There’s a certain region of the world that keeps coming across my desk. And it’s one that I’d NEVER even considered visiting, much less spending any significant time there.
I speak of Scandinavia.
The first time I ever “went” to Scandinavia was the Copenhagen (Denmark) airport. I was on my way to Budapest with my friend Jeremy. We’d flown on Norwegian air from Los Angeles to Copenhagen, and were then heading onwards to Budapest.
Or maybe we were going back from Budapest and were in the Oslo airport. I can’t remember. I drank a lot on that trip, okay? Try not to judge me too much…
We were hungry.
Now, I knew how expensive things were in this region of the world. But in Jeremy’s case, he didn’t. And the hunger got the best of him.
So he got a hamburger and a beer.
I’ll never forget when he came back to the table and showed me his receipt. It was in Danish Krones. He said to me, “Hey man, my phone isn’t working – can you look up how much this burger and beer was in US dollars?”
I punched in the number of Danish Krones (~300) into my phone, and the US dollar equilvalent was…
Again, for a burger and a beer. Let me remind you that you can buy a McDonald’s cheeseburger for $1 and a Coors Light at the gas station for $1.
But people keep trying to change my mind about Scandinavia, including the latest guest of the Dating Abroad Podcast.
Listen in as we discuss Iceland here.
Keep causing Trouble,
PS: As mentioned last week, this show will likely go to a slightly premium model (~$10/m for two premium episodes, transcriptions, and a very premium newsletter) next year. This email was actually swiped from a draft of one section of the newsletter, so it’s a great preview of what you’ll be getting.
I get asked, often, about how viable teaching English is as an option to “get abroad quick”.
I also often get asked, often, if I’m an English teacher when I meet new people – it’s just the assumption to make when meeting a native speaker. The look on their face when I tell them what I do (and how much I make, it’s always asked right after…) is priceless.
So here’s the dealio:
I have a friend who teaches English, and I’m going to use him as a guideline. He also is on this email list, so I’m hoping I don’t muck any of this up.
At an Eastern European capital city, English teachers should expect to make about $1,000 a month, give or take. This is for about 20-25 hour a week of lessons + lesson planning.
Now, this is the important part:
That $1,000 a month does NOT include summer months.
It is NOT $12,000 a year averaged over 12 months, but more like $1,000 a month except for the months that school isn’t in session…3 months a year.
It’s $9,000 a year averaged over 12 months. Which is only $750/m.
Now, this is easily supplemented by doing some private tutoring on the side, but that’s certainly not passive income. You’re having to actively work to get that work, then actually do the work.
Can you imagine that?
Moving to a foreign country, full of excitement. Then you get there and your yearly income is slashed by 25% before you even begin a day of work.
Now, my friend is a bit higher up the totem pole, and teaches harder topics than basic English, but that’s exceptional – not the norm.
Certainly, if you’re not set on Europe, there are better options in other parts of the world:
I hear that the Mid-East, if that’s your thing, pays $5,000 a month.
Developed Asian countries pay in the $2,000-$3,000 range. Keep in mind, this is developed countries. Think Japan or maybe Korea. Not a place in Southeast Asia where the girls will throw themselves at you.
One other perk my friend mentions?
Being in the position of power with the students…we all know how girls like older guys. Add in the authority, plus the foreign-ness – winning combination.
Of course, if you don’t have the game to pull it off and get fired, you’ll go from $750 a month to nothing.
You best lock that student down and get her so addicted to you, that you’d never have to worry about the headmaster stopping by to put an end to your Eng-pregnating power.
To get those skills, head on over to my classroom.
Keep causing Trouble,
The latest Dating Abroad Podcast is up and available, about the great city of Istanbul.
You’ll learn about my thoughts on the ground during one of the (many) terror attacks last year.
Where to stay and that kinda shit, if you’re interested in checking it out regardless.
Listen in here:
Keep causing Trouble,
I’m sitting in Starbucks in an off-the-grid neighborhood of my little EE city. So off-the-grid, in fact, that the nice girl who took my order was actually surprised and shocked to speak English.
There is a girl sitting close to me. She’s very cute. She has a MacBook Air, so she’s probably a hipster.
Then again, I’m typing this on a gawd-damn iPad so I should probably not talk about hipsterdom. she’s been playing on Facebook for the last 45 minutes since I sat down. Who knows how long she’s been here prior to that.
The look on her face is absolutely priceless.
There is no emotion, and hardly any life as she scrolls lifelessly through her timeline.
It’s a Friday afternoon, the sun is out (albeit it’s a bit cold). And she is sitting in Starbucks bored out of her mind.
I feel bad for the girl, but this is our modern reality. Looking everywhere for a passion, for entertainment. Something to pass the time. We have so many tools at our disposal to entertain us, and yet we are still bored.
This is ridiculous enough to say as I type these words, but:
The guy sitting on the other side of me, doing the exact same thing (except with a Samsung Galaxy). In many ways they are exactly the same.
On my way here, I saw a young girl on the public transit.
The girl who was on the tram with her 1-year-old child in a stroller beside her was so much more full of life than these two.
That’s because the young mother has a passion in life – caring for another life.
It doesn’t even matter what your damn passion is, as long as it’s something you’re energetic about.
This is doubly-true for men.
Women often do not have true passions. When is the last time you had a girl who was truly PASSIONATE about a hobby like guitar, mountain biking, or something of the sort?
Half the time girlfriends just steal the guy’s hobbies.
The point is this:
It is up to you to determine what you want to pursue in life. But whatever it is, make damn sure it’s worthwhile. And if you decide to settle down with a girl, make sure she has her own missions she is following (#1 should be supporting you and raising your family).
Don’t let her scroll her Facebook feed like this girl in Starbucks unless you want her brain to rot like moldy milk.
Better yet, get a good girl from the very get-go.
King’s Code will teach you how, and it’s only barely the price of this shitty cup of coffee (but only ’til tomorrow):
Keep causing Trouble,
Last week, I spent some time in a second tier-city. Brno, Czech Republic.
Well, on the train ride there, I’d booked a first class ticket, supposed to include:
What I got wasn’t that. Instead, I ended up with:
Honestly, it was like ordering filet mignon in a steakhouse, and they brought out a damn pork filet.
I was pissed, and called my credit card company to dispute it as soon as I’d arrived. It’ll be the last time I ever ride with “Ceska Drahy” (Czech Railways). I’d have rather been in Economy class – it’s actually nicer.
The bait and switch.
This is what girls do, too.
They obviously put on makeup and nice clothes for a first date (you hope, at least). If she shows up looking like a slob, you know exactly the kind of quality you’re’ dealing with.
And you don’t get to really know her for a while, either. You’re not quite sure what you’re going to get. She seems great at first but over time the true girl will always reveal herself.
That’s why it’s important to have excellent Game skills.
To screen for the quality girls.
You don’t want to end up with the crazy ones, or even spend any considerable time or resources on them.
Just like how you’d be pissed if you got pork after ordering a steak, you don’t want to commit to a girl you think is good and then get bait ‘n switched and realize she’s trash.
you can learn all about screening a girl inside my course, which you can learn more about here, or at the link below.
Keep causing Trouble,
PS: I took transit from a company called Regiojet back home, and it was a superior experience.
Missed the weekly wrap-up last week. Of course, the week after I said I was going to start. Heh.
I spent three entire days traveling last week. From Kotor I went onward to Serbia (loved that place!), and then onwards again. I’m now settled and quite happy with my new apartment. It now really feels like the year is “starting’ so to speak. I’m in Europe (home now). Settled. Happy. Ready to kill it.
With that being said, it’s always a good reminder to travel, because you realize what a time sink it can be. I’m not a productive person when I’m moving around. I need focus and to have a home base for at least a month.
I love traveling, but travel + business is not a good mix for me as an entrepreneur.
With that being said, let’s talk posts.
The quietest place I’ve ever been.
13k people. More people live in a district in Kiev than that.
But there’s a sense of “know”. Everyone at the grocery stores knows me by now. The girls giggle when they have to speak English to me (thankfully, they speak quite well).
This is the kind of place I imagine when people say country. It’s a place packed with tourists for two months of the year.
Then ten months it’s country.
Split between Europe and Asia, Turkey’s crowned jewel city–Istanbul–is a hypnotic blend of Asian cheesiness, Middle Eastern religion, and European culture all wrapped into one beautiful and vast city. In all my travels so far, I’ve never seen anything quite like it.
What do I mean by the above?
Thousands and thousands of strip malls and shops, with nearly all selling one of the these:
Nearly every time I step out the door, I’m treated to a concert from the mosques of Istanbul with their call to prayer music. This is the kind of stuff we hear on documentaries all the time, but it’s quite another to experience in person for yourself.
There is something distinctly European in Istanbul. The cobbled streets. The cafe culture. The ability to walk almost anywhere. The seafront location of the city. It very much reminds me of many other places in Europe, and doesn’t make me think of blazing hot deserts like much of the Middle East is.
Again, this is all one city!
Without further ado, here are 5 reasons you should visit Istanbul.
At the time of writing this (June 2016), the exchange rate is USD:TL (Turkish Lira) 1:3.
For every dollar you have you’ll get about 3 Turkish Liras. It’s not as cheap as places like Poland or Ukraine, but it’s far more affordable than places like London or Amsterdam in Western Europe.
For some perspective…
Got questions about prices? Leave a comment below!
I’ll be the first to admit: I’m not a fan of Turkish food. At all. Every other country I’ve tried Turkish food in, I’ve been less than impressed. The States. Poland. Ukraine. Budapest.
It’s all sucked.
Not the case in Istanbul. The food alone almost made number one on this list of reasons to visit Istanbul. It’s colorful, flavorful, and relatively healthy. Nothing seems to be made in an ocean of oil or fried beyond belief. It’s filling and satisfying.
Again, Turks have a bad rep for things in other parts of the world.
In Eastern European countries, many of them are very aggressive with women in a country that isn’t their own. My general impression is that they are not friendly or gregarious people.
Istanbul has changed that impression.
My first night out at a restaurant, I was personally waited on by the owner. When he saw I was dining alone, he asked where I was from and we had a fantastic conversation, with him even joining me for a shot at one point.
And the food–wow (again). An old Turkish later who prepared my meal personally delivered it to the table and said, in very broken English, that she hoped I would love her meal.
He could not have been more friendly, accommodating, and an overall nice guy. If everyone had his outlook on life, Turkish people wouldn’t have the reputation that they do have in other parts of the world.
And that hospitality and friendliness hasn’t stopped either. While the bar was set high, other coffee shops, tourist areas, and restaurants around Istanbul have been similarly accommodating to me as a Westerner.
Simply put, it’s cool that this is the point in the world where the East meets the West. Granted, “Eastern Europe” is still very much east (and is west of Istanbul), but there is a much larger divide between European countries and Islamic countries versus say…Poland and Ukraine.
It’s just fascinating.
Like I said, the place is littered with markets. The Grand Bazaar alone has nearly FOUR THOUSAND shops in it. That doesn’t include the shops in the surrounding area.
That area probably has another ten thousand.
The people in the shops have the same friendliness and hospitality as the places I’ve described above.
Make sure you negotiate a good price, and don’t get too lost 😉
Just Google it.
Again, I’ll say this–I’ve never seen anything quite like it. Asia. Europe. Middle East. All in one. It’s absolutely fascinating.
This hybrid shows everywhere. In the delicious food. In the friendly people. In the open-air markets. In the architecture. You can tell it’s a city that is somewhat divided but has come together to make something special, with people from all over the globe blending their cultures together.
It’s a delicious mix.
I cut my trip short by a day due to a combination attacks at the airport, bad weather, and boredom. While I wasn’t fearful for my safety, I was a bit apprehensive about hanging around major tourist sites and crowds in the days after–which really limited what I could do.
It’s obviously very unfortunate about what happened at the airport. What’s even more sad is that it’s just another part of life for Turkish people. They fully accept the only thing that keeps them from dying from a terrorist in Istanbul is pure luck.
And for such a great city, that’s truly sad.
I hope to return one day.