Monthly Archives: June 2014

Ten days in the Austro-Hungary Empire

Austro-Hungary Cover

I’m getting lazy.

Before this trip I promised myself that I would write a dedicated, individual blog post for every country that I visited. Today I break that rule.

This past week and a half, my wife had a great time toeing the border between Central and Eastern Europe by visiting Budapest and Vienna.

Each city was quite pleasant yet somewhat unremarkable at the same time. I will consolidate this leg of the journey into a single post; after all, both places were controlled by the Austro-Hungary Empire not so long ago.

Here are some of the highlights from Budapest and Vienna:

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What is a hustler?

“Birthdays was the worst days, now I sip champagne when I’m thirstay…”

“Birthdays was the worst days, now I sip champagne when I’m thirstay…”

Hustler can mean a lot of things. For many people, it’s a pejorative term.

In the 1993 rap hit, “Juicy”, Biggie Smalls talks about how he was forced to hustle on the streets in order to support his baby daughter. So for some, a hustler is a criminal.

When I was in third grade playing soccer, my coach used to scream at me to show more hustle during practice because I was so lazy. This is my personal negative association with the term, of being forced to hustle at soccer practice when I could have been at home playing video games on Saturdays (I had different problems than Biggie).

But today I love the word hustler. In fact, it is one of the greatest compliments I can give to someone. In the startup world, a hustler is someone who doesn’t let fear get in her way. Even when she’s in over her head, lacking a certain skill or network, she puts her head down, learns what she needs to learn, and succeeds no matter what. This is a resourceful character trait that I look for in all people I want to do business with.

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Five days in Romania…meh

Yawn.

Yawn.

Don’t visit.

The landmarks are unremarkable. The food sucks. And the Romanian people themselves are depressingly down on their own country (but still nice).

Bucharest was a bore, except for the one terrific evening where we re-connected with an old friend living here. Transylvania was pretty, but relatively uninteresting. If you want nice views, castles, and charming villages, I would probably go a little more west to Austria.

Glad we tried Romania, but we just weren’t feeling it. I suspect most travelers won’t find it that great either.

Next stop: Budapest, Hungary.

Seventeen days in Turkey

Visit Turkey!

My wife and I had a blast visiting nine countries in Asia over the past two months. Now, it’s time for us to turn our attention West to explore Europe. It was only fitting that we made Turkey the transition point of our travels from Asia to Europe, as this country actually represents both continents within its borders.

Per usual, in this post I am going to share some pretty pictures and descriptions about our journey here. But in case you can’t make it all the way through, here is the tl;dr (too long, didn’t read):

Turkey is the best country we’ve visited so far.

I’m surprised myself to be making this statement. Before arriving to Turkey, I didn’t know what to expect largely due to the fact that I was relying on my wife, who is awesome at travel research, and I am lazy. But when we got here, holy smokes. This place has everything that the traveler could want: great food, crazy awesome sites, nice people, easy transportation, relative affordability, exotic look and feel.

Turkey is the whole package. If you need an awesome trip, spend at least two weeks here. Pick up the Rick Steves guidebook on Turkey and get lost in this place. You will walk away feeling completely whole by the experience.

Now, let’s get on to the pretty pictures and descriptions. Here are some highlights from our seventeen days of Turkish delight:

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