Travelling may be one of the most enjoyable things I have done. Travelling during a pandemic however is a completely different story. This journey took me approximately 18 hours from start to end. From entering the Sharjah International Airport in the United Arab Emirates to landing in Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, to reaching Kharkiv city via bus and then going home by cab. It is one tiresome journey. There are plenty of ways to shorten the journey and ease the troubles. Maybe take a local flight from the Kiev Borispol airport to Kharkiv International Airport. Or take the intercity train from Kiev to Kharkiv. But they will always takeaway the incredible views, the lifestyle, the gradual change in the cityscape and the thrill you get in a bus ride.
The flight was pretty empty. I was, for the very first time, anxious. I was worried as to how would things change due to the pandemic and the seemingly empty flight made me reconsider the entire trip. By the time I had these thoughts running in my head I had already boarded the plane and it was far too late to retreat. The flight was incredibly comfortable. It was truly heartbreaking leaving my birthplace, UAE, and seeing the country disappear as we rised into the clouds.A few hours later we touching ground in Kiev. A new fresh breath of excitement filled my lungs. The country had surely changed in a year and there were so many new challenges ahead for me.
The best part was the bus ride to Kharkiv. It was an incredible experience. Absorbing the lifestyle and pace of Kiev city and it soon slowing down to almost unrecognizable levels when we reached the cities outside the capital. The 8 hours journey showed a plethora of differnent things. All gradually changing...in the same country. In Kiev it was chilly but wet. When we hit the highways the landscape had turned into trees and more trees. Then it turned into fields of plantations. They were getting increasingly snowy the further we went. Eventually everything was covered in whtie snow! The best part was coming one with the drastic change of weather from hot summer deserts to cold snowy lands.
I couldn't really bear the cold as I wasnt dressed for the occasion. I was able to capture our first stop which was 5 hours in, and what a place it is! Street vendors, a few chairs, lots of people who seemingly were doing nothing. Simply mesmerizing and intriguing. 8 hours later I hailed a cab home. Took the biggest nap of all times and woke up to a completely different weather. The very next morning was bright and the sky was clear. A perfect homecoming weather!