What would you do if you're young and broke, but still want to travel the world?
You don't. Why would you even want to? You're young, jobless and broke, so feast your poor eyes on these gorgeous pictures instead, and cry rivers because you're missing out.
"I'm pretty sure that's not what the article says," Otabek chided Yuri, who was currently hunched over his laptop, scanning a random page on Buzzfeed. The younger skater had tried to convince him to ditch the old Vaio for a Macbook several times now, but to no avail.
"Not directly, of course," Yuri huffed in response, rolling his eyes in exasperation. "I know they're trying to be helpful, but it's not like people even have time for this. And there are about a million articles out there, it's getting really old already."
While Otabek was not as familiar with these kinds of trends as the social media-savvy Russian was, he did understand where this was coming from. Constant traveling across continents did get stale over time for competitive skaters, and if there was one thing they all wanted to do over the off-season, it would be to stay put at home and sleep all the season's worth of fatigue off like there's no tomorrow.
It certainly doesn't explain, though, what he's doing in Yuri's apartment in St. Petersburg on a quiet, off-season Friday night, jetlagged, letting his host borrow his laptop to surf the internet with, "because that's what friends do."
"Just because you don't agree with the content, doesn't mean other people don't find them helpful, either," Otabek began, after some moments of consideration. "I remember an old friend who dreamed of backpacking all over Europe as soon as he graduates from high school. Looking back, I guess that's one point we never agreed on."
Otabek smirked inwardly at the fond memory. His former rinkmate from back home was quite the travel junkie, collecting all the brochures and souvenirs he could get his hands on, and arranging them all on an ornate corkboard with a map of the world. He had been both proud and jealous of Otabek and how his much better skating career has brought him to so many places in such a short time. Now, this same friend gets ahold of his competition schedules every time, and writes up detailed itineraries for pre- and post-event sightseeing. If anything, he must already have written up travel guides of his own for almost all the major cities that had served as competition venues, and must be doing one for Pyeongchang as early as now.
"Make sure you use this one when you see your friend," he'd reminded Otabek, not-so-surreptitiously pushing the folder into the skater's hands at the airport in Almaty. "I heard the mango and ice cream soup in SupVino is really good."
Otabek snorted, recognizing the underlying message. But seriously, though, mango and ice cream, served as a soup? He couldn't even imagine it.
And if the howl of disbelief beside him right now is of any indication, neither could Yuri.
"Your friend is really funny!" the teen guffawed as he leafed through the printed itinerary, the soft light from the abandoned laptop illuminating his features. Yuri read through a few more pages, laughing at the descriptions used for certain entries, launching into a series of rants and anecdotes for others. Otabek found himself chuckling along as he watched his friend devour the thing like it was a bestseller, not realizing how fully-engrossed he already was in the same thing he'd been complaining about just less than an hour ago.
It made him happy to see Yuri relaxed and having fun for once, enjoying life as it should be for a regular sixteen-year-old, and not a figure skating gold medalist who has a title to defend in the upcoming season. Yuri had worked really hard, and deserves this well-earned break more than anyone else.
They both could actually use a break, to be honest, and it might not be convincing coming from someone who's still suffering from jetlag, but if you're young, (not) broke, and want to travel, there are many, many ways to start.
"We should try some of that soup tomorrow," Otabek suggested, looking over Yuri's shoulder at the restaurant section. "And see how much of this entire thing we can cover in a day."
He received a nudge in the shoulder in response. "You idiot," Yuri deadpanned. "The Hermitage Museum alone would take an entire day. It was boring as hell."
"So we're skipping that, then?"
"Hell no!" came Yuri's immediate snappy response. "Of course we're still going! You haven't been there, right?"
Otabek shrugged, shifting his sitting position on the couch. "No, I haven't. Can I trust you to be my tour guide, then?"
"Leave it to me!" Yuri triumphantly snapped the folder shut and placed it on the table with a flourish. "All right, time for bed! We have to be early tomorrow," he declared as he turned off the lights in the room.
Otabek followed suit, shutting down his laptop. Tomorrow was going to be interesting, jetlag be damned.