December 18, 2021

What a Gap Year


What a Gap Year
They should have consulted a professional English-language editor before writing all over the Shark plane. Wikimedia Commons user MB-one

A nineteen-year-old pilot who is solo-circumnavigating the world recently landed in Khabarovsk.

Young Belgian pilot Zara Rutherford launched the FlyZolo project with help from Rotary International. Her plane is the Shark, one of the fastest ultralight planes in the world. Polina Gruba of the Rotary Club hosted the pilot at her home in Khabarovsk.

Rutherford has never been so far away from home and is doing it in grand fashion as a solo pilot. In the Far East, she touched down in Magadan and Ayan before reaching Khabarovsk. But in the latter, larger city, Rutherford was finally able to connect to wi-fi and contact her family in Belgium, who was quite worried about her.

Residents of Khabarovsk dressed the pilot up like a Russian princess and stuffed her with pelmeni, blini, borscht, "herring under a fur coat," and other Russian delicacies. She met the players of the Khabarovsk Amur hockey team, part of the KHL (the second-best hockey league in the world, by many estimates).

Rutherford has not even started, let alone finished, college. She is starting next year, so this has been a very accomplished "gap year" – a break between high school and college that is more common in Europe than in either the United States or Russia.

Rutherford hopes to be the youngest woman to ever circumnavigate the globe. Follow her journey on FlyZolo.com.

You Might Also Like

Flying High
  • July 01, 2021

Flying High

Russian air travel has changed radically over the past two decades. While there are still grave security concerns, there has been a boom in aircraft and airport construction, with positive impacts for travelers into and within the country.
KHL Victor Crowned
  • May 23, 2021

KHL Victor Crowned

Omsk Avangard clinches Russian hockey's Gagarin Cup with some famous NHL faces.
New Life Breathed into the Museum of Hockey
  • February 28, 2021

New Life Breathed into the Museum of Hockey

Moscow's stunning Museum of Hockey and Hockey Hall of Fame is a hidden gem with new investors ready to keep it going – hopefully for a long time to come.
Like this post? Get a weekly email digest + member-only deals

Some of Our Books

Faith & Humor: Notes from Muscovy

Faith & Humor: Notes from Muscovy

A book that dares to explore the humanity of priests and pilgrims, saints and sinners, Faith & Humor has been both a runaway bestseller in Russia and the focus of heated controversy – as often happens when a thoughtful writer takes on sacred cows. The stories, aphorisms, anecdotes, dialogues and adventures in this volume comprise an encyclopedia of modern Russian Orthodoxy, and thereby of Russian life.
Fearful Majesty

Fearful Majesty

This acclaimed biography of one of Russia’s most important and tyrannical rulers is not only a rich, readable biography, it is also surprisingly timely, revealing how many of the issues Russia faces today have their roots in Ivan’s reign.
The Frogs Who Begged for a Tsar

The Frogs Who Begged for a Tsar

The fables of Ivan Krylov are rich fonts of Russian cultural wisdom and experience – reading and understanding them is vital to grasping the Russian worldview. This new edition of 62 of Krylov’s tales presents them side-by-side in English and Russian. The wonderfully lyrical translations by Lydia Razran Stone are accompanied by original, whimsical color illustrations by Katya Korobkina.
The Little Golden Calf

The Little Golden Calf

Our edition of The Little Golden Calf, one of the greatest Russian satires ever, is the first new translation of this classic novel in nearly fifty years. It is also the first unabridged, uncensored English translation ever, and is 100% true to the original 1931 serial publication in the Russian journal 30 Dnei. Anne O. Fisher’s translation is copiously annotated, and includes an introduction by Alexandra Ilf, the daughter of one of the book’s two co-authors.
22 Russian Crosswords

22 Russian Crosswords

Test your knowledge of the Russian language, Russian history and society with these 22 challenging puzzles taken from the pages of Russian Life magazine. Most all the clues are in English, but you must fill in the answers in Russian. If you get stumped, of course all the puzzles have answers printed at the back of the book.
At the Circus

At the Circus

This wonderful novella by Alexander Kuprin tells the story of the wrestler Arbuzov and his battle against a renowned American wrestler. Rich in detail and characterization, At the Circus brims with excitement and life. You can smell the sawdust in the big top, see the vivid and colorful characters, sense the tension build as Arbuzov readies to face off against the American.
The Pet Hawk of the House of Abbas

The Pet Hawk of the House of Abbas

This exciting new trilogy by a Russian author – who has been compared to Orhan Pamuk and Umberto Eco – vividly recreates a lost world, yet its passions and characters are entirely relevant to the present day. Full of mystery, memorable characters, and non-stop adventure, The Pet Hawk of the House of Abbas is a must read for lovers of historical fiction and international thrillers.  
Driving Down Russia's Spine

Driving Down Russia's Spine

The story of the epic Spine of Russia trip, intertwining fascinating subject profiles with digressions into historical and cultural themes relevant to understanding modern Russia. 
Woe From Wit (bilingual)

Woe From Wit (bilingual)

One of the most famous works of Russian literature, the four-act comedy in verse Woe from Wit skewers staid, nineteenth century Russian society, and it positively teems with “winged phrases” that are essential colloquialisms for students of Russian and Russian culture.
Life Stories: Original Fiction By Russian Authors

Life Stories: Original Fiction By Russian Authors

The Life Stories collection is a nice introduction to contemporary Russian fiction: many of the 19 authors featured here have won major Russian literary prizes and/or become bestsellers. These are life-affirming stories of love, family, hope, rebirth, mystery and imagination, masterfully translated by some of the best Russian-English translators working today. The selections reassert the power of Russian literature to affect readers of all cultures in profound and lasting ways. Best of all, 100% of the profits from the sale of this book are going to benefit Russian hospice—not-for-profit care for fellow human beings who are nearing the end of their own life stories.
Survival Russian

Survival Russian

Survival Russian is an intensely practical guide to conversational, colloquial and culture-rich Russian. It uses humor, current events and thematically-driven essays to deepen readers’ understanding of Russian language and culture. This enlarged Second Edition of Survival Russian includes over 90 essays and illuminates over 2000 invaluable Russian phrases and words.

About Us

Russian Life is a publication of a 30-year-young, award-winning publishing house that creates a bimonthly magazine, books, maps, and other products for Russophiles the world over.

Latest Posts


Our Contacts

Russian Life
PO Box 567
Montpelier VT 05601-0567

802-223-4955