Through the values of hard work and intense focus, I’ve been privileged to be able to explore the world. Nothing is impossible if you are willing to put in the hours and dedication. I didn’t leave a lucrative career in the search of greater meaning through travel — instead, I have built a career that I am intensely proud of, and which supports and funds my traveling. I travel, but I also have a job, bills, and responsibilities. I find that my appreciation for my trips is so much greater when it is a special part of my life, something that I have worked hard for. In my day job, I work with brands to develop their web presence and brand design. I am passionate about guiding my clients through branding, optimization, sales copy, graphic design, and typography. Their continued success is my success, and I can honestly say that I love my job! I also have a background in fashion and editorial styling — my work has been published and I had a regular fashion column in my home country . This experience has cultivated a love of aesthetics and photography that continues in my present life. Growing up in Russia, I had parents who knew the value of travel and experiences. They sent me to study abroad throughout my school years and I was able to live as an exchange student in many countries, including the United Kingdom, Bulgaria, Belgium, France, and Italy. Living with host families and immersing myself in cultures different from my own sparked a love of travel and exploration that has remained with me throughout my life. During a summer studying abroad in the USA, I fell in love with the country and spent the following three years traveling back and forth before finally deciding to move there permanently. I lived for almost a decade in Kansas City, which left me with a laid-back midwestern style. Combined with my natural free-spiritedness, it’s a deadly combination! I am now based in Miami Beach and I couldn’t be happier. Loving the place that I live helps to balance my traveling life — it is never hard to come home! This isn’t a travel blog that will tell you how to leave everything behind and follow the siren call of travel and I’m not a travel blogger who spends their entire life on the road or in the air. But what this blog will show you is how it is possible to cultivate a deep love of traveling the world, while also living a life that allows you to make those incredible memories. I want to share with my readers an appreciation for a country’s beauty beyond the buildings that line the streets — exploring a country’s vibrant culture and visiting with the people allows a much deeper connection while traveling. I think my experience of living with local host families while studying as an exchange student taught me many lessons about how to get to know a culture through its people. I collect memories, not countries.