Journal, Travel

FIFA World Cup Russia Travel Journal: Day 1

This post is copied from the journal I kept while traveling in Russia with the intention of being able to look back at it years later and be able to remember small, long-since forgotten memories of my first international trip and dream come true. 

It is raw and unedited with the exception of changing my husband’s name. Some posts in this series may be very short, some may be too detailed and some may be flat out unentertaining. I may interchange past and present tenses, have run-on sentences, have strange wording and just generally not meet my usual writing standards.

The experiences and thoughts I share are those of a sheltered, small-town southern girl, and what I mean to relay by this statement is that my observations while traveling to, in and from Russia may not be specific to the cities, countries, cultures and/or people I mention.

The FIFA World Cup is the largest sporting event in the world and therefore brings together people of different races, nationalities, cultures and backgrounds. I may reference these races, nationalities and cultures when talking about people and situations I witnessed and do not intend to stereotype or offend anyone.


We’ve made it through security and are sitting at Gate A1 at the Nashville airport. I’m surrounded by blue and red seated and cheap, commercial carpeting. There are no phone chargers, and the free WiFi does not seem to be working. This airport is much smaller and less busy than I expected, especially compared to Charlotte.

I am caddy-corner to four Asians who are talking loudly and playing strange songs on their phones, one of which said, “I want to be your penguin.” I glanced over, and it stopped shortly after.

Our backpacks are heavy, especially the 30L day bag holding all of our electronics. I feel bad for Ron having to carry it in addition to his 46L backpack, but there really is no other way.

It still hasn’t quite hit me yet that this is actually happening. Maybe when we get to Toronto.

7:30 and we’ve landed in Toronto. I had no idea the airport here is so huge. I mean crazy huge. And there are so many foreigners, and no one is as polite as I am accustomed to in southeast USA. I guess this is what I get for being so surprised at the last airport. Ron and I consider most of these people to be rude, but maybe that’s just how most people are.

It’s starting to be more real now that we’re out of the country and officially have no cell service. And of course, the wi-fi sucks so we can’t connect.

At this airport, I am surrounded by very trendy tables with iPads for everyone’s use. They’re basically just fancy menus and airport updates. It’s nice to sit and relax for the next couple hours though.

I can’t believe tomorrow we’ll be in Istanbul. Seeing so many people dressed in their country’s World Cup colors makes me so excited. We wanted to wear Denmark stuff, but we didn’t want to look like tourists.


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