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What has changed in five years...

kyiv

Today I was reminded by Facebook that I was in Kyiv five years ago today, standing atop a monastery. It was my first visit to Ukraine, and since that time a lot has changed. My Ukrainian friend I was visiting now lives in France. He played an instrumental role in reigniting my passion for travel so many years after I left my job at the airlines. Since then, I've visited 10 new countries and 15 new States here in the USA. There are so many positive emotions locked in my mind from all of these experiences. The people I've encountered along the way, struggles with companions, roads, schedules...all of it a journey for discovery, not only about the world, but myself.

Many personal relationships have shifted - some closer, and some almost extinct. I've slowly let new people into my tight circle, yet toxic people are now banished. I can't say that I'm harsh or unforgiving, but I definitely give people way fewer chances now than I did two decades ago. I think it's a normal process of aging, somehow you look to insulate yourself with a protective layer of humans who support, provide warmth, comfort, security and other positive emotions. For me, these people have always been family and a few close friends. There's no point in wasting time on those who are constantly trying to belittle, tear you down and ignite all types of wildfires in your soul and heart. In youth, I somehow thought I could change people like this, take their hand, and guide them to some sort of light and positivity, but I failed each time. In essence, I think it's impossible to really change another human, although your presence in an individual's life can be the catalyst to facilitate or motivate change. Sometimes for the worse, but hopefully the better.

We can say that life, and everything, is in a constant state of flux - one moment you're floating peacefully on the calm sea, and the next your world is shaken, as if life is constantly hovering over a tectonic plate, or in the midst of some volcano with lava quickly creeping to the edge. For me personally, everything now is calm and fine, but boring. I don't have motivation to write long posts anymore, for several reasons. First, it seems the entire audience has disappeared. Second, there is nothing new to say. After three years of communicating on this platform, almost all of my views are known - about sex, gender, relationships, exploration, Russia....many other topics.  If you have questions which remain unanswered, you can ask me in the comments, and I will express my viewpoint if the inquiry isn't too personal, and I know something about the issue.

This is really just a simple note to let you know I'm alive, as many people have sent me messages. Thank you for your concern, and continued dedication to my stories, thoughts and blog. :) When I feel a burst of creative inspiration, new stories will follow. I still post lots of short notes, thoughts, and travel photos on Facebook. You can find me here. In two weeks, I'll return to Montana and then onward to Alberta, Canada for a quick mountain adventure before the big expedition through Georgia in autumn.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful summer! Cheers from the USA! :)

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( 71 comments — Leave a comment )
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real_marsel
Aug. 1st, 2016 04:00 pm (UTC)
My summer is amazing!!!
peacetraveler22
Aug. 1st, 2016 04:02 pm (UTC)
Good! And what are you doing that is so delightful? :)
(no subject) - real_marsel - Aug. 1st, 2016 04:06 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Aug. 1st, 2016 04:08 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - real_marsel - Aug. 1st, 2016 04:10 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Aug. 1st, 2016 04:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - real_marsel - Aug. 1st, 2016 04:17 pm (UTC) - Expand
allanyan
Aug. 1st, 2016 04:07 pm (UTC)
Good luck for you, Peacetraveler!
peacetraveler22
Aug. 1st, 2016 04:08 pm (UTC)
Thank you! :)
romanklimenko
Aug. 1st, 2016 04:19 pm (UTC)
Good to hear you're fine. How's your Georgia ESL endeavor doing?
peacetraveler22
Aug. 1st, 2016 04:21 pm (UTC)
It was stressful. :) I went through the whole process, Skype interview, criminal check, and got offered the position, but they wanted me to leave immediately at the end of August for a one year contract. I decided to defer for now, until I have a chance to visit the country in October to see if I like it. If so, then I think the opportunity will still be there to teach...so, let's wait and see. :)The possibility is still there, but on hold for now.

Edited at 2016-08-01 04:22 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - seadevil001 - Aug. 1st, 2016 04:51 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Aug. 1st, 2016 04:59 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - seadevil001 - Aug. 1st, 2016 06:18 pm (UTC) - Expand
eltelfo
Aug. 1st, 2016 04:44 pm (UTC)
Thank you. Keep calm and generate inspiration )
peacetraveler22
Aug. 1st, 2016 04:47 pm (UTC)
Calm - this is my general disposition, and I like to be surrounded by people of this nature. :) I don't know how I was instilled with this trait, because my sister and mother are the opposite - they worry about every little thing, stressing over issues I consider totally useless and beyond my control. Perhaps because they're mothers? Not sure why we are so different. :)
(no subject) - eltelfo - Aug. 1st, 2016 04:54 pm (UTC) - Expand
kichiro_sora
Aug. 1st, 2016 05:20 pm (UTC)
You look real great in that russian version of burka! :)
peacetraveler22
Aug. 1st, 2016 05:35 pm (UTC)
Thanks. :) I look different now - thinner, different hair color, even though you can't see my hair there. This headscarf can't be compared to a burqa, which I've worn by the way. It is me in these photos below. I once wrote a short post about the experience of having this garment on, for only a brief period of time.

 photo burqa1_zpsrle5kyrb.jpg

 photo burqa2_zpsv5alv53a.jpg

Edited at 2016-08-01 05:53 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - kichiro_sora - Aug. 1st, 2016 05:58 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Aug. 1st, 2016 06:11 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - seadevil001 - Aug. 1st, 2016 06:20 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Aug. 1st, 2016 06:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - seadevil001 - Aug. 1st, 2016 08:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sergechel - Aug. 1st, 2016 06:39 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Aug. 1st, 2016 10:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
j1980
Aug. 1st, 2016 06:34 pm (UTC)
ну правильно, надо себя беречь
peacetraveler22
Aug. 1st, 2016 09:25 pm (UTC)
Yes, of course. :) As adults, we are responsible for ourselves, the choices we make, and our actions in life.
(Deleted comment)
peacetraveler22
Aug. 1st, 2016 10:28 pm (UTC)
Thanks! :)
mjol1nir
Aug. 1st, 2016 08:25 pm (UTC)
If you have questions which remain unanswered, you can ask me in the comments

Whom are you going to vote at the USA president election for?

Edited at 2016-08-01 08:25 pm (UTC)
peacetraveler22
Aug. 1st, 2016 09:21 pm (UTC)
Hillary, of course. :) Trump stands for almost everything I despise in humans.

Edited at 2016-08-01 09:23 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - mjol1nir - Aug. 1st, 2016 10:31 pm (UTC) - Expand
Maks J-Fry
Aug. 1st, 2016 08:33 pm (UTC)
why would you use facebook? you should try vk. this thing is way better than that stupid facebook. also vk more popular here in russia. only liberals and terrorists use facebook in here.
peacetraveler22
Aug. 1st, 2016 09:14 pm (UTC)
I'm also on VK. But what's the point? I hate the platform and all of my Russian speaking friends are on Facebook, as well as many of my readers. Why do you think VK is better? For me, it's like a piracy den for stealing films, music, movies, and I don't support such behavior. Plus, it's enough to be on one busy social network. There is no desire, or time, to be checking five different sites a day.
(no subject) - Maks J-Fry - Aug. 1st, 2016 09:30 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Aug. 1st, 2016 09:35 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - Maks J-Fry - Aug. 1st, 2016 10:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Aug. 1st, 2016 10:11 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - Maks J-Fry - Aug. 1st, 2016 10:30 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Aug. 1st, 2016 10:34 pm (UTC) - Expand
d_byzero
Aug. 1st, 2016 08:57 pm (UTC)
Travel is really a good thing!
This summer is the fifth all our family goes to Europe from Moscow by car. First we pass Belarus and Poland, then go to Hungary, Croatia and other countries. Two years ago we reached Italy. Now we are in Slovenia.
peacetraveler22
Aug. 1st, 2016 09:21 pm (UTC)
Awesome! I love road trips. :) I prefer to travel in autumn and winter, but usually take at least one summer trip with my family. This year they are all going on a cruise to the Caribbean, but I'm going to Montana/Canada instead. I don't want to spend a full week with thousands of people on a ship, sitting at the pool and beach. Plus, I don't support that the cruise makes a stop in Haiti on a "private" island. This is one of the poorest countries in the developing world, and I'm against creating some type of fake haven like this island for Americans and other tourists to luxuriate and relax, when most other people outside the compound are living in misery and dire conditions. So, I'll go the mountains of Canada and Montana instead - and get some fresh air. :))
margot_yyc
Aug. 1st, 2016 09:26 pm (UTC)
Having a wonderful summer where you are going( Alberta, Canada).

Here is a little teaser from the teahouse hike in Lake Louise.

Lake Agnes

peacetraveler22
Aug. 1st, 2016 09:27 pm (UTC)
Do you live in Alberta? I will definitely visit Lake Louise. :) I'm hoping for much cooler weather!
(no subject) - margot_yyc - Aug. 1st, 2016 09:55 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Aug. 1st, 2016 09:58 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - margot_yyc - Aug. 1st, 2016 10:59 pm (UTC) - Expand
maryasha_b
Aug. 1st, 2016 09:29 pm (UTC)
Your contribution to livejournal community is enormous ! You express opinion which differs from many of your readers. That broadens our scope, and yes, people don't change, but maybe get a different prospective on common topics. Pity to hear that you feel like there is nothing more to say...

I personally find American sense of community unique, nowhere in the world have I meant such a strong community sense like in the US. I wish you could write more about that... It could inspire people back in Russia to be nicer and friendlier with their neighbors, help strangers, unite for some volunteering events.
peacetraveler22
Aug. 1st, 2016 09:39 pm (UTC)
What nice words! Thank you! There are many stories I can write about America, especially from my trip to the Midwest a few years ago (Oklahoma, Nebraska, Missouri...). I only published a few of those stories, and in these small American towns, the sense of community is even stronger. It's what I love most about my country - friendly, open people, many of which will go out of their way to help...I think you can find such people everywhere, we just lose sight of them because we constantly hear about the bad and scandalous all the time. Have a nice evening! :)
(no subject) - maryasha_b - Aug. 1st, 2016 09:46 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Aug. 1st, 2016 09:51 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - maryasha_b - Aug. 1st, 2016 09:55 pm (UTC) - Expand
popados
Aug. 1st, 2016 09:35 pm (UTC)
you have perfect English))
peacetraveler22
Aug. 1st, 2016 09:36 pm (UTC)
Haha, well thanks my dear! :) I'm glad you understand my words and thoughts clearly!
kremlin_curant
Aug. 1st, 2016 10:31 pm (UTC)
Why did you decide to delay with possible canceling for the job in European Georgia?
peacetraveler22
Aug. 2nd, 2016 12:23 am (UTC)
They required a full year contract, as six months is no longer an option. I didn't want to quit my job and commit to a full year away from my family without first visiting the country. If I like it, I will still be able to join the program in December or next August. They need volunteers and workers...
(no subject) - kremlin_curant - Aug. 2nd, 2016 12:36 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Aug. 2nd, 2016 12:38 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kremlin_curant - Aug. 2nd, 2016 12:51 am (UTC) - Expand
rider3099
Aug. 1st, 2016 11:28 pm (UTC)
I agree. We have only one life and it is too precious to be wasted on unpleasant people, meaningless talks and foolish disputes.
All the best to you today and every day Shannon!
peacetraveler22
Aug. 2nd, 2016 12:24 am (UTC)
Thanks, Olga! :) Loved your recent pictures and stories from Yellowstone! It's an amazing place, full of natural wonders!
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