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Julia Nikolenko: “The road is like life to me”

There are people who love what they do and do what they love; without them, there would be less reliability, certainty and warmth in this world. The world itself would simply not be the way we know it now. Why? Read this interview, given to us by Julia Nikolenko, Lux Express international routes bus driver, and you will see.

How and when did you get to do this job?
Before I ever took my bus driver training, in my hometown of Narva, I used to see the international buses and dreamed of working at Lux Express. About three years ago I started working on domestic routes. After I gained some experience I enrolled with the international lines operating high-comfort buses in early June 2017. It felt like a fairytale: my dream came true, I was euphoric.

How do you get along with your colleagues?
I found myself in a purely male team. Some of them thought I was just a girl that would not last long in a hard job like this. But with time we formed a very friendly team, where everyone is very helpful. This group started a couple of years ago at the celebration of our professional holiday, the Motorist Day. Before that we made friends mostly within our regional teams, with Estonians, Latvians etc. being separate. But from that day on we formed a mixed team. Not only do we ask each other for advice, but we also congratulate each other on various occasions, like New Year, birthdays or weddings.

Your job is indeed hard, both physically and emotionally. How do you cope with it?
I feel a high degree of responsibility, especially when children are aboard. That is probably my maternal instinct; children are our top priority. It is the same with the elderly. I always try to help them; their smile gives me some special pleasure. When they start feeling at home and relax, when I manage to create some heartwarming comfort for them, I drive with peace of mind.
Photo Martin Kirikal
Do you like travelling for leisure?
I do travel a lot, by car as well. There is still an adventuress alive in me that has not had enough of the road. So when I have a minute to spare, I grab my son, get in my car and go somewhere, for instance to St. Petersburg.

You love driving that much?
It is not that I love driving… It is simply that the road is like life to me – just like in the song by Tatyana Ovseyenko (Russian pop singer): “Our life is a highway, a lifelong highway”.

How do you see yourself, say, five years from now?
Life is unpredictable and you never know where you are going to turn up next. But I cannot imagine myself without a bus, not in a five years’ time at least. I don’t even know how to compare this job with anything else. When people work in an office they know what each day will be like. My days are so different that my job doesn’t get tiresome. And I don’t mean physical fatigue, which is normal. I mean emotional burnout – it just does not happen.

Anton Popov (Media Station)