Category Archives for "Happiness"

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)

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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.

Visiting Bangkok Thailand

Time: 4:05pm
Date: Sunday January 4,2016
Location: Windsor Suites Hotel Bangkok, Thailand

Chris Hughes,Windsor Suites Hotel Bangkok, ThailandChris Hughes,Windsor Suites Hotel Bangkok, ThailandOn New Years Eve we flew out of Chicago and flew to Dubai on business class with Emirates, which was an amazing experience. Spending 13 1/2 hours on that plane was quite the treat compared to normal flying.

When we arrived in Bangkok, Samantha got online and read through some reviews of what we should do in Bangkok while we were here. She stumbled across the Thai Tour Guide company and found some great reviews of their service so we booked a 9am-4pm day tour with the company and it was a great idea.

Here’s what we did according to their itinerary and below this you’ll see some pictures and my thoughts about each place.

The Royal Grand Palace & The Royal Temple are the perfect introduction to Thailand’s Architecture, Culture and Tradition, You will visit the highlight attractions around this complex such as

The Royal Temple (Wat Phra Kaew, The Temple of the Emerald Buddha), The Golden Chedi, Pantheon of the Chakri’s Kings, A miniature replica of Angkor Wat in Cambodia, Coronation Throne Hall and Royal Reception Hall

Wat Pho (The Temple of The Reclining Buddha) is one of the largest and oldest temple in Bangkok and still an important center for Traditional Thai Medicine and Traditional Thai Massages School

Canal Tour, Take a long tail boat along the bustling Chao Phraya River and quiet Klongs (canals) Passing picturesque scenes of Thai River Life.

By the river see Wat Arun (the Temple of Dawn) is an important landmark located on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River. The main shrine, decorated with glazed ornaments and ceramics, rises 67 meters towards the heavens. Built during the beginning of King Taksin era, the magnificent temple reflects the glory of the Thai culture. The highest Prang in Thailand symbolizing Hindu-Buddhist cosmology

Pak Klong Talad (Flowers & Vegetables Market), It is known mostly as a wholesale flower market serving everyone from flower vendors to florists, but it also has a good selection of fresh vegetables, which are bought in the pre-dawn hours to be transported to neighborhood markets around Bangkok for sale in the morning.

Pak Klong Talad is the most important flowers & Vegetables wholesale market in town

My thoughts

We started off with visiting The Royal Grand Palace & The Royal Temple.

The Royal Grand Palace & The Royal Temple Bangkok IMG_4124 IMG_4128 IMG_4132 IMG_4135 IMG_4139 IMG_4140

 

This place was unreal. In fact, all of the temples that we’ve seen so far are just so detailed it’s insane to think about how much time it actually took to build and touch up everything. We were told that the whole thing took only 3 years to design but with how much was put into it, it’s almost impossible to imagine it only taking 3 years.

One thing that was pretty interesting is where the inspiration for a lot of these came. Many of the designs have a Cambodian style mixed with some Thai and Chinese influences.

Looking at the pictures right now it’s a shame that the camera can’t capture what it’s really like as good as I wish it could.

Every color just POPS and the gold shines so bright it’s unbelievable. I honestly wonder how it doesn’t all get tarnished.

We did go on a Sunday, so it was extremely busy and the fact that it’s immediately after a New Year made it even busier than usual according to our guide, Tao. He did a great job with a lot of the pictures and snapped them with a minimal amount of people in them, which was great.

Next up we went out on the Canal Tour. We took a long tail boat along the bustling Chao Phraya River and quiet Klongs (canals) Passing picturesque scenes of Thai River Life.

canal tour bangkok

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A lot of the little kids who were out on their docks with their parents waved to us when we went by them, which was great. Seeing kids from around the world is one of my favorite things. Seeing the joy that simple things can bring into their life helps me to be grateful and appreciate what I see even more. 

After the tour we wandered around a bit and ended up walking through Pak Klong Talad (Flowers & Vegetables Market), It is known mostly as a wholesale flower market serving everyone from flower vendors to florists, but it also has a good selection of fresh vegetables, which are bought in the pre-dawn hours to be transported to neighborhood markets around Bangkok for sale in the morning.

Pak Klong Talad is the most important flowers & Vegetables wholesale market in town and holy damn is it enormous. It had more flowers in one spot than I have ever seen and for insanely cheap prices. Sam must have taken 30 pictures of just the orchids and the pricing for them. 

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The current conversion rate is  1 U.S. dollar = 35.9350295 Thai baht

That means the picture with all of those roses that was 60 baht costs about $2 USD…. insane, right?

Next up was visiting Wat Pho (The Temple of The Reclining Buddha) is one of the largest and oldest temple in Bangkok and still an important center for Traditional Thai Medicine and Traditional Thai Massages School

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The third largest buddha in Thailand… our guide said it was about 42 meters long! Sadly, the symbol of Buddha laying down meant ill health and was said to be a representation of the end of life. IMG_4293 IMG_4297 IMG_4301 IMG_4306 IMG_4308

The details on this were unbelievable. IMG_4313

Massage students use to have to study these pictures, but after passing their tests they were able to practice anywhere in the world. Luckily now, they have an actual school teaching them! IMG_4319

Random facts we learned:

  • The halo on the top of Buddha’s head is shown as a way of separating Buddha from man. The images of Buddha with a bald head are actually the monk-version of him
  • The things on the top shelf Buddha’s sitting on are all pointing up to show that Buddha is sitting on elevated ground and the ground moves up to support the Buddha.
  • Buddha is made to be both female and maleIMG_4321 IMG_4329 IMG_4331 IMG_4332

Surprisingly we were allowed to take pictures in here, although you can’t point your feet directly at Buddha so whenever you sit/kneel, you must place your feet in a direction other than directly at Buddha.

 

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Thoughts after Freedom Fast Lane Live 2015

So I got back from Freedom Fast Lane Live the other day and am really impressed with what Ryan Daniel Moran put together.

I usually tend to ignore the “live events” that people within the Internet Marketing community put on. The reason is that most of the people who are at the events are frauds and the speakers at these events tend to make their money by either speaking at these types of events, or selling people products about “how to make money online”.

Yet, most of them have never actually built up legit businesses in the real world.

You know, like solving a problem within a niche and creating a business out of that. Solving real problems and providing terrific solutions for the customers within the niche.

Freedom Fast Lane Live had a terrific group of speakers and the caliber of people who I met at the event was very impressive.

The majority of people at this event started off with physical products and using Amazon as a launch platform. Some of them are doing great things with that model, and others I met were just getting started within that model and looking for further coaching and guidance.

I personally haven’t done anything with Amazon fulfillment except for the 6 or 7 books I’ve written and sell on the Kindle, so it was interesting being around a different group of people than I was used to.

The biggest reason I decided to attend this event was because one of my best friends called me up and told me I should go. So, I bought my ticket and decided to go. Thanks Brendan.

Cole Lundstrum Brendan Wenzel Chris Hughes Freedom Fast Lane Live

Cole Lundstrum, Chris Hughes and Brendan Wenzel at Freedom Fast Lane Live 2015 Austin

Cole is the owner of Shirt Agency , who create fantastic custom t-shirts, hoodies, and more! Shirt Agency prints and ships beautifully screen printed apparel all over the country from Los Angeles. He’s a great friend of mine and I was stoked to be able to hang out with him and talk shop while in Austin.

 

Jesse Elder and Chris Hughes Freedom Fast Lane Live

Jesse Elder and Chris Hughes at Freedom Fast Lane Live 2015 in Austin, Texas

Who is Jesse Elder?

When I was browsing through the list of speakers and saw that Jesse Elder would be speaking, I honestly got super stoked.

He’s someone who I had seen his name around the Internet quite a bit and it seemed like everyone who spoke of him, spoke extremely high of him.

After doing a little bit more research and listening to some of his YouTube videos and seeing what he does, I knew that I would have to meet him at some point. (This was months ago when I started learning about him)

So when I saw his name on the speakers list and that he would be opening up the event with a talk on mindset, I knew the investment was a wise one.

Here’s a few of my key takeaways from his talk that you may find valuable.

  • “Confidence is the electricity of life”
  • “Always look forward, measure backward.”
  • “Progress only exists behind you.”
  • “There are no problems, simply puzzles waiting for your genius to be applied”
  • “What you appreciate, appreciates.”
  • The only way I can have impact is if my shit is together.
  • Energy cannot be destroyed, it just changed form.
  • “Appreciate Everything, Need Nothing, Have It All.”

The last thing and also most important thing I got from his talk was the idea of Active Appreciation.

Everyone speaks about the idea of being grateful for things and showing gratitude for everything you have in life. The idea of active appreciation is basically taking time to look at what you already have and feel appreciation for it.

Personally I sometimes feel a little weird when the alarm on my phone goes off at 12:34pm everyday and the message “What are you grateful for?” comes up and causes me to think about what I’m doing at that time and take the time to acknowledge it.

From now on, I’m going to understand that it’s actually the appreciation of what I have that is what truly makes the difference.

It’s subtle, but makes sense to me.

Listening to Jesse was honestly awesome. After meeting him and chatting with him out in the halls, and seeing him out and about in Austin I am extremely happy to have met him.

Here’s Jesse’s own definition of himself, http://jesseelder.com/who-is-jesse-elder/

 

Pat Flynn and Chris Hughes Freedom Fast Lane Live

Pat Flynn and Chris Hughes Freedom Fast Lane Live 2015 Austin Texas

Pat Flynn is the owner of SmartPassiveIncome.com and started off his speech with a quote that I really love.

“Whether you think you can or can’t, you’re right.” – Henry Ford

Pat’s talk was centered around the “Million Dollar Pyramid” of turning a casual audience into a group of raving fans over time.

He spoke about the process of taking people from a casual audience, turning them into an active audience, then turning those people into a connected community where they identify themselves as fans of something and then turning those in the connected community into raving fans.

The information he shared in this has already led me to reading through a new book, Ask by Ryan Levesque.

That book is great for anyone interested in email marketing and learning how to survey your audience to learn how your community speaks in order to better communicate with them and thus provide better solutions to their problems.

One concept that really stood out that Pat said was to give out small, quick wins for people within your first email in order to get them hooked on learning from you. If you can provide someone with a quick 3 minutes or less thing that provides a quick solution or win for your reader, they’re going to keep coming back and looking for more from you.

It’s a very simple concept that is often overlooked when we think about just getting the money. I’ve been guilty of just selling hard right off the bat in some niches I run in, instead of providing these quick wins up front.

Here’s an example used: for someone with a fitness goal of losing 30 pounds, teach them how to lose 1 pound first.

Pat has been someone that I had followed for a few years. The idea of “smart passive income” is just brilliant. He provides amazing content on his site and if you’re looking at getting started with the idea of making money online, he’s got great resources that will help you.

He’s super down to earth too.

 

Ryan Deiss Chris Hughes Freedom Fast Lane Live

Ryan Deiss and Chris Hughes Freedom Fast Lane Live 2015 in Austin, Texas

Ryan Deiss is insanely smart and is the man behind Digital Marketer and a few major brands online.

His talk was all about actionable items and is very similar to the teaching style of his on their site. One of the first things he said was the first question to ask when starting a new business: “How are we going to make our first sale?”

…the thing is most people I’ve met who do Internet Marketing forget that selling is the life-blood of business. Ryan gets it.

Another golden nugget I learned from his talk was to look at our potential customers as an empty bank vault, and our job as marketers is to make deposits of relational equity into our potential customers accounts. Our job is to fill up their vaults with useful information and when we go about the process of selling prospects a product, we’re simply making a withdrawal from the account we have helped them build up.

This viewpoint basically means that it’s our duty to provide great content and solutions in advance to asking for cash money from them. There’s nothing wrong with making a withdrawal if funds are available, it’s simply how life works.

Another major take-away from this talk was the idea that the goal initially for cold prospects isn’t to convert them to customers, but to indoctrinate them first.

in·doc·tri·nate
inˈdäktrəˌnāt
verb
  1. teach (a person or group) to accept a set of beliefs uncritically.
    “broadcasting was a vehicle for indoctrinating the masses”
    synonyms: brainwash, propagandize, proselytize, reeducate, persuade, convince,condition, program, mold, discipline

While that word may seem a little weird to hear, it makes absolute sense. We teach our prospects to accept our set of beliefs. We do need to be careful to not abuse the power we have and to only use it to bring our prospect to a better place in life. So remember that.

Ryan also taught me a formula for doing this, but I’m not going to give you everything for free 😉

After Ryan’s speech I went out into the hallway and had a chance of meeting him and chatting 1-on-1 with him for a while. He is brilliant with the way he understands business and it’s very impressive how his mind works. If you have a chance to listen to him speak about business, you should.

Who else spoke at the event?

I have a notebook full of content that I learned from the event and don’t want to share it all because you would be reading for the next few hours.

Plus, the real benefit of these events is that you can connect with the people attending and become friends with them.

Growing your network is one of the most important things you can possibly do for yourself. Getting around people doing better than you and people who are achieving the success that you desire will help you achieve your goals quicker.

Your personal network determines a lot in your immediate life. That’s why I highly recommend attending certain events and spending time with people who you admire. Pretty soon, they become your peer group.

I’ve been very particular about the people I let into my circle and it’s not often new people are allowed in. My mind operates at a certain level and I want my friends to be thinking similar if not bigger than I am.

It’s all a part of my personal journey to grow as an individual and have a larger impact on the world over the course of time I’m a part of it.

Other speakers who were at the event include:

Grant Cardone
Gary Vaynerchuk
Robert Herjavec
Travis Sago
Mark Jenney
Jaime Tardy
Wesley Chapman
Jeff Hoffman

How To Open a Coconut Without a Machete

Hey! So a few weeks back I went to Mexico to Mastermind with my buddy Brendan and discuss growing our business and get a new viewpoint as well as visit a new country.

…and we happened to rent a house on the beach.

…and I happened to notice a coconut tree in the backyard!

Which of course meant I had to have fresh coconut juice. Granted, I had never done this before so it was a new experience for me. I figured it would be fun to share with you how it all went down.

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Thank you to my girlfriend, Sam, for laughing at me the whole time and getting these pictures.

So the first idea I had was to throw rocks at the coconuts and hope I hit them and eventually one would fall…

this worked for a little while, but there has to be a better way, right?

Chris Hughes Brendan Wenzel

 

Next step was to try to hold my buddy Brendan up while he pulled them off the tree…

that didn’t work.

Next?

Why not try a chair!

Chris Hughes Brendan Wenzel Mexico

 

Sure enough, this worked and it was easier than the previous attempts.

Alright so now to open these coconuts…

Step 1 is to break the outer shell.

Chris Hughes Mexico

 

I found the easiest way was to bang the side of the coconut off of an edge of something strong…in this case, the wall.

You can see in the picture how it’s cracked a bit. We found that by cracking the top and then breaking the sides so they had a deep cut into it, we were then able to peel off the exterior layer.

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At this step, you just peel and peel until you have the outer shell completely off.

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Sometimes while you are breaking them you go too far and this is what happens..

Although, you’ll see on the table there that one of the coconuts is entirely peeled…the one that’s sitting on the table is fully peeled.

The next step is to find a shell or rock that has a flat edge on one end and comes to a point on the other.

We tried the knife shown in the picture, but in a normal situation you mind not have a knife to use.

So you’ll place the pointed edge of the rock/shell into the top of the coconut and use another rock to hammer it in. The shell will crack a little bit at the point where you hit it. That’s a good sign.

Once that happens, you’ll want to repeat the process and make a circle of these little cracks in the coconut.

This will make it easier for you to pick out the broken shell and get to the inside.

Once you have cracked it a few times, you can start peeling the hard exterior off. Then all you need to do is poke a little hole in the interior (the white part) and you’ll be getting fresh coconut water!

and if anyone is wondering what it’s like to work while in Mexico this is where I spent a good chunk of my days when not hanging out/surfing..

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Yes, to have my lifestyle you do have to work your ass off. But it’s 100% worth it.

Visiting the 27 Falls of Damajagua Dominican Republic

Chris Hughes

Hey! Welcome back..

One of the reasons I originally went to the Dominican Republic, besides learning to kite board, was to visit this place called the 27 Falls of Damajagua.

Want to know why? Well just look at this… (btw, there’s a video at the bottom if you don’t want to read)

27 Waterfalls Dominican Republic

Image Source: rumshopryan

(shoutout to rumshopryan for that picture as well, I took my GoPro and didn’t get any good Waterfall photos on that)

It’s simple really…. who doesn’t want to see a series of 27 different waterfalls?!?

I know I did….and good thing for me, my girlfriend Sam did the booking of the trip since I’m not the best at actually planning things. I’m much more spur of the moment as in “hey Chris, want to go ______ ” and I usually will just buy a ticket and go within a week of that statement..

turns out, Sam is the same! We booked the tour of the 27 Falls of Damajagua the weekend we were leaving.

Chris Hughes

The first little cove

By the way, they say it’s about a 45 minute hike up to the falls and it took our group about 1 hour 15 minutes. We did have to slow down though and wait for 2 of the 6 people in our group as they were older than us (55+)

Sam and I are still in our 20’s and in relatively good shape which made the hike pretty simple. We stopped a few times for water breaks so be sure to bring water with you if you’re doing this hike.

Visiting the 27 falls of Damajagua was honestly a pretty cool adventure. I’ve done a lot of jumping off things into water, here’s jumping into a blue hole in the Bahamas.

The difference here is that you’re not just jumping off the formations into the water…they also have spots where you sit down on your butt and you slide down. The water has worn down the rocks in certain parts and created a near perfect “natural waterslide”

Chris Hughes 27 falls of DamajaguaChris Hughes riding down a natural water slide at the 27 Falls of Damajagua

The whole hike up the guide was talking all about the “big jump” that they had and was really getting me excited… I love things that scare me that are based on irrational fears (like jumping)

You know, things that aren’t deadly, but our mind seems to be fearful of them for whatever reason. Jumping off high heights is one of these fears.

I was chatting up the people in our group on the walk to this portion of the hike, people always ask what I do and ALWAYS want to hear more, that’s a big benefit of Entrepreneurship, showing people what kind of lifestyle is truly possible.

So… here’s what the jump looked like! (I had jumped first and the GoPro was malfunctioning for me)

27 Falls of Damajagua

I believe it was only about 25-27 feet for the jump so it wasn’t as much of a jump as I was hoping, but was still fun!

Anyway, I would highly recommend that you do this tour of the 27 Falls of Damajagua in the Dominican Republic. It’s located near Puerto Plata so you’ll have to be in that area of the country to do it, the Northeast coast.

Here’s a few other pictures for ya..

Chris Hughes

27 falls of Damajagua

27 waterfalls dominican republic

Chris Hughes Visiting The 27 Falls of Damajagua – Dominican Republic from Chris Hughes on Vimeo.

or watch it on YouTube here.