The cat’s finally out of the bag! I’ve teamed up with United Tours Russia to put together one of the most unique and exciting travel projects I’ve been a part of – and you’re the first one to find out all about it! If you like the sound of setting off on one of the greatest journeys on Earth while venturing into the world of self-development, keep reading!
Since its creation, A Girl Who Travels has been more than just a platform where I write about beautiful destinations – to me, the most wonderful part of travel is the journey – not just the one that takes you to far away places but the journey you take within yourself. I see travel as an incredible self-development tool which changed my life in ways I never thought possible, from working 9-5 to becoming my own boss and creating a life filled with passion and a deep sense of purpose.
It’s been my goal to show you how travel and following your passion can transform your life, and while sharing my thoughts and experiences on A Girl Who Travels has been incredibly rewarding, there’s always been something missing…
I’ve never had the chance to share all this in person!
The exciting news is that it’s all about to change.
A_Journey to Remember is a series of travel blogging and self-development master classes, ran by yours truly, combined with travelling on the legendary Trans-Siberian railway. For 15 days, the ten of you who decide to join will be exploring incredible destinations and dipping your toes in the Russian culture – from visiting St Petersburg, cooking up a storm while learning about Tatar cuisine in Kazan, to trekking across the ancient Lake Baikal.
The trip combines the two things that have been the very core of A Girl Who Travels – adventure and self-development, and I do hope you’re as excited about it as I am!
We’ll explore the power of mindset and the importance of living purposefully; get ready to venture into the world of travel blogging, and make a step towards quitting your job and being your own boss. All this while being a part of one of the most fascinating train journeys on Earth!
15 days of Trans-Siberian rail travel. 7 amazing destinations. Master classes along the way. Join the adventure!
To add to the experience, we’ll be accompanied by an English-speaking guide and a videographer (because, let’s face it, our adventure wouldn’t be complete if you didn’t make your friends jealous with those perfect Facebook shots ;).
Now, let’s get into details!
What will we see?
Our journey will begin on 15th July in St Petersburg and end on 29th July in Irkutsk in Eastern Siberia. On the 29th you can either catch a flight back home or continue the journey on your own, venturing further East or even to Mongolia!
We will get to explore eight amazing destinations and spend enough time in each of them to get a true taste of the Russian culture. To see a day-by-day itinerary, head to United Tours’ website – it’s jam-packed with a wonderful mix of travel experiences and classes – I can’t wait for you to have a look!
What will we learn?
Now to the most exciting part – the master classes programme! There will be four classes in total, coupled with workshops. Have a look at the travel itinerary to see how we spaced them out.
From the dream to reality: How to quit your job and travel the world (without losing your mind and money)
I’ve designed this class to provide guidance to those of you dreaming of quitting your office job in the pursuit of something bigger – becoming your own boss and travelling the world in the process! I will arm you with effective strategies, hands-on advice and encouragement to help you successfully launch yourself into self-employment, complete with tips and tricks on leading a digital nomad lifestyle and combining it with managing your career.
The power of mindset: Programming your mind for happiness and success
We will focus on exploring the importance of mindset and attitude in achieving your goals, together with the power of affirmations and positivity. The subject of this class is very close to my heart as it’s based on the idea that our thoughts, and hence the way we respond to what happens to us in life, have the power to create and shape our reality, which effectively becomes our life.
The class is rooted in the importance of realising that our life and dreams are 100% our responsibility. The realisation that we are the sole creators of our life and path is incredibly powerful – only once we begin to accept that that our happiness lies, quite literally, in our own hands, can we then take the necessary steps to turn our dreams into reality.
We will explore strategies that will help you programme your mind for success, get you to stay motivated and inspired, including a breakdown of powerful daily actions that will help transform your life, one step at a time!
This class is perfect for those who either want to start blogging or bring their blog/Instagram to another level. From the very basics including finding your niche and building your following to content planning and monetisation, you’ll walk away with a list of clearly defined points on how to take your blog from an idea to reality.
The Story behind the picture: Conscious living through travel and the importance of living purposefully
If you’re not quite ready to quit your job and focus on long-term travel and instead want to learn how to bring more fulfilment and inspiration into your daily life, this class is for you! We’ll examine what it means to live consciously and passionately, talk about the importance of having a clear purpose (be it behind our travels or your daily life) and explore ways of changing our life so that it’s filled with passion, motivation, and a little bit of magic.
How will we travel?
Those of you who’ve been dreaming of going on a Trans-Siberian journey know that while it’s an incredible adventure, it’s by no means a luxury trip – however, that’s precisely where its charm lies.
We originally planned the trip to last 21 days but a lot of you couldn’t make it because of the time constraints – so of course, we listened and changed the dates so that none of you misses out on this amazing experience. As a result, a short part of the trip will include flights (Kazan to Novosibirsk and Novosibirsk to Irkutsk) but fear not – rail travel will remain our primary focus!
Since this will be my first time travelling across Russia and we’ll be spending a lot of time on the train, I did a bit of Google digging to find out more about the railway experience.
As it turns out, Trans-Siberian Railway trains, and Russian trains in general, are divided into the following classes:
- Plackarta – carriages with open-space compartments, usually with 6 couchettes in each
- Kupe – carriages with locked 4-person compartments
- Lux (CB) – carriages with locked 2-person compartments
- VIP – carriages with locked 2- or 3 –person compartments with a private bathroom, TV, AC and sometimes even fresh flowers!
During our trip, we will travel in Kupe and Plackarta.
In terms of accommodation, it’s going to be a bit of a mix as United Tours will be booking us into hotels, hotels and guesthouses which will be confirmed closer to the time.
What makes this trip different?
Aside from combining one of the most fascinating journeys on Earth with a series of self-development master classes, the uniqueness of this trip lies in the very approach adopted by United Tours. In the words of the company’s founder, Julia:
Our Trans-Siberian trips were designed for travelers by travelers to encourage more foreign visits to Russia. Our goal is to open the biggest country in the world from a deeper, local perspective instead of offering a package deal filled with cliches. We want our trips to showcase the multicultural and multireligious side of Russia.
During the journey, you will be accompanied by a local guide who will take care of any challenges you may meet along the way – from the langauge barrier to vising hidden gems that are otherwise easy to overlook.
Also, the price that we offer is the most competitive for this kind of a trip. For the same amount of money, other companies will most likley offer you a week long trip, where you’ll be travelling by yoursel, watching the country from the window of the train instead of experiencing what it has to offer.
Costs + the small print
Let’s talk costs! The total price for the trip is 140 000 rubles which equals to roughly $2,550 (depending on the exchange rate). Now, bear in mind that the price includes 15 days of travel as well as the following:
What’s included in the price
- Train tickets along the journey
- Flight tickets from Kazan to Novosibirsk and from Novosibirsk to Irkutsk
- Transfer from airport/train station to hostel in St.Petersburg
- Accommodation in hotels, hostels and guesthouses (some of them include breakfast)
- Meals included in Altai and Baikal
- Master classes and workshops with yours truly ♥
- Local English-speaking guide throughout the journey
- Photographer and videographer throughout the journey
- City guided tours, including: Peterhof tour in Saint-Petersburg, a 3 day tour in the Altai Moutains, 3 day tour of Lake Baikal and the welcome dinner
- A special surprise bonus from United Tours
- Visa invitation to Russia
What’s not included
- Meals and snacks that haven’t been listed above – United Tours recommend bringing 15-20,000 rubles ($260-345) to spend on food
- Flight to St.Petersburg and the flight from Irkutsk
- Travel and health insurance
- Visa fee in your Embassy
- 10 people on first-come, first-served basis – be sure to book soon so you don’t miss out!
- **Disclaimer** Based on United Tours policy, the trip will go ahead only when 10 people make a booking by 27th May 2017.
- 50% deposit is required at the time of booking (the rest to be paid once you’re in Russia) – you are welcome to pay in USD, although the payment terms are to be discussed with United Tours
- The tour needs to be booked 60 days before the start date on 15th July
- 61 or more days before departure – 20% of the package fee will be charged.
- 60-46 days before departure – 35% of the package fee will be charged.
- 45 days or less before departure or no-show – 50% of the package fee will be charged.
Bookings and payments are handled by United Tours who are also the ones in organising the trip – keep reading to learn how to book!
How to Book
United Tours are in charge of preparing and organising our fabulous adventure, so if you’re interested in booking the trip (which I really hope you are!), head to their site to make an enquiry.
Otherwise, you can contact Julia, the organiser, on:
+7 911 010 7471 (What’s App, Viber, Telegram)
Needless to say, if you have any questions, be it about the master classes or the trip itself, feel free to drop me a line on [email protected] . Alternatively, you’re welcome to DM me on Instagram, Facebook or just leave a message in the comments below.
I can’t wait to hear from you – hope to see you in Russia! Скоро увидимся!