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Sit before You Go: A Russian Travel Tradition

Confused cat on couch: Why do you have to sit before you go?

The first time my wife and I traveled on a long trip together, our bags were packed by the door, we were ready to go, and I reached for the door handle. She grabbed my arm and led me to the couch. “Let’s sit.”

Wha-a-a-a? We’re ready to go. Our bags are packed. All we have to do is get them down the stairs and into the car. Let’s go catch our flight. Of course, I didn’t say any of that the first time. I just sat there bored and then asked why we would do that. It was only 30 seconds or a minute, but time is money.

She said, “That’s what we do in Russia.”

Okay, so it’s a cultural thing. In America, we’re in a rush to get away from whatever place we’re at and to get to whatever place we’re going. In Russia, things are different.

I don’t think I’m getting any better at sitting before I go. I try, but sometimes, I fail. I need to remember that there are more important things in life than getting to the next thing. Dwelling on a moment of quiet before a long, stressful trip begins is a good way to get that trip started off correctly. Take a deep breath, center myself, and take in one, possible last, moment in the place where I am. Once I get to that point, I can move to the American in me and rush to the next destination.

This came to mind because my wife and I are traveling to the U.S. We’re going to get there with four suitcases, two carry-ons, and a cat. If you’d to help us out, join our Patreon, share this website, or buy a book. Thanks for the support and caring; every page view counts.

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