13 Little Ways to Make the World a Better Place
Right now one thing is abundantly clear: The world could use a little more peace, love, and understanding. There is suffering to be eased; there are wrongs to be righted. If you read the daily headlines and wish someone could just step in and make things better, we have good news: Someone can—and you already know just the woman for the job.
Inside you there’s a mighty activist, even if you’ve never owned a bullhorn or chained yourself to an oil rig. To be an activist, all you have to do is exercise your power to, yes, act. You can be a force for good whether you’re helping a neighbor, raising your voice, or calling attention to a problem in need of a solution.
Every person can make a difference, and no deed is too small to matter. Consider the Jewish concept of tikkun olam, which is commonly used to refer to acts of kindness or the pursuit of social justice. The Hebrew phrase translates to “repair the world”—not revolutionizing or reinventing, just repairing: putting the world back together a little at a time, each of us, every single day.
Helping repair the world is your mission, should you choose to accept it. And we know you will.
1. Compliment Friends and Strangers
Try praising a new person each day for a month.
2. Spend Wisely
Whether you’re in the market for an oil change or a bottle of Merlot, think about where you’re directing your dollars. Can you find a woman- or minority-owned retailer? Or can you opt for a small business over a chain? Challenge yourself to do all your shopping this way for a week—or a month.
3. Talk Politics Productively
The initiative Make America Dinner Again, founded by Bay Area friends Justine Lee and Tria Chang in the wake of the 2016 elections, encourages citizens with different viewpoints to sit down and respectfully listen to one another’s opinions over a nice lasagna. For details on hosting an evening of your own, download the instruction guide at makeamericadinneragain.com.
4. Keep Your Kids’ Vaccinations Up-to-Date
Friends don’t give friends whooping cough.
5. Browse for Worthy Causes
Download a charitable web browser extension like Tab for a Cause, which uses ad revenue to donate to a partner nonprofit of your choice every time you open a new tab.
6. Switch to Tubeless Toilet Paper
Unless you’re super crafty, you won’t miss those cardboard cylinders—and neither will the planet.
7. Support Your Local Women’s Shelter
Donate new bras, which are always in short supply. Menstrual products are another high-demand item (for every box of its tampons you buy, ConsciousPeriod.com will donate a box of pads to a homeless shelter), as are hair products suitable for different textures. And don’t forget books and board games for the kids.
8. Know Your Neighbors
Only about 20 percent of Americans do—down from nearly 30 percent since the 1970s—and research has linked social connection with decreased depression and even a longer life.
9. Be Prepared
Someone has to have a bandage, a pain reliever, a safety pin, floss—why not you? The Pinch Provisions Minimergency Kit contains all of these, plus double-sided tape, nail polish remover, and more must-haves. ($18, pinchprovisions.com)
10. Eat Your Leftovers
It’s estimated Americans throw away 15 percent of the food they buy each year—enough to feed millions of people. Plus, all that trash produces loads of greenhouse gases. Not sure when it’s time to toss? StillTasty.com tells you how long to safely keep thousands of products.
11. Plant an Herb, Vegetable, or Flower Garden
Everyone wins: The plants produce environmentally beneficial oxygen, you reap the meditative rewards of gardening, and you can savor the fruits of your labor—or gift them to friends and family.
12. Give Away Your Unwanted Stuff
Put your goods on ad-posting sites and apps for free, so someone who actually needs them can have them at no charge.
13. Become an Organ Donor
About 95 percent of U.S. adults are in favor of organ donation, but only 48 percent are registered. You can sign up right now without leaving your couch, at organdonor.gov and potentially save eight lives—the number of vital organs you likely have to offer.
7 Ways to Make the World a Better Place
Author: E.C. LaMeaux
The idea of changing the world can be daunting. It’s not only easy but understandable to think, “I’m only one person; what can I really do?” If every person thinks that, nothing will get done. But if every person did just one thing to make the world a better place today, billions of acts of kindness, social responsibility and generosity would take place — and wouldn’t that alone change the face of this planet?
Helen Keller said, “I am only one, but still I am one; I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and just because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.” That is the attitude in which authors Linda Catling and Jeffery Hollender wrote the book How to Make the World a Better Place: 116 Ways You Can Make a Difference. Here is a list of some of their ideas, and a few others, on how to make the world a better place one small action at a time.
1. Volunteer your time at local schools
Whether you have a school-age child or not, children are the future of this world. Spend time helping them reach their potential by tutoring, mentoring or taking part in an after-school program.
2. Recognize the humanity of other people, and respect their dignity
Consciously realize that the homeless man you pass on the street every day is, in fact, a man. Through choices of his own or circumstances out of his control, he ended up in this situation, and that makes him no less human. Say hello and warmly greet him. Your greeting could bring healing to his heart, and help heal the world one person at a time. Treat people as equals, no matter how you interpret their social standing.
3. Use less paper
Our forests are being cut down at an alarming rate. Conserve the trees by conserving paper. Send an e-mail instead of a letter, type directions into your cell phone instead of writing them down, and bring your own fabric shopping bags to the store.
4. Drive less
Even the use of hybrid vehicles contributes to carbon emissions, greenhouse gases, and reduced air quality. Take a moment to consider how you can use your personal vehicle less. You could carpool or take public transportation to work, walk to church, or bike to pick up a few things from the store and make the world a better place.
5. Conserve water
Taking long showers and letting the water run as you brush your teeth are indulgences that negatively impact our world. Try to limit your water usage by timing how long you have the water running, and trying to beat that time the next time you turn on the faucet.
6. Donate to clean water charities
A large portion of the world is without fresh drinking water. Educate yourself about the drought epidemic, and make the world a better place by donating to organizations and charities helping to fight against the lack of clean water around the globe. Your donation could result in the reduction of preventable, water-related diseases.
7. Be generous
It’s easy to be selfish with your time, money, and resources by getting caught up in our material-driven societal expectations. Try being generous and see how your life changes. Buy coffee for the person behind you in line at Starbucks, read to children at your local library, or simply stop and listen for the answer when you ask a friend how they’re doing. Chances are that your generosity will energize you, and you’ll feel less helpless about how to make the world a better place.
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10 Simple Ways to Make the World a Better Place
“As one person I cannot change the world, but I can change the world of one person.” ~Paul Shane Spear
I have always wanted to change the world.
I remember being four years old, sitting glued to the television on Sunday mornings, not watching cartoons, but utterly captivated by World Vision. I cried about the injustices in the world, and begged my mother to let me sponsor Maria, the girl with the large, sad eyes who was around my age.
My mom patiently tried to explain to me that we couldn’t afford to send her money. I couldn’t understand, since we seemed to live in luxury compared to Maria.
Having been raised in a middle-class community of about 800 people in rural Newfoundland, I had never seen a stark divide between the rich and the poor. We all seemed to be the same to my four-year-old eyes.
My heart broke for Maria, and all of the other children on the show. I vowed to myself that someday, I was going to help people like her.
Throughout my childhood, I told everyone that I wanted to change the world. Many didn’t take me seriously. They’d say, “One person can’t change anything.”
Still, I knew I wanted to make a positive difference by helping people, animals, and the environment.
I started volunteering in elementary school, and became a vegetarian at the age of 13.
People asked, “Why bother? You know, that cow isn’t going to come back to life because you aren’t going to eat it.” And they very often said, “It won’t make a difference.”
I tried to explain that every action counted, and that we all had to make small efforts or nothing would ever change.
As time went on, people around me began to criticize less, and many friends and family members decided to try some of the things I was advocating.
Each time I did something to make a positive impact, it left me wanting to do more.
You may think that you need to be a world leader or a billionaire in order to make a difference.
I always believed that being a good person is about the small things. It’s about how you treat other people, not how many people you have power over.
If you’d like to make the world a better place, but aren’t sure how to fit it into your busy life, these ideas may help:
Volunteering doesn’t have to consume all of your free time. You can volunteer as few hours as you would like! You can find an organization within your community, or you can even volunteer online, through websites that will allow you to help for even a few minutes at a time.
2. Donate blood.
This can be one of the most satisfying ways to make a difference. You can literally save a life with just an hour of your time.
3. Donate used clothing.
There are so many places and ways you can donate your used clothing. Some organizations even offer pick up services, Donate them to a homeless shelter, or an organization that sells them to raise funds.
4. Foster an animal.
This can be such a rewarding experience. If you’re able to part with the foster animals, they leave a hole in your heart, but fostering your next pet helps fill it, and you will be making a difference in the lives of so many animals in need.
5. Spread the word about various causes in your community.
See an interesting fundraiser that an organization is hosting? Share it on Facebook! See an animal that’s up for adoption? Share it. There are so many ways you can help an organization with just the click of a mouse.
6. Donate something you made to an organization that can use it.
I make jewelry, hats, scarves, and other crafty things in my free time. I’ve donated many hats and scarves to homeless shelters, and donate jewelry to a cat rescue organization for them to sell or auction to raise funds. You have talents—use them!
7. Join a bone marrow registry.
It’s incredibly easy to sign up to donate bone marrow, and you never know when you could save a life.
8. Spread some kindness.
Small acts of kindness can go a long way in making the world a better place. Think about a time when someone did something unexpected for you that brightened your day. Weren’t you a nicer person for the rest of the day because of that?
I’m willing to bet that anyone who receives an act of kindness passes it on in some way, even if it’s just by being in a better mood, and therefore treating the people around them with more kindness than usual.
Send someone a kind message. Give a small gift. Make something for someone. Tell someone how much they mean to you. There are so many ways to brighten someone’s day.
9. Change your diet.
Many people will argue with the validity of this strategy to improve the world; however, what you buy reflects what you value.
If you don’t want to become a vegetarian, try having one meat-free day per week. If you don’t want to reduce your meat consumption, how about buying some free range meat or eggs? Or, buy organic food products. There are many ways you can change your diet to reflect your values.
10. Make your purchases support your values.
Every purchase you make supports something. You can either support a large business that exploits people, animals, and the environment, or you can buy items that are local, organic, or fair-trade. It’s hard to change this all at once, especially if you’re used to shopping for bargains, but try changing just a few of your purchases to make them better reflect the things you value.
These are just a handful of the thousands of ways you can make the world a better place! Just remember that every single thing you do makes a difference. Don’t ever let anyone—yourself included—discourage you from trying to be a better person and help others.
Photo by Dave Bezaire & Susi Havens-Bezaire
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50 Small Ways to Help Make the World a Better Place
Have you ever wondered how you can make the world a better place?
Or have you ever stressed over not being able to make ENOUGH of a difference, and that you should be doing more?
Here’s a reminder that YOU matter and that it’s the small things that count.
Once upon a time I wanted to change the world.
I was so eager make a difference, to help others, to make people happy, I felt like I just wasn’t doing enough.
Constantly feeling inadequate and comparing myself to all the amazing change makers I was surrounded by (and they were and still are INCREDIBLE), I exhausted myself in comparisons and feelings of inadequacy and FOMO. Truth is I was a huge people pleaser, always putting others before myself and my family. But that’s a story for another day…
But truth was until I took care of myself I was no good to anyone. The world even.
And then I realised my mistake.
No disrespect to the big thinkers, thought leaders and game changers, but personally, I was aiming too high and had missed the point completely.
Baby steps. Small changes. Daily moments of kindness. LITTLE things. Those are what mattered.
When I started focussing on myself, on being the most authentic and real person I could be. Someone who was healthy (both physically and mentally), doing what she loved with people she loved, and who wasn’t overdoing it by people pleasing and being something she wasn’t – that was when I realised I could make a difference in the world in my own way.
Here’s 50 Small Ways You Can Help Make the World a Better Place
- Donate your time, skills or money to a cause
- Create a bee and bird friendly garden
- Tell someone they did a good job. Better yet, tell their boss!
- Don’t listen to, or participate in, gossip (on or offline)
- Give gifts without the expectation of anything in return
- Adopt a rescue pet
- Cook someone a hearty meal, either in person or leave it on their door step
- Decrease your ecological footprint
- Ask someone how they are, and give them your full attention – practice active listening
- Share your knowledge with someone
- Declutter, reuse, recycle or donate
- Smile and say hello to everyone you pass on the street
- Travel respectfully
- Please pick up your dog poop (my personal pet peeve!)
- Give an elderly person some of your time – sit, talk, listen
- Sprinkle kindness like it’s confetti
- Share your own story of survival (because we’ve all fought our own battles that will strike a chord with someone else in the world). Here’s part of mine
- Don’t litter
- Treat everyone the way you would like to be treated. All of the time
- Live mindfully
- Donate blood or plasma
- Listen without passing judgement
- Express gratitude often. Personally, I like to make gratitude a habit!
- Look after those you love and tell them that you love them often
- Give up your seat to someone on the bus or train
- Drive patiently. It’s not a race. And put away your phone. You don’t need it when you drive!
- Allow someone else their time to shine
- Learn more about other cultures, faiths, ideas, languages, people, history
- Be more considerate of others, whether you know them or not
- Mentor someone for free
- Write someone a thank you note (it could even be anonymous!)
- Don’t buy trashy magazines or click on click-bait headlines
- Help someone carry their shopping bags to the car
- Ditch fast fashion and embrace the slow fashion movement
- If someone makes a mistake, gives you the wrong coffee, forgets to add sauce to your hot dog, don’t chide them. Tell them its ok. Everyone makes mistakes!
- Spend less time online
- Support your local music scene – get out to see some live bands or muso’s perform
- Step through life with honesty and integrity
- Read and tell positive stories, stories of hope, resilience and love
- Spoilers aren’t cool, so don’t be a dick i.e. telling someone the end of Marvel End Game of Game of Thrones before they’ve had a chance to see it – not cool! (another of my pet peeves)
- Focus on the positive
- Have fun. There’s way too much seriousness in the world, and by you leading the way, others might just have fun too!
- Spend ‘unplugged’ time with your kids. Give them 100% of your attention
- Give hugs (with permission, of course!)
- Create art. Paint, sculpt, write a poem, produce a beautiful song. Share it with the world… or just one special person
- Instead of driving, walk, ride or catch the bus
- Be a positive role model to kids / people younger than you
- Don’t judge others. Remember, you have no idea what is really going on in someone’s life until you have walked in their shoes
- Decrease your use of plastic
- Do what you love. That alone will inspire others.
Just think about it – if we all did one small thing, even if it was only every now and then, imagine the impact we could have on the world!
*Thank you to everyone who contributed ideas on how they would make the world a better place in a small way!
What Can I do for my Country? 9 Little Contributions That Can Make Our Country Better
It’s no news that we have problems in our country that need to be fixed. We crib and complain about them, blame the government and the system, and finish off saying the situation is unfixable. How about we stop playing the blame game and try to do a little bit at our end to bring about a change? After all, it starts with you.
How Can You Contribute to the Development of Our Country?
Here are 9 simple things you can do to help bring a change in our country. A change for betterment.
1. Stop littering around.
Yes, we should learn from the Swach Bharat campaign! There was a reason we needed it in the first place. The fact that even the new PM of the country addressed the issue on such a gigantic level proves that we, as a country, are in dire need of cleanliness! Things as simple as throwing garbage in the bin and not spitting on the streets can make a huge difference.
2. Be environment-friendly.
If you’ve been following the news, you’d know that it’s been said that Delhi currently has the filthiest air, almost the same level as Beijing. In such conditions, being environment-friendly can have a huge impact on making our country a better place with better air. Plant a tree, use eco-friendly materials in your daily life, use public transport or carpool, get your vehicles checked for pollution control. There’s so much you can do for this cause with such little effort.
3. Help support a child’s education.
If you’re at a comfortable financial position in your life and career, you could take out a nominal amount to help a poor kid’s education. It would help the country’s future in a big way if every well-earning person would contribute. The overall literacy could definitely improve in our country.
4. Stop participating in corruption.
Don’t accept bribes and don’t give bribes. It’s really as simple as that. It starts with you and ends with you. Bribing traffic cops to get out of not paying that challan, or bribing officials to get that passport or driving license renewed, we all tend to bribe. Yes, it’s true that it’s tough to get things done in this country on many levels if bribing is not involved, but there has to be a start to the change. Let that be you.
5. Be better Neighbours.
At first, this may seem pointless. But being good neighbours to each other gives us a sense of community. We’re all so engrossed in our lives that nobody knows even the names of the people living next door! At a time of immediate need, it’s the people living closest to you who can help. Your neighbourhood gives you a sense of belonging, making your surroundings a better place to live in.
6. Pledge to donate your organs.
It’s the most noble thing anyone can do, irrespective of the country they belong to! The population of our country is so huge that any number of donations would be welcome. We have celebs like Aishwarya Rai associated with eye donation campaign. Celebs like Kamal Hassan and Priyanka Chopra have also pledged to donate their organs.
7. Donate blood.
There are a lot of life-threatening diseases out there for which a patient requires blood. India also has one of the highest numbers when it comes to road accidents. Currently, India is facing a blood shortage of as much as three million units, and according to experts, the problem could be solved if only two percent more of the population would donate blood. You could be a part of that two percent. Blood donation drives are pretty common these days, at offices and at special camps. All you have to do is participate and donate.
8. Get out and vote.
As simple as that. Every time there are elections around the corner, we see massive campaigns urging people to get out and vote. That’s because statistics say not many people vote. And a good chunk of this is the urban population. Voting directly has an impact on making our country better. So go get inked.
9. Help those in need.
As much as possible in your capacity. If you know there’s domestic violence happening next door, if you find some accident victim on the road, if you know your friend is too drunk to drive; there are a lot of situations in which you can help others and avoid disasters. We have to let go of this mentality of not getting into others’ business. Helping someone in need doesn’t mean getting tangled in a mess. It simply means you’re kind enough to care about other people.
25 Things We Can Do to Make The World a Better Place
By Bronwyn Petry
February 14th marked what would have been my mother’s 66th birthday.
I think of her often, but this year seems pretty momentous: in September, it will have been 15 years since she passed, and in a few more years I will have lived exactly half my life without her.
I miss her every day and it is an ache I can’t explain: a weevil burrowing deep in my bones, a shadow in my heart; It hurts that she is not here to meet her grandson (my nephew), or to enjoy retirement in the cottage on the lake she always wanted to have.
But along with that, I am profoundly grateful.
I am grateful that I got to know this amazing woman, who seemed put on this earth specifically to be a mother and that I am able to still have a relationship with her.
She taught and guided me so much during her time on earth, and while I have changed several times over from the daughter she knew, one of the things I remember most has been the importance of doing good for others, about how each individual can and must work towards making the world a better place.
These are a few of those things that I believe to be true.
1. Turn off the lights, turn off the water. Unplug your devices when not in use.
Admittedly, this is one I am still in the process of learning myself, but in a world where we are running out of resources almost as fast as we can identify them, unplugging our appliances at night saves an incredible amount of power (phantom power accounts for 10 percent of all household energy outputs). If you turn your shower off while you’re shaving, or letting your conditioner set, you can save a lot of water. Think about what that can add up to.
2. Adopt a rescue.
If you’re ready to get a pet, and have thought about all the variables, please consider adopting from a rescue agency. Don’t forget that rescue agencies often have different kinds of animals other than cats and dogs, (like rabbits, or hamsters, or lizards) which can be even more difficult to find homes for. If the time is right, consider directly saving a life.
3. Reconsider your consumption.
Like meat? Don’t want to give it up? Can you give it up for just a day? Just a day per week without meat has been shown to be of great benefit, in terms of animal lives saved, and the environmental toll it can take.
I used to be a cheeseburger freak, eating them sometimes as often as three times a week—they were my ideal comfort food. While I chose the organic, humanely-raised options; our society’s demand for meat just isn’t environmentally sound.
4. Share a meal.
Making a meal for, and breaking bread with someone, is an intimate way of getting to know people, and it fosters a deep-running sense of community. Can you invite a friend over for dinner? Host a monthly potluck?
5. Clean our space.
We are all a part of this world. My mother used to say that our bedrooms were a reflection of our mental space, and I am inclined to agree with her, several years away. Cleaning our spaces helps us feel that much lighter. See what you are able to do from that refreshed space. Honour yourself and your own surroundings just as you would someone else’s.
6. Get involved.
I know it’s hard if we’re working a full time job and have kids, or are struggling through the depths of winter, or have just dealt with a scarring break-up, but the world asks us to participate. Stay open to the cues and see what we might have to offer the world. If we think something needs to be changed, write a letter, start a petition, do more direct activism—whatever we can do can help.
7. Give alms.
This one is a bit loaded, I understand. Most of us can’t quite understand what it’s like to be living on the street, unsure of where our next meal or shelter is going to come from, and in urban centres the rate of homelessness is rising. It can be difficult and hard to resist a place of judgement when every third or fourth person we encounter in your walk to work asks us for change, but that is why we must resist judgement. I don’t want to deny anyone even the smallest bit of comfort. If you feel uncomfortable giving money, consider buying food, or in winter, donating or giving your extra or mismatched winter clothing away.
8. Travel wisely.
Having worked in the travel industry for the past few years, I know how popular (and cheap!) resort vacations can be—however, resorts can be extremely environmentally toxic. If you need to/want to get away and your only option is a resort, there are more environmentally friendly ones out there. Find ones which are transparent about their environmental practices, and support those. If you don’t “do” resort vacations, consider how your mode of travel impacts the environment and try to mitigate that. I know of someone who plants a tree whenever they take an airplane, but if we all try and do what we can to offset our carbon footprint, it can only be of benefit.
9. Check your community.
Does your social network include lots of different people? Elders? People of different ethnicities? People who identify as trans* or with different sexualities? My grandmother and extended family live across the country and I don’t get the chance to see them that often, so it occurred to me that I don’t have any “grandparents” in my regular life; my friends and the people I see on a regular basis are all of my age group. I state this not to “tokenize” any group at all, but simply to state that the more varied our communities are, the more we are able to understand and communicate with each other.
10. Plant a (bee-friendly) garden.
Some choices of bee-friendly plants that you barely need to pay attention to? Lavender, sage, some roses. Bees are in trouble and they could use any help you can give, in offering “pollination stops.” Even if you don’t want to help pollinate plants, your own garden can give you vegetables, herbs, and fruit to eat and is just a good alternative to buying from a supermarket. If you don’t have the space for a garden, yet this idea interests you, you could try community garden or plot sharing.
11. Give. Stuff. Away.
I go through phases of being somewhat of a pack rat. I think it has something to do with how I was taught to only take what I could use and to work off what I had until it absolutely fell apart, but in this day and age it is hard to stop accumulating. As much as I may want to keep everything that I’ve (accidentally) accumulated, other people may be in need of the items I’m holding onto. While we know that many organizations take clothing, others take things like gently used toiletries.
12. Turn the TV off.
I don’t necessarily mean forever, although I haven’t had an actual television in years and don’t miss it at all. Some TV is great. What I’m trying to get at is how much time we as a society spend in front of our shows to relax, to unwind, for entertainment. Think of what we might do if we were able to stay off the boob tube for an hour less a week.
13. Make art.
Is your passion writing? Painting? Math equations? Punk music? Whatever it is, do it. Do it, and finish it. You don’t have to put it out in the world if you are afraid to, but the act of finishing something will change the very energy in the room around you. We were all put on this earth to do something, and whatever we are passionate about—that’s what we’re here for.
14. Act locally.
We all know about the travesties and tragedies of the present day: every day, the amount of negative news we have the chance to digest can be completely overwhelming. While we can sign Avaaz petitions and go to screenings and donate money, sometimes it is worthwhile to remember that we can make and direct visible changes within our own communities. Don’t neglect the local just because the global is more attention-grabbing.
15. Put our money where our mouths are.
Places like Forever 21, Joe Fresh and Walmart are corporations who have proven time and time again that they don’t care about fair workers’ wages, working conditions, or ethical sourcing. There are options to all of them—buying second hand clothing, or going to locally owned businesses. People have a misconception that a few dollars here and there won’t make much of a difference, but it matters to the people who have put their entire lives into their businesses.
16. Do yoga. Breathe. Move.
Chances are, if we’re living in a Western/European society, we are sitting on our asses too much. We need to move our bodies—we all do—because that is what bodies were designed to do. We have joints, muscles, skin and bone, all of which crave and desire to be moved.
Breathe it all in, love it all out.
18. Remember the concept of ahimsa.
19. Reconnect with old friends.
20. Make one day in your week a completely offline one.
No devices, no phones, no Internet, no TV. Breathe into the emptiness that’s left over. This is what we run from, a lot of the time: the slight discomfort with being ourselves and all those questions we have about who we are and why we’re here. That discomfort is the stuff of growth. Lean into it.
21. Check our privilege.
Understand that there are advantages to being a certain ethnicity, gender, or economic class and learn about the inherent trickery of believing that achievement is solely merit-based. Learn from others; life is meant to be a conversation.
22. Be honest when it’s painful to be honest.
By that I don’t mean, “tell the truth so brutally that another person is wounded.” I mean: when it is scary to tell the truth, you need to tell it. Stand up for what you think is right.
23. Every day you wake up, be grateful.
It is a freaking miracle that we are all here—think about all the things that had to be in sync for us to become the crazy beautiful creatures that we all are. Life is by no means easy, and lots of things happen that we can’t foresee, but we are here to learn, and be bruised, and return to being real.
Every day we have on this earth is a chance to make it a better place.
24. Live by the rule of “seven generation sustainability”.
25. Study the seasons.
The natural world around us is very wise and has a lot to teach us, if only we listen.
I’d love to continue the conversation, as I’m sure the list I’ve been working on is not as complete as it could be. How do you make the world a better place? Who is your biggest inspiration?
What Makes a Country Great? And How Can We Make Ours Better?
In honor of Independence Day and the patriotism that we all feel towards our country, let’s veer off the personal finance path for a moment.
For starters, if you have read the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, or Bill of Rights lately, please do yourself the favor. No better day than today.
After that, let’s start the conversation with this question:
“What makes a country “great”?”
I think this is a particularly important question that we all ask ourselves at this point in time. There are a lot of things that divide us, but one thing that unites us, or should unite us, is that we want to see our country succeed. We want it to stay great and become even better.
Let’s set aside what we have been as a country or currently are for a moment and start with a blank slate, with a little exercise. What do you personally think makes a country great? Before you get to my list below – I’d encourage you to make a list of your own so that we can compare notes, without influence.
I have high standards, but shouldn’t we all have high standards? I think it’s difficult for a country to be great without some form of the following:
- a truly democratic vote – every vote is equal and representation is fair and just. Voting is encouraged (not suppressed), accessible, quick, and easy – the higher the participation, the better.
- an election system where political contributions are publicly funded or capped at levels accessible to all incomes and corporate and private dark money/influence is kept out.
- separation of powers – a system of checks and balances.
- an independent and free press.
- significant and continued investment in shared infrastructure.
- a fair and just legal, court, and prison system.
- equal access to data and information (ideally via strong local libraries and a speedy broadband connection).
- diversity in backgrounds and opinions.
- broad and equal guaranteed human and civil rights, liberties, and freedoms (speech, religion, voting, assembly, press, etc.).
- an investment in people through an affordable education and works skill that leads to opportunity for economic/financial success for all.
- kindness/care for its citizens and for the citizens of other countries.
- a desire to fill the role as a shining light of good for other countries.
- broad consumer rights and protections.
- harsh punishment for government and corporate corruption and corporate anti-trust.
- strict protections for the water that we drink, air that we breathe, and land that we walk on.
- an emphasis on data, science, truth, and transparency in the government decision-making process.
- strong employee rights that put an emphasis on health, safety, the right to form a union, equal opportunity, equal pay for equal work, and family/life balance.
- affordable health care for all as a right, not a privilege reserved for only the wealthy.
- economic justice and a muted level of economic inequality.
Realistically, our country scores high marks in at least a third of these, average marks in another third, and we are very inadequate in the final third. Let’s take a second to appreciate what we do have, but understand that we should never take it for granted. There are those who actively aim to chip away at these bedrocks for their own personal gain. We have to fight to keep what we have and fight to advance what we don’t.
We must also be wary of ‘shortcuts’ that can appeal to our frustrations and base instincts but will always leave us worse off in the long run:
- individualism at the expense of the collective good.
- authoritarian rule and tyranny.
Next, I would encourage you to become active, if you are not already. I believe that our country is suffering from a bit of an identity crisis because there is a lot of disengagement and armchair criticism going on. Surely, none of us thinks this country is perfect, and if you’re not happy with the status quo, the only way to improve it is to get out, get involved, and help make this country better.
How can YOU help make our country better? Pick one or two of the items from your list or mine that you feel the most strongly about and find ways to get involved:
- donate effort and money to organizations that support those objectives.
- vote (electorally and with your dollars).
- hold your elected representatives accountable to doing what is best for the country (at times this may differ from what is best for you personally).
- consider becoming a public servant or running for office.
- engage and discuss with everyone, not just those who agree with you.
- lead with empathy and love. Treat others as you would want to be treated, but expect nothing in return.
If this country is going to improve, we have to come together for the common good. We have to work to improve the institution, not destroy it. Progress has never come easy.
Happy 4th, everyone.
90,000 Which country is the best to emigrate to?
- Lindsay Galloway
- BBC Travel
Photo by Thinkstock
BBC Travel spoke to people who have moved to the most popular expatriate countries to find out what exactly makes them the new residence is so special.
As globalization gains momentum, so does the number of people living outside their home country.
According to the UN, their number worldwide reaches more than 244 million, which is 40% more than in 2000.
More and more people are looking for work and new opportunities abroad, but what exactly makes a foreign country attractive to expats?
To find out, the global community of InterNations recently conducted their annual Expat Insider survey, with over 14,000 expatriates from 191 countries taking part.
They were asked to rate 43 different aspects of living abroad, from local friendliness and family life to price levels and work-life balance.
Having calculated how many points each country scored on each of these points, the organizers of the survey compiled a rating of the most attractive countries for emigrants.
We spoke with those who have moved to the states at the top of this ranking to find out what they like best about local life.
Cultural hospitality, friendly people and all the comforts of Western life make it easy for expats to adapt to life in Taiwan.In addition, locals are always happy to help with this.
“I was very pleasantly surprised by how hospitable the Taiwanese are. They showed patience when I forgot a few Chinese words and did their best to help me when I got into trouble,” says Monica Mizzy.
Born in Australia, she now lives in Taiwan, works as an event organizer and maintains a cultural blog called Typing to Taipei.
Photo author, Thinkstock
Most expats live in Taipei, where many locals speak English
“Most expats live in Taipei, where more people speak English and the transportation system is developed,” adds she is.
From all parts of Taipei, expats prefer Tienma. “This is a large ‘area for foreigners’, more like a suburb and away from the rapid transit system,” says Lizzie Jerock.
Originally from Oklahoma City, she is currently volunteering in Taipei as Consul for InterNations.
Jerock has been in Taipei for several years and lives in the central Xinyi area. She “loves that there are many shops, restaurants, exhibitions, cinemas nearby, and you can see street performers performing.”
Compared to other Asian capitals, life in Taipei is inexpensive, but if you want to save money, it is better to stick to the local lifestyle.
“It can be expensive to buy imported goods, including appliances, food, clothing or footwear,” says Karen Farley, a member of InterNations based in Canada.
Those who are just planning to move to Taipei should be aware that very few here have a spacious Western-style kitchen equipped with an oven.
Most often the kitchens are small, with a mini oven or microwave.
However, according to Mizzy, Taipei has “incredibly delicious cuisine.” Here you can buy food at the night market, try rice noodle and beef soup at a chain cafe, or go to a prestigious Japanese restaurant.
Moreover, all of this is often cheaper than eating at home.
One of the main advantages of this Mediterranean country is its warm climate and proximity to continental Europe.
Favorable weather conditions mean that the pace of life here is slow, and therefore those planning to relocate to Malta should be prepared to wean off the rush.
Photo author, Thinkstock
When choosing a place to live, factors such as the climate and the pace of life play an important role (the city of St. Julian’s, Malta is shown here)
“Some shops start a siesta in the middle of the day “and the service in restaurants is becoming slower, as many have observed,” says Sylvia Di Felice, who was born in Rome.
“Once I sat down at a table around 8 pm and left at midnight! We took only a snack and one second course. This is not the case in all restaurants, but be prepared for such a relaxed attitude to work,” adds she is.
The cities of St. Julian’s and Sliema, on the east coast, appeal to those looking to live close to restaurants and nightlife.
For those who prefer a more provincial and relaxed lifestyle, Di Felice recommends the capital Valletta, as well as the small towns of Naxar 12 km north-west of Valletta and Birgu, 9 km south of Valletta.
The country hosts many cultural events, including the Valletta International Arts and Film Festival, as well as a number of festivals dedicated to local food, such as the Festa Frawli strawberry festival, which Di Felice especially recommends.
Photo author, Thinkstock
House in Valletta. The leisurely lifestyle in Malta is ideal for expats looking to get away from the hustle and bustle
Also worth mentioning are the countless wine festivals.“I already have two favorites: the lovely white Cittadella and the red Caravaggio Merlot,” says Di Felice.
Many expats are attracted by Malta’s favorable tax system for foreigners (no tax on capital gains earned abroad and other benefits), but rents can be high.
“As a rule, locals charge a little more from foreigners, so it is worth taking the time to find accommodation in order to find the best options,” explains Di Felice.
According to the survey, expats enjoy life in Ecuador for several reasons: friendly people, affordable healthcare, delicious cheap food.
In addition, the lifestyle in different cities of the country is very different, and foreigners have a lot to choose from.
“The beauty of Ecuador lies in its diversity,” says Hagai Gat, an Israeli-born InterNations Ambassador who currently resides in Guayaquil.
“Retirees looking to move to Ecuador are often looking for places where the cost of living is lower, so the coastline, southern Ecuador and Ambato [a city 150 km south of Quito] are suitable for them,” he explains.
Photo author, Thinkstock
Cities with different lifestyles and colorful culture are very attractive for emigrants (in the photo – the capital of Ecuador, Quito)
“And for those who are going to do business or like an active city life, Quito is suitable. Guayaquil and Cuenca, “adds Gat.
He warns that life in big cities is more expensive: housing costs and prices in cafes and restaurants are higher here.
Those who know the language well can head inland.”Here in Atutanki [100 km north of Quito], a city of about 20,000 people, we are virtually the only expatriates, and we love it,” says Bill Hagan.
He is from Kansas City and works as a tour guide for the tourism startup company Your Local Cousin.
“At the same time, Cotacachi is 15 minutes away by car, so if we want to hang out with other expats or eat North American food, it’s not hard for us to do it,” he adds.
Like Malta, Mexico initially attracts expats with its warm climate, and the hospitality of the locals, a rich tradition of culture and delicious cuisine keep them happy for many years.
“Mexico is an amazing country with a history and culture spanning several millennia, with magnificent beaches, amazing archaeological sites and colonial cities,” says Samira Hosseini.
She is an Ambassador for InterNations, was born in Iran and now lives in Monterrey, 150 km west of the border with the US state of Texas.
“Mexico’s varied and colorful cuisine is something that is particularly difficult to resist,” says Hosseini.
Expats are also delighted with the hospitality of the locals.
Hosseini has a friend who moved to a similarly sized European city at the same time as her. Unlike Hosseini, she was never invited to visit, and in the new environment she felt lonely.
“I felt tired too – but because I had too many friends and too often I was invited to parties I couldn’t refuse,” says Hosseini.“I never felt lonely in Mexico.”
Many Western expats prefer ocean cities, including Tulum on the Gulf Coast or Puerto Vallarta on the Pacific Ocean, but Mexico City is the real center of attraction.
Photo Credit, Thinkstock
Mexico City is a Mecca for expats who want to learn more about local culture
“Mexico City is a true metropolitan city,” says InterNations Biocrobo Ambassador Samson Vocoma, born in Nigeria.
He encourages expats to settle in central Mexico City, including La Condes, La Roma, Escandone and Napoles.
Prices are reasonable, there are many restaurants, bars and clubs. These areas have a well-developed public transport system, including buses, metro, and cycling.
Thanks to this, residents of the districts can easily get to other parts of the city, and many residents of Mexico City speak English to one degree or another, which makes it easier to assimilate into the new country.
In addition, this city has another pleasant feature: almost every emigrant can find here a small piece of his homeland.
“Many expats can find a restaurant that serves their national food and establishments that celebrate foreign holidays like Oktoberfest,” says Vokoma.
While cheaper than many other capitals, Mexico City is still one of the most expensive cities in Mexico.
However, according to Vaucom, the family will be able to live in peace on 16,000 pesos (about $ 770).USA) per month even in the capital.
The incredible natural beauty of this country attracts people from all over the world, and thanks to the proximity of beaches to urban infrastructure, expats tend to quickly get used to the local leisurely pace of life.
“First I moved to New Zealand with my parents, then I lived abroad and came back here because I missed a measured lifestyle, kind people and a friendly atmosphere,” says Purva Bhatnagar.
She is also an Ambassador for InterNations and spent her childhood in Hong Kong and Singapore. Bhatnagar notes that the average New Zealander goes to work from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm and never works overtime.
He enjoys eating out with his family and organizing events on weekends, including parties, trips, or “tramping,” as the locals call hiking.
Photo author, Thinkstock
Queenstown is popular among those who want to enjoy the picturesque nature
For those who like big cities, Bhatnagar recommends Auckland, which she calls “New Zealand New York”.
Wellington has a slightly smaller population, but this metropolitan city has many jobs in government, education and technology.
Queenstown Country Tourism Center is popular with those who want to fully enjoy the picturesque nature, or those who want to work in the service industry.
The downside of a leisurely lifestyle can be relatively low wages compared to the cost of goods (especially fresh food and housing in large cities like Auckland).
Travel, outdoor activities and healthcare remain relatively inexpensive, however. 90 011 90 000 options of countries for moving to permanent residence
Where to immigrate from Russia for permanent residence
Austria is a federal republic located in the heart of Central Europe, an agro-industrial country with one of the highest living standards in Europe. The main sectors of the Austrian economy are the service sector, industry and agriculture.Austria is an important tourist destination, helped a lot by the Alpine mountain range located in the west and south of the country.
Austria with excellent ecology and good level of social protection is one of the most popular European destinations for immigration among citizens of the CIS countries and is often featured in articles titled “Best Countries for Emigration 2020”.
Residence permit and Austrian citizenship
Austria is part of the Schengen area, so with an Austrian residence permit you can move around the EU without a visa.However, only well-to-do people can afford to immigrate to Austria from the Russian Federation and the CIS countries and then immediately obtain a residence permit and then only well-to-do people can afford citizenship: with an investment of € 8.000.000, a residence permit and citizenship is issued quite quickly (the same applies to those who are ready to donate € 2,000,000 to a charitable foundation). Therefore, if you are looking for ways to leave Russia without money, Austria is not your option.
Everyone else can get an Austrian residence permit if they are refugees, reunite with a family member residing in the state, arrived at work at the invitation of an employer, enrolled in a course at an Austrian university, opened a business in the country.
An Austrian work visa is given for a term of 6 to 12 months, if a specific employer is already ready to sign a contract with a foreigner (including seasonal work), a work residence permit is issued for it, and after 5 years of work, a permanent residence permit is issued in the country …
Training for the purpose of employment in Austria is also a popular immigration option. University applicants can actually get a study visa first, and then a residence permit, if their housing issue is resolved and their solvency is confirmed (about 10.000 euros per year).
In a standard situation, Austrian citizenship can be obtained by permanently living in the country for more than 10 years (citizen status is granted only if you have a permanent residence permit, good language skills, no previous convictions and no offenses, otherwise citizenship can be expected up to 30 years!).
Business in Austria
To obtain a residence permit in Austria under the business immigration procedure, you must confirm the availability of funds in the account for investment and residence in the country.The Austrian employment service studies in detail the business plan of an entrepreneur who intends to immigrate to the country, and the immigration authorities – the sufficiency of funds in the account for a foreigner and his family to live in Austria.
Usually the amount of investment required to start a business in Austria exceeds 100,000 euros, and the income for obtaining a residence permit for a family of two is about 1400 euros per month.
An alternative to a residence permit for businessmen can be a residence permit for financially independent persons. To do this, a foreigner must have funds in the amount of 85,000 euros (for each adult), he must be the owner of real estate in Austria, have insurance that provides full coverage.
Quality of life in Austria
Studying the ratings of the quality of life, it can be noted that Austria occupies high positions from year to year, leading in the categories of safety, ecology, level of education and medicine.
However, if only 10-20 years ago it was possible to immigrate to Austria practically without problems, now the situation has changed dramatically: foreigners in a country where populist sentiments reign today are reluctant to accept.
Unskilled workers receive from 900 euros, while “IT specialists” can apply for a salary of 3000 euros in a good company.However, it is quite difficult for foreigners to find a job in Austria. At the same time, the cost of living in Austria is quite high (for example, higher than in Spain and Italy).
The cost of real estate in the capital is also quite high. So, for a one-room apartment on the secondary market they ask from € 140,000, for a private house – from € 450,000. The only option for those wishing to save money is real estate in small towns and villages.
The meaning of immigrating to Austria today is only for those who are not looking for which country to move from Russia without money, a:
- those who have high income and are ready to invest huge sums in the country’s economy;
- has already been invited to work in one of the Austrian companies or is related by family ties with citizens / residents of the country.
Do not forget about the language barrier. An immigrant in Austria is obliged to know the German language, without which it is impossible to obtain a residence permit, work, and just be managed in everyday life.
Although Spain is one of the countries hit hard by the economic crisis, it should be noted that the fiscal policy of the past few years has helped the country to demonstrate positive economic aspects: tax breaks for those who hire, GDP growth, lower unemployment.
All these factors attract foreign investors and make them think about a much brighter future for the country.
Immigration to Spain from Russia and the CIS countries has always been very popular, because, like neighboring Italy, it is a friendly and hospitable country with a good climate, cuisine, medicine, rather low, compared to other EU countries, prices where foreigners feel comfortable enough.
Residence permit and Spanish citizenship
Not so long ago, foreigners could come to the country, find any job, even illegally, and then, after only 3 years, apply for legalization and obtain a residence permit.Immigration policy has tightened today.
Now only those who are officially employed, follow the curriculum at one of the local universities (perhaps one of the easiest ways to get an annual residence permit in the country) or are ready to invest in the economy / do business in the country can obtain a short-term residence permit in Spain.
Permanent residence in Spain is received by foreigners who have legally resided in the country for 6 years, having a short-term residence permit in their hands, those who came here under the family reunification procedure, as well as children of foreign citizens and refugees who have lived in Spain for 3 years.
As in many other EU countries, in order to obtain Spanish citizenship, the minimum required period of residence in the country is 10 years (while the native citizenship will have to be officially renounced).
Business in Spain
There are two main ways to obtain a residence permit in Spain under the business immigration procedure: one is designed for large investors in the country’s economy, the other – for those who plan to run their own business in Spain.
According to the first method, a foreigner must invest large sums of money in the local economy (more than 1 mln.euros) or buy real estate (again for a large amount of money, from 500,000 euros).
For those who are considering starting a business in Spain, there is a different immigration procedure. In this case, the investment will be less than in the first case, however, the newly formed business by the time the Spanish residence permit is received for autonomous work, its owner must already be running, work and pay taxes to the treasury.
Note that the immigration procedure for businessmen in Spain is a rather lengthy process (long live bureaucracy!)
Quality of life in Spain
How much does it cost to live in Spain? It depends on where you live.Today, the most expensive city in the country is Barcelona. Renting an average apartment of about 60 square meters in this city costs 800 euros excluding utility bills. In Madrid, rental prices are lower, but not by much. If you move to cities such as Bilbao and Valencia, the costs will be lower.
The cost of living in Spain is slightly lower than, for example, in neighboring Italy when it comes to food and entertainment (restaurants here are slightly cheaper than Italian ones), but salaries in the country are also lower than Italian ones.
The minimum wage in Spain, according to the latest available data from Eurostat, is 1,050 euros.
Average salary – EUR 1,291.4
The salary of an accountant in Spain – 1,718.6 euros
Salary of a nanny in Spain – 670.2 €
Waiter’s salary in Spain – 998.6 €
Spain is one of those European countries that have been hit hardest by the global and European economic crisis.
The unemployment rate in the country is high, and in recent years this factor has led to the flight of hundreds of thousands of immigrants who have returned to their countries of origin or moved to other European countries.
Although the country’s recent policy is taking Spain out of the economic crisis in small steps, one should not underestimate the fact that many Spaniards leave their country every year in search of happiness elsewhere.
Salaries in Spain do not always correspond to the subsistence minimum, and even without knowledge of the Spanish language it is practically impossible to survive here, although, unlike Austria, ignorance of the language does not affect obtaining a residence permit in the country.
The bureaucracy in the country is not very mobile.
Spain does not recognize dual citizenship, therefore, when applying for Spanish citizenship, you must renounce all other citizenships.
For those with a desire to immigrate and live abroad, Germany is certainly one of the first countries to be seen as a final target, both in terms of employment opportunities and because it is one of the countries with high quality of life.
Nevertheless, it is not easy to adapt in Germany: it is a country with a very different mentality from ours, a “colder” reality, a country where it is customary to live according to rules and schedules.
And places in the ranking “The easiest countries to immigrate in 2020” Germany does not shine …
Residence permit and German citizenship
Germany’s economic stability attracts thousands of foreigners who, of course, set themselves the main goal of obtaining German citizenship.It must be said right away that it is very difficult to obtain German citizenship, and even at the initial stage, a foreigner faces a lot of difficulties: unlike hospitable Italians, Germans immediately dot the “i’s” and demonstrate to immigrants that they are not too welcome here.
You can obtain German citizenship after 8 (with the passage of the integration procedure 7) years of legal, with a short-term and long-term residence permit, residence in Germany (while the period when you lived in the country on a student residence permit is not included in the total period).As in the case of Spain, Germany does not allow its subjects to have dual citizenship, therefore, when obtaining German citizenship from their native (and all others), they will have to officially renounce.
The most realistic and simple to obtain German citizenship for ethnic Germans and Jews. This is the category of immigrants who, upon arrival in Germany, can apply for permanent residence (although here, too, a reservation must be made: since 2005, the immigration procedure for Jews from the ex-USSR has been complicated).
For the rest of those wishing to move to Germany, it remains to try one of the four available methods of immigration: work for hire, business, study or marriage with a citizen of the country.
The first of them – employment for hire – is the most popular among foreigners, but this does not mean at all that this path is the easiest.
Finding a job in Germany today is not easy for local citizens. It is worth noting the fact that the local labor market is looking for highly qualified experienced specialists.To be in demand as a professional in Germany, you need to have a qualification that is included in the list of especially missing and rare ones, for example, to be an IT specialist, a narrowly focused engineer, a doctor, or a researcher. In this case, the state meets the immigrant halfway, making it easier to obtain permanent residence; in the rest, it will take 4 years to wait for a long-term residence permit.
Even with immigration on the basis of study in Germany, not everything is simple and smooth. To enroll in a university in a country, a foreigner needs to complete at least one academic year at a domestic university, studying the same specialty as the future chosen one in Germany, know German at a good level and have sufficient financial resources: if the student is not a scholarship laureate for the gifted, a minimum of € 8000 must be in his account with a bank in Germany as a financial guarantee for one year.
Business in Germany
Let’s start with the fact that registration of any type and form of business in Germany by a foreign entrepreneur is allowed without a residence permit in the country. But if your goal is precisely to move to permanent residence, you will have to develop a detailed business plan and prove that it is beneficial for the country’s economy to have your company work on its territory. In a nutshell, if you are eager to immigrate to Germany as a businessman, you will definitely need to convince the local authorities that your company will not go bankrupt.
To obtain a business visa to Germany, your type of entrepreneurial activity must be in demand in the city / region where you intend to move, and must be promising. Those who are given a chance are issued a residence permit for a period of a year or two, but if the income from the business is not sufficient, the businessman will have to leave the country with his family. In case of successful business, after 3 years it is allowed to apply for permanent residence.
Quality of life in Germany
The cost of living in Germany is quite reasonable compared to countries such as Norway and Sweden, but much higher than in neighboring Spain and Italy.There is a significant difference between different cities: you will probably be surprised, but living in the capital, Berlin, is slightly cheaper in terms of rent and daily costs than in some other cities, such as Munich.
For example, excluding rent, a student in Berlin spends about 590 euros per month, and about 620 euros in Munich. As for a family of four, the minimum cost, excluding rental housing, will need about 2,600 euros per month.
Of course, with such a cost of living, wages in Germany are higher than the European average.IT and engineering specialists receive the most – these are some of the highest paid professions (by the way, Munich ranks 15th among the cities in the world where engineers working in the field of mechanical engineering receive the most). The salary of an engineer can reach 45,000 euros per year, which cannot be said, for example, about the salary of a cashier in a supermarket that he receives. on average, 13.500 euros per year.
The German Immigration Code is one of the most difficult, Germany is not a country where you can immigrate without problems from Russia.Several striking examples can be cited to illustrate the above.
For example, foreigners who work in Germany and then decide to carry out the procedure for family reunification must not only prove that they have a good income, suitable housing and medical insurance. Relatives of residents arriving in Germany must present to the authorities a certificate of knowledge of German at the A1 level – without it, it is impossible to issue an entry visa in almost all cases.
The prospects for successful immigration are not bright for people over 45, if they are not included in the category of refugees, Jews and ethnic Germans.Even if they plan to open a business in Germany, they will need to provide the authorities with evidence of the prospects of their business, as well as guarantee the availability of funds that will cover government costs, for example, for medical care for the elderly.
Italy is one of the most popular countries for immigration, a country that should be considered as one of the best for immigration in Europe: people who dream of living in a state with a fairly stable economy, free of charge, aspire here! medicine, quality education.
Needless to say, the truths known to everyone: wonderful climate, quality products, hospitality of local residents and their friendly attitude towards foreigners.
Difficulty moving. How to start from scratch life in the USA
What you may encounter while emigrating
People go to other countries for a better life, gaining new knowledge or skills (language, education, work experience in another market), new experiences or just to see the world.Of course, these goals can overlap, and that’s okay. But my experience – as well as the experience of several hundred of my friends and acquaintances – suggests that to avoid disappointment, it is better to start with “see the world” and then move on.
I originally wanted to know how life is in another culture. I worked at McKinsey and in the midst of the last financial crisis in 2015, I decided to move to the American office.
There were too many consultants, there were not enough projects for all, this was the case not only in McKinsey, but also in other consulting companies.People have traveled all over the world: for example, to Australia, New Zealand or the United Arab Emirates. I chose the United States because I have long wanted to pursue my own projects.
Working in America, I began to realize that I could gain new professional experience here. In Moscow, for example, it is impossible to participate in a $ 100 billion M&A deal (unless Russia buys Belarus), but in the United States it is easy.
I’ll tell you about the main features of the move that I encountered.
In addition to positive things – like a high standard of living, new friends and skills – the life of an emigrant is filled with difficulties and even disappointments.
For example, it’s hard to get used to how much life in the United States costs: despite high incomes, almost half will go to taxes, another third to food.
You will have to get used to the fact that, most likely, your social capital in another country will practically disappear, and your status (including property) will go down one step below: the transition from the rich people of your country to the middle class of the target state is the norm.
This seems interesting only at first glance, in fact, seemingly small differences result in almost daily problems and misunderstandings.At first, you will regularly experience culture shock.
For example, it is not customary to say everything directly here, so the words of approval of your work may hide dissatisfaction or even an impending dismissal.
It will be necessary to learn to read between the lines, delve into the intricacies of culture and find the root causes of certain words and actions.
In a new country, it suddenly turns out that you are absolutely helpless in everyday matters.Therefore, you will have to re-learn how to live in an adult world.
For example, in Moscow, almost everything works 24/7, and in the States – especially if it’s not New York – cities die out at six or eight in the evening. Even washing clothes will be a problem at first: there is most likely no washing machine in the apartment, and you need to get used to the practice of carrying things to the laundry on time.
The inability to drink tap water outside the United States and several other countries of the world begins to enrage even in prosperous Paris.
For example, in the United States, you need to be prepared for business meetings in T-shirts and jeans and “serious non-exclusive” romantic relationships.
Romantic relationships here in general strongly contradict Russian culture. Girls rarely wear makeup and dress up, guys rarely support financially: a friend had a funny case when, after meeting in a cafe, out of habit, he began to pay the bill for both and faced very harsh accusations – the girl perceived his behavior as an attempt to humiliate her.Conflict of cultures.
You need to be prepared for difficulties, but the goal is worth it.
In general, in the USA, for example, there is very high competition: here the “best” and the most successful wins (sometimes luck is more important). But at the same time, it is important to understand that the competition here is high not only for engineers, but also among them – mediocre specialists often end up working at Uber. However, even in this situation, America pleases with a high standard of living and salaries.
When emigrating, choose a city, not a country
Life in different parts of the Western countries – USA, Britain, Germany – can be very different depending on the city.As you move through the different districts, everything changes: the habits of the locals, the way of life, the demand for specialists.
For example, this is the case in the United States.
- San Francisco and Seattle are best suited to work in the tech sector. There is always something to do here for designers and engineers. At the same time, it should be understood that competition here is high not only for engineers. Therefore, before choosing this city as your goal, you should honestly conduct an audit of your talents.
- New York is good for working in the financial sector. Chicago remains the “capital” of consultants and metallurgists. Boston has the best biotech sector.
- Dallas attracts many immigrants from Russia for its oil production and refining industries.
- Unfortunately, Washington is suitable only for American passport holders and diplomats: there are few opportunities outside the public sector and lobbying organizations.
- Los Angeles and Miami are good for the nightlife, beachfront, and entertainment industries.Although it is cold to swim in Los Angeles, but it is expensive to live.
The same story in Europe. London will be relatively comfortable for both engineers and artists, but the financial sector of the Small City is still key for both the city and the country.
Dublin has recently become a small Silicon Valley in Europe: due to low corporate taxes and access to the EU and UK market, a lot of US technology companies have opened their European headquarters here.
In other cities, it will be much more difficult to find your place, and the standard of living in them will be much lower than in the named ones.The difference will often be the same as between Moscow and the regions.
How quickly you can become a citizen of the States
Visa legislation is relatively predictable: legal migrants in the US usually do not face insurmountable barriers like in the UK or Australia.
A work visa to the United States is usually issued in three to six months. A residence permit is usually obtained in three to five years. For those who want to leave “for good”, Canada is often more attractive with its very liberal legislation: to obtain citizenship, you just need to live in the country for about five to seven years.
How much does it cost to move
After choosing the goals, timing and direction, you need to prepare supplies for the long journey.
To smooth out the first shock of adaptation, you need to save as much as possible. I know people who have successfully moved with two thousand dollars in their pocket and one light bag, but the journey is too difficult, so it’s better not to do that.
But no matter how much you save, do not flatter yourself – you will not be able to live on these funds carefree for long.Due to the huge difference in living standards (buying food in an American store for a week for $ 200-300 at first is very unpleasantly surprising), even solid savings are enough for 6-18 months.
I moved with an annual salary accumulated over the past years. In addition, I received a relatively comfortable salary in the United States. But this was still enough for less time than I expected.
For life in large cities of the United States, I would pledge at least five to seven thousand dollars a month for one and seven to ten thousand for two.
- Most of all will be spent on rental housing: two and a half to three thousand and four to five thousand per month, respectively.
- Medical insurance will cost $ 300-800 per month per person.
- Very little is spent on food – $ 400-600 per month for one or two people.
- Transport will cost about $ 500-700.
- Clothes are cheap: even if you buy brands like Ralph Lauren and Michael Kors, you shouldn’t spend more than a thousand dollars a year.
- But a lot of money can be spent on small pleasures like coffee shops: a cup of coffee costs about five dollars.
In general, the dreams of the beautiful life of many immigrants have been shattered by the high cost of living. If in Moscow a salary of eight to ten thousand dollars a month sends you almost to the top of the social ladder like a rocket, then in San Francisco it is the starting salary of an engineer in high-demand areas, the middle class.
Many people find it difficult to trade food in expensive restaurants, a luxury apartment or products from luxury stores for moderation in spending, a cheap apartment and careful budget planning.
It should be understood that the standard of living in the United States is much higher. You just get a few steps below and may never grow to the entry level. Some of my acquaintances have never been able to overcome this mental barrier.
How to reach the maximum
- Determine your ambitions and goals . How do you want to live, what exactly do you expect from the move, what step of the social ladder are you ultimately aiming for and what are you willing to risk.This is the basis for everything: it is the understanding of your own plan that provides the basis for all further actions.
- Choose the city you plan to move to and decide on a plan for employment . Look for vacancies in an interesting state, district or city, check yourself for eligibility, look at typical jobs – make sure that the job will be, and you meet the expectations of the employer.
- Prepare the base for the move : First of all, it’s money.For the first time, as a safety net – the larger the pillow, the better. I would mortgage the money for at least six months – naturally, based on the cost of living in the target city.
- Go to the selected city for exploration : see the situation, compare it with your expectations. Make sure once again that you really want to move here and live here – the way the locals live (integration is inevitable).
- Pull yourself together and act . Prepare in advance that there will be problems, but the goal is worth all the difficulties that will have to be overcome.
Emigration is in many ways similar to business: you must know what you are doing and why, and you must also be ready to work for the result. Then everything will be successful.
Photo in text and cover: Unsplash
90,000 How to adapt after moving to another country?
Many students who decide to study abroad and who have moved to another country are faced with the problem of adapting to a new society and the peculiarities of life.As you know, it is impossible to live in society and be free from society at the same time, so if you moved abroad, for the sake of your own psychological comfort, you should make some efforts in order to quickly integrate into the local society, understand and accept its traditions and foundations.
Not everyone is able to “fit” into new living conditions and feel at ease abroad. This is partly due to the fact that a person, having found himself in a new place for himself, often does not know where to start his acquaintance with the local culture and traditions.
If you have to move abroad and plunge into a completely unusual social environment, the tips collected in this article will help you quickly adapt to life in another country and integrate into a new society for you.
1) Speak the language of the country you moved to
Today, universities around the world offer tuition in English , undoubtedly, this makes it easier for many international students to enter and study.However, if you are going to study in English in a country where this language is not the state language, you should also think about learning the local language.
Undoubtedly, knowing the language of the country in which you live, you will feel much more comfortable and confident. Knowledge of the language will not only allow you to easily communicate with the locals, but will also facilitate the process of finding a job or part-time job in a new country, and will also help you avoid unexpected difficulties when applying for a visa, filling out various documents, etc.Unfortunately, many students realize this too late, so it is best to start learning the required language before moving to a new country.
2) Find local youth friends
If you want to adapt as quickly as possible to the lifestyle in a new country, you should get acquainted with local youth, your peers. New friends will be happy to help you learn more about the youth environment in the city, show you the best places for recreation and entertainment, and also support you in learning the language.
3) Be aware of what is happening in the country in which you live
In order to be a full-fledged member of modern society, you need to stay up to date with the latest news and events. Of course, even if you live abroad, you need to keep an eye on what’s going on in your home country, but don’t forget the local news as well. To understand what is happening in the politics, culture and society of the country in which you live, read local newspapers and magazines, listen to the radio and watch TV channels.This will allow you not only to keep abreast of the latest developments, but, again, will help improve your knowledge of the language.
4) Travel the country you have moved to
According to popular belief, in order to truly get to know a country, to be imbued with its culture and history, you need to visit its different corners, see it from different angles. Often students, having moved abroad, limit themselves, not leaving the city in which they study and live. Meanwhile, a trip to the country you have moved to can be a great reason to fall in love with this country, its nature, traditions and culture.By arranging such a trip for yourself during your university holidays, you can learn more about the state in which you live and find a place in it that will suit you.
5) Find common ground with local lifestyle and society
Everyone knows that a person feels most comfortable in contact with what suits his tastes, interests and hobbies. Therefore, when you move to another country, try to note for yourself, first of all, those aspects of local life that resonate with your hobbies and needs.
So, if you are a connoisseur of music, learn more about local bands and artists, attend concerts and music bars, and if you are interested, for example, in art, go to exhibitions and museums, communicate with representatives of local bohemians, etc. In short, if you plunge into the life of another country, surrounding yourself with what suits your interests, adaptation to new conditions and integration into the local society will be much faster and more pleasant.
6) Formulate future plans related to the new residence
Many students, having moved to study abroad, begin to lead a purely student lifestyle, forgetting that university years pass faster than it might seem, after which the former student faces a difficult choice of place of work, specialty and suitable housing.In most cases, making this choice while living abroad is somewhat more difficult than in your own country.
That is why, once you are studying in another country, try to start an independent adult life as early as possible: move from a student hostel to a rented apartment, start earning money, save money for large purchases, etc. All this will make you a more independent person, sufficiently integrated into the local society and ready to build your future in this society.Even if in the end you move from the country where you graduate from University , your efforts will not be in vain – the experience gained in organizing an independent life abroad will definitely be useful to you in the future!
90,000 How to independently obtain a Schengen visa in 2021
How to apply for a Schengen visa, how to prepare documents and get a Schengen visa on your own without any problems. New rules for issuing multivisa. Which countries give better visas? All about obtaining a Schengen tourist visa by citizens of the Russian Federation.
Currently, the Schengen area consists of 26 states that pursue a single visa policy and impose standard requirements for paperwork. Visa procedures at the consulates of different countries may differ in details, but the basic principles are the same.
Where to get a Schengen visa?
The first thing you should do when applying for a Schengen visa is to determine which country you need to apply to.
Where to apply for Schengen
If you intend to travel to one country, then everything is obvious.
- To the consulate of the country of destination
- To an officially accredited visa center
Where to apply for Schengen when visiting several countries
- Country of main destination (by destination or number of days)
- First country of entry into the Schengen area (if the number of days is the same)
In most cases, registration is carried out by phone or online.
When can you apply for a Schengen visa?
From February 2020, you can apply for a Schengen visa 6 months before the date of travel (previously it was 90 days). The deadline for submission is 15 calendar days before the trip. In order to avoid problems, it is better to apply for Schengen no later than a month in advance.
On the subject: Will they let me go abroad? How to check your debts
Documents for Schengen visa
List of documents for Schengen visa
It is very important to study the requirements of a particular consulate and follow on its official website for all changes in procedures.To apply for a tourist visa (type C), you must have a clear travel plan, documented. Lack of the required document may result in a visa refusal.
1. Travel document (passport). Your passport must be valid for at least three months after the expected date of departure from the Schengen area and have blank pages for affixing a visa. Attach old passports with visas and / or their copies. Each consulate has its own requirements for copying documents.Most often, they require photocopies of pages with photos and all visas, but they may ask for copies of all pages with marks or even blank ones.
Internal passport. You do not need to take it, but you must have it with you at the time of submitting the documents and make copies. Usually, all completed pages are copied, including the last one with a stamp on the issuance of a passport.
2. Application for a visa (questionnaire). The Schengen visa application form is standardized, but you need to fill in the version of the very country to which you are applying for a visa.All consulates have already switched to an electronic online questionnaire, but the usual paper ones remain.
On the official website, as a rule, there is an example or instructions for filling out a questionnaire. Select the allowed language and fill in your details. The completed electronic questionnaire is printed (all sheets, including the barcode). A photo must be pasted onto the application and signed in two places (or three if a multiple-entry visa is requested).
3. Photos. Read the requirements of the consulate for photographs and their number.Usually, these are 2 color photos 3.5 x 4.5 cm. Photos must be recent and meet all the parameters indicated on the site (write them down before going to the photographer). Stick one photo on the questionnaire, cut out the second (if required) and attach it with a paper clip to your passport.
4. Visa fee. An agreement has been concluded between the Russian Federation and the Schengen countries, in which the cost of the visa fee is fixed. A short-term tourist visa costs 35 euros, an urgent one – 70 euros. Specify in what currency and in what way money is accepted: in cash, by credit card or through a bank.If you pay in cash, it is advisable to have the amount without deposit in paper notes in good condition. Some categories of citizens are exempted from paying visa fees.
If you apply through a visa center, a service fee is added to the cost of the visa. The service charge differs from country to country and ranges from 15 to 35 euros.
5. Travel medical insurance must be issued for all dates of your trip (sometimes an additional corridor of 15 days is required).The minimum insured amount is 30,000 euros. Health insurance must be valid in all Schengen countries. Insurance must be typed, not handwritten.
Buy your travel insurance policy online. The Cherehapa search engine compares the prices of the leading insurance companies and takes into account the requirements of the consulates. All you have to do is select, pay and print your travel insurance. The electronic insurance policy is accepted by all visa application centers. Enter information about your trip in the search form and find out the price of insurance.
6. Confirmation of travel accommodation. I need a hotel or other accommodation reservation for all dates of your trip. On this point, the requirements in all consulates are different, it is important to know what are presented in “your”. The easiest option is a printed booking from booking • com, the most difficult is a fax from the hotel with a stamp, signature and confirmation of payment. The main thing that should be on any document of residence: your name / surname (as in the passport), arrival / departure dates and name / contact details of the place of residence.
7. Confirmation of funds. A bank statement, a certificate from work with an indication of salary, a 2-NDFL certificate, traveler’s checks are accepted for consideration. The amount per day of stay in the Schengen country from 40 euros (may be less if accommodation is paid for). All certificates must be “fresh”, with signatures and seals. If your money or salary is not enough, a letter and certificates from the sponsor are provided.
On the subject: Where can I get money for travel?
8.Confirmation of intention to return to the country of permanent residence. This is most often proven by round trip tickets (purchased or booked). When traveling by car, you need to write a letter describing the route and attach documents and insurance to the car. Confirmation of intentions to return are also: marriage certificate, birth certificate of children, documents on real estate, certificates from the place of study or work. Some consulates request translations of all documents.
Related: 12 Tips on How to Buy Cheap Flights
Consulates always reserve the right to require additional documents or call the applicant for an interview.
Biometrics for Schengen Visa
To obtain a Schengen visa, you must provide biometric data – fingerprints and a digital photo. The received data is processed by the Visa Information System (VIS). The applicant undergoes 10 fingerprinting procedures every 5 years, children under 12 do not submit biometric data.
Biometrics is carried out by the consulates of the Schengen countries or authorized visa centers. The fingerprint procedure takes a few minutes, watch the video.
New Schengen visa system
Schengen visa application processing time
On average, a Schengen visa application is processed within one week. In practice, on different dates, in different consulates, a Schengen visa is issued from 3 to 15 days. When calculating the time for obtaining a Schengen visa, national holidays of the country of destination and the Russian Federation should be taken into account. In exceptional cases, visa applications can be processed for up to 45 days.An urgent visa is issued in 3 working days.
After obtaining a visa
Carefully check the correctness of the information on the visa:
- name, surname
- passport number
- whether the dates and number of entries correspond to the intended travel plan
If you find an error, immediately contact the consulate or visa center that issued your visa.
Flags of Schengen countries
Where is the Schengen visa valid?
A Schengen visa issued by one of the Schengen countries is valid for stay in all Schengen countries.
List of Schengen countries 2021
- Luxemburg 9000 Poland
- Czech Republic
With a valid Schengen visa you can enter the following countries: Albania, Bulgaria, Bulgaria, Bulgaria , Croatia.
Countries that issue Schengen visas better than others: Spain, Italy, France, Greece, Czech Republic. The consulates of these countries, as a rule, issue multiple visas with a validity period of 6 months, even at the first application. On subsequent applications, it is possible to obtain a Schengen visa for a period of 1 to 5 years.
Countries that most often refuse Schengen visas: Norway, Belgium, Germany, Netherlands, Poland.
New rules for issuing multiple entry visas
On February 2, 2020, the uniform rules for issuing multiple Schengen visas came into force, which were approved by the European Union.Under the new rules, applicants with a positive visa history will receive multi-entry visas with a gradually increasing period of stay.
- multivisa for 1 year is given to those who have had 3 short-term visas in the last 2 years
- multivisa for 2 years are given to those who have had an annual visa for the last 2 years
- multivisa for 5 years are given those who have had a 2-year visa for the last 3 years
The validity of the visa cannot exceed the validity of the passport in which it is placed.The duration of the visa can be shortened if there are reasonable doubts (risks) regarding the applicant.
If you have carefully studied the procedure for applying for a visa to the country of destination, filled out the form correctly and collected all the necessary documents, then you have a very high chance of getting a Schengen visa. According to statistics of recent years, 98.8% of Russians who have applied for visas have been granted.
Will they let me go abroad?
Having a passport with a visa is not a guarantee that you will be able to go abroad.The travel ban applies to debtors for bank loans, fines, housing and communal services, unpaid taxes, alimony and other financial obligations. 80% of people do not know about their debts! Check your debts online and pay off your debts at least 2 weeks before departure.
90,000 5 best countries for the first vacation abroad
Resting for the first time on your own is always scary. To make it easier to decide, choose a friendly and travel-friendly country. Best of all – no language barrier.Start with any country from our list and you yourself will not notice how travel agencies will become unnecessary.
Preparing for an independent trip is longer than buying a ready-made tour, but it is more interesting and not like others. To save on airfare, plan your travels, and find good accommodations, read our guide for those who want to travel on their own. And in this article, we have collected five ideal countries for the first vacation without a package tour.
The best countries for the first trip abroad
We hope that this year we will all be lucky enough to travel, but no one knows for sure the date of the opening of the borders.While you can dream about new countries and plan trips for the future.
Why Latvia: Close and understandable Europe without language problems.
What about the visa: To travel to Latvia you need a regular Schengen visa.
When to go to Latvia: Best of all in Latvia from May to September. Come to lie on the beach and splash in the Baltic Sea from the end of June to the end of August. And in December you will be taken straight to the Christmas markets.
Latvia is a foreign country, but not quite: everyone here speaks Russian, from schoolchildren to pensioners. So they will prompt you how to get to the street where “Seventeen Moments of Spring” and “Sherlock Holmes” were filmed. Despite the Russian language, the atmosphere in Riga and other Latvian cities is European: narrow streets, organ music, castles, colorful houses, tower spiers and a pleasant audience on a leisurely promenade. In order not to miss anything interesting, keep your inner fire alive with Latvian cuisine.In addition to caraway cheese and peas with bacon, you will find an unexpected bread soup with raisins and cinnamon, as well as bread ice cream.
Even if you come only to Riga for the weekend, consider that the first experience of traveling in Europe was a success. In addition, it is not far from the capital to Jurmala: at the same time you will have a rest on the sea. The next level is to sit down at the map and plan your trip to the cities, beaches and national parks of Latvia. You can ride buses and trains – try it, it’s easy.
An interesting route in Latvia
- Fall in love with Riga
Walk among the Latvian Art Nouveau houses, find a monument to the Bremen Town Musicians, listen to the organ in the Dome Cathedral and remember the taste of Riga Balsam.
- Hover in Sigulda
Play the bobsleigh and ski slopes, listen to the echo in the Gutmana cave and explore the ruins of Sigulda castle. Don’t forget the ruins of Krimulda and the lovingly restored Turaida Castle.
- Visit Cesis Castle
Climb the tower along the narrow spiral staircase. And then, in the flickering of candles in hand-held vintage lanterns, go down to the basement where there used to be a prison.
- Wander the streets of Bauska
Find the smart town hall and see the ancient cannons in the Bauska castle.In the meantime, admire the lush Rundale Palace – 15 minutes’ drive away.
- Get out of the sea foam in Jurmala
Swim in the sea and frolic in the water park, and when you want variety, walk along the path of the Great Kemeri bog and drive to the pretty town of Tukums.
More details: 11 ways to fall in love with Latvia
Where to go if you like it in Latvia: Lithuania | Estonia | Poland
Why Georgia: They speak Russian, prepare awesome khachapuri and receive guests like family.
What about a visa: In Georgia, Russians can spend a whole year without a visa. Just don’t forget your passport.
When to go to Georgia: Georgia is especially beautiful in May-June and from September to early October. Trekking in the mountains is good from June to September, and December-April is the time to go skiing.
It is good and calm in Georgia even for those who have never left their dacha before. The locals are so hospitable that it is easier to find the way in the old fashioned way without a navigator, and conversations by themselves turn into toasts.Relaxing, you notice that the handsome Kazbek is floating out of the clouds, ancient temples are watching from the hills and even an ordinary stall with churchkhela looks like a treasure chest. The menu in the restaurant makes you want to sing, not read: khinkali, lobio, phali, ajapsandali, ojakhuri.
There are classes in Georgia for everyone. Swim in the sea, hike in the mountains, take a steam bath, wander through cave cities, or take a tour of wine farms. If you want everything at once, so much the better. At the same time, make sure that independent travel has nothing to do with the plot of the movie “The Survivor”.
Scenic route in Georgia
- Become your own in Tbilisi
Explore the carved balconies in the Old City, try the healing power of the sulfur baths in the Abanotubani quarter, take the cable car to the Narikala fortress, and finally buy a wine horn at the flea market
- Take a ride along the Georgian Military road
Cross the Cross Pass, listen to the hum of the Terek and fall in love with the mountain scenery. Stop overnight in Stepantsminda or Gergeti and eat khachapuri overlooking Kazbek
- Taste wonderful Georgian wines
In two days in Kakheti you will have time to taste drinks in five to ten wineries and wineries, and at the same time be impressed by the size of kvevri.You can stop in Sighnaghi or Telavi, both towns – as in the picture
- Visit Mtskheta – the oldest city in the country
Light a candle in the Svetitskhoveli Cathedral: according to legend, the Lord’s tunic is buried under it. And also go up to the Jvari temple, about which Lermontov wrote in “Mtsyri”.
- Delve into the cave cities
In Uplistsikhe, where Queen Tamara was crowned, do not slip past the ancient pharmacy. Set aside at least half a day in Vardzia to thoroughly explore the secret tunnels, steep staircases and cave temples
- Relax on the sea in Batumi
Put the sun on your sides right on the city beach.Or take a dash on the minibus and find yourself in Kvariati, Gonio or Sarpi, where the water is bluer and the landscapes are more beautiful.
The main attractions of Georgia
The best things to do in Tbilisi
Where to go if you liked it in Georgia: Armenia | Azerbaijan
Why Thailand: All year round summer, sunshine, exotic fruits and smiles.
What about the visa: If you do not plan to stay in Thailand for more than a month, you do not need a visa.
When to go to Thailand: From November to February – great weather in the north of Thailand. On the Andaman coast – Phuket, Krabi – the season lasts from November to the end of April, then the rains begin. In the Gulf of Thailand – Pattaya, Koh Samui, Ko Chang, Huahin – good from January to August.
All the good things you’ve heard about Thailand are true. The islands and beaches are full of bounty, the palaces are luxurious, the food is unusual and tasty, the locals are friendly. Questions are solved with smiles, and you can find a common language with anyone, even if you know English at the level of a first grader.Trains, buses and domestic flights are inexpensive and comfortable, and figuring out when the next flight to Bangkok is easy. An ideal country for the first exotic trip without a travel agency.
The easiest thing to do is to choose a Thai resort, lie on the beach and take a few walks around the area. It is more difficult, but more interesting – first to go around several cultural sights, and then relax on the sea.
Ready route in Thailand
- Explore Bangkok
Visit the reclining Buddha in Wat Pho, take a river taxi ride along the klong canals, catch a monitor lizard in Lumpini Park and squint your eyes against the splendor of the Royal Palace.
- Escape to Ayutthaya, the ancient capital of Siam
Stroll among working Buddhist temples and atmospheric tree-lined ruins. You can stay overnight in Ayutthaya or return to Bangkok.
- Head for Chiang Mai
Shop for cute trinkets at the Night Market, touch the pandas at the zoo, circle the Wat Chedi Luang in the Old City and watch the sunrise on Mount Doi Intanon.
- Settle in a bungalow among rice paddies
In Pai, drive for pastoral silence, hot springs and waterfalls.If you want to see the whole valley at once, go up to the huge White Buddha on the side of the mountain.
- Get a Bronze Tan in Phuket
Relax on the beach and go boating to the Similan Islands. Also try durian, ride elephants and get out of your massage as a different person.
12 things to do in Bangkok
Top 5 Thai dishes and where to try them
Where to go if you liked it in Thailand: Bali | Cambodia | Vietnam | Laos
Why Czech Republic: One of the cheapest and most beautiful countries in Europe.Many people know Russian, especially in Prague. And after a couple of glasses of Czech beer, you can already communicate freely in any language.
What about the visa: We need a Schengen, which is easy to get.
When to go to the Czech Republic: The most pleasant weather is from May to October. In December in Prague – around 0 ℃ and the whole month Christmas markets sparkle and lavish magical aromas.
The Czech Republic lives up to expectations: it is a fairy tale country.The streets of Prague are beautiful and atmospheric, Karlovy Vary does not seem to have changed since the days of Goethe and Beethoven, ghosts probably live in castles, and beer is much tastier than the Czech foam that is sold here. In addition, vacationing in the Czech Republic is significantly cheaper than in neighboring Germany and Austria. And if you can’t figure out what dumplings and boar knee are, many restaurants will bring you a menu in Russian.
A weekend in Prague is enough to fall in love with the Czech Republic. This is a good option for the first time: no need to bother with the route, transport and hotels in different cities.If you penetrate, look for tickets to the Czech Republic for a week or two and discover other facets of the country: from mineral spas to a nature reserve with the true name “Bohemian Paradise”. You can get around by buses and trains or by a rented car.
Beautiful route in the Czech Republic
- Feel the spirit of old Prague
In the Czech capital, admire the Prague Castle, make a wish on the Charles Bridge, climb the Petřín observation tower, feel the gloomy Kafka Museum and visit the lemurs at the zoo.
- Travel back to the Middle Ages in the town of Kutná Hora
View the stained glass windows in St. Barbara’s Cathedral, go down the silver mine and count the skulls on the chandelier in the chapel of All Saints, decorated with human bones.
- Admire the Gothic castle Karlštejn
It stands stately on a wooded hill near Prague. You can only enter the castle with an excursion, but you will learn the history of the Karlstejn ghost – White Lady.
- Recover your health in Karlovy Vary
Plunge into the thermal waters and taste the mineral water from a dozen springs.Do not forget about the 13th: the locals claim that Becherovka liqueur also invigorates and rejuvenates.
- Learn how Czech beer is brewed
In Pilsen, the beer capital of the Czech Republic, go beyond a pub tasting. Take a look at the malt dryer and medieval cellars at the Brewery Museum, or at the Pilsner Urquell distillery, walk through an authentic bottling workshop.
- Visit the festival in Český Krumlov
At the Feast of the Five-Petal Rose, everyone dresses up in medieval costumes, and knights’ tournaments are held in the squares.See the dates on the Czech tourism website.
- Get back to nature in Bohemian Paradise
Steep sandstone cliffs, dense forest, scenic paths and miraculous-looking castles await you in this nature reserve, the most famous of which is Trosky.
How much does a trip to Prague cost
The most comfortable country. 10 reasons to make friends with the Czech Republic
Where to go if you liked the Czech Republic: Germany | Austria | Switzerland | Belgium | Netherlands
Why Montenegro: Sea resort in Europe without visa and language barrier.
What about the visa: If the trip is shorter than 30 days, you do not need a visa to Montenegro. After arrival, you need to register within 24 hours – usually the hotel owners do it.
When to go to Montenegro: It is best to come in May-June and September-October. In July and August, it is hot on the coast and crowds of tourists, but it is good in the mountains. You can swim from mid-May to early October.
Small and cozy Montenegro seems to have been copied from a postcard.Ornate medieval cities, the transparent Adriatic Sea, mountains with combed pine trees and magical lakes – everywhere in Montenegro is beautiful. In addition, it is inexpensive: you can have a thorough lunch in a cafe for $ 20 for two, and if you move away from the embankment, it is even cheaper. There will be no problems with understanding: many speak Russian. And you can easily understand the local language: for example, coffee is kafa, and milk is mleko.
The best way to travel around Montenegro is by car. Ride from bay to bay and explore the sights along the way.If you like mountains, leave more time for the mainland. You can spend the night at least every day in a new place. And if you don’t want to waste time looking for housing, choose a “base” from where it will be convenient to travel to interesting places in one day. It will not be difficult: in Montenegro, everything is close.
Ready travel plan in Montenegro
- Start in the enchanting Kotor
Climb the ramparts, trample the stone pavements, admire the Venetian style of palaces and churches and choose the best prosciutto on the market for the locals.
- Take a ride through the cities of Boko-Kotor Bay
Just, mind you, without a tough program. Stop wherever you want, gaze at the houses with red-tiled roofs and sit on the verandas of the cafe with a glass of wine.
- Go to Mount Lovcen
Upstairs you will find an excellent view of almost all of Montenegro, especially from the observation deck behind the Njegos mausoleum. Don’t forget to bring your windbreaker: it’s cool in the mountains even in summer.
- Enjoy the Adriatic Sea
Explore the coast from Budva to Ulcinj, sunbathe in romantic coves and lose track of time in bougainvillea-covered towns.
- Admire nature in the Durmitor National Park
Walk along the forest path to the Black Lake, swim and collect strawberries. And if you take trekking shoes with you and push up, you can overcome Bobotov-Cook.
- Visit Ostrog Monastery
This is one of the most important Orthodox shrines in Montenegro. Be sure to climb up to the Upper Monastery to see the temple in a cave on a sheer cliff.
Where to relax in Montenegro
The best beaches in Montenegro
Where to go if you liked Montenegro: Greece | Turkey | Croatia | Bulgaria
90,000 How to make your Wi-Fi better
“How many walls will your router break through?”
It is this question that annoys wi-fi specialists very much.Although, as for me, the question is quite logical 🙂
Today it is hard to imagine a home that does not have a wi-fi router or access point. You don’t have to go far: my parents of retirement age have a tablet and without wi-fi – it’s just a photo frame. Therefore, people in foil hats are slowly running out, and active providers are selling “Visokoshvidkisny Internet and WiFi router for 1 UAH!”
I see from 15 to 22 networks in my apartment in the evening from the phone. And this is an ordinary eight-story building on the outskirts of Kiev.In such conditions, the quality, and, as a consequence, the speed of the network cannot but deteriorate.
What is to be done? Based on my little experience, I will express a few thoughts about WLAN.
1. Go to the dark side
Modern wi-fi technology operates in the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequency bands. I suppose
I take the figure from the ceiling , that in Ukraine the share of devices operating at 2.4 GHz is 90 percent. And therefore …
The very first thing you can do is start using a wi-fi router at a frequency of 5 GHz.Firstly, you practically get rid of neighboring interference, and secondly, in the 2.4 GHz range, in addition to wi-fi, various bluetooth devices and even microwave ovens still work, and this is all noise-noise-noise, and thirdly, these devices are simply more expensive they cost, which means there are fewer of them, and fourthly, there are many more channels in the 5 GHz range, I will talk about them further.
2. Device selection
When choosing a device, many people forget or do not know at all that a wi-fi router and a wi-fi access point (AP) are different things.The AP is designed to build a wireless network, in our case, a home one. And a wi-fi router assumes that in addition to a wireless network, you will also have devices connected via cable: a desktop, for example, or a NAS. Therefore, when planning a purchase, consider this point. If you obviously will not have wired connections, feel free to look for an access point, this is a specialized device just for these purposes. While a wi-fi router is a hybrid of a router and an access point. Why would you overpay for unnecessary functionality?
3.Change the firmware
The first thing to do after purchasing is to check for a new firmware on the manufacturer’s website. I’m serious. Very often “out of the box” on the piece of iron is already an outdated version, because while it was getting to us from China / Taiwan, valiant Asian specialists sawed and sawed. “Painful”, as they say.
Special attention should be paid to alternative firmware. If you are one of those geeks who want to squeeze the most out of the device, then you certainly heard about such a thing as dd-wrt , and if you haven’t, then be sure to take an interest.This is such a mini OS based on Linux, which is installed on a router and allows you to get up with almost any wundersex with it. There are a lot of subtle settings that are not available in official firmware. Another big advantage is that you can increase the power of the transmitters of our router.
But, again, if you update the existing firmware with a fresh off. any average user can, then only the “advanced” can install dd-wrt and configure it correctly. On the website, the link contains a list of supported devices, there are a lot of them, there are manuals for all of them, you can even find them in Russian.
4. Understand the settings.
I will go over the basic settings.
- Network mode
There may be slightly different points, but, in general, they are always similar. For us, only 802.11b / g / n and 802.11n are important. Let me remind you that the maximum speed of the 802.11g standard is 54 Mbps, and 802.11n = 600 Mbps; b – not interesting at all. Either the point will support clients of all standards, or only n. Everything is logical here.But there is one caveat: if in b / g / n mode you have at least one 802.11g client, even if not yours, but behind three walls of a neighbor, and connects not to your access point at all, but to his own, but sees your network – your point will fall into g mode. Now g devices are already small, but I advise you to set hard mode n, checking all your devices to see if they can work. So you will protect yourself from possible neighboring antique enthusiasts.
- Channel aggregation 20/40 MHz
Standard 802.11n allows contiguous channels to be aggregated for increased speed. In theory, this is good, but in practice it will not work, since if a device operating on a standard channel appears in the audibility range of a device operating on a double-width channel, according to the standard, it must switch to a normal channel. There is a 20 \ 40 MHz compatibility mode for this. Should we stick to a hard 20 or 40? Opinions vary, but I believe that 20/40 compatibility mode is still the best option.This is all for the 2.4 GHz band, at 5 GHz we set the dual channel 40 and rejoice.
It’s simple. Set WPA2-PSK (or WPA \ WPA2-PSK). Everything before WPA2 is very unreliable and relatively easy to break. In the same section, there is an encryption type: TKIP and AES. Put AES – this algorithm is newer. I would also advise you to choose just a tricky word as the password for the network, for example – keddroobzor. It is almost impossible to break such a password, since all hacking options are based on brute-force password dictionaries.They intercept the necessary packets and then brute force. Therefore, any digital or dictionary password can be picked. Of course, without encryption, the speed will be slightly higher, but here it is up to you to decide whether you trust your neighbors or not 🙂
5. Scan the network
A bit of theory to understand.
The most popular standard today is 802.11n. It operates in two bands: 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz.
There are 14 channels in the 2.4 GHz band.Their number may vary depending on the country. For example, in Japan all 14 channels are allowed, in France and Spain – only 4, in the USA – 11, and in Ukraine and Russia – 13. Here you brought, for example, a smartphone, a purebred American, but he does not catch wi-fi from you at home because you have channel 13 on your router, and the American sees only the first 11.
Each channel has a width of 22 MHz, as you can see from the picture, there can be only 3 non-overlapping channels (in our case, not in Japan), the access points operating in them will not interfere with each other, unlike, for example, from two points in 5 and 8 channels, which will interfere with each other.
In the 5 GHz band, things are much better. It has as many as 22 non-intersecting channels, and if we also take into account the fact that there are, in principle, much less such devices, then choosing a clean, noisy channel is much easier. It is also worth noting that only 4 channels work reliably: 36/40/44/48, on the rest the mode of coexistence with radars (DFS) is enabled.
Using software for scanning networks, you can select the most free channel for your point.For windows, I recommend inssider, there is also a version for android.
There is also a convenient wi-fi manager app for android. Slightly simpler than inssider, I use it instead of the standard wi-fi search on my phone.
6. Manufacturer’s choice
There will be my personal subjective opinion about different manufacturers. All of them have both good and bad devices, I will draw on my experience with them.
- D-Link. Good hardware in the corporate sector and very problematic in the budget. All their dir-s for home use, which I came across, worked very badly, sometimes even shamanism with firmware did not save. Plus, dlink also has a stupid feature – device revision. A device marked, for example, DIR-615, may have an unrealistic number of revisions (B2, C1, C2, E1, E3, E4, h2, E5, h3, J1, D1, D2, D3, E5, F1, F2, F3 , and the same amount further). Moreover, there may already be new hardware, but in the old case, or vice versa.It is clear that not all of them are sold at the same time, but gradually, but it creates incredible confusion, it even came to the point that you buy one device in an online store, and they bring you something completely different, but it is called the same. I personally recently bought one of the home routers and ran into the following problem: when downloading a torrent from a desktop connected with a wire, the wi-fi network simply disappeared. It didn’t become bad or unstable, it just rotted away. You pause the torrent and the network appears.No tweaks or firmware improved the case, and had to be returned to the store. But, again, at work we use access points for $ 200, and they behave perfectly, each holds an average of 15 users, and, it seems, do not complain.
- TP-LINK. As far as I know, before they were “not very”, but now they are problem-free pieces of iron. Heard a little bad. I ran into them recently, put my father-in-law in a two-story house with an access point, it was decided to take an external one, so its power is much higher.As a result, the whole house is covered with a good signal.
- Linksys. This is a bum variant of Cisco. The impression is twofold. Right now at my house. I took it in an outlet, worked for about a month, started to lose the Internet. That is, periodically, at first – once a week, and then – once an hour, he stopped seeing the external IP address, even dd-wrt did not save. I returned it. But I found the same model elsewhere. The device was remanufactured, that is, it came off the assembly line with defects, but it was immediately repaired at the factory and sold for 30% less.It has been working like clockwork for a year already.
- Asus. Didn’t work with them personally. I heard a lot of negativity.
- Cisco. Expensive. Reliable. Stable. Expensive, yeah.
- Edimax. I have no idea who they are. Judging by the wiki, dlink’s brother / competitor, but smaller.
- Tenda. Even smaller edimax.
It seems that all the main ones on the Ukrainian market.
And some thoughts out loud.
We have a lot of obstacles to the wi-fi signal in our apartments.For example, a mirrored surface on a wardrobe is a great screen. Kills the signal well. Or an old microwave.
Or here’s a story told by a specialist from a long story: there is a working access point in the room, the door to the corridor is open and there is a receiver (laptop) right outside the door. That is, they are in line of sight from each other at a distance of 4-5 meters through an open door. And the receiver does not catch. It turns out that the doors had a frame welded from reinforcement, and this became an insurmountable shield for the wi-fi signal.