Rocky Late 2022

John Lett (Book Sessions)

A few people have been writing to ask me where I see things going in the coming weeks and months, partly because I have close contact with things going on in Eastern Europe. In short, I do not see any possible scenario for things to get better this year, partly because it’s in the interest of a few running things to seize opportunities in chaotic situations.

Now, more than ever, it’s about being nimble and unexposed, but yet quick to help others. If you want to help the effort to stop the war (not “the war effort,” which is kind of contradictory semantics and manifesting the opposite of what we want!), the best thing to do is to reduce your daily energy use and to consume the services of others more than commodities.

If you’re going to move around for the short-term to avoid some discomforts due to the war, aim for warmer places but ones that simultaneously have enough water but that are not flood zones.

It is important to not completely follow the herd because in the coming months, it will seem like we should run this way or away from that way, but those who are operating these things will respond in kind. Be very careful not to assume that an existing trend will remain this way.

That said, a lot of how we respond to things is really going to depend which life stage we are in and what kind of mobility we can afford. If you want to work with me on an individual analysis in all of this, please reach out to me for my new services, the 20-50-40 plans.

Stay safe and keep your operating costs down in any way you can!

John Lett (Book Sessions)

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2022 Teaser

John Lett (Book Sessions)

In my first look at 2022, I asked my cards, after some prayers and wishes of clarity, to see what the advise and warn the people I know of.

The two card pairing, by complete random chance, was King of Wands and Queen of Wands, reversed. To me, this means two different things. It means that there are a lot of good ideas and solutions that exist to most if not all of our problems, but being very distracted by and addicted to drama will prevent us from reaching them this year, generally. Your role is to be aware of this and when conflicts appear in your immediate orbit, do your best to eliminate the drama by clarifying the goals and communicating the solutions better than the peers involved.

The second meaning of this, I believe, is US-specific. I think that soon a rift between Kamala Harris and Joe Biden will be more apparent and she is going to be exposed in a negative way. To overcome this, wish her clear communication and effective implementation of her assignments.

John Lett (Book Sessions)

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20 Tips and Useful Behaviors Europeans Taught Me

John Lett (Book Sessions)

I have spent about four years of my life with a mix of traveling, studying, and working in Europe and have picked up some life-saving and practical pieces of information along the way. In the next hours and days I will be adding these tips gradually to this same link, but in the meantime please enjoy browsing through these 100 photos.


1. About Plastic and Metal

In 2012, while in Frankfurt, an older Italian man at a hostel was in the common area talking to me and another youngish traveler and we were all having a beer from the bar. I got up to open something in the communal kitchen that was in a metal can. He said very gravely to me, “You must never, ever buy anything [food or drink] that touches plastic or metal. The only safe material is glass. I always begged my daughters to do this.” In Eastern Europe, people constantly pass and bring back from home vegetables in glass jars from the garden and most commercially produced soups and sauces are in glass rather than tin. To this day I always try to buy beer or other liquids in glass because of the chemicals on other containers.

2. Water Usage

In Denmark, as well as many other places, you are charged not only for water usage at home, but what goes into the sewer is also measured somehow. I seem to remember my host mother there telling me (I was a student in the mid-2000s there) that it’s a good idea to get yourself covered in water, then do the soap and lathering, and then finally wash it all off rather than using water continuously.

3. Recycling, Especially Plastics

I watched a former girlfriend of mine in Poland in 2007 crunch plastic bottles down to the smallest possible size before discarding them to the recycled trash area. You must make your trash as small as possible so that bins are not overflowing and others are not deterred from recycling.

4. Transparency – North vs. South

In the north of Europe, in the most general sense, you really have to be careful to document and declare everything in terms of your business activities. In the south of Europe, the laws are generally designed to do the same, but it does not really fit those cultures. A business owner in Barcelona in 2012 told me that he declares everything and follows the laws but this results in more audits and trouble. In order to be successful, you have to figure out how much of a northern or southern mentality your business environment has or the finesse required to follow the rules but navigate the undercurrents or context. In a predominantly Catholic or Slavic country, it is better to be discreet in a lot of things… but everyone will find out or make up their own stories anyway. In the Germanic, Scandinavian, or northern countries, it’s better to be very explicit and clear about everything.

5. Do Not Cook With Oil!

One of my bosses in Italy in 2017 told me by no means should anyone cook with oil. It can turn carcinogenic more than people think (according to the local belief – I am not completely sure of the science of it). He said that Italians from that region would only ever use a very minimal amount of extra virgin olive oil in cooking at the end of cooking something but generally it is to be applied after the food is prepared.

6. Food Quality

This could be many books by itself. What stands out in my mind is in 2012 in Quebec a French woman who had relocated to Washington, DC told me that she tries to buy and consume the highest amount of quality per ounce possible and this is how a lot of people in France think. As an American, I would say we typically look for the best value of something in terms of volume intersecting with price (not necessarily the cheapest thing but some middle point of a good price and decent quality or a complex combination of things that makes a better price overall). In this lady’s case, she would buy caviar or something of the organic ilk and experience it very slowly rather than try to recreate or extend the experience by eating a lot of it.

7. Direct Contact With Politics

This is probably disappearing now, but in 2005, I attended a political debate in Denmark ahead of their parliamentary elections that year. At that time, I think there were seven political parties in the parliament (Folketing) but eleven serious ones in play that may have had a presence in recent years. The debate was in downtown Copenhagen but held in a gym or large assembly area and there was absolutely NO vetting of questions – anyone could ask whatever without being pre-approved, etc. Most countries have since adopted a more theatrical American style politics where there is a feeling of Coca-Cola versus Pepsi and never getting down to the real issues.

8. Don’t Ask People “What do you do?”

I can remember growing up in the US and it was quite common to ask people “What do you do [for a living]?” At some point in Europe I read that this is considered tacky in northern Europe – though no one I have ever asked confirmed this. When you think about this question, it is an indirect way of asking someone about their income and social status. Since being aware that this could be a rude question, I have instead always asked “What are you working on these days?” This has been especially useful in times with higher unemployment, since someone might feel nervous or ashamed about being unemployed or at a crossroads.

9. Avoid Debt

I would say that Americans in particular talk about avoiding debt a lot but Europeans practice it more. This could be pointed to greater risk aversion in Europe in general and more rigid repayment schedules much of the time (meaning that in some countries you can’t just go and pay off a loan suddenly if you have the money).

10. Libel

In the US, the right to freedom of speech has sort of extended to being able to say and write a lot of things that are highly speculative in nature. In Europe you really have to be careful about claims, which is both a good thing and a bad thing. In general, I believe slander is often avoided this way, but if there is something really horrible going on “underground” you’re probably not going to hear about it because it would be riskier to make claims.

11. Brand Loyalty

People have much longer relationships with brands in Europe, especially in Germany. Customers are less likely to switch around, but this is often because there are fewer players who can cope with the regulations of the market and there is more limited shelf space. One could say this also contributes to a feeling of predictability and safety in the market, but there seems to be more emergence of more specialized, organic products. My takeaway from this is that to be competitive in Europe, you have to work on very long term relationships and wait for the idea of what you’re doing to take hold. I have often tried to sell something or get someone to participate in an idea and they take a very long time to accept it or work through all the multilateral networks of their organization to convince and secure approval.

12. American “How Are You?”s and Platitudes

In Europe you generally do not have these kinds of superficial interactions the same way. Generally if you’re busy, you almost pretend not to see people or kind of avoid them in order to keep moving quickly. Further, one does not say things like “let’s get together” unless the likelihood is very high or possible.

13. Old Trees Should Not Be Moved

A Polish tip of wisdom I learned from a very good friend is that when someone is older, they really should not move or be forced to move because their roots are too deep and it might be too hard on them. I can sometimes see this in myself already – can you in yourself?

14. Dryers are a Waste of Energy

Some people in Europe have dryers but so many do not. Electricity can be expensive over here as well as space in general –  these factors combined with the environmental impact make many households opt to either not have or not use dryers, even in the north. Why not utilize the sun for free? In the US my neighbors often thought I was crazy for doing this but often the sun dries and irons clothes much better.

15. Less Thinking in Dualities

The left-right spectrum still exists in Europe, but I think due to the existence of parliamentarian coalition systems, people are more capable of thinking in terms of complex negotiating and blocks. It also seems to help people to think in more versatile ways living on a continent with dozens of languages and systems in such a small space.

16. A Bit of Socialism is Cheaper

The last thing we ever want to do is disincentivize hard work and ambition completely, but Europe generally has learned if you have some protections for workers who are sick or lose their jobs, the entire system is less volatile and it’s cheaper to maintain. In the US, your success can infinitely outpace that of your European counterparts generally, but one lives among much more danger, agitation, and uncertainty that can have much bigger long-term costs.

To be continued…

John Lett (Book Sessions)

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Watch Your Back

John Lett (Book Sessions)

I am getting a very strong sense that now is not really a time to engage too much with what is going on – from any side of it. Many people will feel like they are missing a necessary revolution if they sit out what is going on or that they are not performing a civic duty for bringing about justice, but I think you can do your part to enhance and extend equality in your daily life without joining a highly visible movement that can be infiltrated. In your daily dealings, always ask what is reasonable and fair and try to level the playing field for the disadvantaged while at the same time not destroying a system of merit, which could inadvertently discriminate against people who were born privileged but did not do any wrong.

John Lett (Book Sessions)

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2020: Stronger Foundations and Increased Value

John Lett (Book Sessions)

This reading is meant to be very broad for global purposes and thus there are some sweeping generalizations but the main message is this: hope returns, many solutions are soon to follow.

I foresee not a return to normality but a period of returned or enhanced clarity and functionality. Each day we are reminded that a cyclical recession should occur at any time, but it keeps being delayed for reasons we do not understand. Perhaps sophisticated algorithms developed after 2008 have the whole financial system on autopilot for the time being.

We are still scared and uncertain of the future no matter what our views are. We entered the year with a heating up of situations in Iran and massive fires in Australia, but I have strong reason(s) to believe that these events will pass and work out favorably. For example, I think the appreciation of Australia and funding for preserving wildlife there will be more secure as a result of these horrific events. There was a lot of green in the card configuration which indicates to me that higher crop yields, rain, and moderate weather will be more prevalent in more locations this year than recently. This may include more flooding than usual, especially again in south Asia, maybe in Australia, and I think the southeastern US. I do see some water solutions coming as well – improvement in desalination processes.

I asked the following:

Dear God, Please bless these cards and our interpretation of what they present to us today with Your guidance. We ask that You are able to steer information to the readers of a global audience to find useful, correct, and truthful guidance in what they can expect for 2020. We ask specifically, what is the prevailing situation we as a whole will experience in the year we recognize as 2020 and for any strategic advantage of how to navigate this environment.


As the lead card, I received the King of Cups – generosity, and a healthy harvest – more stable weather patterns, more green/wet this year, perhaps the passage of one or two major green initiatives. This indicates a major part of the trade war will pass or quiet down – bear in mind that the president of the US is strongly motivated to be re-elected or to legitimize his time there.

I see a much stronger belief in the various green movements and it will not continue to be seen in the false right-left paradigm but as a unifying issue that affects everyone. We must not look at it as a tax and punishment scenario but a mass-scale effort where we all bear responsibility to shape the future.


Ace of Pentacles – price of land has been rising and will continue to rise. Commodities will rise, dividends will be paying out, recession delayed, and there is a good startup environment. I see that the conditions for creativity and problem-solving are firming up.

Queen of Wands – female leadership, clarity, wisdom, passion. You will see more women not only in positions of power but people will be listening and following. I am very optimistic about legitimate messages being heard and cutting through the fabrications more than we have seen the last five or six years.


Page of Swords, rev. – disinfo, nonsense, lies from the same figures as before on all sides, circus-like environment still going on but everyone will ignoring it. I see again that the same kind of propaganda and incorrect information will be coming full force but it will be debunked a lot faster and people will start being more objective – we all must take information from multiple unrelated sources and then try to gauge a common-sense understanding.

King of Pentacles – new leadership in Greece that is very visible or Putin’s sudden replacement, restoration of order – beginnings of a Slavic union. I see the emergence of new, more unifying leadership. I think that Putin is out relatively soon much in the way he suddenly appeared as a replacement in 2000.

Overall, I see more stability, tourism slightly slowing down partly due to distrust in operators and some inflationary pressures. People are looking to invest. The fundamentals of the economy do not make sense but there are more protections in the financial system and people are more resilient than they were in 2008. People want solutions that have lasting value again.

It doesn’t say this here in my care configuration, but people need to and will be more cautious about buying into things that might suddenly disappear or stop operating. Do not put blind faith into anything but actively support things that you want to endure.

The biggest question of our time is (since this year is the year we all accept and decide to do something about the environment): How do we dispel inequality and oppression in our current system? What is fueling our anger and driving people further right and further left is that people want to bring equality and justice but the language and branding that has been politicized is confusing and diverting anger away from the system itself.


The Star, rev. – get out of false dichotomies, two-party set-ups, start deprogramming. I think we will start being more successful at this – do not just follow the views of your “tribe” but untangle, disrupt, and dissect what motivations each faction has then try to include as many people as you can to reverse this card and reach illumination.

I feel that while we are not going back to old norms, there is a sense that we can catch our breaths a bit this year and get a lot of meaningful and satisfying work not only started but completed.

John Lett (Book Sessions)

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The 8 Most Psychically Active Places I Have Been

John Lett (Book Sessions)  Click on the images for an enlarged version of each

The last ten or so years have been a really dizzying period of work and travel and have Screen Shot 2018-12-21 at 11.40.01 AMtaken me to places that were previously not on my radar. There are some places that very much activated what I would call psychic or supernatural capacities.

Topeka/Northeast Kansas, USA

This is where I hail from and whether it is because it is the original home base for me or I was born into that environment because of its intense psychic vibrations is a mystery. However, the fact that weather systems collide there and there is some seismic activity from small fault lines definitely contributes to how spirits can often “pierce the veil” into our reality in this region. It does seem to me that places that have a combination of fault lines and where high and low pressure systems meet often activate people psychically.

Northeast Romania

In this location, I experienced a lot of weird incidents that seem to stem in part from the religious overtones of the region. I document it in detail here. Incidentally, in Transylvania, I did not really experience anything.

Eastern Germany, Western Poland

This is another area that has warm and cold fronts smash together with explosive results sometimes, since these forces can meet here. In Eastern Germany, many years ago I stayed in Wittenberg in a church that was the site of where Martin Luther began the Protestant Reformation and I heard someone banging on an organ in the church while it was padlocked from the outside.

In 2018 I moved to a place in western Poland which was once Prussia and then Germany. This place has some, to me, very dark and disturbed energy in spite of an overall friendly population. I later found out that the shopping mall here was a women’s work camp during World War II and much earlier, the city was the site of heinous witchcraft accusations and trials.

Delphi, Greece

Nothing super profound happened while I was here, but the vibration was very positive and at a high vibration. I think this energy of providing the mind clarity and some blankness merits the town being on this list because it is a location where one could clear the mind and perhaps move on to something new and better. Nearby Athens for historical reasons is equally or even more profound, with a bit more roughness around the edges.

Olympos, Turkey

The site of former Roman and Greek settlement, it is now a national park with treehouse lodgings nearby. When I sat among the ruins, I had a very strong sense of calm and opportunity to do and be well anywhere in the world. It is one place I would permanently drop out of civilization (but with fantastic wifi connections!) if the correct situation for that were possible. I do not have any fantastic images from this place of my own, but if you research it, you will not be disappointed.

Sigulda, Latvia

This area gave me a feeling of slipping into medieval times for inexplicable reasons and I still feel compelled to return in spite of how far away it is from my normal bases in the world. It is a short distance by train from Riga. I could feel time smashing together there and had I stayed a bit longer, I think there would have been some time disorientation.

Heidelberg, Germany

The profound wisdom and cumulative intellectual capital of this city is palpable to me and I wrote many years ago that this would be a really interesting spiritualist base (though it is probably too expensive in this area to be sustainable for such a thing). With the oldest library in Germany and one of the oldest universities, the knowledge accumulated there is quite distinguished. The ruined castle is worth venturing up that great hill for.

Knaresborough, England, UK (York Vicinity)

I documented this in My Mother Shipton Obsession. It is a short distance from York, England. Both places are worth googling for images to get a sense of each place but nothing beats going there in person.

Is there another place I may not have been that you feel must be included?

John Lett (Book Sessions)

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Emerging 2019 Tarot Theme

John Lett (Book Sessions)

For the last several years, I have used my Golden Tarot deck to prognosticate some general themes I expect to be of global importance each year. This is hard to summarize and generally I miss or the cards miss some key things but the general spirit of things tends to be accurately reflected. As far as I can recall over these years, I have never felt this much energy surging into a new year as I do now. It may be more life experience or time with the cards that makes me feel this way.

I was compelled to pluck out The Knight of Pentacles as a guide overseeing this year. This is kind of a stalwart figure who is not terribly interesting but energized with loyalty and a spirit of commerce or productivity. I think this is sort of the ideal that many or most of us would like to have right now to apply some kind of stability and traditional hardworking values to how activities go.

Dear God, Please help me via my deck of cards, the Golden Tarot, identify an accurate and prophetic theme for 2019 that will help every reader be more prepared for this future reality and not only give them every advantage possible, but make them the most equipped to join your presence once again one day. What is the principal global theme of 2019?

Nine of Wands & Seven of Cups, reversed

I am stunned that the Nine of Wands resurfaces this year. It was the card in the second position for 2018. This carries a lot of meaning in my view. The energy we are in now is not to be easily shaken off. This means a period of anxiety, withdrawing, feeling the aftershocks of cumulative damage, etc. is going to carry into 2019 and come to a head. We will see a continuation of the rise of what we term far-right nationalism or anti-globalization and to some extent a far-left socialist response, but the irony is that the majority of people are something like The Knight of Pentacles who just wants to get on with work and quiet, steady accumulation of resources. France and other countries will feel the full force of these polarities and people will hit the streets in growing numbers – it will not be stopped this time.

The Seven of Cups reiterates that message of orderly process but in a reversed position it means a false sense of security or illusory qualities. It cautions to choose carefully and to not fall for the most alluring offer. We see this continuation of not easily being able to determine who is telling the truth and who all the players really are. This is the year though that the financial unraveling seems to begin in earnest, though it will be mostly investors and corporations which feel it first.

I think this combination of cards means that the average person will start to grasp the real level of danger that has taken hold of the planet. It is not because of or directly related to the sitting US president, Brexit, the yellow jackets of France, etc., but the unsustainable nature of the entire system.

I term this year’s theme (Get Your) Ducks in a Row, which means to prepare for something, especially tasks or money, but the reality is that you cannot be fully prepared. There is nothing cute or ironic about this year’s theme as I see it, but there are ways to thrive in any system and if you do not try to beat mortality.

Once again, I see an ushering in of lots of opportunity for personal development and enhancing things on an individual or family level. More to come about this in 2019 with the full text. Happy Holidays to all!

John Lett (Book Sessions)

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Six Favorite Cities That Have Nearly Everything I Want and That Are Great Staging Points to Change Your Life

John Lett (Sessions) (Planning a Europe Trip Consulting)

Please click on the images below for more detail and a better view.

Anyone who knows me knows that if I am to feel comfortable in a city, the basic Screen Shot 2018-12-21 at 11.40.01 AMrequirements are that there be inexpensive books or lots of libraries around, cafes must provide inexpensive coffee, there must be healthy and quick food in abundance, hostels must be numerous, and that the city must be inexpensive in terms of connecting to other cities. All of the cities I will mention here are able to meet these requirements, at least when the US dollar is strong – but none of them are in the US.

Montreal, Quebec

Probably the most beautiful large city in North America, or at least one that gives a flavor of Europe, Montreal is less expensive to an international visitor with the Canadian dollar down the last few years. You can enjoy some original bagels but also the view from Mont Royal is a huge inspiration. This is often a good place to visit going to or coming back from Europe with Air Transat. I lived here for a brief stint in 2012 and love its atmosphere.





Belgrade, Serbia

The secret is out! I think that somehow this is the coolest city I have ever been to that is this nascent. It is very inexpensive if you’re coming from western Europe, Asia, or North America, and it has perhaps the most friendly and accessible people of any large city I know. It has a wonderful cafe scene. I wrote much more extensively about this beloved place in 2017, and I recommend to go to the cute Danube-side city Novi Sad. These two cities are becoming quite good locations and scenes for the digital nomad professional.





Krakow, Poland

I think this is my favorite city at the moment and one of the few I have visited many times. It has this strong academic atmosphere and one which historically many student activists seemed to have held the line to hold the nation together. You can dine very inexpensively here and there is abundant inexpensive accommodation that is also often beautiful. I strongly recommend to visit nearby Zakopane in the mountains and if you want to try hostels, Top Hostel is super and in the center! At the moment, I live in Poland and I can say that it is one of the safest places in the world and you can have a very nice family vacation here with an authentic European experience and not spend so much money.





Athens, Greece

My knowledge of this city is a bit outdated now because I have not been there since 2012. Prices have gone up a bit while the city recovers from the catastrophic economic collapse that was well underway when I was last there. That said, there is an ambience to this city (it is a bit dangerous so do not attract a lot of attention to yourself) and you can feel the intensity of the mystery schools and ancient history there, as well as some connection to western civilization. Nearby Delphi was very intense for me and breathtakingly beautiful. Near Athens you can also go to the port and head out to the islands. I could not get books in English easily here but if you want to give some tourist knick knack gifts to people at home, this is probably the best place I have seen for that.




London, UK

Many readers will not believe that I have included this city on the list, but I have many reasons and even thought about putting it at the top. This is not a city that needs some extra promotion, however. As the hub of the world, it is often the cheapest place to fly in or out of. With the pound having lost a lot of its exchange value over the last two years, it has not been this inexpensive for tourists in many years. At Pret a Manger, a ubiquitous coffee chain, you can get a very nice white coffee for 99p and there is seating! The numerous supermarket chains all have steep discounts on food near expiration at the end of each day, so I ate very nutritious food when I was astute or lucky – such as sushi rolls for less than 50p. The British Museum and some other locations are free to the public, as well as the extensive green spaces throughout the city. The charity shop network Oxfam stores throughout the UK have wonderful and often recent book titles for very cheap and the profits go toward alleviating poverty. Accommodation is expensive here but if you put London in context with what is free or cheap and how it connects with the rest of the world, I find it an extremely good value, if not the best value.

Rijeka, Croatia

This city seems like a strange one to include because it really is not one of international attraction, but for reasons I have probably explained elsewhere, it was a lifesaver to me. I like it as a place to experience Europe very quietly and to dash off to either the Croatian Riviera in Opatija, or simply just soak in some beautiful architecture and views. I would like to see the country have some lower tax policies, but in this country and in this city, you could set up a business very, very quickly and cheaply and only have to walk a few blocks to do it. The cafe scene is quite nice although you have to watch out for so much smoking everywhere.





This is a post about cities, but if we are speaking about countries, the one country I always tell people that everyone absolutely must see at least once in their lifetime is Turkey. If you go there, you do need to see Istanbul and also Antalya is a wonderful base city to see places, but Olympos is the place to hide.


I have not been to a lot of Asia and have not made it to Africa or South America, so there may be some notable absences here. These cities are where I felt the most comfortable and like I could get my work done without a lot of hassle but still feel refreshed.

John Lett (Sessions) (Planning a Europe Trip Consulting)

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We Survived 2008 With Or Without Foreknowledge

John Lett (Sessions) (Planning a Europe Trip Consulting)

LinkedIn is asking “Where were you in September 2008 [when Lehman Brothers went under this week that year]?” I was in Christchurch, New Zealand and had taken some kind of cappuccino with a lingzhi mushroom powder from a cafe that proclaimed it had curative powers but it made me sort of strung out. This was still the internet cafe days and I had stopped in an internet cafe to check email and Facebook. All of the headlines were very adamant that this was the start of a very excruciating and dangerous financial period.

I had taken pre-emptive steps in the previous years. While doing a research paper two years earlier, for sociology of all subjects, I had come across some data and commentary that there was a 75% probability that a major, devastating correction would come between the fourth quarter of 2007 and the first quarter of 2009. Somehow this statement resonated as true and I decided to go ride it out by teaching English in South Korea for a year as soon as I graduated in the summer of 2007. The markets did start to unravel with the subprime mortgage crisis at about that time and while in Ireland in the summer of 2007, a financial analyst operating out of London told me on a bus ride that the epicenter of devastation would be Ireland, then the US, and then have a global impact. Meanwhile, others in Ireland were manically saying to buy property immediately before it would go up in value any further. It took a full year of a tremendous run up in commodities prices before everything started to unravel. It seems like an almost alien time that this coincided with the US presidential elections and if you hear speeches from around that campaign time, they did not really address the severity of this backdrop. I remember just a week or two prior to this ten-year anniversary being on an airplane from South Korea to Australia and the TVs inside the plane showed John McCain presenting Sarah Palin as his running-mate, and before she began speaking, there was a brief period where people had some high expectations and suspense about her potential.



Where were you? Did you know how bad it would become? Did it touch you? Strangely enough in terms of net after taxes, 2009 was my best year ever even though it was the worst of the recession (a second teaching tour of South Korea did that). I can say that what “saved” me was to listen to people that were not super flashy or mainstream commentators – the talking heads, so to speak – but those who were a bit discreet and projected quiet confidence in what they were saying. Ten years later, I am not hearing consistent voices of this kind but the general message would be to not get overextended and to diversify so that you don’t sink when the unexpected happens.

John Lett (Sessions) (Planning a Europe Trip Consulting)

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The Unfairness of Hubs

John Lett (Sessions) (Planning a Europe Trip Consulting)

Something that reveals the center of an empire is how strong of a travel connections hub that a place is. In 2017 when I was attempting to get to Romania from Poland by air on short notice I was stunned to find that I could not find any way there for less than $300USD (a year later I would have realized that there are grueling ways to get there via bus for quite cheap). I think it is important to take the following into consideration: you know that you live at the center of an empire if there are many cheap flights in and out of your city to a variety of destinations. If it is expensive or difficult to get out of your city or region, you may find that the area will experience long-term economic decline.


There are many implications if you do not live at the center of an empire. You can become out-of-the-loop in supply chains which limit the variety of products you can access or make them expensive to obtain. You can find it difficult to visit relatives or repatriate any resources and ultimately that place gets starved of new capital or population inflows.

Almost always in Europe, the cheapest place to fly will be London. A lot of this price structure is driven by a high number of people flying to London anyway because they emigrated there for work after their respective countries joined the EU, but there may be something of a strategy to concentrate more wealth there. I wound up in London three times in 2017 in part because it was the easiest and cheapest place to connect to somewhere else. In the US, the cheapest place to fly in general will usually probably be Orlando or Las Vegas because these are the most frequented locations for packaged or family vacations.

The key to any city or region’s long-term success in my opinion is that people are able to get in and out very easily and cheaply. Historically speaking, the countries that epitomize this would be the Netherlands or Uruguay, which are both positioned between other powerful countries and have reputations for strong press freedom and ease of doing business. It will be interesting to see what happens to London after leaving the European Union but I suspect that over time there may be a new hub in continental Europe (Amsterdam is going in that direction but is geographically too small and already overwhelmed with the pressure of huge visitor number increases) but London will see increases in visitors and transactions from greater distances. Canada may be more important in the future if the political instability of the US is a long-term situation (similar to the boost they had in 2001-2002 after 9/11).


Hubs are unfair though because they gradually seize capital from other regions and we must consider how to either create a plurality of hubs or have more transactions take place in a virtual, online environment to save energy and keep people in places where the cost-of-living is lower.

John Lett (Sessions) (Planning a Europe Trip Consulting)

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