In terms of people being productive with their spare time, I see two main issues today: 1) Many people don’t know how to spend their spare time effectively; 2) the amount of spare time is becoming less and less. In order to fix that, I’d like to share my thoughts with you today in this blog post which was written when I was traveling in Eastern Europe.

travel in Eastern Europe

  • Our spare time is extremely important, so we should protect our spare time carefully.

We already have enough noise in our daily life, so why would we fill our lives with letting in more noise or being unproductive? For many people, that’s about forgetting the daily stresses they have to deal with or numbing themselves / their pain in life.

In the past, I used to be a fashion victim – I struggled with filling my time as I was shopping for shiny objects that I didn’t even need. But when I was traveling in Eastern Europe, I realized that Eastern European people are very different – they don’t stare at Instagram and compared themselves with other people all the time; they live a simpler lifestyle.

Then I was surprised by how many hours per day I spent on unproductive tasks such as reading fashion magazines and looking at Instagram influencers’ posts.

I met a new friend while traveling in Eastern Europe. This wise individual told me that the big 4 time-wasters for most people are playing video games, watching TV, social media, and shopping for unnecessary things. Therefore, now I’ve quit video games, TV, social media, and shopping for unnecessary items.

By getting rid of these activities, I easily free up at least 3 hours per day!

traveling in Eastern Europe

  • Many people travel in Eastern Europe and start online businesses.

When I was in Eastern Europe, I met many westerners who live in Eastern Europe while running Internet businesses. Basically, these individuals make first-world money and have a much lower cost of living in countries such as Ukraine.

Some of these people have become my close friends and I’ve noticed that those who run successful businesses generally have these qualities in common:

First and most importantly, they know the difference between passion and profitability. Many profitable businesses owe their success to a personal passion. For example, a musician who opens a recording studio, a teacher who starts a tutoring service, and a baker who starts a successful bakery all have passion in common. That’s wonderful. Confidence and excitement are crucial to making a business successful.

So is a good dose of reality.

Being very excited about what you would like to do is no guarantee of financial success. Businesses that start with passionate optimism sometimes go belly-up. Personal passion can carry you away, blinding you to the difficult realities which any business faces in making it in a highly competitive world. The bottom line of all businesses is profit at the end of the day.

If you hope to turn a personal passion into a successful business, you have to ask yourself a very simple question – Can this make a profit?

I know this question is very simple, but answering it is not always very easy. But every westerner running a successful business while living in Eastern Europe knows their answer really well.

Second, most successful entrepreneurs who have moved to Eastern Europe turned their side gigs into real businesses. 

A lot of people have (or had) their day jobs, and then they have the thing they truly like to do. Most of them would love nothing more than turning their side hustle into a true business.

“Making first-world money while living in Eastern Europe is a very smart move.”