Initially, we sat down to write this article with a slightly different message: to describe how we feel working remotely, how it feels working with a view at La Sagrada Família in Barcelona or at Europe Square in Batumi. Gradually, receiving answers from our teammates, we realized that the positive vector sometimes changes: someone writes about views from the balcony while someone writes about escaping through shooting and explosions. So we came to the conclusion that hopefully, in the future we will have enough time to write about how cool it is to have calls and meetings with a view of the Eiffel Tower, but for now, we have collected several different stories from mojamers, difficult and easier ones. Each of them will tell about themselves, about their emotions and feelings.

  • Lizel, Brand Content Creator. Batumi, Sakartvelo

Relocation is a strong word. It is more about a «forced escape». In this escape, I manage to work both by the sea in Batumi, and on the balcony in Tbilisi, and somewhere on the train on the way from one city to another. A laptop, headphones and a million open tabs in the browser are always with you.

Although, you quickly get used to this frantic pace or at least try to, knowing that there are guys from our company who work with the sound of sirens and explosions at the background.

Lisel sighs

So you wake up every morning and sit down for the next task hoping that your colleague, Vika, will get in touch after another shelling.

The rest of the routine is just like for everyone else: wake up, wash up, open the gadget, look at the clock, and oops, it is the end of the working day already. Every day from Monday to Friday is passing by this way but cheerfully, with pleasure and not monotonously. Most often – in a Ukrainian cafe, where butterbeer is served, as for Harry Potter.

Somewhere in between creamy non-alcoholic beer and projects, I volunteer, stand with a flag on Europe Square in Batumi, together with friends collect donations for ZSU, weave camouflage nets. That’s why I’m rather not relocating, I’m hiding: I dig in at home with a laptop and work-work-work, then I take out the flag and hope that all this horror will one day be erased by our victory.

  • Gabriela, Support Teamlead. Milan, Italy

A little over a month ago, I had another change of locations, landscapes and interiors: from the sunny beach colors of the Spanish south to the picturesque urbanism, architecture, gastronomic and other delights of the Italian north. By the will of life circumstances, my workplace in the form of a laptop and I have now moved to Milan.

So far, the impressions are very different and the process of getting used to a new country, language and place is in its most active phase. I must say for now it is mostly a positive experience. Among other things, a significant part is connected with the fact that after almost eight years of experience “sharing with flatmates” lifestyle, finally I have my “own” apartment and not just a room.

My inner stay-at-home introvert is unspeakably happy with the opportunity to arrange my cozy corner and, most importantly, a comfortable lifestyle and routine working on remote, when your house turns into your office.

Gabriela laughs

After the first days of the relocation chaos, I managed to build the old routine with the addition of new elements. Due to the evening shift schedule, all my life, which is not work, is concentrated in the morning hours and I dedicate time to the gym, language courses, grocery shopping, etc.

I will continue to upgrade my «homework» place and in the future I hope to combine remote work with offline meetings with colleagues.

  • Roma, Recruiter. Cluj-Napoca, Romania

Hello! I will tell you about Romania and Cluj-Napoca city! Romania is not only a country of vampires and gypsies (a favorite stereotype about this country), but also a country with insanely beautiful nature and architecture.

Some points that deserve attention:

Medieval Castles: Romania is known for its impressive medieval castles. The most famous of them are Peles Castle and Bran Castle, which is associated with the legendary Count Dracula.

Carpathians. Everyone who lives in Ukraine knows the Carpathians, as they pass through both Romania and Ukraine. The Carpathians are ideal for outdoor activities, hiking, skiing and mountaineering.

As for the city where I am.

Cluj-Napoca is considered the cultural capital of Romania and one of the important centers of culture and education in the country. The majority of IT people are here, and in Romanian films, when they show majors in expensive cars, they say that they must be from Cluj-Napoca.

After a year in this city I can say the next:

Real estate. Renting apartments here is quite chaotic, the closer to the center the more expensive.

Infrastructure. Excellent accessibility of public transport and low traffic on the roads allow you to comfortably move around the city.

People: beautiful and friendly people, but this is a distinctive feature of the city in particular (in Bucharest, for example, everything is pretty sad with this point). At the beginning of the war, a lot of people offered help and support. After all this time, people still care.

Food prices are very close to prices in Ukraine. You have here all the products we love. The only difficult thing to find is buckwheat. It is better to look for it in separate “healthy food” stores.

Most likely at that moment Roma was comparing prices

In general, I am very glad that I ended up here. The city is not a metropolis, around 300,000 thousand people, and this is its plus. It is clean, beautiful, and there are plenty things to do. I would be glad to see you if you are passing nearby by chance 🙂 

All the best!

PS: Kharkiv is cooler anyway ❤️

PPS: Here are the pictures of my workplace. I actually have two of them. The second one is for relax and when you want to watch the guys play tennis 🙂 

  • Valya, HR BP. Kotor, Montenegro

Before the start of the war, the news feed was not really encouraging, everywhere they talked about an attack. A bunch of facts gave 90% of certainty that something would happen, but no one thought that this would be a full-scale war.

We followed the recommendations: we gathered all the documents in one place, the car was always with a full tank, we took a small amount of money in cash. Relatives did not want to believe, and my husband and I seemed to them anxious freaks.

On February 24 we woke up from a call from my mother. The connection was terrible, intermittent, she whispered: «the war».

We did not see Valya’s face during the interview, but it was unlikely to be happy

Mom asked me to leave without her, she said: «Go by yourselves, we are at the other end of the city, there is already a traffic jam on the bridge, you won’t pass». To leave without them was was the hardest decision in my life.

I remember how in the meantime of quick gathering, I called Nastya, CEO Ira, Lisa, Roma (MOJAM teammates) to wake up at least someone and understand what was happening to them.

We drove not along the main road, but through Gostomel, miraculously managed to slip through, since the police had already arrived, the military were installing roadblocks. A traffic jam has already begun to form behind us, and it’s terrible when you drive and you know that behind you, at gas stations and in the crowd, there are kilometer-long queues of people who will not pass.

We drove without ceasing to cry, listened to the radio, called everyone. At the same time, we created the «Ukraine» channel in Telegram for our mojamers. Then Nastya (office-manager) and I called all possible car parks and looked for buses to take the guys out of Kharkov at any cost. The maximum price was, if I am not mistaken, 300 thousand UAH per bus. We agreed, but in the end it turned out that there was still no gasoline.

It was very scary when we drove through the Thermal Power Station, there was a military unit nearby or something like that, and in the sky above us, over the highway, two planes were flying. You couldn´t understand whether they were ours or not. We simply drove as fast as possible and did not look at the road signs and cameras.

At some point, we realized that we had practically no water – 0.5 l in total. We miscalculated. We stopped to buy more and only then noticed that there were only 11 UAH in our pockets. A little later, we understood that we wouldn’t get there just physically, and our dog, who doesn’t like to ride in a car in general, is simply wasted. We started calling hotels in the Lviv region and we were lucky to find a room in Lviv, where they agreed to accept a dog. The owner met us, told us where to hide in case of a siren and gave us a couple of bottles of water.

The first thing we did was put phones and power banks on charge, turned on the news, called our family. The shower took us 2 minutes and there was 0 sleep. During this time, we went down four times to the shelter, stayed at the parking lot, there was nowhere to sit, it was cold, we all were confused and called nonstop our relatives. It is necessary to recognize the efforts of the owners of the hotel, they went by and woke people up during the siren, gave water, offered any help, gave coffee / tea and sandwiches in the morning, suggested where it is better to go to refuel, where you can buy food, how to get to the Carpathians etc.

We drove for a long time. I can say that if we slept 3-4 hours in 3 days, so this was a very good result. Sometimes it seemed that you were delirious.

The owner of the hotel in the Carpathians also called every day to check whether we will manage to go there, where we are, so if anything happened, they could give the room to other people. They met us and asked if any help was needed, told about everything. As for me, I didn’t eat for 3 days in a row, I just couldn’t. I was only drinking water and my husband was already getting really nervous. I was realizing with my brain that I needed to eat, but I couldn’t physically, I was thinking over and over about what was going on with my family and with all my relatives.

Working life

I can say that we were lucky enough: the room was for 4 people, with a kitchenette. Many of our friends lived in grandmother’s houses, where they had to warm themselves with firewood and cook food in the oven, while someone had nothing at all.

Work saved for real. It didn´t let you to go crazy and helped to distract yourself. All of our fellows shared useful information, news, reconciliation – is everything in order, where did they hit last time, if everyone is alive. After about 2-3 weeks, we realized that we wanted to call not only among our team, but call everyone, because we need to speak out, share our emotions, find out what everyone is passing through and how, not only in PM and short correspondence. Then on Fridays we organized «Friday Hugs» and at first they were purely gatherings for chatting, it calmed and distracted us a little. Then they transformed into «Let’s play Among Us», and afterwards into full-fledged CS:GO tournaments.

During all this time, we probably lived in 25 apartments. This is counting where we stayed when we drove home and back.

Now our life is on pause globally speaking. The planning horizon has narrowed, and I still want to go home so badly. We miss the usual food. We of course cook borsch, but we had to make pelmeni ourselves.

The anxiety remains during the moments of shelling, and it will not go away, but you try to control yourself, help your relatives and friends.

We believe in ZSU. Victory will be ours!

  • Afterword from MOJAM

Such a long read unexpectedly happened in July, but we are glad that it turned out the way it is: somewhere a little more of sightseeing, somewhere scary, somewhere cheery. For better or for worse, life is still life, and you can’t perfectly photoshop reality or open a guide to find out what will happen next. None of us know this, but we are sure of one thing: if we stick together, believe more in ZSU, donate more, volunteer, weave camouflage nets, remind the world that the war is still going on, then someday all this horror will end.

This was the first article in the serie «War Relocation» and we will continue to collect stories, fears, experiences, expectations from mojamers. We hope that all these longreads will somehow resonate in your heart.

Everything will be MOJAM!

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