Staggering, Serene, and Stowaway - Stories From Tokyo

I headed to Japan after spending Christmas in Hai Phong, Vietnam. I was looking forward to getting out of the sweltering heat of Southeast Asia and not having to constantly be on guard for mosquitoes. I planned on staying for a month in Japan, and I had the JR pass which meant that I could ride as many trains as I wanted during a three week period. It was the perfect environment to explore and backpack freely around the country.

I flew into Osaka but immediately took a train to Tokyo. My game plan was to make my way north until I got tired or it got too cold, then loop back down, eventually ending back in Osaka because I had to fly out of there.

Here are some stories and photos from my time in Tokyo where I ended up seeing familiar faces from back home for the first time in 4 months, stumbled upon a huge manga convention, caught the sunset from a serene island park, and nearly became stranded and homeless in Tokyo the day before New Years Eve.

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Christmas in Hai Phong, Vietnam

It’s been a while since I wrote about my 6 month solo backpacking adventure but I’m determined to document the entire adventure before it fades too far into my memory. Continuing where I left off, which was in Bangkok, Thailand. I flew off to Hai Phong Vietnam, where I spent the Christmas holiday, met many wonderful new friends and got a much needed taste of home.

Vietnam was a last minute decision. It was December 2018, I was in India, I had already decided I would go to Thailand afterwards because I found a ridiculously cheap flight from Mumbai to Bangkok, but I didn’t know where I would spend Christmas on the road. I figured it would be in a hostel somewhere in Thailand, or I’d leave to Taipei, Hong Kong, maybe Manila? While I was pondering this, my friend back home in the States asked about how my trip was going and also suggested I stay at her Dad’s house in Vietnam for the holidays since I was ‘nearby’. He runs an English school for locals and most of the students and the volunteer teachers were around my age.

That sounded like a great place to spend Christmas so I applied for my Vietnam visa online and booked a flight from Bangkok, Thailand to Hai Phong, Vietnam.

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How to Defeat Laziness and the 'Urge To Do Nothing'

I am about 5 months into starting my own business and self-employment, and there is a new challenger that seeks to block me from my goals. It arises in my brain when I try and ‘work’ from home. This is what happens: I will usually be on the couch after eating breakfast and have made the decision to get up, start the day and get stuff done. But another part of my brain just does not want to move because it knows I don’t have to, I’m my own boss, I can do anything, I can just keep browsing random news articles or flicking through my phone. That goes on for longer than I’m happy with until I start trying to make deals with myself, negotiating and coercing the side of my brain that doesn’t want to do anything it doesn’t have to. It ends up in a tug of war, where the other side is an anchor, until I finally break through using sheer force of will. All of this rages on in my head while any external observer would just see me lazily sitting on the couch at 9:24am.

This happens multiple times a day to varying degrees, and I find it as fascinating as I do frustrating.

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My 16 Year PC Gaming Journey - Part 1 - The Beginnings

I took down my gaming PCs permanently today. They have been sitting on my desk, unused and gathering dust for over a year now. They are finally getting taken down because I’m moving out of my bedroom and prepping it as a rental bedroom.

I unplugged all the wires, peripherals and put them in a box, then laid the mouse pad on top. I felt like I was laying them to rest… I was surprised how emotional it all felt especially since I have not touched any of it in over a year. But when I think about it, these gaming computers were a huge part of my life. Gaming took me on a crazy 16 year journey during which I had a ton of fun, I started businesses, got flown out to Prague as an influencer, got my dream job out of college, and learned invaluable life lessons and skills. They were my way to escape reality when I didn’t want to deal with it, for good and for bad.

Now these things are in my closet because I don’t have the heart to sell/donate/recycle them yet, but I know that’s their next destination because I don’t see myself setting them up again.

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How To Make the Right Choice

The difference between active versus passive living is in whether or not you are the one making the decisions that affect your life or if somebody else is. I think most of us want to have control over our lives and not live passively, however decisions can be extremely difficult to make, especially when there are so many possibilities and choices. It’s a common problem for people living in first world nations. It’s a huge blessing and privilege to have a lot of choices, however it can paralyze us with anxiety as we get stuck analyzing the possible outcomes of all these choices, trying to pick the best one. It’s exhausting, and it defaults us to living passively, having other people or other circumstances in life make choices for us.

This is something that I have been battling ever since I took the reins of my life into my own hands and actively started making choices towards the goals I wanted, instead of wishing and waiting for opportunities to fall into my lap. It has not been easy but here’s what I have learned so far.

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Running my Life as a Business - Looking Back on Q1-2019

I am sick, for the first time in a long time. I have been doing a lot of business networking lately to try and grow the web development business that I started, shaking a lot of hands, and I guess one of them must have had the flu.

It feels terrible to be suddenly too tired to do anything because I’ve been hustling every day for 3 months since I came back. Each day has been filled with trying to build up the life that I want and now I’m just passing time, stuck in bed with a fever, headache, runny nose, sore throat, the whole gauntlet. But I know the importance of rest and taking care of myself and it’s a good time to reflect on how things have been going so far.

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Singing Off Key In Front of an Audience

Last week I attended my very first open mic night. It was a weekly event at a local boba shop/cafe where anybody from the audience could go up and perform. There I met an unlikely somebody who had a surprisingly profound impact on me.

His name is Steven, he must have been no more than 20 years old and by all first impressions, seemed like a shy and nervous person. When the shop owner came around for performance sign ups, he signed up to perform a song. When it got to his turn, he strolled up on stage, told everybody that there wouldn’t be any accompanying music track and it would just be him singing, and he proceeded to deliver his rendition of ‘God Bless the Broken Road’ by Rascal Flats to the sounds of awkward silences. It was bad by all accounts, it was off key and it was clear he did not know how to sing.

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Taking a Break in Bangkok

It’s been a while since I wrote about travel. Since I got back from my 6 month backpacking trip, I have been laser focused on building up my crazy new life back home. However I have a massive stash of travel stories I want to share before they fade into distant memories. So picking up from where I left off last time in Krabi, Thailand I headed to Bangkok, Thailand next. This is a look into the 5 days I spent there between December 14th, 2018 to December 19th, 2018.

By the time I got to Bangkok I was exhausted from moving around so much. I wanted a nice and clean place to stay where I could settle down for a few days, work on some personal projects and spend a couple days living ‘normally’ instead of being always on the go as a backpacker. I thought it was funny because I think most people come here to party and enjoy the nightlife in this vibrant city, but all I wanted to do was to slow down and find peace and quiet. Surprisingly I was able to find it here even though Bangkok isn’t normally at the top of people’s minds when they think of a ‘low key’ and quite place to stay.

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