The Ramble of Positivity: Episode 033 – Third Travel of The Year is Here!

I think what I might enjoy most, which is actually quite bad, is coming back into the country and shoving my visa in the faces of the dogs that want to keep me out of the country. LOL. It’s not only me, but horrific immigration laws have gotten far worse and they’re trying to kick out most foreigners, rather than bringing them in (which is the only way you can get better as an economy. Nonetheless, this is my third travel of the year. It’s still a bit head-scratching that I was able to do six massive trips last year and still save quite a bit of money. There were some crazy setbacks this year, and a 3-5 month, low-salary giving job really took a toll.

So, I took the bull by the horns. I told myself that I need to create my own assets. I need to create my own finances and not rely on a stereotypical, full-time job to give me ANYTHING. The salary they pay me, is in fact, criminal for who I am. Why do I stay? They give me a work permit…which is the only document that will allow me to stay here longer. This is good for the time being. It provides me not only with a sense of security, but the ability to flinch and look at officials in the wrongest ways (haha).

All negativity aside, I’m now full dependent. I make my schedule. I cancel classes, and now I’m starting to make residual income from all corners. Yes, one, if not two, have possibly come and gone, but it’s all about having multiple sources to protect yourself.

When I went to Malaysia, my salary was sound. Stayed at the Renaissance Hotel and all was well, but during that time, I had to spend 300 USD on my flu. When I spent 25000 baht (equivalent to 800 USD) on my trip to Singapore, I got hit with an exact bill for my visa. And remember, this was during the months that I was receiving next-to-NO-MONEY from my full-time job, covering just overhead expenses. I stopped relying on one woman, and I began creating a number of relationships. I made 4-5 private students, on top of doing big workshops, talks, and more workshops. I’m no longer going to put all my eggs into one basket, and that’s I’m truly grateful for.

Now on the cusp of going on a super cheap trip to a gorgeous country that I adore to do activities that I never thought about doing, TOAST TO IT!

Activities

Trekking, seeing clouds that are super low, gorgeous scenery, white-water rafting, and much more. This trip has my salivating already. Three solid days to document a glorious trip and now I’m beyond elated.

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.

The Ramble of Positivity: Episode 031 – Singapore, I’m COMING!

Excited, jubilated, in harmony, bliss, serenity. Baby, I’m going to Singapore. Cathay Pacific right into the new Terminal 4 which houses that new magnificent Jewel? Oh, I’m definitely NOT complaining.

Excited, jubilated, in harmony, bliss, serenity. Baby, I’m going to Singapore. Cathay Pacific right into the new Terminal 4 which houses that new magnificent Jewel? Oh, I’m definitely NOT complaining.

Land, catch the magnificent train to my hotel, check in, and have my friend pick me up for some Malay/Singaporean food? CHECK! Friend to meet for drinks after? Aquarium on Saturday?

I’m grateful. I’m excited. This is my first “real” holiday since last August. I had Laos in November of last year, topping off the most FORGETTABLE trip of the last 10 years. Malaysia, which was just below average, continued the soar trend.

So I’m going to buck this trend by heading to my favorite country in Southeast Asia.

Heavy Breathing In The Morning

Anytime I go to the airport, I always think worse case scenario, which is probably not a good thing to entertain in terms of having a though. After getting on an always-crowded-skytrain (in the morning — rush hour), I got to the airport link, had my ticket at hand already and got to the airport.

I followed a couple of students up the escalators before finally reaching Cathay Pacific. The guy at the counter looked new, and Chinese. not that the nationality mattered, but there was a guy overseeing what he was doing and of course, he kinda didn’t know what he was doing. After 4 minutes and without any questions, I received my ticket, went through an always-easy security check, and then to passport control.

This is the place I dread because the could be nasty….however, out of all the times I ever left this country, it was one foolish, old, racist lady that put her glasses on and went through my pages before I started laughing at her bigotry. New passport and guy? 1 minute, stamp, done. EASY!

So, all the heavy breathing, again, for NOTHING.

Going into the airport…some questions may come, but last time I came, there weren’t any. If they ask (and they don’t do so often), it’s because I write something ridiculous on my paper that raises a question. So, now I’m sitting here at the airport and waiting for my departure to an ultra-efficient country!

Podcast

Fun & Hobbies: Goals for 2019!

Here we go! This is the first of the 8-part series that I’m launching in conjunction with what I did towards the end of last year.  I’m super excited with what’s happening and what has already happened, but I first need to go back to the beginning of the year and see what I said back in my previous blog post (one year ago).

What I said at the end of last year….

For Sures 

  1. Indonesia
  2. Malaysia (possibly this month
  3. Kazakhstan + Kyrgyzstan

Potentials

  1. Australia (high chance)
  2. Hong Kong
  3. Taiwan
  4. Morocco (Tedx)

On-The-Ropes

  1. American Samoa
  2. Japan

Well, i got to Hong Kong, but not sure why I thought about going to Japan.  Australia was a high chance, but then with the visa problems and having to leave all the time this year, everything was completely destroyed.

  • Malaysia
  • Singapore
  • Laos
  • Malaysia
  • Hong Kong
  • Singapore
  • Laos

To be honest, 7 countries in a year was phenomenal.  However, were these real holidays? No.  Aside from the forgettable Hong Kong trip, Malaysia (both times) were the only legitimate holidays.  Singapore was fun both times, but I still didn’t venture out and do activities like I wanted to.  Was it because of budget problems? No, I simply didn’t want to treat it like a holiday at that time.  I was scared because I wasn’t sure where my income was coming from when I got back.

Now with 2019 on the horizon, I know not to overshoot what I plan on doing.

One of my goals, that coordinates with my career, is making more money in less time, and I’m establishing that at this moment in my life.  Building the connections and having big bankers all around Bangkok, on top of ex-teachers getting in contact with me in regards to big money work, will be game-changing.

I want to really dedicate more time to me. I’m sick of working past 6pm at a regular job, unless I’m getting paid over 100$ an hour to do so.  I don’t want to work long hours on weekend anymore, only to make a wage I’ve been making the last three years ON THE SAME WEEKEND.  I would much rather focus on my projects and FUN TIME.

New Activities? No Way! Spartans!

Aside from going to the zoo in Melbourne, Australia in late February (very close to booking this trip) and a few other things, Spartan races are still my fun and hobbies, although related to health.  Yes, I would love to do whitewater rafting and still go snowboarding in the snowfields of Hokkaido, but right now, that’s a bit on hold.  Mongolia/Egypt is surely on board.  I would like to take 2-3 massive trips this year and of course, my inaugural mini trips to Singapore, Malaysia, and the small resort island Bali, which is in Indonesia.

Listen to “Fun & Hobbies: Goals for 2019!” on Spreaker.

Last Trip of The Year: Vientiane, Laos — AGAIN! End of The Month!

Ok, so that’s Malaysia twice, Singapore twice, Laos twice, and Hong Kong.

DAMN!

Now, I won’t go so far to say that I’ve traveled to these places for all the reasons, but out of the exception of my Malaysian trips (awesome holiday and Spartan Race), these have been for visa runs.

However, this one coming up right now will be for a better visa run, requiring me to stay for two nights and finally make a mash-up of YouTube videos to show you what the capital of this gorgeous country looks like.  Soooooooo…elated about that.

Let us just take a moment right now and appreciate the madness I’ve been through this year.  The jobs, which were a bunch of dead end promises, have made me go outside these borders seven times this year — a record.  Now, I’m unbelievably grateful for traveling to these wonderful countries, but they weren’t legitimate holidays which are absolutely looming large in the New Year.

Nonetheless, from the scattered forests of Seminyih, Malaysia, a place I could’ve potentially died because there was zero transportation; to stepping outside singapore for the first time and seeing just a snippet of what I saw (compared to my last trip there); and also going to Hong Kong — a very questionable trip (this was the trip I’ve scratched my head about a lot….ha!).  What a magnificent and fulfilling year I’ve had, and I’m going to top it off by finally enjoying a place I can eat my wonderful banana pancakes at.

Traveling Goals for the New Years?

Yikes, after being challenged by my best friend (COME ON! DO A BEAST WITH ME AT TRI STATE!) to do a Spartan race in New York, to a toss up between Japan/Egypt (I really need a change of scenery and need to get out of Asian culture).  When I finally do these trips, they’ll be legitimate because I will no longer have to leave the country and come back on a short notice, just to get a refreshed 30-day visa (complications of requirements in this country is ______________<—-fill in the blank).  I won’t jinx anything yet, but with what’s happening in my personal development career and ESL life, we’ve got historical trips looming large!

Podcast

 

Traveling Pod: Episode 10 + Vlog – Marina Bay Sands & More

The amount of nervousness that had come over me en route to the airport was insane.  When I checked my feelings to see what I was worried about, it’s always about passport control.

When I landed at Hong Kong International Airport, I was walking before being accosted by an immigration officer, asking me where I was going and other “interrogation” type questions before letting me walk off.  I giggled saying, “boy, how did the image of blacks become this bad?”  When I was clearing immigration, an officer tried persuading me to say “are you with this guy with the fake passport?”  I continued to laugh and say, “wtf, no.  american passport holder here.”

Shortly after getting my luggage, another two officers approached me, asked me where I was from, and put ONLY MY LUGGAGE AND NONE OF THE OTHER HUNDREDS through the x-ray.

Just disgusting.  Now you can see that “traveling in Asia while black” is UNBELIEVABLY DIFFICULT and not even worth it (last time ever stepping on any kind of Chinese soil).

So, this is probably what piled on top of my nervousness.  From checking into the counter (horrible experience with yet again — Air Asia a few months back), security (never a problem in Thailand…amazingly), and then passport control (a lady at Don Meung looked through all of my pages the last time I was at Don Meung International).

So, to stop this from happening, if you’re a color of any kind, NEVER TRAVEL TO DON MEUNG INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT! Avoid at all costs.

Why?

Well the main airport (Suvanabhumi — and I butchered the spelling) has never given me problems.  Coming back is a different story, because they sometimes ask legitimate questions, but that’s about it.

So, with all that nervousness and a 3-tier process, I cleared immigration perfectly with no problem.  BOOM!

Scoot – Delays & Horrible Turbulence

I’m writing this on the airplane, and my goodness, this is why I take big planes.

Sure, the airplane geeks will come out and say “it doesn’t matter.”  Yes, it does.  Cathay Pacific had an ultra-gorgeous airbus.  We took off in bad weather and it was still smooth sailing.  Smaller planes bear the brut of hell.  Honolulu-Maui, Kuala Lumpur-Bangkok,  Bangkok-Phuket…..all were tiny and pathetic.  LOL (had to laugh).

Anywho, Scoot had the most preposterous delays (I’ll speak about it in the podcast).  Nothing else to say there.  This will be my last time with Scoot though.

The Return

Wonderful airport, amazing transport system, easy check-in, and just wonderful all around. YouTube and podcast down below!

Listen to “Traveling Pod: Episode 10 – Marina Bay, Environment and More!” on Spreaker.

 

Traveling Pod: Episode 9 – Singapore for The 6th!

Here we go! The 6th country of the year.  Boy, what the hell is going on.  To be honest, I’m in a transition phase right now with work, and have been seen the dawn of the New Year.

Because this phrase has been ongoing, it requires me to leave the country often because of visa complications.  However, now that I have a reputable agency working on my visa and documents, when I come back that following week, I’ll be getting my one year visa and I won’t have to travel for the rest of the year (I think 6 times is enough).

So, why Singapore again, Arsenio? My happy ass got excited with jumping over a pond to Hong Kong and ended up having the most FORGETTABLE trip of my life.  Hong Kong is everything I didn’t WANT it to be, from the stereotypical immigration officers, to a wack ass hotel.  Sure, I met a nice individual there, but it was still….BLAH.

Should I go to Cambodia? Terrified.

Singapore is a safe trip and allows me to go to the main airport in Bangkok, (versus the dog house called Don Meung).  The main airport is connected with transportation that goes all the way to my condominium. I like my chances.

Singapore is going to be a trip of ME! Last time I went there I saw one of my ex-students, and now that she has grown up and forgot about her teacher (happens with youngsters, lol), I’ll go there to enjoy time by MYSELF and Vlog at the amazing Marina Bay Sands, a hotel I’ve always dreamed of seeing.

Now with having the ability to get outside the hotel and the area I’m living in, this could be a much more enjoyable trip compared to the last one.

Stay tuned for a variety of vlogs, instagram videos and other things that will be making their way here! Oh, and of course, a Ramble of Positivity!

The Big 1,000k! Thank You, Everyone!

Man, it’s been a long wait, but after this month, I’ve finally hit the 1,000 visitors mark on my website.  The majority of bloggers on here (and they shouldn’t deem themselves as just a blogger) go after the likes.  However, I rarely get likes on my post; in fact, I get people to get into my website and check out all my videos and stuff.

Yes, premium the premium and business plan are especially expensive, but once you’re able to put plugins from your podcast, Youtube, Paypal, PDF and other things on your website, it’s gold.

While I was looking at the analytics, the majority of my blogs (especially the “remember, no one ever kicks a dead dog”) have skyrocketed in the viewership category.  Also, the outside clicks, search link box, and other sources that people are finding my blog on….have gone up considerably over the past few months.

Just at the beginning of this year, I had maybe 500 views and 300 viewers.  I’m now at 2k views and 1k visitors.  You already know what my goal is…and I’ll keep that coming.

With that being said, I’m so grateful for all of you who have come onto my website.  Remember, don’t think short-term economics; think long-term impact.  Write on and continue looking for ways to grow!

Hong Kong Airport Review

Airport Link = Arrival Hall

Well, my first experience coming to Hong Kong Airport was forgettable, but this experience was stellar.

When I got off the train, I literally walked 15 meters and I was greeted by an open-air arrivals terminal.  I thought it was spectacular to connect the train and even passenger drop-off (vehicles) directly to the arrival hall.  There were literally buses and vehicles just above the train, which is unbelievably efficient.  Not to mention that I got to the airport taking two trains across four islands in 30 minutes.  HK has the most efficient train system (that I’ve personally been in) in the world.

In Bangkok, check-in would have about 3 people.  With lines of 75 people, there would still be only 3 check-in queues, which is repulsive.  However, Cathay Pacific and HK Airport had 12…speeding up the lines and never being a problem.

Immigration

After going to Malaysia and being in line for 45 minutes, I realized how pathetic it was.  Hey, Los Angeles Airport, for visitors outside of America, is an absolute DISASTER! The lines are sickening! However, for American citizens, it’s a breeze.

Well, HK Airport was also a breeze.  The lines for “visitors” was a bit long, but only about 10 minutes.  When I came here, they didn’t have 2 officers per 75 people like KL Airport has.  They had 12-15 officers…speeding up lines considerably.

So real big props to immigration in HK!

Hot Place To Eat – Beef & liberty

Hands down, the best place I’ve ever eaten at since the taco house at San Francisco Airport.  Delicious beef burger (but without the fries) and a freshly squeezed juice.  This was just after immigration (on the same level).  I was a bit worried, because the worst experienced I ever had was at Vientiane Airport.  Luckily I had eaten at a family-owned soup shop before heading to the airport because there wasn’t a single eatery inside the airport.  Always do a little research before checking in.  At Bangkok Airport, I always get the usual pepperoni pizza (ridiculously delicious) at Dean and Deluca.  That’s another must have.  If you’re not a meat eater, these shops have a great variety of vege dishes.

FYI – If you go there, make sure you get someone who’s “non” foreign.  Apparently the foreign waiters and waitresses have terrible attitudes. LOL

Scenery

As I sit here, I’m looking at clouds blanketing the gorgeous green hills that are off at a very-close distance.  Skyscrapers, and I mean a many of them, are just before the mountains, some of them even on the mountains.  Cathay Pacific jets are coming in and out of the gates with yet again, a very efficient ground-working crew at the bottom.  This restaurant, which has a spectacular view, has great jazz music playing and wonderful decor.  What fascinated me the most was the girl who was sitting across from me.  She’s absolutely American (with a Chinese heritage) because she didn’t pull out her phone once and had only a book.  I miss those days.  Just to the left of me is a businessman making a powerpoint and another guy on his phone.

All in all, this is my second favorite airport.  I still think Bangkok Airport is quick with checking in, security and immigration (at times).  However, there’s a massive separation between 3 and 2/ 2 and 1 — 1 being Singapore Airport.

Nonetheless, I’m so grateful for having gone on this trip and I hope you guys enjoyed all the content I put out.  What’s next? Not exactly sure.  Have to handle some documents and get a new visa, and if I do, I might take some time off until October/November.

Traveling Pod #8: Esther Inspiration, Chinese Food, CBD, Mid-Level Escalators & The End + YouTube Video

Here I was before my travel vlog sitting in my hotel when I met a girl named Esther.  Esther is a teacher who wants to become so many other things, and hearing what she had gone through was utterly heart-breaking.  From physical abuse, to verbal abuse at a French school.  So many different things have happened in her life for years — and most of them bad.  However, the brilliance of this young individual and the ability to still be grateful — is amazing.  In the wake of so much that has happened in my life, and not trying to compare my life with hers, but how could I complain about the things I’ve been through when others are enduring in so much more pain and anguish.

When the evening rolled around, I met up with her and we had an absolute blast.  I had my first Hong Kong dish, and it was pretty good (although I prefer spicy because I just love Thai food so much now).  I noticed that the way people talk to each other is amazing. LOL! They scream and look angry all the time.  Well, not scream…those are the native Chinese, but even hearing some of Esther’s stories about the dispute because the two countries, was saddening. The way Chinese people are treated here is deplorable; and the way Hong Kong people are treated in China is worse.  Why can’t we just get along?!

After the restaurant, something caught my attention while walking.  There was this open area situated between gorgeous buildings, so I pointed to that area before walking there.  There it was!

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Here I stood in awe.  It felt like Sydney, Australia all over again, but with an insane amount of humidity.  This vibe and the energy that was in this square was something I’ve never felt before; and at the moment, I said, “oh boy, I hope Hong Kong isn’t growing on me!” Ha!

Mid-Town Escalators

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I’ve always wanted to see these things.  Because Hong Kong is a vertical city in its own right, they make it easier for people to get up hills (rather than going up the traditionally and stupendously hard way) by building escalators all around the Mid-Level area.  These escalators were rows of three, and apparently there are much more stretching all around the city.

Colonial Square

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Now, you guys already know how I’m not so particularly fond with the British (mainly because they’re deemed as gods in Asia for whatever reason), but this colonial (what looks like French to me) square at the top of the escalators, was amazing.  Groups of three sitting down and laughing, people doing their hair, taking pictures, and of course, it’s never a square without seeing a foreigner with his two children, frowned out of this world and angry….sitting down. LOL!

In that moment, everyone was enjoying but he wasn’t.  People simply miss out on life so much and it’s a damn shame.

We walked through some of buildings and found a quaint cafe situated just on the left side of where the picture was taken.  Filipino girl with top-notch service got us some drinks, and then I saw a guy who looked like an islander.  After having an amazing conversation, I wanted to ask him if he was Samoan.  First, I asked him where he was from.  He said the Philippines.  I said, “hmmm, big and with that hair?” He then went onto say, without me even asking him, “my father is half-Samoan.”

BOOM! I win!

All in all, I was walking home and captured one final photo before doing a podcast interview with an ecommerce entrepreneur.  That was the end of Day 2. Day 3 was just a relaxation day + the harbor.  The trip is officially over, unfortunately. So many more to come though!

Podcast

 

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