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!

Most Of Life Is On-The-Job Training

Most things in life requires you to learn on-the-job.  If you do something wrong, you get feedback and correct it as you go.  If you don’t do anything because of the fear of doing it wrong, poorly, or badly, you never get any feedback, and therefore you never get to learn or improve.

When Jack Canfield first started his business in Amherst, Massachusetts, he went to a local bank to get a loan.  The first thing the bank asked for was a business plan.  He didn’t even know what that was so he bought a book on how to write a business plan.

He wrote it, took it to the bank, and the bank told him that there were a bunch of holes in his plan.  So, he asked them….they showed him and he went back to rewrite his business plan.  After all of that, the bank said it was good but they wanted to pass.  Instead of quitting, Jack asked about who might like to fund it and so the bank gave him a list of names.

After a while, finally a bank was willing to hone in on the plan and he got the $20k loan needed.

Even when he first wrote the Chicken Soup For The Soul, Jack tried selling his books in bulk to different types of companies and organizations but found that the majority of them would either say, “no thanks” or hang up in his face completely without saying a word.

Was he a little scared of making cold calls?  Yes.  Did he know what he was doing when he started?  No.  He had never tried to sell mass quantities of books to anyone before.  He had to learn as he went.  The most important point is that he just had to get started.  He got into communication with the people he wanted to serve; found out what their dreams, aspirations, and goals were; and explored how his book might help them in achieving their objectives.  Everything unfolded because he was willing to take that risk and jump into the ring.

My first teaching job in Thailand came at the hands of a crazed on-and-off friend who offered me a job but later almost pulled it over a comment that was taken the wrong way.  At the time, I contacted a friend in New York and asked him about what I should do.  The signs she was showing before I had even come here were terrifying, and they were just that; but if I can somehow just get into Thailand and get some experience first, there would be much more opportunities around the corner.

So, I did.  I took the biggest risk coming here.  I took the next biggest risk leaving that school for another one across the sea.  One year later, I took the biggest risk ever by accepting a job through email (no telephone conversations), and met the guy at a McDonalds at the heart of Bangkok before heading north to the most isolated and animosity-filled province in Thailand.  Is this process going to be easy? Absolutely not.  Failure, along with all other obstacles, is part of it.  Take the risk by doing it first and learn along the way….the courage and faith that will manifest within you will blow you away.