As we approach the one-year anniversary of the war in Ukraine, I decided the time was right to make a trip to the capital city of Kyiv. I want to see for myself how the Ukrainians are handling Russian aggression and what life is like 12 months after the invasion.
My 2023 Ukraine Trip – I’m Going to Kyiv!
I was somewhat surprised to see that the Hyatt Regency in Kyiv, a hotel I have not stayed in for over a decade, remains in operation. While Kyiv has been largely spared after the initial weeks of the war due to its strategic air defenses, I cannot imagine there’s all that much international business or tourism right now in Ukraine. But I was elated to see that the hotel is still open for business and will serve as a base for my trip.
It is not clear what I will find and I do not come with a detailed agenda, though I do intend to travel south to buy a piece of art I have been eying for quite some time. I’ve been in contact with the seller and we’ve arranged a meeting in a small village about two hours southwest of Ukraine. I’m also meeting with some friends who have lived in Ukraine since the Soviet days. I will not be traveling to the eastern region or to Odessa.
By the way, I don’t know how I am going to get to Ukraine. I’ve booked a ticket to Warsaw, Poland and from there I am going to try to purchase a same-day train ticket. Trains appear to be sold out, but if I cannot secure a seat, I am confident I can find space on a bus or shared car.
Yes, I want to see for myself how Ukrainians are dealing with the constant threat of invasion and occupation. Yes, I want to see the nuances of war and see how life on the ground compares to how it is being reported in the media. And yes, I want to have an adventure.
Next week, I’m going to bring you about as close a live-blogging experience as you will ever get on Live and Let’s Fly. Often I do teasers right after my flights and then do not publish the full trip report until months later. Not this time. I’m going to interrupt my Middle East trip report and try my best to fully live-blog this trip (with a slight delay for my own safety). Blog posts will probably be more frequent, but shorter than normal…we’ll see how that style works.
If this trip to Ukraine goes well, maybe it will give me the confidence to go to other places of questionable safety. But I am very much looking forward to it. Stay tuned!