Photobook Interviews: Roman Tesolkin

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Roman is a traveller from Ukraine. By profession, he is a translator and instructional designer, but as Photobook Worldwide discovered, he is an avid traveler, backpacking his way through the world.

We caught up with him and asked him to share some of his experiences with us.

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Tell us about yourself. What should we know about you?

My name is Roman, I am 24 years old and I am from Ukraine. I got my Masters Degree for Finance back in 2014 from Kharkiv National University of Economics. Thanks to an international NGO student organization, for the last year I have been working in Mumbai, India, as a translator and instructional designer for an IT company. However I’ve been taking whatever opportunity I can find to get out there and travel the world. Travel has always been my passion, and I’ve had the pleasure of working and volunteering in different parts of the world such as America, Canada, Japan, Cambodia and Malaysia to name a few.

 

How long have you been travelling? How would you say you have changed through the years since you first left your front door?
My first taste of travel and adventure was back when I was 20. It was in Alaska, America, working at a fish factory as part of a student exchange program Work & Travel USA. I fell hard for it. The opportunity changed my attitude and my worldview, making me re-examine how I perceive the many different people and places. It changed my life. I became a completely different person, completely independant and free, earning my own money, working, traveling and living thousands kilometers from my motherland.

I went back to Ukraine soon after to continue my studies, but I already knew that I wouldn’t be able to sit still for more than a year. Surely enough, I flew out at the first chance I got – visiting Russia, India, Japan, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Thailand to name a few.

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The last time I was in Ukraine was in June 2014. I’ve been living in Mumbai, India, one of the most overcrowded and fastest developing cities in the world. I guess I would say I grew up there than all the years I spent at home. I made friends all over the world, shared a roof with different people from all the continents, cooked African meals, danced Latin-American dances and sang Japanese karaoke. It’s an incomparable experience, one I wish everyone could try, especially in a beautiful and unpredictable country like India.

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Life sometimes sneaks up and surprises us when we least expect it. What’s your definition of an amazing moment?
An amazing moment for me is – when I’m feeling real freedom. Like when I crossed the entire country from South to North in a general compartment in an overcrowded Indian train, riding a motorbike across different states with a few dollars in your pocket, making new friends and meeting old ones as well as seeing life and landscapes (all of which would’ve only been seen on TV). Then there are the moments like trying to communicate to locals without a common language and feasting on random street food, all without borders and limitations.

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You take plenty of photos in your travels. How do you share it with your loved ones?
Apart from social media, I actually prefer smaller sized Photobooks as a way for me to share my travels with friends and family. It’s easier for me carry around since I’m on the move all the time. It’s got that memorable feel about it. Plus I save a lot on baggag
e fees when I have the albums on me. I like how I can segment each different leg of my adventures into different albums and line it up on my shelf chronologically. The line up of my travels sort of gives me a sweet satisfaction.
I’m hoping to enlarge my collection.

*Editors Note – Photobook has a category solely dedicated to Travel – See it HERE.

 

What’s next on your to-do list?Banner-4
After properly living abroad for the past 18 months, I want to spend time with family and friends while applying for a job in Ukraine or overseas. The free time ought to be good to pick up new languages, which would be useful for my next trip. The important thing is to keep working hard, to not rest on our laurels and always move forward.

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Follow Roman on his Facebook page (Roman Tesolkin) or check him out on Instagram romateselkin!

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