With a passion for travel in general, Eastern Europe and Russia in particular, British journalist Richard Green has been travelling all over the region, from a young age. It all started when he once accidentally visited Lithuania in the early 90s, and became enamoured with the country, having made multiple return trips since then. Overall, he’s visited 137 countries around the world and shows no signs of stopping: his mania for travel continues to burn strong. He’s even enjoyed the classic Trans-Siberian Express – from Yekaterinburg to Irkutsk.
Originally from Derbyshire, Richard moved to London in 1982, and was immediately struck by how diverse and cosmopolitan the city was. In his time living in the British capital, he’s seen waves of people move to the city from near and far after him, and believes their presence only serves to make the city a better place – adding to and enhancing its diversity, charm and openness. Unfortunately, not everyone in the UK shares that opinion, but he certainly does his part to try and shine a positive light on the situation.
In 2016, his video and digital production company, This is Insomnia, where he has been head of development since 2013 released the critically acclaimed documentary film, 13 Shades of Romanian. It tells the story of 13 Romanian people living in the UK, the struggles they face, the animosity they’re confronted with – but also what they’ve brought and continue to bring to the country, its people and society at large, and how that is ultimately a good thing. It was clearly a passion project for Richard as he explained in an interview last year:
“I’m proud of the message that we got across, and although the film hasn’t been shown on UK TV, it has been seen at film festivals around the world and has since won six awards.”
Richard strongly believes that interacting with people from other places than yourself on a personal level can be a very enlightening and enriching experience, and he encourages people to do so more often. He has a good point: just think of the different perspectives, experiences and practices going on in the world right now that you could be exposed to by interacting with someone from Hong Kong, Rio de Janeiro or Aleppo. And that’s certainly the kind of hopeful message we need from forward thinking people like Richard in the UK right now.