My father went and visited Russia. He sent a telegram back saying that he was doing fine. He phrased it succinctly, of course, and Mama knew it was really him because of the way he phrased it. When he came back, he said that actually he hadn't really been thinking about it like that, but it was good that it reassured him, and next time, he was bringing his own tea for the water, because the only way to make sure it was boiled was to have tea, and when he asked for just plain boiled water, the hosts would make tea, and tea is expensive.
As an aerospace scientist working on computer programs studying the aurora borealis and a number of other things, he wound up talking with his counterparts all around the pole. That was how he came to have friends over there. Some of them came and visited us. He gave his little portable Compaq to Mr. G, as I recall.