100th Issue Special: For the Love of Private Pursuits

Travelling to fulfill lifelong pursuits isn't unheard of: whether it's a childhood dream to trail across the former Soviet Union or turning 30 in front of a favourite van Gogh painting in Amsterdam.  
100th Issue Special: For the Love of Sublime Food
A writer embarked on a lifelong pursuit: a treasure hunt trailing the 15 former Soviet Republics, which manifested into a gap year in Russia. Photo By: Photogid/Shutterstock

36. Stamping Through the Soviet

I was six when the Soviet Union collapsed, throwing my young mind into a panic. Would the map have a hole now; would the globe look like an eaten-out apple? The now-hilarious mental images birthed my lifelong pursuit: a treasure hunt trailing the 15 former Soviet Republics, which first manifested as a gap year in Russia. Kicking up dust on horseback in Kyrgyzstan, touring the KGB building in Latvia, and exploring Silk Road sites in Uzbekistan, the memories stacked up. The deliciousness of my discoveries were also flavoured by succulent kebabs in Azerbaijan, potato pancakes in Belarus, and Armenian cognac. But I’m not done yet; two more stamps to collect before I can rest my obsession.

—Aanchal Anand

 

This entry is a part of our 100th issue special: 100 reasons to love travel spread out across 14 varied categories. Read all 100 entries on our digital forum or new National Geographic Traveller India app here.

Psst. Want a weekly dose of travel inspiration in your inbox?