Working remotely from Georgia – for Lonely Planet

Georgia was ranked the fourth-safest country in the world in 2020 by the quality of life researchers Numbeo, and this is how it feels. The internet is great in Tbilisi – and in the second city, Batumi on the Black Sea – but disappears elsewhere. I learned this the hard way, when I went hiking in the Caucasus Mountains for the weekend, got avalanched-in, and went AWOL from work for two days. … More Working remotely from Georgia – for Lonely Planet

2021 travel guide to St. Petersburg, Russia

St. Petersburg is a gorgeous – and surprisingly boisterous – city full of mesmerising art, impressive history, and unforgettable hospitality. It is one of the world’s great cities. But a trip to Russia can still seem daunting. Luckily for travellers for whom the Winter Palace, Hermitage Museum and Mariinsky Theatre have felt out of reach, Europe’s fourth-largest city is becoming much more accessible. … More 2021 travel guide to St. Petersburg, Russia

A Hundred Years on the Steppe – my translation of a novel by the Kazakh author Bayangali Alimzhanov

‘Grandad! Ata! How did you even stay alive? How did you live to be a hundred in such good health and sound mind?’ my loved ones asked.

‘I’m surprised myself,’ I answered. ‘Probably the Almighty wanted you all to be born, and he had to keep me alive to drag me through the fire and ice of the godless people.’

– Bayangali Alimzhanov – A Hundred Years on the Steppe … More A Hundred Years on the Steppe – my translation of a novel by the Kazakh author Bayangali Alimzhanov

Saying goodbye to Armenia

The next day he drove me south, to Tatev monastery: on the way he gave me time on my own, to explore and contemplate at Khor Virap, climb up the wall of Noravank monastery, and wander through the Zorats Karer stones. These places fascinated me – but more than that, the journey was breathtaking. I am still mesmerised by how the towns of Yeghegnadzor and Vayk felt, and the landscapes we passed between Areni and Tatev. … More Saying goodbye to Armenia