As a middle-aged American, I have been fortunate to travel extensively in the UK, Europe and Russia. I took my first trip to England with my parents when I was 14; a summer trip to France with fellow high school students followed two years later. Bitten with the travel bug, at 23 I quit a job as a newspaper reporter and embarked on a “grand tour” of the Soviet Union and northern and central Europe. Nearly two decades later, my wife and I ventured to Russia to adopt an infant.
We have also traveled extensively in Europe. How have we done it? We aren’t affluent. My older son worked for a cruise line for seven years — his home was on the ship — and he made frequent forays along European coasts, and inland to visit friends in Ukraine, Switzerland, and Bulgaria. His parents and brother were allowed to stowaway on the ship for almost FREE when there was a room available.
Living in Abu Dhabi, UAE, working as an educator, I have generous leave. I have also been fortunate to attend business-related conferences in Europe, and to win free airline tickets.
This blog is a place for us to share photos, memories, observations about our travels, and to provide a structure for learning more European and Russian history by posting articles, links or things we’ve learned, and can share with you to make your own understanding more complete. — Jim Buie