LONG BEFORE THE FORMATION of the European Union, or even the United States for that matter, St. Petersburg, Russia, stood as a strong city with a keen eye for globality. Prior to the city’s founding in 1703, Emperor Peter the Great was said to have brought in hundreds of foreign experts from around Europe to consult on the city’s architecture, construction and administration in order to fulfill his vision of creating the “window onto Europe.” The results from his work are still evident today as St. Petersburg remains one of the largest hubs for multinational corporations.
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IT HAD BEEN TWO DAYS since I had spoken to another person. It was just me and my rental car, cruising along the highways and back roads of the Baltics on my way from Lithuania to Estonia. I dreamed of exploring this lesser-known region for quite some time, but I was never able to convince any of my friends or family to join me on the adventure, so I went out alone.