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Go on a journey through Russia and into your inner self with a voyage on the Transiberian train

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It has been more than six months since I travelled to one of the coldest places in the world. Many times I tried to sit down and write a summary of what I was able to take away from my journey on the longest railway line in the world, the Trans-Siberian Railway.

It dawned on me however, that a true journey of discovery is not so much about exploring new lands, but new perspectives...

Its main route – from Moscow through Nizhniy Novgorod, Omsk, Krasnoyarsk, and Irkutsk to Vladivostok – runs through eight time zones and is 9288.8 kilometres (5771.8 miles) in length. After months of reflecting on my experience, I dare say it is not only a journey across the vastness of Russia, but also a journey of self-discovery.

Although the Trans-Siberian Railway was originally built primarily for practical reasons - as a means of transporting goods within Russia - it became something much more than merely a train carrying various wares. Siberia, associated mainly with extremely cold winters, is also distinguished by the beauty of the local nature. The Trans-Siberian Railway offers the inhabitants of small towns along the railway line a way to communicate with the rest of Russia, a no small feat, considering it’s the largest country in the world. It is a local symbol of hope, and perhaps an example of a shared cultural identity.

From the plains of Mongolia to the snow-capped peaks of Siberia – the Trans-Siberian Railway has a lot to offer, but not only to aficionados of mesmerising views. Life on board the Trans-Siberian Railway is an important aspect of the journey to consider as well – you’ll spend your time eating, reading, perhaps even dreaming of having a hot shower or a homemade meal. As the saying goes. ‘It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey’. Travelling on the Trans-Siberian Railway is all slowing down a little bit to simply enjoy the moment and become more open to what life, with all its unpredictability, has in store for you. It’s a wonderful way to get to know the world around you and learn something new about yourself.

Travelling across Russia on board the Trans-Siberian Railways is first and foremost a challenge to overcome oneself. You spend 24 hours a day with your own thoughts, sometimes with no privacy, hygiene, shower and a lack of space. After six months of pondering on my journey, I reached the conclusion that it was a different form of travel. A travel deep into the unknown and unexplored areas of your inner self. What can I say, it was tough, but what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. If you feel ready to explore not only Russia, but yourself, exchange your pounds for roubles and set off on one of the most beautiful life journeys you can ever make – a journey into the unknown.

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