The Week Of Secret Lagoons, White Sand Beaches, And Religious Curiosity

This Week:

  • Exploring the famous Railay Beach in Krabi and hiking to the secret lagoon.
  • Flying to Chiang Mai and why this is special.
  • How my curiosity has been tugged by religion this week and what I’ve been thinking about.

March 2024

Su M T W Th F S

Where In The World Was I?

  • 🇹🇭 Ao Nang, Krabi, Thailand
  • ✈️ Krabi (KBV) to Chiang Mai (CNX)
  • 🇹🇭 Chiang Mai, Thailand

Live Travel Map 🌎

Metrics From The Week

Feels SO good to be back. I love actually being able to think straight in the mornings 😂

Business Progress Update

A couple tweaks, one major change, and some good algorithm progress.

I’ve been running into some weird connection issues with my site. Sometimes I (and one of my users) get a connection time out issue when trying to connect to but connecting to works fine. I never got to the bottom of it, but I at least found a workaround. I spent a good chunk debugging that this week.

Big shoutout to The French Guy™️ for the feedback this week and for listing my site on his AI discovery marketplace website, It’s becoming more and more real every week!

I made some bug fixes and small tweaks from his feedback, then did a major overhaul this week of how my algorithm fetches comments. Before this change I was fetching the last 6 weeks of videos, then getting the comments on those videos. However, I changed this to fetch the last 6 weeks (now 12 weeks) of comments ON the channel (doesn’t matter what video). My code is even more disgusting now but that’s not the priority 😅

Oh and I don’t remember if I mentioned this but I successfully got my YouTube API quota increased a couple weeks ago, so that’s no longer a constraint. Nice.

One of the good pieces of feedback I got was that the biggest pain point here is in automating the process of content creation – i.e. creating clickable titles and video scripts based on your niche. This made me realize that the tangent rabbit hole I started down in Phuket to create an algorithm that discovers other creators in your niche is yes, tangential to CommentCompass, but actually part of the larger vision that this could develop into. Having that will be immensely useful as the first step towards this greater vision.

So, I think it’s gonna be worth pursuing…

I had some trouble getting my scoring algorithm to work previously, but this week I finally dug in and got to a point where I think I can work with the results. NLP feels like a big black box to me, but I’m starting to understand it more. It’s just been a lot of trial and error so far (… and ChatGPT’ing).

Final Days In Ao Nang

Gosh it was SO humid there (80% humidity). Every run and workout I was completely drenched in sweat. That dark spot 👆 on the ground is the pool of sweat that was literally dripping off me every couple of seconds doing my ab workout.

Also one of the things I noticed this week was that people (locals) are just SO nice and respectful here. I talked about one of the moments in this video from this week: 3 things: first 100% sleep, unexpected exploration, and weird eye contact moment (@5:27)

I just feel very appreciated by everyone, like everyone’s family, and I can’t quite say that I’ve had the same experience with people in the U.S. and Europe… It’s definitely been an eye-opener for me here in SE Asia.

Food From Ao Nang

That pasta was so good (The Brightside Bistro; homemade pasta and sourdough bread)

Also, I had so much Indian food in Ao Nang (4 times?) 😄 I don’t know why, it felt like every (dinner) restaurant I went to did both Indian and Thai food. It was quite good though!

Railay Beach

In the spirit of trying to make the most of all the hopping around I’m doing, I’ve been trying to do one major “thing” each place I go so that at least I have one good core memory from each place.

Pretty much the only reason I was in Ao Nang was because someone I met in Langkawi, Malaysia recommended Railay Beach.

So, after wrestling the mind to break free from my routine, I bought the 200THB ($5.48) boat ticket (100THB each way) and took a morning/afternoon to explore.

And uh… W O W (click to enlarge)

(I’ll get them into Photography Posts another day, for now here are the good ones)

I just walked up and down the beach taking photos in awe, then wandered through the little streets to the other side of the strip.

I ended up coming across this trail/hike that basically went straight up and said there’s a viewpoint and a lagoon. There were some big warning signs at the start recommending not doing the hike after rain or dark, so naturally I had to do it 🤷‍♂️

It was fun, they had all these ropes since the trail was more a “climb” than a “hike.”

After the viewpoint I went down the trail to the lagoon.

The trail turned from a “steep descent” into climbing down literal 90º rock faces. So uh, don’t tell mom 😅 I passed by this father+son pair that turned around after they saw the descent 😳

(If you look closely there’s a rope in that last photo on the right)

But I just took my time, there were plenty of footholds.

And it popped you out into this completely hidden lagoon, covered on all sides by huge rock faces.

Sooo gorgeous!

Getting back up was easier.

That hike was just so much fun – no expectations plus some challenge. I had no idea that lagoon even existed, so to come across it with no expectations just blew me away. THAT is why I love doing stuff with no plan.

I ended with some chillin’ on the beach and went for a swim. The water was really warm! Felt like bathwater.

✈️ Off To Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai is a bit special for me… It’s kind of wild to think that I actually finally flew here.

When I was in Bangkok in October 2023, I felt this tension, this friction, about where to go next. I wrote about the start of my struggles at the end of that week’s post The Week I Watched A Man Get Knocked Out In Thailand (October 22nd, 2023) and then my decision in this post This Is How It Feels To Live With Intention (October 29th, 2023).

Most everyone I was meeting in Bangkok was headed to Chiang Mai next so I felt that social “pull” to go there next… But I just kept feeling this tug to go to Bali… (which you can also see in my Travel Map image at the top).

I think I outlined it well under “The Big Decision” in that second post, but here’s a (private) video from the morning I made that decision.

So in that way, I feel really grateful to be here. I feel like I’m here with the right mindset.

And speaking of the right mindset, my lord has it felt good to get back to 100% sleep scores (see metrics at the top of the post).

I don’t have any pictures, but one of the criticisms of the hostel I’m staying at was that it’s not very social… which honestly, I’m fine with. The rest of it is fine, it’s cheap ($350THB/night; $9.60/night), the A/C is absolutely glorious at night, and the area around here is amazing (Nimman).

There’s this brick shopping mall/commercial area/market right across the street with such good vibes. The past two nights there has been live music, people out eating and drinking, and a night market with clothes, jewelry, cosmetics, etc. from local vendors.

One of the things I noticed on my first full day here (and workout) was that it’s soooo dry here. My eyes keep drying up and walking around in the sun kind of feels like being inside of a toaster oven 😅 You walk into the shade, it’s comfortable, then back into the sun and you can just feel the heat radiating onto your skin.

The mornings have been unbelievably nice (22ºC/71ºF), but mid day is rough (highs of 39ºC/102ºF).

I did a workout outside at this park in the early evening and I was barely sweating despite it being something like 35ºC outside (19% humidity). The contrast from Ao Nang has been dramatic.

Food From Chiang Mai

Speaking of this area… wow, I’m impressed. I looove all the cafes and restaurants here. The food has been absolutely incredible (I feel like I say that every place I go to but no no seriously THIS place the food is incredible 😄)

  • That has to be the biggest salmon bowl/salad plate I’ve ever seen. The guy brought it out and I literally went 😯 “… wow.” I don’t know if the scale comes across in the photo, but that smoothie bowl was about the size of my outstretched hand.
  • And that gelato I think is the best I’ve ever had. Suuuuper smooth and creamy.

Interesting Content From The Week

Woman Pretends to be a Man on Tinder (Reaction) (from 1M) – I have no words besides “wow.”

Then I’ll lump these 3 together:

These have been really interesting to watch/listen to. I think I still need time to formulate my thoughts, but some of the things that have come to mind: I’m getting a sense of a lot of crossover between what they talk about and the male self improvement space. It almost seems like this is the female equivalent. I’m grateful that these conversations are being held somewhere and that people are resonating with them. Another thing was that ever since I was introduced to the “Male Advantage” from 1stMan, I always wondered if and how well it held up from the female perspective. From 1:06:10 on in the Singleness video was really fascinating to hear. To hear Angela say that she looks for older men (30+) and also that George is 31 and Shawna is 25, immediately I thought “huh, maybe there is something to this…”

The Jordan Peterson Interview | EP. 58 (from George Janko) – Ohhh man so many thoughts and not enough time. I think if you can look past some of the interruptions from George as a host (which he later acknowledged), this was a really thought-provoking video. I actually felt myself gravitating more towards and resonating more with Jordan Peterson’s perspectives, questions, and responses. He seemed to keep coming back to the practical and psychological, which I like.


Getting More Curious About Religion

I just want to capture my thread of curiosity this past week, specifically watching/listening to quite a bit of George Janko and Girls Gone Bible.

This morning’s (Sunday) video I documented some of my thoughts, which will be public tomorrow (for me) (Sunday noon Eastern Time).

I’ve started to understand religion as just a value framework for people to use in order to live a good human existence.

With that lens, the term “God” then seems to be replaceable with essentially “the ideal human characteristics.” God is the “abstracted ideal” we all strive towards. I dunno nothing about striving towards an abstracted ideal sounds in any way religious or bad or conservative or any of that.

So in a way this seems foundational to the whole self improvement space as well, which, THAT is something I need more time to wrestle with 🤯. Like are we both just solving for the same problem? (I noted this in my “The Ideal Self” section of The Week Of Huge Reinvestments And Beach Town Paradise (March 10th, 2024)).

The psychological frame on religion (from Jordan Peterson) has been the biggest shift in my perspective. I just seem to gravitate more towards the scientific and practical side of life. As a result this has led me around to questioning how I can live an optimal life, which, the more I think about, seems to overlap with the foundation of religions.

None of these are any new ideas for me, they’ve been simmering for years, but it’s been George Janko and GGB this week that have re-sparked my curiosity in learning from and hearing their perspectives.

One of the things that stood out to me was the authenticity, humility, and humbleness that George displays. I like that. What I saw felt like something that I don’t have, but that I want to have.

So I dunno, I’m not all of a sudden converting religions or becoming Christian or anything, I’m just curious and want to learn. There seems to be a lot of value here…

There’s still so much to formulate and learn, but my point here was that my curiosity got a bit of a tug this week that I wasn’t expecting.

A Small Win To Celebrate

For all those reading who have SMASHED THAT SUBSCRIBE BUTTON, I’m grateful for you.

Thank you for sticking around and listening to me ramble every morning.

Some days I forget to say things that I wanted to share, some days I struggle to get words out, and most days I feel uncomfortable with how the videos turn out, but I just keep hitting that publish button.

I can feel my perfectionism continue to crumble with every video I post.

I come with a different perspective to YouTube, one that values documenting the journey over optimizing for views and subscribers. But that said, it’s still a win.

What’s Next?

Well… if all goes well, I may be in a completely different country by next Sunday 🤞👀


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