Here at Real Russia we have a well-established team of highly experienced specialists, who are happy to give independent, expert advice and assistance with your travel needs, or find your perfect destination within Russia and the surrounding countries. Over the next months we will be introducing you to the people that make Real Russia special, the Real Russia team. You may know them from email or by telephone conversations, you might not, but these are the people who ensure that you have an unforgettable journey.
Meet our team and find out more about their interests, favorite destinations and their work.
Today let us introduce Doina, a Travel Specialist and sometime marketer in the Real Russia team.
One of our expert Travel Specialists based in Romania, Doina joined our team in 2013. Doina was born and raised in Moldova, moving to Romania in 2010. Doina has a Master’s Degree in Educational Psychology, and in her free time she likes to volunteer for causes that involve education and children rights.
Doina loves all forms of travel and tourism, and shares these adventures via her very own travel blog https://trip-seat.blogspot.co.uk as she goes. She is keen on biking, healthy food and living a healthy lifestyle.
How many countries have you visited so far, and what were your favourites?
I have visited 13 countries and counting. The first country I visited was the USA. When I was 17, I got a scholarship to America and had a chance to discover that country for myself, and the passion fortravel came with it. This was the ticking that woke up my passion to travel, to experience, to get to know other cultures other than mine.
Among the countries that I have visited, I mostly enjoyed Hungary, Montenegro and Germany. Of course, Romania is an amazing country as well.
How have your travel experiences shaped you?
I learnt not to judge a book by its cover. I always try to know others from a different perspective, not only from the one your culture is providing. I enjoy travelling, never mind if my travel plans sometimes go wrong. Take the experiences as they come, do not have high or low expectations, just go with the flow and you will see how amazing it is to see that people are different. It is so great to share the cultural differences; any different beliefs and life experiences. And, happily, you do not need a lot of money to travel! Most of the experiences are costless, it implies only your will, time and how open you are to adventures. Get ready to get lost.
What is your most memorable trip?
I have been to the USA a few times, and this country never fails to surprise me. The most memorable experience was sipping my favourite tea in a local restaurant, with the amazing view of the Grand Canyon.
What places are on your bucket list?
South America and Russia. And in this year – a road trip in California. I will go from South to North through the national parks.
South America has been on my bucket list since I was in school, learning about it in geography class. As I am passionate about history and culture, I have always wanted to visit the City of the Incas, spend time with the indigenous people. I want a glimpse of the Latin life, a day to day life. Their music, food and places seem unique to me, full of positive vibes and colours. And another thing on my list in South America is Lake Titicaca in Peru. You can see the Milky way from there! And I need to get to the Carnival in Brazil, for sure! It describes in full the Brazilian culture: happy and entertaining.
I would like to visit Russia, mainly St. Petersburg due to the historical reasons, splendid architecture and arts. My mother did her studies in St. Petersburg, when Moldova was a part of the USSR. She was always fascinated by that city and told me how beautiful and charming it is.
Describe what your dream holiday would be in three words.
Hiking, biking and seaside!
Grand Canyon, USA
What do Real Russia customers look for from their trips?
Most customers want to experience the Russian lifestyle, traditions and customs. We have a very interesting excursion we recommend in this case, it is called ‘Dinner with a Local Family’. I have had a few customers say that it was so much fun, and the cultural exchange was marvellous.
People are enthusiastic about train journeys, including the Trans-Siberian railway. They are taking a once in a lifetime trip and they are looking for authenticity, traditions, roots. For example, I had a customer from New York, who saw a cow for the first time in his life, and that was in Russia. People are curious about the lifestyle of small communities in Siberia. We have a lot of customers that travel further than Listvyanka, near lake Baikal, for example. They get to Olkhon Island. They visit the Old Believers in Ulan-Ude, where they are excited about the traditional clothes and rituals, like greeting guests with wine, salt and bread. These are some traditions that the globalized countries do not have nowadays.
You speak very passionately about the customers’ experience. What is most rewarding about your job?
When customers are writing back to me to provide me feedback about their experience, and to hear they had an amazing journey. People are charmed in Mongolia. Sleeping in a ger, horse riding, camel riding; some even have the chance to hug the goats. In China, most customers are fascinated by the Great Wall, the Summer palace, the Forbidden City and Tiananmen square. It is a pleasure to read their feedback and feel that you, in a way, have helped them to create wonderful memories.
Eventually, many customers become your friends because, when they book a tour, you are in a close dialog with them that can last for several months, even up to one year; so it is a lot of communication back and forth.
Helping people travel is opening the gates of adventure, where booking it is like my own booking. Making a future traveller happy, and ensuring that their experience will be marvellous, and they will get the best from their trip, acknowledgment from the delighted customers – it all makes my work rewarding and enjoyable.
We look forward to introducing you to another member of our amazing team soon. Click here to know more about our team.
If you wold like a helping hand in designing your perfect travel itinerary, or anything from train booking to applying for a visa, please contact our travel specialists.