My name is Victor Tribunsky. I am a 50+ man who worked and studied all my life to make some money and raise my sons. Now that they are grown and live without father’s help, I have the opportunity to see the world.
Writing about yourself is always a challenge, but GoAbroad.com helped me.
You can read my interview for them below.
Who is Victor Tribunsky?
He is a 50+ man who worked and studied all his life to make some money and raise his sons. Now that they are grown and live without father’s help, he has the opportunity to see the world with the financial help of the family micro business. After three or four trips he started the “Victor Travel Blog” to share with the world his impressions in the form of stories and photos.
What is your favourite blog entry?
I often ask myself this question too. You know, if you ask any writer about his favourite story he will name the most unpopular one and, of course, not the best selling. I am no different in this; my favourite blog post is the one about talking with Venice, yes, talking with; not the story about. The city of Venice seemed to me like a woman—alive and beautiful, but very old and sick. I wrote my conversation with her right there, on one of her channels.
You and your wife make short international trips four or five times a year. How do you prepare for your travels?
Initially, we went to a desired place, explored it, took photos, and only during the journey, or after it, learned something interesting about the place. Once, I proposed to Irina that we first study the historical facts and all available information about the next destination and then visit the place. It turned out that, in this way I had much deeper and stronger feelings about the place, and was able to write a better blog post. This practice started with the visit to the ruins of the castle Peyrepertuse (France)—which has a very dramatic and bloody history—and continues to this day.
You have travelled to 22 countries. Which country has made the biggest impression on you?
If you had asked me this question five or six years ago, the answer would have been very simple: the Maldives. However, now I could not answer without hesitation. Biggest impression? In which aspect: living conditions, business, sightseeing, or cuisine? Moreover, now I understand that even some regions within one country can be very different in all senses. Now specifically: which region or city has made a biggest impression on me and why?
- Bruges, Belgium. I could live here, do some business, and enjoy the history and architecture of this place. Bruges is my favourite city. However, cuisine and climate are mediocre here, and I did not like the capital, Brussels.
- The Maldives. This is a real paradise for everyone: sun, weather, ocean with plenty of underwater life, etc., but I could not live here and do business because I understand that this place is a paradise only for tourists. Locals live here as in a big cage, and sooner or later all this will be exploded by a revolution or something else.
- Rome and Italy. All is wonderful here: smiling people, bright sun, comfortable weather, mind-boggling cuisine, the richest historical heritage, but the concept of “order” is not very familiar to Italians, so it is hard to do business here. At least, it feels that way to me.
- France and Spain. They have very interesting history, which produces a great impression on me every time I visit, but the cuisine, climate, and people are very different from region to region, so you must choose the place for living or business very carefully in these countries.
These are only my subjective impressions of some countries, but I am afraid to tire your readers.
You are a fitness instructor. How do you stay in shape while travelling abroad?
There are two components for allowing you to maintain a good shape: proper nutrition and the right physical activity. Good nutrition—abroad, at home, or anywhere else—means meat/poultry/fish, green vegetables, all kinds of fruits, some white or red wine, and coffee or tea. As you can see, there are no bread and burgers, no sweets and desserts, no beer and cola, no side dishes of potato, rice or pasta. In short, no junk food.
The second component, physical activity, is a very simple thing in our case. If it is the Maldives, then four or five hours of snorkeling every day; Europe—exploring the medieval ruins or castles which can mean many hours of climbing the mountains; old cities—sightseeing (sometimes it is 15-20 kilometres of walking in a day). Just image three to four hours of walking on a treadmill in your fitness centre!
Travelling gets you out of your desk and moving around, but it also means eating and drinking the local cuisine. What should every traveller do to stay in shape on the road?
This question is similar to previous one, but I have a few amendments. Of course, it is nearly impossible to eat “clear” abroad if you are a real explorer and don’t want to miss something from the local cuisine, but as the British say, “You don’t need to eat the whole egg to know that it is addled.” In our case that means you need not eat all of a local dish to understand that it is wonderful. Try a little piece and stop. Torture? Yes, but who said a blogger’s life is paradise?
How can you not try an ice-cream in Bologna, Italy, home of the only Gelato University in the world? How can you not try jamón in Spain if the Spanish say it is the best in the world (unless they have tried Prosciutto)? Beer and sausages in Bavaria, cheeses in France, pizza in Italy, dumplings from three kinds of meat in Russia, hummus in Israel? All this is worth a taste, but not eating in most cases.
However, I will tell you confidentially this is an ideal scenario. In real life, we often bring along a little of extra weight and then fight it ruthlessly in the gym.
You are drawn to medieval and ancient cities. What attracts you to these historical destinations?
It is like asking a fisherman why he likes fishing. I’ve liked history since childhood. I’ve read all the myths of Ancient Greece and all ancient history (you can look at the photo of my childish drawings in my blog post about 300 Spartans), then the history of the Roman Empire and the Dark Ages. Do you know what my first computer game was? Age of Empires.
I collected postage stamps depicting the medieval knights; now I come back from every trip with a new tin knight. I like the history of Europe and cannot say why, but I know for sure that the history of Japan or India, for example, is not interesting for me.
You travel with your wife. What are the advantages/challenges of travelling with your partner?
Advantages? You have safe sex whenever you want it. The rest are only challenges. Just kidding. Of course, there are more advantages than challenges. If your interests coincide, you are the happiest couple in the world. Happiness is a life with somebody who understands you and needs you.
Challenges? Well, only one: your travels are more expensive.
Do you ever disagree on destinations? What is your next destination?
My wife is developing a plan for next year and we will discuss it, change and refine it. When it is approved in the family council, Irina starts to buy tickets, rent cars, and to book hotels in advance (sometimes it is half the price).
Our next travels will be very adventurous. We’ll fly to Portugal where we’ll visit the underground palace of the Rosicrucian Order, the old chapel made from human bones, the abandoned Capuchin monastery, and the abandoned Templar fortress located on the island. The most interesting thing is that there is no river crossing available, so we will take a rubber inflatable boat with us. By the way, it will be in January. Lord, help us.
Thank you for the interview. These were very interesting questions.