Saturday, March 8, 2014

Interview (22) - Kateryna

My name is Kateryna and I am journalist, writer, poetess, stylist and designer. I love airports, flight attendants, aircraft and fly: the sky - it's so beautiful... this is something amazing... and even more amazing is that people always have a chance to visit it ... enjoy the beauty of the clouds and the Earth from above. On a par with the sky like to travel to new places, other cultures - for happiness I need so little - to travel somewhere and… new dress J And then... go back home - to my little cozy apartment, to my warm small bed. Usually I bring sweet tea and sweets from my trips. And every morning they remind me about faraway lands, which no longer so far... 

What was your inspiration or the event/idea that made you want to travel?

It’s come up from my childhood. I was too much curious girl. I always wonder about question what 
is behind the horizon. Also I have so mixed family roots that always want to see my relative’s native 
places. All in my family have passion about traveling and changing places. 
I was born in small town, and it was difficult to find paper map of it, especially at post-soviet times. And 
I decided to paint it by myself. It was the first and till now I think only one touristic map of Petrovskoye 
J. Any case, I was 6 years old child, and in first turn I marked my favorite places – for fishing (we go 
often with my grandfather), old house with ghosts, old dangerous factory, yards with good teeterboard 
and of course my walnut three, which I planted in age of 4. Now it’s cool large beautiful three, 22 years 
old. But the real push for traveling I get in age of 8, when read the book ‘Around the World in 80 Days’ 
by Jules Verne. Since that time my heart full of passion about traveling beating in rhythm ‘go-go-go’.

What was your first travel experience?

I get my first experience in traveling alone in age of 8. I was taking part in competition ‘Best design for 
children room’, my painting get into top-100. I was invited to the private New Year Party for children, 
which presidents of country attend to give us awards. It was 1996, very hard time for Ukraine, salaries 
were not paid in time, it was crazy delay and my family was able to buy only one rail-road ticket. So, it
was my first experience of traveling alone. It wasn’t any mobile phones that time and for my mother it 
was hard decision to let me go even if our family friends met me in Kiev and help me to get to the party. 
The costume which we prepare for that party also reflected my passion to traveling…. I remember how 
bright the costume of Scheherazade looks among Snowflakes, Princesses, Snow Queens, Quarrel’s and 

Have you ever felt lonely travelling solo?

No, never. It’s easy for me as to journalist, psychologist: meet new people, make friends, go out for 
really interesting parties. Travelling for me more discovery than vacations. I just can’t spend few days 
laying as vegetable at the seashore or even skiing in mountains. I need to go, to explore and feed my 
brain. And talk to new people. I am trying to study language of each country I am going to. At least 500 
words already enough for communication, especially if person you met don’t know English. 

Do you have any fun stories of things that happened to you that you realized even at the time, “This never would have happened if I had been traveling with someone else?”

I have one funny story connected with tea at Istanbul. It was my dinner break, I go to the nearest 
beautiful one cafĂ© at open air which my friends advised me. They know that I love all beautiful as 
designer and stylist. So, they say it’s very beautiful tea-pots at this cafe. Yes, they really were beautiful 
to my European eye. I pour tea into glass and drink it in few sips. But already at my second sip, waiter 
which bring me order start to yell to me something in Turkish. As I realized from my neighbors on 
the table, I just drink pure tea brew. But it was second pot with water to mix it. As we all laughing 
later: ‘Russian guys drinking strong vodka, Russian girls drinking strong tea’. Sometimes really you feel 
that it will be good to have person near, which will pay you attention to such details, like companion. 
Than I think, I never lose my favorite scarf at Sabiha airport, never go to snowy Poland in light spring 
coat without gloves and have larger suitcase with more shoes and dresses in it.

What was your best travel experience?

I am still believed that my best travel experience is forehead, it keeps me moving. But this summer 
I have so nice internship on fashion in Paris! It was really great! Wherever I go, I prefer to take small 
videos on my traveling and review them from time to time. I think they keep memories better than 
pictures. I am high emotional person and for me this is best way to save my emotions and refresh 

Is there anything you would have done differently/ any regrets, if you could do it over again?

I have no regrets about adventures in my trips. But as to writer there is always room for ‘what if’… This 
is huge temptation! 

What was your worst travel experience?

Travelling is such great thing that even worst experience you can turn into good.

What’s the strangest situation you have found yourself in?

At the current moment it was when in restaurant in Turkey waiter bring spoon for salad instead of fork. 
One more time I was confused in Warsaw. I saw one mannequin in the hood at the street, want to take 
a picture of it, and suddenly this mannequin turn to me his face and I realize that this is human! It was 
shock to me!

Where will you never return to? 

This is house with ghosts at Sumskaya oblast. I met New Year 2012 there with my friends. It was cool adventure, but cool enough to want to return there. Not so mysterious anymore. Mostly I am concentrating at places which I want to return if I had opportunity. But world is huge and with my intention to see maximum, each time – new destination.

What advice would you give women traveling solo to your home country?

Few days ago I have read one article ‘Ukraine via foreign eyes’, and there it was an advice for women 
which travel here that if Ukrainian guys will be persistent flirting to you you should tell them two 
words ‘ya veryjuschaja’ and go away. But usually, Ukrainian guys true Cossacks, it’s even better than
being a gentlemen. People in my country friendly and know English well, so nothing to be afraid of.

What are your future travel plans? 

I want to go in Karma tour across India. Now I am studying Vedic 
culture, took part in Mehdi photo session and it seems to be very interesting for me. In age of 10 I have 
read ‘Ramayana’ and was impressed. So, India still calling. If I have opportunity to go there on my job of 
fashion stylist and designer with great pleasure I will do it earlier than I planned for Karma tour. 
Also I want to go to Marrakesh for Almond festival.

What are your top three tips for women traveling solo?

1. Count on your intuition, 2. Stay away from strange food and drinks, 3. Take some lessons in aikido or 

What would you tell women who are looking to travel alone but worry about their safety?

Just try to imagine how it is… when you are traveling with kids J and stop to worry, because we usually 
attract bad situations to our lives thinking about them uncountable times.

Couchsurfing... what do you think about that? – I have great experience using this site. When I first 
posted on there going to Istanbul, I get 300 letters from guys. Compare to 3 letters from Paris previous
time – it was shock to me. Conclusion: some people don’t understand true meaning of this web-
resource and mixed it with dating site. 

How do you pay for a life of travel?

I am freelancer and embedded into different projects. I have opportunity to travel only because of my 
projects – fashion and design, journalism and most interesting one – photo analyses. 

Tell us about the best food you have ever eaten on your travels? – It was ice-cream with mandarins 
in Dresden. However I try to search something similar here, no one tastes like it! And second one – 
buttered bagel in Nurnberg. And I also want to mind about gorgeous tea with lemon in Warsaw. My 
friends kidding that this is not tea with lemon but lemon in tea. It was so tasty and save me from cold 
during rainy weather. 

What is the most breathtaking view you have ever witnessed on your travels? – Sunrises and sunsets at Istanbul. But mostly I pay attention to people and their emotions. I feel really happy when my camera
able to catch an interesting couple or event like patriot with flags in Poland, wedding in Warsaw, 
children eating ice-cream. All these I put to my instagram, since this service help to keep memories 

What do you miss about your home when you go traveling? – My kitchen. I love to cook and try to 
cook something new each weekend. This is my small hobby. Now I am much into Ayurveda cuisine. 

What item will you always carry in your backpack? – This is typical medicine chest, my diary with 
sketchbook, Dictaphone.

Who was the kindest or most generous person you met on your travels, and what did they do?

This year brings me meeting with Inga Krukauskiene (Inga Dream) and Valeriy Yavtushenko. 
I met Inga at 13th UNESCO poetry festival, where with poem “Time not a cure” I represent Russian Federation. This is really great woman! I might to say that time not a cure, but her poetry is cure!
As about Valeriy (we met at conference in Poland), I admire his idea about new geo-positional 
network ‘Direct Interaction’ and think in next decades it will bring new senses into our society and into 
travelers lives too :).
I enjoy so much people, which are trying to change the world and inspire other people for changes! And 
I think that real heritage from traveling are generous people which we have opportunity to meet. 

What have you learned from travelling? 

Usually I bring so many thoughts and ideas from traveling. I hope one day it will be a book about my 

Who inspires you? What other travellers do you look up to?

Usually challenge inspires me. 
I enjoy one TV-show about travelling; it calls ‘Orel-Reshka’. Each program tells of a country or city from 
two perspectives - the traveler who is not limited financially, and totally economical. At the beginning of 
each program guy and girl tossed a coin to see who will enjoy city with gold credit card, and who - with 
100 dollars only.
If I had such opportunity I wish to travel not only in space, but in time too as Doctor Who :).

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