What you will learn
Welcome to part 2 of our travel tips for busy entrepreneurs series! In this episode, Mark and I will talk about visas, handling emergencies, gadgets and stuff that can save you time and money and how to be social when traveling. Enjoy!
Things to think about before going to a foreign country
- Make sure you have at least 6 months of validity left on your passport, most countries will not let you in if that is not the case.
- Travel around with a proof of fund. Many countries want to make sure you can afford your trip there and won’t be taking jobs from locals or be homeless.
- Get your vaccine certificates, especially in developed countries, health and safety can be quite harsh.
- Check the malaria status and take your disposition if it is present in the country. Malaria is the #1 human killer in the world.
- Always buy travel insurance, it is cheap and can save your life.
- Tell your bank you are going away before you do. Banks often block credit / debit cards with abroad transactions and that could leave you cashless.
How to handle emmergencies
- 112 is an emergency number that works world wide, no need to learn it for each country you go to.
- Keep your wallet in your front pocket, pick pockets are pretty common overseas.
- If at any point you don’t feel comfortable with someone, just leave, avoid confrontation, local police often sides with locals.
- Don’t be a dick and don’t get in a fight
- Appologising is better than trouble.
Stuff / Gadget that can save you time / money
- Travel light (no more than 1 bag) you can always buy stuff where you are.
- Take an extra pair of headphones, plane headphones are disgusting
- In hotel rooms with limited plugs, many TV’s have USB ports. Use them to charge your stuff if needed. I personally use a portable battery that also multi charges my electronic (check it out here)
- Get a smaller laptop (13 inch) and use an iPad as your second screen with the Duet app. Best travel setup.
- Bring a mouse if you don’t have a mac.
- Never put anything expensive in checked in luggage, always take it with you.
How to be social on the go
- Look for digital nomad communities on Facebook or on Meetup.com
- Go to couchsurfing meet ups
- Join expat groups of your area to find events to go to.
- Be honest when you introduce yourself : “I’m new and I don’t really know anyone, can you introduce me?”
- Alcohol can be a social lubricant
- If you are part of AH Pro, ask on the Facebook group, we have members all over the world.
Gael: Hey guys, welcome to the Authority Hacker podcast. In today’s episode I have Mark with me, how is it going, Mark?
Mark: Hey, it’s going good.
Gael: I am getting really good at introductions, I must say. This is actually part two of our Travel Hacks podcast, we released the first one actually at the time at which we are recording it we released that one at the beginning of the week, it went pretty well, there are a bunch of people form Instabridge and there is people from Thrive team and so on that sent me messages about it, that liked it. So, we are going to bring on part two, which is going to be about gadgets and problems etc, right Mark?
Mark: Yeah, so in the first episode we mostly covered travel and accommodation. And, this part is going to more focus on the once you got the basics out of the way let’s get into some of the more specific nitty gritty stuff.
Gael: Cool, so let’s just start about legal stuff, of going into foreign countries, visas, passports etc.
Mark: Yeah, so I guess we should’ve probably put this in the first one but it’s quite a sizable topic so I want to make sure I covered it properly here. Yeah, foreign countries, there is a whole bunch of things you need to consider, it’s not always as simple as just buying a flight and going, you need obviously a passport to go there, at least depending from where are you from, most of the time you will need the passport to go to most foreign countries with few exceptions. But one thing which a lot of people do not actually realize is you actually need to have in most places six months validity on your passport, by the end of your stay. o let’s say you are going to, let’s say your passport expires in six and a half months and you are going to Thailand for one month, then technically they shouldn’t let you in because when you leave, you will only have five and a half months on your passport until it expires. So, yeah, you can run into problems and I know people who have run into problems with this in the past. It’s not always the case, for example if you are European Union citizen, you don’t need six months validity to go to another EU country. But, in general, if you are going somewhere where they are going to stamp your passport, then you need six months validity. So make sure to renew it early, and I think there is a big thing in the US right now, about they are asking people to put their passports in early because there is a big backlog and-
Gael: Yeah, can you do that, can you just come in and say I want to renew it even though it’s not expired?
Mark: Yes, in most cases, and again, it depends on the country, I have a British passport and a couple of years ago when I was renewing it, there was a huge issue with taking very long times to get them renewed and I live in Budapest Hungary and I was like, I’ll just go to the embassy and get another one, but they actually have to send it back to the UK and so technically I am here without passport and that means I can’t really travel around. So, yeah, go get that renewed early. Another thing is when you are actually going into a country and the immigration officers checking if your passport is valid, you got all the right visas and what not, sometimes you are required to have an onward travel documents, often printed put, that might be in many cases you return flight, but if you are not on a return flight, they want to know how are you getting home, or when are you leaving. And, sometimes I have actually traveled to places like Thailand without that, and they haven’t asked me, they very rarely do, but sometimes they do and sometimes you actually have to- I’ve heard of people on the spot buying cheap flights that they are never planning on taking just so they have that to show them.
Gael: You need to have to have a good story at least, to justify yourself on how you are going to leave the country I would say. Because they are pretty insisting in some countries, I actually remember traveling with you I don’t remember which country it was but they were like how are you paying for your flights and what do you do for living, asking all these questions, and isn’t that like- especially when you have a bit of unusual lifestyle, should we tell the truth or should we just lie?
Mark: It’s usually best to say the truth in these situations, most immigration officers they ask you a series of questions and then they end up repeating a lot of the questions and it’s really just to catch you out, they are looking for people who have made up stories so I would never advise to lie. Even if you are doing something really unusual traveling and working and all that, they have probably heard it before and in most cases, they don’t actually care, they just want to make sure that you are not smuggling drugs or some shit like that.
Gael: Which we shouldn’t.
Mark: Yeah, don’t do that.
Gael: Yeah, this is the best tip of the podcast.
Mark: Yeah. [laugh] Another thing you actually might be required to have is proof of funds, so and this could be a problem, how many times you travel around with your bank statement in your bag, very rarely. And you arrive somewhere new, there might not be wi-fi at the airport, you might not be able to get online, it can be a bit of an issue, and there are some countries that technically do insist on it, and it can be a problem so just be aware of these kinds of things, and this is particularly true if you are going somewhere for 6 or 3 months, or not really a two week vacation. Another thing is vaccines certification, so there are a lot of countries which require you to have certain vaccines, usually yellow fever is the big one, but there are others as well, so just make sure that when you get that, or make sure that you get that before you go and make sure you take the certification card with you because you may be asked to produce it. If not, then you end up getting vaccines again, which I think is unnecessary- I don’t think it’s that dangerous or anything, but you can just be stuck at the airport for 6 or 12 hours or something, and no one wants that. And speaking of vaccines, malaria can be an issue in some countries, so always check that before you go and be aware that there are actually different kinds of malaria in different countries, in different areas around the world so if you are in Laos or Cambodia and you are taking anti malaria pills, then those same ones will not be effective in Haiti or Cuba or something.
Gael: I would say don’t take them if you don’t have to as well because they are pretty heavy on your body.
Mark: Yeah. I mean, again, it’s up to you, I don’t know anyone that has ever gotten malaria outside of Africa, but and you are fine in most places if you go into most places in Thailand, but just be careful, and check before you go. And actually, most of the time it’s much cheaper to buy malaria medication when you arrive, rather than in your home country. Bear that in mind as well. And, always buy travel insurance, medical insurance, for your trip that is going to cover you, this is in most cases really easy to buy, it takes 5 minutes, you can do it online, there are many sort of sites that will find the cheapest option for you and you can just print out your policy there and then you are good. Check what you are covered for, in most cases they will only cover like a $1000 of baggage so if you have some expensive stuff in your bag and it gets lost you are screwed. But the main things are medical and legal expenses, and most of them cover you for like a million dollars. So, it’s very rare that those things happen, but, I think most people probably know someone that has had an issue abroad at some point in their life, I certainly do.
Gael: Don’t you have some insurance with your credit card as well”
Mark: Yeah, a lot of credit cards will provide that, but just be careful because some of them will only offer it when you actually pay for the trip on that card. So if you are using air miles or something, you are out of luck. So, don’t neglect that because it can really ruin your trip and set you into a lot of debt if you don’t have it. And it’s not expensive either. And the last thing is before you go, call your bank and tell them that you are going somewhere, if you just suddenly, if your bank suddenly sees a bunch of ATM withdrawals in Hong Kong or Kiev tomorrow then they are going to be like, wow, what is going on here, and probably block it, after one time, and it’s just a hassle to call them up and get them to unblock it and, you might be stuck with that money and that stuff, so before you go get them to unblock it, if you are traveling a lot, they will often be able to unblock it worldwide for a year at a time so you only have to call them once a year.
Gael: It happened to me, and they just unblocked it and now it’s ok. You need to be careful with this, someone could actually steal your number and use it somewhere else in the world, I highly recommend for us I use sms notifications, so you see you can just unblock your card, it still has some pretty decent security, while not having to deal with that all the time because that is pretty annoying.
Mark: Yeah. And this might come as a bit of surprise to anyone who lives in the US, but outside of the US it’s very rare to actually give your credit card to someone else, in the US I hear the if you go to bar you put your card behind the bar and they just swipe it, they take it away to the back room to charge you if you are in the restaurant, all this, in most places in the world, they will bring a terminal to your table and you can just literally put it in or tap it if it’s contactless, and enter your pin number, and that’s it. It’s much harder to steal cards that way now, so just hang on to it and be very careful-
Gael: there is something that shocked me when I went to US, how they just take your card and swipe it, anyone could have your card and nobody cares.
Mark: Yeah, and no one checks the signature, it’s crazy. if your card does get stolen abroad, normally they have free phone or you can even reverse charge call to your bank and they will cancel it right away and in most cases, you will get back all the money that was stolen from you, they are ensured against these stuff, so do not worry too much if it does happen to you, it can be just a hassle and leave you without money, so always have a backup card that you keep in your suitcase or in the hotel safe or whatever. Or have some way to get access to additional funds quickly. Ok, and this is nice lading into the problem section- I really haven’t had that many problems and I’ve been to some very unusual places-
Gael: What’s the weirdest place you’ve been to, I mean, I know which one it is but-
Mark: North Korea, Cuba and Haiti were all quite strange, I felt the most unsafe in Haiti, by far.
Gael: More than in North Korea?
Mark: Much more, yeah. I felt more unsafe in London than in North Korea to be honest with you.
Gael: Ok [laugh]
Mark: Yeah. In terms of problems, one really useful thing to remember is that in different countries, the emergency services number on the phone is different. So in the UK it’s 999, in the US it’s 911. But the thing is, it doesn’t matter which ever country you are in the world, they all have a secondary number and that is 112. So, if you dial 112 in any country, you will get emergency service.
Gael: I actually had no idea about that. I don’t know the emergency number here.
Mark: Just dial 112 and you will get them.
Gael: Good to know.
Mark: You learn something new every day. This might sound obvious, but- most of the bad things that happen to you when you are away are very small scale things like you will get ripped off by a taxi driver, or some kind of scam, it’s very rare that there is any kind of like physical violence or anything like that, so you are much more likely to get shot or stabbed in the US or the UK then you are on vacation. It’s just a fact. Keep your wallet in your front pocket though, I don’t know why some people do this but I guess some guys put their wallet in their back pocket but it’s just like it’s 20 times easier to steal there, so don’t do that, especially if you are in Spain because there is so many pick pockets there for some reason, I guess that’s where they all go to train or something, I don’t know. It’s really bad there in Barcelona especially, yeah. In general, if you don’t feel comfortable in a situation, just leave. And you don’t need to sort of get into sort of aggressive situation or a fight or anything like that, I mean, if someone is- if you feel intimidated and you feel this is not good situation, the taxi drivers taking you somewhere you shouldn’t be or, you met some guy in a bar and he is like taking you to some other dodgy part of town, this kind of stuff, just leave.
Gael: Just say nothing and leave, yeah. I mean even in very weird situations, actually it happened to us, me and my girlfriend in Vietnam, we were riding in Hanoi in 5 a.m., and then we walked around streets and they saw we were tourists, and some girls started following us and start trying to sell us something, but the weird thing is there is 3 guys on motorbikes following us and then like several seconds later we discovered that his hand was in my girlfriend’s backpack. And, that could end up really bad, I don’t know if these guys would be dangerous or something. But we essentially had 3 motorbikes with 3 guys and plus that girl trying to steal our stuff. And the truth is the girls like half my size, I could have taken her and throw her on the floor whatever, but actually just turning away and bike pointing at her and be like I know what you are doing, if you do that again we are going to be walking into next police station. And you guys are free to follow us. And they just left. It didn’t escalate, but it was the kind of situation where it’s actually pretty dodgy, but if you just actually just don’t escalate things, and just kind of talk slowly and calmly, point out to people what they are doing and essentially leave, it’s like very most of the time they will just let you because it’s more trouble for them.
Mark: Yeah, I mean, most crimes are sort of “of opportunity”. And Kind of like stealing a purse, or stealing a wallet, that kind of stuff. The only times when it tends to get violent is when you escalate it, and then all the locals band together and do something bad. And then you get in trouble for it. So, just be careful not to- I mean, there is no need to escalate a situation like that, it does happen in places but just walk away. You will be much better off.
Gael: You are not a superhero and you won’t change things.
Mark: Especially in foreign countries as well, where police are- I am not saying they are not corrupt in western countries because quite clearly they are in some cases, but the police in foreign countries can will almost always side in favor with the locals, and in many cases they won’t speak English and you will just, you can get into trouble for something which was essentially not your fault, just because you escalated stuff so walk away. And don’t- I guess that’s a British thing I am saying, but don’t be afraid to apologize for something that is not your fault.
Gael: It’s a Canadian thing as well.
Mark: Be like, I am sorry but I am not interested in your scam. [laugh] It sounds-
Gael: Pretend to be an idiot, I think pretending to be an idiot and walking away works very well, it’s like you can clearly see that they are trying to scam you etc, but rather than trying to play smarter and to show you are smarter, just play an idiot and say, “No no we have another thing planned up or something”
Mark: Don’t waste your time with them either, just get on. But as I said, these things happen very rarely and I’ve encountered many more problems especially physical problems, back in the UK than I have abroad, so don’t worry about it too much.
Gael: I think it’s more for Asian people traveling to UK will try these tips.
Mark: Yeah, well the same thing applies though. Ok, so let’s move on then, talk about gadgets and stuff. This is one of my favorite areas actually. My main tip here is travel light, and it sounds simple but, you can in most cases, in almost all cases you can buy whatever you need when you are there, and it really doesn’t matter where you are, you can sort this, if you need to buy a microSD card, in Pyongyang North Korea- you can do that, anything-
Gael: But they took your camera when you entered the country, right?
Mark: They didn’t, they took my phone, but they don’t do that anymore.
Mark: But, you have to, just think you don’t over pack, it’s the worst thing you can do, lugging around the heavy bag full of stuff that you never use, you can always buy stuff there, you can definitely always buy clothes when you are there so if you need a new pair of swimming shorts or t-shirt or something like you can get those so easily in most places. I remember in December I went to Kiev in Ukraine, and I actually didn’t bring any socks, I totally forgot, and I was like crap, where am I going to get some socks, and then I walked out of the apartment to the metro and in the underground metro place there was 4 stalls of people selling socks, for one euro, and it’s was ok, problem solved.
Gael: I did that in China, as well so, I had the most horrible fashion ever, but I could survive, I went to Beijing without the coat, in December.
Mark: Smart. It’s really not a problem to get extra stuff and especially, toothbrush and toothpaste and all this things are available everywhere in the world, so don’t feel you need to pack for your whole trip, just pick stuff when you are there. One thing I always do though is I take an extra pair of earphones so I don’t actually have expensive earphones, I have an expensive headset which I use for calls and stuff, but I generally just use 10 pound, 15 dollar creative or sennheiser in ear earphones.
Gael: Sennheiser is really good, just recommending.
Mark: And what I do is I always buy 3 or 4 pairs at a time and then I just keep them in my drawer, under my TV, and I always have an extra pair in my bag whenever I go somewhere because you they break or one of the ears stops working or the wires get-
Gael: They are the easiest thing to lose or forget as well.
Mark: I’ve never actually lost any, but they always break because I use mine a lot, I listen to a lot of music.
Gael: I lose 3 pairs a year. i am horrible with this.
Mark: Yeah, and again you can always buy these, wherever you are, but I like to just be able to pick up another pair and they don’t take up much room. So I always have an extra pair of earphones. In terms of toiletries and that sort of stuff, there is a lot of issues, if you take carry on luggage, you can only take a 100 ml of liquid. Now, thanks to the shoe bomber did. Which is very strange, very strange rule but I guess I can kind of understand it, so in fact, it just reminds me, of this joke this Scottish comedian, when he is was trying to go on a plane but he had a half full 125ml bottle of perfume, or aftershave or whatever, but it was half full so it was less liquid because the container was that big, he couldn’t take it on, so in front of the security guard, he sprayed the whole bottle on him, and then he was allowed to go on, and he was like, it’s ironic, because now I am the most flammable thing on the plain.
Gael: Yeah, exactly. I think we are the only podcast that takes a second to just tell jokes in the middle.
Mark: Anyway. With liquids, you can usually buy most drugstores will sell these 100ml size bottles, and you can just put stuff in there.
Gael: Ikea too actually, Ikea sells packs of 8 or 10 bottles for nothing.
Mark: So, these are really useful for, you just take your big bottle of shampoo home and put a little bit in there for your trip or whatever. And then, once you get your destination over there for long time, you can pick up a larger bottle, just because the travel size bottles are very expensive, cost per ml it’s not very efficient to do that. Make sure that your liquids are all in one bag, and easily accessible, so don’t put it at the bottom of your carry on bags so you have to spend half an hour in the security queue…
Gael: Transparent as well.
Mark: Yeah, get ready to bring those out and stick them in the separate tray when you are putting them through security, as I said, invest in a good headset and I can’t really emphasize this enough, you need to spend $200 at least on buying a good headset with microphone, this is so you can talk to people and communicate on Skype, train your staff communicate with your staff, have meetings, have calls and all that stuff when you are away, make such a big difference, especially if you are on not the best internet connection, it makes such a big difference having a good headset. So I definitely recommend that.
Gael: Yeah, one thing is actually on the Macbooks the microphone is not so bad, so you could actually get away with earphones because there is 3 microphones on them. So that is one of the advantages of having a Mac, Mark. It depends what you are doing, if you are doing podcasts and stuff especially, you should.
Mark: One cool little trick I found is the you can often charge stuff through the USB slot in a TV in your hotel room or room in AirBnb or wherever you are staying, and AirBnb is not a problem because there is loads of power sockets everywhere, but I find often I go somewhere and there is not enough places to plug things in, so if you want to charge your phone, just use TV USB slot and it works, so just remember that. And speaking of charging, bring an extension cord, or a power strip depending on which country you are from and how you phrase it, but basically, you plug it into one socket and then it creates 3 or 5 other sockets, and this will allow you to charge multiple things or work with other people, at the same desk, this kind of stuff, I always do that and it’s a huge savior.
Gael: There is these specific chargers for when you travel, basically you plug it into one plug and there is 4 usbs and in our case one usbc, but it’s essentially made to speed up charging and like use fast charging on all your devices and it’s actually called “anchor power port”, and on Amazon it’s $23 so it’s pretty cheap right now. And I haven’t tried it but from what I am reading, stuff charges up to twice faster. So when you are traveling, especially when you are on the go, you go into your hotel room, you need to plug your camera, you need to plug- I don’t know your tablet, your phone, your kindle, whatever it is, this is actually a pretty good thing, and this is one of my optimization for traveling, and you only use one port to plug 5 things.
Mark: I am always a bit dubious about these kind of things but I am curious to see how it works. So let me know. I actually use for that situations a portable battery, so it’s like a 10 000 Mah, basically it’s about 3 or 4 times the size of the battery in your phone, you charge it by USB and then it’s just portable, you keep it in your bag and you can charge your phone or your tablet or camera or whatever else, on the go. It’s you do get some old ones that kind of are pocket size or if your girl or you are with a girl you put it in the bag, it’s not the most convenient thing to carry in the pocket of your shorts though. I use it a lot when I am on the plane, so if I am on a flight I might be using my phone for stuff or during that day use my phone, I like to arrive somewhere with full battery, so I charge it up on the plane, things like that are very useful. So I highly recommend getting one of those. Using a tablet or an iPad or any kind of android tablet, probably windows tablets who work as well, you can use those as a second monitor actually. So I haven’t done that, do you want to talk about that one?
Gael: Yeah, it’s a tool called DUET and that means install a tablet and then you plug it on your computer, and yeah, essentially just you can use the cover to put your tablet standing, I am using an iPad, and a Macbook pro in my case, and it just works perfectly, it’s just like a second screen, so for example like in Authority Hacker pro, I do a lot of screen videos but I use it to put my notes for example, and I actually do not just use it for traveling, so like here, when I am at home, I work on an Mac, and a standing tablet is exactly the size of from the top of my desk to the bottom of my screen. So I can actually put my iPad just under with my notes and I can just do my videos with all my notes under etc. So, it’s a cool productivity trick, if you want to have two screens when you travel, it’s great actually. And actually you just use your power cable to link these two, you don’t even need more cable or anything else, it’s just a piece of software to install and plug these things together, launch the app on the tablet, and you are good to go, so it’s a pretty cool trick to be a little bit more productive when you are traveling and still pack light.
Mark: Cool. And another productivity thing is bring them out. I know a lot of people, especially Mac users for some reason seem to use trackpads a lot more-
Gael: Trackpad is really good on Mac.
Mark: As a Windows fan boy, you’ve got to bring a mouse with you, I mean the trackpad do not really cut it, if you are- ok, if you are going away for weekend it’s not a very big deal, but if you are going away for any period of time, bring the mouse, I would recommend bringing your normal desktop mouse with you, if you are going for a long period of time, I do own a travel size mouse, it’s like a Logitech one, it’s pretty cool actually, I have it for about 8 years, it just takes two AAA batteries, they last, I think I’ve only changed them 2 or 3 times for the whole time, and there is like a little USB receiver, which you can actually clip it into the bottom of the mouse and then pull it out and just stick it into your computer, and you have a wireless mouse. And Logitech is really good, it served me quite well, and I was absolutely fine doing a few weeks of work using that, so… I recommend doing that, it’s better for your wrist as well, I find.
Gael: I like the trackpad on Mac, but it depends.
Mark: Final thing is, with all this stuff, never put any good stuff, or anything expensive in your checked luggage, because stuff do go missing, luggage gets lost, but also baggage handlers in many countries have been known to steal stuff. And it’s almost impossible to get stuff back, almost never are you going to find them, so do not put your laptop especially in your checked luggage, don’t put anything valuable really. I remember actually when we were in Thailand last year and I got suit and some shirts made up, custom made, it wasn’t the cheapest thing, it was very good quality stuff, but I put them all in my checked luggage and when I arrived back home in Budapest, my back wasn’t there and they didn’t know where it was, and I was like, oh my god, if they have lost all of that that’s just such a hassle because I couldn’t replace that here, I need to go there, I was stupid for not carrying them with me. But, yeah, don’t put expensive stuff in checked luggage, just save it for your clothes.
Gael: Did you get it back in the end?
Mark: Yeah, I got it back.
Gael: Ok. It happens, I know a lot of friends who travel and it happens very frequently, actually, so it’s scary how unreliable baggage travel is. It’s almost like you want to ship important stuff to a well known shipping company or something, if you really are worried about it going through.
Mark: Ok, so the last sort of section I want to cover just briefly is around being social.
Gael: What is that?
Mark: Apparently, there is this things called the outside world, and it has very good AI and much better graphics than your computer, so yeah, so basically when you go if you are going for long period of time to work in the sun or something, especially if you are going on your own it can get quite lonely, and so you really need to make an effort to go and be social. And meet people. And there is a whole bunch of ways you can do this now, I mean, thanks to modern technology it’s never been easier to do that, 12 years ago, when I first went to Thailand, I was 18 years old, I went there by myself, I didn’t know anyone there for the first few weeks. And, it’s just, all right, go make some friends basically, and you don’t have much choice.
Gael: Did you go to shopping mall and talk to people?
Mark: No, no, nowadays, there is many more ways to utilize technology to make this easier, so first of all, most countries or most cities where there is a lot of sort of digital nomads communities, will have Facebook groups or societies or groups or events where they all kind of meet up, I know there is one here almost every weekend in Budapest, where it’s just basically foreign people meet up and have a few drinks and it can be a good way to get to know people. In Thailand, there is dozens of them in every place and good ways to find these are through local co-working spaces, they tend to organize a lot of social events, and social activities and can be a good place to sort of meet other like-minded people. Meetup.com is another good one, it tends to be in larger cities, but they often have very specific technology meetups about specific types of programming language or online marketing, all these kinds of stuff, there is meetups. There is bitcoin meetup in Budapest now. It can be a good way to meet people. Couchsurfing is another one, I am not saying, you are probably not going to want to stay with someone on couchsurfing-
Gael: For six months.
Mark: [laugh] But they actually couchsurfing has a lot of meetups, regular meetups, in cities and so, mostly foreign people who live there, or even some locals as well, they just want to meet people and be social and it’s a good way to meet people. The thing is, you don’t have to go there and just ok, I need to meet someone those people are then going to introduce you to other people, and you can really grow your social network really, real life social network very quickly, just by making that sort of first step. So yeah, what I always did in that situation is just be super honest, I remember when I first moved to Budapest, I literally didn’t know a single person, and I was just, look I am new here, I don’t know anyone, can you introduce me to some people? And it sounds a bit weird, you may think that sounds a bit weird, but it was a friend of mine, that actually told me just to do this, and I was like that’s a bit strange, but then every single person I said that to was super nice and they were like, absolutely. And they introduced me to loads of cool people and I made friends with them and just that is how I know most people in Budapest. And that is how most of my friends know each other. That’s how you know most people in Budapest.
Gael: And I knew zero when I came here. Yeah, ok, I think the question is do you do it out of pity or just because they think it’s ok?
Mark: It doesn’t really matter. But honestly, I didn’t get the impression that people are like sorry for me. It wasn’t like I am so sad, I don’t know anyone. It was a positive, enthusiastic thing.
Gael: Yeah, fair enough. It was just like I am traveling, I do different stuff, I don’t know much people.
Mark: And especially if you are working online and traveling, that’s a pretty cool story and, people are always interested in that, and if the other people are doing the same thing as you, then most likely that you can and if someone else knows them, then they are going to introduce you and it’s a good way to build contacts. To help that, alcohol is always good. Most of these sort of events and groups and stuff revolve around having a few beers or something, and it’s just, if you don’t drink alcohol it’s fine, I know people who don’t do that, and have traveled and made a lot of friends and it’s fine, but honestly, it does help as like, it’s like a social lubricant almost.
Gael: And there goes our clean rating on iTunes.
Mark: Yeah. Drink some beers and, get out there and meet people. And, I have to mention as well, tinder- so, the tinder didn’t exist when I first moved here, everyone by this point knows what Tinder is, if you don’t it’s a location based kind of dating app where you swipe left or swipe right if you like or dislike-
Gael: It is a dating app, it’s a hookup app.
Mark: Basically. And, but it can be a good way to meet people if you really don’t know anyone in a place, there is always, of course, it’s kind of like dating or hook up oriented that’s fine too.
Gael: When you match with a girl on Tinder, do you say I know nobody can you introduce me, is that how it is going?
Mark: I’ve never used that situation so I can’t say from my experience, if you’ve used it to generally meet people, instead of hook up with girls, then please write in.
Gael: I think this podcast is going out of our hands.
Mark: And the final thing I actually wanted to say is if you are an Authority Hacker pro member and you are going somewhere where there is a lot of like internet marketing people, post in the Authority Hacker pro facebook group and you will never know, I’ve seen a lot of people post they are in the same city as someone else and all that, so you can possibly use that to meet people as well.
Gael: Yeah, we need to actually organize some meetups at some point, but yeah, we have a lot of people all around, we have people in Hawaii, we have a lot of people in London, we have actually a bunch of French people, we have pretty much everywhere you are. And they actually start mixing up and making things together, and stuff and so it’s pretty cool.
Mark: And the last thing is if you are in Budapest, then give us a shout.
Gael: And you can give us a shout in your review on iTunes by the way.
Mark: Yeah. I can’t promise we’ll be here, or if we’ll have time to meetup, but we’ll certainly try.
Gael: Yeah, sure. Contact form. So are we done with this, are we good.
Mark: Yeah, that’s about everything. Those are a lot of travel hacks if you apply all of them you are going to have a good time.
Gael: Yeah especially if you combine it with the other episode, you can just go on authorityhacker.com/podcast and you will find it there. So Mark, thanks for sharing all your tips, and guys we’ll see you in the next episode. Thank you for listening once again, bye.