Welcome to The Travelling Historian
Welcome to The Travelling Historian. I have been obsessed with Europe for as long as I can remember. I used to run to the encyclopedias on a fairly regular basis to read up on England, Germany, Russia, Italy, and practically every single country in Europe. This was in the olden days, before the dawn of the internet age where all this information is available with a click of a button. Back then (let’s say late 1980s), you had the encyclopedia, the library and the occasion book.
My parents bought me one of my favorite books when I was around 12. It was the Kings and Queens of England and I read that book cover to cover at least ten times in the first year. I still have that book. I also still have that obsession about the King and Queens of England. It is a fascinating history. That probably helped me decide to get a couple degrees in history (although I switched to Russian/Soviet by the time university came around).
It was fitting that London was my first overseas trip in 2005. I wanted to travel so badly that I had even started the passport process several times in the years before I went. I never sent it in because I did not know anyone else who wanted to travel. That changed by the time I moved to Edmonton. A friend was going to London and asked if I wanted to go. I never said yes so damn fast, providing I could get a passport in a few weeks. Luckily for me, the passport process was incredibly fast and I had it within two weeks, just in time for our flight to London in June 2005. I was very excited to visit Great Britain.
We flew into Gatwick Airport via Air Transat. The photo above is near Gatwick; my first picture in England. One quick note about Air Transat: it was convenient, cheap and a non-stop direct flight. It was perfect for my first trip to Europe. Would I ever fly it again? No damn way. It was VERY cramped; little leg room and exceptionally uncomfortable.
I have returned to Europe four more times since (London and Ireland in 2007; Germany in 2008; Italy and Greece in 2011; France and London Olympics in 2012) and am planning another trip next year to Moscow, Sochi Olympics in Russia and Prague, Czech Republic in February 2014. It will be my longest trip at a month and probably the most ambitious in terms of going to Russia in the winter, for the Olympics and popping into Prague on my way home. It is exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time. Finally knowing Russian will come in handy! 🙂
My first two trips were partly booked with the help of a travel agent but I have completely planned and booked the last three. It is a great deal of work but over the past five years, more and more information has been made available online so it makes it easier. It is very time-consuming but I really enjoy it.
I have set up this website to document my travels and provide tips for researching, planning and booking a trip. While I will focus on Europe, this can be transferred to any country in the world.
Join me on my travels to Europe and maybe one day, I will be brave enough to venture out of my comfort zone and go to Africa or a spontaneous last-minute trip.