We were planning our exit from Ukraine. My visa was expiring soon, and we’d already rode the train across the country from Kyiv. Sitting black sea port city of Odessa, we plotted our possible next moves on a Google Map. The plan was to spend a month in Istanbul, but we weren’t in a rush to get there.
“Well, we could go to Moldova. I don’t really know anything about it.”
“We don’t need visas there. We can catch a bus from Odessa, and people speak Russian.”
Moldova it is then.
“Oh, and there’s this disputed region in Moldova, on the border with Ukraine called Transnistria, it’s a partially recognised state. They call it the last outpost of the Soviet Union, they’ve got their own currency, and the flag still has the soviet hammer and sickle emblem.”
Continue reading Visiting Transnistria – The Last Outpost Of The Soviet Union
I didn’t know quite what to expect from Ukraine, before I landed here. I certainly didn’t expect to find an undiscovered haven for digital nomads and remote workers in Ukraine’s quickly growing collection of busy coworking spaces and anti-cafes.
Continue reading The Best Coworking Spaces And Cafes For Working In Odessa, Ukraine
The force is strong in Odessa. Inside the gates of an old factory complex in the outskirts of Odessa, Ukraine, stands a monument to Darth Vader, the Sith Lord and Supreme Commander of the Imperial Fleet.
Continue reading Odessa’s Darth Vader Statue – Honouring The Empire In Ukraine
This typical urban courtyard in one of Lviv’s oldest neighbourhoods has become a makeshift museum, and home to an unlikely exhibition – the toys that were left behind.
Continue reading Lviv’s Yard Of Lost Toys
Despite being the most radioactive place on earth, visiting the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone is surprisingly easy.
Continue reading Inside Chernobyl Exclusion Zone
“So you want me to ride public transport an hour out of the city with you?”
“To an address that you’re not sure is correct, in the dangerous part of town?”
“To see something that may not even exist anymore?”
“On St. Valentine’s Day!?”
I was placing a fairly large bet on my proposed Valentine’s Day itinerary, but of all the things I wanted to see during my month in Kyiv, Ukraine, the psychedelic 13th floor apartment that may or may not exist, in Troeshina (the dodgy part of town), landed squarely at #2, right after a tour to Chernobyl. After all, my decided travel theme for the year was something along the line of “places people don’t really go”.
Continue reading Inside Kyiv’s Psychedelic Deepdream Apartment Building
With the holidays here, I’ve been learning a lot about Ukrainian end of year traditions. Growing up in Australia, I just assumed that Christmas was kind of the same in most places around the world. Even as I sit writing this in a cafe in the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, a crazy frog remix of We Wish You A Merry Christmas plays a little too loudly in the background.
I was wrong. Ukrainians celebrate what looks to me like a mash-up of what I know as Christmas and New Year, rolled into one holiday that feels equally familiar and bizarre at the same time. Christmas was banned in Russia in 1917, but many of the traditions you might know as “Christmas” stuck around through the USSR, they just seem a little odd.
Most of this also applies to Russia, and other former Soviet countries, but since it was told to me by a Ukrainian, I’m going to stick with referring to Ukraine for the rest of this post.
Here’s what I’ve learned so far about Ukrainian Christmas.
Continue reading This Is Ukraine’s Bizarro New Year-Christmas Mash-up
On a quick trip to beachside city of Nha Trang on the South Central Coast on Vietnam, I spotted some photos of people exploring Ba Ho waterfall on Instagram, and decided to check it out. The falls are just a 45 minute motorbike ride north of Nha Trang, and a great way to get out of the city for an afternoon.
Want to check our Ba Ho waterfall yourself? Here’s what you need to do.
Continue reading How To Explore Ba Ho Waterfalls in Nha Trang
I held off riding a motorbike for my first few weeks in Vietnam, thinking I could get by without one. Despite a few “minor” injuries, I have zero regrets learning how to cope with Vietnamese traffic. Having the freedom to ride wherever you like completely changes the way you experience the country.
Continue reading How to park your motorbike in Vietnam