Conversations with Wanderlusters...Interview series.
Join me as I wander into the lives and minds of Wanderlusters. They share with me their travel stories, navigating their return home and stepping into an inspired adventures life.
Yuliya Khrystych is from Ukraine and immigrated to the USA when she was 15 (now 31). She lived in Virginia and then sold everything and moved to Hawaii. She has a bachelors degree in hospitality and tourism management and international business. Yuliya is focused on creating a lifestyle to live as a digital nomad.
As a 10-year-old Yuliya lived in Cuba for 7 months. She has studied abroad in Belgium and travelled to many countries during her time in college.
What was the stand out moments of your travels?
Highs: Meeting so many new people and being exposed to new cultures. It opens one's mind to experience life differently.
Low: feeling sad and lonely if you are not travelling with a friend or a partner (or if you are maybe fighting with that person). I definitely experienced both of those in all of my long-term trips. Short-term trips, the high is the same but the low is leaving the country too soon before you really get to experience it like a local.
What challenges did you face when returning home?
I never returned to Ukraine... But I would think it would be quite difficult for me after 15 years. Coming back to US after my study abroad was interesting... I was in college, I suddenly couldn't drink again I missed being able to walk everywhere.
What emotions and feelings did you experience upon returning home?
Well, this was about 10 years ago, almost 11, so I don't really remember, but I know I ended up breaking up with my high school sweetheart and a boyfriend of 4 years. I loved him dearly (still do), but it was the right thing to do and we are both better off. After seeing the world out there, I no longer wanted to settle for something that was kinda broken.
What strategies did you use to move through this phase after returning home?
Probably nothing... since at that point I just struggled through my troubles mostly.
How did your travels inspire your next steps?
I am working on creating my dream life now. I snoozed through most of my 20s, but now I am well on my way to truly creating and living my dream life. I always knew I wanted to see the world, but for a while there I was ready to settle for less. I am glad I snapped out of that.
Your biggest lesson learned from travels and returning home?
That people are not that different! I remember that was one of the first "aha" moments when I moved to the US as a teen. Everyone asked me what the biggest difference was between here and Ukraine, and my answer was the facade is different, some customs and behaviours are different, but people deep down are not that different. They all have the same hopes and dreams, the same fears, they want to protect their loved ones, live in peace, have opportunities. Not very different.
What mindset shifts changed for you after travel and returning home?
That long-term travel is possible and not a mystic unattainable thing for the rich and famous or the trust fund babies only. It's not always easy, but if that's what you really want, it's doable.
What advice would you give others to prepare for re-entry/reverse culture shock?
Keep busy. If you have a semi full schedule, you won't have as much time to worry about your culture shock. Go out to be a "tourist" in your own town/country. I bet there are places you haven't seen even though you lived there your whole life. Try to get into healthy/positive routines immediately. Spend time with the people you love whom you haven't seen in a while because of travel. That's the important one.
Connect with Yuliya
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