The best part of this trip was randomly meeting inspiring people all over the world. Today, I introduce you, Kristen Hoard, an artist and a friend who constantly scared the shit out of me. She is also a Burning-Man preacher, Couchsurfer and a Hella-hardworking individual.
My visit with Kristen in Sacramento, California filled me with awe. She graciously hosted me in her gallery (her house) which even included a Bathroom gallery. I immediately insisted on a studio tour.
Upon stepping in, all I see is HEAVY Metal and foreign looking machine that spits Plasma Rays. If I didn’t know she was an artist, I might call the cops and report the hideout of a Super Villain. Below, is the Lotus flower is what she used on a normal BBQ night for Smores and Sausages which also double up as a Heater in the cold desert during Burning Man. How is it not the coolest-house in California?
Every month, Kristen hunts for scrapped metal at the salvage store and ‘Plasma‘ it into beautiful art pieces at her workshop.
What was usually never shared in most stories is Kristen, despite being badass at her work and selling at art fairs, also hold a day job to pay for her necessities and an assistant. Life is not easy as an artist, she does what she can and loves every minute of it. For that, I respect her. Instead of complaining about her busy life, she works hard to do what she wants as a passion. Every time I imagine myself working with those metal, I suspect that Kristen is Superwoman in disguise.
Hello kiddos, Mr Wise Old Man here is going to share with you some advices, as you young kids would call it “Life Hacks”, to make you become better, faster and stronger in your exciting youth. While I was surfing through the world on the computer yesterday, I found this amazingly smart 13-year-old kid who talks about his ideas on Hack Schooling. This kid has a lot balls (metaphorically) going up on a stage of I-don’t-know-how-many-people, it’s a lot. I have put his video at the bottom, listen to him – he talks a lot of sense.
As my papa once told me “to change the world, you have to educate them”. Today, I shall share some Life Hacks I have learn along the way from the millions of other dumber mistakes. After all, sharing is caring.
That American who invented it, is a Genius. You can buy, sell, get a job, make new friends, ride share, look for roommates, hire talents and for some, finding true love. Best of all, it is in every major city in the world. I used it to purchase used electronics like the Macbook, I am using to type the blog post now. I was also exploiting the “ride share” section to save money when I was making trips back and forth from LA to SF. There are also others similar website like Gumtree (big is UK and Australia) and Hardware Zone (Singapore Electronics Forum).
Yes, I am sure everyone of you knows of YouTube to watch your favorite attention-wasting-videos. YouTube to me, is a online learning platform where you could literally get your university degree of Life there. You could learn how to bake Red Velvet Cupcakes, train your dog, Beatbox, work your iPhone, put on your eye shadow and the list never ends. On the other hand, these contents have not went through a conveyer belt of quality check so you might end up wasting your time. An advice, read the comments section.
Let me start of by saying, Couchsurfing is not for everyone. If you are an Asshole, needs your own space and bed, have no interest for another human being or a highly uninteresting person, Please Bugger OFF. I have been an avid Couchsurfing for 4 years and have traveled using Couchsurfing in many countries. Couchsurfing on the outside, seems like a solution where you could find free accommodations. But more than just that, it is a community of travel addicts that strive for a different way of traveling. Ways that are more authentic, connecting to the locals and to learn mutually from each other. If you embodies these philosophies, take the leap of faith and dive into this beautiful community of Couchsurfing.
You got to read, you need to read especially when you are in your early 20s and 30. If you are not reading, it is going to be a train wreck. Why must we read?
Because older men who has been through a lot, and Succeeded, have spent years of their life, thinking of the Smartest and Highest Quality Ideas that have ran through their brains, and lay it out with EDITORS to make it really good for you to read. And as you are reading it, while living your daily life bombarded with stupid advertisements, smart ideas by this 55-years-old happy Billionaire is injected to your brains. Best of all, you are only paying $20 for a piece of $20,000 knowledge.
I hope you walk in to a bookstore today and no matter what kind of books, just read A Book.
With this new day and edge of modern technology comes the birth of online Super Malls like Amazon, E-Bay and China’s TaoBao. Isn’t it amazing? We do not even need to get out of our home to do shopping. I cannot vow for other company but Amazon has won me over. I have brought most of my books from Amazon and it is much cheaper than your fancy bookstore. It would take a longer time to arrive but it saves me money and effort to purchased it from the store. For the people of Singapore, you can qualify for FREE Shipping on Amazon for purchases above $135. Awesome.
SkillShare is a online learning platform which I believe has only been launched in the recent years. Remember I was learning Calligraphy a while back, I paid for a $20 course on SkillShare and looked where it has got me. SkillShare gathers industry experts to create lessons using videos and notes, incorporating with homework project that allows you to practice your new learned skills. The class ranges from sketching your favorite fashion runway look to business classes by Seth Godin.
If you are interested in any of the classes, email me and I can invite you for a $10 discount 😉
7) Travel Alone
Travel because you can learn.
Travel because you want to see.
Travel because the world is filled with so much amazing things that you could not imagine. Travel because you will learn the truth.
Travel because you will undergo hardship.
Travel because you can truly feel freedom.
Travel because you can be whoever you want to be.
Travel because you will learn about yourself.
Travel because you can.
Noticed I didn’t use Internship because ‘that’ usually comprises of working for free, in a big Corporation doing mundane tasks which are at best, meaningless and, at worst, harmful to your soul. Resist the temptation to get that internship. Instead, find a mentor. They are usually hidden in the smaller companies which requires a lot more digging. In an ideal apprenticeship, you will master the necessary skills, discipline your mind, and transform yourself into an independent thinker, prepared for the creative challenges on the road of Success in life.
I hope you have learn something from this post. Pass it on, and let’s grow together as a community. Sharing is Caring.
Happy belated New year. I hope you’re feeling energized and hopeful for 2014, a year filled with challenges for you to Conquer.
First of all, I need to confess a one-week-old secret, I am home, Singapore home. If you have noticed the radio silence on the Facebook page, it’s because I have no more new photos to post – I gave up. Don’t think that I left you out on the big secret because my parents were surprised too when I showed up. I was readjusting, learning society expectations, trying to ease myself into the modern civilization. Alright, enough bitchin’. “I am ready for you, Modern Society, Come at me with all you have”.
2013 has been amazing. I am immensely grateful and surprised how the blog has grown over the last year. My small wooden fishing boat of groupies has grown into a Full-fledge Starship Battalion, 350 strong located all over the globe to take over at my command. Thank you so much for hanging on and believing in me. I promise there is more to come.
What can you expect?
Yes, Hellagood will still continue as a striving effort of mine. I will keep the one post per week deadline. Trust me, it is not the easiest thing to do. At the same time, I am actively looking for awesome people to collaborate or help with the blog. I will also focus more on South-East Asian culture, people and food. After all, this is home and I am proud of everything about it.
I will cook and eat. At the same time, try to lose my ‘Taco belly’ from Mexico. Viva Mexico! Sounds contradicting, but my tastebuds can’t be satisfy with raw fruits and vegetable while living in a Food Nation. Also, I am setting out a quest to master some of Mama’s delicious recipes. Family meal are one of the traditions that I want to preserve and it can’t be satisfy with my oh-its-okay Cookings. There will also be exploration into the world of delicious cocktails too, look out for that. More interesting projects are in the pipeline!
Let’s look back at my personal goals for 2013. My doctor’s handwriting is still as doctor as ever but I did manage to learn some Calligraphy. Doodling, I gave it a try but I did not have enough time to pursue it. Salsa, I did definitely improved on my salsa after numerous class in Latin America. Spanish, Si, Hablo Espanol. Music, I basked on a bus in Ecuador and even collaborate with some artists in California.
To be true to myself with all the bullshit that comes with it. To be living my life to the fullest and not bitch’ about my circumstances. To be in charge of my financial destiny and the Captain of My Promising Future, instead of watching it from the 54 Inch Flat Screen TV. To push forward and eliminate the things which are no longer serving me. To be humble and appreciate life’s wonder.
There are a few specific goals..
Being Healthy and fit (75kg by the end of June)
Furthering my Calligraphy
Start a Wedding planing and design business
Continue the blog with Awesome content
Learn a handful of Asian recipes from mum
Read more books
To help others fulfill their goals
And one very special personal wish..
To inspire someone to step out of their comfort zone and wear their passion
Now that I have my goals out on the World Wide Web. You shall be my Devil and smirk at me from time to time, not allowing to take a breather. And, I shall be your Angel, looking after you, shinning holy light through the dark tunnel and saving you from the Cockroaches when needed. Send your wishes to me in a whisper to the skies (e-mail if truly necessary).
What are your hopes and dreams for the coming year?
Let me start by saying that Year 2013 was the “Year of cool Grandpa” because I know 40 years down the road my grandkids would be gathering around my rocking chair, begging for another story from this year. “Oh.. when I was volunteering in Nueva La Merced, Guatemala…”
When writing this post, I went through all my posts. It was amazing that the blog has a total of 85 post already and I love all of them! *some self love going on here* It was an Awesome year, despite getting robbed of everything precious I owned, not showering for an entire week, and having hot llama blood smeared on my face, I love every single moment of it. If I were to die of some weird disease that consist of me staring at the computer screen for too long, just know that I am happy and you should be for me too. (P.S. Don’t tell this to my mum)
Mexico, my favorite country in this trip. I ended up going back again to Mexico and stayed a total of 10 weeks. When I looked back, it might be because of the road-side taco stands and Corona. Definitely also go to Puebla which is 2 hours away!
I want to thank everyone who graciously accepted me into your home with welcoming hugs. It takes huge courage to invite a stranger to your house and for that you all deserve the Nobel Brave Award. You guys are great and I have learnt so much from every single one of you. Most cool stuff in the house: Lyn, the hoarder.
Most creative house: Lam Le.
It is of great honor and excitement to introduce Nanuchka Yang, a Chinese jewelry designer, “business” hippie, traveler and also a dear friend. Nanuchka mainly work with silver, wood and also macrame (knot tying) for her jewelries. Every Sunday, she goes hunting in the local vintage market for rare Chinese Stone such as old jade. I was delighted to have make acquaintance and work along side with her, even though, only a day.
My first time meeting with Nanuchka was to hit a ride to Lijiang which is arranged by our common friend, who didn’t make it because she was sick. We met at her shop. The initial thought was that “it was a nice shop”. I always thought that she was just a friend of the shop owner, till I met Hania. I realized Nanuchla is the owner/crafter of the shop. Nanuchka was very kind to allowed me observed her working and work on simple tasks of some of the pieces.
My first task was cutting the wood piece (below) into half. It took me almost 2 hours to cut it. I know I am new at this job but 2 hours for a small piece of wood is ridiculous! Nanuchka petted me and say “good job”. She then put the wood in water. Guess what? It sinks. She explained that it is an African wood which is very dense and sturdy making it a good material for jewelry.
I will never look at wood the same again after this!