Igor Travels Abroad

"In the end, we only regret the chances we didn't take."


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Vacation, Family and Hospitality….

Such a marvelous week has passed by and the end of semester 4 has arrived. Finally, time to recover from all the sleepless nights of final exams and studying with two whole weeks of vacation. I’ll find out my grades by this Friday and will start semester 5 after the break.

Last week, I had the pleasure of meeting my SEG coordinators for USA and South America region and we had a great, lively conversation about student life. It is always wonderful to meet such amazing people, especially my USA coordinator, Aline, who has helped support me through the past two years education. For those of you who read about my time when I did the CBYX program, she is like my betreuer(featured right)

For my break, I decided to fly back to where I was born in Russia and visit my grandparents. After surviving through the wars, especially World War II, my grandma is getting older and it’s always a pleasure to be able to see her and help out, especially cleaning the apartments, going for more walks and making sure that everything at the apartment is in order, since things are falling apart and I fix them.

More importantly, I love spending the time with her and hearing her stories and supporting her, being the strong and loving woman she is who helped take care of me when I was just a little boy. I owe it to her and love her very much.

Family is the most important thing we have and we must always support our family, especially our grandparents who are getting older. And not only to take care of them but to accept them and love them no matter what.

For break, I decided to go really go offline and I’m feeling great. I’m sleeping a lot and “recovering” from exams, eating healthy, going for daily exercise, reading many great books, such as American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser, and have no internet at home. It’s a wonderful and much needed break.

Today, I gave back and went to a local business and spoke about hospitality, studying in Switzerland and the English language. It’s always nice to help others and provide value and I really had a blast. The next couple of days, I’ll see old friends and more family and my parents will come this Friday. I’m very excited.

I’ll leave you with this, as it was a question that was really good that one of the employees at the business asked me. He asked, “What is hospitality and what does it mean for you? Of course, there’s hotels and stuff but what does it mean?” What a great question, as I think it is a great conclusion to this post.

Each person of course has their own definition but for me, it is the act of caring for other people. To make them feel welcome. To exemplify true and authentic humanity and help others. To do the right thing, even when no one is looking. A combination of integrity, trust, compassion, love, care and support. That, for me, is hospitality.

Until next week,

Igor

What Does Travel Give You?

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What Does Travel Give You?


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Thanksgiving in Germany

Today I made a traditional American Thanksgiving and it was wonderful. We had pumpkin pie, lemon meringue pie, a chicken (no turkeys here 😀 ) with potatoes, a nice salad (cranberries, hazelnuts, and an orange; it is delicious by the way), mashed potatoes and gravy, apple cider, wine, and 4 little chocolate turkeys. It tasted great! I played American Christmas songs, like in the movies, and it was wonderful. It is also my host dad’s birthday today, so it worked out quite nicely.   thankgiving1 thankgiving3 thankgiving4

thankgiving2

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We had much fun and listened to American music and celebrated! Oh, and did I say the food tasted GREAT!!!   PS: Funny Story today: I was heading to school today, and was talking to may dad on the phone. All of the sudden, my train came and I was quite far away. I took off in a sprint and ran down the stairs, around the corner (tunnel) and plowed through two police men. One was thrown on the ground straight on his back, the other almost knocked back too. They were both screaming at me and I kept running up and in the train. I then took my coat, hat, and scarf off, and rotated them inside out so they wouldn’t realize it was me if they came after me. BUT, I got on the train to school 😀   And two recipes if your interested:

Salad:

1/2 cup Hazelnuts chopped into small parts

1 can Cranberries

1 orange peeled cut into small parts a tiny bit of sugar (a teaspoon)

Lemon Meringue Pie: For Germans (in metric system) and Americans (in cups, etc.) LemonMeringuePie.pdf

Have a great Thanksgiving everyone and take care!

Best,

Igor