📆 Days in Europe
Being from Slovakia, it was natural for Dorian to eventually want to see countries outside his homeland. After visiting Italy with a friend when they were 16, he decided to travel through Eastern Europe and the Balkan region to explore states that are not very popular in the world. Dorian chose to explore lesser known regions of Europe out of curiosity to learn more about these regions, their history, their culture and their traditions. He's expanded his European travels ever since.
Europe is a diverse continent with many beautiful cultures.❞
Hello! What's your name, where are you from, and where have you travelled to in Europe?
My name is Dorian Morgan. I’m from Slovakia, and I've travelled through most of the countries in Europe, expect for Portugal, Malta, Ireland, Monaco, Liechtenstein and Cyprus.
In one sentence, why should someone travel to/through Europe?
Europe is a diverse continent with many beautiful cultures.
What motivated you to take your first trip to Europe?
I was born in Slovakia, so it was natural for me to eventually want to see countries outside my homeland. For my first trip, it was just an idea that my friend and I had. The first country to come to our minds was Italy.
When did you decide to take your first trip through Europe?
My first trip with my parents was when I was about 1 year old. But my first trip by myself was when I was 16 and I went to Italy with my friend.
What went into planning your first trip to Europe?
It was just an idea that we should travel abroad and see some interesting monuments and experience local traditions. We traveled to Venice and Verona, it was planned on the Internet and we both already knew what we wanted to see in these cities. Our highlight was definitely the Verona Arena.
If you had to plan one final, perfect Eurotrip, what would the itinerary look like?
I would go through the whole Balkan region (especially towns like Dubrovnik, Kotor, Durres, Tirana, Pristina, Skopje, Thessaloniky, Sophia) and on into Turkey. In Turkey, I would go through Istanbul to Bursa and then to Ankara, Samson and Tunceli which is home to the special Muslim community of Alevites. Then I would travel across northern Turkey to Georgia visiting Batumi, Kutaisi, Gori, Tbilisi and then to Azerbaijan where I would see Ganja and its awesome capital of Baku. From Azerbaijan I would go through Russia until I reached Finland. After Finland, I would travel across the whole of Scandinavia to Denmark and then Germany, France, Spain and I would finish my trip in Portugal.
What's your advice for first-time Eurotriprs who are just starting to plan a trip?
Don’t be afraid to try new things. Always keep some extra money in case of emergencies. If you want to travel somewhere check out local prices to determine if you are able to afford that trip. Without enough money you won’t be able to afford anything.
Remember that wherever you go you represent your country: You need to show the people around you that you are a well-mannered individual, and not some negative stereotype.
What have been some of the biggest challenges you've faced when planning your Eurotrip?
In Eastern Europe it was definitely the quality of roads. Because some states in Eastern Europe don’t have good infrastructure it becomes risky when you are not a skilled driver or are unfamiliar with the area. Once we crossed the border from Armenia into Georgia, the roads were in such a terrible state that it looked like somebody had actually bombed them.
When it comes to Western, Southern or Northern Europe it was always the prices of hotels and food. They are higher than in Eastern Europe, and many times you need to spend your money more wisely to be able to survive on these trips.
If you consider yourself a budget traveler, can you explain the pros and cons of traveling through Europe like this?
I must say that Western Europe isn’t very budget-friendly to travelers. However, Western Europe is the most popular and there are many interesting sights that are worth visiting. If you visit Western Europe there are ways to stretch your budget. For example, find alternatives to large, expensive restaurants. You could even eat at fast food chains like McDonalds or Burger King, which are cheaper than most other dining options.
You can also save money by finding affordable AirBnB accommodations. If you decide to go to Western Europe as a budget traveler you need to be prepared for smaller, less fancy conditions.
Alternately, Eastern Europe and the Balkan region is much more friendly to budget travelers.
In your opinion, is Europe an expensive place to travel? Why / why not?
It depends on the places you visit. As I stated above, Western Europe is far more expensive than Eastern Europe. For example, an average hotel in France can cost you €100/night, but a similar hotel in Serbia might be €30/night. It just depends on where you visit. So you need to plan in advance depending on where you are traveling and be aware of price differences.
What are the 3 most important things to consider when packing for a trip to Europe?
- Money - without money you won't even be able to afford your trip.
- Health Insurance - you need to be prepared for everything and health insurance is always a good thing to have in case of an injury or medical emergency.
- Proper Visas - the visa policy of European countries varies and you need to know if you need a visa to enter some European countries and how long you are allowed to stay for based on your visa.
How would you pack differently for a 1-week trip to Europe versus a 1-month trip?
Honestly, I don’t know because I never traveled through Europe for a month.
What is your favorite destination in Europe? Why?
- Georgia - especially the city of Batumi, which looks like Dubai with all of its modern buildings.
- Armenia - I really liked its beautiful Greek temple in Garni.
- Fjords in Norway
- The beautiful city of Helsinki in Finland
- The waterfalls in Iceland
- Kotor Bay in Montenegro.
What was your first trip to Europe like?
It was only a 5-day trip to Italy. We visited Verona and Venice. It was okay, we didn’t have any trouble with transportation or local people. Both places were beautiful! The highlight of this trip was definitely the Verona Arena.
Can you tell us about a funny story/situation you've been in when traveling in Europe?
When I was in the capital of Estonia, Tallin, there was one drunk guy outside our hotel and he was dancing there the whole day. We were like “Damn! Estonian Jackson!” because he danced terribly. So we sarcastically called him that because he was completely the opposite of Michael Jackson and had horrible dance moves.
How do you find social connections while traveling around Europe?
I just go out and talk to people around me. Don’t be shy and nervous, just be relaxed and feel free to talk with someone you don't know. You can talk to people in parks, restaurants, or clubs. It’s easy, but you need to feel relaxed and confident.
If you've travelled through Europe more than once, what has changed in how you plan your trip now from your earlier trips?
It always depends on how I travel (ie car, bus, taxi, train). I need to adapt everything according to my mode of transportation. When you travel by car, you put yourself at greater risk because you are driving in a country you probably don’t know well. This is why traveling by bus is better, but by car you can get everywhere by yourself.
Traveling by taxi also has some advantages and disadvantages. For example, it’s expensive, but a taxi allows you to get from one place to another directly, without needing to change at bus/train stops and without worrying about getting lost in an unfamiliar place.
What does travel give you that everyday life doesn’t?
Experiences with people you would never meet in normal life.
When you come home from a trip to Europe, has it changed you? How?
Honestly, it doesn't. I already have my individual view on the world and see it as a place with many different languages, people, cultures, religions,. Traveling just confirms my view. Also, travel confirms my belief that I should not judge people by their country of origin.
Have you ever been scammed or robbed while travelling in Europe? Can you tell us about your experience?
Yeah, when we were traveling by taxi from Chisinau to Balti in Moldova. The taxi driver said that this ride was going to cost us about €50. At the end of the ride, he demanded €100 from us. I had to pay the driver the €100, but from then on I never let a taxi driver scam me. You have to stand firm and sometimes argue for the correct quoted price when you have been lied to. Many times the drivr will lower it to the agreed price.
What advice would you give someone who would like to earn money to help them travel through Europe and work remotely?
Those who work for it will make it!
What do you wish you knew before your first trip, that you know now?
Nothing specific, but maybe I would have learned better English before that trip. It was difficult for me to talk to strangers in a different language. Many times when I couldn’t explain something in English, I just started pointing to things or showing pictures of places where I wanted to go.
Where can we stay up-to-date with and learn more about you and your travels? What can we expect from following you?
You can keep up with my travels from my reddit profile: r/jumalautavittu