Recently we are with Olga Kotrus chatted a couple of hours on Skype, a from this conversation Olya made one of the coolest interviews I’ve ever been interviewed. Honestly, I’m not exaggerating in the least. All this time Olya had it on the Spirit of Paris blog, but we decided that it should be here on Girls in Travel as well. After all, it is about the most important thing – about life, dreams, travel, travel life, bachelorette parties and much more.
We communicate with Yulia via Skype, and immediately “begins”: the connection is interrupted, the sound does not match the picture, everything is cracking and refracted. Of course, she doesn’t hear me say that she is very beautiful and reminds me very much of Phoebe from Friends (I hope, Yul, this is a compliment for you, because for me – yes!). As a result, you have to sacrifice video in favor of sound. We communicate for the first time, but it seems that we have known each other for a long time. Maybe because Instagram gives you the feeling of being close to someone you’ve never seen alive. Or maybe (and I believe in this more), because it is easy and pleasant for people who are similar to speak for the first time. No, I don’t travel, like Julia, to the countries of Asia, Africa and South America, I don’t live on a suitcase with a backpack, and I never took off from my place to spend several months in completely new corners of the world, as she once decided to do … But her views on the world are close to me. Her sincerity and openness to everything new are close. Her blog title alone is worth it: Keep Eyes Open . To put it simply, I just really like Julia. I love people like that – who live their lives without listening to anyone. And periodically photographing giraffes and llamas .
The story of Yulia Savitskaya is like a revived album with pictures from pinterest, on which a tanned girl with a backpack and sneakers flaunts. Here is a girl standing on the shore of the ocean, and here – on the edge of a high cliff. Here she is climbing a mountain, and now she is walking along the narrow streets of the ancient city. Here in front of her is a bustling metropolis, and here is a sunny valley and a herd of wild horses. And on each such picture there is an inscription: “Buy a ticket, pack a bag and go see the world” (variations are possible). And while most of us, sighing, saved these pictures in the “Inspiration” folder, Yulia packed her bag, bought a ticket and really went to see the world. It all started in 2009, and if you’ve never heard of Yulia before (in the sense, how can this be at all?), Then visit her in blog and read the background to better understand this interview.
Today Julia and her husband Anton Gurakov (take a box of paper napkins and start crying – the story of their meeting is so romantic that Woody Allen would have envied) traveling together and having travel bachelorette parties together Girls in Travel . It is very important to mention here that the guys invented and implemented this concept themselves. More about them – here . And you will understand the rest from our conversation with Yulia …
I’ve almost lost hope of seeing you in Paris. Probably, if you and Anton ever get to European civilization, it will happen in a prosperous old age. This time. And two – at the age of 50-60 you decided to live in Bali …
In general, we have such a dream – to live in Paris for a month. And you are number one there on the list of meetings. So I think we can do it.
Great. Yul, where I would like to start … In fact, you have no idea how I have the spread of my diary here – I want to ask you SO MUCH. So: in your blog you say that with each new trip you are getting more and more bored in civilized countries. Everything is slick, everything is too correct. How do you feel when you land in Boryspil?
So hard to say, of course. I still have a slightly different attitude to Kiev than to cities in other European countries, because this is my home. And I come back here, first of all, to my parents and friends. But each time I am more and more convinced that I cannot stay in one place for more than two months, including in Kiev. If earlier I thought that I wanted to live here, that this is the best place on earth, now, unfortunately, every time it seems to me somehow … The scale is not enough, or something. Nevertheless, we are always looking forward to returning to Kiev. We spend two months a year here, and they go perfectly.
And when the plane lands in Borispol, I feel a sinking heart and think: “My God, am I really at home?”
And then another question. If you are in Kiev only two months a year, then where is your home?
You know, for several years now we have been living with the feeling that home is where we are. So we arrived at a new place, I laid out my … two dresses)) And that’s all. In general, the feeling of being at home I carry with me. And on the one hand, this is good. On the other hand, every year after the trip, I want to return exactly to the place that will be my own home. If earlier I thought that I didn’t need all this at all, that I couldn’t live in one place, now Anton and I are considering each country “for ourselves”, trying it on as our new home – could we live here? p>
How? Are there alternatives that could compete with Bali?
Not yet. Every time we arrive in Bali and think: “Everything, the heart is here.” But since there are great difficulties with the purchase of real estate, we say: “No, this is not for us, we will not get involved with this.” And then a year passes again … And all over again. Now I have tickets to Bali on my hands since December 9, and I’m just dying to go. As soon as I step on the ground there, I have goosebumps, tears in my eyes and one thought: “Well, finally! ..”
What’s the difficulty with real estate in Bali?
You can’t buy it there – you can only rent it for a maximum of 25 years. I think for the reason that if the purchase was possible, then the whole island would have been dismantled long ago. A huge number of Bali lovers live there, and they all either rent a house or take it on a long-term lease. The island is small, but there are many who wish. Therefore, the Indonesian government does not sell. This is where we have our doubts, but still we constantly return to Bali. Sometimes I think: “Maybe we should build a house on some Costa Rica?” And then: “But this is not Bali …”) And so every time. We really hoped for South America – that we will find something there, but no.
South America fell short of expectations?
Not really – we just didn’t find a place where we would like to settle, stay for a long time. That is, she is very cool in terms of travel. But in spirit, Asia is much closer to me. If we talk about people, nature, about self-awareness – in Asia, all this is completely different. I wouldn’t want to live in South America.
By the way about Asia. You always say on your blog and Instagram how good you feel there. What is so special about it that attracts you?
You know, people there are very open. Perhaps these are just the impressions of a tourist, because I still cannot call myself a resident of Asia. We come for two or three months and then we leave. But even at first glance, the people there are very friendly. I like that they have no problems and conventions. When I come to Kiev, I immediately start thinking – what bag to take, what to wear to a restaurant. And there it is not. People do not look at you appraisingly – they do not care what you are wearing, how you look. There is a sense of freedom there that is not found anywhere else.
Also, I love Asia for the constant explosion of emotions. Everything is different here, everything is different. By the way, I can’t say that I don’t like Europe, but it is too correct for me, and it is very similar to how it “was always”. And in Asia, every country is different. I came to India – everything is WOW, everything is upside down, you kaaak was shocked by all of this! I came to Nepal – they seem to be neighbors with India, but here is a different culture, everything is different. Vietnam is the same: everything from cuisine to tradition is completely different. I really love Asia for this mix.
And the people themselves … I do not know, whether because Buddhism is the prevailing religion there, but they are different. Open, smiling, good-natured. For example, in South America, there is a constant sense of danger: after six in the evening not to walk, they may be robbed, and so on. And in Asia there is no such thing. You can forget your wallet somewhere in Thailand, and they will run after you to give it back. In short, somehow everything is calm there, good, and you are relaxed.
I read on your blog about the slums that you and Anton saw in Kenya, India (we’ll talk about this later), and I wanted to ask: surely everything you saw forces you to reconsider your attitude to such concepts as welfare, prosperity, and so on? On this topic, there is a cool quote from DiCaprio from an interview with Esquire: “I spent quite a lot of time in Africa and saw what problems people face there. After that, when I returned home, I realized that I no longer want to hear about any problem that worries people in my circle. ” Do you have similar feelings when you come home?
Yes, it is always present. Even with regards to how we ourselves live on a journey: in fact, we need very little, we cannot take a lot of things with us, we do not need any household items. We don’t need a car. Basically, we don’t need anything. And upon returning home, all material things suddenly fall on you like that … When you hear about someone’s everyday problems, you think: “How far is it all …” Well, plus, when you look at the same slums in Kenya, in India, people there are still smiling. They do not hang themselves because everything is bad, no. They live, they find reasons for joy. For me it is still surprising – how people can exist in such conditions and at the same time treat life in such a way. And yet. You learn from them and think: “Why do I need this and that.” Traveling life teaches you to get by with the bare minimum and be happy with it. And you realize that you don’t need more. For example, I have already handed out absolutely all my things. I probably still have six dresses, three pairs of shoes, and that’s all. And I understand that this is enough for me. Right now I go shopping and see what to buy. And then I think – well, what am I going to do with it later? That is – why do I need this?
And what is the biggest difficulty in such a life? Let’s call it nomadic. Your audience, naturally, admires you, and for most people the very idea of such big changes in life and constant acquaintance with new corners of the planet is fanned by an aura of freedom and romance. At the same time, obviously there is also a reverse side of the coin …
Well, when you travel actively, I hate all these long journeys. For example, in South America these are night buses for 20-25 hours. Even if it’s 15, it’s very hard. We spent every third or fourth night in them. When people read this, they don’t quite realize how difficult it is. And you pack your suitcase almost every day, check out from the hotel at 12, wait until the evening for your bus, then get off at your destination at about 4 in the morning … And of course, you get so very tired.
Now the ideal option for me is to come and rent an apartment for a month. After all, this is a purely psychologically very difficult moment – when you constantly move from place to place, disassemble and pack your suitcase, you cannot really put things out, or put jars on the shelf in the bathroom)) At the same time, we do not live in five-star hotels, where all inclusive. These are always some random places to spend the night. And in this rhythm you are very exhausting. You and yourself have no time to look after yourself: I washed my hair, didn’t even look in the mirror and went. In this mode, the first two or three weeks are cool, and then you think: “Okay, stop. I don’t want to see any new cities, I don’t want anything. I just want to be in one place without touching the suitcase. ” And only when we stop for about a couple of weeks, a thrill comes for me. I can breathe out and think, “I am in heaven.”
Do you understand? Singapore and Hong Kong are so, nothing special! ???? In the last minutes of the transcript of the interview, I finally fell in love with Yulia. We are accustomed to simplifying such stories, brushing them off with the words: “Oh, there would be money.” Of course, it is much more difficult to admit that in addition to money, you also need eggs. And besides them, you need a practical approach to the issue. Changing your life drastically does not mean that you quit your job in the morning and sit on a plane that crosses the ocean in the evening. No. This is exactly the fabulous version, cinematic, the simplest. Julia Savitskaya’s life was not transformed by magic. She didn’t win the lottery, she didn’t find a suitcase with money on the street, no one gave her such a life – she made it by herself. She prepared for it. This is what really inspires – that everything in the world is possible if you really, really want to and at the same time do not just dream, looking at the ceiling, but take small steps towards your dream.
What have you dreamed about all your life, mm? Where did you want to go? How long have you found out the cost of tickets? Do you have a passport? Have you ever written a clear budget for your trip? Dreams don’t come true by themselves. We do them ourselves.
Photo: Instagram @keepeyesopen , girlsintravel.com , keep-eyes -open.com and personal archive of Yulia Savitskaya