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About Me

Hello everyone! I’m Valeriya. I was born and raised in Kyiv, Ukraine and later moved to the United States. For many years, I called Washington DC my home. Last summer, I made another major move- this time together with my family- to Tashkent, Uzbekistan. We’ll be spending 4 years here, learning about this country and traveling around to explore its customs and traditions.

My debut fiction novel, Secrets We Keep, was released in 2024

Awarded the Literary Titan Gold Book Award, this book takes the readers on a journey with a determined young woman navigating her career in international development and a family mystery in Tanzania. The story blends emotive storytelling with themes of environmental conservation and personal resilience.

Downtown Kyiv, Ukraine

The view of Carpathian mountains, Ukraine

An Unforgettable Trip to Zanzibar

When my work first took me on a trip to Zanzibar some years ago, I felt incredibly lucky. I was fina…

Beautiful Kyiv-Forever in my Heart

The golden domes of the Saint Sophia Cathedral glittering in the sun. The snow-white flowers crownin…

Top Ten Things to Do in Paris with Kids

Paris is a fantastic city to visit with kids. In this post, I’ve listed ten activities which a…

Zaamin National Park in Uzbekistan – Tips for Your First Visit

Zaamin National Park is usually not on the radar of tourists who visit Uzbekistan. Let’s face …

Magic City Tashkent – All You Need to Know Before Your Visit

Magic City Tashkent (“Tashkent Disneyland”) is a modern amusement park in Tashkent which…

Ten Must See Artworks in Paris and Amazing Stories Behind Them

Paris has thousands and thousands of incredible artworks in its collections. It’s impossible t…

Guide to Visiting the Chateau de Fontainebleau

If you are visiting Paris, one of the best day trips you can take is to see the Royal Chateau de Fon…

Golf in Tashkent

Tashkent offers great opportunities for playing golf. The weather in Uzbekistan is quite mild, with …

Guide to Visiting Bongoyo Island, Tanzania

Visiting Bongoyo Island is one of the best day trips you can take in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Bongoy…

Our First Six Months in Tashkent

Moving to a new country is never easy. Saying goodbye to your friends, relatives and favorite places…

Winter in Tashkent

This is our family’s first winter in Tashkent. We moved to Tashkent from Washington DC in Augu…

Tashkent Zoo – History, Exhibits, Activities, Pictures of Animals

Visiting Tashkent Zoo is one of the best activities for families in Tashkent. It’s perfect for…

Getting Settled in Tashkent: Tips for Expats

When our family was planning to move from the US to Uzbekistan for a couple of years, we read a lot …

Five Things to Do and See in Abu Dhabi

When I think about Abu Dhabi, several things immediately come to mind. Stunning mosques. Gorgeous pa…

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi

I immediately spotted this masterpiece when I was in a taxi, going to my hotel from the airport in A…

First Junior Tennis Tournament – What to Expect

At 7 years of age, my daughter Elizabeth has just completed her first junior tennis tournament in th…

Guide to Visiting Uganda

When I think about Uganda, many things immediately come to mind. First, the gorgeous weather all yea…

Perfect Family Vacation in Jekyll Island, GA

Jekyll Island is an amazing place to visit. It has rich history, great hotels, awesome restaurants, …

Hryhoriy Skovoroda-a Famous Ukrainian Writer, Minimalist, and Avid Traveler

Ukrainian literature is beautiful and rich. It boasts a long list of famous writers and poets. I was…

Crimea–the Beautiful Gem You’d Want to Visit Some Day

Crimea has always been a very special place for me and my family. We used to go to the southern coas…

War in Ukraine-a Glimpse of Hope in the Darkness

Ever since February 24, 2022 happened, the lives of all Ukrainians changed forever. We found out wha…

Ballet Classes for Kids in Washington DC

My daughter Elizabeth started taking her ballet classes when she was 4 years old. We chose the studi…

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