Who is Travel Monkey?
Hello! My name is LENA.
Where I’m From?
I was born and raised in post-soviet Ukraine, spending most of my childhood running out on a street, be it playing ball during summer’s +30C or riding a sleigh during winter’s -20C – outdoors was the major activity for me. Being obsessed with geography from high school I could only dream about seeing those rivers and mountains and cities for real and cruising through life I found out that dreams can actually come true! Now I consider myself to be a citizen of the world, calling more than two places my home.
How Did It All Start?
At 17 I left home for my first major life changing experience – studying abroad, which was in Klaipeda, Lithuania. Having a European Schengen visa opened up a lot of traveling possibilities, as it was so easy to go from country to country. Little by little that turned me in a travel junkie that I am today.
I started traveling heavily since 2013 and slowly built up all my excitement and impressions into a Travel Monkey Blog. It’s there to keep my memories alive and to share the lessons I’ve learned taking this amazing journey, so that you don’t have to make the same mistakes. Hope you find useful and inspiring information in here!
After living 4 years in Lithuania and 1 year in Lund, Sweden I moved to a vibrant capital of Scandinavia, Copenhagen, where I live now together with my dearest friend and partner for life. And after that? Who knows…
*Don’t forget, the earth is round and the world is small, so there is a chance we might meet in some remote corner of this world!*
Key Facts About Me…
- I also do MUSIC! Yeah, my partner and I have a music project called ‘Karren’. Check out our Youtube channel and our SoundCloud page for covers and our own songs.
- My daily mode of transportation is a bicycle (even in winter time!)
- I used to be a lead singer in a quite successful local nu-metal band when I was 17
- Love dogs (but who doesn’t, really?) and dream to have my own fluffy trouble maker one day
- My unattainable teenage dream was to see Korn perform live. I was sure it will never ever happen because I live in Ukraine and chance will never come to me. Happy to say that I was wrong and my wish came true twice in 2013. NEVER STOP DREAMING!
Ideally, I’d love to see it all! Yeah, that’s how insatiable I am about traveling. But looking in small chunks, here is a list of countries I would love to explore in the near future:
USA(knocked it off in December 2016, see here)
- South Korea
- Papua New Guinea
Greece(knocked it off in August 2016, see here)
Morocco(knocked it off in November 2018, see here)
Do you live in any of those places? Know any adventurous spots or would like to host a modest backpacker? I am glad we bumped into each other! Drop me a message and let’s keep in touch.
The Rainbow of my Moods and What Do They Mean
- Happy days: most likely I just booked a new trip ✈
- Grumpy days: the whole world is an enemy for no apparent reason. Best recipe for handling – leave me alone or bring me a candy (unless I’m on a diet, in which case candy is your death sentence!)
- Thoughtful days: reading a book, thinking about our place in the universe and taking evening walks by the harbor, love a good talking opponent during these days
- Bad days: fighting anxiety, doubting myself, redoing my previous work
- Dreamy days: play images in my head sitting on a swing with Lana Del Rey playing in my headphones (this might as well be happening on a 10-hour bus ride)
- Heavy days: so busy that I don’t even react to your comments. No worries, I’ll get back to you when I’m done with my stuff
- Creative days: Singing, playing guitar, writing, making photos and videos, painting my furniture, trying new recipes, trying out new outfits, putting together a new itinerary…
- Sick of it all days: changing my hair style or color
LET’S BE FRIENDS! ADD ME ON FACEBOOK, TWITTER AND PINTEREST
i am a life coach as well as a medic in Alaska. I would be tickled to write about you in my health and wellness blog. I would not mind writing about your rainbow of moods. Please let me know what you think. And if you wish to mention me in your blog site that would be great too.
Thanks and happy New Year,
Hello Lena! I have recently read your Insane Ukraine guide in my thirst to learn more about this wonderful country and would like to connect with you. I’m from the US and I have met and have been communicating with a woman from Eastern Ukraine. We have grown to be very connected but I’m struggling with the logistics of our relationship and my concern with her well-being given the current conflict in that part of the country. Please feel free to contact me directly to hopefully provide me with some ideas on potential options on how to help with my current situation.
I am so glad you picked up my book and I hope it was at least a little bit helpful. It depends where she lives of course, but you should be able to easily visit Ukraine, as most of the territory is at peace. You can drop me an email of course if you wish to talk more about it.
I will have to get your book. I have no been to the Ukraine, but have spent a lot of time in Eastern Europe, mainly Estonia, but also Poland and Latvia. The final chapter in my book (No Adventure Too Ridiculous: Mad Tales From A Lifetime of Travel) is about traveling back roads in Estonia I really like how you have designed the blog and would possibly be interested in advertising my book there.
Really looking forward to visiting Lviv in April 2019. It’s impossible to buy a decent guidebook here in the UK so your guide to the best things to do is so useful. So many people wonder why on Earth would we want to visit Ukraine. I think all they hear is bad news about Russia (and Chernobyl of course) – but I think they’re narrow-minded and can’t wait!
You are right, Steve! I hope when you come back from your trip, you can spread the world among your friends that it is not as scary as they say on the TV.
Well this didn’t age well!
I am a student from Lithuania and I am planning to go on Erasmus to Lund University and I was hoping you could answer me some questions about it.
Hi Greta, I can try 🙂 What would you like to know?
Hi Lena, your posts are really helpful. I am planning to move to Copenhagen in July for a new job and trying to calculate the monthly budget to negotiate the remuneration properly. Could you help me or guide me to the right direction? I’d really appreciate that.
Sure, Tushar. You can drop me a message on my facebook page or an email, if you wish to talk privately.
Hi Lena, I’m finding your life and travel experiences interesting and inspiring. Thank you for sharing. Have a very Happy and Healthy New Year!