Question: Why did you decide to live in Ukraine?
I decided to move to Sevastopol, Ukraine so as to master the Russian language. Although located in the country of Ukraine, the city of Sevastopol is a 100% Russian speaking city, as is all of the Crimea, and pretty much all of the eastern part of the country. Sevastopol, though, is a particularly good place for studying the Russian language because there are Russians from all over living there. In Sevastopol I’ve met speakers born and raised in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Murmansk, Vladivostok and so on. They all moved to live by the sea, and many have ties to the Russian Navy (which bases its Black Sea fleet there.)
A secondary goal was to create an online, Russian language course, and to hold on-location, language workshops.
A third goal was….to live by the sea. For all my adult life, I lived in Arizona. There’s no industry nor any factories in Sevastopol, so the water is for the most part pollution-free. (Though at some beaches you’ll find trash that’s been blown into the water from the vastly overstuffed little trashcans they have on some beaches.)
Finally, I was simply ready for a change in life. I was about to turn 40, and I feel I’d gotten as much as I could out of my job. It was a rare moment in life where I realized, “I can pull this off. I can go live abroad for a few years.”