Hi! I'm Conor Clyne and welcome to the Tsar Experience. Before I get into the detail of what the Tsar Experience involves, let me explain how and why I came to be the Tsar.
I'm an Irish-British lawyer with a background in International Relations from a prestigious top US university, with a specialization in the former Soviet Union. I even worked as an intern to the future US Secretary of State and presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton and as a lawyer at the European Commission. Moreover, I've learnt over 10 languages and served as the president of the International Polyglot Society.
If this were 40 years ago, I’d probably be a minion in the CIA or MI6, a shadowy James Bond-esque character. But instead today I live a Bond-esque lifestyle without the risk of being hunted down by baddies with Russian accents. 🙂
About 10 years ago, I started traveling intensely around the former Soviet Union, it was a real struggle at first. I didn’t speak good Russian, I was unfamiliar with the region’s culture (even though I was very knowledgeable of its politics) and I was naïve how the dating norms differ from Western Europe or North America.
My first solo trip to the region was a whirlwind adventure but several unsavory things happened to me. I was drugged and unconscious for 36 hours in Crimea, had my phone stolen by a girl at a club in Odessa (which I managed to get back fortunately) and I was left with holding the bill on impromptu dates with girls who were in hindsight only interested in the free meal at a top restaurant and not their date who was paying for it.
So why did I even go back after this dramatic first trip? Because Eastern Europe is an amazing region to visit full of adventure and romance for an intrepid traveler.
Moreover, with every trip I grew in confidence. My Russian improved. I was able to spot scammers or unscrupulous dates a mile off and avoid interacting with them. They even more or less stopped approaching me.
A Ukrainian girl who hit on me on a flight from Kyiv to Vienna even told me that she could see straight away that I was not a naïve tourist in Ukraine from the way I interacted with the flight crew on the plane.
My experiences started to become epic. I wanted more and more of them. I stopped working full time and started to spend almost 50% of my time in the region (a lot of the rest being in Brazil but that’s another story).
Not only was I able to ‘survive’ traveling in Eastern Europe, I began to thrive in fact. I made more friends, had more romantic encounters, got better value for money and nailed Russian (for the purposes of my trips). I began to have Tsar experiences.
Now I have formulated the Tsar experience into 3 keys (which you can read more about by clicking on the links): travel, language and dating. Follow my system and you too can experience life as a tsar in the east of Europe!