Before I left the US, people frequently asked me if there was anything that scared me about my trip. To most people, the idea of leaving their entire life behind to backpack around the world is terrifying in and of itself, but they wanted to know what frightened me since I obviously did not share their same concern. I never had a particularly good answer for them, but there was one strange fear that would always come to mind whenever I was posed the question - being lost in a foreign train station
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I've greatly enjoyed touring through Kiev the last few days, but what's really piqued my interest during my time in Ukraine was the chance to gain a better understanding of the recent political issues surrounding the country. We've all heard the news reports for months now, but I wanted to see what local Ukrainians had to say regarding the matter. At the end of the day, learning more about the country required that I learn more about the current crisis going on in the east. While I was Ukraine the conflict was frequently a topic of conversation because I couldn't let an opportunity like this just slip through my fingers.
I will admit my decision to visit Kiev was more of a conscious effort to give family and friends grief. After my time in Lviv, I realized there is really nothing to fear about Ukraine and, contrary to what people think back home, everyone I spoke with said Kiev was perfectly safe to visit. With Russia now axed from my travel itinerary, I had a few extra weeks to explore Ukraine and since an overnight train to Kiev was only $12, I figured why not. In all likelihood, this was my only chance to visit Kiev, because I doubt I would ever travel halfway around the world for the sole purpose of visiting Ukraine.