even small towns, there are Turklubs in the district centers, the stations of children’s and youth tourism, where people who are not alien to the backpack and hiking – can come there, find a common language and spend the night.

– I travel on all types of public transport: trains, train, buses, intercity minibuses and hitchhiking. Sometimes on foot. When you travel many months a year and you do not have a lot of capital or sponsors, inevitably come across a lack of finance, and budget is one of the priorities. This, by the way, and the big plus – allows not to break away from the people in each country: you are very close to ordinary people, especially if you walk on foot or go with them by car, and even in some vegetable train.

I lived in Yakutia for two months: Tundra, towns lost in the Arctic, of which half of the population left over the past 20 years, and the second half lives and dreams of departure, that is, enough depressive places. Or vice versa – rapidly developing oil towns in the Tyumen region, everything around is built, glitters and sparkles with lights … Russia is so different.

Hitchhiker is a very good way to see from the inside every country, get acquainted with the local population and understand how they live. Got on the road, stopped the car and immediately go, most likely, with a resident of the nearest district center, and you tell you about the local life.

Traveling through the countries of the former USSR is very interesting.

In principle, in all CIS countries, it is real in all CIS countries, but in the countries of Central Asia, drivers are often waiting for payment, so this question needs to be negotiated in advance. And in the European republics everything is fine: it is very easy to drive in a hitchhiker in the Baltic States and in Belarus, in Russia, too, everything is fine – this is probably one of the most hitchhiking countries of the world. The overwhelming majority of drivers know about such a way of movement and about such tourism, and those who stop are relatively benevolent.

– with the tourist industry is not so bad. Of course, there were a lot of Soviet hotels with dirty sloping numbers and grumpy administrators, but there are such in the West. The only problem in Russia – low-level hotels are too expensive for their class. When you stay in a lousy hotel for $ 10 – this is one thing, and when they want $ 50 for the same conditions, as in Russia, it is a bust.

– As for trains, where there are passengers bed linen for the guides, then it’s hard to compare. Long distance trains remained only in Russia, India and China. Russian service is significantly higher than Chinese or Indian. In Europe, long-distance trains are almost all extinct, they go for short distances, and in America there has never been a large number of trains: residents move on airplanes, buses and personal cars. But there are trains with us too expensive, and in the future, I think the planes will be outstrong: a transport revolution is coming in Russia. It will inevitably happen, and faster than many think.

– It is very interesting to travel around the countries of the former USSR, because it is our big homeland, and much of what we see in distant Azerbaijan or in a small Estonia, we are immediately clear to us: why don’t look at home, and not otherwise, why plants on the outskirts have Not the best kind … both in our hometown, and for 5000 km, the entire industry and collective farms began to decline in the same period, so there are always common topics for conversations with people. People have a common past, general history, cultural base – it is interesting to talk to them. There is no language problem – you can communicate everywhere in Russian.

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