#RunForTheOceans

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Ever since my college soccer days came to an end, I have been at a personal war with cardio. I despise running. It’s one of the most boring things you can do in my opinion. That being said, from June 8-16 I forced myself to run again. Why? Adidas and Parley.tv collaborated on yet another great cause. These two brands recently just announced the first running shoe upcycled from 100% recycled plastic. This time, they organized #RunForTheOceans, a cause in which for every km run, Adidas would donate $1 to the Parley Ocean School. The Parley Ocean School is focused on environmental education and dedicated to inspiring the next generation of leaders. Find out more about Parley Ocean School here. I managed to log 51.77 km, which translates to $51 dollars donated! *Disclaimer: Adidas capped their donations at $1.5M, and this goal was obviously met rather quickly. Nonetheless, I continued to run throughout the week to: 1) hit my 50km goal and 2) continue to raise awareness.

Big thanks to my friends who also joined in on the cause as well.

I’ve been dedicating a lot of my time thinking of ways to use sports/health & fitness to educate more about sustainability, so it’s really awesome to see big brands like Adidas partner with organizations like Parley.tv.

Remy from Ratatouille

I know you’re in there, Remy.

I know you’re in there, Remy.

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Here’s a fun little story.

While I was in Langkawi, most of the restaurants were closed because of Ramadan. One of the best meals I ate multiple times was the spicy chicken nasi goreng (fried rice) at a popup tent right across from my hostel. The meal was always passionately cooked by a young man who always welcomed me each night I came to visit. One night I brought two of my friends along, and as we were waiting for our food we noticed that there were some BIG rats hiding in some crates just a few feet away from us. We weren’t able to snag any photos because they were so fast, but I’m not joking: these things might as well have been squirrels.

The irony of this story is that the chef decided to wear this particular hat that night. We all joked that Remy the Rat from Ratatouille was secretly under the hat cooking our meals. The beauty of southeast Asia, right? Kiss food safety goodbye. Find humor in the grime. Thanks for the nasi goreng, Remy!!!

How I got a job in Singapore without filling out an application

The Gym Pod located at Changi City Point!

The Gym Pod located at Changi City Point!

As I prepared to leave America, I spent my free time researching startups in Singapore. I surfed various blogs and forums and eventually stumbled upon The Gym Pod, a 24 hour smart gym built inside a shipping container. The concept of the gym immediately intrigued me; I studied their website from soup to nuts. Within a few minutes I decided that I had to apply, only to discover that there were no job openings available. I decided to go with a different approach.

The moment I got fully settled in Singapore, I immediately continued my research. I downloaded their mobile app to take notes of the user experience. I visited the Gym Pod locations to get an idea of the environment in and around the facilities. I asked strangers what they thought of the Pods. I even waited outside the Pods for people to finish their workout sessions so I could ask them how their experience was.

Using all of this information, I created a portfolio with my analysis and a series of recommendations for how to expand the business. I designed the portfolio to mimic The Gym Pod's exact website design and structure. [I can't take credit for this idea. Thanks @VanessaLau.co for the idea and inspiration. If you haven't heard of her, I highly recommend her content!]

On The Gym Pod's website, you'll see that they have three main selling points: privacy, convenience, and peace of mind. When I created my portfolio, I structured it into 3 reasons why they should hire me. I even made the portfolio password protected: hirepeterforsuccess. You can take a look at the portfolio here.

Once all of this was complete, I sent an email to the CEO to let him know I had some ideas to share and then crossed my fingers for a response. Fortunately, he responded - and after a couple meetings to exchange ideas, I'm happy to say that I have accepted an offer as Business Development Executive with The Gym Pod!

P.S. For those who are curious, I am still committed to building and developing GreenGuards. Busy times are ahead, but I'm excited for the challenge!

Join the discussion on LinkedIn!

Langkawi

What an incredible week spent in Langkawi, Malaysia to celebrate my 25th birthday. Thanks very much to everyone for the birthday wishes! 

When I arrived in Langkawi, I have to admit I was a little concerned that I was entering a ghost town. As I arrived to my hostel I couldn’t help but notice that everything was closed and there was literally nobody outside walking around the main strip. I forgot that it’s Ramadan, and most of the island actually shuts down during the entire holiday period. 

This was actually a blessing in disguise. I essentially was able to claim and explore the island completely to myself and a few other friends I made in the hostel. Waterfalls, private beaches, swimming holes - you name it. Everything was completely empty and it was an awesome experience to enjoy all of what the island had to offer without worrying about any crowds.

The best way to get around on Langkawi is by scooter, and so being able to cruise around and explore also reminded me of my awesome time in Lombok. I hit 100km/hr on my scooter this past week! Funnily enough, the poor scooter actually broke down on my last night there…good timing. Take a look at my photos to see some of what Langkawi has to offer (work in progress…does anyone know why Squarespace takes nearly 10 min to upload a single picture???).

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My body officially has no idea what time it is...

Just returned from my brief stint back in the states - I was only home for about a week. Although I wanted to stay longer and see some more familiar faces, I didn’t want to risk fully adapting to the US time zone and then readapting to SG time zone when I returned. That being said…I’m still exhausted. For whatever reason, I feel like my body gets hit with jet lag harder than most others. Regardless, it was great to to catch up with friends and family and of course witness 2 of my amazing friends get married (congrats Sally and Sergio!!). 

I got back to Singapore around midnight last night and I am now back in the airport again (it’s about 9am) awaiting my flight to go to Malaysia. I’ll be heading to the archipelago of Langkawi (99 islands) for a week to relax and celebrate my 25th! Langkawi is a bit of a quieter vibe but that’s typically what I prefer anyways. I’m getting way too old to go clubbing and what not. Ready to do some island hopping, hiking, and just bumming on the beach. 

I know I have been slacking on updating this site with pictures - hope to provide you guys with some cool shots from Langkawi!

My Morning Routine

I’ve been finding a lot of inspiration from Tim Ferriss lately. He frequently interviews some interesting people via his podcast and has also recently written the book Tribe of Mentors (probably my next purchase). He interviews a variety of successful individuals ranging from athletes, entrepreneurs, filmmakers, etc and asks them a series of questions.

There’s a saying that you are the average of the 5 closest people around you. Some people don’t have the luxury of keeping 5 people around who can continuously challenge themselves. Through Tribe of Mentors, Tim provides insight into the personalities of various successful people who anyone can find inspiration from.

When asked if there was a consistent habit among all the people Tim interviewed, he responded that they all had a morning routine. Everyone has their own opinion on why morning routines work, but for the most part it’s always about accomplishing small tasks to get you physically and mentally prepared to take on the rest of the day. I’ve never maintained a morning routine in my life, so I decided to give it a go. I’m about 2 weeks in and things are going pretty well!

Here is a glimpse into my routine:

It’s nothing fancy, but it’s made.

It’s nothing fancy, but it’s made.

1) I make my bed. Everyone preaches about why this is so great. It means that once you’ve woken up and made your bed, you’ve already “accomplished” something. This is a simple task but for anyone who knows me well, this is actually a big deal. I never make my bed. Before I started my routine, I could probably count the number of beds I’ve made on my two hands, and all of those occasions were probably when my ex-girlfriend was busy and asked me to do it for her. Fortunately my bed here in Singapore is pretty small, so making the bed is easy. Baby steps.

Many expletives mumbled on this floor every morning now.

Many expletives mumbled on this floor every morning now.

2) I foam roll my legs. This is a really good way for me to wake up my body. I do about 10 slow rolls on each leg for my glutes, hamstrings, calves, quads, and groin. No matter how tired (or hungover) I am in the morning, once I get to foam rolling, I have no choice but to wake up.

3) I have my cup of coffee. Obviously. Step 3 can be repeated “X” amount of times.

So that’s all. Just 3 basic steps that I’m committed to for now. Depending on my schedule for the day, I may have time to go for a proper workout, read, or just head out for the day for meetings. That being said, I definitely feel as if I am more productive in the mornings. We’ll see how long I can keep it up and if I add any more steps to the routine.

I quit my job 1 month ago: 3 things I have to say so far.

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Background:

As my graduation date fast approached, I spent nearly every day submitting multiple job applications with hope that someone would give me a call back. Just a couple weeks before graduation, I accepted a full-time offer in corporate America as a business analyst. This entire process was not so much focused on finding a job that I would love, but rather something that I just felt I was obligated to do. I graduated with a double major from the School of Business, so getting any sort of business analyst role meant that I was on the right track, right?

From day 1, I made it my mission to: work harder than anyone else, get promoted as fast as possible, and earn as much money as possible. I was a top soccer player as a kid and also earned a scholarship at my university to play on the team; this was my competitive nature coming out. Looking back, I achieved everything I set out to do. I was well-respected and known as a go-getter by my colleagues, I earned the promotion I desired, and I was making a healthy salary. Then one day, even with another promotion likely around the corner, I decided to leave it all behind and move to Singapore in order to pursue a role with a startup.

1) Excelling at a job you don’t love will lead to a dead end. Pursue your passions instead. 

With my relentless work ethic, I rapidly earned the respect of my colleagues and “climbed the corporate ladder," so to speak. Many members of management would frequently joke that one day they would all be working for me. While the praise was flattering, I didn't truly feel excitement at the thought of sitting in that sort of chair anymore. So what happened to the guy who wanted to earn promotions and earn as much money as possible? Wouldn't this be the dream scenario?

Don't get me wrong, I had a fantastic job and worked with wonderful people, but I knew deep in my bones that I was no longer fit to stay in corporate America anymore (particularly in the industry I was in). When I accepted my initial offer, I didn't pay attention to the industry nor what sort of role I would play. Instead, I treated my career as a competition against myself and my peers to earn money and respect. Once I had achieved that, life at work started to get increasingly boring because I simply didn't feel a connection to the work I was doing. At the end of the day, the amount of effort and hours I expended didn't feel gratifying anymore.

I consumed countless articles, videos, and podcasts that preached about doing what you love. Friends of mine were off starting their own businesses, going back to school to further perfect their craft, and others even went off to travel the world. I envied their ambition while I sat in an office every day. Finally, instead of aimlessly wishing, a switch in my head went off. I sat deep in reflection and discovered that my passions aligned with: entrepreneurship, the green economy, the shared economy, health & fitness, and food & beverages. I knew I wanted to pursue a career in one or more of these industries, and I longed to be able to see direct and positive impacts on other people's lives as a result of my work.

I'm sure many of you are curious, and no, I have not found a job yet. I am actively spending my time researching various startups that peak my interest and also furthering my knowledge within these industries. Dedicating my time to research and to explore what is truly meaningful to me has done numbers for my mental health and self-satisfaction. Although I have not picked up a paycheck for a month, I can say without hesitation that I have not wasted a single minute of any day since I left my job, and that is powerful.

Bye bye Bali

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It’s my last full day in Bali and I’m back to Singapore in the morning. I didn’t get to write nearly as much as I wanted to, and so much has happened that it’s going to be hard for me to remember everything. I’m currently sitting in Ubud enjoying the views of the rice terraces and sipping on various (free!!) coffees and teas, while relaxing to Khalid’s new album. I’d say this is the perfect way to end 2.5 weeks of an action-packed holiday. 

Bali has been quite an experience. I spent the first few days in the south in Uluwatu to relax on the beach and catch a few more waves. 

Pumped to catch my first waves without an instructor!!

Pumped to catch my first waves without an instructor!!

The next 3 days were dedicated to tattoos - 1 was spontaneous and the other 2 were planned (sorry, Mom).

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Seriously cannot believe Bourdain drank 3 of these in 30 minutes…

Seriously cannot believe Bourdain drank 3 of these in 30 minutes…

Additionally I’ve just been cruising on my scooter and checking out various food spots. Last night I checked out a spot called Naughty Nuri’s which specializes in spare ribs and cocktails. The late and great Anthony Bourdain is on the record saying it serves the best martinis in the world. 

Everything has been great fun, but the real highlight of the trip has been meeting absolutely incredible folks from all over the world. As I bounced from hostel to hostel I made friends that I only got to spend a few days with, but it feels like I’ve known them my whole life. It was refreshing and enlightening to sit around a table with various people from different backgrounds and simply talk about anything and everything. This trip definitely would not have been the same without meeting them, and I’m thankful to now have more friends from all over the world. More excuses to travel!  

Indonesia tempted me to continue the backpacker life, but I’m eager to get back to my new condo (!!) and start the grind.  

Trekking to the Crater Rim of Mount Rinjani

Whilst at the hostel in Lombok, my friend Elle asked if anyone was up for doing a 3 day trek to the crater rim of Mount Rinjani. Without batting an eye, I said yes. Those who know me know that I’m always up for a solid hike with beautiful views.

The itinerary for this trip:

  • Day 1: Travel from Kuta, Lombok to Senaru, Lombok. Spend 1 night in a homestay in the village of Senaru.

  • Day 2: Hike 7 hours up to the crater rim of Mount Rinjani (Pelewangan Crater Rim). Set up camp and catch the sunset over Mount Rinjani and the crater lake.

  • Day 3: Catch sunrise and then begin the 5 hour trek back down to Senaru village.

Folks used to be able to hike down to the lake to swim/fish and also trek all the way to the summit of Mount Rinjani, but unfortunately those paths have been too damaged due to earthquakes in the area.


Before I get to the actual hike - a quick word on the village of Senaru. Earthquakes are frequent in Lombok (the latest one on March 18, just 3 days before I arrived), and the village of Senaru has been absolutely decimated. Walking through the village, you can see the remnants of restaurants and homestays that used to flood the streets. While family’s homes and businesses have been destroyed, every single person that I passed on the street still greeted me with a smile. Even without proper housing or running water, they are still so optimistic about life. It was a humbling experience and I’m glad I was able to see the village and talk to some of the locals - it definitely allowed me to take a step back and appreciate the basics of life and not to take anything for granted.


Doesn’t look as steep in photos, but this was essentially a landslide going straight down.

Doesn’t look as steep in photos, but this was essentially a landslide going straight down.

The next day we began our trek roughly around 7:30am. The hike was broken up into several phases which took about 1-1.5 hours each. Fortunately the first 4-5 were all in the shade for the most part. One of the craziest things during the hike was seeing an area where there was a major landslide. Considering an earthquake just happened a few days ago, I was a bit nervy when I came at this stretch.

A good boy who followed us all the way to the top! We named him Electrolyte, because we were all lacking them.

A good boy who followed us all the way to the top! We named him Electrolyte, because we were all lacking them.

When we made it about 75% up the mountain, we had to camp out under shelter for a few hours due to heavy rain. We waited for nearly 3 hours, and at one point our guide suggested that we just set up camp at this section and finish the hike early in the morning. Luckily, the rain finally stopped and we had about 1.5 hours to get to the top. This was by far the steepest and most dangerous stretch of the hike, and I have absolutely no idea how we would have managed to do that at 4:00am in pitch black the next day. We completed the hike around 6:00pm and had just enough time to settle our things and watch the sunset. There was an amazing 360-view of Mount Rinjani, the crater lake, and the Gili Islands. The 10.5 hour journey was 100% worth it, and I can say with confidence that being up there for sunset was one of the most rewarding and peaceful moments I’ve experienced in a long time.

The next morning we were up early again to catch the sunrise before heading back down to Senaru. The hike downwards was shorter (5-6 hours), but basically because we were forced to almost jog down the mountain. The final 1.5 hours was completed in absolute downpour - and although most people would complain, I actually found it to be a refreshing and peaceful way to end such an amazing journey. I’m grateful to have had such an experience and met some amazing people along the way. Keep an eye out for more images on my photos page for more updates (the wifi in Bali is too slow to upload all of them). Additionally, I have lots of footage of the hike up, so will post a link to the YouTube comp when complete!

After 10.5 hours, enjoying peace and quiet at the top.

After 10.5 hours, enjoying peace and quiet at the top.

Up early for sunrise with the squad. It was freezing and we basically slept on rocks :(

Up early for sunrise with the squad. It was freezing and we basically slept on rocks :(