Europe, To Love Travel, Move To Family Hotel, Hang Out, Leave When I Want


Europe, To Love Travel, Move to Family Hotel, Hang Out, Leave When I Want

This is almost impossible to do in Europe, like banging my head against the wall, and thinking I am not going to do it tomorrow. But, if I complain, some tourist is going to get offended that I am insulting their two week vacation they planned for years.

My continuous hope is to travel to a foreign country, move into a small family hotel, have clean sheets, hot showers, and a great neighborhood. And, when I say great neighborhood, when I walk around it, we can meet people at coffee shops, bars, sitting in the park, there are endless ways of meeting people. The more long-term connections, the better.

Hell is living an apartment, be a foreigner that does not speak the local language, with no opportunity to meet people. If NO long-term connections are never created, then I am in hell.

To weigh up a country, a great country is, and was a country where when I left, I accumulated dozens of emails, telephone numbers, new friends on Facebook, or Instagram; maybe I talk with these new friends on WhatsApp, or Skype when I leave, and in the next country, if these connections survive, then the country where they were established is my favorite countries.

Weighing Europe July 22, 2018 - Score card of Andy Lee Graham

No connections made.

Prague, Czech Republic:
No connections made.

Maribor, Slovenia:
No connections made.

Bratislava, Slovokia:
1 connection made with Turkey woman.

Kiev, Ukraine:
3 connections, Marina, Tekesi, and some guy standing in front of the bus stop, I think his name is Yuri, this guy is a connector.

Odessa, Ukraine after same amount of time as Kiev:
No connections made.

Now, this is math, the longer we spend, the more connections we hopefully create, long-term friends is great.

This is my scorecard, and why I travel the world, to have friends, and see some of the most interesting things, building, cultures, and language the world has to offer.

I can hear the rebuttal,
“Yet, Prague, Czech Republic is beautiful.”
Yes, sort of like having sex with a beautiful girl, with no brain, the fruit is missing, the great connection is missing, but, she was beautiful, and if I went home, had her photo, my friends would wow me.

And, if I go home, and showed spectacular photos of Prague, my friends will wow me, but, bottom line, I will never go back to either the beautiful woman, or the beautiful Prague, Czech Republic, I have yet to figure out how to have a connection with a beautiful building.

Life is really like Cheers the television show, in a nutshell,
“Where everybody knows your name.
When you walk in, or return, they say,
“Hello Andy, where have you been?”

I am worried about Hotels, and Hostels, Guesthouses, anywhere, I would not even consider AirBnB unless I was married.

The reason I continue to travel, is because I continue to find the good life, the way to live in hell, is to listen to people talk about buildings, tourist attractions, they are great, and so is one night with a beautiful woman with no brain.

The building will not remember my name, and either will the woman.

Yet, I do admit, in Europe, if we insert alcohol, do become capable of talking, but do they know why they are talking?

The addictive nature of the Internet, smartphones, and reservations has create money paying clones of the tourists, who obey, pay money, use their credit cards to see great things in other countries, and go home, without new friends.

They do not care, it is only me.

Life is Good.
Andy Lee Graham
Grand Babushka Hostel
Odessa, Ukraine July 22, 2018


Agreed 100%!




Julie, yes, the art of travel. I wrote this post, I am really appreciating Wade Shepard for pushing me to write again, I have written over 8000 travel blog post, to journalize, write, explain is the benefit to my understanding of the planet.


Randall, your comment showed up in Email, but now the wall, I will quickly talk with Andrew on why? You are a super question asker, so I always perk when I see your name. You wrote:

"Did you go back to the Grand Babushka Hostel because it was a good deal or because they might know your name? Or, because it was one or both of those things, you could book online?"

I did not book online with Grand Babushka, which now is a problem because I do not have the power of reviews.

I don't like to be remembers, so nothing about Luba, she is old, does not speak much English, but a nice woman, the place is being managed by a young easily rattled girl Olga now who has worked for only 3 weeks.

It is not a good deal, beds have only one plug for 2 people, the air conditioning is not turned on, there is not enough hot water, and they are 30 percent higher than other Hostels. Yet, they are close to the cultural part of city, but far from the beach, so for me to visit the beach, they are far away.

I came for the living room area, which is one of the best common areas places to sit around and talk with travelers of the world, and not be alone. I would never rent an apartment here in Odessa until I have some friends, it would be the lonely place on the planet. To live in China alone, is isolation, to live in an Arabic country alone is isolation, I am the 100 percent opposite of hermit, I have an overwhelming amount of me time, I have the greatest management of me time on the planet. The ideal way to live in Europe is to live in a super private room in a Hostel, and walk out when ever we want a lot of new friends. Yet, the speed of travelers in the summer is crazy, to live only one night anywhere is only about collecting.

I am here for the Kitchen, and living room. I arranged to rent the private room for 23 dollars per night, for 13 nights, and I had to move out for 3 nights, into the dorm, then 1 night a few days later. But I realize she does not respect people, she just pretends, Luba basically is an old grandmother type, but does nothing to update the place. Yet, I remember a horrible Hotel in Grenada, Nicaragua that was super full, and the rooms were crap, sometimes Hotels quite by accident have the right formula, this Hostel has the right formula. I now do not trust Olga, an I will lose 100's of dollars and move out of any hotel where I do not trust the management. This is not theft trust, she is making my life difficult, and I am the only high paying client in the Hotel.

80 percent of the Hotels on planet will inconvenience client, for their person problems, this is Olga. The man did not show up the first night, did not show up the 2nd day until 5 pm, and she moved me into the room thinking he was a no-show, he did not fill his part of the deal, broke the agreement, I moved in, and she walks in an demands I move back in the dorm, no respect, Her problem became my problem, and she got mad when I said I needed a discount for being jacked around. I had already saved them 15-25 percent on the booking fees, because I came directly to the Hotel, so if I would of booked, they earn or net 15 less.

Bottom line, respect the management, I like Luba, and don't respect Olga, so I leave. Europe is a headache for people who like slow travel, there is nothing wrong with going to 10 countries in 10 days. I found a Hostel closer to the beach, so I can reduce the travel time to the beach from 2 hours per day, down to 30 minutes. The closer to the beach, the less pain of organization. These young flashpacker here are delighting in the fact they made it. I can travel in Europe, it is a no brainer, but people in rich country are not as friendly as people in poor countries, I pay more, and I am with less friendly people.


Thirty minutes travel to the beach to get some sun and enjoy the view is much better than 2 hours.

One of the primary objectives of going to Ukraine was to help determine if it might be a good location for your summer "home". I am sure the view at the beach is lovely, but with little being made with locals and hostels being full of flashpackers, what adaptive strategies to meet locals are you thinking about to cultivate lasting friendships ? Have you looked into the prices of long term rentals of one room flats or a room in a shared apartment? Probably would need to make some of those friends to help you get past the language barrier to find good deals. I know that Ukrainian medical schools advertise to Africans and Indians to attend medical school there. It can be inexpensive and classes can be taken in English and receive a degree that does not need to be evaluated in order to use in the USA. Therefore, there should be English speaking students and message board information on campus. The Odessa National Medical University is located at Valikhovs'kyi Ln, 2, Odesa. Don't know how close that is to you or if you will be able to pull your self from that knockout view.


The number one adaptive strategy is to bring myself to conversational Russian, the is around 200-300 word, I probably know around 2000-3000 in both Spanish and French but Russian I at around 15 words, and 33 letters. Using the Google translator with camera is seldom working, too time consuming. I need to learn the words for rentals, maybe 10, so I can spot the words. Yet, i have zero plans to move into any apartment, it would be lonesome hell.

Strategy to find friends right now, first find the correct beach to hang out. I have went to 3 now, and will go to Caleton which this one American and Swiss guy said was best, but to explore all the beached is really difficult, we cannot walk down the beach easy. There is around 200-300 steps to get down to any beach, this is exercise.

I have met zero, 0 people that are Western, USA, Canadian, Assie, German, Spain ect who live here, I have rather conclusive evidence they hang around in 2 Irish pubs, but have not made a special trip there.

Uber is a winner here, I truly hate finding a place on a map, and going. So, I find a place, I call Uber, and 3 dollars to 5 I am there, and the pain is gone. I always use Taxi as my spotter, but Uber with GPS is excellent. The reason I am in Ukraine is a modern version of Mexico or Guatemala, same cost of living, maybe less than Mexico, and higher level of development, a culture that is more strict, sort of like German on discount.

I think from the new Smart Hostel there is a University close, please do understand, at my age, I would not stop foot inside a USA University, it is maybe the most dangerous thing to do alone. Yet, here they are smarter than the USA, don't appear to have any chips on their shoulders, so 10 times safer.

I have zero desire to talk to rich Africans, or Indian culture studying here, these types of travelers or people lie to much for me, they seldom even know their own cultures. Nice people, but generally way too naive for me, I have a personal problem with idealistic living fantasy, like everyone on the planet is wonderful, rose colored glasses. These students are using a student visa for immigration, not really study, to infiltrate.

Professors are also off my want to talk with list.

Yet, as you pointed out, or asked, what is my strategy.. Find one expat, and bleed him, or her for information. An expat how is here, for no other reason than they want to be here. No job, no school, no dating service, just has the money, time, and brains to be here, and bravery it appears, very safe place, but the USA, Europe news is full of rather stupid fake news.

I am happy, I am typing in an air condition room, new hostel, 800 meters from the Caleton beach, and they are washing my clothes in a machine, and will dry them for 5 USD. I see Europe is barbarians with their laundry, easier in Africa to get clothes cleaned, and dried, and Africa is the worst for this in many way. I am amazed, wash my clothes in a machine, and maybe I wait 2-3 days for them to be dry on a rack. This Smart Hotel has washer, and dryer, I instantly keyed in the word dryer.

We keep adapting, this is a huge city, on the Black Sea, with tons of summer tourist, and locals going the beach. The backpackers are not going to the beach, they go to look, but not to be a beach bum like me.

Thanks, Andy


Very true. Travel used to be about who you met not what you saw ... Or at least it may have been. I'm not sure anymore -- maybe I was just the weird one.

Anyway, the comments here were excellent to read. There are others out there.