Psychology & Society
Living & Traveling in Vietnam
Cryptocurrency, NFTs & the Metaverse
Hip-Hop & Rap
Cryptocurrency, NFTs & the Metaverse
Hip-Hop & Rap
Living & Traveling in Vietnam
Crime Dramas, R-Rated Comedies & Music Biopics
When I was 23 years old (2015), I made the best decision I’ve ever made when I bought a one-ticket to Bangkok without any form of plan, income or contacts in Asia, and with just a few (literally just a few) thousand dollars to my name.
PSYCHOLOGY & SOCIETY
Before coming to SE Asia, I was a straight-A university student in Calgary, Canada, studying Psychology and also gravitating towards Sociology and Tourism classes. I had always had a fascination with observing the human mind, societal structures and how people behave towards one another. However, rigid soulless academia was slowly killing that passion.
I felt like formal, institutionalized academia, as well as mainstream Western society in general, wanted to smother my creativity while manufacturing my way of thinking into a way so that I would properly fit into their predetermined peg slot. I understood that there was no place where I could uncompromisingly remain true to myself in that world.
Furthermore, I realized that a true, pure understanding of the human mind and society could never come from a stuffy, convoluted institution of people who rarely ventured outside of their artificial research building, let alone actually experienced the real world outside of a sheltered white picket fence existence.
I couldn’t respect or blindly believe any ideas or perspectives that institutions or people like that produced; I had to go out into the real, raw unsheltered world and discover the true nature of the mind, people and society first-hand myself.
LIVING & TRAVELING IN VIETNAM
After a year of wandering around SE Asia and working as a scuba diving instructor in Thailand, I entered Vietnam in 2016 with $1,500 worth of Thai baht (cash) in my pocket (actually), the last of my money. Since then, I haven’t left, not even for a day.
I’ve spent years living in and getting to know each of Vietnam’s 3 major cities. In this crazy, unique place in the world, I have discovered a sense of contentment that was impossible for me to find in a Western country.
The Vietnamese historically have fiercely valued independence and freedom, the importance of being autonomous from and not selling out to outside forces trying to exploit or manipulate them; this attitude aligns perfectly with my own outlook.
Vietnam is an amazing place to visit to experience people, cities and natural beauty completely different from anything encountered in a Western country. Not only that, I wholeheartedly believe that the future of this country is extremely bright. It will be (and already is) an excellent place to have as a home base.
This country indisputably changed my life and my character for the better; I’m genuinely passionate about sharing with others my experience and knowledge related to Vietnam.
In Vietnam, I was an English teacher for over a year and then an online ESL teacher for over 3 years. Although this job was rewarding at times, it wasn’t necessarily something I was 100% passionate about. However, it paid quite well by SE Asia standards, and it allowed me to develop a sizeable chunk of savings that I ended up investing in crypto for some rapid and exponential returns. That, combined with the low costs of living in Vietnam and knowledge of how to avoid paying artificially-inflated expat prices, has allowed me to retire from teaching at the age of 29 and dedicate my time and energy to something that I am actually fully obsessed with: writing.
Investing in cryptocurrency can be a great way to make money, but it’s also more than that; it’s ideological.
Although I sold all of my crypto so that I could lock-in a future where I can write every day, I still fully believe in cryptocurrency and its long-term potential to level the economic playing field for all people of the world, to take power from the 1% who try to monitor, control and take a chunk out of everybody’s money for nothing. Coming back to Sociology, I believe the effects that cryptocurrency will have on the world will be some of the most interesting and significant things that our generation will witness. Needless to say, I spend a lot of time researching and writing about crypto.
Living as an expat, it’s easy to eventually fall into an unhealthy, comfortable and sedentary lifestyle that includes an excessive amount of drinking. Unfortunately, this happened to me for some time and in 2019 I was fat, weak and quite frankly medically unhealthy. I had no energy and was always grumpy and in pain.
This was one of the best things that ever happened to me though, as it set me on a path to discover a newfound passion of mine: living a healthy lifestyle, but one that still allows me to go out drinking and get completely obliterated from time to time.
A year later (2020), I was in the best shape I’d ever been. My body helped me develop a sense of confidence, indestructibility, motivation and optimism that I’d never felt so deeply before. I was getting messages from people I hadn’t talked to in years and my Tinder/Badoo game was crazy. I felt like Bradley Cooper in Limitless, and I could still go out and shred 40 beers on a weekend before getting back to a healthy lifestyle the following week.
At this point today, I can say that I’ve found that balance where I can feel healthy and relentless every day yet still occasionally enjoy life’s vices; I’m happily willing to share my ideas, tips and methods.
HIP-HOP & RAP
Today, most of the general population casually listens to a bit of pop-rap from time to time. But for me, hip-hop is much more than that; it’s almost spiritual in way.
I listen to hip-hop when I work out, when I walk around the city, when I’m in a cafe, when I go out drinking, when I’m in a taxi, when I write; probably the last time I went more than 24 hours without listening to a hip-hop song was when I was 8 years old.
I don’t mind some pop-rap if it’s got a decent beat and the lyrics aren’t too mind-numbing, but I generally prefer tracks containing lyrics with intelligence and significance.
Hip-hop is a way to channel emotions, whether blissful, exhilarated, sorrowful or livid.
Hip-hop has helped me through my darkest times; it’s given me the confidence and belligerent motivation to persevere when I was alone and facing seemingly insurmountable challenges. It contributes to feelings of introspection and helps me to look past the surface of myself, others and society. It’s helped me to question societal constructs that a lot of people blindly accept as universal truths; and given an outlet and solid form to the intangible essence of defiance that lives deep down in the subconscious of most people.
The spirit and attitudes of hip-hop resonate with me to my core. My favorite hip-hop artists’ stories, metaphors, attitudes and perspectives have undeniably shaped my way of life, thinking and writing.
CRIME DRAMAS, R-RATED COMEDIES & MUSIC BIOPICS
In my opinion, if you’re writing about something you aren’t passionate about or couldn’t care less about, then you’re not really too much different from an AI. In my downtime, I’ve always loved to not only watch movies, but also analyze the societal and psychological themes as to why a film is (or isn’t) a great movie.
I’m not so much a fan of mindless action or recycled-formula, unoriginal mainstream blockbusters (like most superhero movies). I prefer gritty and real crime dramas, inappropriate deviant comedies and hectic hip-hop or rock n roll biopics. If a movie combines any of those categories then all the better. Basically, I like movies that take the laminated concept of what a nice well-adjusted member of society should be like and indiscriminately shred that to pieces. If the soundtrack is on point too, then I’ll watch that movie like 5 times.
To give you an idea of my style of movies (and series), a few of the films I was shredding during Vietnam’s 2021 covid lockdown were The Gentlemen, Blow, Fight Club, American Gangster, The Wolf of Wall Street, Trailer Park Boys, Dirty Grandpa, This Is the End, At World’s End, Dope, All Eyez on Me, Notorious, The Dirt and Wu-Tang: An American Saga; I thoroughly enjoy researching and writing about films such as these.