After spending far too long working like a slave, running on the hedonic treadmill, and wasting my life stuck in the trap of Western society, I decided that enough was enough and it was time for a move. Having tested the waters in Ukraine for four days over the summer, I embarked on a journey that was nothing short of life-changing.
That being said, while beautiful girls, low prices, and an undeniable sense of adventure are all hallmark upsides of living in Eastern Europe, there are a variety of hidden costs that eventually made me reconsider residing in Ukraine.
1. Western Style Convenience
This one is obvious, and yet I didn’t realize the magnitude to which it would impact me. Ukraine as a whole has been somewhat shielded from the invasion of Western brands, something I initially saw as refreshing.
Unfortunately, I learned I was completely fucked when my MacBook had a motherboard failure as there was no Apple store to take it to. I had to diagnose the issue myself and open up a special claim with Apple to find a “technician” who was supposed to cover the repair under my warranty. As it turns out, I’m paying the replacement out of pocket. The required part will take seven weeks to arrive and will be subject to import tax, the next hidden cost of a long-term stay in Ukraine.
2. Shipping fees
I love playing my guitar. I have an old Gibson Hummingbird guitar that I restored myself a few years ago that I’m quite attached to, so I’ve invested in a nice case that can use to ship it to wherever I’m staying.
Ukraine, sadly, will not be one of those places.
Everything that is imported from the United States here is hit with a 20% tax, regardless of whether it is a personal item or not. The typical way to circumvent this is to use a company called MEEST and declare its value as far below what it is worth.
This game may work when shipping to Western Europe, but there are numerous stories of goods being stolen in transit when exporting one’s personal items to developing countries in Europe. While it may not be from the shipping company themselves, even the customs agents are suspect to thievery when shipping through the former Soviet Union. If you declare that your item was only worth $100, good luck filing a claim to get reimbursed if something happens.
The Airbnb market in much of Ukraine is relatively expensive when compared to other countries, and renting from locals presents its own set of issues such as scams, high agency fees, and untrustworthy landlords.
My biggest mistake was assuming that my $600/month Airbnb in the center of Lviv with everything included was the deal of the century. My Ukrainian friends laughed when I told them how much I pay. A great deal by Western standards is still a rip-off in Ukraine. A place that an American may spend $600 on could cost half of that for a local person.
Granted, if you speak Russian or have a girl looking for you, you can find a reputable agent who can help you locate a cheap place, but they will probably ask for one whole month’s rent as “commission” for doing this. Oddly, this is how the majority of apartment renting goes in Ukraine. If one wants to stay in Ukraine for three to six months, it doesn’t make sense to pay $700 a month with an extra month’s rent as agency fee.
Renting an apartment will likely be one’s most significant expense living in Eastern Europe. If you’re looking for pure cheapness, you can pay far less in cities like Tbilisi or Riga or for simple Airbnb bookings. That said, you can get a fantastic apartment if you’re willing to spend a Western price and pay the agent’s fee.
4. Isolation from Modern Culture
This was yet another drawback that I didn’t realize how impactful it would be on my life. I’ve always been into the arts, whether it be film, live music, or visual exhibitions. Sadly, in Ukraine, most theaters only play movies in Russian, and very few promoters have the budget needed to bring in quality bands or DJs.
In many ways, the creative scene in much of Ukraine is comparable to small town USA. Concerning my artistic pursuits, I noticed a significant drop-off in my output in the time I spent there. Now that I’m back in the swing of things (and coincidentally no longer there), I think a lot of it had to do with lacking inspiration.
5. The Ability To Explore Other [Better] Areas
I made the mistake of investing in a residency package while in Ukraine that allows me to stay there for up to three years at a time. It’s funny… I was blinded by pretty girls and the allure of low prices to how much the country kind of sucks, especially in the winter time. Taking a chance trip away to another popular Eastern European destination made me realize how much I don’t enjoy being there for reasons other than the obvious.
Best case scenario: you go to Ukraine, manage to lock a few 10’s into a rotation (indeed no easy feat), and ball out with your remote income money, but then what happens? This was my original goal and while I realized that while Ukraine is an exceptional destination for such things, I don’t need to put a damper on other area’s of my life just to get that.
A caller on the most recent Roosh live stream asked him if he should go to Ukraine. Roosh just replied that “it depends on how thirsty you are to sleep with some really beautiful girls.” Let’s be perfectly honest: that, combined with low prices, are the best things the country has to offer. Everything else kind of sucks.
Do not let my attitude turn you off from going to Ukraine.
It’s an amazing place that I suggest most men visit at some point in their lives. While I was somewhat discontented while being there, I meet many men who speak of no such issues and are perfectly happy staying there long term.
Ironically, as I write this, I am currently on my way back. Sometimes, the allure of beautiful women and a high standard of living for a low price is just too good of a deal to pass up.
Read More: The Girls Of Poland And Ukraine