In today’s video we’re going to take a tour through the charming mountain city of Da Lat. Located 300km from Saigon, getting to Da Lat is a bit of a journey. It’ll likely take you around 7-8 hours by bus depending on the time you leave (leaving Saigon during rush hour will add some time to your commute).
Flying is quicker, though more expensive. Going by motorbike is also an option and one that’ll offer you amazing countryside and mountain views along the way. I think buses are the best deal for most people.
They’re cheap at just 210,000 Vietnamese Dong each way ($9.25). The buses are also air conditioned and offer fully reclinable chairs that effectively double as beds.
Night buses are really popular as they allow you to sleep, save on a hotel for the night, and start the day early when you arrive the next morning. Regardless of how you get to Da Lat, however, the journey will be well worth it.
There’s lots to see in Da Lat: Ho Xuan Huong Lake, pagodas, waterfalls, the nightmarket, ect. Though small, this city could definitely keep you busy for a few days.
Da Lat is also considered the most romantic city in Vietnam. Many couples go there on their honeymoons, and you’d make any Vietnamese girl light up if you asked her to take a trip to Da Lat with you.
I’d recommend budgeting around 400,000 Vietnamese Dong ($17.60)/night. That’ll get you a very solid room in Da Lat. Some smaller budget rooms are even available for just 200,000 though ($8.80). Luxury resorts will run you from around $50-$150.
Unfortunately, something I didn’t realize before my most recent trip to Da Lat was that hotel prices become very inflated during public holidays. Most places will raise their prices 50%, 100%, or even more! Even with this being the case, the availability of rooms can still be limited during peak weekends.
For that reason, you should book early if you plan to travel to Da Lat during a Vietnamese holiday. Better yet, avoid the crowds and inflated prices by traveling at a different time.
Overall, a trip to Da Lat is a great break from the big city life of Saigon. Although I’d imagine living in Da Lat could get boring, the city does has some interesting tourist attractions and is certainly worth a visit.
Watch the video above to get a better idea of all Da Lat has to offer!
Looking for an authentic Chinese tourist attraction in Ho Chi Minh City? Look no further. The Chợ Lớn Market, surrounding markets, and huge Chinese presence in District 6 make it a great place to visit.
Although I don’t go to District 6 much these days, it’s an interesting place to visit at least once during your time in Ho Chi Minh City. There’s history, authentic local living, and great deals to be had.
Yet, even if you’re not planning to visit Saigon, you’ll still find the video below interesting. It gives you an interesting view into the life of an average local in much of Vietnam. Plus, it’ll also show you just how cheap the markets in South East Asia can be!
Everyone knows that drinking water is important for your health. Drinking lots of water hydrates the body, helps you control the number of calories you consume, assists the kidney in flushing out toxins, yadayadayada. We’ve all heard it before.
Yet, many people still aren’t drinking enough water. Some are so perpetually dehydrated that that they don’t even realize they need to drink more water.
Whether the health benefits of getting enough water haven’t been enough to encourage you to increase your intake, or you simply need a reminder to drink more water, this post is for you.
It doesn’t matter if you’re an entrepreneur, startup founder, independent professional, or digital nomad… you can’t afford to let something as trivial as you water intake limit your ability to produce great work.
Here are the top reasons you need to drink water while working.
#1 Your Brain Will Function Better
Research suggests that reaction times (as well as other brain functions) decrease after you become dehydrated. These decreases are also in proportion to how dehydrated you are.
In other words, you can still produce near your productive peak if you’re only a little dehydrated. On the other hand, fatigue and concentration could become a serious issue when you’re severely dehydrated.
#2 You’ll Make Better Beverage Choices
When you’re dehydrated, you’re going to crave some type of drink. Why not let it be water? Getting your drinks from the coffee shop is problematic because you don’t always know what exactly is in them.
Especially if you’re living abroad, some countries like to add lots of garbage to your drinks. Condensed milk, sugar, yogurt, syrup, and ice cream have a way of finding their way into coffee chop drinks.
Drinking water is an easy alternative. You’ll be healthier, and you’ll also avoid large sugar crashes that’ll leave you feeling sluggish and unable to do your best work.
#3 You’ll Save Money
Are you bootstrapping a startup? Limiting your costs is one of the best ways to extend your runway. Avoiding expensive drinks and simply opting for water is an easy way to save money each day.
$2 on a coffee here and $3 on a smoothie there may not seem like much, but it quickly adds up. You don’t need to be a startup founder to benefit from these cost savings, however.
Employees or freelancers can also benefit from reducing their costs as well. As an employee, limiting your expenses can leave you with more money to invest in educational products, or courses.
Freelancers with low living expenses have the option of freelancing fewer hours, to develop new skills or invest time into building a more long-term scalable business.
#4 You’ll Go to The Bathroom More Often
Drinking more water inevitably means that you’ll have to go to the bathroom more. Many people see this as an inconvenience. It’s not.
Having to go to the bathroom every hour or so can actually turbo charge your productivity because it forces you to change your body’s positioning. Most people sit way too much. Worse yet, they spend their already excessive sitting time seated with poor posture.
What’s the solution? Standing or walking desks are a great option. If your circumstances require you to sit all day, however, periodically standing and moving can be a great way to reduce the negative effects of sitting too much.
Of course, actually disciplining yourself to stretch every hour is difficult. Fortunately, drinking lots of water will force you to stand up and walk to the bathroom every now and then.
These occasional break will help you maintain your body’s posture and structural integrity over time. They’ll also allow you to feel more energetic and focused in the time you do spend working. Water for the win!
While water isn’t going to transform you into the next Mark Zuckerberg over night, your career or business will benefit from you increasing your water intake. With this change being so trivially easy to make, there’s no reason not to claim all the advantages a well hydrated body brings!
Like many young romantics, I always had the belief that I was going to marry the first girl I kissed or the first girl I had sex with. That of course didn’t happen, but why do a lot of young guys want that?
I believe it’s because many men that are inexperienced with women feel they’ve gotten lucky when they finally land a solid girl. When you finally get a girl you believe could be a halfway decent partner it’s easy to cling to here as a guy without much dating experience.
The most common reason being that you’re not confident you’d have the ability to replace her. Or, at least replace her in a reasonable amount of time. Another possibility is that you’re clinging to the (mostly) Hollywood fantasy of high school sweethearts, and you’re willing to stay with an inferior girl just because you believe she’s somehow inherently better for being the first girl to date you.
Finally, you may believe that you’re capable of replacing your girlfriend, but that you just don’t want be single again. That’s understandable. Going out to the bars, or swiping on Tinder, or however you meet girls is fun at first but can get old after a while. It can also be scary, especially for a guy that hasn’t yet been desensitized to the fear of rejection.
All of these reasons to prolong a relationship with a girl lessen over time as you acquire more experience with women. After you’ve been with a handful or perhaps dozen of girls (depending on the guy), you’ll realize that you can get another girl if the first one starts treating you poorly.
You’ll also realize that while you may have a soft spot for the first relationship of your life, you’d much rather have a higher quality girl rather than just the first girl that would tolerate being in a relationship with you.
Of course, these are just the reasons inexperienced guys often stay in a relationship longer than they should. More important, however, is understanding why you shouldn’t do this. That way, you can avoid getting stuck in a relationship that’s not going to make you happy or give you the ability to reach your potential.
Basically, the two reasons getting in a relationship before dating lots of girls is a bad idea are as follows:
You won’t know exactly what you want in a girlfriend.
This is pretty self-explanatory. You need to date a crazy girl to know that while she’s fun, she might not be the best partner to raise your children or support you in building a successful business or career.
Likewise, dating a career-oriented woman may feel too competitive to you. Or, maybe you’ll like always having someone to talk about business with and push you to grow. However, you won’t know exactly what girl is right for you until you’ve sampled a lot of flavors.
The big problem is that everybody tends to fall hard for their first girlfriend. They make her into some perfect butterfly and magically overlook all of her flaws. Unfortunately, overlooking those flaws doesn’t make them go away.
Often your infatuation will hide the fact that while you two are a decent match, you do have fundamental incompatibilities that would prevent you from being together long-term. However, as you get older and have more dating experience you’ll be able to have a more objective experience in evaluating your level of compatibility with a woman.
2. You Won’t Know How to Structure the Relationship
There was a lot of things I did wrong in my first relationship. I wasn’t sexual enough, I was overly frugal, and I allowed myself to become emotionally dependent on the girl a bit too often. I’m better at managing all of those aspects of a relationship now. Likewise, you’ll do lots of things wrong in your first relationship too.
Fortunately, as you gain experience with women, read about evolutionary psychology, and grow older, you’ll gain a much better understanding of woman. You’ll better understand how to relate to them, but also how to structure your relationship with them.
You won’t be scared of losing any specific girl, and for that reason you won’t be afraid to set boundaries with your girl. You won’t let her walk all over you and she’ll love you for that.
While marrying and being together forever with the first girl you kiss or marry is possible, I wouldn’t be too concerned about trying to engineer your life to guarantee that outcome. There’s just too many variables to try to control. Plus, there’s so many advantages to dating 3, 5, 10, or even 20 girls before you choose the one you’re going to be with long-term.
Picture is of the romantic hangout of young couples in Saigon, Turtle Lake. This is my last girl post for a long time. 2015 and 2016 were big dating years for me, and thus my mind is still in a bit of a dating and getting girls space.
Maybe I’ll get back to the girl stuff again one day, but for the coming months I’ll be talking a lot more about travel, personal development, personal branding/social media, and possibly coworking spaces.
Btw, I’m becoming a lot more active on social media these days. Please be sure to follow me on Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. Tweet me @camchardukian on Twitter or send me a DM on Instagram to request new blog posts or just say hi!
Women love powerful men. However, even more than that, women love having power over their man. At least they believe this on a subconscious level. More often, the reality is that a women will begin to resent you once she’s tied your balls in a knot. If a women believes you’re living your life in reaction to her, she’s not going to respect you.
This doesn’t mean you can’t be supportive of your woman and love her. Rather, it simply means that as a man you have to have a mission for yourself. You need to have a direction you’re going and invite her on that journey with you. Of course, your woman can have her own goals too. That’s healthy. You can encourage your girl to lose weight, or learn a new language, or develop skills for her career.
The problem is when you place your girlfriend’s needs above your own because you’re afraid of losing her. Cheering your girlfriend on to go to the gym or spend 30 minutes reading books every night is an awesome way to be supportive in a healthy relationship.
Sacrificing your own goals and dreams for your girlfriend because you’re scared she’ll leave you otherwise, however, is exactly what you don’t want to be doing. I’ll give an example from my own life. I’ve recently become financially stable as a freelance writer. Because of this increased financial stability, I’ll spend some time this year traveling away from Vietnam and exploring the rest of Southeast Asia.
Maybe I’ll stay in Chiang Mai, Thailand or Bali, Indonesia for a few months. Maybe I’ll travel indefinitely. I’m not quite sure yet, but I’ve invited my girlfriend to come with. However, I understand that long distance relationships don’t work. That’s why when inviting her I explained that she doesn’t have to come with on this adventure, but that we couldn’t be together if she stayed in Vietnam.
Is that mean? What if she wanted to stay in Vietnam? While this is an incredible opportunity for her to see the world, she’ll have to spend a lot of time away from her family and friends to do so. Plus, she’ll have to put any “real” job in Vietnam on hold to travel with me, learn new skills and support my business.
I hope she comes with, and I think joining me on this journey would be an awesome choice for her life. However, I’ve clearly put a breakup on the table, and doing that required me not to be afraid to lose my girl. Yet in the end, I know one thing.
If a man doesn’t follow his dreams because of a woman, he will usually come to resent that woman. More than that, the woman will resent him. She’ll see that he didn’t go after what he really wanted in life because he was too afraid to lose her. That’s why you can never be afraid of breaking up with a girl.
If you place her before your dreams, you’ll lose your dreams. Plus, you’ll usually lose your girl too. At the very least you’ll lose her respect, and a relationship without that isn’t worth it anyway.
On the other hand, if you follow your dreams… that’s where all the potential in the world is. Your old girl will come along for the ride if it was meant to be. If she doesn’t, it’s irrelevant. It doesn’t matter.
You’ll have your dreams, which were the most important thing for you. Ironically, you’ll still get girls in the end on this path because you’ll be fulfilled and content with your life. That my friends, is what draws the girls in.
Hey guys, today I’m coming at you from Vung Tau, Vietnam. I’m staying here on a short overnight trip from Ho Chi Minh City, and what I want to talk to you about in today’s blog post is whether you should visit Vung Tau.
Now for some background information if you don’t know much about Vung Tau… Vung Tau is a beach town with a population just over 300,000. Because this city is just two hours or so by bus from Ho Chi Minh City, it’s a popular weekend getaway for those living in Saigon. Let’s face it, living in a huge metropolis can get tiring after a while.
Sometimes it’s good to lounge on the beach and get away from all the chaos for a day or two. It’s a refreshing contrast if you’ve been living in the big city. For that reason, I recommend visiting Vung Tau if you’ve been living in Saigon.
There’s enough to do here for a solid weekend getaway. There’s a beach, excellent seafood, and even dog races. Plus, it’s easy for you to get here. Visiting Vung Tau doesn’t require you to purchase a plane ticket or take a long overnight bus ride to a faraway city.
On the other hand, Vung Tau needn’t be a priority for you to visit if you’re just a tourist passing through Asia. There’s many superior beach locations in this region of the world. Da Nang, Nha Trang, and Mui Ne are all better options for some beach time without even having to leave Vietnam. Thailand and the Philippines are also options if you’d like even better beaches.
In short, definitely try to make it to Vung Tau if you’ve been living in Saigon. If you’re just a tourist though, I probably wouldn’t bother making the trip. The beach is decent, but it’ll feel underwhelming if you traveled halfway across the world to see it.
Note from Cam: These 9 rules were taken from Jordan B. Peterson’s video here. In this post I list professor Peterson’s rules as well as my take on them. His rules are bolded, while my personal interpretation of his ideas are listed below the bolded rules.
It’s important to remember that I don’t believe in minorities being treated cruelly. I don’t want to ever go outside and see a black man getting whipped just because of the color of his skin.
However, I also believe facts are more important than feelings. For example, Trump’s intent to indefinitely prevent refugees from Syria entering the U.S. cannot be accurately labeled as racist or Muslim hating.
In short — people deserve to be treated with respect, but we must also stick with facts. We can’t be overly concerned about people that get easily offended. Black men tend to be more successful than whites at basketball.
This could be genetic in nature, but mostly it seems to be because of a higher number of blacks growing up in poor neighborhoods where getting to the NBA is seen as the only way out of the hood… basketball is the only option because it’s the only chance for a good life. This doesn’t make it wrong for whites to be underrepresented in the NBA, it just is what it is.
Women tend to be better at caring for children because women tend to have more nurturing personalities than men. Men on the other hand tend to be better at programming because our brains tend to be more logical.
It’s not that a man can’t care well for a baby, or that a woman can’t be a programmer. It’s just people tend to excel in the areas of their natural strengths, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Now, let’s get to the rules of the political correctness game.
Identify an area of human activity
Choose anything. It can be success in programming, salaries, relationships, whatever.
Note a distribution of success
Observe that everyone in that area isn’t getting 100% identical results.
Identify winners and losers
See who is being most successful. For example, men dominate the field of programming.
Claim that the losers are losing only because they are oppressed by the winners.
Choose to believe for example, that men are only more successful programmers because they actively try to hold women down.
Claim allegiance with the losers
In this example, one can join the group of other women being held back and kicked down by the evil men of the world.
Feel secure in your comprehensive explanation of the world
Women could then have a simple explanation of why they were not successful as developers.
Revel in your moral superiority
Women can then feel superior to men because they can claim that they’d never be so barbaric or against the minorities in a similar situation.
Target your resentment towards your newly discovered enemies
Women can then lash out against men.
Repeat. Forever. Everywhere.
Yadadada, you get it. Once you create a reality built upon rationalizations it’s excruciatingly difficult to climb out of it. Taking responsibility for their lives is something most people would prefer not to do, and political correctness is a way to avoid that responsibility.
Moreover, it’s a way to avoid emotionally maturing and stretching yourself to think in a nuanced way that would actually allow you to understand why the world works the way it does.
As I said in my last post, there were a lot of things I wish I would’ve done differently in high school. However, there were far more things I did right. I’m so grateful to high school Cameron for setting 20 year old Cameron up for a good life.
Hopefully you learned yesterday about some things you’ll want to avoid doing in high school. Today let’s talk about what I did right in high school, and gain even more knowledge about how you’ll want to structure your life as a high school student.
Be Physically Active
I was extremely physically active my entire high school career. I usually lifted weights 2-3 times per week, and juggled for several hours each day. Soccer was also a big part of my life for my first two years of high school. All of this resulted in me being in great shape my entire high school career.
The benefits of being physically active can’t be overstated. You’ll have increased energy, more positive emotions, and be perceived as more attractive by everyone. This is probably the most simple way to make your life better in high school.
Simply hit the weights a few times a week. Focus mostly on weights if you’re an ectomorph (naturally skinny) like me. Weekly cardio can be beneficial too, especially if you have a heavier natural body type. Naturally bulky guys can even add several sessions of cardio in each week if they want.
Generally speaking, the more you exercise the better. I get that overtraining is possible. One summer I practiced juggling 5-6 hours per day in addition to being in the weight room 3-4 days a week. That was probably too much. Most people will never reach anywhere close to overtraining though.
Just try to get 30-60 minutes of exercise per day in. You’re doing great if you can get 5-10 hours of moderate intensity exercise each week. Bonus points if you get that exercise as part of a sports team because being part of a sports time will help you make more friends.
It’ll also let you ride on the bus to away games, and get into fun shenanigans with your friends. Some of my best memories of high school were traveling to away games. The days we’d have too many people on the bus and those poor JV kids would have to sit three guys to a seat.
The awkward times someone would try to change clothes on the bus. The naps we’d take on long bus rides. The time a guy had to go to the bathroom so bad he peed in a Gatorade bottle on the bus. Hahaha, I wonder where you are these days Tony…
Utilize Down Time In School
When you’re in an easy class and the teacher is ranting about stuff you already know… Get homework from another class and start working on it. If the teacher puts in a movie without giving you a worksheet, consider doing homework or studying for other classes.
If you’re working in a classroom with computers, try to finish your projects early. Once you’ve completed all your projects for that class get to work on another class.
If there’s no homework or material you need to be reviewing, don’t use that as an excuse to watch cat videos. Instead, get on Duolingo and start learning a language. Or, learn some basic computer programming on codecademy.
Always be working on something. You’ve got to hustle in high school to give yourself a chance for an awesome future. Don’t waste time on Facebook, or Angry Birds, or whatever you guys are playing in school now.
Be focused. The only time not to be working is when you’re laughing with your friends, or getting conversational experience with someone of the opposite sex.
If you suffer from social anxiety, or are socially awkward it’s a bit different. You can always work on your school work and personal projects at home. However, if you’re not getting invited to many social events you need to work on your social skills somewhere.
Sufferers of social anxiety can spend their down time in school practicing their conversational abilities with others. That may be the best use of your extra time in school. It often was for me when I was younger.
P.S. I took this no wasted time philosophy to the extreme. It was almost impossible to find me in the cafeteria my last couple years of high school. I would only go to lunch if I had one of my two or three best friends in my lunch period. If I didn’t have friends in my lunch that I’d have AMAZING laughs with, I simply didn’t waste my time going.
There’s a time for fun. However, sometimes socializing can be somewhat boring if it’s people you don’t click with. If that’s the case, just don’t go to lunch. I spent my second half of high school skipping lunch. Some days I’d sit in the library reading a book by Sam Walton or Eckhart Tolle.
Other days you’d see me juggling in the quiet hallways in the school. I technically wasn’t supposed to be skipping lunch. Occasionally teachers would tell me to go to lunch.
When they did, I’d just pretend I had been ignorant to the rules. Then, I’d go and continue juggling in another quiet corridor a hundred meters away. Just do whatever it takes to make the most of your time.
Do Work Study
My high school allowed me to earn credits by spending 1/2 the day working a job my senior year of high school. If your high school has a similar program, DO IT. You’ll stack some cash, gain experience interacting with people of different ages and backgrounds, and you’ll also have a lot less homework.
I worked at Dairy Queen and volunteered at my old elementary school during my senior year of high school. I learned a lot more about the world my senior year working and volunteering, than I did in Astronomy class.
Definitely take advantage of this program if your school has it.
Go to the Dances + Games
I was really nervous about going to the dances in high school. I’m so happy I went to them though. Homecoming was so much fun. Everyone will also talk about the dances all the time, and they’re going to think you’re weird if you don’t go to the dances. I’m not one for caring about what others think, but there’s a lot of reasons to go to these dances.
The dances are meant to be fun, you’ll have a chance to bond with your friends, get invitations to parties, and they’re a great opportunity to grind eeeeer… dance with girls.
On the same note, also go to the football games if they’re big at your school. I wouldn’t even watch the football games when I went. I’d just talk and hang out with people during them.
They’re a great place to meet people and catch up with friends. The best part about the football games is that they’re like giant parties that everyone gets invited to.
It doesn’t matter if you’re popular. It doesn’t matter if you’re a good athlete, you’re invited because it’s your school. It’s nice to have a fun social event every couple weeks that you don’t have to make any effort to organize.
Take Foreign Language Classes
I took a year of German plus every single Spanish class my school had available. Since graduating, the only skill I learned in school that’s been of any real value is my ability to speak Spanish. If language classes don’t interest you, take shop classes. Learning to fix your car, or build something from wood is of some practical value too.
Of course, you’ll need math and science classes if you’re planning to continue onwards to university. If we’re just talking real-world though, focus heavily on language and/or shop classes.
I was a little bit too extreme with my diet in high school as I noted in yesterday’s post. However, eating healthy at least 90% of the time is a great habit to get into. You’ll have more energy, feel better about yourself, and be more attractive to others. You’ll also have increased mental focus that’ll act as a multiplier for all of your other endeavors.
Say Yes + Try New Things
Do stuff. You’re young, now is the time to say yes. Don’t get into any drugs, or things that could damage your future, but try activities you haven’t tried before. Go to that new restaurant with your friends, go to the beach, try asking that girl out. Be bold. Be brave. Now is the time to screw up before you’ve got a lot more responsibility on your shoulders.
When I was in high school I became a bad ass juggler, learned conversational Spanish, and became an experienced blogger and Youtuber. Use every moment you have to build useful skills for your future. Your future self will thank you everyday.
Most of my best ideas weren’t my ideas. They’re simply ideas I borrowed or combined from other sources. Read about evolutionary psychology, read about finance, read about developing your relationships with women. Read books from great people, and apply the ideas in your own life.
Probably the best part of my high school experience was finishing a semester before everyone else. If you graduate school 90 days early and save 8 hours a day… Do you see the time savings? If you feel you’re not learning useful stuff in school, do what I did. Graduate early if humanely possible, and use that time to do something cool.
I explored a half dozen countries in Asia, did my first internship, lost my virginity, released a juggling course, got a new job in my hometown and more in the several months my peers were still in school. If you’re going to hustle, graduate early and take advantage of that extra time.
High school can be a lot of fun. I know sometimes I got down on myself in high school. You probably will too. You’ll make mistakes. You’ll do all kinds of Dipshit stuff. But enjoy it. High school is four years of your life. Make them count.
My life is a lot more enjoyable now than it was in high school, but it’s also more stressful. With control of your life comes responsibility. Enjoy having relatively little responsibility, and while you’re in high school give yourself a head start on the rest of your life like I did if you’re so inclined.
Most of all, appreciate high school. Every day is a moment of your life. Of course your situation probably isn’t ideal, but make the most of it. Have fun, create memories that’ll last you a lifetime, learn, and prepare yourself for whatever type of experiences you’d like to have after high school.
I graduated high school in January 2015. I’m pretty happy with the way I approached high school. I ended up in a pretty good spot today — Traveling the world and having a range of experiences that I couldn’t have even conceived of just a few years ago.
However, human beings are a constant work of progress. Over the last two years in the “real world,” I’ve learned a lot. I’ve learned that you can’t manifest money just by having an abundance mindset.
I’ve learned that you aren’t a special snowflake just because you realize that Corporate America doesn’t care much about how fulfilled you feel in your job.
Let’s stop blabbering about different theories though, and get to exactly what I’d have done differently in high school. More importantly, let’s talk about how you young cats out there should approach high school.
Be More Flexible With Your Diet
When I was in high school I didn’t realize that being too rigid cost me a lot of friendships. I could have been invited to a lot more stuff if I hadn’t been so rigid in some of my ideals.
For example, I was vegan or (close enough to it) for basically my entire high school career. I think I often made my friends feel uncomfortable when I wouldn’t eat animal-based products with them.
I still got invited to some parties and gatherings, but I’m sure my friends often felt uncomfortable because they didn’t know what I’d eat when I came over. They also wouldn’t ever want to go a restaurant with me because I’d just sit there without eating and everyone would feel a little uncomfortable.
It’s the same thing with my girlfriend these days. She’ll pressure me to eat a little ice cream. Or, she’ll say baby open your mouth and she’ll feed me a little of her banana cake.
If this was 3-4 years ago I would’ve told her no. In fact, my brother once offered me $100 to eat a single skittle and I refused on principle.
I was so rigid in the belief that unhealthy foods are evil, and that so much as a taste of them would be extremely harmful. I thought that a single bite of unhealthy food would bring back my cravings for them that had long subsided.
I thought that those cravings would be a constant tax on my willpower. Thus, no matter what happened, I refused to eat even the smallest portions of unhealthy foods.
In retrospect, this attitude was far too extreme. It ignored the fact that there’s social bonding benefits to eating and spending time with others.
These social benefits far outweigh any negligible health effect that would come from eating a piece of cake or what not once a week.
Now for you kids still in high school, don’t use this as an excuse to eat like a pig. Your diet should be clean 90% or more of the time for optimal results.
However, there’s no need to stress about having a cheat meal and piece of cake with your friends once a week or so. Just adhere to your diet when you’re alone.
Be as close to perfect when your friend aren’t around and you can loosen up for maybe one or two meals each week with them. Just don’t make your time with friends revolve around unhealthy foods.
You’ll certainly benefit from being more flexible with your diet than I was in high school. Ironically, the stress you’ll relieve from spending time with friends will probably be a far bigger benefit than a 2% cleaner diet.
Don’t Be Afraid of the “Popular” Kids
I was pretty popular my first two or three months in high school. That was because I made a varsity sport, was willing to make a clown of myself, and talked to everyone before they formed their groups they’d stay in for the rest of high school.
After that, however, I was probably average as far as popularity was concerned. I didn’t care about being popular because I saw the things popular people talked about as being superficial. They’d talk about this celebrity or going to do drink at somebody’s house on the weekend.
I didn’t care about any of that. For that reason, I mostly just sat with people I played with on the soccer. The only problem… I usually sat with all guys. No wonder I never had a girlfriend in high school.
Even now, I still don’t care what anybody in high school talked about. You know what though? The people from the soccer team didn’t talk about many constructive things either.
In truth, basically everyone in high school is figuring out who they are. Not many ideas of real significance are going to be discussed at a high school lunch table. You’re not sitting with high level business owners masterminding.
For that reason I should’ve, and you should focus on what you can learn in high school. You can learn how to socially interact with others, have a good time, and get some experience with girls.
To fulfill this goal, the “best” people to interact with are the popular kids. The popular circle is also going to be the group with most of the good athletes and attractive girls.
You know what that means? You’ll easily find a lifting/exercise buddy. Plus, now you’ll have an in with the most attractive girls. I get that these girls aren’t cultured, and you’re probably not going to have the most intellectually stimulating conversations with them.
But, that’s basically all girls. That’s basically all people. When I was hanging out with my soccer friends and the other random guys that sat at my lunch table, I was hanging out with a lot of guys that were in decent shape at best.
A lot of those guys were also scared to talk to girls, or simply didn’t know how to structure their relationships with women. They lacked experience, and they weren’t going to be getting it any time soon. That’s not to hate on my old soccer friends. I loved them, and love them more by the day.
It’s just saying, however, that you should want to spend your time with people that can move you forward in life. Having fun is important too, but usually the top 10% of people socially are also those that are having the most fun.
In short — don’t be scared of attractive people. Sure, they’re superficial in high school. I get that some of them are absolute pieces of shit too.
So, just pick the friendly popular guys and get lifting with them. Chat with the not completely superficial girls in that social circle and practice socially interacting with them.
You’ll gain discipline from lifting, probably have more fun than you would’ve with the people that are bitter about not being “popular,” and you’ll become more comfortable being in the presence of high-status guys and attractive women.
That my friend, is something that’ll be valuable for you long after you graduate high school.
Get a Job as Soon as You Can
Look, most of the jobs you can get as a high school student are going to suck. Trust me, I know. I worked at Dairy Queen. I lucked into my position at one of the local Dairy Queens because my brother had worked there before me.
You might even have trouble getting a shitty job. Keep trying though. You won’t want to work that shitty job forever. However, a year or two of retail or fast food experience can be really valuable.
I’m not talking in the traditional resume sense, though it could prove to be fairly useful there too. I’m saying that job could be useful in terms of cash flow.
Getting a job will also teach you the value of money. You’re likely to spend your money a lot more wisely when it’s not simply being handed to you from Mommy.
I was always disciplined in saving money, but what I most learned from working at Dairy Queen was the value of time and skill sets.
I learned that I could make a living at Dairy Queen if I wanted to. You can certainly survive as an individual on the US minimum wage. It’s not fun. However, unless you’re living in a super high cost of living city like NYC or have a family to support you could certainly scrape by.
Did I want to be doing that though? Of course not. That taught me that money is important. I learned that doing something you love may be valuable, but so are skills.
Being skilled will allow you to have control of your time and allow you to make enough money to do the things you love. Just recently I began working as a freelance writer for a startup.
I make a Western hourly wage, and can work from wherever I want in the world. I can also work at whatever time I want. I now have almost complete autonomy over my life (provided I stay with this startup).
I make enough money to do most of the things I want, and I’m in control of my life. I’m only in this position now, however, because I’d written hundreds of articles in the past to improve my writing abilities.
Now we’re ranting… What’s the point? The point is I wish I would’ve gotten a job sooner. I could’ve saved more money, had more interactions thrown my way to practice my social skills, and I would’ve learned earlier on how important it is to build a valuable skillset.
While there’s probably countless other things I did wrong, these stand out to me as my biggest mistakes from high school. These are the things I’d change if I had the chance to go back in time.
Of course, I’ve been pretty dialed in on lifestyle optimization since I was 14 years old. For that reason, my mishaps are probably fairly minor compared to others. This post is probably most useful to you if you’re already hustling fairly hard.
Tomorrow, however, we’ll discuss what I did right in high school. That may be a more relevant read for you if you’re a young cat just starting out with personal development and lifestyle optimization.
Keep reading kid. Keep learning. I know life can get pretty tough in high school at times. Never give up though. Work on your skills and never stop hustling. Your life could be amazing in just a few years.
Two years ago I was just finishing high school. Now I’m able to travel and have relationships with exotic girls I never dreamt I’d ever be with. This could be you too. Just keep hustling. The world could be at your fingertips soon.
If you haven’t already, be sure to check out yesterday’s post where I discuss the things I miss about the living in the USA. As I said in the last post, the intent of this two post series wasn’t to bash on the USA or toot Vietnam’s horn.
There’s a lot of cool stuff about both countries. Both also have a lot of problems. Also remember that I’m doing this series as a 20 year old white guy.
This series probably would’ve been a lot more favorable to the US if I was a woman. It also probably would’ve been a lot more critical of Vietnam if I was a Vietnamese guy making a normal local salary.
With that being said, I’d like to get into why I LOVE living in Vietnam.
Cost of Living
This is one of, if not THE biggest reason I love living in Vietnam. The value you can get for your money here is amazing.
It’s easy to get an hour long massage for under $10. Lunch on the street may cost you $1.50. A central studio apartment in the top areas of the city may cost $300-400.
Last year, I was renting a pretty big studio apartment for $270/month plus another 5-10$/month for electricity. That gave me a nice room in the middle of the city, and a maid to clean and do laundry for me.
The only problem was I lived with a crazy Grandma that would cockblock me every time I tried to bring a girl home… It even happened one time when my aunt from the USA wanted to come and use the bathroom. Oh memories 😉
The craziest thing was that she would try to cockblock me even though long-term residents there said she’d pushed 10 or 11 little ones out. Oh the irony of it all.
Of course, with that kind of treatment I couldn’t stay at that apartment for long. These days I’m spending a bit more on my apartment, but it includes everything listed before plus a place for my girlfriend to park.
There’s also a nice cafe downstairs that I could work from if I ever wanted to. More importantly, I don’t have to deal with that crazy old hag.
The point is, this city is cheap. Other places in Vietnam can be even cheaper. If you can make $1,000 month after taxes you’ll be living well. If you had to bootstrap like me, even $500/month is enough to live here.
It wasn’t always fun for me when I was living on $500/month. You can totally do it though. Just forget about drinking, taxis, and Western food.
You wouldn’t even need to cook though, you could still eat on the street every meal if you wanted.
Plus, Before you know it your income will increase and you’ll be balling too. Try living in the US for $500 or even $1000/month. You probably won’t be having a lot of fun.
Menial Tasks Outsourced
As I just mentioned, there’s a lot of stuff you can pay people to do here for very little money. It’s easy to pay people to do your cooking, cleaning, laundry, and driving.
These days, I pay others to do all of these tasks for me. The end result is that I have a lot more time each week to do more important things. It also saves a lot of energy and mental resources.
Theoretically I could do this in the US, but it’d probably be 10x more expensive. Unless you’re making some serious dough, it probably doesn’t make financial sense for you to outsource a lot of these tasks.
This could just be personal preference, but I think food in Vietnam tastes a lot better than food in the US. It’s certainly a lot healthier. Many people consider Vietnamese food to be among the healthiest in the world.
You can choose any local restaurant (meaning restaurants that don’t cater to foreigners), choose something random, and there’s a good chance it’ll be at least fairly healthy.
Unfortunately, things will probably continue to change for the worse here. They already are with the number of shitty Western chain restaurants continuing to be built here.
No reason not to enjoy paradise while it lasts though.
This isn’t something I find overly annoying. In the US the people obviously weigh a TON more than here in Vietnam. When others make unhealthy lifestyle choices, however, it usually doesn’t bother me much.
I have no problem with someone else ruining their life. I wish they wouldn’t be unhealthy, but you can’t change someone unless they’re ready to change.
The thing I love about Vietnam is that I see a lot more people out exercising than in the US.
Whether it’s walking from one place to another (though the Vietnamese do rely on their motorbikes too much), kids playing soccer in the street, or old couples playing badminton in the park; there’s a lot more people being active.
I absolutely LOVE this. There’s something natural about seeing human beings moving. Seeing people being active and getting in touch with their bodies. It’s just the coolest thing.
Before the bashing let’s give American women credit for what they do well. They tend to make decent money for themselves.
If you’re in a relationship and living with an American women she’s probably more likely to help you pay rent than a Vietnamese women.
American women also speak English and have a solid knowledge of sports. You can go outside with an American girl and throw a football or shoot a basketball for fun with her.
It may take a lot more training to get a Vietnamese girl to that point. You’ll also have a lot more miscommunications with Vietnamese women because you’re Vietnamese skills are probably nonexistent, and thus you’re relying on her English.
The result is that you may have to dumb your English down a bit, use simpler words, and speak without using many interesting expressions.
Aside from that, however, the average Vietnamese women whips an American women in virtually every other category. Vietnamese women tend to be much thinner and more well dressed than American women.
Vietnamese women are generally proud to cook for their man. Plus they can do a pretty decent job. Most American women think it’s hip not to learn how to cook.
Vietnamese women are more feminine than American women. Luckily for us living here, feminism hasn’t spread too strongly in the East yet. Women here still understand that it’s attractive to be girly.
Vietnamese women are also much more sexually conservative. I get that there’s some hushing going on around sex here. Lots of Vietnamese girls have had sex, but won’t admit it to their friends.
But, I’ve also kissed cute 20 year old girls that were left speechless after because they’d never kissed a boy before.
I’ve met girls that would crush on me, even to the point where they’d post pictures of me on their Instagram accounts. Yet, they were firm in that they wouldn’t have sex before they were married.
Look, there’s obviously American girls that will refuse to have sex before marriage too. Haha maybe. Seriously though, in a country as big as the US I’m sure they’re out there.
It’s impossible to deny, however, that American women are generally super loose with their bodies in comparison to Vietnamese women (and women of most other countries in the world).
The more men a woman has had sex with, the more difficult it is for her to pair bond and experience a deep emotional connection with her man.
In other words, relationships are a lot better here because Vietnam is still a patriarchal society where the man is the leader of the home and casual sex is frowned upon.
Of course, all of this is assuming you’re dating an American 7 vs a Vietnamese 7. For the record, I don’t like using numbers to talk about women.
However, it’s just a way to state that we’re talking about women that are pretty attractive in comparison with the average girl in their surroundings.
Anyway, the issue is that while hypergamy effects Vietnamese women, it’s not completely out of control here yet like it is in the US.
Because there’s so many overweight women in the US, any girl with a respectable appearance thinks she’s incredibly hot stuff.
Decent American women have an overinflated perception of themselves due to so few girls in the US being physically attractive.
Take half the female population, make them obese and undateable, and it’s no wonder guys are desperate and thirsty in the US.
Simply put, American guys score higher abroad than in the US. They’ll also get better treatment from their woman abroad because she’ll know he’s not so easily replaceable.
American guys at home generally have to date down. Plus, they usually won’t get treated as well as if they’d dated a feminine woman from a more traditional society.
The dating marketplace in the US is broken. There’s a reason American guys go abroad and can easily round up a harem of girls. American girls on the other hand go abroad and can’t stop themselves from complaining about how lonely it is.
END OF RANT
Proximity to Other Countries
When I lived in the US I didn’t have many opportunities to go to other countries. The only two affordable choices were Canada and Mexico.
However, Vietnam is much less geographically isolated than the US. Budget airlines are also super prominent in Asia.
The result is that it’s much more practical to take a long weekend trip to another country while living in Vietnam than while living in the US.
Besides being cheaper, you also have a lot more nearby countries to explore.
There’s a reason I’m living in Saigon, Vietnam and loving it. Its excellent cost of living and feminine women allow me to have a work/life balance that anyone would be envious of.
Plus, as my income continues to increase, I’ll be able to save large chunks of money rather than having it tied up in rent for an expensive apartment, car insurance, or other costly obligations like I would stateside.
Saigon is an awesome place to live. I’m likely to move on to another place by the end of the year, but I’ve loved my time here and will continue to love every moment until the very end.
I’d highly encourage you to get your ass out here and check Asia out sometime. You won’t regret it!