3 Years Ago in Kyiv, Ukraine To Now
Back in 2016, I was doing a massive cross-euro tour (about 20 countries), and Ukraine was on my list of places to visit. I stayed in Kyiv at that time for a mere 2 weeks.
Fast forward to May of 2019, while I was still living in Mexico City, my buddy mentioned he was planning to move to Kyiv for 3 months of work and pleasure.
So for the Summer of 2019, I decided to tag along for the sake of networking with like-minded individuals focused on business and self-development while enjoying what Kyiv, Ukraine has to offer!
Kyiv, Ukraine Photos
Kyiv itself has ups and downs as a city, but generally, it's the experience you make of it.
The traffic is insane and dangerous, there are no real rules for parking (you can park anywhere), and some of the streets even in the downtown core, are absolutely trash. Also, renting here through Airbnb as a foreigner is overpriced.
On the other hand, Kyiv is inexpensive as a foreigner, and generally very safe, and has an awesome nightlife on the weekends.
Also the Ukrainians who speak English are VERY friendly and accommodating, and the salsa scene here is very strong!
It's also a great entry into the ex-Soviet states, without needing a complicated Visa.
A Casual Sunny Day In Kyiv
Kyiv also has a beach along the Dnieper River. Most people are conflicted as to whether they can swim there or not, since it receives run-off from the entire city, and run along the Chernobyl reactor several kilometers upstream.
No Shortage of The Display Of Victory
Like all soviet countries, there is World War 2 (The Great Patriotic War) equipment on display everywhere. This is to showcase the success of the soviet system on overcoming one of the most difficult times in human history.
Inside the Motherland Statue Museum
Showcased in this museum are equipment brought back from the current battle front with Russia, from the Donetsk region. But the majority of the museum showcases images and relics from the second world war.
The Great Patriotic War
“The Soviet Union paid the harshest price: though the numbers are not exact, an estimated 26 million Soviet citizens died during World War II, including as many as 11 million soldiers. At the same time, the Germans suffered three-quarters of their wartime losses fighting the Red Army. WashingtonPost”
Religion in Ukraine
75% Of religious Ukrainians practice Orthodox Christianity, while 23% Practice Catholicism, and 2% everything else.
The hillside of the Dnieper River is absolutely covered in Churches, so I will make a few mistakes in naming these.
A Rooftop View of Olympeska Station
My italian buddies rented a nice place with a rooftop patio for 10 days in Kyiv.
Pyrohiv Folk Village of Ukraine
To the south of Kyiv is a village kept as a historic museum to the life of Ukrainians who lived in the rural villages.
Everyday Kyivan Life
On a regular monday, I decided to go on an adventure to the forests of Kyiv, to find a secret tower that you could climb. On the way, I got to see a bit of the regular bustle of kyivan life and architecture.
Into The Forests Of Kyiv
After a 40 minute rail car ride, it was time to get off in the middle of the Kyivan forests, and start seeking out my destination.
Bus Terminal #7: Abandoned Bus Graveyard in Kyiv
On the outer regions of central Kyiv lays an abandoned bus terminal that houses hundreds of buses from the Soviet Era. My buddy and I tried to sneak in (he was braver than I was), but we only got so far, before security and dogs made us run away!
We did manage to do a few fun things, including Go Karting, visiting Chernobyl (separate post/album), exploring a nuclear bunker in Kyiv, a 2 sessions of Paintball
Living in Kyiv for (almost) 3 months was a wonderful experience.
There are a few things I didn't seem to see in time like:
- Visiting the Ex-Presidents' residence: this was due to working all the time, practicing boxing 4-5 times per week, and poor time-management habits
- Firing an AK-47 rifle: this is due to licensing restrictions put in place after the war with Russia began. If you can shoot an AK, you can be a soldier on the battle front.
- Visiting Odessa: this was going to be a group activity with the boys, but coordinating 5 guys who constantly work is a big mission. While I have been to Odessa 3 years ago, it would have been nice to visit there again.
Nonetheless, I recommend Kyiv for 3 months at a time, especially in the summer. And make sure to do as much as possible 🙂