Trans-Siberian travellers get studied

The Trans-Siberian railway is one of my all-time favourite topics, so you can imagine that I read with interest an email that arrived in my in-box this week asking me to answer questions for a Masters dissertation study into “western identity transformation on the Trans-Siberian” – I just wish I’d thought to study such a topic myself! In any case, the author of this study is a very interesting woman named Dalia from Lithuania, and she kindly agreed to answer some questions of mine, too:

1) Can you explain the topic of your masters dissertation?

I am trying to understand the appeal of Trans Siberian for young westerners. My research is based on the assumption that seeking this experience is closely related with a social context that produces Trans Siberian travelers. Simply, it just makes me wonder why somebody decides to spend weeks in train most of the journey not even knowing where exactly they are? The way we travel says a lot about who we are or who we want to be.

2) Why did you decide to study this topic?

I have been fascinated by trains since childhood. They were magic to me: their rhythm – like a heartbeat – sometimes made me think that they are actually alive. In Lithuania where I was born and spent most of my life we had and still have those old “classic” trains. I never miss a
chance to get on one – it’s special every time.

3) Where have you traveled already – which place is your favourite? -and where do you hope to travel in the future?

I have a one year old son, which has stopped me from traveling for a while. I’ve been to most of the European countries, and I fell in love with Prague once again recently. My dream destination is Iraq, I would love to do research there.

4) Have you travelled on the Trans-Siberian yourself – and if so, did you enjoy it? Why?

I’m taking Trans-Siberian on 5th of August. I am sure I will enjoy it and I am sure this will not be the last Trans-Siberian train ride I will take as my PhD topic is also connected with Trans-Siberian travel.

Thanks Dalia for answering my questions – what an interesting thesis topic you’ve chosen! – and I hope you have a fantastic Trans-Siberian trip.


  1. im currently reading “Aleph” from Paulo Coelho. Where the story takes place mostly on a Trans-Siberian Railway journey. And out of curiosity, i tried searching more information about it… and what i found really fascinates me!

    how i wish that someday, i will also be able to ride the train, and stay there for 7 days 🙂

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