— Hello, this is Ivan.
I’m an outdoor journalist, editor and writer, with 10+ years of professional experience based in the Italian Alps, where I came from my native Finnish Karelia. I’m also the co-founder of the creative studio Panoramica with a focus on search engines-friendly content for outdoor and related industries.
My goal is to make creativity and geography in the broadest sense a (bigger) part of your life while helping develop sustainable tourism in two of my home regions, and to build a bridge between them, and your place.
Here is a list of the main things I have done, doing and will continue to do to achieve this goal (not at the same time, of course):
- A nature memoir about the past 10 years of travel in Eurasia and the world on the way in 2024
- 2 self-published books — a travelogue and an interview collection — with 100+ official sales and 500+ free downloads
- 5 edited literary projects, including an abstract for the fellow author of a travel bestseller
- 1,000+ online publications (pages of content) in almost all formats from news to research, including 150+ travel interviews
- 50+ clients — leading travel media, companies, start-ups and solo entrepreneurs
- 10 organized hiking excursions and tours in the Dolomites for 30 people
- 3 years of non-stop volunteering, including a Buddhist Institute and Retreat in the Indian Himalayas
- 200+ positive reviews and references from colleagues, readers, hosts, and others
- 5 professional associations, clubs and communities, related to creativity, geography, and business
- 2 writing residences in Finnish Lakeland and French Basque Country
- 3 crowdfunding campaigns for $1,000 and 110 sponsors in total
- 50+ publications on my personal experiences in media
- 17 public talks of various types about my home regions and the travel/outdoor journalism
- 25 countries in Europe, North America and Asia, lived in 10 of them from a month to a year, including 5 business trips
- 3 educational courses: pitching your first outdoor text, interview, and an SEO-friendly guide or instruction
- 3 academic degrees: Associate of Commerce, Bachelor of Marketing, and Master of Planning and Management of Tourism Systems
- 3 languages: Russian, English and Italian, the last of which I learned by myself
- 8 favorite outdoor activities, including the sauna
- Countless jokes, as a consequence of an innate good sense of humor (as it seems to me)
I am open to cooperation, especially in book publishing:
Writing and publishing books
I’m an author of 10+ travel books, two of which are published to this moment in Russian language: “The mountain keeper. A year of living and working in the Dolomites, Italy”, and “I’m arriving. The first-ever collection of interviews with famous Russian speaking travelers”.
Now I’m working hard on translation and publishing of these two and other books into English, as well writing a memoir about the past 10 years of my real and virtual travels but also work, creative and personal life experience in Europe, Russia and the rest of the world.
Journalism and content creation
Since 2014, I’ve been helping travel publications, companies, start-ups and independent entrepreneurs to create and distribute content on outdoor activities, sports, eco tourism and other related topics.
The list of my present and past colleagues and clients include Windy.app, PeakVisor app, Bird In Flight photo magazine, My Planet TV channel, OneTwoTrip OTA, BlaBlaCar Russia, Central Park of Saint Petersburg and 50+ others.
I’m an author of 150+ interviews and articles bases on people’s personal experiences, 100+ guides and long reads, 100+ outdoor publications on tens of different destinations in Russia, Europe and the world.
In total, there are 1,000+ publications (pages of content) in almost all modern genres and formats in my portfolio, which collected millions of views and rank in the top of the Google and Yandex — the leading search engine in Russia.
Weekly journal and newsletter
In 2020, I finally started a kind of a journal on this site, where I mostly share new works from my portfolio. Sometimes I write something only to the journal as, for example, the Complete guide to the most unusual Giro d’Italia 2020.
Subscribe to the newsletter — get one of my new travel books.
Guided hikes in the Dolomites
My story in the Italian Alps begins in 2013, when I came to the Dolomites to participate in an eight months volunteering project of the Legambiente Veneto, the regional branch of the largest environmental association in Italy. In total, it was a five years project (2012–2016), partly under the “European Solidarity Corps” (ESC, ex-EVS, European Volunteering Service) program.
My home is Lamon, a small town or a village surrounded by the Fiemme Mountains, National Park of Belluno Dolomites and Paneveggio-Pale di San Martino Nature Park, in 100 km from Venice and 150 km from Verona.
I participate in annual sports and cultural events of the local tourist center Pro Loco, my texts and photos are shared by the official tourist organizations and sites like San Martino di Castrozzo, Primiero, Passo Rolle and Vanoi in Trentino province, Dolomiti.it and Visit Finland.
Associations, clubs and communities
I’m a member of the Tourism Association of Lamon (ATL), Dolomiti Hub, Italian Alpine Club (CAI), Nuoren Voiman Liitto literary association in Helsinki, Finland, Research Gate and some groups like the largest community of outdoor travelers in Russia Dharma Bums, or the Travel Startups for professionals in tourism industry.
Before starting traveling on a regular basis in 2011, I exchanged postcards through the Postcrossing website for two years, where I collected a 100 cards from port cities, and in total I have about 300 postcards and letters from local people from all parts of the world.
I spent a couple of years actively couchsurfing in Finland, France, Italy, Spain, Greece and Russia (27 positive reviews).
Programs, services and residencies
In addition to EVS in Legambiente, I took part in a well-known international youth and cultural exchange program Work & Travel USA back in the summer of 2004. That was my first independent trip abroad across the whole world.
After living in Italy in 2013, for the next three years (2014—2016), I was volunteering in the same countries in Europe I mentioned above via HelpX, Work Away and WOOF websites.
I also used and continue to use many different services helping you save on basic travel expenses while getting to know the country and its people better, like BlaBlaCar for ridesharing and House Carers. About the latter I wrote a separate article “How to swap homes with foreigners.”
Finally here, I spent a month studying Buddhism at Thosamling Nunnery, Institute and Retreat in the Indian Himalayan Region.
In order to publish my first two books, I held two crowdfunding campaigns on Boomstarter and Planeta.ru (Russian Kickstarter and IndieGoGo). Together with the third travel project, all campaigns collected 1000 dollars from 110 sponsors.
Personal experience and public talks
I have published 50+ texts in Russian and some international media on my personal experience in the same many different genre and formats: interviews, articles, guides, essays and columns.
If you don’t have time to read and know Russian, watch and listen to my lectures and other public talks. I have participated in 17 events: live broadcasts, video rubrics, webinars, podcasts, etc. Sometimes I organize my own meetings with readers.
I try to help people regularly through various social initiatives. For example, as a guide in the Dolomites, once a month I do free walking tours. Or I have an initiative called “Postcard to friend” — I print my photos as a postcards and give them to friends, as well as other gifts. I also give free consultations and distribute electronic versions of some of my books also without payment.
Creative writing school
In my always-open personal creative outdoor writing school, I help beginner authors to publish their first text in media and write Google-friendly content, and those who are already publishing or working as a copywriter/editor to master the most complicated genre of journalism — interview. In both cases the focus is on outdoor texts or about creativity, and international communication.
Press tours and business trips
Sometimes I go on press tours and other business trips with a mission from a company: I wrote a reportage about life in a Finnish cottage for BigPicture, told about life in Greece — for “Around the World” magazine, opened North Ossetia region in Russia together with TUI and Coral Travel agencies, recorded a series of 12 interviews with local residents at the invitation of a company in Montenegro.
Totally I’ve been in 24 countries in Europe, Asia and North America, but lived in 10 of them for a period from a month to years. In Russia my homes have been my native St. Petersburg, Petrozavodsk in Karelia, Moscow and Nizhny Novgorod, and Sochi on the Black Sea.
I (almost) crossed my home and so big country by hitchhiking in my third crowdfunding project Ecological journey through the nature reserves and national parks of Russia in 2015. Almost, because I went only to the city of Kazan, but I planned and managed all the travel on paper, which was a separate journey in essence.
I’ve been just once on a regular vacation — as a child in “all-inclusive” hotel on the same Black Sea.
I have a bachelor’s degree in commerce and marketing from the Lobachevsky University, which I got back in second home city Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, following my parent’s footsteps but it was never really my dream specialty, so I went to Italy as a volunteer to start all over again.
My home and project in Legambiente was called CEA Dolomiti (Centro di educazione ambientale) — Center of Environmental Education, which was literally located in the building of the former elementary school and which can be attributed to non-formal education. I successfully completed it, including a three days training at the Sustainable Development National Centre “Legambiente “Il Girasole“, one of the the association’s headquarters in Tuscany, on “How to be a volunteer camp leader”, and other things.
Now I am studying again in Italy on a master’s degree course Planning and Management of Tourism Systems at the University of Bergamo. It is ranked #3 in “Master’s degrees in public administration and organization — 2021” by the Edicationaround.org after Venice and Bologna among 23 Italian public and private universities. Perhaps, I will continue my education in one way or another.
Except my mother tongue Russian, I speak English (B2 Cambridge certificate) and Italian (A2). The latter I learned and continue learning by myself through self-teaching, but most importantly through communication with people here in Italy. I like to listen to Finnish language, cause it also sounds very beautiful.
Sports and outdoor activities
My favorite sports and outdoor activities are road cycling, including bike climbing and bike packing; hiking, backpacking, coastal walking and wild camping; via ferrata climbing; kayaking and boating; freediving, mushrooms and berry picking; bird watching; and, finally, sauna.
Sense of humor
I have a good sense of humor (as it seems to me).