I got to take two great trips with other Peace Corps volunteers this summer – one to Odessa, Ukraine to do some lounging by the Black Sea, and the other to Helsinki, Finland where a few friends of mine were running their first marathon.
A group of us went to Odessa in July. It was beautiful, relaxing, fun, and filled with lots of sushi-eating. Our hostel situation got a little tricky when they only reserved six beds instead of the nine we requested, but luckily we’re Peace Corps volunteers and flexibility is in our blood. Six of us ended up sharing the bottom bunks of the three bunk beds they set aside for us. Quite the experience. We swam in the Black Sea, soaked in the beautiful beachside pools, enjoyed some tropical drinks, and went out dancing. Granted, everything was in Russian, and there wasn’t a whole lot of English around, so that certainly challenged our charades skills, but somehow we managed. I didn’t take many pictures, but I threw a few together that will hopefully give a vague idea of how we spent our weekend.
Then there was Helsinki this month. The weather was amazing, in the 60s. We took a boat tour, ate great food, I wandered around the city while my colleagues were exhausting their leg muscles for 26 miles, went out to celebrate their impressive physical feat, went to an aquarium, an amusement park, and stayed in at hostel right next to the Olympic stadium from the 80s. It was a fantastic trip. Fantastic.
My next trip, in September,will take me to Istanbul, Turkey, where I’ll meet up with a friend of mine from back in the States! Absolutely looking forward to that!