Ukraine volunteer

My late night visit to Ukraine during wartime

As I wrote in my previous blog post, my plans often change and they certainly did last night! I’ve often thought about going to Ukraine for different reasons at different periods of the recent conflict. I have now been given my opportunity. For safety, I will not disclose my exact location but I am confident in the status of my well-being. Depending on what you know and have heard, opinions of those reading this will be all over the spectrum from insanity to no big deal. It is a big deal to visit here, there is a huge moment in our lifetime unfolding. My desire for adventure, truth and exploration leave me no choice but to take this opportunity. Again, for safety, I will not speak of the group I am with or where we are gathering but ties are strong to Ukraine. Once I depart, I will be very detailed with my journey here. I will explain my mission and the mission of the group I am accompanying. I do not have any ties to this group other than sharing accommodation and shelter. In addition, I am paying my own way, 100%.

As you can imagine, there are many emotions flowing endlessly through my body as I write this. Currently, I sit on a bus in one of the furthest parts of Eastern Europe. We’ll make several stops along the way until we ultimately reach our destination. From there, I may move around on my own or with a guide, to go even deeper into this region but safety first. Rigorous planning and detailed navigation are essential along with following developments from local and aligned authorities.

Ok, so I’m going to the western part of Ukraine. You never know what will happen but this region is actually quite safe. I feel confident, excited and a bit anxious in going. I’ve wanted to visit Ukraine, in one form or another, since the war began. Initially, I wanted to work with non-profits operating in the region to help distribute food, locate shelter for those without and assist facilitation of the mass relocation of Ukrainians refugees. This did not unfold as I had planned. Later, I wanted to visit as an independent journalist speaking with locals about their experiences and opinions regarding the war. If possible, I want to speak with those fighting and those who’ve returned from the fight due to injury or illness. I wanted to document and write not only about the physical destruction but the psychological impact this war has inflicted on so many. Now, I get this opportunity. We will see how far it takes me.

I strongly believe these stories need to be broadcast to the world without sensationalism or by mainstream media. Why is this war happening? An explanation along with opinions are certainly worth reporting by those who have little interest in anything but humanity. Rather, the big players reporting tend to be aligned with political parties, corporate strategy and huge profits. In my opinion: money, logistics and control should not be an interest whatsoever to those on the ground offering feedback to the world looking from afar.

Hope you enjoy the journey. Please send feedback and comments below or on social media. What would you like to see me do or write about while in Ukraine? Where do you think I should go?

Once I depart Ukraine, I will update this post to reflect exactly where I was and what I was doing. Peace to everyone!

Travel blogger. Solo/budget traveler living on my terms, visiting and "living like a local" in unique and interesting places, some which most people don't hear about and certainly do not live in. It's an interesting lifestyle which I make happen on a modest budget. Join me, let's go!

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