Happy New Year from Troublesome HQ here in Ukraine—and welcome to the first article of 2019, discussing Eastern Europe travel.
NYE night, went to my girl’s parents. Ate way too much food. Then we went out to the “New Year Tree” — NY is the main holiday here — NOT Christmas. Streets were packed, but they didn’t even have a countdown of any sorts. All of a sudden there was just an announcement that we were into 2019, and that was that.
The square was jam-packed and it was pretty anti-climatic.
Anyways, after that…
We simply walked home.
Didn’t have to pile into the metro like sardines in a can, fighting for space. Instead, we just walked the 20 minutes home to our big, beautiful apartment in the center that costs me a small fortune every month.
Speaking of fortunes…let’s share this reader email:
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Simply put, I’m a Westerner who is able to leverage a strong US Dollar and take it anywhere in the world. This is the way to do it.
It makes no sense to move to a new country just to be middle class.
You want to move and be upper class, while building wealth and assets to move to the top X% in the West, too.
I’ve managed to do that over the last few years.
It’s why I can walk to the New Year Tree and back to my apartment instead of having to deal with the hassles of outrageous Uber/cab fares, or packing into the metro.
9 Things You Should Know About Eastern Europe Travel Heading Into 2019
1. The CENTERS Are as Nice as the West
All of these are just as good as any place in the Western world. One could even argue better, at times, depending on your taste. But, things fall off very, very quickly. Take the metro. Go 3+ stations outside the center.
THAT’s true Eastern Europe.
I was reminded of this just yesterday, when I went to visit my friend who moved a meager two metros outside of what would be considered the “center” metro stations. We went to his local market. The clientele at said store went from Upper East Side (the center stores) to Harlem (his new store). It was just a staggering difference given the fact that he moved barely 7 minutes away via metro.
2. Eastern & Central Europe AREN’T The Same
People get mad as hell about this.
Most countries have far more nationalistic pride than you have EVER seen in America. And, there’s no sense in arguing with them about it. Every Pole is going to be mad when you call them an Eastern European country—even though it’s more for convenience of explaining to other Westerners than anything else. Haters gotta hate about something…
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3. The Hollywood Stereotypes Aren’t Always True
Not all Eastern European men drink vodka starting at 11am every day. It’s actually pretty rare that I see anyone drinking at lunch. Yes, they do drink more than in the States—this is likely because of alcohol prices more than anything. Many of the upscale restaurants have people starting to drink beer or wine at 3pm in the afternoon, but they aren’t staggering drunks.
The homeless? Another story, but they’re not any worse than the ones you’d see in say—San Francisco or Los Angeles.
Most are not angry drunks by default.
They are loyal as hell if you make friends though.
4. The Food Is Getting There…
If you can’t make potatoes a staple of your diet you’re in for a hard time.
In all seriousness, the world is becoming more global. You can find most international cuisines in most capital cities.
5. Eastern Europe Travel WARNING: Tier 1 Cities Are Played Out
Maybe in a place like Minsk, you might be a rockstar by nature of being a foreigner.
Tier 2 cities is different.
6. Economics Are Improving
Eastern Europe travel has become more accessible to Americans with airlines like LOT Polish Air and Ukrainian International Airlines have started direct routes to the US.
Overall, economically in a global sense, they are in an upward trajectory .
7. The Eastern European Women Are Still Hot
But it would be a lie to say that online dating like Tinder and Seeking Arrangement haven’t changed it.
The hottest girls get constant offers from everywhere.
8. Family Values Are Intact
It matters. A lot. And it matters a lot more than most of us in the West realize.
In addition, the older generation are way behind technology.
Most Western grandmas have iPhones. Babushkas in Eastern Europe are on flip phones — most have landlines.
9. It’s ALL About Leverage
This is the most important thing about the place — all expats should understand this.
You need to be in the top 1%.
That’s why you take your online earnings and move.
Don’t move and be poor you idiot.
Top 1% anywhere in the world is awesome.
The top 1%-5% in EE > middle class in the West.
Western middle class > EE middle class.
This means you can take an Uber anywhere when you need it. Rent a baller apartment. Eat where you please.
DO NOT MOVE ABROAD TO BE MIDDLE CLASS.
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