Chris Hughes

Author Archives: Chris Hughes

July 8, 2016

Notes from ‘The Alchemist’ by Paulo Coehlo

In this short post, I’m going to include the Kindle notes and highlights I had in the book, The Alchemist, by Paulo Coehlo


Notes from The Alchemist WhosChrisHughes

“But in his heart he knew that it did matter. And he knew that shepherds, like seamen and like traveling salesmen, always found a town where there was someone who could make them forget the joys of carefree wandering.”


“PEOPLE FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD HAVE PASSED through this village, son,” said his father. “They come in search of new things, but when they leave they are basically the same people they were when they arrived. They climb the mountain to see the castle, and they wind up thinking that the past was better than what we have now. They have blond hair, or dark skin, but basically they’re the same as the people who live right here.


It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting, Check out this quote.


When someone sees the same people every day, as had happened with him at the seminary, they wind up becoming a part of that person’s life. And then they want the person to change. If someone isn’t what others want them to be, the others become angry.


Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own.


“It’s this: that at a certain point in our lives, we lose control of what’s happening to us, and our lives become controlled by fate. That’s the world’s greatest lie.


“when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”


“When he was a child, that man wanted to travel, too. But he decided first to buy his bakery and put some money aside. When he’s an old man, he’s going to spend a month in Africa. He never realized that people are capable, at any time in their lives, of doing what they dream of.”


“If you start out by promising what you don’t even have yet, you’ll lose your desire to work toward getting it.”


He had to choose between something he had become accustomed to and something he wanted to have.


when each day is the same as the next, it’s because people fail to recognize the good things that happen in their lives every day that the sun rises.


“That’s the way it always is,” said the old man. “It’s called the principle of favorability. When you play cards the first time, you are almost sure to win. Beginner’s luck.”


‘The secret of happiness is to see all the marvels of the world, and never to forget the drops of oil on the spoon.


“I’m like everyone else—I see the world in terms of what I would like to see happen, not what actually does.”


“I’m an adventurer, looking for treasure,” he said to himself.


“All things are one,” the old man had said.


Who knows … maybe it’s better to be like the crystal merchant: never go to Mecca, and just go through life wanting to do so, he thought, again trying to convince himself. But as he held Urim and Thummim in his hand, they had transmitted to him the strength and will of the old king.


I know why I want to get back to my flock, he thought. I understand sheep; they’re no longer a problem, and they can be good friends. On the other hand, I don’t know if the desert can be a friend, and it’s in the desert that I have to search for my treasure. If I don’t find it, I can always go home. I finally have enough money, and all the time I need. Why not? He suddenly felt tremendously happy. He could always go back to being a shepherd. He could always become a crystal salesman again. Maybe the world had other hidden treasures, but he had a dream, and he had met with a king. That doesn’t happen to just anyone!


When someone makes a decision, he is really diving into a strong current that will carry him to places he had never dreamed of when he first made the decision.


“Creatures like the sheep, that are used to traveling, know about moving on.”


“We are afraid of losing what we have, whether it’s our life or our possessions and property. But this fear evaporates when we understand that our life stories and the history of the world were written by the same hand.”


“In alchemy, it’s called the Soul of the World. When you want something with all your heart, that’s when you are closest to the Soul of the World. It’s always a positive force.”


They were men who had dedicated their entire lives to the purification of metals in their laboratories; they believed that, if a metal were heated for many years, it would free itself of all its individual properties, and what was left would be the Soul of the World.


“Because I don’t live in either my past or my future. I’m interested only in the present. If you can concentrate always on the present, you’ll be a happy man. You’ll see that there is life in the desert, that there are stars in the heavens, and that tribesmen fight because they are part of the human race. Life will be a party for you, a grand festival, because life is the moment we’re living right now.


“This is the first phase of the job,” he said. “I have to separate out the sulfur. To do that successfully, I must have no fear of failure. It was my fear of failure that first kept me from attempting the Master Work. Now, I’m beginning what I could have started ten years ago. But I’m happy at least that I didn’t wait twenty years.”


He knew that any given thing on the face of the earth could reveal the history of all things. One could open a book to any page, or look at a person’s hand; one could turn a card, or watch the flight of the birds … whatever the thing observed, one could find a connection with his experience of the moment. Highlight | Page 110 to die tomorrow was no worse than dying on any other day. Every day was there to be lived or to mark one’s departure from this world. Everything depended on one word: “


“Courage is the quality most essential to understanding the Language of the World.”


“You must love the desert, but never trust it completely. Because the desert tests all men: it challenges every step, and kills those who become distracted.”


“When a person really desires something, all the universe conspires to help that person to realize his dream”


“You must understand that love never keeps a man from pursuing his Personal Legend. If he abandons that pursuit, it’s because it wasn’t true love … the love that speaks the Language of the World.”


“One is loved because one is loved. No reason is needed for loving.”


“There is only one way to learn,” the alchemist answered. “It’s through action. Everything you need to know you have learned through your journey.


“The wise men understood that this natural world is only an image and a copy of paradise. The existence of this world is simply a guarantee that there exists a world that is perfect. God created the world so that, through its visible objects, men could understand his spiritual teachings and the marvels of his wisdom. That’s what I mean by action.”


“Because, wherever your heart is, that is where you’ll find your treasure.


“Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second’s encounter with God and with eternity.


Most people see the world as a threatening place, and, because they do, the world turns out, indeed, to be a threatening place.


..before a dream is realized, the Soul of the World tests everything that was learned along the way. It does this not because it is evil, but so that we can, in addition to realizing our dreams, master the lessons we’ve learned as we’ve moved toward that dream. That’s the point at which most people give up. It’s the point at which, as we say in the language of the desert, one ‘dies of thirst just when the palm trees have appeared on the horizon.


“To show you one of life’s simple lessons,” the alchemist answered. “When you possess great treasures within you, and try to tell others of them, seldom are you believed.”


“You dominated those horsemen with the way you looked at them,” he said. “Your eyes show the strength of your soul,” answered the alchemist.


..they understood that when something evolves, everything around that thing evolves as well.


“If a person is living out his Personal Legend, he knows everything he needs to know. There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.”


“That’s what alchemists do. They show that, when we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better, too.


“This is for you,” he said, holding one of the parts out to the monk. “It’s for your generosity to the pilgrims.” “But this payment goes well beyond my generosity,” the monk responded. “Don’t say that again. Life might be listening, and give you less the next time.”


If you want to get a copy of The Alchemist click here.

What’s It Like Celebrating Songkran in Chiang Mai Thailand?

About a month ago, while I was in Koh Lanta, Thailand and hanging out with some new friends Ian and Veronica from Freedom Podcasting, they told my girlfriend Samantha and I that we should come back up to Chiang Mai for this “water festival”.

I didn’t know anything about it, so when I got home I looked it up to see what it was all about.

Here’s what I came across… what is Songkran?

“Behind the façade of a nationwide water battle comes however a more deeper meaning: Thais traditionally sprinkle the water on one another to give positive blessings and wishes. Furthermore, they get rid of all possessions which brought bad luck the past year and to create New Year resolutions. The word Songkran comes from Sanskrit and means ‘to move forward’.

The Songkran festival is the traditional Thai New Year’s Day and is celebrated from 13 April to 15 April.

….and then I came across some pictures of it..

songkran water festival

Sam and I didn’t really have anything to discuss after seeing some of these pictures, it looked like one of those “once in a lifetime events” and I am so so glad that we decided to head back up to Chiang Mai for the Songkran Festival this year.

So it’s been about 2 weeks now since the Festival ended and I still grin to myself thinking about the event.

It was 3 days of feeling like you were living in a real life video game.

90% of the people you would come across on the street had super soakers.

Every turn you took, you had the chance of getting water dumped on you or being ambushed by a car driving by that was loaded with people who had buckets of water and were ready to soak you.

Songkran guy with bucket and dog

haha this dog and his owner were just chillin in the back of a truck with BUCKETS of water…

Songkran Festival

Getting around was really fun though, here’s a picture from one of the rides into the “fight zone” area around the moat in the center of Chiang Mai. As you can see, no one was safe. We were shooting people walking down the street, and they would shoot us whenever we stopped in traffic.

A lot of the times people would dump a bucket through the window of the Songthaews (red trucks for transportation) and EVERYONE inside would get soaked.

Other times, we would be walking down the street just chatting and you’d see some older people just casually chatting and hanging around…. one second they look like they didn’t see you and then the next second…. BAM you’re covered in a bucket of water.

…oh man it was an unreal experience.

Songkran Festival Chiang Mai 2016 Songkran Festival Chiang Mai 2016

There were many times throughout the 3 day festival where I would stop and have a water battle with a 5 or 6 year old kid.

One second we would be shooting each other and then the next we would high five each other and then I would let them shoot the water guns we had. (Ours were spray painted GOLD so everyone would comment on them)

Songkran Festival Thailand

Yes…. GOLD guns.

What is it like celebrating songkran in thailand Songkran 2016 Chiang Mai Chris Hughes


I think it honestly was one of the best ways to get immersed in the culture out of anything I’ve done.

If you think about it, shooting someone with some water is such a weird way to start a conversation, but it was amazing how many people we got to meet because someone would spray someone with water and then it was on.

Even with the language barriers between the locals and us, being English speakers, we still were able to communicate and share some laughs (along with some broken Thai and English)

I could honestly write 3 separate blog posts about everything that we did each of the days, but you would be so confused about everything and probably would be overwhelmed…there was honestly just so much.

Things like meeting up with the Digital Nomad group of Entrepreneurs/Freelancers and seeing how they celebrate, to heading to the square in town and being surrounded by 90% locals, to the last day heading to a Foam Party and dancing like fools to dance music.

The Songkran Festival is something that I will never forget.

If you’re a traveler and/or an Entrepreneur/ Digital Nomad then you should make it a point to visit Thailand during the Songkran Festival.

You’ll meet new people, have water fights that will take you back to your childhood and you’ll be laughing for 3 days straight about how much fun you’re having.

You’ll be in an amazing state of pure bliss and happiness.

I’m still working on putting together a short little YouTube video to include with the post, but because there is around 10 hours of footage, i’ve been struggling with it. I’ll come back here and upload the video when it is ready.

If you want to see more pictures, visit my Chiang Mai Facebook photo album on Facebook.

For more detailed info visit,


Here’s the video my friend Ian from Freedom Podcasting put together!

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Check out our related videos:
Digital Nomad: Koh Lanta Thailand- What’s Life Like For a Digital Nomad?
Chris Hughes Shark Diving at Stuarts Cove Bahamas
Chris Hughes Swimming With Stingrays at StingRay City in Cayman Islands

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A Day In The Digital Nomad Life: Koh Lanta Living

March 16, 2016
Location: listening to the crickets from the mountain in Koh Lanta, Thailand
Time: 8:49pm


Just got back from having a BLT wrap and a Guinness from the Irish Embassy pub here on the island of Koh Lanta for dinner.

Today Sam and I watched sunset from our condo as we’re up on the mountain in town and have a pretty great view from our place.

ko lanta thailand

It’s honestly a daily decision where we’re going to go to watch sunset, as living in a beach town it’s essential to watch sunset every night. It’s just a great way to relax and wind down after a day of work and exploring. Although, we’ve gotten into a good work schedule so it’s been more work than exploring lately.

In Koh Lanta, they have a co-working space where a bunch of digital nomads have gathered and work from everyday.

That’s actually one of the biggest reasons that we decided on coming to Koh Lanta. Living in Chiang Mai showed us that there was a crazy big digital nomad community in Thailand and it’s a very cool thing to witness. There’s thousands of young professionals living their life according to their terms and not following the traditional route…so I was all about that, as I’ve been living this way for a few years.

One problem that I had when I first started traveling and being an Entrepreneur who took my business with me was fast internet, I remember being in the Philippines and having a really hard time finding good internet so I could work.

That hasn’t been the case now, which is amazing. Luckily, when I went on the mastermind in Spain I picked up a mobile wifi device that allows me to just get a local SIM card with internet package and have around 10-50mbps download speeds for working anywhere.

mobile wifi for digital nomads


This thing is a life saver for an Online Entrepreneur / Digital Nomad lifestyle.

Alright, so what is my day to day life like in Koh Lanta as a Digital Nomad?

Well, I usually wake up between 7-8am everyday and then read for 30 mins to an hour before heading to KoHub (the co-working space).

Sam and I will then work on our business and accomplishing what is on our to-do list for the day.

We usually head to the beach around 2 or 3pm for an hour or two of reading on the beach for Sam, and about an hour of me swimming around in the ocean and floating around soaking in the salt water and sun.

I have a need for salt water and sun and when I can’t surf (no waves here) I at least need to spend some time in the water to get my fix.

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This is how I grab racks…and my friends think I’m crazy, but I do it everywhere I go.

I consciously take the time to realize there is ALWAYS money floating through the air through bank wires,transfers,etc and at any time billions of dollars are being exchanged through the air. My thoughts are the consciously grab them while they’re floating by me.

The businesses I create are the service I provide to the world in exchange for the money I grab… you can see it in action here!


Here’s a shot from a lunch we had two days ago. The food wasn’t the best, but the view made up for it.

Koh Lanta Thailand

After lunch/swimming we usually come home and get showered up before heading out for dinner. The condo we rented isn’t really conducive for cooking so we’ve been eating out a bunch, good thing Thai meals are relatively cheap!

After getting cleaned up from the beach, we rotate where we watch sunset almost every night so that we can find the best sunset spots.

Koh Lanta is more expensive than places like Chiang Mai for meals, but we’re still only spending around 500 baht for both of us to eat and have a smoothie (that’s around $14 USD total)

I know a lot of digital nomads preach the ability to spend 30-40 baht a meal (around $1 USD) and are super pumped up about the fact that they can do that. For those of you who are saving money, eat at the local Thai places and you can usually find meals for around those prices.

If you enjoy good food and variety, like I do, it’s still super cheap compared to a lot of other places in the world. Meals in Singapore were around $20 per person for any type of meal.

The night time is pretty calm for us here. We’re definitely beach people as we can just relax after dinner and do a little more work if we need to, or in my case want to as I love what I do.

If you’ve read other posts of mine, you know how much I love fresh coconuts. Here’s me getting a bunch of coconuts in Mexico.

Since we’re up on the mountain, there’s access to coconuts in the wild…and I love them.

Chris Hughes coconut thailand

After a while, we usually just relax and watch some netflix. There are opportunities for night time activities, but it’s easier to just wake up earlier than to stay up late and try to do all of the activities that are offered everywhere.

Video about Digital Nomad life in Koh Lanta, Thailand


What Is It Like Staying At The Marina Bay Sands in Singapore?

Where do I even start with this?

Seriously, this place is unbelievable.

My girlfriend and I were going to be in Singapore during our Anniversary while we were in between Visa renewals from Thailand and I had always seen the Marina Bay Sands pool and knew I had to see it in person.

This past month I had the opportunity to do it and wow am I sure glad that I booked the stay!

Chris Hughes Digital Nomad

Here’s a shot of me working from our room there (in board shorts and tank top of course)

****side note: I really need to make sure I remember to get pictures of my “offices” around the world. I’m so grateful to be able to build businesses that allow me to do this *****

Okay, so here’s a few shots of our suite in the Marina Bay Sands…

visiting the Marina Bay Sands

Marina Bay Sands

Marina Bay Sands suite bathroom

bedroom view Marina Bay Sands

and one of the most caring things I feel that they did for us for our Anniversary, was they surprised us with a bottle of wine and a chocolate mousse cake. (They called to find out when we would be in our room because they wanted to give us a “gift” as a thank you for staying with them)


Wow, wow, wow. I love it when companies actually give a shit about their customers.

It seems like many companies ignore the fact that their customers are people and like to be appreciated, the Marina Bay Sands understands that and does a great job with it.

They even included a little note and a personal concierge for anything we needed throughout our stay.

This truly was a great example of how to build an extremely loyal customer for life, as I’ll be staying there again in the future when I’m in Singapore for sure.

Okay, so let me tell you about what my favorite part of the whole experience was…and that was the pool.

Chris Hughes digital entrepreneur, Island company

Yes, of course I’m wearing my favorite tank top…that says “Quit Your Job, Buy A Ticket, Get A Tan, Fall In Love, Never Return”….because that’s exactly what I did a few years back when I moved to Panama to pursue my online business full-time.

This is one of the top pools in the world, and for great reason.

Playing around in the pool and looking over the edge is just amazing. While it does have its safety precautions in place, you still feel like the edge just drops off.

One of the major reasons I wanted to visit Singapore was so that I could simply see the view from the top of the pool to see the city.

I’ve read a lot of people’s reviews and had heard stories of people “sneaking in” to the pool. In my opinion, if something is good enough for people to write tutorials about sneaking into something, it’s going to be worth it to just go ahead and book the place.

….and damn was I right.

Marina Bay Sands Chris Hughes 1937371_10208548883220307_2365377095283160106_n

Sam and I at “the edge” of the infinity pool.

As you might expect, being 57 floors up on a roof can be quite windy. The wind was pretty strong, but it felt good with being in the direct sunlight. The pool was a little cooler than I am used to (a lot of Costa Rica pools), but it felt good after getting warm in the sun.

Sam does a lot of journaling for her experience and shared her experience with me and one of the best quotes from her stuff is…

“This is the greatest hotel of all time.”

The rooftop at night

Okay, so this was another amazing experience that I highly recommend when you stay here..

head up to the roof and simply just enjoy the view. It truly is breath-taking seeing Singapore at night, all the lights and the light show. It’s a little weird being in the actual building that the light show is based around, as you don’t have the view that most people would be visiting.

Marina Bay Sands night time

Chris Hughes vagabond Entrepreneur IMG_4780 IMG_4777 IMG_4764

I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity to have stayed at the Marina Bay Sands and am extremely impressed with their ability to please their customers.

It truly is a great example for me, as I run a few different businesses and am always looking for ways to improve my customer’s experience.

I’d just like to thank the staff at the Marina Bay Sands once again, for an unforgettable experience.