Wheel of Life: March 2020 Edition – Quarantine

We’re back with another Wheel of Life edition! Big special shout out to the people who have read this for years already, and this is a deep special because this was the life-changing moment I needed.

Who would’ve ever thought that quarantine would be great. Losing my job for about 6 weeks ended up being the pusher for me to transform my subconscious mind. But before I get into that, in brief, here are the categories to rate yourself in:

  • Personal development
  • Physical environment
  • Health
  • Wealth
  • Career
  • Family & friends
  • Fun & hobbies
  • Romantic Relationships

In this blog, I should finally discuss the transformation and leave the podcast down below for you to listen to the other categories. Be sure to share your scores!

Personal Development

Mira Butler had come forth in an idea and we acted on it. She wanted to create a UDEMY course, but even before that, we were having long, hilarious chats about a variety of things until we finally said “let’s do this.” I went through her personal transformation course, and everything that had hindered me in the past finally dispersed. The level of consciousness, the gratitude, and the unbelievable opportunities that are coming into my life is because I no longer have a hindrance. Are you ready for this podcast? Let’s do it!

Spartan Races Galore in Thailand — 2020!

I’m sitting in front of an executive at one of the biggest banks in Thailand and abruptly he says, “registration opens tomorrow!” It was a random comment at the time since we had been discussing the ever-so-annoying-coronavirus, but I shifted my attention to him and said: “huh?”

He said, “Spartan Race Thailand!”

I was in disbelief. I was in awe. I didn’t know what to say. Should I ask him where? How? When? What? Who said? What’s happening? I told him, “get the hell outa here! Show me!” He quickly went to his phone and there it was, three spectacularly magnificent dates of the race here in Thailand this year.

After going on a one year hiatus after the Spartan Trifecta in Hua Hin, people rambled about it having poor reviews, complaints, etc. I thought it was perfectly placed, but the mountains and going through 13km of hills was a daunting task for my joints.

2019 it was crickets. I had already opted out of races for the subsequent year because that 2018 ripped the soul out of me. I just felt, “man, f*** that! That was just soul-crushing. I damn near died!” Not only me, but another massive trainer (bodybuilder) by the name of Vishal, who works at the lab, was found by me….crouching over, eyes red beyond comprehension and gasping for life during the bucket carry towards the end of the Spartan Beast. However, that was a resurgence and gave me a ton of energy to finish because I said, “wow, I’m not in this condition and have about 25% of the muscle!”

I finished, stopped doing Spartan Races, then flirted with the potential of doing one in Vietnam this year (as a matter of fact, tomorrow).

I said, “man, I just don’t have it in me. I just don’t wanna do it. What are you trying to prove, Arsenio?”

Until I saw dates at Chiang Mai (not interested), but the ultra-gorgeous Krabi (beach camp) and a forest camp in GORGEOUS Songkhla!

I HAD TO!

The World’s Worst Airline Award: Viet/Thai VietJet Air

Cancellation

Delay

Delay Again

Excess Baggage weight? Wait, but you didn’t say “excess” in Da Lat? Only HCMC?

Welcome to an airline that no human being should ever take. This is pathetic on a grand scale. Let me give you the story.

I get to the airport in Da Lat three hours before. While I was there, I saw VietJet Air (domestic) takeoff. I saw JetStar Pacific also takeoff. All of a sudden, the flight had been cancelled? Now, the plane wasn’t at the gate, meaning it could’ve potentially tried landing until the pilots chickened out — for whatever reason (I’m saying that in a derogatory way because the pilots for the domestic Viet flight and international JetStar didn’t delay).

For a cancellation to happen, there has to be something significantly wrong (perhaps underlying) at the airport or with the airline in general. Volcanic Ash? Understandable. Hurricane, Tornado, horrible weather in general? Couldn’t agree more. Light rain at an airport that saw two landings and a takeoff? Questionable.

I kindly helped the airline staff with everything because Thai people were trying to make sense of all of it, but because the airport is 30km away, it’s difficult to get in there without paying a substantial amount of money.

Bad weather plagued somewhat the trip, but I still had an amazing time. However, airlines can really fuck everything up….and so he told everyone “same time tomorrow.”

Thai girl: “and what are the chances of the plane leaving tomorrow?”

VietJet Air staff: “I don’t know.”

So basically it would be a gamble to stay an additional day…with you guys cancelling the flight again and having us wait 1, 2, 3 days? You fucking forreal?

I told my friend, “hey, I’m going to HCMC. Good weather and they probably won’t cancel.” — LOL

September 6th – Delay

After arriving to HCMC a bit late, I told myself, “immigration must be terrible. Lines must be long. I won’t make it.”

After seeing what happened this morning, I was right. Flight had been bumped 1.5 hours to 9:55am.

Nonetheless, I got to the airport this morning and it was a zoo. Makes sense. No big deal. Lines at VietJet Air were STUPID LONG. A staff member was so ignorant and walked up to passengers saying this: “would you like to check in the priority line? We will charge you 5-10$”. Doesn’t sound like a priority to me. Even if I had done that, they still would’ve charged me for EXCESS BAGGAGE.

Da Lat Baggage – Ho Chi Minh Baggage

Let’s put it simple. Da Lat didn’t charge me, nor did Thailand. Ho Chi Minh? YES.

So your policies are very fucked up, aren’t they? If one Vietnamese airport doesn’t charge and another does, we got ourselves a problem, don’t we?

All in all, this airline lacks all cores out of Stephen Covey’s book; from lacking integrity at both airports, to not proving their capabilities by cancelling and delaying flights with no transportation/accommodation offerings.

If you decide to travel to Vietnam, PAY THE EXTRA BUCK!

Vietnam Visa Service Rating — 3 out of 10

Some people might be against this blog, but my goal is to support as many people as I possibly can throughout my travels. This was the first time I applied for this particular visa because I had to enter through Da Lat Airport (other services emphasized that they wouldn’t be able to get me a “letter” to Da Lat)….so I was a bit hesitant.

I talked to the person through email and chat — both of whom who very unhelpful. It was almost as if they were disinterested, but I really didn’t want my money to go to waste, either. I went on the purchase a one-month single entry (American passport) and an Airport Fast-Track (normal)…..if you guys are unaware, lines at the airport could be ridiculously long sometimes, especially in Egypt.

I emailed them COUNTLESS TIMES (support), along with chatting with a man named David (last chat was about asking for my approved visa and he NEVER RESPONDED just seconds after a previous message was sent)….and they never confirmed my landing at the airport and the fast-track.

I have numerous friends in HCMC and they called them….only to be shoulder-shrugged away. I had their Whatsapp….messaging them on a number of occasions and they never responded.

PISS-POOR SERVICE

Living here in Thailand has made me very intolerant of garbage service. That’s one things I just don’t tolerate…and this company provided that. I wanted to make haste going through the airport (which wasn’t needed), but from the failed telephone call service, to the other things I encountered with the terrible chat and late emails, never use this service!

Don’t Use This Website

Use This one Instead!

Traveling Blog: Episode 013 – Airport Chaos, Solid VietJetAir, & The Landing

Solid. Just solid all the way around. Let’s first talk about my mishap.

I looked at my flight details for the umpteenth time and realized that I read it wrong, by about 30 minutes. Big deal? Not really, but then the rush came….and when you rush, everything with align with the “not-enoughness” mentality.

I had two perfect train rides, but then got agitated by the mere two stairs at Phaya Thai station in Bangkok.  Only two exits to go down and both on the far-ends.  See what I was complaining about? Pretty ridiculous, huh?

Got to the airport link, which is right over this specific station and I HEARD THE TRAIN.  Could I have run faster to make it? Nope. I missed it by about 2 minutes.  Then, here I was standing on the platform, nodding my head and gasping with discontent, telling myself “this train is going to take 15 minutes to come.” 

I ended up not “living in the moment.” You know? Traveling to Vietnam for the second time to meet beautiful people? THAT MOMENT! It was frustrating that I entered that mindset…and I couldn’t escape it because I kept telling myself, “what if?”…..and the “what if” happened.

Got to the airport. Ran up the stairs and there I was, searching for my gate. I went to information and of course, a rude (typical) Thai girl who was rather pathetic and very unhelpful.  VietJet Air, being apparently the “annoying cousin at a party – airline,” was shoved in Row W, which takes minutes to walk to (this is not like the wondrous Changi Airport where staff are the best in the world….it’s Thailand – lol). So, because I was on the hurry-and-scarcity mindset, who was there to greet me at check-in? An asshole.  DUH! Luckily it was quick, but then I looked at passport control, which is the most annoying in Thailand (there old-style beliefs are criminal), had the longest lines ever.

Wait, it’s Saturday! Arsenio, why the F*** would you fly out on a Saturday, you fool!

I stood in line for 25 minutes and I saw this little girl give me a smile.  OH, SO HEART-WARMING! 5 minutes later, her father is being chewed out by a complete dick of an immigration officer.  Thai culture, I suppose? It’s not the new generation, it’s the broken/poverty mindset.  If someone ever raised their voice at me, I would blow up on them in a heartbeat.  Why? I treat people how they treat me.  If I’m in an amazing country, I would shower them with love.  However, this is Thailand….and you just can’t be nice or you would be taken advantage of. It’s like…Cambodia.  

I then walk to the window and yes, as always, immigration loves just looking at a passport as if they’re going to find some hidden information about me and my whereabouts.  I was batting my eyes at him with my head slanted, shaking my head in disgust and also laughing. Let’s just say I was mocking him, because I knew at the very end, you’re going to give me my passport back and I’m going to call you a stupid.  That’s exactly what happened.  SORRY! If you don’t like it, do something (American tonality).

Enough of the bitching

Ok, minus all Thainess and let’s get into the good – finally.  Two slices of pizza and I’m surprised I even made my boarding time. Gates open 10 minutes after I arrived.  Just a bad day in all…..because I left early? Or because it’s Saturday?

VietJet Air

Remember, when you fly low-cost airlines, they’re not on time. If you think and believe you’ll be on-time with an airline you don’t pay much for, you’re a fool. Was it worth it? HELL YES!

The plane was half-full! The flight attendants had genuine smiles and they are now the most helpful Thai flight attendants in Thailand!  YES! Better than Bangkok Airways, ha! Ascending was sound (even though there was some crazy cloud cover and rain had started coming down over Bangkok), and I had not only an entire row to myself, but also the row on the other end of the fantastic A320’s (I’m a HUGE FAN of AirBus. I don’t trust BEOING and their seat pitch is appalling). Ordered me a coffee (I hate coffee but needed to get some reports done) and just glanced over my right shoulder ever-so-often to see the formations of land down below.

Wheel of Life: August 2019 – Stardom Begins!

I was watching TD Jakes recently and he said, “I never meant to be famous; I just wanted to make an impact.” Shortly after, notorious Washington Post (vile) wrote an article about him, completely defacing him of everything he represented (welcome to America — the House of Pain). See, I knew it was going to get to this point. When I was making my personal development podcasts in 2017, to the explosion of my ESL podcast in 2018/2019…..when I took the stage at the Bangkok International Digital Content Festival, I knew my life would change forever. As I was pacing, and using a variety of language to captivate onlookers, I didn’t know (and still don’t know today) how impactful my presentation was, but in my mind, I created that eventful Friday at Marriott Marquis Queens Park, a day in which I met app developers from all over the world. Here’s to the BIG ONE!

If you guys don’t already know, I was recently talking to another female entrepreneur (age of 19) who also spoke about the Wheel of Life. If it’s your first time viewing this blog, it’s time to begin and assess your life in the following categories and from number 1-10.

Personal Development – 10

Couldn’t be grateful enough. Those moments of struggle have paid off. I now value myself on such a level I KNEW I would achieve, but it was a struggle.

Physical Environment – In Podcast

Health – In Podcast

Wealth – In Podcast

Career – In Podcast

Fun & Hobbies – In Podcast

Romantic Relationships – 0

Friends & Family – In Podcast

10-Year Anniversary (First Time Traveling Abroad)

When I clicked “book flight” and got the confirmation, it felt as if my heart fell not only to my stomach, but right out of my body in general. I recall the moment when my mother was walking across the living room and I said, “hey, so I’m going to Australia.”

She said nothing but a head-shake.

Was this a good sign? Didn’t matter. It was what Arsenio wanted.

This trip was a concoction of so many emotions, gifts, overcomings, gratitude, seeing kangaroos, and seeing an entire new world that I never thought existed. This was beauty at a grand scale. This was waking up in the morning to the aroma of my mother’s pancakes. This was seeing money in the bank for the first time in 2005. Hell, this was greater than any of those things.

From the accents on the plane, to landing in Brisbane, Australia, to speaking to a Chinese-Australian for the first time. I was so in-the-moment. I was in awe, looking around and taking a glance at everything around me. Remember, this coming from a guy who’s only been to two deserts before in his life (and Cedar City, Utah, not much else to say about that).

Throughout those ten days: blue mountains, best hot chocolate in the world, best Belgian chocolate in the world, Darling Harbour, crazy nights out, romantic dinner (although that failed) and a surprise booking of a hotel with a girl who I was trying so hard to be with (but wanted nothing from me). When I left, I cried. I was sad, broken, so many things….I didn’t know if I could move to Australia, but with perseverance, I did. Sadly enough, the girl who I was pursuing cheated on me; and with the worst rude awakening, entered a year-long abusive relationship with another man.

Me, on the other hand, moved to Australia two years later and started one of those memorable journeys of my life (and still continues today). Tune in for the entire podcast down below!

Next Vacation & Spartan Race: Taiwan!

You read it correctly. Your main man, who goes by the name of Arsenio Buck, is reentering Spartan after a bit of a hiatus.

When I was trekking through the foothills in Hua Hin, sucking in dust particles like it was oxygen, I told myself: “man, FUCK THIS!” I said I would never do it again. However, after listening to my body and feeling how strong I’ve become, my body is craving that immense pain once again!

I made an oath to myself at the beginning of the year that I was going to take a year off from Spartan races because the Beast in Hua Hin last year was just so unbelievably demoralizing. However, after sorting out my visa situation here in Thailand, micro trips to Malaysia and Singapore are NO MORE!

I can’t let just a few assholes at Immigration in Hong Kong determine the outcome of me traveling everywhere. Yes, Taiwan will be another very difficult country I need to acclimate with, but because I will be be the “not-so-thumb-sticking-out,” that means I won’t have a problem recording and documenting my stories. Will the Spartan Super go as planned? I have no idea. I will need to adapt very quickly and once I land in Taoyuan International Airport, I’ll know what I’m up against.

What’s your Inspiration?

First time I came to Thailand, I was put in such a crazy, uncomfortable position. Seeing green rivers covered in days/weeks/months old trash, the way people were looking at me (which ended up being a huge foreshadow of things to come); nevertheless, I saw the ultra-gorgeous, lush green vegetation towering over turquoise waters down below.

Was this inspiration? Not necessarily, but this was the beginning of my journey.

Vietnam – 2016

After visiting the Remnants War Museum in HCMC, I saw the absolutely destruction of what the United States Military did to Vietnamese people, also known as “communists.” I stood next to a Chinook (ironically named after a tribe of Native American Indians — a group which that was wiped out by the colonizers), and then switched to a heavy-artillery propeller. A plaque read, “this machine causes mass damage and casualties in Vietnam.” I then glanced up and said, “you’ve killed so many people.”

I took a step back, clicked on the photos app in my phone and deleted all the militaristic garbage from my phone. When I went inside and went up 5 floors of anguish and hell, it caused so much grief. I saw my friend tearing up, who was Vietnamese, and all my life I’ve been told to respect a military.

Not anymore.

I was going to @ Borack Obama and all United States military channels and berate them words of hell. Never again have I saluted, represented or mention the military anymore and I never will again.

Innocent people in Laos are still dying today because the bombs that were dropped 45 years ago.

Americans would say, “look at the brightside,” I would say, “well, with how pooly you treated blacks, and with the Native American genocide, you’re now depicting us as the monsters….but in fact, no one knows about what you’ve done.”

I didn’t make it a mission to expose anglo-America/Europe for their genocides that wreaked havoc around the world, but I did want to give back. Seeing the children, the photos of my friend teaching at poor schools in the war-torn, ravaged middle of Vietnam…..I found my inspiration.

No one deserved to have anyone come in their house and kill them, but in saying all of that, Vietnamese people of BOTH SIDES came together after the war and has coexisted to this day. What I saw was an inspiration for me to give back — to come back to Vietnam, and to help people who desperately need help.

Laos – 2018

I was approached by an amazing manager of a hotel who had sent me a number of whatsapp messages, wanting to know about my arrival. I arranged a taxi and a few other services with the hotel. It delivered (although loud from music), but the hospitality was amazing compared to other places. The manager of the hotel invited me for drinks at night and took me to a wonderful noodle shop before my flight.

He invited me to come back and to volunteer at a poor school about 1.5 hours outside of the main city.

This was my dream. This brings more happiness then making 5k-10k per month. This is true fulfillment.

Finding my inspiration. It dealt with a lot. Seeing poverty, seeing death, but also seeing my soul open up to the masses out there. People need my voice, and that’s why I created it.

Traveling Podcast: Episode 012 – Marina Bay, S.E.A Aquarium, Good Vibes

As promised, I told you guys that I would do another podcast and blog, and here it is! It’s a shame that I stayed just a few days. It has seemed to me that the last few times I’ve come here, even on those 24-hour layovers — to the 3-night trip, is not enough. However, I’m super grateful because it all started with the Aquarium.

Aquarium

Just spectacular! First, the journey there is so convenient and easy. You can buy one ticket that goes all the way to the destination with very easy interchanges in between (Chinatown and the final stop — Harborfront). After that, I met my friend right in front of the connect shopping center and we went up a few escalators to the tram across the body of water and to Sentosa Island.

Little did I know there was a Universal Studios there. The aquarium was magnificent. To see those creatures of all kinds living in their habitats and coexisting with one another is truly remarkable. Having the opportunity to see the blue poison frog from Brazil was pretty amazing, too! They’re beyond tiny, but they can kill in minutes.

After the aquarium, a red wine bottle was bought and hours of conversation proceeded. Just an all around great time.

Marina Bay Sands

A magnificent structure. Being up close, and in a green area, was just captivating. What’s even more amazing is the way the structure is built inside. The hotel rooms are one door away from being in the lobby. It’s sooooo….odd. Lol. Here I am looking down both corridors and seeing the hotels on each side. Just don’t know how much the hotel can offer, but with a steep price tag of $500 USD a night, it better provide more than what I saw!

The gardens, water, birds, everything on the backside, was tranquil. The amount of green area, beautiful gardens towering over everyone and the feeling of peace is truly remarkable. That’s what i’ve been wanting to see for a long time.

Conclusion

It was a magnificent journey and I’m so grateful for having the opportunity to finally stay there past 24 hours (lol). Now it’s finish and I’m officially heading back to Thailand. This will for sure be a culture shock.

Podcast