The owner of the Portland Visitor’s Map, the Forbes family, has always prided itself in how much they enjoy traveling and how wanderlust runs deep in their DNA. This is why they give back to tourists coming to Portland by providing travel resources that they themselves would find useful in a foreign city themselves. This means that travel must be done in the name of research to further develop the Portland Visitor’s Map and its tourism platform.

Over the last month Scot and Brit Forbes went on a magnificent journey through Russia to not only sporting’s biggest stage with the World Cup Finals, but also to see what this magnificent country has to offer a lowly tourist from Portland Oregon. Their trip started in Moscow with its endless history and magnificent Orthodox Cathedrals, where they thought they were in Latin America due to all of the Spanish speaking fans from Spain, Colombia, Argentina, Mexico and especially Peru.

They then continued down to the Caucasus where they climbed the tallest Mountain in Europe, Mt. Elbrus at 18,500 ft. This was an interesting look at how Russia manages eco-tourism, as Mt. Elbrus is one of the biggest climbing/skiing sights in the country. It was a far cry from the PNW’s take on conservation and lack of infrastructure in the back country, but it was breathtakingly gorgeous none the less.

They ended their Russia exploits in the Venice of the North, Saint Petersburg, which is truly the Apple of Russia’s eye, with its amazing museums, beautiful canals and great food scene. With Saint Petersburg being the tourism hub for Russia, it was interesting to see how they informed people of the attractions the city has to offer as it has been an established center for tourism for over a century and a half.

Brit headed home after his two and a half week trip throughout the former USSR, while Scot moved on into Western Europe where George met him in Scotland to explore the home of the Forbes family heritage. They rented a car and explored the country side, going from cute Bnb to Bnb, trying fine Single Malts and ales along the way.

The main take away from these travels for the Forbes boys is that every place has something unique to offer, whether it be deep history, eco-tourism, fine libations or overall beauty. The things that make Portland unique in what we have to offer tourists is our cities pride in conservation of our wild spaces, our ever evolving and inclusive food scene, communal synergy with small businesses, rich Northwest History and the deep variety of attractions with our own little weirdness thrown in there. This trip really made them realize what they take for granted in our beautiful city and they are blessed to experience this once in a life time trip.