Meet Natasha Zaplatina.
Instagrammer at @adventuresoftherussianspy
This is her story…
I was born in Russia, and moved to Ireland when I was 18. Travelling has always been my biggest passion! I love the exhilaration of being in an unknown place, experiencing different cultures and learning new things. Living in Europe all my life, I’ve always wanted to go to North America. For the longest time it seemed like a dream that may or may not come true, in some very distant future. However, it became a reality much sooner than I expected and in the most unexpected way.
Seven years ago I was working for an international hotel chain in the office based in Ireland. The company had several corporate offices all over the world, one of them located in a small town in Ontario, Canada. My job involved communicating daily with my colleagues in Canada. I never imagined that one of them would become my future husband.
We started off talking (via email) about work, which slowly grew into long conversations about everything in the world. It was amazing how much we had in common. The friendship quickly turned into attraction, and after a few months he asked me if I was interested in coming to Canada.
One of the benefits of working for the company was an opportunity to do an exchange with another office anywhere in the world for up to three months. I got approval from my boss, and a few weeks later I was packing my bags for the most exciting journey I’ve ever taken. The flight to Toronto was one of the most nerve-wracking in my life, and seemed to last an eternity.
We spent an amazing weekend in Toronto, exploring all the sights, and enjoying talking to each other in real life for the first time. Toronto is a fantastic, vibrant, multicultural city, and there is always something new to do. If you are ever in Toronto, be sure to go up on top of CN Tower that offers fantastic views of the city and lake Ontario. Another great thing to do is to visit the Royal Ontario Museum and learn about the native American cultures. Don’t miss beautiful lakeshore with its stunning views, and bustling bars, and then head to the Distillery District for some quirky art galleries, street markets and artisanal stores. If you love theatre, then you are in the right place!
Toronto has a huge theatre scene. Head to King street, which is considered Toronto’s theatre district, as well as home of some of the most amazing restaurants and bars. In fact, one of the highlights of our weekend in Toronto was enjoying Rock Opera “Rock of Ages” at the Royal Alexandra Theatre, and then getting a back stage tour followed by a dinner and drinks with the cast because one of the stars of the show was a good friend of my future husband.
I absolutely love Canada, its stunning nature, warm people and the culture of acceptance and open-mindedness. I’ve seen much of Ontario, and look forward to exploring the rest of the country some day from Vancouver to Newfoundland.
Since that day we met in Toronto, we have moved to a different continent several times, travelled to 15 countries, gotten married and had a beautiful baby boy eight and a half months ago.