If you had told me 54 days ago that I’d be sitting in Kiev, Ukraine this week with some my best friends in the entire world fresh off of a 4,000 km road trip from Europe to Asia with some other very dear friends which began immediately after the 10-day hiking/biking/rafting Via Dinarica adventure through Bosnia and Croatia with yet another incredible crew of people that I initially flew back to Europe for…I probably would have cried out of happiness. Then I would have smacked you in the face and said “STOP MESSING WITH ME, JERK” because I really wouldn’t have believed you at all.
Yet here I am and there I was. Still trying to wrap my mind around all that has happened in a relatively short period of time, but I’m finding this task increasingly complicated. Constant goodbyes are getting old as is not knowing if and when it’s going to happen again. Diving in and out of cultures is nothing short of amazing, but it can also be mentally and emotionally draining if you’re doing it head first and from high above. Having to maintain important relationships and networks across time zones via (mostly crappy) wifi when all you want to do is live in the moment of the one you’re in. These are some of the “challenges” of being a gypsy which I have come to realize in the grand scheme of things are not actually challenges. They are privileges.
There can’t be constant goodbyes without constant hellos; you can’t start a new adventure without ending an old one; to use your mind and your emotions to their full capacity is to live to the full capacity; that there is even the possibility to stay connected with all kinds of people no matter where you are in the world is somewhat of a miracle.
I’m not trying to get all Deepak Chopra on you here, I’m just feeling particularly grateful today for the opportunities I’ve been presented with as of late and thought while you were listening, I’d fill you in on where my mind has been as well as my passport. Now back to the passport…
It/we are finally back in Ukraine! Though it seems like it was just yesterday I was narrowly avoiding deportation from this country while living it up in Odessa, it has actually been two years. WOW. Times flies and what’s even crazier is how much things have changed since then – at least in Kiev which is where I will be spending all of my time. Eurocup 2012 sure left its mark on the place as the smell of new paint is still fresh, signs in English plentiful, and tons of new cafes, bars and shops everywhere. Almost felt like I was stepping into a brand new city.
In case you didn’t get the memo, I was one of the four lucky bloggers who won Wizz Air’s recent WIZZ Challenge so they flew me here straight from Kutaisi, Georgia so I could show you 1) traveling around Europe can be cheap and 2) how freaking awesome this city is before I catch a flight back to the Balkans and slowly make my way back to America in time for the holidays.
Let’s just say this challenge, actually privilege, is in the bag. Давайте, KIEV!
MeganNovember 13, 2013 at 9:21 pm
i dream about that day i get to go back to ukraine and explore and enjoy it further. when i was last there (dec 2011), they were starting to put up all the english signs and promotions for eurocup. it was such a mess, yet really funny to witness the chaos of trying to make the country a bit more ‘traveler friendly’. it’ll be strange to see the end result whenever i do make it back.
hope you’re enjoying your time there and hope the sun i see in the photos isnt a fluke and sticks around for ya!
i 100% agree that the goodbyes and not knowing when youll see people again is a privilege, and not a challenge….although it can be very hard at times. ive traveled my entire life and never knew when id see someone next…and while it was stressful and difficult sometimes, im fortunate i even had the experience to travel and meet the people in the first place. and the not knowing made it 1,000x better when we did have that off-chance of being reunited.
LarissaNovember 13, 2013 at 11:21 pm
I’m just getting more emotional and sentimental with age. Old lady problems, what can I say… You are absolutely right, always makes the reunification and check ins at the airport much sweeter when it’s more of a surprise.
Last time I was here was around the same time as you but I don’t remember the mess as vividly as the one I saw when in Lviv a month prior. Pretty sure I wouldn’t even recognize that place now but there’s only one way to find out.
As of today, that sun was a fluke but crossing fingers for better weather tomorrow as I’ve got plans and no time for rain.
ValeriaNovember 20, 2013 at 6:59 pm
Congrats! You made it! Go on. Maybe we can meet next time in ukraine, in kiev?! :)
I try to win this ticket, too – really. But they kicked me off! :D Never tried wizzair before, but heard just good things!
Greetz from Berlin, Germany.
LarissaNovember 23, 2013 at 12:37 am
Yes, I did! Thank you! Already gone but hope hope hope I can get back again soon. Was a great time as usual :)
LaryssaNovember 25, 2013 at 8:11 pm
Cheers from another Laryssa who LOVES Ukraine. :)
It’s such a fantastic place that is still somewhat off the beaten path…I can’t wait to return.
LarissaNovember 28, 2013 at 5:58 pm
Such an awesome country and this last trip really inspired me to travel around it some more hopefully soon – so many other interesting sights and smaller cities to see aside from Kiev, Odessa, Lviv, etc…
Lisa Imogen EldridgeDecember 24, 2013 at 5:29 pm
You have made me look at my life differently and realise that the challenges I also face are ‘privileges.’ Thanks so much! Enjoy Kiev and congrats.
LarissaJanuary 3, 2014 at 11:26 pm
Awesome and I did very much, thank you :)