My year in Ukraine in photos

One year ago I flew from Ukraine to Canada. I purposely don’t say “flew home” because I don’t necessarily see Canada as my home. Well, it is one of my homes — it’s just not the only one, and saying “I flew home” implies that Ukraine wasn’t my home, which it most certainly was.

When I moved to Ukraine, I’d get these flashes of feelings from Canada, the most common instigator being when I saw someone in Ukraine who looked like a Canadian friend.

Maybe I was still adjusting to being so far from what I had known as home for all my life, and so I was looking for something to bring me comfort. This lasted a month, maybe two. And before you knew it, I would see Ukrainians who looked like other Ukrainians I had met in the city before.

When I returned to Canada, every second person on the street looked like someone I met in Ukraine — a dancer who would work with us through difficult steps, the grocer who heard us speak English and insisted we go to the line with the cashier who spoke (three words of) English, the workers at the tattoo/piercing studio who were part-annoyed, part-intrigued, part-entertained by the four Canadians who seemed to never leave the shop.

And you know what? Every second person still looks like someone I met in Ukraine — it didn’t stop once I readjusted to Canadian life, because I don’t think I ever will totally readjust.

To quote the band The Apache Relay (and the many others who use a variation of this saying) — to quote them again, that is — “Home is not places; it is love.”

I can relate. Home is not a place, it’s love — love of Ukrainian culture.

To mark one year since I’ve been in Ukraine, here are some of my favourite photos I took while living there. And by some, I mean 29 — yes, I did intentionally put an odd number, thinking maybe the number of photos you post must also be odd, like the number of flowers in an arrangement.

And now since you’ve seen all my favourite pics, this is a great excuse to make my way there again, ASAP, so I have new photos to show and new stories to tell.