What Ukrainian region would you advice to visit in spring?

It’s difficult for me to advise recreation spots first of all because I don’t work in tourism, and also I love every region in Ukraine. But I would recommend everybody to visit the Azov Sea during the off-season. April or May are perfect because there are no tourists at all. We’ve been there, to Pryazovia several times: in May and in September, it’s a fantastic place. It’s better to travel there from Kyiv because it is quite far from Lviv or Uzhhorod.

Where do you plan to go this year and why?

With our The Ukrainer team, we are planning the expedition to Great Britain, to shoot the Ukrainian community there and related to Ukraine stories. Last year we had the same project in Germany. I hope everything will happen and it will be an interesting project as well. It’s impossible now to plan trips further than a few weeks ahead. This winter I planned to go to Lebanon. But at the last moment, when I was already buying tickets my friend from Lebanon wrote me that lockdown started there. So I canceled my plans, but Lebanon still on my must-visit list and I hope this trip is going to happen this year. 

What is the most important for you while traveling?

The most important is to explore the country from the inside, discover its culture and traditions. Some people just travel abroad to put a stamp on their passport or travel through Ukraine collecting the names of the places they’ve visited. But they usually stay in the hotels and don’t even try to find something local. I get bored on these tourist trips. Sometimes I even hitchhike and couchsurf. You just get in someone’s car on somebody’s couch and have no other option except vanishing in the local atmosphere.

3 things you always keep in your backpack…

The three most important things for me are my passport (hope soon I’ll not need to carry it at all), also my vehicle licence, and my driver’s license. It seems to me that everything else in my backpack has no importance. Well, if it’s possible to add a fourth one, it will be a laptop, because usually, I go to business meetings with my backpack. 

What are the most important characteristics of a backpack for you?

The most important in a backpack is comfort. That’s why it’s very difficult for me to choose a backpack online according to a picture, I need to check if it’s comfortable and pleasant to the touch for me. I can carry my favorite backpack for years even if it looks old and sometimes like garbage. I love my stuff and thing I get used to. Conscious consumption is very trendy nowadays, so I can be also adept at it with my love for comfortable things.

Do you plan to white a new book? What it’s about?

I have 4 or 5 unedited books already but I plan to rewrite them. I even broke the contract with one publishing house in 2017. Now I’m working on other books about Ukraine for, so I’ll get back to my ones asap. One of my books is about a trip across Russia, which I wrote in 2010. It’s very interesting for me now to look at these texts and to reveal special moments of that trip. By some local stories, I hope to show the cost of imperialism that every russian citizen pays.