September 1, 2023 • Warsaw, Poland
I am approaching a milestone age. And I thought a sabbatical would be the best way to celebrate it. I am usually one of those people who work and travel. But I am doing things differently this time. That is because I feel like I am about to enter a different stage of my life. I have one question I want to gain clarity on during my sabbatical. My notebook and pen are ready. My plane is ready. And so am I.
June 15, 2023 • Paris, France
I used to love playing GTA Vice City. But I got to a point where I could not progress. That damn mission. And so I got a cheat guide. I call it the unfair advantage guide. It helped me to take advantage of things that I could not see. I look for similar unfair advantages in life. An example is my one-on-one French classes. I have learned more than I did at school. Life is hard like that damn mission. So try to find your unfair advantages.
June 13, 2023 • Paris, France
Bitcoin will have generated a return of 100% in four years if it is $17,470.10 in April 2024 (the next halving event). I doubt many other investments have achieved such returns. I also doubt many people have held their Bitcoin since the previous halving. I assume the change in the price of Bitcoin will become less volatile as it matures. This might look encouraging. But remember that past returns are not indicative of future returns.
April 2, 2023 • Paris, France
It Was Not That Bad
The Twitter algorithm served me posts during the recent protests in France that made it look like a failed state. I was here. Life was nothing like the garbage (pardon the garbage strike pun) I saw on Twitter. Many of the accounts spreading fear were not even located here. I understand why people distrust mainstream media. But it is no better if your alternative source is thousands of miles away with no connection to the situation.
January 20, 2023 • Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Psychology Of Money
I am a millionaire. A millionaire in Vietnamese Dong. A few thousand on coffee. A few hundred thousand on dinner. Most places cut zeroes from prices and quote one hundred instead of one hundred thousand. The current conversion rate for 100,000 Vietnamese Dong is about 3.50 British Pounds. It is excellent. But the denominations have a psychological effect on spending. There is a hesitation. Then you remember the rate.
January 6, 2023 • Paris, France
One Book At A Time
I read one book at a time. Not ten. Not one fiction and non-fiction. One. I used to read multiple books at a time. The problem with that is your mind is in too many places to grasp the contents of any book. Focussing on one book at a time helps me to read deeper and finish more books. You should still consider dropping a book if it does not grab your attention but fight the initial resistance before doing it.
January 1, 2023 • West Bromwich, England
My Best Writing
I write best when I have a strong emotional reaction to something. A glimpse at my journal entries from last year reveals such a fact. A neutral or stoic frame of mind is best in the editing phase when I want to refine my words, but nothing beats the raw and interesting words I pen in reaction to something. I am leaning more into those two frames of mind to produce better and more interesting writing.
November 28, 2022 • Galway, Ireland
New Places, New Thoughts
I escaped the grey Northern European skies a few weeks ago. I escaped to a rock in the Mediterranean that I called home for two years in my early twenties: Malta. Living in the Mediterranean during some of my formative years changed how I operate for the better. That respite from the grey north helped me to subconsciously work through some ideas. I will always advocate new places - near or far - for summoning new thoughts.
November 14, 2022 • Paris, France
How I X With X
Replace the Xs in the title with any clickbait phrases. How I study with a full-time job. How I read hundreds of books with several businesses. You get the gist. I will let you into a secret about doing X with X. It will also save countless hours of watching productivity YouTubers promoting another tool or system you will never use. The way to do X with X is by making time for it. Simple. Hours saved. Make time for things that matter.
October 29, 2022 • Montriond, France
You can't always force creativity by consuming more content. Sometimes solitude is the answer. That does not necessarily mean meditating like a monk. Walking has often been one of the ways that great thinkers have sought solitude. Embracing solitude will allow your content-consumed brain to gain some perspective and work through a problem.
October 20, 2022 • Paris, France
The quality of leaders would be greater if they faced the consequences of their decisions. Liz Truss killed both the Queen (joking) and the United Kingdom (not joking) in record time. She will face no consequences for her incompetence. Her party has used every tactic to cling to power to the country's detriment. I still love the country even though I no longer live there. The problem is I do not think many of the leaders did.
October 8, 2022 • Brussels, Belgium
I like being an outsider. I find something exhilarating in being the odd one out. I like to start a stranger and end a friend. It is exciting to turn an unfamiliar place familiar. And I suppose that is why I have always found it impossible to commit to one place forever.
September 29, 2022 • Munich, Germany
I would describe my twenties as a period of embracing change. I moved to a new country and left it; dad died. I travelled and stayed put; built some great relationships. I started projects that succeeded and some that failed; learned new skills. I read more than ever; changed my opinions. I got married; embrace change.
September 9, 2022 • Milan, Italy
No Skin In The Game
There is no accountability for those at the top of the political ladder. In my lifetime, most of the UK Prime Ministers have left the country in a worse state for the majority. That is, unfortunately, the consequence of decision-making with no skin in the game. It is a sobering thought, but perhaps I lived through my country's last few good years.
August 30, 2022 • West Bromwich, England
Just Do Something
The best advice I ever got was "just do something". I was young and unsure of myself, yet I knew I did not want the normalised path around me. I was then fleetingly encouraged to "just do something", anything. So I got myself a job packing bread at a factory. That momentum carried through and towards an apprenticeship, education, contracting, and ownership. Just doing something helped build the momentum to do anything.
August 10, 2022 • Birmingham, England
Build In Private
I have no interest in building in public. I understand that documenting your progress can help with marketing, but I have no interest in doing it. I would rather operate under the radar. I am not interested in whether what I am doing is on brand. I would rather be true to myself and build the business I want. You do not need a personal brand to succeed.
August 3, 2022 • West Bromwich, England
Writing The Best Paragraphs
I want to write the best paragraphs. It is the reason I started writing one-paragraph journal entries like the one you are reading. This exercise of one-paragraph journal entries allows me to scrutinise each word, sentence, and paragraph. When I restart writing longer pieces, I will be more skilled at keeping the reader engaged.
July 20, 2022 • Paris, France
Opting For Convenience
I used to get a kick out of cheap early morning flights. I felt like I gamed the system by flying thousands of miles for a few pounds. But over the past few years, I have started to find them annoying. I want convenience more than anything now. And airports are not that convenient (even if you fly first class). That is why I tend to opt for travelling by train, car, or bike now. It is often more expensive, but the journey is far more pleasant.
July 15, 2022 • Paris, France
I got the keys to a Porsche 718 Cayman GTS two weekends ago. I spent that weekend driving in and around Bavaria. Thanks to some heavenly person, Germany still has plenty of unrestricted roads. It let me push that four-litre, flat-six engine to the max. Polly, the Porsche, as I named her, put a huge childish grin on my face each time I squeezed the throttle. I wish more countries were mature enough for stretches of unrestricted roads.
June 26, 2022 • Paris, France
Just Do It
I have a superpower. I can talk myself out of anything. I had been researching the idea of bicycle touring for weeks. Just researching. But my superpower was weak a few days ago, so I went to my local bike shop and bought an entry-level touring bike. The next day, I took it on a little tour along the Seine on EuroVelo Three. I figured I would get touring accessories as and when they are needed. I guess Nike was right. Just do it.
June 20, 2022 • Paris, France
I Do Not Get Big Cities
I don't see the benefit of living in a big city unless you work in one. Most of them are corporatised, romanticised, and offer a poor quality of life. Many will say the benefit of a big city is the people. I don't agree. I think most people hang around with the same type of person regardless. My ideal city is small, affordable, and community-focussed. Tallinn and Zagreb come to mind. And don't worry, I get the irony of writing from Paris.
June 6, 2022 • Paris, France
Die You Old Fucking Bastard
Joe was an Irish builder with a horseshoe moustache like Hulk Hogan. He wore denim, smoked like a chimney, and drank like a fish. Guinness, of course. My family used him for building work when I was a kid. He was a good guy. But he had a peculiar yet amusing habit of spluttering "die you old fucking bastard" after each cough. I thought of him as I sat in a sea of Irish accents in a Dublin pub. I love how travel accesses these memories.
May 28, 2022 • Tallinn, Estonia
It's tough having friends all over the world. But it does help if those friends can move around with little effort. It helps you to create unique and shared memories. I've spontaneously met my longtime and best friend in both the Baltics and Balkans. And we have created those unique and shared memories. I wouldn't change them for anything.
May 18, 2022 • West Bromwich, England
Few Understand This
Few understand that using "few understand this" to make an obvious point is annoying. And it usually is an obvious point. I don't know who started it, but everyone who wants to sound enlightened on Twitter uses these three words. I'd add "few understand this" to the array of other woolly combinations of words like "touch base" and "circle back".
May 14, 2022 • West Bromwich, England
Mix It Up
Becoming a prisoner of your routine robs you of life. I ditched the routine and drove from Sarajevo to Mostar last Thursday. And I stumbled across the most scenic road ever on that serene weekday. This road, nestled in-between the rugged Balkan mountains, hugged the turquoise Lake Jablanica for hours. I say hours because I kept pulling over to enjoy the view with a roadside coffee. It wouldn't have been the same on the weekend.
May 12, 2022 • West Bromwich, England
On Virtual Worlds
The assumption is that the future will be virtual. I don't fancy living in a virtual world. I don't want to farm imaginary crops and sell them for magic internet money. I'd rather farm physical land and produce edible crops if I wanted to farm. I probably sound like a laggard. But a world in which everyone immerses themselves in some virtual world surely detracts from real problems that need solving.
May 8, 2022 • West Bromwich, England
My fake British accent is annoying. Maybe. But it certainly isn't fake. I promised to share my passport with the reviewer who said my accent was fake and annoying. I never got a reply. Weird. Alert: We don't all talk like Hugh Grant. Some reviews are helpful and warranted. Others are verbal diarrhoea by an anonymous reviewer. Don't say anything online that you wouldn't have the audacity to say in person. Just get a refund.
May 6, 2022 • Mostar, Bosnia And Herzegovina
I Am A Writer
I've never thought of myself as a writer. Yet I've just finished ghostwriting a course. I guess I've written between 500,000 to 1,000,000 words for myself and others. That's an incredible number. I thought about what it means to be a writer while reading Chuck Palahniuk's book on writing. Though there exist many subsects of writers, I'd like to think of a professional writer as someone who writes for a living. So I am a writer.
May 4, 2022 • Sarajevo, Bosnia And Herzegovina
My Balkan Adventure
The Picture of Dorian Gray made me laugh, think, and wish I could write so wittily. A quote from the book that resonates is, "When I leave town now I never tell my people where I am going. If I did, I would lose all my pleasure". The people closest to me seldom know what I'm doing or where I'm going. I'm not saying that's good or bad. I'm just drawn to mystery. Hence I'm excited by the possibility of a pseudonymous internet.
May 2, 2022 • Sarajevo, Bosnia And Herzegovina
You know the type. They can only ever seem to talk about some shitcoin. If it's not a shitcoin, it's an NFT. They talk about NFTs like they're dealing drugs. They're actually sitting in a city apartment waiting for the network fee to drop so they can send their transaction on MetaMask. Worst of all, they add the chalkboard scraping word "bro" onto the end of every sentence. The cryptocurrency space doesn't need more of that.
April 29, 2022 • Sarajevo, Bosnia And Herzegovina
The Internet At Its Best
There's a lot of junk on the internet. Much of it gets algorithmically placed in front of our eyes by those who create content for the sake of it. That unfortunately means some of the best content gets buried. While learning more about Bertrand Russell, I stumbled upon the Manufacturing Intellect YouTube channel. A goldmine. It represents the best of the internet for me. It provides us with access to some of the best minds.
April 27, 2022 • Sarajevo, Bosnia And Herzegovina
My First Earthquake
I woke up at 06:28 because my bed was shaking. It was actually the whole building. I first thought it was a weird dream. But it wasn't. The shaking continued for what felt like a long time. After it stopped, I realised I had just experienced my first earthquake. It was a 5.6 magnitude earthquake. Not insignificant. I now know how an earthquake feels.
April 22, 2022 • Zagreb, Croatia
On Leaving Croatia
I love when it rains as I leave a place. I have spent the last month in Croatia. During that month, I've spent time at the turquoise lakes of Plitvice, an abandoned airbase from the ghost of Yugoslavia, and the city of Zagreb with its quirky museums. I only came here because it was outside of the Shenanigan Zone. Sorry, the Schengen Zone. I arrived with no expectations and left with a love for the country.
April 15, 2022 • Zagreb, Croatia
How To Choose A Book
You can read anything but not everything. Most of the latest nonfiction books are not worth your time. Many of them poorly regurgitate lessons from the Classics. I got introduced to the Lindy Effect in Antifragile. It will help you to pick a worthy book. One that has been valuable over the centuries because it's closer to the source material. Reading closer to the source is how you gain a better return on your reading time.
April 14, 2022 • Zagreb, Croatia
Curiosity For The Sake Of It
The pursuit of an interest for no other reason than its pursuit should be encouraged. But such pursuits often get deemed a waste of time if they are not profitable. That’s sad. I don’t have an angle to monetise the reading of great literature. The latest pop nonfiction book on productivity, probably. But some things are best left to leisure. You don't have to monetise your life. Some things flourish better away from the question of monetisation.
April 13, 2022 • Zagreb, Croatia
The Theatricalisation Of Formula One
The Netflix show Drive to Survive is the theatricalisation of Formula One. I'm glad that Verstappen has refused to participate in its latest season. I don't watch the show. I've been watching Formula One since I was a kid. I don't need Netflix to turn it into the motorsport equivalent of the Kardashians for me. I doubt that Drive to Survive would've been able to exist if Formula One was still under the stewardship of Bernie Ecclestone.
April 11, 2022 • Zagreb, Croatia
Freedom Of Work
It's both a blessing and a curse to have the freedom to work on anything. It allows you to indulge your curiosity. But that sometimes presents itself as a hopscotching of projects beyond experimentation. Stillness is the key when an untamed shiny object syndrome takes charge. It has helped me question and pivot toward the games I want to play. I want to play games where I can deliver As and Bs and maintain my freedom of work.