Given its geographic location, Sofia is a city that is usually a bit out of the way for most travelers. Most backpackers use it as a quick stopover after coming from Belgrade and before taking the night train to Istanbul. I personally enjoyed the city enough to extend my originally planned stay by a few extra days. Continue reading
The book The Rational Male discusses the hidden forces behind inter-gender relations. The book is the aggregation of multiple blog posts that the author had previously written over the course of many years, and thus the work reads like a collection of short essays. I believe the book to be one of the first attempts to actually explain the reasons behind successful inter-gender social dynamics, at a time when other sources were only telling men how to act and not addressing the reasoning behind the actions. Continue reading
The book Never Split the Difference is written by former FBI hostage negotiator Chris Voss and describes different strategies that you can use during negotiations. Thus as one would expect, it is filled with many nail biting true stories which are used to illustrate its points. I personally standby the methods in the book, having been able to successfully apply them to the effect of saving thousands of dollars. Continue reading
1. Toughen Up
A large portion of Americans are becoming soft (both physically and mentally), especially among the college educated. While being able to evade physical discomfort is one thing, it has now gotten to the point where some individuals feel the need to be shielded from even hearing words that might make them uncomfortable. Continue reading
Russia is often portrayed in the Western media as being a backwards crazy place. However, there are certain aspects of Russian culture that I find preferable to living in the West. This article lists the top four things that I like about Russia.
After writing about both Russian and German cultural traits, its only fair that I also address those of my own home country. T.S. Elliot wrote: “We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.” After living abroad for the greater half of a decade, I can now reflect back on my homeland with a new perspective. Continue reading
Having lived, studied and worked in Germany for nearly four years in total, these are some of the cultural traits that I have found to be the most influential. Of course these generalizations do not apply to every German individual, and are only a representation of an overall trend from an American’s perspective. Continue reading
After first arriving in Europe, I took a short vacation through Sweden and Norway before moving to Germany for work. During the trip, I crossed paths with other solo female German travelers, and ended up having some fantastic evenings. As I headed back to Germany to start work, I thought to myself that I had definitely picked the right country to move to. Visions of a land filled with vast dating opportunities entered my head. Unfortunately, my initial expectations were soon to be shattered. Continue reading
After collectively spending over a year in Russia and Ukraine, I have compiled a list of eight cultural traits which you should be aware of when traveling to this part of the world. Understanding these cultural differences will help prevent misunderstandings and improve your relationships. Continue reading
A few years ago, I was renting a room in a house filled with students who were studying at the German university where I was first paid to study my Master’s degree and then later employed as a researcher.
Because of some bureaucratic rules for switching between a student and a work visa, I had to delay my thesis defense date until the end of that summer. With my thesis research complete, I realized that neither it nor the paid work that I was doing for another lab, technically required me to be physically present during the proceeding months. Due to my record of having performed good work in the past, I was able to persuade the professor who employed me to let me work remotely. Continue reading
Tirana is city which is definitely off the beaten path for most travelers. However, if you desire to visit, it is reachable via buses departing from Macedonia and Kosovo. Tirana is a very affordable city, and I was able to rent a magnificent 2 bedroom apartment for the week that my friend and I spent there. I knew Tirana was not going to be like most other cities, when a waiter in a restaurant asked if I wanted some cocaine to go along with my cappuccino, and then was surprised when I told him that I only wanted coffee. Clearly the business of this particular establishment was not limited to the culinary arts. However, that cappuccino may very well been the best I have ever tasted. Continue reading
As a digital nomad, location independence allows one to optimize their cost of living by moving to a new location. But not all cities are ideal for those who are looking to live cheaply while building a new online business. However, Eastern Europe provides many locations where one’s income can go a long way. This list is based on the places where a person can get the most for their money when it comes to affording a good quality of life. Factors taken into consideration include the cost of rent, food and a night out, as well as how comfortable a city it is to live in and its overall vibe.
Saint Petersburg is the most “European” of Russian cities; architecturally looking a bit like Paris, while its canals will remind one of Amsterdam. The city’s deep underground metro lines span great distances to connect the city center with its suburbs. The metro costs about 50 US cents per ride, and during rush hour arrives as frequently as once every minute. The cities affordability to travelers has risen considerably in recent years because of the depreciation of the local currency. Continue reading
I visited Moscow for a week in December, and experienced the famous Russian winter. It was colder than -20 degrees Fahrenheit some evenings, temperatures at which my cell phone and other electronics decided that they would quit working. It quickly became clear to me why both Napoleon and the Nazis had issues. Continue reading
It’s not because you didn’t wait the recommend three days before calling.
Other than following the common courtesies of not calling during dinner or in the middle of the night, the question whether you have waited long enough before making the call should not even cross your mind. Continue reading
Do you want to start your own business, travel the world or simply just spend more time with your family? Whatever your dream is, don’t let personal debt get in the way of it. There should be a mandatory class in school which teaches people the following facts regarding personal finance, given that common misunderstandings so often create long lasting problems and stress. Continue reading
Fundamentalism: a movement or attitude stressing strict and literal adherence to a set of basic principles.
When we think of fundamentalists, our minds most often jump to pictures of zealous religious followers who are willing to denounce both logic and reason to protect their beliefs. However, fundamentalism can exist in many different forms. Even scientists can become fundamentalists within their own disciplines and refuse to accept evidence that may contradict with their beliefs. We even now have atheists who ironically promote atheism as fervently as many missionaries promote their own religions. Continue reading
Many institutions in the United States have becoming increasing predatory over the past few decades, among the most notably being: student loan providers, mortgage loan providers, credit card companies and the health care industry. While some of this debt is accrued through misfortune or bad decisions, a good chunk can be accredited to the debt holder having been misguided or misinformed. Many of these industries prey on a person’s sense of self worth and convince them that they are buying a ticket to the American Dream. In reality, they are more likely buying a ticket into indentured servitude. Continue reading
The English economist Adam Smith wrote in his 1776 book The Wealth of Nations:
“Every man is rich or poor according to the degree in which he can afford to enjoy the necessaries, conveniences, and amusements of human life.”
While the obvious translation of this is that the more that you can afford, the richer you are, one does not necessarily need to earn more money to become richer. Instead, one could simply place themselves in an environment where they can more easily afford the necessaries, conveniences, and amusements of human life. Continue reading
Whenever we imagine pursuing a new endeavor, we all have that small voice inside of us which warns that we are not good enough. Not good enough to work a particular job. Not good enough to put our own needs before others. Not good enough that another person would want to have a relationship with us. We fear that if we try to achieve something and fail, that it will only serve as proof that the little voice inside our head is right.
So to prevent this, we come up with countless excuses and rationalize away reasons to even begin trying. We tell ourselves that we are either too stupid, poor, boring, ugly or low class. Instead of recognizing our common humanity in others, and realizing that what is possible for one person is also possible for another, we instead separate out ourselves into the “not good enough” category. While our immediate intention is to project ourselves from potential pain, with every deference to fear, we forfeit our personal integrity and slowly chip away at our own souls. Continue reading