I’m always checking flights for my Eurotrip this summer and today I came across a great deal… $341 from Paris to New York. Not quite as great as the $280 I got for my flight to Europe, but still a good deal. The only “problem” is a long layover in Kiev, the capital of Ukraine.
Am I crazy for considering a 16-hour layover in Kiev? I don’t think so. But Ukraine hasn’t had the best press (at least in the US) in the last year. With the plane crash of Malaysia Airlines’ MH17 and Russia and Ukraine blaming each other for it, tensions are high between these two countries. Russian forces are occupying Crimea and the US Government has issued warnings against traveling to the eastern parts of the country.
I could also pay $10 more to have just a 1-hour layover in Kiev. So why choose an overnight one in this “dangerous” country?
Well, one big reason is the 1-hour layover flight starts at 5:50am and I’m no morning person. But I also want to show my friends and family that Kiev is safe. The capital is actually 600km from the “danger zone.” (Not to mention Kiev is dirt cheap! $5 for a private room in a hostel!)
The real question is why wouldn’t I want to go to Ukraine? I want to be a traveller, not a tourist. I want to see and experience places not everyone goes to. I want to take chances and leave my comfort zone (I have zero knowledge of the Cyrillic writing system, so street signs will be a pain to figure out!).
So for 16 hours, I’m going to leave my comfort zone (and the airport) and explore Kiev. And I’m really, really excited about it!