The Week I Settled Into A New Home In Kuala Lumpur

This Week:

  • Watching the New Year’s fireworks in Singapore.
  • First impressions of my new home for the next 2 weeks in Kuala Lumpur.
  • The problem I have with the recent traction I’ve been getting with my YouTube videos.

January 2024

Su M T W Th F S

Where In The World Was I?

  • Singapore
  • ✈️ Singapore (SIN) to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (KUL)
  • Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Live Travel Map 🌎

Metrics From The Week

New Year’s Eve In Singapore

Coolest firework I’ve seen:

Happy New Year!

2023 has been a wild ride, onto the next!

Final Exploration Day In Singapore

I explored the Kampong neighborhood. Lots of color, tons of middle eastern shops, restaurants, and influence here.

I ate at this really good Turkish restaurant (food pics below). It was more than I wanted to spend… but it was delicious!

And then walked to the Marina Bay Sands

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Food From The Week (Singapore)

  • Craftsmen Coffee – waffle ($15.50)
  • Maxwell Food Center – noodle dish and juice ($4.54 and $2.27)
  • Lavi Taco – burrito bowl and chips ($20.51)
  • Mixue – bubble tea ($3.01)
  • Ayasofya Turkish Restaurant – lamb hummus, extra bread (not pictured), kunefe dessert ($39.80)
  • The French American Bakery – cinnamon roll, chocolate pain au chocolat ($8.35)
  • Kra Pow Thai Restaurant – pad thai ($14.35)
  • Koi The – bubble tea ($3.76)

*Prices in USD not SGD

✈️ Off to Malaysia

I had heard the Singapore airport was really cool so I tried to do as much as I could before my flight.

The problem was that everything was really spread out.

I saw the indoor forest (super cool!), then since I had some extra time I tried to find the best restaurant on the Priority Pass to eat at. Things took longer than I expected, then I had to bus 20 minutes to the literal other side of the entire airport to get to the terminal. Then, security had me open BOTH of my bags looking for things they saw on the x-rays (still not sure what they were looking for) and basically had me empty my entire bag contents on the little security roller things. Then they just so happened to notice that one of my toothpaste tubes (of course the expensive “all natural” toothpaste) was over 100ml and so they confiscated it. This was all happening AS my plane started boarding.

BUT we made it.

Just not with a little rush of adrenaline, lol.

First Impressions Of Kuala Lumpur

  • A high speed nonstop train (30min ride) from the airport to the center of the city?! Nice!
    • The airport is like wayyyyyyyy out of the way
  • Reminds me a lot of Bangkok – city vibes
  • But with a bit of Singapore sprinkled in with all the shopping malls
  • The food is CHEAP, wow, (food pics at the end of the post)

A women-only subway coach, interesting!

Komune Living: A Co-Living Hotel

The Rationale

I went back and forth between this co-living hotel (read as: has a co-working space in the building, gym, rooftop pool, cafe on the first floor, big shared kitchen, etc.) versus booking an Airbnb.

The hotel I actually found as a recommendation from The French Guy™️ I met in Bali who highly recommended it.

My biggest worry was the price (between $28-$32 per night), which was a lot more than the co-working hostel in Bali I stayed at (for $13/night).

The cheapest (but good quality) Airbnbs I found were from $18-$24 per night.

But I ended up just booking the co-living hotel for 2 weeks.

My rationale:

  • I learned from Bali that I need to be around other people who are pushing me. I need accountability. Thus, the co-working space is really valuable and potentially worth the extra money.
  • The hotel says it has a fitness center, but there’s also an Anytime Fitness literally one block away, which is huge. I’m still on the bulking+working out grind right now.
  • There’s also a ton of healthy food restaurants in the area, something I also learned in Bali I need to prioritize.

These were really the driving factors.

So I just booked 2 weeks to start and I’m treating it as an experiment. Is it actually worth the extra money? Or would a cheaper Airbnb in a good area be better? The only way to find out is by trying…

I figure this would be the high-end of the scale for me. I mean I’m kinda comparing back to $13/night in Bali and I dunno how you beat that. But obviously this isn’t Bali, this is a modern city, so I have to reframe my expectations a bit.

First Impressions?

My first impressions were… mixed. I’m not sure exactly what I was expecting, but the best way I can describe it is that it felt more like a good-quality hotel than it did a “hip and cool” co-living space.

Walking in with my two backpacks, one in the front one in the back, I walked up to the front desk to the reception people looking all fancy and proper thinking, “mmmm I don’t think I belong here 😂”

And apparently the co-working space is NOT part of the hotel. It’s in the same building, but you have to pay for it separately (~$2 for a day pass, 9-6pm M-F access, $75 for 1 month 24/7 access). I thought about just springing for the 1 month pass, but there’s this big open living space with tables and outlets as directly part of the hotel. I saw a good number of other people working there, so I’ve opted for that in the meantime.


I went up to the gym and was… shocked. You know how most hotels that say they have a “fitness center” you walk in and it’s like 2 treadmills, some free weights and a single bench 😂 Well, that’s kinda what I was expecting here. I was expecting that I’d end up getting an Anytime Fitness membership.

But I was very wrong. Sure it’s “small” but the gym is actually really nice! They’ve got lots of machines and not very many people have been using it. So, I don’t think I’ll be getting a gym membership just yet!

I can’t tell you how nice it’s been to have a gym basically inside your home. So huge. Back in Bali I would run the 6-8 minutes through back streets dodging motorbikes and wild dogs to get to the gym there 😅

Not sure why I didn’t take a picture of behind but there are a couple more machines behind the photos here.

And the pool+views from the rooftop are gorgeous!

Here’s your MTV Cribs Room Tour™️:

Walking into this I was kind of looking for validation why it wouldn’t be worth the extra price, but I’m warming up to it, especially when you see how much food costs around here (end of the post).

Nonetheless, I’m grateful to be here!

Back To The Routine

Ahhh it’s good to be back 🙂

The LIGHTING in this hotel room holy sh*t. That and seeing the results of the past 2 months bulking+working out in Bali 😤 I feel amazing dude, wow

Speaking of it being good to be back…

I finally have my own room again and so I decided to switch back over to my morning daily videos with my camera+tripod! Ahhh it’s such a throwback to where it all began 3 years ago! This made me happy 🙂

Also, it’s dark during my morning walks here 🙁 Malaysia and Singapore are in the same time zone as Bali but are significantly further west, so the sun rises at ~7:15am instead of 6am now. The phone walk&talk videos wouldn’t really be the same here.

I also started doing my nightly journaling physically again rather than digitally and I’ve been really liking it so far. I switched to digitally in August 2023 because it was too crazy to keep up with going out at night, coming back at like 12, 1am, 2am, staying in shared dorm rooms, etc.

I noticed there’s a lot more space and time for an idea to get from my brain onto the paper and I like that. I’m actually thinking more rather than just trying to dump just what I did that day into my digital notes.

Business Progress Update

Still on the back burner. BUT, I do have some news. I thought both bloggers that I gave engagement reports to just ghosted me and never responded. I found out this morning that my emails ended up in spam and that they actually had responded! Both gave positive feedback, so I think we’ll have somewhere good to start when I jump back on this.

Productivity Optimization Update

I didn’t really do much at all in Singapore, so I finally actually dedicated some deep work focus time to getting things done here. I’ve made some great progress this week!

Here’s a peek at my new Obsidian landing page. I’ve been heavily inspired by The French Guy™️’s Notion workspace that he shared with me.

I’ve also done some data backups, updated my new laptop startup guide, and cleaned up old files in my Google Drive.

I cannot tell you how good it feels to

  1. have a documented system so that if I lose both my phone OR my laptop I can get back up and running to where I am right now
  2. clean up and back up files so that all I have is what I need, and everything I have is backed up

“Liberating” is the word that comes to mind.

I’m starting to get to the point where I have to balance the line between doing enough and doing too much with this work. At the end of the day, all of this is to help me work more efficiently. There are infinite things to do, but I think I can make this week the last week of work here. Will I be right? Check back next week.

Gaining Some Traction On YouTube

So over the past couple weeks some of my videos have popped off, getting 30, 50, 100, even 450 views. Maybe for obvious reasons this has started to occupy more space in mind.

But there’s a problem here…

I am still treating YouTube as my second priority to my business work. I want this to be low-friction, low mental effort work, just “tapping” off some content from my life.

What’s most important here is that the process of making videos 1. doesn’t take up too much mental space and 2. that I continue to show up every day.

The problem is, looking at my subscribers number go up and looking at the views on my past videos actually detracts from both of these. It makes me analyze past videos, it gives me a dopamine hit for videos with lots of views, it makes me feel disappointed for the videos that have low views.

I used to post my videos using YouTube Studio, which shows you stats and analytics and stuff for your videos. Looking at all the metrics there is fun and exciting, but when you don’t produce a top quality video, it makes you feel disappointed.

So, I’ve eliminated YouTube Studio from my workflow this round which has already been HUGELY helpful, but in the YouTube app when I upload a video I still can’t NOT see my subscriber count and the views listed on the other videos. It’s just right there staring at you.

All of this is distracting.

I don’t want emotion here. I just want to show up and provide value.

I revisited the reasons I got back into posting on YouTube back in November, which I talked about at the bottom of this blog post: The Week Of Sweaty Workouts, Deep Talks, And Morning Videos. NONE of those reasons come down to subscribers or views right now. Maybe in a year I’d like to have more discussions with people and see if I can find other people interested in talking about the same things.

But not right now. Right now this is priority #2.

Just to be clear here, I am not anti-growing. I’m anti-noise.

I would LOVE for more people to watch my videos, to leave interesting and thoughtful comments, and to have the opportunity to have discussions and help the people that watch. And one day I would love even more to be able to mentor and help the people who are interested. After all, that’s really the long-term goal here. In the meantime, I don’t feel like my videos are worthy of all that yet, but give me some time, I’m just starting.

I really believe I could spend the next 365 days showing up every day (or week) to make a video. I actually believe that I could do exactly what I’m doing for the next year, not look at a SINGLE metric like subscribers or views, and be satisfied with what I’ve achieved. When people talk about “making what you do intrinsically motivating,” and “making the process the reward,” this is what I believe they’re talking about.

So with all this context, I’ve started thinking about looking for a solution that can remove even the opportunity for accidentally seeing my subscriber count and view count on videos.

I want a website, tool, or app, or just something, I’ll accept a command line tool that makes REST API calls, just something where I can ONLY upload a video, title it, and reply to comments. That’s it.

If this doesn’t exist I might just build it myself 😅

Food From The Week (Kuala Lumpur)

You’re actually not gonna believe the prices that I list here but I can assure you they are accurate.

  • Vinh City Vietnamese Cuisine – bahn mi and spring rolls ($8.93)
  • Machi Machi – strawberries and cream drink ($4.59)
  • McDonald’s – chicken sandwich ($3.06)
  • The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf – espresso ($2.51)
  • Halab Gate Shawarma – wrap ($4.95)
  • Feeka Coffee Roasters – berry bowl and juice ($9.03)
  • AoDeeDee – pad thai, thai iced tea, and mango sticky rice ($9.39)
  • ITS Thai Street Dessert – ice cream ($2.80)
  • Indian Empire – samosas, butter chicken, rice, garlic naan, mango lassi ($13.44)
    • The best Indian food I’ve ever had AND also the cheapest. Literally unbelievable. Just the butter chicken alone in the U.S. would be $25.
  • Kubis & Kale – poke bowls, salads, etc. ($12.50, $8.77, $3.54, ~$8.69)
  • Food City food court (w/ the black trays) – Vietnamese food ($5.33), Thai food ($5.99)

There’s couple shopping malls and food courts right next to the hotel here. There are TONS of food options.

What’s Next?

Back on the grind babyyyyy 💪


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