So I'm turning thirty at the end of next week. I remember so well when I was 21 and my friend Paula came to town to visit and she told me that she had just turned thirty and I was like, "HOW ARE YOU EVEN STILL ALIVE?!"

Suddenly thirty doesn't sound all that old.

Nevertheless, I feel the need to go through some sort of early mid-life crisis so I bought eye cream a little while ago and also whenever a Spice Girls song comes on the radio I'm all, "TURN IT UP!" because that's what the kids are listening to.

When I found out that Rebecca was going to be moving to Paris, I thought it would be a perfectly good idea to fly out there and spend my birthday in the city of love where I could practice the one French word I know. #HomeAlone

So I told Rebecca about this a while ago and she was like, "OK! WE CAN TALK ALL DAY AND ALL NIGHT IN FRENCH!" And then I immediately changed my mind about Paris. Because I don't need that chaos to be a part of my life in any other country but my own.

It was around this time a month or two ago that Brandt told me that he would be happy to go somewhere with me. We started considering options. We looked up 100,000 different flights. One thing led to another. Bada-bing, bada-boom.

Somehow we decided that we should purchase plane tickets to the most dangerous country in the world right now.

So one week from today we are scheduled to fly directly into the heart of Ukraine. It's basically like going to Disneyland except imagine if Disneyland had borsch and Russia was invading it.

Look. I know. I KNOW. What are we thinking? We bought the tickets not long after the Ukrainian president was ousted and before the annexation of the Crimea. There was this very small window in which things looked relatively calm in the area so we thought we would be going there to survey the aftermath of the violent riots, like visiting a country after a war has ended.

Since that time, not only did the Crimea mess happen, but the entire Eastern portion of the country has devolved into absolute chaos with pro-Russian demonstrators taking over government buildings by force and with Russia lining its military all along the border and threatening to invade at a moment's notice. In the meantime, every powerful country of the world has threatened one another up and down with sanctions and more.

I have been constantly heartsick over it for months now and have worried for my friends there.

To say the situation has been volatile and intense would be a huge understatement. Some have gone even as far as stating that this conflict could lead to the start of World War III.

Well, Brandt and I must want some borsch real bad because we have not changed our plans. We have, however, obsessively checked google news approximately 200 times a day and then texted each other things like, "so a new battle just broke out" and "well that city is still pretty far away from where we're going to be."

None of it is really much of a comfort.

Bob and Cathie haven't spent a lot of time being concerned over it because, as Cathie so inspiringly put it a couple of weeks ago, "son, I'm not worried about your Ukraine trip because you're going to die in the half Ironman first."

And now, suddenly, this trip has sprung upon us. It's true that there probably hasn't been a more interesting time in recent history to visit Ukraine. There probably hasn't really been a more dangerous time in the last twenty years to tour the country either. And while I'm apprehensive about the potential danger, I'm looking forward to turning thirty in the same country in which I was living when I turned twenty. A place that I really love.

I'll keep my fingers crossed and my prayers sincere for my Ukrainian friends that they'll find peace soon. And I have no doubt that if we are actually able to go next week, I'll have some strange stories to send back to you.

~It Just Gets Stranger