Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 3 – Episode 20 – Speaking Skill – Speak About A Journey

So, this will sound a bit similar to IELTS speaking task 2, but it’s not going to be academic, just a very laid back story-telling time.  This is great for non-NES speakers in order to tell a story about where they have traveled with someone else. If you’re taking a class, this is even better to give a presentation about.  So, because I have so many crazy a$$ stories that I’ve told before in regards to going to Bali, Maldives and other places, I decided to tell a story about my Hawaiian trip with a college buddy back in 2013…and what a trip this was!


  1. Where was the journey to?
  2. How did you travel?
  3. When was it?
  4. Who went?
  5. Who had chosen the destination?
  6. How had you prepared for the journey?
  7. What special thing(s) happened on the journey?
  8. What were you doing when these things happened?
  9. How did the journey end?
  10. How did you feel about what happened?


I set off on this journey on a Thursday evening (if I’m no mistaken). I met a friend in Phoenix, Arizona and we went to Buffalo Wild wings the night before, got two hours of sleep, then left her home around 4am.  We made our way to Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix, and there was the ticketer, talking about Nemo and looking like he had about 10,000 grams of caffeine.  We waited for our plane to take off, a very small one at that, and we needed to get to LAX to transfer planes.

Because LAX, at the time, was the biggest eyesore in all of America, it proved just that.  we landed and we couldn’t disembark the plane for at least 30 minutes, reducing our layover time to a mere 15 minutes.  We ran about 800 meters to the next gate, arrived there gasping for air, and the two workers pointed at us and said, “Arsenio, Alissa…on the plane now.” As soon as we entered, the door was shut and that was the end.  We nearly missed our plane because America….is America. Lol.

After arriving and surprisingly getting our luggage (thought our luggage wouldn’t make it), we got on Speedi shuttle and made way to Pagoda Hotel, the cheapest and ugliest hotel on the island (lol).  We went to Waikiki the first day, dragging ourselves there because the lack of the sleep we had, and we ended up going into a coma around 6-7pm and woke up 12 hours later.  When I woke up, I went running around the island to get the feel of the air.  If I can recall, we did a couple of things before going on a snorkeling trip to Hanuama Bay (probably misspelled it, but can’t be bothered with correcting it). This crazy Vietnamese driver gave us our snorkeling gear and we went into the bay, which was magnificently beautiful and lavished with turquoise waters and ultra-gorgeous fish.  After our long day there, we did a couple of others things before going out at night.

The night time came and we walked into — let’s just say — the wrong bar.  I was playing pool with three women, Joy, who ended up becoming a great friend of mine to this day — and Alissa.  I realized that men were hitting on me, so I quickly asked Joy if it was THAT TYPE OF BAR…she said “ughhh yeah!” I ran down the stairs and went home with Alissa, completely inebriated and woke up feeling like pure hell.

That morning I wanted to cancel all activities (rent-a-car and go around the island), but Alissa was adamant and aggressive with getting the car.  So, we hopped in a taxi, and I quickly got car sick and complained the entire way there.  We got out, walked into the car dealership, and there I saw an African American male wearing a fat rock on his finger.  He was a wide receiver for the University of Hawaii, and after glancing at me when I walked in the door, he knew I had a rough night.

Soon after that, Alissa and I began driving around the island and I got sick — AGAIN! I told her to pullover a many of times and we started to argue because she said she didn’t want to pull over anymore.  LOL. We went to the pineapple plantation, Aulani Disney Resort, Turtle Beach, and a few other places — all spectacular beyond belief.

The day before we left, it was pretty relaxing and we met up with Joy again that evening.  It was a little head-scratching because three men approached our table and act as if they knew my friends, but they didn’t. We call these people “pick-up” artists….such a cringing couple of hours.  Japanese tourists were everywhere and tried smooching on a friend…and I just laughed the night away.

That next day we had to check out the hotel early but our flight left at 9pm.  We sat in the lobby for some time, but we also went to the movies.  Nonetheless, it was a journey back (and we had to land in DRAB SALT LAKE CITY) before I went to Arizona, and back to Vegas.  That was the last time I had seen Alissa for four years (my adventure back last year), but it was the most memorable journey of my life.


Transcription ESL Podcast #20


Interviewee #19: Best-Selling Author Tiffany Okafor & Shifting The Mindsets of Millennials

Tiffany Okafor is a best-selling author, inspirational speaker and mindset mentor based in Los Angeles, CA. As a speaker and mindset mentor, she takes a no-nonsense approach to helping millennials shift their mindsets so that they can lead happier and more peaceful lives. Her best-selling book, BITCHY, provides an even deeper insight into the techniques she believes will allow us all to dive deeper in love with ourselves and achieve success in all areas. BITCHY is currently available on Amazon:

Get in touch with Tiffany Okafor from California, Los Angeles

– Mindset Coach.



Things we discussed:

  • Introduction of Tiffany and what she do?
  • When did Tiffany start on personal development?
  • What Millennials are battling now?
  • Journaling is a way to write your thoughts to understand who you really are.
  • What about fear? What really makes Millennials fearful?
  • How can Millennials overcome fear?
  • How to be yourself (b*tch)?
  • Being a b*tch is all about being honest.
  • When did you develop self-awareness? How did it happen?
  • How do you apply the Law of Attraction?
  • You have the power to control your sanity.
  • What is your morning routine like?
  • What are some personal development books for easy reading that you will recommend to potential readers?
  • You need to confront your past and be forgiving.
  • What is Tiffany’s biggest failure.
  • Stop focusing on negative energy; the power of perception.
  • What is the ultimate purpose of Tiffany Okafor to the world?
  • Connecting with Tiffany Okafor.


Thank you for listening!


Thank you so much for joining me for this podcast. Please do write down some feedbacks and comments. Please do share this podcast to your social media.




Preventing Lost Luggage

There are plenty of nuisances while traveling.  Just recently I experienced a brain-fart delay of 2.5 hours.  Why? Malaysia Airlines has a culture of being late.  On top of that, I was late again coming back to Thailand.

If we talk about other annoyances, lost luggage could be the absolute worse one.  Sitting here typing this and still sweating from the problem I had 11 years ago with Southwest Airlines torments me in my dreams.  Well, not really….I got my luggage back after five days.

Now, how can you prevent the silliest things from happening? Can I say fly Emirates from New York to Los Angeles? Absolutely not…because Emirates doesn’t fly domestically in America.  It’s all about doing research on the airline.  Southwest Airlines apparently is the most notorious for lost luggage with a whopping 400,000 complaints having been filed in the last calendar year.  Which is the best domestic Airline in America? Apparently United.  UNITED! Is it worth the risk? Nah, I won’t be evil.

Personally, I can go on with stories, but out of all the years I’ve flown, my luggage, going from Las Vegas to Phoenix, was lost for five days.  Apparently it went to Chicago.  That feeling of being at the conveyor belt and it suddenly stopping…I knew I was in it, and not to win it, either.

Since that happened, every time I go to the conveyor belt, I sway from side-to-side biting my knuckles.  Shame on you, Southwest!  Flying internationally and losing your luggage along the way could be the worst feeling ever, but it’s never happened to me before.  So, let me just give you some simple steps.

  1. DON’T FLY! Ship it!

I’m kidding.

2. Identification for your bag! Yes, it could be a microchip or just filling out the basic information in the side panel of your luggage.  For example, I bought a wonderful bag tag and strapped it up to my luggage with my name, email address, and international phone number.  If my luggage disappears, they just have to email me and that’s the end of it.  Look how easy THAT IS!

3.  Double-check the check-in counter.  That’s right, I wait until they print my ticket to see if it has the correct arrival destination acronym on it.  If I’m going to Thailand, I better see BKK.  Since doing this, I never lost my luggage again and I’ve never even seen a misprint.  Please, it doesn’t hurt to look on the belt and see her strap it on…securely.

Podcast if you want the audio version and the funny stories…….


4. Take photos! It’s not that difficult.  When you’re done packing, take a photo of the size, width, and everything dimensional about the luggage so you can send them an email of what it looks like.

5.  Get a FREAKISHLY ugly color.  No one gives a damn about what color suitcase you have; and if they do, it’s none of your damn business – quite frankly.  I have……an off brown Bonny luggage and a gorgeous chocolate brown with lime green stripes type of luggage for my dispersion.  Yes, they’re way different from the standard and ridiculous black one you see coming out one-by-one.  Get a “viva Las Vegas” luggage.  Hell, I recently saw a shocking yellow – National Geographic one.  Stand out from the rest so no one dares to put hands on yours.

6. Check-in right when the gate opens and avoid short layovers.  These hilarious stories are on my podcast….so tune in, damnit!

Get ready for handful of blogs and podcasts coming soon from my Maldives trip!

Travel Is Finished – My Review of Singapore Airlines, LA, Mesa & Sedona, Arizona.

Ahhhh, this American trip has come to an end.  The great thing about this is it’s not like my past life where I had to force myself to go from Australia….back to America and feel miserable.  No.  Times have changed.  I’m literally going back with two big projects on my hand and loads of other opportunities.  This is one of the biggest stepping stones for me because I don’t feel a bit of sadness whatsoever.  What I took away the most from this trip was just being around Americans.  Hearing the “hello” and “thank you” was literally music to my ears.  Time to cover some of the highlights of this trip.

Singapore Airlines Regressing?

Other than my last flight from Tokyo to Los Angeles, it seems like service on Singapore Airlines is slowly regressing….or maybe they’re just getting on the level of every other airline in the world.  From the crazy angry flight attendants on my first flight from BKK-SIN, to the disappearing act and “male nodders” (asked him a question and he kept shaking his head up and down without saying a word) on the second flight.  Going forward, I might still take Singapore to the neighboring countries of ASEAN, but I’d much rather check out Qantas, Fiji Airways and a couple of others.  I will say that I don’t have problems with the passengers, though.  That seems to be the biggest problem with flying on particular airlines.

No Japanese Food On Flights

My first day on American soil was the worst. EVER.  Having got the worst food poisoning of my life, I was literally by the toilet for the first 8 hours of the day at my friend’s home in Beverly Hills.  What a disaster! The next day I was beyond weak trying to make my way through LAX, but upon landing at Sky Harbour International Airport and devouring some Chipotle, I was ready.  Not necessarily ready for Tough Mudder, but ready.

Get Out & Life = Movies of the Year!

Get Out was just simply amazing and never, from a vantage point, has there been a character in a movie who’s actually an “audience response” character.  Just remarkable all around.  Ending could’ve been better.

Life makes you think just how dangerous it could be to find life.  Here I am thrilled knowing NASA finds habitual planets throughout the universe yearly (which almost seems like monthly); however, now I’m very apprehensive.  Stunning movie and depressing as hell to say the very least.

Tough Mudder

I didn’t work out for the last four days, no pre-workout….just oatmeal and motivational videos on YouTube before my Tough Mudder.  The first mile was all jitters, but when you meet another samaritan on the course….boy! Does it go FAST! Especially if they’re gorgeous German women.  That was an awesome experience that left me sore as hell….in a good way.

Sedona, Arizona = Not The Same

Sure, a lot of you would much rather travel to Sedona in wintry weather (as I did the first time), but this time was different.  The vibe was off.  I wasn’t that excited and it probably revolves around not making prior arrangements.  DOH!

On top of that, we almost got extorted for a half a grand, but we did manage to climb a wondrous mountain and meet wholehearted people along the way.  Massive shout out to the Italian (family owned) pizza parlour heading outside the town.  Best pizza I’ve ever had in my life.

The Takeaway

The people.  Man, oh man….I’ve missed Americans.  I’ve missed strangers smiling, talking, and the use of basic social etiquette.  Yeah, you might think I’m crazy, but now you have a thorough idea of life in Thailand.  Also, there weren’t any dirty looks (except Globe, which is my friend’s hometown) which are very apparent in Thailand. I think this trip in general has made me become a much more grateful being in general.  Knowing that there are lots of people, including in my native country, who don’t care about skin color.  That’s one of the most wonderful feelings ever.  Going back to Thailand now….I’m just going to completely ignore the nonsense.  The white is better than black endless conversations and playing victimhood.  No more chemical reactions.  I now know my true self-worth, and man, is it amazing!


Do’s & Don’ts Suvarnabhumi Airport (Bangkok)

Seeing how terrible the weather was today, and with the peak traffic in the heart of the evening, I decided I needed to write something to alert travellers going or coming from Bangkok Airport.

Skytrain & Airport Link = BEST FRIEND

During weather inclement, traffic jams could last anywhere from 30 minutes to 8 hours.  Pertaining to today, I hesitated taking an elevated tollway into the city for a mere $3 USD; consequently, the storm came and the traffic got slammed.  Fortunately, for me, it was only 25 minutes docked off, which ultimately took away from my wonderful Mexican dinner at Siam Paragon (damnit!).  It’s better safe than sorry.  The Airport Link right into Bangkok Airport is just perfect and you don’t have to fight off those pesky drivers for deliberately making those non-stop, righthand turns.  The Sky Train, in the heart of the City, and Link to the airport runs on schedule and they don’t try overcharging you.  Period.

Lines Could Get Ridiculous

Is Thailand the most horrific airport in the world? (LAX….debatable for those who have traveled to King Abdulaziz in Saudi)…not necessarily.  However, I will admit that in the evening (those peak hours) there are a lot of clowns who don’t properly prepare paperwork and stuff up the lines.  Stand in your lines within 30 minutes before the 3 hour grace mark so you can be ensured you check-in exactly at the 3 hour mark.

Eat Before The Airport

This is just common sense, but a lot of people lack just that.  Again, referring to the peak hours…there won’t be any seats at restaurants and the problem is…all restaurants are before security and passport control.  After that, you got a bunch of candy and whiskey, and the last thing you want to do is get jacked up on sugar and whiskey before a flight.  Having something at your hotel or en route to the Airport Link (Phaya Thai Station has a lot of restaurants nearby) is your best bet.

The Further You Walk – The Better

This airport is massive, and that means the further you walk, the more services you have.  The early number gates (anything between 1-8 after check-in) are perfection because apparently there aren’t that many people around and you can even sit at a charging station to charge up all your essentials.  On the other hand, if you sit close to the duty free shops, the less likely you get proper customer service and a seat.

It’s Not The Worst – But I Fly Premium Airlines 

For comfortability, safety, and fearful reasons – I fly with Singapore, or at least equivalent.  Since I’m heading to America, I would PAY an extra 200-300$ USD to fly with my own in-flight entertainment compared to the despicable American Airlines, which only have a TV per cabin.  There’s nothing like flying for 12-15 hours, staring at the back of a seat.  Worst.  Decision.  Ever.

Save a couple extra pay checks and try flying Korean Air, Japan Airlines, ANA, Singapore, Emirates or others because America has stopped progressing in the aviation category for almost two decades.

Those are my tips!  Add any if you’d like!