My life in Russia: Justin Varilek from Red Oak, Iowa, USA

"My life in Russia" is a video blog about expats living in Russia.

Justin Varilek has been living in Russia for around 5½ years. He first came to Russia after college and started working as a journalist at The Moscow Times.

Arriving in Moscow, he found his language skills weren’t up to the mark, despite having studied Russian in college. But 5 years later, it's a different story: lots of Russian friends, a bunch of exciting travel experiences, and total immersion in all sorts of Russian traditions.

In Russia Justin came up with a brilliant business idea. His company HackPack helps media professionals find local reporters and producers throughout the world to cover stories in different corners of the Earth. He also seems to have figured out the enigmatic Russian soul.

"Russians are like walnuts—hard on the outside, but if you crack it you get everything," says Justin.

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