How to master traveling in Eastern Europe? | Vodka Vodcast 004 Part 2

So if you’re thinking of learning a
foreign language and you’re really motivated you should go ahead and check out
the link below in the description to this YouTube video or if you’re
listening on the podcast in the show notes because they’re gonna find my link
to italki which is a website with which I’ve found so many language tutors over
the years they have over 110 different languages there and you can take the
classes via Skype that’s what I did one-on-one to learn languages like
Russian I’ve also learned Ukrainian using teachers that I found on italki
and there they also have a function called italki classroom where you can
actually take them outside of Skype there’s actually a classroom feature
that they’ve added to the service that’s a great platform you also get $10 credit
if you go through my special link below there in the description gets you started on
taking your first class is gonna be one-to-one tuition that’s what I use and
that’s what I found to be really effective of the years in all the
languages I’ve been learning like French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian,
Ukrainian, Romanian and lots more so best of luck go check it out! Welcome back to
part two of this episode the travel journey episode on the Tsar Experience
podcast with me Conor Clyne if you haven’t listened or watched part 1 go
back and do that now before you start this part 2 so you don’t miss out and
you actually follow what I’m what I’m talking about how my journey is let me
took here this city which is Odessa, Ukraine on the shores of the Black Sea
go back as I said to the previous video on YouTube and or the previous episode
or the previous upload on SoundCloud or iTunes wherever you happen to be
listening to this if you’re listening to it as opposed to watching it on YouTube
and you’ll get part 1 this is part 2 let’s get into it
let’s get into part 2 of my travel story. For example I got accused of being on a fake
passport who actually crossed into Ukraine yeah and I was taken to an
interrogator accused of being Russian even though I hardly spoke a word in the
language but anyways in the end that was all fine I didn’t I was allowed into the
country at least then throughout that trip a girl here
in Odessa tried to steal my my new cell phone and your smartphone I was like a
rival to the iPhone at the time. It was actually a Nokia I know they don’t exist
anymore and I managed to miraculously get it
back she actually left the club, Ibiza club, which is a famous nightclub
here with my phone but I did get it back by complete a complete miracle I managed
to find her and retrieve it before she returns to disappear.
I got drugged yeah that actually happened to me I was unconscious for 36
hours in Crimea in Sevastopol or Sevastopol and unfortunately nothing bad
happened to me I wasn’t robbed or anything I just woke
up a day and a half later in my apartment you know my wallet was there
my passport was there my phone was there again I was extremely lucky
so why was all this happening to me? Well it was in part because I was actually very
naive and I was really suffering as I said from this culture shock because I
didn’t really know much about how the country operated the people how they
interact with each other and my Russian was so poor that you know the people who
want to take advantage of a visitor they were all seeing me and targeting moi
here yours truly and that was something that became more and more important … I had a problem with a taxi driver like he basically ripped me off I mean it wasn’t
a huge amount of money it was like 50 euros for a trip between two cities but
again because I didn’t really understand and you know I felt very vulnerable I
actually felt intimidated a lot because I couldn’t understand things. I
was disorientated you know I couldn’t read things that were written everywhere
very easily. I had all these unfortunate experiences with girls trying to rob me as
you can tell so it was really like I left the trip extremely philosophical
and I headed back to Brussels and I was determined I was determined to come back
and conquer this region metaphorically speaking of course not violently and
you’re probably asking yourself Conor if you had this kind of like awful
experience and traumatic experience coming here why would you ever want to
do that again to yourself are you like a sucker for
punishment why bother just stick to Western Europe everything is great there
everything is set up as you said for tourists why bother coming back here? Now
I’ve described some of the things that went wrong because I wasn’t prepared for
the trip correctly but I also had a lot of really cool shit happen to me as well
like I’m still friends with a guy I still talk to occasionally, Rudd met him at an airport in
Simferopol which is the capital of Crimea they actually took me to a music
festival and he was managing Armin Van Buuren, the famous Dutch DJ, there at the
time so I got hang out with him … just just lots of people we had a crazy time at
this amazing music festival Kazantip which unfortunately no longer exists
since Russia’s annexation of the Crimean peninsula a few years ago but that was
really something amazing and it really got me hooked because it was really like
I loved and enjoyed the interaction with the people who are not doing the
nefarious things to me the bad things to me and I really felt it was an adventure
because Central Europe a lot people refer to Central Europe as Eastern Europe
listen Prague is further west than Vienna
that’s not Eastern Europe it’s probably Western Europe let’s be honest about it
you can call it Central Europe or Mitteleuropa in German places like Budapest are not
Eastern Europe culturally not at all so you know I understand I understand the
history they were under communist regimes pro-soviet regimes for a certain
amount of time in the post- second world war period but those
countries like so anchored in Western Europe today through the European Union
and obviously NATO that and culturally they look westwards and it’s very
different here when you come to Ukraine I know things have changed in the last
five years this country does look more westward than it did before and it’s in
the process of transition but definitely there’s a big cultural difference been in
coming to Ukraine and going say to to Prague or to Budapest they’re fantastic
cities don’t get me wrong you should definitely visit them but it’s not the same
experience so when I got back to Brussels and I think this was really the
key for for you guys like I had had this experience I was kind of in one way
exhilarated by the whole thing in other a its kind of thinking terrifying to be
honest because all these like pretty bad things were happening to me but I got away with
it right I had nothing really that awful came as a
consequence but when I went up back to Brussels I had a plan and a mission and
I was first of all I made big changes in preparation for this second trip solo
trip to Ukraine the following year and that was primarily to focus on learning
Russian now that does three things for you
of course makes easier on a functional basis if you can talk to people to order
stuff read the menu for example definitely you need to invest some time
and learning the alphabet it’s not that difficult a lot of people think learning
the alphabet is really hard honestly a week of focusing on it you’ll be able to
read either in you’ll be able to read Cyrillic if you’re not used to it so
that’s for Russian or for Ukrainian or Belarusian if you have to read stuff
when you’re traveling in this in this region and the second thing it does is
in order to learn the language you have to kind of go back to being a five year
old make lots of mistakes it’s very humbling and you also have to put
yourself in the position of a local person and their culture there’s a lot
of language in … you know not first of all not everything is verbal there
are a lot of mannerisms of you know Italians use their hands for example and French kind
of I guess that is very strong nasal sounds is kind of aloof attitude and
they communicate through that and also just so much culture just caught up in
the expressions of the language how people formulate stuff that really helps
you understand the people a lot more and then thirdly and I think almost most
importantly for the traveler like you who comes here is when you can you know
get the grasp on the language at least up into like a high beginner low
intermediate level it allows you to distinguish yourself or maybe other
tourists who come here in to and rely on English which is very difficult to do
anyways but you can survive of course in the touristic areas of the big city like
Odessa here you can do that but local people will react to you completely different if
you can kind of make that initial conversation starter in Russian pretty
convincing or if it’s Ukrainian or Belarusian or Polish or whatever you
happen to be trying to speak in now I know Poland is also in Central Europe
it’s in the eastern part of Central Europe before I get trolled again I do know where
it is like will take Moldova so speaking Romanian so speaking in those language
definitely distinguishes you from the average
traveler or tourist here in particular because that’s what we’re looking for at
least I’m looking for when I travel around and trust a lot of you I was
looking for that kind of more traveler adventure than just a touristic
experience and so that’s really key to it so I focussed on that and I appreciate a
lot of you have very busy lives and not everybody can come here for one or two
months a year and hang out and really get to know the city I encourage you to
take advantage of course if you have that possibility but I was actually working
as a lawyer and a lot of pressure I worked a lot of hours per week like
eighty to a hundred there was massive stress but I decided that for two hours
a week I was going to take Skype classes one-on-one with a native Russian speaker
and really start to learn the language and I recommend you go look for your
teachers and italki or italki and there’s some starter credit I’ll link
them below in the show notes and in the YouTube video description and there you
get $10 starter credit if you sign up through my link so this little gift for
you guys if you decide to go go there and look for a tutor and I really
encourage that because you know it’s pretty cost effective online to do it on
skype and if you were like living in your home country wherever it is before
you travel you’ll have lots of opportunity build up that routine and
really get to learn the language and get the basics down before you arrive here
because arriving in a country not just involves having to deal with the
language also you know it’s like me with a culture shock it’s a lot to do if
you’re struggling the language as well so you want to kind of front-load that
as much as possible before you come so I have learned the language I also started
another thing that you can implement at depending on you live of course but I
started to go to a lot of Russian-speaking events now cultural
events to do with the various countries of the former Soviet Union like say
Ukrainian events Russian events Moldovan events whatever happened to be Kazakh
events and that allowed me to meet local people who were living in Brussels from
those countries and that was great because then I really got to know their
culture even better because I met more people from those countries and I was
now I had the experience of traveling to the region at least so I could discuss a
few things you know it’s more in-depth our conversations and deeper and I got to
know a lot more people from this broader region and shared history and you know
the differences in their history and perspectives so that
was really great that’s something you can do as well where you’re living
I mean I appreciate that if you don’t live in a big city that might be harder but you can do
it online as well you can go into Facebook groups or forums and
start to really learn more and meet people from the region while you have
the time before so the second time I came here it was completely different I
did not experience the culture shock this preparation period had really
helped me and of course the experience from the first trip I mean I’ve never
been drugged again in Ukraine I’ve never been robbed
I don’t really been ripped off I think once maybe someone tried to shortchange
me in Kiev I referred to that in another video I think after the European football
championships and I recognized it and I just got my you know my change-back I don’t
have any problems now with taxi apps for example it makes a lot easier you know
to order your text by the time I had to call taxis and if you don’t speak
Russian you couldn’t do that and anything you basically get ripped up by
the taxi drivers in any of the touristic cities so it was also a really big help
and a big bonus and you know I just even and my interactions woke up there were a
lot more deep made it a lot easier to be friends here to meet girls here of
course also part of the motivation for me to come back was the renowned beauty of the
women here and it’s definitely true in this broader region Ukraine Russia
Belarus for example Moldova these countries lots of beautiful women here
and I was really of course motivated to meet and to get to know them better and
that’s harder if you’re just relying on English for sure definitely the
investment in learning Russian has paid huge dividends in that and I will go on
that into more detail in my dating story in the next episode so that’s basically
what transformed it I have this first experience that led to this kind of like
I guess epiphany about what I had to do you know I was lucky enough on first trip
and I want to make sure that you guys come here prepared so that you don’t
have those kind of experiences that sometimes I read about like people
getting mugged here or just ripped off or they get in some like unsavory
situation especially with dating apps I have things in other videos on the YouTube
channel about scammers and scams in Eastern Europe and actually I gonna make a
new video about them just specifically here in Odessa that I can help you guys out
when come here and you can avoid all those
problems so that’s what I did and that’s what I recommend now if you want to go
deeper into travelling in this region I have a free training course that you
just have to set up by email gonna link that below in the show notes and in the
YouTube video description so you can go there and check that out as completely
free just have to type in your email address I do have a premium course
afterwards and I do provide consulting services if you want to you know advice
some personal coaching about how to travel here and that also includes a
course meeting women how to interact with locals in general and that
kind of like intercultural differences that you’re going to need going to need
to be prepared for but I know a lot of you write to me about meeting women who
subscribe to the channel and are on my mailing list and you write lots of
questions like that so definitely that’s something you might be interested in for
sure you go down and sign up for the free stuff if you never pay for anything you
still have the value of that and that’s part of the reason that I make these
videos especially for YouTube and now the podcast I think it’s been happening
on average once a day that one of you viewers comes up to me here on the
street in Odessa in Ukraine and actually you tell me how much you enjoy my videos
and how they’ve helped you and actually I’m part of the reason you came here to
Odessa in Ukraine and that’s really really great for me too for me to hear
so you’ve been coming up to me and that’s really and it keeps me so
motivated and I see the impact I’m having that I’ve been able to help you
encourage you to come here to Odessa in Ukraine so definitely I appreciate that
and keep coming up to me if you see me and you know drop me a message and let
me know how how much it meant to you and don’t be shy about writing me on social
media or an email my email is [email protected] and gonna have
all that there below in the description so go and copy and paste it you don’t
have to figure how to spell my name like a lot of people get it wrong and you
can follow me of course on Instagram on the Instagram stories my handle is
@tsarexperience and ‘tsar’ is spelt T-S-A-R and you can find it there and then you’ll be
able to see what I’m up to in the Instagram stories every day here in
Odessa in Ukraine so that’s what I hope you got from from watching this
video podcast or if you’re listening to it on itunes or on soundcloud that you
can overview of what my experience was like you’re probably gonna get to relate
to that to certain extent if you’re traveling from abroad
here to Eastern Europe and these are the problems that I faced is how I opened
came them ultimately it’s actually a little bit of thunder I wonder if we’re gonna get a downpour
here in Odessa oh yeah I might have to end this one in a few minutes yes very very
humid you probably can see that I’m perspiring a little bit as I speak here it’s like
late July it’s very warm it’s probably about 30 degrees and we’re on the shores
of the Black Sea so there is a little breeze thankfully so yeah you want to learn
from my mistakes basically and come here prepared and I can help you that with of
course the content I have my youtube channel and if you were more as I’ve said than
just contact me and watch the free course and all that kind of stuff and
then you’ll be definitely better prepared and that’s what I see from
people who I meet here in Odessa who come up to me you guys who’ve come up to me over
the last week or so so in the next episode of this video podcast I’m going
to be going into my dating story in particular I’ve kind of alluded to it a lot
obviously in this video in previous episodes of the podcast and in my
youtube videos so that’s going to be coming up here I’m probably gonna shoot
it here in Odessa or in Kiev we’ll see I’m supposed to travel to Kiev tomorrow
gonna meet up with a huge youtuber who’s a travel in the travel niche he’s a
really cool guy but more about that coming in probably a YouTube video in a
few weeks I’m really excited about it so in the meantime I wish all of you a
splendid day evening morning wherever you are watching this or listening to it
from I see I have a new friend behind me there which is waved that’s always cute
and we will see each other in the next episode of the of the podcast as I said
for me about my dating story you really want to probably listen in to
that one if you’re interested in coming here for … to meet women in
particular that’s gonna be pretty interesting so you can learn from my
experience and my advice about how you should go about things here so that’s it
from this episode of the podcast до свидания до побачення and I will see you
and all your enthusiastic smiling faces pumped to come here to Eastern Europe to
the real raw east of Europe I in the next episode so peace out.

7 thoughts on “How to master traveling in Eastern Europe? | Vodka Vodcast 004 Part 2

  • ….Those are all reasons to have a guide…….I wouldn't have known where to even go to the bathroom without one while I was in Russia…

  • You are very brave to immerse yourself in a foreign country which is the best way to learn a language. It is a risky venture but it is worth it.

  • Hiiiiii Conor😀👋👋

    I'm currently in Kiev , I would love to pass by and shake hands , that would be a pleasure and honour for me )))) so may I meet you if you have some free time ? If not that's not a problem at all ))))

  • Hello Conor! Thanks a lot for sharing your experience! Perhaps, it's better to have a friend or maybe a teacher of Russian when you come first time here to help tp orient…but even like this…I was with my student in Odessa and some gypsies approached us and didn't want to let go asking for money 🙁 Another accident happened to my friend in Odessa. He is Ukrainian and moved to Odessa recently, so while his mom was in the flat with a little baby somebody got inside and took a bag from the hall with his passport and…more than that somebody took a loan from the bank with his passport)))

  • That's correct, in East Europe, you have to be careful, for sure. We have a lot of problems with criminals, especially in Odessa (that's a mafia city). But if you find the good person that you can trust, in this case, it will be one of the best trips of your life. Many of Ukrainians are easy going and it helps a lot to socialize with them quite quickly. I left that country 15 years ago and still coming back every year because it's just impossible to leave that place definitely.

  • Conor, love your show..I travel for work and also for leisure. Thank you for the helpful tips. If I may, it would be nice to see a video of latvia from your point of view.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *