The Week Of Healthy Food And Grasping At Routine

This Week:

  • My final few days in Chiang Mai and the abrupt ending I had.
  • Flying to Da Nang – my first time in Vietnam!
  • Finding a routine while exploring the streets and incredible food here in Da Nang.

April 2024

Su M T W Th F S

Where In The World Was I?

  • 🇹🇭 Chiang Mai, Thailand
  • ✈️ Chiang Mai (CNX) to Da Nang (DAD)
  • 🇻🇳 Da Nang, Vietnam

Live Travel Map 🌎

Metrics From The Week

Now I’m disappointed at that 95%, I had to wake up 45min early on Wednesday to catch my 8am flight and didn’t get to sleep early enough 😡😂😂

March 2024 Whoop Rankings (Men 20-30; 96.2k members):

  • Day Strain: 13.4, 13,147th, top 13.6% (11.4 community-wide average)
  • Recovery: 66%, 9,459th, top 9.8% (60% community-wide average)
  • Sleep: 85%, 9,561st, top 9.9% (75% community-wide average)

(big drop in sleep (for me) from February’s top 0.87% ranking 🥲, the Phuket strip clubs didn’t help 😂)

Business Progress Update

Not much to update on the front. It’s still up and running, I haven’t been reaching out to anyone for feedback as I’ve shifted my focus to this creator discovery algorithm that’s tangential to CommentCompass.

This continues to be a point of mental tension for me as I feel like I “should” (says who, idk) “finish” (what does finish even mean) CommentCompass first by reaching out to people and getting more users, launching on forums, etc. Part of me feels like I’m doing the same thing I did with my VodAssistant project back in 2020 where I reached out to a handful of live streamers, one responded and wasn’t interested, then I literally stopped working on it 🤷‍♂️

But at the same time I have gotten good feedback that I agree with.

I’m not giving up, I’m just solving the next problem.

So we’ll see.

Anyways, last week I made some good progress on this creator “similarity” scoring algorithm – comparing how similar two channels are to each other based on their videos. This week I finished that algorithm, it was working well and pretty cool.

The next step/problem in this stack is finding all the creators in the niche.

So this week I came up with this (it’s not a very new idea) algorithm to gather YouTube channels from keyword searches, then rank them based on “relevance” to a set of keywords/niche (I’m up to 8 criteria/calculations to define relevance).

The most interesting part of this was running it on the self improvement niche and finding new creators with hundreds of thousands of subscribers and views that I had literally never seen before. In that sense, it’s working!

This is one of those things that could (and will) be endlessly optimized, but honestly I think I’m about at that 80% good enough threshold. It actually works…

I’ve been very much deep in spreadsheets looking at outputs, tweaking weights, crafting new criteria. This was run on the keywords: “self improvement”, “nofap”, “masculinity”, “social skills”, “habits.” Column F is the total score, the rest are highly classified top secret criteria 🤐

The vision is getting closer and closer with each progress update…

Final Days In Chiang Mai

Air Quality

So in addition to it being dry there, I soon realized that the air quality is reeeeeeeally bad. Like really bad 😅

I don’t know if this is an all-year-round type of thing, but it looked like the entire country of Thailand is/was on fire 😅

Up in the 150s+ AQI I could feel it in my lungs walking/running outside. It’s like breathing at 75% capacity instead of 100%, there’s just a bit of extra constriction at the upper end of taking a breath compared normal.

The hostel I was in and a good number of cafes had these big air purifiers, and I saw this sign on a walk (👀 the bottom one) which makes me think it’s more of an all-the-time type of thing which is unfortunate.

It’s unfortunate because the food/cafes in Chiang Mai were sooooo good, but more on that in the next section.

The Hostels

What was a bit unusual was how empty the hostels were where I was staying.

The first hostel I stayed in, the max I saw was 4 other people in the 10 person room I was in, and there was at least a whole other 10 person room on the 3rd floor.

The second hostel was very similar. The first night it was just one other guy and myself. The second night I was completely alone in the whole building despite having maybe 4 rooms of 4 beds and a 10 bed room.

At the second hostel I had a fun little translation issue moment with the woman there (I think she was a cleaner-lady). It was either my first, or the first in a looooong time (every hostel I’ve staying in they speak English).

I walked in, she got up and pointed to a name on a keycard that wasn’t me.

I said “no” and shook my head.

She immediately got out Google Translate and started typing 😂 Honestly I was all for it. I’ve been in SE Asia for like 6 months and I think this is the first time this has happened.

We had a little back and forth typing on Google Translate, then she called someone who I assumed was the manager. She handed me the phone and I spoke with her, got checked in, paid the rest of my bill, then the lady basically just handed me the keycard with a “B” on it and pointed towards the door to the stairs, that was about it 😂

(For context, usually the person will walk you to your room, point out where the bathrooms are, the showers, the kitchenette, where your locker is, which bed is yours, etc. etc.)

She was friendly, but I just thought the interaction was funny.

The Most Creative Coffee I’ve Ever Seen

Man, so I found this coffee shop in the One Nimman market that was across the street from my hostel. They opened at 11am, which baffled me because I couldn’t quite figure out who they were targeting with an opening so late.

Well, I went there one afternoon to do a bit of journaling on my laptop.

And it was nothing like what I was used to.

Really moody, dark, cozy ambiance, extremely comfy seats. It kind of felt like you were in a bank vault. They also had no wifi and I saw no power outlets to plug into.

They had this thick booklet with about 30 pages as their menu. The first page was the “normal” stuff, espresso, cappuccino, cold brew, etc. But then every other page was a specialty drink. Think, specialty cocktails but for coffee.

I ordered an espresso + activated charcoal + vanilla and it actually blew me away, it was so good. I went to a different location another day and got a nitro cold brew + orange + lime and it was ALSO incredible.

So anyways, this was THE most creative coffee drink menu I have ever come across… And I’ve been to a lot of coffee shops 😅

Food From Chiang Mai

Speaking of creative and quality coffee shops… The cafes and restaurants that I found in Chiang Mai were SO good. I still can’t quite believe it.

Shoutout to

  • Healthy Junk
  • The Bowl Spot
  • Real Good Pasta (not pictured this week)
  • 7 Senses Gelato

(Healthy Junk) You KNOW it’s gonna be good when they not only list the macros for each meal, but list the natural sugar % of drinks (they used no added sugars), they air fry foods with no oil, and serve free hot bone broth with dinner. Actually insane 🤯🥹

I wish I could just take them with me everywhere I go.

One evening I was fairly full from dinner but had a craving for just a simple waffle and a scoop or two of ice cream on top.

I went back to 7 Senses Gelato and ordered their Belgium waffle and OH MY LORD at the plate that came out. I thought it was literally just a waffle and gelato when I ordered it 😂😂😂

It was SOOO good.

I swear I don’t think I’ve ever had gelato that good – soooo smooth, so creamy, so flavorful.

Their VANILLA gelato was incredible… I feel like that tells you something.

(Also, the back of their menu had this ice cream vs. gelato comparison chart and was absolutely trashing on ice cream 🤣)

Last Minute Booking

So I had applied for a Vietnam e-Visa last week and was waiting for it to finish processing.

On Tuesday I was looking at hostels to move to because I checked out the next morning. At about 2pm I saw that I was approved and after some back and forth, decided that rather than booking another hostel just for one night, I’d take the 8am flight to Da Nang literally the next (Wednesday) morning 😂

And so I did.

Apparently there are only a handful of direct flights from Chiang Mai to Da Nang. The cheapest I saw was $83 USD. Thursday morning’s was about $90. Wednesday morning’s (the one I booked) was $100.

Bit of a curveball but I suppose I knew it was gonna happen one of the days this week, I just wasn’t expecting to book a flight 17hrs before departure 😂 That’s the first time I’ve done that.

Chiang Mai’s Old Town

So with that context aside, I was left with about 4 hours to do something other than work in coffee shops, try amazing mixed coffee drinks, eat incredible food, and work out as my time in Chiang Mai.

I decided to walk around the Old Town as my last minute “one thing” to do in Chiang Mai.

✈️ Off To Vietnam

I wish the pilots could’ve stopped the plane for me to take a photo of the hazy layered Vietnam mountains with my professional camera 😍

Neighborhood Tour (My An)

I looooove the walking streets here. Such good vibes.

The Death Cross

Speaking of walking streets…

There’s this 4-lane road RIGHT along the beach, separating My An from the beach.

I didn’t get a good picture from the afternoon when it’s busy but crossing this street IS SO BAD.

Yes, even worse than my long rant calling Kuala Lumpur the “Anti Pedestrian City” in The Week I Did My First-Ever VO2 Max Test. They at least HAD a crosswalk light, my gosh I’d take that any day of the week here 😂

There are no cross walk lights here (correction, there is ONE cross with a flashing yellow light and speed bumps about 1km/0.5mi down from this picture above)

There are crosswalks but nobody stops for you so they don’t really mean anything 🤷‍♂️

And it’s basically just a constant stream of motorbikes and cars, especially in the afternoons.

You basically have to wait for somewhat of a gap (they do come every so often), cross halfway, stand ON the double yellow line, then wait for a gap from the other side.

Or you just kind of start walking out into the road with your arm out like a “stop” signal like I see some locals do 😅😳

I’m very surprised I haven’t watched any accidents yet, though I did see the immediate aftermath of 2 motorbikes crashing into each on this road about 500ft away from where I was – one guy was lying on the ground still dazed and confused, motorbike on it’s side, plastic and metal thrown about. Some motorbike drivers behind stopped to help and there was some hotel or something close by because I saw a security guy run out and help out. 😬

And there was this other moment, gosh I wish I had captured it on video because it was such a good representation of the dynamics here.

This was on a street in My An, not along the beach. There was this big tour bus parked on the opposite side of the street. People were out on the sidewalk with their luggage and stuff slowly filtering across the street to the bus.

This road is pretty quite, no cars/bikes at this time, nothing like the beach road.

There was a gap in the people crossing, then 3 more people started walking into the street to cross.

Then, as they are basically 3-wide across the lane (no one else was crossing after them) this woman on a motorbike approaches and honks her horn a bunch of times, the people turn their heads, create a gap, and the woman drives in between them.

I’m like “bruh you couldn’t wait literally 4 more seconds for them to finish crossing?” 😂😂😂

Anyways, all that to say, it takes a bit of a mindset shift here pretty much anywhere in SE Asia.

Also, all the neighborhood street intersections here are just basically a free-for-all. There are no stop signs, no lights, no nothing. Whenever cars or motorbikes approach they honk a bunch of times like “hey watch out I’m driving through.”

Routine Mode Activated

The coffee shops here are fantastic (multiple with wifi speeds over 200Mbps+), great coffee, lots of outlets, great vibes, some even have dedicated co-working spaces.

So a combination of 1. that, 2. wanting to do some building/coding, 3. not really sure what I should do here, and 4. some decision fatigue, I’ve been settling back into some routine here.

One morning I was so deep in flow coding I blew by my timer/noon stop and basically looked up around 2pm to see 5.5 hours go by. It does feel good to get back into some solid flow again.

But on that note about decision fatigue (which I talked about in The thing I fear I’ll regret not doing)… I think all the bouncing around places is catching up to me. I just can’t bring myself to plan anything, to figure out what else to do, where to go. It feels like it’s just decision fatigue.

One of the things that came up in some quarterly reflection journaling this week is just how much time I spend planning travels – which countries/cities to go to, my route, flights, which neighborhoods to stay in, which hostels to pick, what restaurants to go to, which coffee shops to work at, the list goes on and on.

And I’m realizing just how much time it takes to put all this together especially when I move a lot, and double-especially to places/cities I’ve never been to.

I think this is exactly why, off the back of my 3mo in Europe, I flew to Bali and stayed in one hostel for literally 2 months straight.

For a look into how I figured out where to stay in Da Nang, I…

  • Looked at and found a “recommended area”
  • Did a Google Maps search for “healthy food” in the area to confirm
  • Looked at the HostelWorld map for hostels in this area and picked a cheap one that looked good

Took maybe 15 minutes. I didn’t even consider or look at other areas 😂 Just takes me too damn long when I do that. As soon as I start considering more options, I have to decide and judge which one of the many to choose from. I’d rather just not know 😄

But anyways, I fear that my future self will regret not exploring more, trying different activities, experimenting, learning. And yes there’s a scale here, some things I just really don’t have much interest in: history, museums, touristy stuff. It’s the grey-area stuff that I’m either curious about or know will make for good memories (surfing lessons, scuba diving trip, island tour, hiking, etc.).

I just really don’t quite know what to do. I don’t feel as though I have the mental capacity to go through all the decisions required to put these things together.

This is why I’ve been finding a lot of value and leaning into literally outsourcing my travel recommendations.

  • (Ao Nang) Railay Beach was a recommendation from someone I met in Langkawi
  • (Phuket) I had heard about the Thai ping pong shows and was curious about them, but the strip clubs I went to were a direct recommendation from someone in my network
  • (Langkawi) The SkyCab mountain was a rec from someone I met there
  • George Town was a rec from my parents/family
  • Kuala Lumpur was a rec from someone I met in Bali
  • (Bali) I found Tribal from a YouTube video of someone interviewing digital nomads in Bali
  • (Austria) I went south to Innsbruck instead of Munich because of a rec from someone in Vienna
  • (Austria) Hammermoosalm (where I broke my toe) was a rec from someone I met in Lisbon
  • … and the list goes on 😂

As I’m writing this I’m realizing my travels are literally just a product of other people’s travel recommendations 😅 But hey, “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.”

So maybe I just need to meet someone and ask what they recommend I do here and then I’ll be good 🤔😂

Food From Da Nang

Here’s another episode of “Did I say last week’s food was good? No, no, no THIS WEEK’s food is incredible”

I continue to be blown away by how good the food is in all these places. Great quality, healthy, tons of flavor, great texture, and frankly at prices that I still don’t believe.

I thought Chiang Mai’s price to value was good but honestly I think Da Nang’s is even better.

  • Burger, truffle fries, milkshake, smoothie (not pictured) – $11.92
  • Burrito bowl, specialty drink – $7.81
  • Tofu scramble sandwich, smoothie bowl – $7.80
  • Poke bowl, protein smoothie (not pictured) – $8.41
  • Two deep dish pizza slices – $5.41
  • Pulled pork grilled cheese – $3.96
  • Bahn mi – $1.60
  • Gelato – $1.60

Beach-Walk Workouts

VERY grateful when places have an public calisthenics park.

The air quality here is MUCH better (50-80 AQI) and the temperature is amazing – it’s maybe 28ºC (84ºF) with a glorious cool breeze off the water.

Coffee & Journaling


I did my first quarterly reflection this week. I’ll share what I wrote in the what’s NOT going well section here for a peek into my mind lately.

202404010941 Q1 2024 Quarterly reflection


What's not going well right now? Do I just need to stick it out? Or should I tweak something?

- I don't feel like I'm consuming very much knowledge lately. Bali I was reading like one book a week, now I haven't read much of anything. I'm watching _some_ YouTube but it's not much of the educational stuff anymore. I'm getting a bit from 1MH now that I'm in there. Learning and knowledge feels like the input, the wood to the fire. How am I going to continue to develop, grow, and learn without the inputs. I just worry that I'm not growing and changing _enough_.
	- Related: [[202211190922 Education is your engine oil]]
	- I don't quite know how to fix this. My curiosity comes in waves. The sexual energy period was a good period of digging my teeth in and learning. I haven't gotten much accountability from people in my hostels so it's easier to watch YT on my bed.
	- Gonna ask 1MH about this...

- I'm spending quite a lot of time planning travels, it just takes up so much time, particularly every time I move and move to a new place I haven't been. It takes a lot of time to research when to fly, what area to stay in, what hostel to stay in, what coffee shops and good food places are around, etc. If you look at my Daily Plans in the past 3 months, maybe a handful of them I've actually worked on CommentCompass or big needle moving stuff in the afternoon. It's very frequently just Admin stuff, going through emails, planning travels, documenting ideas, cleaning up my dump note, etc.
	- Part of this is reliant upon how frequently I move, so I think the answer is just stick it out for now. But even within KL I had those couple weeks of exploring other hostels.

- I continued to feel friction breaking the routine to focus on experiences and memories.
	- I've been able to get a couple good instances, Langkawi Mountain, George Town national park hike, Ao Nang Railay Beach. But it's still hard mentally. I feel like I'm not working enough, not making enough progress to warrant taking a break. I only work ~3 hrs a day on my main thing (morning focused work on CommentCompass) and some days I don't only work on CC, and many afternoons I don't work on CC. That's not very much time... So to layer on top of that skipping a day? I want success to prove that I'm doing something right, but I worry that I'm not putting in enough time to see the success to prove that I'm on the right path...
	- Point being, this may just be insecurity... but logically, if I'm only working 3 hrs a day on my "main" thing, that's nowhere near being a "workaholic" which is what I don't understand.

Religious Values

At Graph (in Chiang Mai) I followed a bit of a thread of curiosity looking at the overlap between what I’ve started outlining as my “ideal self” and religious values.

I talked about this in this video this week:

I thought I’d share some of the interesting references that I found (props to ChatGPT for the help):

## Personal Integrity and Ethics
- "Modesty is the jewel of faith." - A teaching from the Hadiths in Islam that highlights the importance of modesty in character and behavior.

## Personal Growth
- In Christianity, James 1:2-4 speaks to the value of resilience, "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance."
- "Just as a solid rock is not shaken by the storm, even so the wise are not affected by praise or blame." - Dhammapada 81. This quote reflects the Buddhist value of stability and growth amidst external conditions.
- "Better one who conquers himself than one who conquers a thousand men in battle." - This quote from the Dhammapada in Buddhism emphasizes the importance of self-discipline and mastery over oneself.

## Wellbeing
- "Knowing others is wisdom, knowing yourself is Enlightenment." - Tao Te Ching. This quote emphasizes the Taoist principle of self-awareness and balance as keys to understanding the universe.
- "Turn all your thoughts towards bringing joy to hearts. Beware! Beware! Lest ye offend any heart." - Bahá'u'lláh. This quote promotes the spreading of positivity and the importance of joy in the Bahá'í Faith.
- "Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?" - 1 Corinthians 6:19, Bible. This verse underscores the importance of caring for one's physical health as a spiritual duty.
- "Cleanliness is part of faith." - A saying from the Hadith, emphasizing the Islamic principle linking physical cleanliness to spiritual purity.

## Interpersonal Relationships
- "None of you truly believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself." - Hadith, Sahih al-Bukhari. This teaching underscores the importance of empathy and respect in Islam.
- "Be where you are; otherwise you will miss your life." - A saying attributed to the Buddha, emphasizing the importance of being fully present in each moment and relationship.
- The Christian New Testament advocates for supporting one another and being present in relationships, as seen in Galatians 6:2, "Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ."

## Social and Environmental Responsibility
- "Whatever object a man gives up, attachments for it leave him; and by the absence of attachment, the self becomes free." - Bhagavad Gita (Hinduism). This teaching encourages detachment and openness to diverse cultures and perspectives.
- "Truth is high, but higher still is truthful living." - Guru Nanak, emphasizing the Sikh value of living a life of truth and service (Seva) to others, which creates true value.
- "The fruit of service is peace." - Mother Teresa. This quote reflects the idea that serving others and creating value in their lives brings peace to oneself and the community.
- "One who performs his duty without attachment, surrendering the results unto the Supreme Lord, is unaffected by sinful action, as the lotus leaf is untouched by water." - Bhagavad Gita 5:10. This verse highlights the Hindu concept of selfless duty (Dharma) and aligns with Jewish principles of Tzedakah, emphasizing service and stewardship without attachment to the outcomes.

Interesting Content From The Week

I’ll be straight up honest with you, that George Janko-Andrew Tate podcast was actually fascinating and really thought provoking. This is a completely different Andrew Tate than the one I’ve seen thrown around in those 6 second viral clips that everyone’s seen. This totally changed my perspective. And in addition, to have this thread of curiosity in religious values right now, and have them speak about that… All I’m gonna say is there’s a reason why 12 million people watched it…

How I FIXED My Terrible Sleep – 10 Habits (from Bryan Johnson) – This was a fantastic video about sleep, concise, great tips, focusing on free before paid solutions. ❤️ to Bryan Johnson.

What’s Next?

Onto the next country? 👀


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