The Week Of Spring Cherry Blossoms In South Korea

This Week:

  • Summarizing my time in Da Nang, Vietnam.
  • First impressions from my first time in South Korea!
  • The change in mindset I’ve taken while I’m here.

April 2024

Su M T W Th F S

Where In The World Was I?

  • 🇻🇳 Da Nang, Vietnam
  • ✈️ Da Nang (DAD) to Incheon (ICN)
  • 🇰🇷 Seoul, South Korea

Live Travel Map 🌎

Metrics From The Week

Business Progress Update

This week I chipped away more at this new vision of audience-driven content creation. I created a couple more algorithms to get me closer to this full end-to-end flow (generating niche keywords given only a channel identifier and analyzing video performance to choose outperforming videos).

Here’s where I’m at:

  • Input: Plug in a channel/niche
    • [x] Finding all the relevant channels in your niche based on your niche keywords
    • [x] Finding all the relevant channels in your niche based on just a channel identifier
    • [x] Analyzing all of the relevant channels’ videos
    • [x] Scraping comments for questions and requests
    • [ ] Converting the performing video titles and comments into video titles for YOU
  • Output: Video titles based on audience desire

That last one, generating the new video titles based on all this data accumulated, is gonna be the hardest part of all of this.

But I realized… that’s exactly WHY this will be valuable.

Everyone and their mother has tried using ChatGPT to generate video titles and it’s just not good. Everyone’s taken the easy route.

So in that way, lean into the hard because most people trying to solve this will quit right here…

It’s still a hypothetical right now but my mindset is that if I can solve this last piece well, it’s gonna unlock a lot of value for creators out there.

I also met with a guy from 1MH this week who was actually interested in helping me out, which I’m very grateful for. We had a call and my main takeaway was that despite having not received a large quantity of feedback for, I think I’ve received enough quality feedback and leads that I know where to go next.

I’ve uncovered a more valuable problem around video titles. I don’t really need more validating that this problem exists. The question becomes can I solve this next problem well and how badly do people want a solution.

So I think I’ve moved back to the build stage of this process. That’s taken a bit of a mental shift, but I think it’s the right move.

Final Days In Vietnam

Da Nang was really about food and routine for me.

I spent my mornings in a coffee shop.

Then around noon I’d head to a cafe (either iVegan or Roots – both plant-based cafes), have lunch, then work a bit more there.

I honestly can’t highlight enough how amazing the food was in Da Nang. And while I was finding a lot of value from eating vegan for lunch (not getting brain fog) it wasn’t all about vegan food.

I stumbled across this UNBELIEVABLE greek place (Irini). It was so good I went back again.

And another evening to this modern Vietnamese place (Vietnom Eatery).

And another great (more local) Vietnamese place.

I still don’t understand how they get their spring rolls SO CRISPY.

And this other evening I took a long walk away from the touristy area to this great poke spot 15-20min away (Pokeman) and a waffle bar for dessert (two times)).

I had fun just being present, disconnecting, taking in the sights and sounds – motorbikes wizzing by, crazy intersections, all the little cafes and local food stands, and aesthetic side streets.

From my week in Vietnam this is my understanding of the rules of the road. The hierarchy goes: cars > motorbikes > pedestrians. Cars have absolute priority. They don’t stop. It doesn’t matter if you’re on a motorbike already halfway through the intersection, you stop for the car. And if you’re a pedestrian, look both ways… multiple times 😄

And in the afternoon/evening I either ran or worked out at the public calisthenics park.

I also went for a little swim! The water felt great (a touch cooler than body temp; really nice!) and there were some decent waves. I tried body surfing a bit 😄

The Outcast

After about a week at one hostel in Da Nang I moved hostels just to see if there was something better out there. That said, it’s hard to beat $5.50/night and fantastic sleep.

I ended up moving a couple blocks over to this social/party hostel. I dunno, I thought maybe the sleeping situation might be better or something.

The vibes were great IF you wanted to socialize and party, but uh, I didn’t 😄

8pm rolls around and I’m doing my evening meditation, showering, my skincare and nighttime routine brushing my teeth next to girls that are getting ready to start their night out 😅

Everyone’s entitled to live their own life, but every so often I get in these situations where I just can’t NOT see the contrast.

It actually reminded me of this piece of advice I got when I auditioned for the Bluecoats Drum Corps, to not look around at other people when in the visual block, like at all.

I talked about this in this video: What I learned auditioning for a world class Drum Corps (Comparing myself to the guy next to me)

For fun, I found a picture of my score sheet from that weekend. If I remember correctly, the cutoff for the second audition (not to make it, just to get a callback for the second audition) was an overall 8.0 or higher. My music score (at the bottom) was a 7.2 and I think that 7.9 was my visual score. Something like that. Either way, I didn’t make it 😅

It reminded me of this because of this contrast in lifestyles. I’m out here prioritizing my sleep, eating high quality healthy food, working towards building a fulfilling and sustainable life, and the people in my immediate environment were smoking, getting back into the dorm room at midnight from drinking downstairs, talking at a normal volume IN the room at midnight (which woke me up), watching TikTok in bed, etc.

The people that are prioritizing the same things as me are NOT in these kinds of environments. So, to spend even a microsecond comparing myself to anyone in there just immediately starts dragging me further away from my goals.

But… to say that I didn’t have the thoughts that I was missing out by not grabbing a beer and playing pool with some guys would be lying. I did, I questioned it. I felt the discomfort of that idea, I felt the insecurities come up, but I went back to what I knew.

✈️ Off to South Korea

I said this in this post back in Singapore (The Week I Let ChatGPT Plan My Travels Inside Singapore Dec 31st, 2023) and I have to say it again, airport lounges are an absolute game changer. I feel so incredibly grateful and privileged to be able to experience them. (For anyone curious, I have a travel credit card that gives you lounge access via a membership to Priority Pass as part of the benefits)

The lounge I went to had a shower! I took a shower IN AN AIRPORT. I can’t tell you how nice that was because I had to check out of my hostel at 11:00am and my flight was 11:45pm-6am (a 4hr red-eye, +2 hrs time difference) so I was about to go about 2 days without showering 😅

First Impressions Of Korea

This is my first time in Asia (proper east-Asia) and the further east I’ve been!

First impressions:

  • So many Koreans 😂
  • It’s just Europe but asian-themed
  • The weather right now is phenomenal – cool in the mornings/evenings, warm mid-day
  • It’s so beautiful here. The trees are green and blooming! Cherry blossoms are so pretty!
  • It just feels like spring, something about that is nice. My winter has been hot and humid the last 6mo in SE Asia 🥵
  • This area I’m in has a great energy to it – so many people out walking, chatting, shopping, etc. and there are shops, coffee shops, and cafes everywhere.
  • So many influencers 😄 – people taking selfies and recording videos of themselves. I’ve seen like at least 5 so far, which is a lot.
  • The cars stop for you when you’re standing at a cross walk instead of cutting you off
  • They actually speak Korean to you when you walk in a restaurant instead of English (which I like)
  • Korean (language) looks hard because of all the lines compared to latin characters but apparently it’s actually pretty straightforward
  • They dress well here. Definitely varied styles, not everyone is wearing a dress shirt, but guys aren’t wearing stuff like sweatpants/gym shorts and a shirt with a big cartoon on it. They look good and well put together. Same with the girls.
  • Everyone has great skin, especially the girls. It seems to be pushed really hard here in the culture and I can tell.


I’ve explored the Hongdae and Itaewon areas so far! I’m back to using my ChatGPT travel planner template here.

Food From Seoul

Man it feels good to be thrown in the deep end again. English is NOT as prioritized as that places I went to in SE Asia. Besides one guy who surprisingly spoke fluent English, it’s been a lot of broken phrases and hand waving 😄

They aren’t all like this, but this was one of the restaurant menus I picked up:

I gave it a scan and went “uh… I can’t read ANYTHING on this menu” 😂😂😂 (sometimes the “subtitles” for items are in English – this is Japanese with Korean descriptions).

I gotta actually use my problem-solving brain again, it feels good.

And I like that when you walk into a cafe/restaurant, they say hello/good morning/thank you/bye in Korean. Maybe that sounds obvious to you as I’m in Korea, but I swear the last 6mo in SE Asia most everyone just spoke English right off the bat. It made me feel less like I’m in a completely different country (which has its pros and cons).


I’ve been wrestling with this mental tension the past couple weeks, something I’ve written about a bit in posts here and there.

But this week I was doing a reflective 80/20 for my personal life when I realized something…

I wrote:

Feeling so exhausted and unable to plan anything in Da Nang. Not feeling like I can disconnect from morning work and routine properly and mentally. Feeling a growing sense that I have to work because there’s no alternative. Not “have” like I’m forced and don’t like it, but more like I can’t fall behind. That I’m already falling behind by trying to balance work with full-time travel.

And a bit after writing that, I re-read the last 80/20 that I did. For context, the last one I did I had just finished 2 months in Kuala Lumpur where routine was the top priority and knew the next ~6 weeks I’d be hopping around to new cities every week or so.

I came across this under the travel category:

I think energy-wise I just need to maintain sleep priority, then just work when and where I can, accept that I won’t be able to put in the hours like I want, and instead shift to valuing the experiences from traveling to all these places.

Re-reading that made me realize I’m falling into this mental trap of not being able to properly disconnect from the routine that I get into. The question of if I’m working “enough” to reach that goals that I’ve set is a whole different conversation. I love my routine and my life when I’m in a routine, but I think I’m hitting the upper bound. It’s this mental restriction I’m talking about, “I can’t take a break because I’ll be falling behind.”

Combine that feeling with flying here to Seoul, it feels like NOT taking the 6 days to explore, experiment, try stuff and create some memories would be something my future self would regret even more than when I was in SE Asia. For some reason I think the fact that it’s more expensive has also pushed me in this direction.

So I decided that while in Seoul and [REDACTED NEXT CITY] I would accept that I’m “falling behind,” that I wouldn’t make as much progress on the business and goals as I want to, let it go, and prioritize experiences.

Interesting Content From The Week

Eric Weinstein – Why The Modern World Is Wrong About Religion (from Chris Williamson) – great summary of where my thoughts are with religion right now.

Patrick Bet David – A Deep & Spiritual Conversation | EP. 34 (from George Janko) – super interesting conversation. I talked about a couple thoughts in my DailyV (How could he say this about Da Nang? & Why exploring religion seems inevitable), but I love the values that Patrick Bet-David has and how he’s raising his kids. Huge respect. I want what he has.

Challenging Bryan Johnson On His “Never Die” Biohacking Protocol (from Doctor Mike) – really great questions from Doctor Mike. I appreciated being able to see/watch another medical professional really challenge Bryan and try to understand his perspective.

What’s Next?



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