2013 is going to be an extremely busy year for me. Not only is it the third year for my newly founded charity, Snagging Baseballs for Puppies, but I’m also donating some of my personal time to help out at the Seattle Humane Society shelter. It’s a six month committment. Basically, I’ll be walking the dogs on the campus. When I was recruiting in Alton, Illinois, I volunteered at the local shelter and did the same thing. It’s actually great therapy for me and it’s great for the pups because they get that time out of the shelter and with human interaction.

Before all this can happen the Seattle Humane Society has set up a quick orientation to familiarize volunteers with the shelter, the animals, policy and procedures and what they expect. It’s a great way to get to know the volunteers, meet the staff, and start an awesome experience volunteering at the shelter. They also have a jog-with-the-dog program. But since the Army left me unable to run, I won’t be doing any of that.

So what’s all of this got to do with Finland, you ask? Well, I’m about to tell you. I recently wrote up a blog entry about my future endeavors on travel plans, charity involvement, etc. You can click here and read all about it. I had plans to travel to Egypt. Since there is mass protesting and a lot of fighting going on over there, the U.S Government has put out an advisory for U.S citizens to avoid leisure travel there. Good god, so now what? The middle east is practically off-limits and I really don’t have a huge desire to travel to Europe mainly because there are a lot of terrorist sleeper cells hiding out in those countries and a lot of Americans always travel to Europe for vacation. I’d like to take a trip and avoid seeing very many Americans while I’m in country.

I’ve decided on Finland. Before I get into a long, drawn out explanation about my trip to Finland, I also have other plans. My trip to Finland may not happen for another year or so. Now that I have this six month obligation to the Seattle Humane Society, right after that ends, I’ll hopefully be boarding the Sea Shepherd to head out into the Pacific ocean to hunt Japanese whaling boats with an outstanding crew of volunteers. More importantly, in the fall of 2014, I’ll be teaming up with a new friend of mine and we will be heading to the Cove in Taiji, Japan to help the Sea Shepherd Cove Guardian crew.   If you haven’t heard of what’s happening in Taiji, Japan, you really should watch The Cove documentary. It’s about Japanese fisherman that launch boats and chase Rossi dolphin pods into the Cove and slaughter them for human consumption. Since I’m passionate about animals, well, I’d like to engage these fisherman and help stop this type of stuff.

So back to the whole Finland trip. I decided on Finland because the Helsinki airport is approximately 187 miles from St. Petersburg, Russia. Here, take a look:

The red line is a direct flight I can take into Russia. Or I can take the purple line via alternate transportation (whatever that might be) to my destination. There are plenty of small towns, hotels, and great places to visit along the way. I don’t really have a plan on how to exactly get to St. Petersburg, but I do know this; I want to cross into Russia on foot. That’s all I want to do. And, of course, see lots of St. Petersburg. Right now I’m working on learning basic phrases in Russian so I don’t look like a total idiot when I’m visiting.



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