How to organize traveler’s community in Lviv and visit exotic countries? Arsen Chystyakov and Natalia Fedorova do it. They organize Lviv Travel Club community, which involves more than six thousand people. Every week, they have meetings with travelers talking about their experience and share advice on independent travel. How to combine travel with IT, read the interview with interesting people of Cluster!
Arsen is a python developer at Lohika, and Natalia is QA at Intellias. They joined Lviv Travel Club, when there were only a dozen people who met at a cafe. They talked about their travels and shared tips and ideas for future trips. Over time, the community has grown to several hundred people, so it needed a bigger location. Lohika offered its office so the travelers could meet there.
«Lviv Travel Club is a club of interests, and we want to make people acquainted,» says Arsen. For this, community organizes joint travels, and anyone who travels outside the box can share their own experiences. Organizers choose different countries and different aspects of travelling so speakers receive different advice.
Arsen and Natalia also travel frequently, visiting rather unusual locations. “We do not have many days off, so we usually plan everything carefully,» says Arsen, «We choose days and look for the tickets. When buying a few months in advance, one can really save on flights.”
“We look at the tickets and select the dates when we can fly,» adds Natalia, «We have a map of places, that we want to see. Arsene is looking for how to get there, and I search where to live.” She continues: “We usually travel when there are few tourists. However, there are some nuances, for example, the country may have its hottest or rainy season.” This is how the couple went to see the Great Wall of China selecting a place where tourists do not get.
When a couple goes somewhere, they look for locals who can tell about the country beforehand. “Soon, we will go to Iran, and we are communicating with an Iranian who studies in Canada, speaks fluent Ukrainian, and talks about his country. For example, he advises us not to go there in Ramadan,” says Arsen. Travelers never rely on the Internet and look for lots of information about the country before they get there.
Among all the countries the couple visited, both liked Indonesia the most. “This is truly a very sincere and smiling country where people are just trying to be positive,” says Arsen. “If you evaluate a country based on “people-architecture-nature”, then Indonesia has everything,” adds Natalia.
Lviv Travel Club helped the organizers not only to build great community, but also learn a lot. “I met with many travelers, learned about their traveling preferences and something new about different countries,” says Arsen. “Lviv Travel Club helped me to overcome fears that sometimes arise when thinking about traveling to a new country. Looking at the people who sometimes do not plan anything, but still travel well, I feel how fear disappears. ”
Although people often think it is the best to travel alone, the couple happily travels together. “We have the same interests. We can wake up at night to see everything in a new country,” summarizes Arsen.