Some people think I’m nuts for living here in Kyiv, Ukraine.
Especially the local Ukrainians.
“Why on earth would you leave California to come here?”, they wonder, not mincing words at all.
My family has long accepted it. They just get worried when Ukraine implements something like martial law because, well, Russia. And yeah, sometimes when something like the presidential election is going on you might want to mind your own business.
Overall though, it’s not a violent or petty crime kinda place. You’d probably be more likely to be mugged on the streets of Chicago than you would in Kyiv.
Let’s flashback. I spent most of 2016 in Ukraine. I returned in 2018. This is home now.
In 2016, you still felt the shockwaves from Euromaidan. Maidan Nezalezhnosti (the center square you see above, try to say it three times fast) still had a building with a massive hole in the side of it, for example. People were skeptical of what would happen next.
When I came back for a short visit in the summer of 2018, you could tell – the country had undoubtedly taken a step forward. At least in the center. The further districts are often still a bit sad looking. I can see why the people who live out there are very frustrated with what has transpired since Euromaidan (i.e. not much).
But the center? Wow.
More and more nice restaurants popping up.
Uber works brilliantly.
More and more western-style gyms, cafes, co-working spaces, you need it.
Everything you need is in a few-square-kilometer radius.
But once you get out of that, yeah, it’s a totally different story. It’s almost like going to a different country. I feel for those people, but I don’t know what I can do. I have everything and more that I wanted when I wanted to leave my home country. They feel the same way. They want to leave. But they can’t. At the same time, you can’t save the world.
The West Creeps Into Kyiv…
At the same time…
It really has.
In some good ways, as mentioned above. But also, the bad ways.
It’s much more common now to see Ukrainian women with shaved heads, or with an assortment of weird colors (neon green and pink seem to be 2019’s favorites thus far). Will it go as far as the degeneracy you currently see plaguing the western world, where people are abolishing any hopes and dreams of having a family in favor of a life of casual sex and parties?
Since this is home now, I certainly hope not…but when people ask me, I tell them the truth. I really don’t know, and can’t predict the future. Hence is life.
A Day In The Life of Kyle In Kyiv
Looks something like this:
- Wake up, usually around 7-8am.
- Work until about 11am or noon.
- Head to the gym, or to Russian class.
- Have lunch, often times with friends, and even more so when the summer hits.
- Usually have coffee and watch the fashion show on the street after that – at least once or twice a week.
- Stop by the store and pick up what I need for dinner, since Ukrainian women will cook for you, and pretty darn well at that…
- Work some more.
- Eat dinner.
- Work some more/chill, spend some time on the guitar, or whatever else I feel like.
- Once a month or so I’ll hit a club with the crew.
Overall, it’s pretty good.
I can’t complain.
It’s a great home base to live an exciting life, with a more traditional, wholesome culture. And on top of that, it’s got all the big-city hustle for me to grow my businesses and ultimately get where I want to in life.
I couldn’t ask for more.
Except maybe for warmer winters.
Read Next: Ukraine Date 2019 Review