From Russia, with love

Hello and welcome to my new blog. I am writing to you from Russia where I am on sabbatical for the next couple months. I arrived in Russia a couple of weeks ago and it has been great so far. I am currently in Volgograd, which if you are a history buff, is where the epic battle of Stalingrad took place.

Pavlov's House

Pavlov’s House was a fortified apartment building in which Russian soldiers held for 60 days against a heavy Nazi offensive during the Battle of Stalingrad.

The Motherland Calls

The Motherland Calls statue sits on top of Mamayev Kurgan, commemorating the Battle of Stalingrad.

Walking through the city, you see towering apartment complexes, open street markets and the bustling sounds of an urban center. A new stadium, shopping centers and luxury apartment buildings decorate the landscape, while soviet-era statues, buildings, and train cars take you back in time to when it would have been impossible for me to visit here.

Volga River - Volgograd Arena

Cruising down the Volga River with a view of the new Volgograd Arena. The stadium will host 4 World Cup matches next year.

So what am I doing in Russia? I am here to learn about a rich and vibrant culture that is not as distinct from our own as you might think. Being that my wife is from here, I also came to learn more about what made her the rare and beautiful creature that she is. Having her with me has made the transition incredibly easy. She does most of the talking ;).

Soviet Tank

Old Soviet tank from WWII.

Like any sabbatical, I am also working on improving myself and reigniting my creativity. I made a promise to myself that I would do all the things that I say I never have time for back home. This includes reading, writing, drawing, napping (yeah, I said it), and learning Russian. I hope that by the time I get back home I would have ingrained these habits into my life and not gone back to binge watching Netflix.

I will be posting more about my adventures in Russia so be sure to check back. I will also be writing about design and life in general. I will be in Montenegro next week on vacation (Vacation from my sabbatical? How does that work :P).  If you have any book or podcast recommendations send them my way.

You can see and read more about my adventures on twitter(@erickarias) or instagram(eastwood_clique). Cheers!