The lives of Kyiv-based tour operators Julia Kulyk and Aleksandr Skrypka, and their daughter, Polina, were turned upside-down when Russia invaded Ukraine.
Travel Weekly has chronicled parts of their journey – their plans to leave and then Julia and Polina’s safe arrival in the Netherlands.
Julia has since gotten a job with the U.S.-based OTA Kimkim, vetting inbound tour operators in Southeast Asia for possible inclusion on the company’s platform. When it brought its staff to the U.S. for a meeting last month, Travel Weekly editor in chief Arnie Weissmann met with Julia in Los Angeles to get an update on her situation.
She said that Aleksandr, who is unable to legally leave Ukraine because all men under age 60 must remain in the country, is still in Kiev, working with friends to raise money and deliver food and other resources to elderly citizens in small towns nearby. Polina is enrolled in a school in the Netherlands.
The situation is difficult: At Easter, Julia and Polina were able to reunite for a weekend in Lviv, but the family misses one another terribly, and Julia and Polina are very homesick.
Julia and Polina are getting by, but Julia would like to take on more work on evenings and weekends. “If there is someone in the U.S. travel industry who could use some freelance help with travel marketing, especially social media, I can assist. Please have them reach out to me at my former company’s email address: [email protected],” she told Weissmann.