I'm one of those who believes that travel can change lives for the better. This is something I learned at the age of 12 when my parents took me to Canada on a road trip. I barely had any sense at that age that the world held so many fascinating cultures and that I could actually see them for myself. Since then, nearly 35 years of travel later, I'm still learning and still exploring and this thrill of discovery is what I want to show my clients.
Having lived, worked and studied in Russia and Ukraine for 11 years, I bring my hard-won insights and my passion for the region to our tours.
What places and activities do you specialize in?
"In Eastern Europe Explorer we specialize in cultural and historical discovery tours. We show you the big sites but our specialty lies in pairing the big sites with the lesser known sites to create a STORY. We give you insight and interpretation. For example, we'll take you to Moscow's Kremlin in the morning, then take you to a hidden illegal Bolshevik printing press where, in 1905, two men printed revolutionary pamphlets in 20 min shifts. It's incredible to think that the power of the Kremlin was ultimately laid low by the efforts of men like these, operating illegal printing presses in sub-basements. That is the interpretation, the story, that will stay with you.
We also focus on cultural immersion. You can learn some Russian, visit a Russian family to learn more about everyday life, and learn how to use the classic Russian banya. All this is rounded off by cooking lessons and walks through the city and the local area where you're staying. "
How did you get involved in travel?
"I started in travel early, thanks to a road trip to Canada. Two years later, aged 14, we went transatlantic to Ireland and the UK and the sense of wonder and the love of exploring cultures has stayed with me."
Please share a unique travel experience you will never forget.
"Travel involves not only looking but also participating. As a historian, I look for travel experiences that have a connection to the past, to deepen my understanding of the past as well as of the culture I'm immersed in. Last winter, I had the chance to ride in a WW2 era Soviet T-34 tank, in Russia in the winter, on the old battlefields of 1941. Its one thing to read about that conflict, another to feel the hot engine at your back, be jarred around inside the turret as the tank drove over ditches and holes and feel how tight and confined the space was. I imagined shouting orders under fire, aiming the gun and trying to understand, through the limited field of vision offered by the tanks viewports, how I could have controlled the battlefield in front of me. Driving the tank is a heavy physical job and doing it in these conditions of peace was hard enough. Driving in and fighting from a T-34 in wartime must have been extraordinarily difficult. This travel experience taught me more about conditions faced by soldiers in WW2 than nearly any book I had ever read. This is the power of travel. To see, to experience, to learn from other cultures and other times. "
Recent trip reviews for Sean
Trip to russia, Russia - Jun 1 - Jun 2, 2018
Sean & his wife Ulyana Eastern Europe Explorer were absolutely brilliant! I gave Sean what I thought was an impossible dream at last moment & he turned it into a great adventure! We had all information upfront & detailed - all we had to do was physically execute & then RELAX & enjoy! All contacts were knowledgeable & professional-HIGHLY RECOMMEND!