My Lithuania 25th Anniversary

This month is the 25th anniversary of my first visit to Lithuania.  In July 1986, I traveled to the Soviet Union with a student tour group.  I was getting a bachelor’s degree in Russian and East European Studies and expected to see Moscow and Leningrad and, well, Russia.  I did visit Leningrad, but Intourist — the official and only Soviet tourist agency — sent me also to Tallinn, Riga and Vilnius.  At the time, I didn’t know anything about the Baltic countries.  That visit, however, prompted me to start learning about them.  And that was how it all started…

I came back to Lithuania in 1992 for a language course and in 1993-1994 to do research for my master’s thesis.  I returned in the summer of 2007 — retracing my 1986 steps in reverse from Vilnius to Riga to Tallinn.  As my faithful readers know, I spent 9 months in Lithuania in 2009 conducting dissertation research and now I’m back again.

Twenty-five years, six trips.  I’ve experienced Soviet Lithuania, post-Soviet Lithuania and Lithuania in the European Union.  It’s been quite a journey for Lithuania and for me.  I don’t know what the post-Ph.D. future holds, but I am sure that it will include more adventures in Lithuania.

Four Americans and our Estonian tour guide in front of the Cathedral in Vilnius, July 1986

 

About amanda

Creating academic and public environments for the humanities to flourish Researching Soviet and Eastern European history Engaging people and ideas as a writer and interviewer Traveling as much as possible View all posts by amanda

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