I went to Moscow again in 2000 when it is the capital of Russia, several years since the Soviet Union disappeared. I stayed with a nice gay guy in his typical apartment. We did things the way local Russians do, and ate and enjoyed the way local Russians did ( but that time I had absolutely fabulous food made my my friend's colleagues as it was a New Years party- including extremely liberal amounts of very good vodka! ), and not with the tour guide as I had done the first trip with my school.
My family and close friends began to worry about me when I became notorious for visiting "those kinds" of countries. Their concerns put no damper on my visions.
Travel continues to teach me to experience and live life to expand my own horizons as the world is a giant class room and it's inhabitants our teachers and friends.