Monthly Archives: June 2019

An End To Adventure?

After 1 month in Chiang Mai, I realized just how deeply happy I was with it.

Edit: this draft was not reviewed & published to my Email list a bit late.

Chaing Mai is beautiful, has mountains, nature, waterfalls, extremely cheap (yet luxurious) accommodation, delicious food, and so much more.

It’s not all perfect- Bangkok for example is much better for dating, and Sofia, Bulgaria cools down quite a bit.

Leaving a destination is always the true test to how much I liked it or didn’t. Do I wish to return, or am I happy to leave?

In Vietnam I was so excited to leave that I got to the airport extra early- I missed Thailand, and Vietnam was a bit too chaotic for my tastes (as in they literally don’t stop for you at cross-walks and have to endanger your life to cross the road).

I spent 4 days in Vietnam, and now almost a week in Bangkok. I feel torn as what to do next, as often I do while traveling.

With the whole world at my fingertips, it’s hard to make a decision! But recently I’ve observed that my choices are becoming more and more narrow.

For example 2 years ago when I just started I researched the endless destinations and even created a post on my blog about all the places I wanted to go and things I wanted to do.

It included dozens of countries and wild adventures that would no doubt create memories for life.

However, I’ve noticed that there’s a “yin and yang” to life. You can adventure and be crazy, but you also need familiarity, comfort, etc.

One psychologist (I forgot whom) said there were 6 basic psychological needs of humans. One was familiarity, and then the one right after was spontaneity.

On one hand you need routine, comfort, and familiarity. But on the other hand you need some stimulation and newness. A dash of uncertainty makes for some excitement!

That’s where this post begins. It’s a bit wrong to say “an end to adventure” because of course adventure will not end.

I’d probably really enjoy staying in one city for 1 year, but no doubt by the end of it I might again be writing up a list of endless destinations that I would now know I can’t possibly complete within even a reasonable time period.

A better way of saying this would be “a temporary end to adventure.” Let’s dive into this.

2 Years of Adventure

I can’t believe I am writing this. It’s still fresh in my mind marveling at those individuals who claimed to have traveled to a dozen countries, speak 3 languages, and make money online.

There was just something about it that drew me in. Now I’m in, and have been, and what I’m discovering is that this is not the one-way trip that I thought it would be.

Every nomad ends their journey. I’ve wrote about this before, when I was mentally snapping in Thailand last year (but that was more-so due to heart-break, surgery, and isolation).

In the past 2 years I’ve actually visited 14 or 15 countries- which means I’m excluding unintentional layovers.

I’ve learned to speak some French, a few phrases in Dutch, Finnish, and Hungarian, some basic Bulgarian, and some Thai. My German has been slightly improved. There’s probably some others in there.

This fact is even more shocking- I’ve “lived” (which in my book means spending 1 month minimum in the country) in Phoenix; Montreal, Canada; Heidelberg (debatable as it was broken up), Germany; Sofia, Bulgaria; Pafos, Cyprus; Chiang Mai, Thailand; Canggu, Bali. This is 6 or 7 countries, depending on how you count it!

I don’t know what I expected would happen after I did all of this to be honest. I looked up to those who had accomplished such feats, as if something would change.

Alas, everywhere you go, there you are. I am still just me, at the end of the day. I’ve “done” so much but nothing really changed. At the same time, I’ve changed completely & grown so much.

Does that make sense? If you’ve aggressively pursued any goal you can probably understand me.

Travel Fatigue

Now let’s be completely, brutally honest. I was hardly happy during all of this traveling.

There have been some exceptional moments, such as falling madly in love, hooking up in Thailand, riding a motorbike, surfing, and those unforgettable nights with friends.

The growth itself is beautiful and amazing also. Simply looking back onto my days in Montreal for example, I see that technically I wasn’t in the best state (financially, physically, emotionally), but I was growing so much and so I look back on those days fondly.

But there comes a point that every new country is.. well, as they say in Thailand: same same.

By the time I entered my most recent “new” country- Vietnam- I was hardly impressed. I walked down the famous party street excited, but I had context for it- it was like KhaoSan, in Bangkok.

The temples, bridges, rivers, nature, etc. all fade into the same thing. Yeah, it’s beautiful, and profound, but you can have too much of it and become numb to it all.

You still experience culture shock, but in a different way. It’s almost annoying and you’re getting severely diminishing returns from your efforts.

Think of it like this: the difference between $1 and $10 is a lot, but the difference between 10 million and 25 million not so much in terms of lifestyle change.

With an extra $9- from starting at $1- you can suddenly afford significantly better food and even restaurant food.

When you’ve already got 10 million to enjoy on life, an extra 15 million, while substantially greater than the $9 improvement in the other, will not drastically improve the individual’s life.

The same is true about travel. It becomes fatiguing. You start having other needs, and prioritizing other things that the destinations.

For example, I wrote that I wanted to visit a water-park, Chiang Rai, get a tattoo, or visit Pai while staying in Chiang Mai. I did none of that and give 0 fucks about doing it. Another fucking temple or experience hardly turns me on.

In hindsight, this created a lot of troubles for me and my ex when we were visiting some European countries together. All I wanted to do was work in a cafe, while she wanted to go to museums.

My brain could literally not handle any new stimulation, so I desperately wished to return to the same restaurants & cafes over and over. Only now can I see why we had clashes.

The same thing that brought you pleasure can bring you pain. There is a balance to everything.

The problem comes when you associate the activity with pleasure it’s easy to lose perspective which is that it may not be pleasing you anymore… but because it brought you pleasure then, it’s easy to keep up the activity (see: every addiction).

Constantly packing bags, saying goodbye, adopting to new languages & culture customs, searching for drinkable water, restaurants, etc. seriously begins to consume a ton of energy.

With other commitments such as work, relationships, and personal enjoyment time, it becomes near impossible to fulfill everything while on the road.

It simply gets to be “too much.” I am writing this now in Bangkok, and I really want to love this city.

In fact, tonight was absolutely fun. I enjoyed going out. It was great, but I am realizing that I can’t handle it… now.

A Narrowing of Travel Destinations

About 6 months ago I snapped from heart-break, isolation, and travel fatigue. I was unintentionally traveling at an absurd pace, I think an average of one new country every 2 weeks.

I didn’t even want to do that, but things were just getting fucked up and I wasn’t taking responsibility for my life.

I thought I wanted to move to Portland or Vegas, but I quickly realized upon returning to Phoenix that this was a form of escapism. I began to catch my grounding in Phoenix, and then I was planning on going back to Bulgaria.

But in my heart I really wanted to experience things in Bali & Thailand. I figured I’d knock out some goals there, then go.

Even in Phoenix then, my destination list was looking more like “Montreal, Sofia, Bali, and Thailand” compared to that ridiculous list of dozens of countries to visit.

Compare that to when I was down to go anywhere, intended on doing this and that and everything, etc. 2 years ago before I had set off!!

As I’ve traveled, the destinations list has shrunk so much. Other things have became priorities, and I’ve observed my own energetic limits with travel.

Right now in Bangkok I literally have 2 options: Chiang Mai or Sofia. I’ll probably do Chiang Mai 1 more month, then Sofia for 3 months. Then I’ve already decided I’ll return to Thailand to live for about 4 months.

Of course, that’s a rough, un-set plan. Things change. They probably will. But compare this to back when I was using “Google Flights Explore” to view every bloody country I could visit.

I was recently invited to Holland with free accommodation and cheap food, but turned it down.

I just can’t, anymore. Well, at least for the time being. I need to slow down.

A Plan For The Future

My plan for at least until the end of the year is to only visit destinations that I’ve previously visited and have a social circle, or ONLY visit a new place if it’s with friends and in the context of a vacation.

Work is such a priority now. So is fitness, social circle, and dating. After taking several girls home in Bangkok (not necessarily hooking up with them all), I’m really desiring something a bit more stable.

It’s really fascinating to see how I’ve changed like this. I thought I’d never settle like this, yet here I am, kind of nearing the end of the line.

I can intuitively see the future. Starting now I will only visit familiar destinations- specifically Chiang Mai, Sofia, Bali (maybe), Montreal, and Phoenix.

My travel is slowing down. I’ll begin to spend more and more time in each place. 1 month in Chiang Mai, and who knows maybe I’ll be tempted into another month.

Then Bulgaria, for 3 months. Then back to Thailand (Chiang Mai).

The only exception to this is Bangkok- I’ve got 2 week’s experience in Bangkok, and I told myself I’d give here a try for a month or two once I’m making more money and re-grounded.

There’s also one other exception, but it can be wrote about if it comes about.

Probably what will happen is I’ll spend considerably more time in Bulgaria & Chiang Mai, and I’ll split my time between the two or end up wishing to immigrate to Bulgaria or Chiang Mai.

Then that’ll happen, and I’ll start to really slow down my traveling.

Who knows, maybe it won’t happen like this. I still want to check out South America for example, but that could be years down the line rather than months.

Adaptation Cost

Why is this happening? The biggest reason digital nomads and perpetual travelers start to slow down then “quit” traveling is the adaptation cost of every new destination.

The only ones who have successfully managed long-term travel is with consistent returning to favorite destinations with stable social bases, OR having a partner or community to travel with.

At best the adaptation period is about a week to a new city, if you’re planning on staying & working remotely.

While often pleasurable, significant energy is lost learning customs, finding restaurants, places to work, etc.

The simple act of discovering new roads is taxing on the brain. It becomes near-impossible, sometimes impossible to do other tasks when you have to adapt to a new place.

For example I haven’t done yoga since leaving Phoenix, despite being in yoga hot-spot Bali!

I was too busy with adventure, adaptation, and work and socializing that I while I did have the time I didn’t have the mental bandwidth to wish to invest in a yoga practice or find a teacher.

When you go back to places that are familiar, there is no adaptation cost, except to a small extent.

Every time I’ve gone back to Montreal for example has been a breeze- I know the city, metro, have friends, know restaurants, and cafes.

Same for Sofia, Bulgaria. I’d argue that I enjoyed Chiang Mai so much for the simple fact I was here last year, even if I didn’t enjoy it so much then. It is familiar now, I know where to go, and for that I required almost 0 energy with adapting myself to here.

There is a small cultural adaptation cost even if destinations are familiar. This can be painful and leave you crying in a car, feeling so misunderstood and out of a place (true story from me one time when I returned to America after years abroad and realized I had changed so much).

One reason I’m hesitant to go to Bulgaria now is that I realize I’ve culturally adapted to Southeast Asia and Thailand specifically. Certain habits, such as a slight bow, big smile, etc. would make me appear high and insane to Bulgarians.

Going from Thailand to USA to Bulgaria is better because USA isn’t as respectful as Thailand, and Bulgaria isn’t as respectful as USA (in terms of service & social customs). Going directly from Bulgaria to Thailand or vice versa is a more sudden, drastic, difficult change.

Things Always Change

Maybe I’ll get bored of staying in Chiang Mai or Sofia. In fact, it’s likely that’ll happen.

So that’s why I clarified earlier that this is a temporary “ending of adventure.”

That being said I do prefer the title “an end to adventure” because the past 2 years have been chaos, but now things will likely never be as chaotic again for the simple fact that I don’t want it to be chaotic.

2 Beautiful Years of Adventure (slowing down)

Looking back I can’t believe all of the experiences I’ve had. What the fuck?

It wasn’t long ago that I was a nobody from Nebraska, not respected by anybody. Now here I am, a “world traveler,” finally what I wanted to be, and living dreams I never could’ve imagined.

Look, I’m not trying to hype it up. It’s not like I’m high all the time. It becomes normal.

The point is just that looking back there’s a certain satisfaction for that it was done.

From what I know there are a couple different types of happiness, and one is growth-based. If you have grown a lot or achieved something difficult, you will always derive fulfillment from that.

I feel that way about this. Today is where I am consciously realizing my own needs and evening out from what was a chaotic, beautiful journey.

I wasn’t necessarily happy all the time. The whole 9 months fiasco that began in Cyprus and ended in Phoenix (with like 10 countries in between) was not a light period.

But I came out of the darkness. That’s what’s fulfilling. I learned, grew, and reset my own priorities.

I’m very grateful for that all of this was experienced! Like I said earlier, it’s not necessarily the end to adventure. Perhaps after re-grounding I’ll wish to do 3 months in Costa Rica, then Colombia, etc.

Just right now my priorities are about familiarity and comfort. Enjoy deep friendships and deeper relationships with women.

I really can’t believe it’s been 2 fucking years. Wow.

A New Beginning

It’s not an end- a new beginning. The chaotic, uncontrolled travel is coming to a close.

Now it’s more about focusing on business, enjoying a great social life, and developing other hobbies.

Travel is still without a doubt on the table- but not every power is meant to be used to its fullest capability. I can be anywhere anytime, but should I be? I think not.

Now it’s about cultivating relationships in those places that I love- Phoenix, Montreal, Sofia, and Chiang Mai. And when I’m ready, I’ll check out Bangkok more.

It seems everyone who also has traveled long-term has felt these things and gone through a similar path.

At first it’s crazy, exciting etc. and you love it. But then you find a home, or a group of people you really resonate with. Or you straight up fall in love.

Then you start to slow down, enjoy those places that are familiar, and focus more on fulfillment and social life.

After this the individual has one or two main bases, or settles down completely.

What Other Paths of Mastery Await?

A closing thought before this post is over. I do wonder, what other growth challenges does life offer?

In life you can become an expert athlete, develop a hobby or passion, contribute massive value, grow a business, and so much more.

Most people don’t commit to mastery and truly grow. So they stagnate and live life in a derp state.

One of the beautiful things about this travel experience is that it prevented me from derping.

I had to be massively awake and focused to do this. I’ve grown so much and learned about who I am and what I want so much so that being fulfilled is much easier.

So now I wonder: what other paths of mastery await? If I commit to business mastery, will I receive similar epiphanies and shocking growth?

At any rate, doing something bold or challenging seems to be one of the keys to fulfillment in life.

This is something no one can take credit for but me. I planed piano for over a decade, but my parents forced me to do that (and then I later did it out of habit). Piano is not a true accomplishment in my books. This is.

In the end everything changes- you start out in yin, then shift to yang, and then balance..

First, to desperately wish to travel like crazy, then, to do. Then, to find a happy medium, a true fulfillment.

Maybe the same with every path of mastery..

Done (:

-Michael

Escaping Disaster & Becoming Completely Free

War has no victors. Innocent people die on both sides who wanted nothing to do with the conflict- all for what? What can WE do to protect ourselves?

Note: this is an un-edited draft from Vietnam that I was too lazy to review.

In the past weekend I’ve been based out of Saigon / Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam. It’s a hectic, fast-paced city with insane traffic. Crossing the road is like playing frogger in real life, as you dodge cars and motorbikes.

I’ve explored the Cu Chi Tunnels used by the Vietcong, as well as the War Remnants Museum and thus learned a lot about the Vietnam War, or as it’s said here “The American War in Vietnam.”

It need not be said that the Vietnam war was completely fucked up, and for the most part- pointless. USA should not have been involved in such silly conflicts so far from home.

In fact, the USA probably just made matters worse! The American public also didn’t want to be so involved- but some fat men in Congress decided otherwise.

It wasn’t even 100 years ago that the horrors of the Second World War began and ended.

You’d think that people would’ve learned to be just a bit more compassionate to others and not be so evil, but that was not the case.

“Agent Orange” is one of the deadliest and most fucked up chemicals ever created by mankind, and used to kill countless innocent Vietnamese civilians like insects.

The chemical was so dangerous and fucked up that even innocent American soldiers (and soldiers from other countries) unknowingly brought some of it back to USA and caused massive deformities in their children!

It wasn’t even 50 years ago that the Vietnam War (or American War in Vietnam) ended.

Have we changed so much so fast, to not be so evil anymore? I’d like to hope so- or at least think that we’re moving fast enough in a positive direction that innocent civilians may never again experience such horrors again.

In the book Power vs. Force the author talks about Energy Dynamics, and “levels of consciousness.” Humanity’s “level of consciousness” is rising, so we may never experience such a grand conflict again.

But we can’t yet be so certain.

Flag Theory

As I walked through the War Remnants museum, I remember reading about something called “Flag Theory.” More than ever it was sounding like a fantastic idea that I had to initiate ASAP.

The short version of it is to spread apart your assets & home bases such so that if one nation falls you can safely escape to another.

For example, I might have a bank in Europe, and a back in America. If Europe starts WWIII, then I can safely retreat with enough assets to America. If WWIII begins in America, then I can safely retreat to Europe.

Of course the hope is that you never have to do such a thing. We are living in the most peaceful time in human history and the trend is looking very positive. We may never see WWIII, but we can’t yet be certain.

The whole point of Flag Theory is to have the ability to mobilize and escape any disaster as quickly and safely as possible because you can only take responsibility for yourself.

Taking Responsibility

Recently I’ve loved the word “responsibility” because of what it implies. When you take responsibility, you can’t take excuses.

Everything in your life is inherently your responsibility. While some things may not be your fault, they still might cause a situation that you have to deal with- thus being your responsibility to deal with them.

Something I’ve learned in life recently is that you can only take responsibility for yourself in life, and no one else.

Guilt vampires often try to make people take responsibility for them or other people. They may look at other people who are suffering and say, “wow you should feel bad for where you’re at,” or imply that you need to expend your time & resources to help them because you have it better.

We must not confuse empathy or compassion with guilt-tripping, or shame, which is taking responsibility over another human’s situation. We can help people without guilt or shame, but instead empathy and compassion.

That being said, it’s not your responsibility to help other people. The best thing you can do in life is take care of yourself.

An Unstable World

For me as an American man to get my documents, I had to sign up for the War Draft. Some fat men in congress can arbitrarily declare war on another country and then force me beyond my will to go into the military.

The only other option would be to flee the USA, and then comes the risk of being banned from the USA or facing prison time if I’d ever like to return!

Most males in most countries have to sign up for a draft, and in many countries still to this day every male is forced into military service beyond their will. When I lived for 5 weeks in Cyprus, I had no friends 18-20. They were all in the military. All my friends 21+ had served 2 years in the military, regardless of whether or not they wanted to.

The Vietnam War is a huge reminder of just how fucked up this is as well as how fucked up any government is. There was a conflict on the other side of the world, and so the government decided to send young, clueless boys on a vague mission with no clear goal as to what to achieve in Vietnam.

Is it such a surprise that these boys came back jaded, with PTSD, having committed terrible war crimes? War has no victors…

Besides war-related instability, there is also economic instability, as well as instability in climate and weather. For example I have a memory once of growing up as a little kid in Nebraska crying worried that the coming tornado would kill us all.

Sadly, such fears are not silly as tornadoes do kill, destroy houses, etc. Recently there was terrible flooding in my home state of Nebraska, destroying several homes, displacing people, and even killing some!

The whole point of “Flag Theory” is to protect yourself from such things. Ultimately, you need to take responsibility for your own life and move to a place which is as stable as can be, and spread your assets (or skills) in such a way that you’ll be fine no matter what happens.

War & Peace

Even if you are not one of the unlucky who have to sign up for a military draft beyond their will, war can still affect you.

American soldiers committed many atrocities towards innocent civilians in Vietnam. They were just normal people going about their day to day life when some soldiers came in and decided to start shooting them, or torture, or whatever.

Did they deserve it? No. Was it right? No. All we can do now is take it as a reminder to be prepared to escape situations and not get so attached to a particular country or city.

What is a Country?

A country is a vague term, but all it is in fact (and we all intuitively know this) is a large collection of people within a defined boundary of land.

One of my favorite books ever called “Reality Transurfing Steps I-V” describes countries (and other groups of people) as “pendulums.”

Essentially what the author talks about is how energetically speaking things such as movements and governments take on a life on their own, but they seek to serve their own purpose rather than the purpose of the individual.

It’s kind of hard to explain, so I highly recommend reading the book because it will help you out.

The problem with many “pendulums” is that people give themselves to it when it gives nothing else in return. The author describes serving a pendulum as like “a moth attracted to the flame.”

As heroic as we name it to be a soldier in a war, what really- as an individual human being- do you receive from such an experience?

You get PTSD, risk your life, potentially die, get permanent injuries, kill people, do horrifying things, so as an individual it’s hardly worth it.

In fact, when you look at the world in terms of individuals rather than groups and names it becomes very hard to de-humanize one person. It also suddenly makes more sense how war can become so vicious.

We are all just people trying to be happy and do our best. It’s when we get too attached to a group ideology that things become problematic (the group ideology becomes an “energetic pendulum” that takes on a life of its own, another example being riots or mobs).

If one bad thing happens to an individual, maybe that individual’s brother gets angry, and so he lashes out against the other group. But then this creates a chain cycle whereby one misunderstanding can escalate pretty heavily into full-blown war where people are treated no better than insects!

Suddenly the Americans are mad because the Vietcong created some crazy traps to kill them, and so then the Americans go crazy and start shooting anything that moves, furthering enraging the Vietcong.

When I say “Americans” or “Vietcong” keep in mind that there are individuals that make up the group, but because they are identified with the group they lose the ability to recognize the wrong they do and see the humanity in the other.

It’s a lot easier to kill a “VC” or “GI” than it is to kill Bob Jones, born on June 28 in Kentucky.

Caught in the Cross-Fire

This is where the problem comes: people can very quickly get sucked into an “energetic pendulum” by it passing by them or by being negatively affected in some way (ie. losing a family member).

For example many innocent civilians died in many wars- they simply were in the wrong place at the wrong time and an “angry pendulum” came in and killed them.

Of course, it was individuals that did this, but they were fueled by a group. People in groups become dangerous because when they lose their sense of individuality they lose their sense of morality, and thus can commit horrible atrocities.

Again, I highly, highly recommend reading “Reality Transurfing Steps I-V” to get a better idea of this. The author is extremely intelligent and has put a good deal of work into studying these “energetic dynamics,” which is a fancy way of saying human behavior at large.

Escaping Disaster & Becoming Free

The reason I’m writing this is because what I learned in viewing these things and learning about the war absolutely horrifies me, and it serves as fuel for me to take responsibility in my life and be as free as possible.

Large energetic structures (Pendulums) such as governments will do what they do. Take responsibility for yourself, but not for your government. A few fat men sitting in big offices can decide randomly they wish to start a war. That doesn’t mean you need to get caught in it.

If the USA decides to try force me beyond my will into some stupid fucking war (that the American public is against, such as the Vietnam war) I want to be so free and capable that I don’t have to sacrifice myself for some bullshit.

If the USA is invaded, or Sofia, Bulgaria, or anywhere I’d like to remain out of the conflict and continue living my best life anywhere in the world. Don’t you?

One huge thing I’ve learned recently also is that you can’t reason with people that are crazy. I learned this especially last night when I went on a date with probably the most psycho bitch I ever went out with.

I’ve never disappeared on a girl during a date, but this chick was so crazy and I was so uncomfortable I took the moment while in a crowd to get lost and disappear without a proper goodbye.

I had tried talking some sense into her while we were together, but I realized (and then remembered) that trying such things do not work.

She was a psycho bitch, and no amount of logical reasoning would work with her.

If you read Power vs. force, you’ll learn that people can basically only understand what’s at their “energetic level.” Someone in victim mentality mode views everything in the world like that, and someone with abundance mentality sees everything as abundant.

If a war ever occurs, or some other conflict, it’s important you do the one thing that you can: take responsibility for yourself!

The same is true of financial freedom, relationships/dating, social life, happiness, safety, and so much more. No excuses, just take care of yourself and avoid unnecessary conflict.

As I write this, I do pray that we don’t ever experience a World War III or something like this.

But that being said you’d think that people would’ve learned after World War II, but then people went on to create Agent Orange and join a conflict in Vietnam for no reason (I am referring to the American government).

It doesn’t matter that the American public was against involvement- the fat few who had power, like the evil scum they are, sent innocent boys to Vietnam to turn them into monsters who would commit evil against the innocent villagers in Vietnam.

We Are Just Individuals

Whether you are the American or you live in Vietnam, it doesn’t matter. We are human beings that are individuals with goals, dreams, a desire for happiness and love, and all that stuff.

So take care of yourself. Take responsibility. Don’t get caught in the hooks of the governments who would so easily discard your life without care.

Taking responsibility doesn’t mean that your life will be easy or fair or that everything good will happen. As we discussed, the government could decide to try send me to war via the draft or some other unpredictable event can happen.

All it means is that you don’t make excuses and you make the necessary course-corrections so that you can find fulfillment and meaning in your own life.

The atrocities of yesterday must be converted into fuel for the desire to escape disaster and become completely free of the instability of others and the world!

Done.

-Michael

It’s Okay To Have Good Memories With Them

When I was in Bali, I often found myself tortured by circling thoughts surrounding my ex and previous relationship.

I found it hard to imagine how such boundaries could be crossed… And what made me act in the strange ways that I did?

Love is a powerful drug, and as I’ve learned it doesn’t necessarily bring out the best in you.

Sure, it can make you stronger, happier, healthier, and give you a newfound passion and purpose for living. It can be exactly what you need.

But it can also bring out your possessive side, the needy side, the manipulative and controlling side.

If everyone is being completely honest no one is close to perfect. We all act a bit strange while under the influence of the most powerful drug on Earth.

Even if your actions are kind, you still likely have some problem. It could be that you’re idealizing your partner, or perhaps you’re being a bit too okay with certain boundaries being crossed.

As powerful as that love is, it isn’t always meant to last in this lifetime- if at all.

There’s probably not much more painful than a break up. It can go on for days, weeks, months, years… It just hurts. And you don’t know how to fix it.

It’s such a mind-fuck. It’s like you’re mourning someone but they’re still alive. It’s such a challenge, and one of the hardest things to overcome.

Idealizing the past is not good because that is not the true situation. The truth is it wasn’t all sunshine n’ rainbows.

You can’t hate them though because hate keeps them in your heart and prevents you from moving on.

You can try to focus on their downsides as reasons for moving on, but that doesn’t help much either.

You can delude yourself into thinking things would be better in the future, when really you two would just fall back into the same dynamic.

Honestly I don’t think a certain part of the brain will ever understand a break up. Can it?

One day you wake up and it doesn’t hurt so bad. You feel a bit happy and grateful for everything you have.

And there’s not anything special that you did, it’s just that you feel better.

Sure things like making deep friends, getting a life purpose, working hard, working out, and just letting yourself cry help- a ton.

There’s also the side of recovery which is just “giving it time.” Feeling it out. Going into darkness, so you can be reminded what light is.

One of the biggest mind-fucks of a break up is the contrast between the good and bad times.

If you focus on the good times, you idealize your past partner, ignoring that your boundaries were crossed and that you probably have some self-development work also.

If you focus on the bad times, as a method of telling yourself “this is why we need to move on,” then you just grow resentful and the pain stays all that much more longer.

One of those most important epiphanies I had when I first came to Thailand was that..

It’s Okay To Have Good Memories With Them.

And it’s okay to let those good memories sit there. Don’t indulge in them, but they don’t need to be destroyed or forgotten.

I think I was trying a bit too hard to forget everything. I couldn’t comprehend that her darkness existed next to her brightness.

Since that day I’ve felt a ton better. It’s like a wave of acceptance and peace washed over me.

Some days I still hurt and have a few tears to let loose, but I’m doing so much better. When a positive memory surfaces, I can just let it be there and then let it go back into the countless list of great memories I have.

I think I got this epiphany thinking of other girls I had a short thing with, or even girls that I had hung out with here.

There is one very attractive girl I hooked up with recently for example, and even though that was a one-night thing there’s no need to purge this memory all because it won’t continue forever into the future.

The memory can sit there, and I can just be grateful for the experience that I had.

While the dynamics in my past relationship weren’t perfect- we definitely bordered on co-dependence- there were some damn good memories and she was there and vice versa sometimes.

I found this brought about a new wave of gratitude for her, and peace. Not gratitude in a needy way desperately wishing to go back, but just gratitude that it happened.

We were meant to be in those moments of time. We weren’t mature enough or ready or perhaps even meant to be forever… and that’s okay.

Now when I feel the pain, I try to ask myself what other lesson I need to learn. Sometimes I learn about how I should’ve set better boundaries, or walked away sooner.

But there are also lessons of the mistakes that I made. The pain forces you to improve and grow. It is fuel for a better you.

The past is the past, and all because there is pain for a love that didn’t last forever doesn’t mean the good memories need to be purged too.

All because they weren’t there when you needed them in the end doesn’t mean that they weren’t there for you before- because they were. Just something changed, maybe your fault, maybe not, but it did, so change and improve with it.

With every experience in life we can “get better, or get bitter.” Change forces you to move up or down. Reflecting on my life there’s never been a moment that I haven’t been moving up or down.

So let the good memories rest where they may, and keep on moving up. Better awaits.

I’ll add too that this applies not just to past romantic partners but everyone- friends, family, everyone & everything.

As I “adult” I learn that not everyone is who I thought they were. The past begins to make more sense with certain people as I learn things that… shock me.

We all have a darkness inside of us, no point in denying that. That doesn’t mean the light needs to be purged because that too is the truth. There are two truths in everyone.

Let the good memories be, and let them go as you create new ones.

-Michael.

Love & Ladyboys: Tales of Thailand

In 4 days, I must leave Thailand for a “visa run,” or I must extend my visa. Wow, that went by fast.

It feels like yesterday that I was departing from Bali, saying good-bye to my newfound friends and adventures I enjoyed in Indonesia.

I deeply missed Bali- it’s a place I must return to soon, but there is just something here in Thailand that nowhere else in the world has.

It’s got something that makes “Thailand” the place to live and “Bali” the place to work-cation.

In fact it even has me questioning the whole immigrate-to-Bulgaria thing that I had originally planned on doing later this year!

Now the thought of committing to a 3-month apartment lease in Sofia seems too much after the “take it day-by-day” vibe you have here in Southeast Asia.

With next-day flights basically as cheap as flights purchased 1 week or 1 month in advance, and abundant apartment rentals available on a month-by-month basis, any type of commitment seems scary.

Did you know that Asians, when their brains have been studied, literally process information different than Westerners? This is actually probably true of every culture.

I’ve taken many of the good pieces of their culture and integrated it into my personality. Now, while I do miss Bulgaria, I kind of want to stay…

So let’s talk about Thailand. For the past month, I’ve been living in Chiang Mai.

Last year I was in Bangkok for 1 week and Chiang Mai for 3 weeks. I also had just broken up with my ex, was in massive culture shock, had a surgery, and a motorcycle crash. Yeah, things were a bit dark…

I couldn’t appreciate the beauty and “awesomeness” of Thailand then. Now I do, and WOW, now I understand why people come here and stay forever!

Chiang Mai is just such an incredible place to live. It’s quiet, relaxed, filled with beautiful nature, near waterfalls and lakes and mountains, cheap, has tasty food, and even the night-life scene is pretty good considering how small the city is!

One of my most favorite aspects is the abundant number of coffee shops & cafes all over the place that are literally designed for work.

This place caters to students and digital entrepreneurs, so it’s an exceptional place to get some work done while also having a great, balanced social & party life.

At any hour you are sure to find a good place to work with good or exceptional internet connection. Coffee & Thai Tea is delicious.

“Ristr8to,” while not a place designed for work, is a place I love to frequent with friends as it literally is one of the best coffee shops in the world. Their signature coffee costs 98 Baht, or about $3.

In USA for a similar taste & size you’d pay at least $6, but probably even more. Especially in expensive cities like Seattle!

Here you can enjoy world class coffee by a Barista who literally won multiple international Latte Art championships around the world for just $3! If you follow my Instagram (@DrivingTheUniverse) you’ll regularly see I post his designs he makes on my coffee, including angels, unicorns, rabbits, and more!

Things are just good here. I am missing a bit of that deep social connection & social life that I had in Sofia, but I can see that the longer I stay here the more likely I am to find it here.

In fact, it is already developing like that. I’ve already observed myself coincidentally bumping into several people all over the place. It kind of feels like the Sofia, Bulgaria of Southeast Asia!

Thai culture is exceptionally kind as well. You can expect amazing service, smiles, and genuinely wonderful people. Learning a bit of Thai helps also.

One running joke about Thailand is about the ladyboys. “Be careful about hooking up with ladyboys,” everyone shouts!

One night me and a friend went out. I went home with a beautiful girl, a 10/10 in my book.

He went home also with a beautiful girl but… As his hand went down, he.. erm.. found out that it wasn’t a girl he took home.

It didn’t bother him though, and having spent some time here, I wouldn’t say it would bother anyone so much either. It’s only scary when you haven’t lived here. Once you’ve experienced life here in Thailand yourself, silly things like this don’t bother you.

If that happens, you just draw the line and walk away.

In your mind it is traumatizing because you know it’s a boy, but when the primal part of your brain really thinks it is a girl you can’t really be traumatized, even after logically knowing that it is a boy.

The next night after my friend pulled a ladyboy, I met with a ladyboy. We didn’t touch or kiss anything- I suspected it was a ladyboy from the start, given that her friends were ladyboys (typically they all hang around each other).

I was tired and a bit tipsy, and I couldn’t believe that it was a guy. This “girl” looked so real that if she were alone with a ton of other girls who weren’t obviously ladyboys, there would honestly be no way to tell.

They invited me to dinner, and I decided to go, because why not? It was an interesting experience hanging out with them.

Before I had felt resistant to being around ladyboys, and I’m not entirely sure why. Now I feel my mind is more open, I feel more compassionate and understanding towards trans.

I can’t say whether it’s right or wrong, but my thinking now is just that it’s a path that their soul must experience in this lifetime. In that way, it is perhaps right for them, and no need to judge.

I personally would not want to do anything sexual with a ladyboy, but after that night and hearing about my friend’s story the fear of accidentally kissing a ladyboy is gone.

Yeah, this sounds crazy, some of you are gonna freak out, but really it’s only one of those things you’re afraid of when you haven’t had proper experience in Thailand.

After you’ve lived in Thailand for some time (technically I’ve spent 2 total months in Thailand now!) the fear is gone. There’s sometimes no way to tell, and the primal part of your brain can’t get traumatized because the ladyboys truly do look so feminine.

Countless memories have already been made in this fast month of Thailand, so much so that I’m a bit sucker-punched because I really can’t decide what to do next!

My visa expires in 4 days- what the hell should I do?

I’ve tried just now writing down some ideas. I want to explore Vietnam, Bangkok, and even stay longer here in Chiang Mai. I also of course miss Bali and have friends there.

There’s just so much to explore and do, and now that I’m finally healing from my last relationship I’m feeling so much more mentally healthy and ready to take on the world.

I am regaining that self-confidence and self-belief that everything will be alright no matter what.

I am feeling stronger, happier, and more able of taking care of myself and working towards my goals.

I am reconnecting with myself, feeling alive, feeling energized.

In the next month or so, I plan on going back to Sofia. Of course, it seems that every month I extend my stay in Asia a bit longer… So we’ll see what happens.

For now, I must decide what to do. Visa extension, or visa run? Move to Bangkok, or visit it for a weekend while living in Chiang Mai? So much to do and see!

And the beautiful thing is, unlike Europe or North America, everything is so affordable and short-term that there’s no such thing as a bad decision.

Apartments don’t have to be booked for 1 year or even 3 months. I can do it for 1 week and decide day by day what to do.

I’d like to create a bit of mental stability, as I prioritize work & working out, but I’m truly relishing in the fact that I need not commit to anything.

At the end stages of healing from a relationship, I’m so happy to know that I don’t have to commit to anyone or anything now.

Who knows what I’ll do. All I know is that my experience of Bali & Thailand have been amazing and made me really question what I should do next. It was much more awesome than I could’ve ever anticipated.

-Michael.

Follow The Signs

For some time now I haven’t been able to decide whether I should stay in Southeast Asia longer, or travel back “home” to Bulgaria.

The decision has always been 50/50 in my mind, but rather than worrying (like I would’ve a couple years ago), I decided to relax and wait for a sign or for my subconscious mind to sort the problem out.

Occasionally I would journal about it, or ask my brain to sort it out as I slept. Science has proven that almost all decisions we make are subconscious anyways- our conscious brain only understands so much of what’s going on.

And so I waited. I focused on enjoying life, and relaxing until the answer came to me clearly.

One day (yesterday) I felt a sudden intuitive feeling to go to a particular sushi restaurant and bring my journal. I was really enjoying what I was doing, but I decided to follow the feeling.

I began to eat delicious sushi and journal about this or that. I looked up at the TV screen, and there was some volleyball game playing.

It appeared Thailand was playing some other country. When the camera zoomed in on one of the female players of the opposing team, I thought it was strange just how closely they resembled the Bulgarians.

That’s when I realized the team code was BUL. They were all dressed in green.

In disbelief, I squinted my eyes to see clearly what was happening on this tiny screen.

Thailand was playing Bulgaria in an intense game of volleyball, and it was completely tied!

As if this game mimicked the struggles of my mind, there was no apparent winner! Thailand was playing Bulgaria in an intense match of volleyball!

Both Thailand & Bulgaria had won a round, and in this third round they were tied 8-8. The first time to reach 25 by a margin of 2 points would win the next round.

To my shocking disbelief, it seemed that a very apparent sign had came to me. I never thought that any “sign” or “omen” would come so glaringly obvious.

In fact, I began to journal some more in utter disbelief. What are the fucking odds that for a couple weeks you can’t decide whether to stay in Thailand longer, or to travel back to Bulgaria, and then you see a game of volleyball on TV in which Bulgaria plays Thailand- and it is completely tied?!?

At first I didn’t think much of it, until after a few minutes I realized they were still tied, just now 12-12. There was not going to be a clear winner.

Every time one team got a point, the other would quickly follow it up and tie it. This was exactly like my mind- on some hours I thought it better to return to Sofia, and on others I longed for more time in Southeast Asia before returning to Bulgaria.

The game quickly engulfed my entire attention. Never before had I watched the TV so intently, or enjoyed a sport so much.

Was this… a sign? I couldn’t help but wonder if this was the Universe giving me some guiding light.

It sounds absolutely absurd to base my decision of whether to stay in Thailand or go back to Bulgaria on the results of a volleyball game, but again… what are the odds?

And why is it that so often in my life I am getting these strange synchronicity moments that appear to be guiding me down a particular path???

The game raged on, and it remained primarily a tie, until finally Thailand got 2 points ahead and won this round. By the way, you only win a round if it’s by a margin of 2 points so this is literally the most intense round won possible.

During the fourth round I had an intuitive feeling- Thailand was going to win.

I even posted it on my Instagram story along with a picture of the game to show that I was making this strange prediction far in advance, when it couldn’t be accurately decided yet who would win.

It was almost as if my subconscious mind decided it would rather stay in Thailand longer before returning to Bulgaria, and so influenced the results of that fourth round. I know this sounds absurd- they won because Thailand was performing better, but was this really a coincidence?

The fourth round was equally intense, and because I had subconsciously made my own mind to remain in Thailand, I cheered for Thailand instead of Bulgaria. If Bulgaria won this round, a final & long fifth round would be played, which I did not want to sit around for as I had been sitting for so long already!

Once again Thailand won by an extremely tight margin of 2 points. Thailand won.

It was decided. I would stay in Thailand another month, either by extending my visa or by taking a visa run to a nearby country.

Sometimes I think it’s crazy to write about stories like this, and as I told this story to acquaintances people agreed that it was crazy but I don’t think anyone really grasped the significance of such a coincidence.

Having observed these moments of synchronicity in my own life over and over, it becomes all the more enchanting when they happen.

All of the spiritual teachers & books talk about following omens, following your heart, and not rushing to make decisions that the subconscious mind can solve. Yet when it actually happens to you, it’s so hard to believe. I can’t even believe I’m writing this, and I expect people to think I’m crazy and not to believe this story!

Alas, it is true, and I don’t need anyone to believe it because it happened to me. It also was posted all over my Instagram story, if you’re curious.

It seems that, at least for my life, there are indeed signs guiding me towards a particular path!

Whether somehow I “transurfed” into a reality in which Thailand won, by subconsciously deciding I would stay, or it was simply a validating sign from the Universe that I should remain here, one thing is certain is that this was no accident.

Here on this blog I have countless stories of strange synchronicity and guiding signs, sometimes I feel like I’m in my own strange book.

Most of my life is not so mystical, but these strange, mystical events do happen, and when they do they never cease to amaze me!

I am staying in Thailand for another month. Call it crazy, but the Universe (or whatever) could not have made it clearer that I should remain here.

For some weeks I struggled with this question, and then so clearly watched a game of volleyball of Thailand vs. Bulgaria. And not just that, the game was tied, intense, and close, just like the decision in my mind.

You must surely have signs in your own life, but you’ll see them only if you are open to them!

I called to something for help on making this decision and by some strange power help came.

I’m certain that the same could happen to you, if you open up and follow the signs or listen to your heart. That’s when the magic happens, and when we are reminded that there really is something weird going on here on planet Earth.

Follow the signs, they’re taking you somewhere for a reason…

-Michael