Travel Tips + Not Learning From Mistakes

I was chatting yesterday with one of students and she was completely dumbfounded at the fact that I don’t get currency before traveling.  I realized that the third time it happened, which recently came in Maldives, could’ve been the disaster of a lifetime.

Yes, maybe some of you already do so, but I’ll do a small breakdown, plus a podcast on the basic necessities in preparation for travel.

Travel Tip: 1 – Get Currency In Your Respective Country

I’m not talking bank currency with high interest rates, I’m talking about the underground places that aren’t well known.  For example, SuperRich in Thailand has the best rates in Thailand while banks such as KTB, SCB, and others are horrific in buying and selling.

Travel Tip 2: PLASTIC!

I’m not a big fan of credit cards, but in case of disasters, such as the one I experienced in Maldives a week ago, you will be saved by the bell.  I literally had to make two final purchases before my car was completely shutdown by my bank in America due to “suspicion of fraudulent charges.”

In the real world, having something marked “Visa” or “MasterCard” is your I’m-Not-Going-To-Die-Card out of any situation, but because I don’t have one, I was literally doomed.

After an array of conversations with my students yesterday, apparently going with UoB or HSBC (Hong Kong banks if I’m not mistaken), would save me a great deal of trouble.   Oh, and to throw out another example, I wouldn’t have gone through hell with Sheraton Hotels because if I had a credit card at the time of check-in, they would’ve froze my credit card’s funds which ultimately would’ve been released (compared to my debit).

Here’s the podcast from my not-learning experiences and more!

Napoleon Hill: Lesson Eight – The Habit of Doing More Than Paid For

A man is most efficient and will more quickly and easily succeed when engaged in work that he loves, or work that he performs in behalf of some person whom he loves.

Here’s the introduction to one of the most important, life-long lessons that so many of you probably lack in life.  Here’s one of the best stories of my life.

In late 2015, I was approached by my boss at my respective job.  She had already set up some conversation/presentation workshops, which I ran accordingly.  Because it was a massive success, students began to ask about developing a conversation course.

A lot of teachers, especially those historical British teachers, don’t believe in conversation as a tool of success; nor do they approve it as a course.  I had to constantly battle and take a lot of slack from people saying, “this isn’t an academic course,” but confidence is the ultimate success tool for communication, right?

After shrugging off a lot of meaningless comments and naysayers, my boss gave me the green light to create a course using some books and materials.  So, I did.

Step Number 1: You Will Take Losses In The Beginning, But The Returns Are Unbelievable

Because the conversation course had a 2$ less payout, 95% of the teachers refused it at the beginning.  I was adamant and infuriated because  some teachers, who would’ve done a good job teaching conversation, didn’t want to teach it because they didn’t get the full amount in the beginning.

I laughed about this because I had already read about “doing more than what you’re paid for,” and I knew it would come back and bite them.  Went work got scarce, they came crawling back trying to accept any class that was thrown at them and I said NO. You denied it in the beginning; however, now that work is slow, you want to cover your ass? Ugh, not today.

I, being the lead person of this course, had to formulate a group of teachers, a couple of which failed to deliver the expectations because of their lackadaisical teaching.  You don’t necessarily have to have the gift of the gab, but you have to love teaching.  A lot of teachers in Thailand don’t give a damn about teaching.

After weeding out the foolishness and the incompetence, I created a course, through persistence and little pay, that generated millions of baht over the course of the year.  I made shy, timid students – absolute stars in this respective area.

Get this, creating a course that has generated millions….I only received 0.00005% of that.  However, now I have a podcast, which was created at the same time, that’s listened to over 70 countries.  I did far more than what I was paid to do, but the law of increasing returns returned in the grandest of fashions.  This is how life works.

Podcast

My Top Islands Around The World (So Far)

So, after going to Maldives, I thought to myself, “man, people around the world should know what are the best islands to go to.”

Now, don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of islands out there in Europe that I do not know about, but from my personal perspective, these three islands I’ve gone to give a cultural diversity punch to it.  In Europe, it would predominantly be European and possibly American, which means the diversity would lack compared to the places I’ve been to.  So, with that being said, and a podcast at the bottom for some audio fun, LET’S DIVE IN!

Number 3

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Maldives!

Hey, it’s not a sad number 3….it still trumps Krabi, Phuket, Koh Phangan and every other beach in Thailand – period.

Maldives is a cluster of islands sitting in the middle of the Indian ocean.  It’s really to access if you live in India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and even in some parts of Asia like Myanmar, Thailand, etc.

Being able to island hop, seeing turquoise waters everywhere and tasting some of the super fine cuisine on the island is a massive plus.  The diversity is amazing.  I was served by a gorgeous Balinese the first day at a restaurant a couple hundred meters away from my hotel.  Next day, when I went on a full-day excursion, I met people from all over the world such as Indonesia & Greek chefs, to Egyptian friends.  The clean streets and the super relaxed culture makes this a great destination.

There isn’t much of a nightlife.  After 3 nights, you’ve pretty much seen it all, unless you’re that couple who loves to relax on a private island for weeks at a time.  This is a destination to escape all the hustling and bustling of the developing world.  Period.

Number 2

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Hawaii!

Having traveled here twice, this is a ridiculous wonderful place.  You have Diamond Head overlooking Waikiki, Aulani Disney Resort, Pineapple Plantation, Turtle Beach in the north…just so much! Oh, that was just on Honolulu.  For those with an extra bit of cash, you have the Big Island and Maui, which has cliff-jumping and other insane activities, waiting for you.

Hawaii, however, is not a place for single travellers.  The first time I went there was a disaster.  I was bored out of my mind and there isn’t a place where a single guy can walk in and chat it up.  No way.  People go with groups, families (lots of Japanese tourists) and it’s just not that type of place like Phuket or Krabi.  If you’re a solo traveler, Thailand (unfortunately, lol) is one of the best places to go because you can meet people easily.

The second time I went there I had the trip of a life-time with my best friend Alissa.

Rent-A-Car! – See the island in it’s entirety by renting the car! Walking up and down Waikiki can get a bit boring.  Taking the bus is even worse because they rarely come.

Consider The Other Islands – Plan it out according to your schedule, because the other islands houses things that the ultra-touristy Honolulu doesn’t.

Number 1

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BALI!

My absolute favorite place on the planet.  No, it wasn’t because of the airport staff paying “la bamba” while I was boarding my plane to leave.  It was a combination of the wondrous hospitality, breathtaking views, remote beaches, night safari, and the resounding culture that was jaw-dropping.

In Bali, you don’t just have an island, and you don’t have a very commercialized city like you do in Honolulu.  You have Jimbaran to the south, which is full of resorts.  You have the ridiculously outlandish party scene in Kuta, which is full of awesome Australians.  You have Ubud about an hour north, which is the most gorgeous jungle one could ever imagine.  You have Komodo island, which is full of creatures that are said to have been around at the same time as Sabre-tooth Tigers and Woolly  Mammoths.  Mt. Bromo, which provides the most compelling views of the island.  This place is just heaven.  When I left, I almost cried.  Going from a place like Bali, back to Bangkok….you can imagine why (LOL).  I was there for a holiday and a competition.  Special shout out to The Sintesa Jimbaran for the best service I’ve ever had (until Maldives, but you’re still in my heart).

These are three islands…and the top three I’ve been to in my lifetime.  Honestly, depends what side of the world you’re coming from.  If you’re coming from America, Hawaii is your best bet.  If you’re in Asia, you’re in a perfect range because you can visit either of the three.  If you’re in Australia, Bali is just an 8 hour ride away….Hawaii could be more difficult to get to (but not anymore because Jetstar Asia now goes there).  If you’re in Thailand, obviously Bali and Maldives.

I will give it to you like this: forest, sea, partying = Bali.  Trekking, hiking, beaches, some nightlife, some islands = Hawaii. Super relaxation and island hopping, along with the best waters in the world = Maldives.

Podcast

https://www.spreaker.com/user/thearseniobuckshow/my-top-three-islands-on-the-planet-in-my

Find Yourself & Be Yourself: Remember There Is No One Else On Earth Like You

Sitting beachside and even going about waist deep into water….I was chatting with my befriended Egyptian friends in Male, Maldives.  When we were laughing and joking, I looked around and saw people of all ages smiling or laughing at us….because of what we were talking about.

However, if this was two years ago, I would’ve spoken under my breath so I wouldn’t be heard by other people around me.  Why? I was afraid. I was afraid of being myself.  I was afraid of becoming the man I was set out to be in life because I was afraid of what other people would’ve thought of me.

Dale Carnegie talked in his book about a woman named Edith.  She was sensitive, like most people are; however, she was terrified of dealing with people.  Overweight, avoided friends, nervous, irritable, terrified anytime the doorbell rang at her house.  She became so unhappy that she was heading right for suicide.

So, what changed this woman’s life? A chance remark.

Her mother-in-law said, “No matter the day, I always insisted on them being themselves.”

Yes, just a simple phrase can changed everything.

She literally changed overnight.  She began to study herself.  Figure out her own personality.  She began studying her strong points and learned all about colors and styles so she can wear apparel suitable for her skin.  She started to reach out and made new friends, joined organizations….EVERYTHING! Her motto was, “no matter what happens, always be yourself!”

“You and I have such abilities, so let’s not waste a second worrying because we are not like other people.  You are something new in this world.  Never before, since the beginning of time, has there ever been anybody exactly like you; and never again throughout all ages to come will there ever be anybody exactly like you again.  The science of genetics informs us that you are what you are largely as a result of twenty-four chromosomes contributes by your father and twenty-four contributed by your mother.  There forty-eight chromosomes comprise everything that determines what you inherit.  In each chromosome there may be anywhere from hundreds of genes – with a single gene, in some cases, able to change the whole life of an individual.  We are fearfully and wonderfully made.” – Dale Carnegie

You are something new in this world.  Be glad of it.  Make the most of what nature gave you.  You can sing only what you are.  You can paint only what you are.  You must be what your experiences, your environment, and your heredity have made you.  Cultivate that own little garden of yours.  Play your own instrument in the orchestra of life.

Create that council table and whoever inspires you, visualize an attribute that he/she has that you would like to inherit.  Want to become funnier? Hang around funnier people.  Want to gain confidence? Start doing the things you’re terrified of doing.  Become the best version of yourself so both I, and the rest of the world, can celebrate your achievement!

Podcast

Maldives = Last Day! Do’s and Don’ts, Is It Worth The Money, & Other Questions In My Podcast

Quick blog and a full podcast on the breakdown of my trip.  One of the most important things to remember is…..

CURRENCY!

Apparently everyone knew to get USD except ME before coming here.  This was the biggest hassle ever and it almost terminated my trip the first day.

I originally came here with Thai baht thinking I can exchange money at the airport….nope.

They apparently accept USD, but I’m not sure about GBP, Euro, JPY.  To be safe, exchange your money in your respective country before making your way down here.

Is it worth the money?

Is Bali/Honolulu/Fiji worth going to more than Maldives?

Worth the budget?

How many days/nights?

https://www.spreaker.com/user/thearseniobuckshow/maldives-trip-finished-my-personal-opini

 

Maldives Day II: The Resurgence

What a magnificent day on the island.  Speedboat, Egyptians, Malaysians, Kenyans, Indians, delicious food, unbelievable resort, gorgeous bungalows, fish of all sorts, crabs crawling on the rocks….I can’t be thankful enough!

Now, this will all be explained more thoroughly in my podcast (at the bottom of the page), but I’ll give a nice rundown with some photos to fulfil your appetite.

Dentist + Engineer

When I first entered the speedboat, I saw a girl staring at me – a blank stare.  Now, I have the type of charisma that resonates, but I was a bit afraid of her (lol).  Nonetheless, I realized that both her and her friend were wonderful within the first 15 minutes of reaching the island, and I befriended them shortly after.  4th year dental student from Cairo and a 3rd year engineering student from another state.  Boy, we had stories!

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This beach, to say the very least, was captivating beyond comprehension. The bungalows that sat off in the distance, the people who relaxed on the sandy beaches, the kids doing the snorkelling off in the middle of the….sea, the tourists flocking around the island and even the extraordinary buffet.  Man, if only there was a little cloud cover.

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What I found most compelling about the trip was….was I even suppose to be here? When it was 12:30, I told my friends, “man, I should be in the sky right now heading back to Thailand.”  Amazing how that works.  I also met another teacher from a southern state in Malaysia who teaches English (Malaysian descent) and one of his students placed first in a public speaking competition.  I’m a public speaker.

How are we all connected? It’s so intriguing knowing I met a dentist (I used to be a dental assistant), an engineer (I teach so many engineers), and a teacher (whereas the both of us teach English and public speaking).  I attracted these individuals into my life because of what I do and the mindset I have….even my past jobs and experiences.

And in the following photo is the morning sunrise (just an hour ago)…..there should be a greater word than grateful.

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Express Inn at Hulhumale, Maldives – The Lady That Changed My Life Forever!

Buckle up — because this is going to be a life-changing blog.

Man, oh man.  I’m still trying to figure out exactly what took place yesterday.  Here, if you guys don’t want to read, here’s the podcast….and I’ll write what happened, on top of some things you need to know if you travel to Male, Maldives.

Let’s just say that when I came here, I was unable to obtain any currency.  No Maldivian Rupiah is made available for anyone.  I tried selling my Thai baht at the airport and they simply said, “we don’t accept it.”

I replied, “guys, I have no other money. I tried using my US bank card at the ATM and it didn’t work!  He said, “I’m sorry.  That’s the only way you can get money.”

After following that, my bank got 3 suspicious transactions and restricted my card immediately, so I had to use an app to call back to America and explain the situation.  20 minute conversation lead to a wonderful assistant telling me, “listen, you have only two transactions left that you can use.  We will block your card and send you a new one.”

I said, “omg, could you stay on the line so I can buy an Air Asia ticket for tomorrow to head back home?”  She followed suit, along with me paying for my hotel and that was the end.  My what was suppose to be three day trip to the ultra-gorgeous island named Maldives was coming to a horrific stop in just 24 hours –  all because I couldn’t get Maldivian currency with my Thai Baht or USD.

After buying and sorting everything out, I sat seaside watching kids run around and play; jet skis flying at high-speeds in the distance, wonderful people swimming out to a platform 50 meters off the shore so they can run around on the platform.  Myself? Wound on my leg that was continuing to fester, developing into something much scarier, drowned in my sorrows while putting my hands atop my head thinking, “why me?”  All I wanted to do was come here and have an incredible holiday.

The Turning Point

A Bangladeshi gentleman who works at the front desk invited me for dinner…on him.  It was 7pm and I fell asleep because I wasn’t hungry.  I was in REM when I heard some door knocks and a man speaking outside.  I knew it was him, so I jumped out of bed, opened the door and he was heading downstairs saying, “don’t worry, food and everything is paid for.”

I said, “huh?”

He said, “we’re taking care of you. Come downstairs.”

I said, “man, I’m just going to get some sleep.”

He insisted, “come downstairs.”

And so I did.  I went outside and there was the woman who I first shook hands with at the airport.  The events that followed are events that I’ll be telling for the rest of my life.  Podcast down below.

Air Asia To Maldives = Spectacular

Air Asia, you have proved me wrong. What a spectacular flight heading into Male, Maldives. Also, this was the first ever non-stop flight directly from Don Meung International Airport. Normally there are stop overs in either Kuala Lumpur or Colombo, Sri Lanka.  A320-200 are revolutionized aircraft and they do an incredible job flying over water. Now, flying to Malaysia or Singapore is a pain in the ass because of what I call “bad air.”  

Can I add that it was on-time? Ok, maybe 13 minutes between takeoff, but fair enough. Malaysia Airlines was a whopping 2.5 hours later and they just shrugged their shoulders incredulously. Lol. 

Can I also add that I fell into lust? First, women with short-hair strike a nerve. This was the most beautiful Thai girl I’ve ever seen in my life: flight attendant. Yikes! Tomoko of Singapore Airlines is still in my heart from four years ago, but this particular flight attendant got my attention. Furthermore, this was the first flight I’ve ever seen a flight manager wearing an off-color compared to the rest of the attendants. She was wearing black and everyone else was wearing red. Interesting.

Food – the best airline food I’ve ever had on any plan in 11 years – period. Penang pork, fried egg and steamed rice never tasted so good before in my life. On top of that, how’s it better than some 5-star Airlines food?

Anyways, I’m actually writing this on the plane and it’s going to post immediately after getting wifi. So, it’s a relatively short blog; however, those who are looking for an easy, cheap, quick flight to one of the most gorgeous islands on the planet from Bangkok – Air Asia. 

Done!

Would You Take A Million Dollars For What You Have?

There was a man a long time ago who was walking in his loathe; completely destroyed and disinterested in life because his family-owned shop completely failed.  He was on his way to the bank to see if he can acquire some money so that he can move to another city to find a “job” until something happened in the middle of the street that changed his life forever.

Back in 1934 there weren’t wheelchairs like there are today.  This man, who had no legs, was trying to make his way across the street with slabs of wood on each side of his body.  Suddenly, both the loather and the wheelchair man locked eyes and the disabled man said, “well, how you doing today, sir? Fine day, isn’t it?”

As this man, who went by the name of Harold Abbott, stood there looking at this man…he realized how rich he was.  He had two legs and he could walk.  He felt ashamed and self-pity.  Later, he made an oath to himself that he would be happy, cheerful, and confident.  Ultimately he went to the bank and doubled up on the money he originally wanted to ask – getting the money in full.  He then moved away and got the job….all because of that incident.

He wrote on the mirror of his home, “I had the blues because I had no shoes. Until upon the street, I met a man who had no feet.”

Why don’t you stop right now and ask yourself: “What in the hell am I worrying about?” In life, about 90% of the things are right and 10% is wrong.  Instead of making that 10% wrong seem like 90%, how about focusing on the 90% that is right?

There are people on the planet today searching for a meal everyday, but you…yes, YOU, have the luxury of reading this particular blog.  This particular sentence.  That’s a luxury in it’s own.  Have you eaten today? Do you have family and reliable friends? Do you have arms, legs, and feet? Then what the hell are you complaining about?

Podcast down below for the stories!

A Sure Way of Making Enemies – & How To Avoid It

“You can tell people they are wrong by a look or an intonation or a gesture just as eloquently as you can in words—and if you tell them they are wrong, do you make them want to agree with you? Never! For you have struck a direct blow at their intelligence, judgment, pride and self-respect. That will make them want to strike back. But it will never make them want to change their minds. You may then hurl at them all the logic of a Plato or an Immanuel Kant, but you will not alter their opinions, for you have hurt their feelings.” – Dale Carnegie

Does this ring a bell with anyone? Has anyone ever tried proving someone wrong to get a reaction, only to hurt yourself more while going back and forth? Trying to make someone feel bad about they said actually makes you look like a douche.

If you’re going to prove anything, do it in a subtle way.  A way that you’re not trying to make them feel bad, but just go with the flow.  There are a lot of different ways to doing this.

Example,  there was a man by the name of R. V. Crowley, who was a salesman for a lumber company in New York. Crowley admitted that he had been telling lumber inspectors for years that they were wrong. And he had won the arguments, too. But it hadn’t done any good. “For these lumber inspectors,” said Mr. Crowley, “are like baseball umpires. Once they make a decision, they never change it.”

So, one morning these inspectors called him, hot and bothered, by what was happening and their lumber yard.  When R.V. Crowley went down to the yard to inspect everything, he found an agent and a friend standing there, breathing heavily, ready to FIGHT.

When Crowley was taken to the yard and the inspector started showing him the lumber, he realized that the inspector was experienced only in hard wood, but not white pine.  However, did Crowley offer any objections during the entire process? No.  He just kept on watching and gradually began to ask questions as to why certain pieces were not satisfactory.  He didn’t insinuate at all that the inspector was wrong.

By asking in a very friendly and cooperative spirit, there’s not a chance in the world the inspector would not only get mad, but jump all over Crowley for the grades of the pine being different.

Gradually his whole attitude changed. He finally admitted to me that he was not experienced on white pine and began to ask Crowley questions about each piece as it came out of the car. He would explain why such a piece came within the grade specified, but kept on insisting that his company did not want him to take it if it was unsuitable for their purpose. He finally got to the point where he felt guilty every time he put a piece in the rejected pile. And at last he saw that the mistake was on their part for not having specified as good a grade as they needed.

The ultimate outcome was that he went through the entire carload again after Crowley left, accepted the whole lot, and Crowley’s company received a check in full.
In that one instance alone, a little tact, and the determination to refrain from telling the other man he was wrong, saved his company a substantial amount of cash.