Expats in Kyiv, Ukraine

Expat in Kyiv sunrise from apartment

We’re officially expats! The five of us arrived in Kyiv (Kiev) Ukraine almost a month ago now – on the second day of August.

Hannah, Emma, Ben and I have been entertaining ourselves exploring and dining Kyiv. All this while Rob kind of, mostly but not always, enjoyed the challenges of this new contract he’s committed to.

Our housing is assigned. I can’t say I would have picked this place myself – it’s a huge apartment and a little gaudy in a Greek Revival kind of way. I admit I kind of like the architecture and we have an absolutely gorgeous view.

Early this morning Hannah left for the airport. She’s off to university. I can’t even begin to describe how I feel right now. I’ve been excited for her for months but now I’ve realized what has happened here. Nothing is going to be quite the same.

It’s early morning as I write this. Emma is still sleeping. Ben is getting ready for school. Rob is travelling with Hannah. I am lonely already. Sniff.

Emma leaves for her school soon – in just a few days. And then aside from the hopefully not infrequent holiday I’ll be down to just Ben. And Rob of course. Growing up just sneaks up on you. I thought I was looking forward to endless days on my own. Hopefully I am not just kidding myself.

Living in Kyiv

We are enjoying Kyiv.

We haven’t explored any other parts of Ukraine or Eastern Europe – yet. But we do have a very long list.

The last four weeks we’ve been tromping around Kyiv – getting a little lost. I’m learning where to shop (and where to not). A lot of Kyiv is beautiful. A lot is crumbling. Being an expat here is challenging at times. But it is doable and wonderfully fun.

A ton of things are as inexpensive here as you hear about. A crazy amount of things are very dear indeed. A small bottle of Tobasco at my local grocery store is 300₴ (300 Hryvnia or about $15 CDN). Yes, it’s imported but holy cow! International wines are $4-5 and those are imported.

Dining out is super cheap. Well, it can be. It can easily exceed dining out at home. There are some crazy priced restaurants we’ve stumbled into. $150 entrees!

Kyiv Sunrise

That image of the sunrise at the top of this post is just part of the view from our apartment window. Aside from adjusting the size, the photo is not edited. And my crappy photo doesn’t do the real view any justice at all. It is a glorious Kyiv sunrise. It’s a little bleary because I’ve been crying.

What Things Cost – Kyiv, Ukraine

vodafone is one of many super cheap cell phone options in Ukraine

Cell phone service for a family of five – 823₴

That’s $42 Canadian. $31.50 USD (ouch!, converting to USD always hurts these days).

That’s for FIVE! local SIM cards – no contract – with service for one month. Two with unlimited data and three with 10 GB of data each. All of them have 500 minutes of calling within Ukraine. And 500 texts. Unlimited calls and texts within the network. We opted for Vodafone but there is lots to choose from. Theres other stuff but … ?!

Cell phone service is one of the crazy cheap things in Ukraine.