For The Weekenders: Strange Beds, Artistic Camping, Sustainable Surf…

Hmm…haven’t done a For The Weekenders like this in a while. Every now and then it’s always a good thing to get some travel under your belt. Cool thing about travel is you get to check out a lot of unique and fun places, making more memories and moments of “remember that time when…

So let’s start globetrotting.

For The Weekenders: Strange Beds, Artistic Camping, Sustainable Surf…

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Summer’s like…here. And if there’s one thing I know about summer, it’s better when you make the best of it. Few factors involved in order to do that though…good people, good places, good food.

But most importantly, a good night’s sleep is imperative on a trip….to be fair though, that can get pretty boring.

Where you sleep and what kind of place you lodge at should be equally as interesting as the place you’ll be exploring. The guys over at The Manta Resort in Tanzania understand this – and have gone above and beyond the call of duty in delivering.

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Seriously. Next time instead of telling your friends about how comfortable the beds were at the hotel, now you can tell them that “oh, yeah the beds were comfortable and all, but was REALLY cool was seeing fish swim past us while we slept.”

Yeah. It’s that kind of resort.

The kind of resort that offers a two level “room” all to yourself/you and your S.O. – it’s the kind of place you go when you get tired of the typical resort style places – you know the type – A/C, sterile hallways, marble floors, concrete, doors….all the boring “man made” constructed stuff.

Not saying that your accommodation isn’t man made – but it’s all about the way it’s made. The resort calls it a “private floating island” and really, it is. Set out in the ocean with no one (too) near by, it’s a perfect, private little spot when you want to experience more than just swiping a key card and heading into your room while awkwardly greeting your next door neighbors…or hearing their awkward, horrible sex.

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…and this guy’s just here for the photos. For the resort that is. Obviously. Duh.

Besides the pretty epic lodging, The Manta Resort also has some pretty cool (and of course the usual conventional) activities…like diving (or learning how to dive if you don’t know how to), and unique excursions, including hanging with the locals at Spice Island, checking out birds (not the human kind) in the Ngezi rain forest, or just sitting back, sailing, and chilling out with local fisherman.

What you do is up to you with an absolute plethora of choices…there’s really no way you’ll ever have time to be bored.

But let’s say you have some irrational fear of water, or maybe you can’t swim…or maybe you’re just more of a different kind of outdoorsy person. Maybe you just want something way more exciting and less laid back.

Like camping.

Hey – don’t give me that face. While I usually treat camping with great disdain, a little place in Amsterdam’s got me thinking about it in a completely different light.

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Like…completely. Forget the canvas tents and stakes, classic camping just got a call from Urban Campsite Amsterdam – and was just informed it’s time to step up its game.

This is for those of us who always like the thought of camping – great outdoors, fresh air, fishing – but just couldn’t get used to the concept of sleeping on the ground.

No, instead these guys focus on integrating modern art into nature – while minimizing disturbing nature as much as possible. Think of it like an art gallery in the woods.

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Yeah…way cooler.

Basically, a group of of architects and designers get together, brainstorm, and come up with some pretty awesome stuff to show off with the surroundings of mother nature – things so cool you can’t help but fill half a 2 gig SD card and make prints out of those captured moments.

So the next time your friends say “let’s go camping,” instead of ruining a cool chance at hanging out with even cooler friends, suggest hopping a plane over to The Netherlands instead. 😉

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But let’s say instead of just co-existing with mother nature, you really wanna become one with her. Well, not to get right back around to sun and sand, but for anyone wanting to really connect, this next place is a must go to spot for any surfer.

The best part is, its main focus is sustainability – but go before it’s too late.

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While a resort is being built in the Maldives, a pretty epic sustainable surfing project has been launched, where you have access to your own private yacht, and clean, uncrowded surf. Now I know what you’re thinking – “why on earth would I want to support a place where they’re taking land away from the locals to build a resort for a bunch or rude tourists to flock to?”

That’s the cool bit – even after the resort is built, the locals still have access to their own land – so the surf can be enjoyed by more than just whoever has the most money.

By keeping the surf uncrowded, that means less abuse to the beach and a better surfing experience…so you can actually enjoy your holiday compared to dealing with the same kind of crowded waves you could catch back home.

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The lodging is ideal and ultra welcoming, with earth based tones and fantastic decor. A person can really feel like they’re taken care of in a place where an entirely new concept of the tourism industry is being born.

It’s the perfect spot for when you wanna get away from it all, enjoy a bit of luxury, yet still meet and hang with the locals. If every corporate resort company thought this way, there’d be a lot more business, and a lot more happy people…so good job Thanburudhoo Resort – keep up the good work.

As always…

Stay awesome. 😉

– Rego

Improve Your Lifestyle. Improve Yourself. This is Life. This is Rego’s Life.™

For The Weekenders: Strange Beds, Artistic Camping, Sustainable Surf… is a post from Rego’s Life

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Musings Episode 47: Drugs…

Yeah….we’re gonna go there today.

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While there are a lot of “highs” you can get in life – from extreme sports, to drinking (which, technically is also a drug), to exercise, to driving – one in particular is something that’s constantly in the news, on the internet, and on TV. There have been entire television shows (Breaking Bad or Weeds anyone?) made about it – drugs.

While I’m one for a drink every now and then, one thing I won’t touch are drugs.

Hang on – this isn’t gonna be some rant or lashing about “drugs are bad, you’re going to hell, blah blah blah,” no. I’d just like to share my opinion (and have you share yours by commenting/sharing below) on drugs.

Marijuana‘s slowly getting legalized – congrats to all those who were rooting for it.

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While I don’t give a rats arse either way, I am curious about one thing – why do it? Drugs I mean – not zeroing in on one specific narcotic directly.

I know, this is a touchy subject, but there are times when I meet people in my life and they ask “so do you wanna get high?”

…and this has included people who are both well off and not-so-well off alike.

The responses are usually “are you serious? EVERYONE gets high these days!” or “oh…you’re not into that – alright well…what I mean do you just not like it or…?”

Or my favorite “OOH damn, alright. I won’t say anything more.”

The curious look on their faces when I say “no thanks, I’m not into that stuff” is a look as if I’ve been living under a rock…

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…and maybe I have been living under one in that aspect. But I like it under my little drug-free rock, if that’s what you’d like to call it…and find my solace in other things – travel, experiences, hookah, and yes, the occasional nightcap. I’ve even tried Kava at one point – though I’d say that just “cleanses” the stomach more than anything (vomit alert in 3…2…). There may have been once where in my travels I journeyed to Amsterdam and “gave it a go” – but it just wasn’t my thing.

I don’t care if other people do drugs – that’s their deal, I’m not going to shove a lecture down their throat. To each their own, this is why humans are given free will.

Enough of the back story though. What I really want to discuss is – why? Why do it? If you do it now and there are some reasons why, comment below letting me know.

More importantly, albeit things like pot being legalized in certain countries and states, when it isn’t legal why stick your neck out for it?

If you’ve studied psychology, one reason can be that usually what is inaccessible and restricted, is in return more desirable and sought after. So there’s one possibility.

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But even getting hooked on pharmaceutical drugs (the biggest seller in the USA) has to be questioned.

The other possibility is according to science it enhances certain feelings and “unlocks” certain parts of the brain.

Another still could be people may just plain like that way drugs feel.

That’s not what irks me. What irks me is the addiction side of it. Addictions in general irk me – they show a sign of weakness and a belief a person has of themselves that they are unable to control certain aspects of him or herself – meaning they have given away a certain part of their free will voluntarily. I’m not just talking about drugs here either.

Drug addictions, alcohol addictions, shopping addictions, smoking addictions, the list could go on forever.

In my opinion addictions don’t exist but are in fact illusions and laziness on the person’s part in taking the time to control their thoughts, because quite honestly, there are literally hundreds if not thousands of ways to acquire the good FEELING in life.

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Feel free to agree to disagree with me.

By controlling your thoughts you can control your feelings, thus controlling your mood. One must find happiness within themselves before they truly know the meaning of it. The minute you understand this, is the minute you no longer look to outside sources to be in that constant state of “feel good” – and instead those outside sources just become an awesome accessory or enhancer.

Travel becomes more fun.

The simplest things you take appreciation in.

Hell, even just getting up in the morning and making coffee can turn enjoyable. It starts within, then exudes outward.

be happy

This is why I ask why do drugs. While many have told me they take you to another place or lower your inhibitions (alcohol can do the same thing), or even allow someone to see things differently, they can also separate two things – spirit from body. No, I’m not talking about death, so chill out.

I’m talking about disallowing your spirit to “drive” or interact with your body at full functionality. Basically lose control – the good kind of control. It’s the same way drinking too much can allow you to do that.

Why would someone want to cause that separation? Why would someone want to “escape” the very temple they’ve been given to guard and take care of?

More importantly, why risk it all for a high? Risking it all could mean for both the people in financially well off positions and not so well off positions.

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Anyone remember Michael Vick? Former Atlanta Falcons quarterback? SNL did a “Really” section on him some years back…

While he wasn’t arrested for the incident and police claim no real evidence was found regarding the incident at the airport, though later in his career was charged with dog fighting and tested positive for drug use.

Now hang on – I’m not bashing anyone here but serious question – why fuck everything up when you’ve got good money in the bank? I could’ve given any example but I wanted one that has impact and a clear point of logic.

Why, with all that cash, would you A) potentially try to smuggle your stash in a plane when you have enough money to buy more and B) do crazy shit like dog fighting?

Why fuck up a lifestyle that you made for yourself at all? All that money could buy or allow you to experience so much more in life. Doing that type of stuff is completely counter intuitive and backwards.

word hard focus move forward

While many aspiring football players would figuratively kill for Vick’s previous fame and fortune, the guy showed complete lack of appreciation for the accomplishments and success he had gained…and for what? There’s so much more he could’ve constructively accomplished.

This just goes to show that the mentality, the thought process was already within him. His way of thinking was there, even if subconsciously, the whole time. He chose to accept it.

This is what I mean when I say many still look for an outside experience to acquire that good feeling.

I’m not taking a shot at the financially successful either – the same goes for people who aren’t so well off and blow all their money on alcohol or drugs, then complain about how they’re always broke.

empty wallet

Why man?

That’s just dropping the ball on maintaining a steady lifestyle.

…and saying someone does it to get away from the stresses of life or hardships is a blatant cop-out. Don’t like your life? Change it.

People don’t change because they’re under any sort of threat or duress. They change because they see something that shows them their life is valuable and deserving enough to move forward and create a life that’s really worth living.

The same way people change their lives to accommodate the expense of drugs, alcohol, or even pharmaceutical addiction, is the same way they can change their lives to accommodate the expense of thinking up, creating, and investing in a better life of meeting new people, seeing new places, taking part in new (sober) activities – could even be painting or some shit.

samuel l jackson shitty problems birds meme

Maybe this is what stems overdoses, chasing after that good feeling. I don’t know…but I do know that there are many more things to get high on. You shouldn’t have to chase. You can get high on life, if you know how to align your thoughts a certain way. The main thing is, you’re ALIVE, man.

So many people take that for granted. Living. Breathing. Seeing. Hearing. Tasting. Being warm. Eating. Driving. Being able to exercise. Being educated. Playing on a team. Having hot water. Having proper sewage systems. Having A/C. Going to restaurants. Having a passport. Having clean drinking water. Having quality clothing on your back. Having decent shoes.

…and you choose to get high???

There’s so much to be thankful for in everyday life, yet many don’t even really think of it because it’s always been there. Many don’t get high on LIFE, because they take it for granted.

Funnily enough, one of my many favorite movies is Scarface.

Not because the guy rose to the top due of blood money and drugs. In fact it pissed me off when he touched what he sold. But I like the film because of one thing the character believed in…

THE WORLD IS YOURS WALLPAPER, scarface, the world is yours, al pacino

All you’ve gotta do is realize it, then get to work on creating your own life.

Happiness doesn’t come from external sources – external sources are mere enhancers. Experiences are momentary and memorable. Happiness starts within – and no, I don’t believe that bullshit mantra of being happy and poor. It’s a fucking sin in my book.

if you are born poor bill gates

I also don’t believe that bullshit mantra of praying/hoping/wishing for something yet taking no action towards acquiring it. The 1%ers you see today did not sit around waiting for their fortune to plop into their lap…they went after it, and made sure to not destroy it once acquiring it.

There is something that Emo Phillips also said but credit has been given to Al Pacino. That’s not the point though. The point is the meaning you can draw from it.

i asked god for a bike but i know god doesn't work that way so i stole a bike and asked for forgiveness

…he wasn’t saying go out and steal, but instead go after what you want. Don’t get distracted by all the bullshit. Why? Because…

The world is yours.

As always…

Stay awesome.

– Rego

Musings Episode 47: Drugs… is a post from and first appeared on Rego’s Life

 

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Musings Episode 34: Laugh a Little…

This past Friday I wasn’t feeling too on the up and up…

…not in the dodgy sense, but I just felt dragged down, burnt out.

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I’ve been working on a new extension of my official site, and the day prior had really given it my all – almost 13 hours straight just getting objectives knocked out one by one. I get into these super charged moments at times.

The next morning I overslept, which had me waking up feeling worse. As a perfectionist, I have a tendency to be a bit hard on myself.

For the rest of the day, I couldn’t really focus. I tried getting my head in gear but it just wasn’t working. Finally, frustrated, I decided to head down to the beach and go for a swim – one problem though. The water was ROLLING…surfers were out, it was close to high tide, and the smallest swells you’d usually be able to wade right through as you walked into the ocean curled and were over my head – I’m not a short person. Heck, there wasn’t really much to wade into – just waves – and not clean sets either.

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They were in such quick succession, sometimes one instantly after the other, I got pushed back about twice – remember, I was going for a swim, not surf, so no board to break the swell.

Now I believe that you should never mess with mother nature when you’re pissed off – and that goes double for the ocean…but stubborn as I sometimes am, I decided to go against my own rule, and the third time the water tried to push me back, I ran right into it and dove…right into a sandy rip curl.

Broke past it, only to have another, this time far less sandy one come at me, dove again, and again, and again. Finally got to a point where the swell didn’t curl, then the pattern changed again. So I dove again – slapped a fish (unintentionally), and while I was underwater noticed just how quickly the sand was being disturbed.

The current was strong, and just when I stabilized and was wading in all the turmoil, once the current pulled back, I started to feel it take my feet with it – and this is where it happened….

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I started laughing, put my hands behind my head, and literally laid back as it pulled the lower half of my body. So there I was, underwater eyes open, leveled out as if I were just casually laying back in bed. The ocean pulled me under, and then like those wet roller coaster rides I had a rip curl thrown into my face with such force and speed it was one of the loudest things I’d heard in a while.

Shortly after I got pushed back on the sand, and as I got up to leave the water, found myself laughing harder than I had all week. That force of water beating down on my head knocked me back to my senses. Mother nature literally slapped me silly.

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I picked up my towel and hit the shower, drove home. All the tension was gone. All the stress. The classic thoughts of “push harder” every perfectionist feels at some point. That pounding feeling at my forehead, and the stiffness in the back of my neck…and there I was, driving home in complete silence, smiling, and laughing to myself.

Usually, hitting up the beach just clears my head, get my thoughts in line…but that day – it reminded me that there are bigger things out there going on than stressing out – humans are just one small speck of this world, even if they hold responsibility to take care of it.

The ocean still moves.

Birds still fly.

Grass still grows and fruit still ripens.

Even if people get stuck in their own frustrations, the show must go on, and it does. Without thinking twice. People create their own problems, and their own paradise. The solution is going through the menu and ordering up which one you want.

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You decide whether or not to just let go. To step away from a problem and come back to it. I’m not saying shirk responsibility, but sometimes when you just take a breather, you end up being more productive and creative. People who take frequent breaks between stressful tasks and try different things than the “norm,” actually achieve their goal and come out successfully, much easier than those who don’t.

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So laugh a little. When things get stressful, it always helps to laugh a little. If you can’t figure out how to laugh then and there, do something stupid or simple, something that’ll knock the frustration right out of you, and laugh a little.

Sometimes, the easiest way to laugh is embarrass yourself.

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Show a little humility. Dance in public. Be a little light-heartedly sarcastic. Hit up a park and run towards the swings like you’re 5 again (I can honestly say I’ve done this more than enough times)…

…and watch the stress fade.

Laugh a little.

It’ll keep you on the right track…

…and as always…

Stay awesome 😉

– Rego

Musings Episode 34: Laugh a Little… is a post from Rego’s Life

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For The Weekenders: Yakitori, Wine on Tap, Life on a Boat

I’ve been eating pretty healthy lately….not that I wasn’t before – just, healthier. My workout regimes are changing, some exercises easy, others that need some hard rock to pull me through – it’s a process…but the end result is always worth it.

So this weekend I figured I’d treat myself. To some indulgence food…sort of. After about 3 weeks of mostly eating plant based protein – I figure it’s time for a little reward.

Yakitori 1 500

…and what better place to reward myself than at Sumi Yakitori in Brickell. This place…..hm….how to explain it – this place reminds me so much of Japan. Mostly because of the aesthetics – also because of the casual, warm atmosphere.

What separates this place from all the rest? The food is amazing. The whisky (yes, they have whisky – Japanese whisky to be more specific – vodka too) is choice, and the fact that they use binchotan – white charcoal, straight out of Japan – for all their grilling, allows them to create a taste that can’t be replicated anywhere else unless you visit J-Land yourself.

The real deal. Right here. In Miami.

The real deal. Right here. In Miami.

Be sure to make a reservation – then plant yourself at the bar, order a bottle, and prepare to enjoy all the grilled delights you can eat until the wee hours of the morning. In true Japanese fashion – this is Sumi Yakitori.

Alright – so I’ll admit, ever since enjoying massive pints in England I’ve developed a soft spot for alcohol on tap…now imagine you’re a wine lover. Imagining? Good…now imagine wine….on tap.

1003419_545988735436144_947627157_n

That’s right, Timone’s Pizza brings wine lovers everywhere their favorite fermented grapes to them in a way so unusual but so brilliant it’s a wonder why everyone doesn’t think that way.

Combined with a kick-ass menu and comfy leather seating, this place is great for hanging out with friends or a super casual date spot.

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Start with some marinated olives and a carafe of Pinot Grigio while engaging in simple but deep conversation, as you wait on your main entree of pizza made with Cherry & Heirloom Tomatoes, Arugula Pesto, Mozzarella, and a generous amount of goat cheese. If you’re not into pizza take a crack at their Riverview Farms Polenta – heavily laden with red sauce and mascarpone….gotta love mascarpone.

From here make sure the last time you ate was 3 hours ago – wouldn’t want to spring a cramp or worse – get seasick. Why….? Well, what better way to close off (or extend) a weekend by taking the initiative to learn about boats – more specifically how to drive – erm, sail them, I should say.

IP32_Acadame2

Leave the beer bottles and cocktails at the door for this one, because here comes some serious training. I remember when I was a kid – I always wanted to learn how to sail/navigate a boat. Then finally, at the age of 7, I got my first chance to take the captain’s wheel and steer one through a canal. The seas were as calm as the weather – but being that age it was still a massive thrill for me. Years later and I still remember my very first time behind the wheel like it was yesterday.

The Maryland School of Sailing & Seamanship offers a variety of courses – from a four day, live-on boat novice education, to a full on, week long advanced training experience. So if you’re new to the boating world grab yourself the easiest course first – but if you’re more seasoned give yourself a challenge. For those in between – they have something for you too.

Welcome to the big dog's playground.

Welcome to the big dog’s playground.

Now you’ll finally have an excuse to break out those white chinos and that captain’s jacket.

😉

– Rego

For The Weekenders: Yakitori, Wine on Tap, Life on a Boat is a post from and appeared first on Rego’s Life

For The Weekenders: Dancing in Hong Kong, Vacations in Cuba, Helicopter Volcano Diving in Siberia

….So I go to write my Episodic Musings for this Monday and realize somehow I set this post to private *facepalm*…sorry guys. I kicked off this one with a longer than usual intro place – but it’s well worth the read. Enjoy.

Last weekend at my friend’s birthday bash, I danced my ass off…and it got me thinking about my days in Asia – so I thought to myself, “what’s an ace place for a drink and shuffle?” – this is where Socialito came to mind.

As you all know by now I’m alllll about aesthetics – and this place tops the charts.

So picture the setting – you’ve gotten the travel bug itch and find yourself in Hong Kong – Wyndham Street in Central, to be more specific. After taking a walk around town, while both practicing and successfully putting into good work your study of Cantonese, you now find yourself walking with a good group of people you’ve managed to befriend at a bar in passing – along with a certain someone who’s caught your attention in more ways than one. (*wink*). You’re all wondering where to head to next – and suddenly you see it – Socialito, in all it’s magnificent glory with a queue to prove it’s reputation.

Socialito Line

Finally making it through the queue you step inside to a world of awesomeness – great food, numerous people enjoying themselves, and enough alcohol to go around an entire country. Looking over the menu, you and your group decide to sober up a bit before the next round of drinks – and order up scintillating dishes such as house made Chorizo Quesadillas  and BBQ Wings – not a fan of poultry or red meat? That’s okay…they also have cod fritters.

Then you realize – with all that food, you’ve gotta have a chaser. Something smooth, but not too smooth – it has to have a kick, memorable enough to recall every time you pour a cold one from your own cocktail shaker back home. So you browse the drink menu, and come across the Mexican Campfire – no explanation needed. I’m a fan of drinks such as these myself – and like a friend of mine once asked in uni – “do you ever buy any drinks that aren’t on fire?” – the only response worth giving, is a smile and wink.

Socialito Drink 2

Don’t be fooled – from the front entrance Socialito may look like just a normal restaurant – but shuffle through the kitchen and you’ll discover a dance floor and DJ booth worthy of only the best, such as DJ Ruckus. Walk up to the bar and order a round of shots for your newly found acquaintances and your date for the night, as you casually say “it’s alright guys, this round’s one me.”

Make your way over to the dance floor, feel the beat of the bass from the bottom’s of your feet to the top of your head, and dive into the night – like any good venue, group dancing is acceptable and expected. So go ahead – shake a leg – you deserve it.

DJ Ruckus

Had enough dancing and ready to just lounge around in the sun, but with a bit of class? Well, there’s a fix for that….and believe it or not, it can happen in Cuba. That’s right my friend, Cuba. So for all you Americans, you can once again, thank the guys at Abercrombie & Kent for making it happen. How do they do it? Well, “on the record”, it’ll be like you’re going on a foreign exchange program.

You catch a flight from Miami, and arrive at Santa Clara Airport in Cuba. From there, you meet up with your tour guide – and I know, as anti-tour guide as I am, believe me it’s worth it this time – and take a scenic drive to Caibarién – a refreshing fishing village where the locals explain their daily routine.

Cuba

You keep going until you check into your hotel, and prepare for the next 8-9 days – which will be involving fishing, taking in the fine arts, cigars, and numerous other things that’ll give you an excuse to bring three SD cards for your Digital SLR. You’ll engage in conversations with local fisherman, revealing how the industry has an impact on the community…which’ll be followed by a visit to the Sugar Museum, housed in the historically important Marcelo Salado Azucarera (sugar mill), that will educate you along similar lines.

After the history lesson your brain will probably be frying with the tremendous intake of info, so you’ll stop at El Curujey for an authentic Cuban farm lunch to refuel, before you head to Remedios for a spot of baseball with the locals at their local stadium. After all that food, resting for 90 minutes prior to jumping into the game is advised – stretching too.

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Off the record you’ll be practicing your Spanish and befriending the locals with good food, good music, and better drinks. This doesn’t mean you can ditch the 10 day tour – no, Abercrombie & Kent went through great lengths for their clients to enjoy their stay in Cuba, so going through the ropes of the educational experience in mandatory – and advisable. Remember – the only real way you get to enjoy and come to know a country is by learning about both its history an culture, simultaneously. Do that, and the experience will be more memorable and closer to home than just going there to party your ass off. 😉

So push aside the hangover from the night prior, fast forward to Day 8 and push on with the tour as you take in the sights and smells of a botanical farm while talking to the owners who discuss their continuous efforts to educate today’s kids about organic farming. After all – who wants their kids growing up thinking that all groceries just come from the grocery store (W.T.F.). After, meet back at your hotel with a local physician as he gives you the 411 on Cuba’s public health care session followed by a Q&A. From there, take a load off and relax by the pool – you won’t wanna miss it.

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Now that the hangover’s fully cleared and you’ve relaxed with a swim sesh and detox at the gym, it’s time to press on to Day 9 – you’ll check out the “yank tank,” while driving it to historic Hotel Nacional, a national monument built in 1930 and overlooking the Malecon (seaside promenade) and Havana Harbor.

From here, you’ll be enjoying a Buena Vista Social Club-style music and a traditional dance performance, sponsored by the Cuban Institute of Music. After the show you’ll want to (and will be encouraged to) talk with the musicians, getting into deep conversation with them and unearthing what makes them “tick,” and what first got them into music in the first place. Take notes and numbers, learn plenty and befriend many – because Day 10 it’s back to the airport.

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So you’ve touched down in Miami International Airport…but your travel bug hasn’t been satisfied just yet. “Well damn,” you think to yourself…”where to next?” Then it hits you – Siberia. Yes…after all that lounging, you want something adventurous, something rugged, something new – as if these past three weeks haven’t been new already. Well, get your steel toe boots ready, because it’s next stop: Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky Airport.

We’re not talking about visiting the hellishly cold Siberia you’ve seen in films and photos, naa…I wouldn’t be that cruel to you guys. Instead, we’re merely talking about volcanoes….and helicopters…maybe some whales – and a couple bears. Okay I lied – a few bears. Wait though – before you say “no thanks” and start off on your transfer flight to wherever, hear me out: helicopters – diving into volcanoes –

Did I mention they're live volcanoes?

Did I mention they’re live volcanoes?

with helicopters.

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Before all this though, it’d be a good idea to get acquainted with your sleeping quarters – aka lair, if you wanna get fancy and feel a little like you’re in a Bond film. With accommodation where the sun rises up from the Pacific Ocean and greets the summits of smoking volcanoes – you can’t go wrong. Surrounded by epic landscape, we’re talking the epitome of luxury meshed with the ruggedness of the wilderness. They understand that a city slicker like you may be a little soft though – which is why they offer soothing spa treatments with the healing thermal waters of Kamchatka to compliment that insanely sick room of yours.

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But enough pampered talk and back to the main subject at hand – volcanoes. Once you’ve seen enough fiery acid spewing at hundreds of feet, you’ll take a 6×6 (yes, not 4×4) tour of a second volcano – and then climb it….all that leg work and sitting on the edge of your seat is bound to work up an appetite – and the guys at 56th parallel have taken that into consideration. So you’ll be provided with a private chef who’ll be joining you on your fishing voyage – and then cooking said fishing voyage bounty right in front of you. Don’t feel bad – it’s not Nemo – just halibut.

No fresh meal is Siberia is complete without quality vodka – it’s Russia – you’re allowed to be a little cliché.

Just be sure to be sober enough to head into the wild with an armed-ranger, who’ll be teaching  you to sneak up ninja style on near 1 ton bears and watch as they feast endlessly on salmon at and near Kurilskoye Lake. Having lox and bagels for breakfast is ill-advised and breath mints are encouraged.

bears

A little adventure is always a good way of staying young. 😉

– Rego

For The Weekenders: Dancing in Hong Kong, Vacations in Cuba, Helicopter Volcano Diving in Siberia is a post from and appeared first on Rego’s Life

Musings Episode 16: Effective Communication…How to Talk to People in Both Personal and Business

So this weekend I was out with a few people on Saturday night, some new and some I’ve known a while. One thing that caught my attention was the manner in which one of the new people were talking. For a bit of background info while keeping anonymity, this particular person is in the real estate sector, and considered a “real estate guru”.

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While it seemed they had a knack for closing on sales and acquiring large amounts of cash, their real hiccup was talking in a normal setting. They weren’t shy, no – but overbearing, critical, and constantly shot negs – and no, not the type used to pick up women – but backhanded compliments in general.

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When it came to listening to others talk, he’d comment that while they seemed to know the terminology, they still had a ways to go…”but continue, this is interesting,” he’d say. This repetitive behaviour left the group annoyed and albeit them trying to accommodate and override the awkwardness in recovery from these comments, eventually everyone went their separate ways earlier than intended. Slightly later on a friend and I met up to shoot pool and discuss the evening.

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“Man….” my friend started before breaking the rack, “…that guy was a dick. What planet did he come from expecting people to just be okay with him talking like that? He insulted the whole group almost. What a fucking know-it-all.” It was here I examined the table, trying not to laugh to hard at my buddy’s reaction, while also figuring out the most sensible and logical answer to his question.

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He was justified in his opinion – they guy did act like a total ass, while mostly everyone else was getting acquainted with each other and exchanging view points and opinions on their given businesses/professions, exchanging ideas and thoughts – but never once did anyone, and I do mean anyone but this guy, have the balls to openly point out to another their lack of complete knowledge in any given field that was discussed but not necessarily their own.

So I lined up my shot, thought for a bit, took a sip of my drink and finally answered, “you know…and this is not at all making an excuse for the sod – but while he may know how to close, and have the ‘gift of gab’ when it comes to a sale…he’s clearly lacking in overall social skills…and really, when you think about it – honing in on that skill is what really makes a good businessperson. It has more long term effect, leaving a deeper impression on the mind.”

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He nodded, agreeing that’s a critical point in any aspect of life – business, personal, romantic, platonic, you name it….and thinking on this made me want to share a few pointers with you ladies and gents, on how exactly to be a social elite – or, social butterfly, call it what you like. This is going to be slightly different from my usual episodic musings, but I’d like to share – so here goes….

Build up people

….and no, this does not mean kiss ass. Sycophancy and building people up are two completely different things. Building up someone means getting to know someone’s strong points, their desires, their dreams and goals…and most importantly their passions.

Get a person talking about their passions and desires – and you’ve got miles of road to run off of. The rest takes care of itself – because you’ve got someone talking about what they like. Most people go quiet because they’re waiting to talk – rarely do they ever go quiet to listen.

Ernest-Hemingway-quote

This doesn’t mean go completely quiet either – this means really assess what the person is saying, pick a point you’d like to know about/catches your eye (ear?), and engage them in that point.

An example:

Person 1: So you work as a foreign currency exchange trader?
Person 2: Yeah.
Person 1: That seems like an interesting trade – what got you so interested in it?
Person 2: I don’t know – I guess you could say I really like numbers.
Person 1: Same – money and math – the only two international languages 😉
Person 2: Haha, yeah.
Person 1: So what is it about numbers that you like exactly? Forex is a very volatile game – there’s gotta be some type of thrill factor in there…and my guess is you’re definitely the type who stays on their toes. It’s not for everyone.
Person  2: Oh yeah, no joke, it’s fast paced…well I guess you could say I was never really good at English – but Math I always nerded out on…so I guess I like the fact that though it may seem random and volatile – it’s really not, but instead….

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You see how that interaction flowed…? Person 1 showed interest, intrigue, and a natural engagement in what person 2 did as a profession. They not only showed it – but also subtly complimented them on their skills, even though they weren’t entirely sure all of what it entailed. It didn’t come across as obvious or as if they were trying to compliment them at all. Which leads us to our next point….

Be genuine. Not nice.

These terms are another pair that tend to become easily confused. Being genuine, is  a whole different ball game from being nice. Being nice is easy. Being nice is effortless. Being nice doesn’t take thinking, and it doesn’t take a whole lot of engagement either.

Like OMG

Being genuine is a different story however. It’s a little more proactive, a little more involved, and a little less bullshit. Being genuine means actually backing your words, having a reason why you said or did something, and not just doing it in order to keep up appearances.

Someone who’s nice could engage you as if they’re really paying attention. They could easily state, “oh absolutely, I’d love to know more about what it is you do as a fitness consultant. I myself thought about getting back into tennis!”

tennis-meme

….only to leave your business card on the side table or the kitchen counter after parting ways in conversation with you. It happened to me the first time I had a business that relied heavily on social interaction – and it stung like hell. It was insulting, rude, and I felt like it was a complete waste of time talking to them.

Someone who’s genuine is really going to want to know about YOU. Not just find out things like they’re filling out a Facebook profile only to regurgitate the information for gossip later.

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That’s the difference between nice and genuine…and it’s a fine line.

There’s “humor”…and then there’s humor.

The apparent trend nowadays portrayed by the media leans more toward the theory that being a complete smartass will get you somewhere. While the shock value of that may fascinate and intrigue intially, long term, it just gets plain old.

Humor, contrary to today’s popular belief, does not have to be at the expense of others. It does not have to be created from picking apart a conversation and pulling out points that don’t make sense. Remember that dialogue I showed you earlier? Between Person 1 and Person 2?

Person 2: I don’t know – I guess you could say I really like numbers.
Person 1: Same – money and math – the only two international languages 😉
Person 2: Haha, yeah.

While the statement may seem slightly unrelated to any sort of punchline, it actually flowed quite well. It didn’t involve bringing any other person in, nor did it involve shock value or discussion of something negative. It wasn’t forced to where Person 1 was trying to “create humor out of thin air”…

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It stemmed from the conversation naturally, and in the most casual way possible. Sure, it’s not laugh-hysterically-funny, but it was calm, casual, and enough for a warm smile back at least with a bit of afterthought on what was just said – and on top of that, it was a true statement.

Of all the countries I’ve been to, it’s the only thing I’ve literally seen everyone be fluent in…from hand gestures to writing the numbers down (the Western Arabic numeric system is widely used in many countries).

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What are some of the don’ts, you ask? Well, they can be summed up fairly easily:

  • Don’t brag/gloat – noone wants to randomly hear about your mega yacht, unless deep-sea fishing is brought up – nor do they want to hear about your newly acquired BMW unless some form of mechanics or lifestyle is mentioned – stick with topics that flow in the conversation

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  • Don’t always focus on the negative – some people who are “experts,” focus so much on picking apart and analyzing the negative they forget to leave it at the door. While critical thinking, the occasional pessimist view, and problem solving may be good in a business setting – trying to tweak and discuss all the pitfalls could discourage conversation by dampening someone’s mood on a subject they may really enjoy talking about – and leave you wondering why conversation suddenly dries up at your every turn.
  • Be humble – making a big point that you own your own company (and then pointing out again you’re the CEO…no shit Sherlock)/are in a management position does not sound cool. It just makes you sound like an insecure, never-had-anything-significant-happen-ass. Brushing casually over your title in a nonchalant manner will actually spark more intrigue than saying it with your chest puffed out.

So you get the general idea of this whole post…while there’s LOADS….and I do mean loads more things that must be learned and practice to further your goal of being a social elite, these are just a few tasters that can make a world of difference. I may continue this in next week’s episodic musing…we’ll see.

Until then, stayed tuned…and stay classy.

– Rego

Musings Episode 16: Effective Communication…How to Talk to People in Both Personal and Business is a post from and appeared first on Rego’s Life

Musings Episode 14: Friends for Friends….or Friends for Money….?

So  my friends and I were all sitting around this weekend by the pool, and remembering exactly how each and every one of us first met. Some at coffee shops or events, others through other friends…and it kind of bled into the topic about how exactly people acquire friends as they age.

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Obviously by getting out there more and having more experiences, from travel to dance classes, yachting to hanging out at a decent lounge bar, you make friends one way or the other. Well really, acquaintances when you think about it – then there’s a filtration process. My buddies and I discussed that as well and that’s probably the most frustrating part.

Most of my friends run in the same circle – and by circle I mean way of thinking. Entrepreneurial, driven, independent, forward thinking. We all work, and play hard – well, maybe play a bit harder than we work 😉 after all the motto is work smart, not hard.

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What exactly do I mean by filtering? Well, I’m not trying to go on a rant here, while picking up acquaintances is easy, it’s finding genuine friends that requires a bit of skill. You’ve all heard it at some point before – in movies, general conversation, through music. While being successful is great, sometimes it’s an absolute drag when people get to know you better.

Think of it like this – you happen to meet someone – in public, at the grocery store, through a social event, maybe shooting pool or going bowling, joining a fencing class in your area or hitting up a dojo because you’ve been wanting to try out Aikido for months now. You two exchange a few words, hit it off really well, get each other’s contact info. You invite them out, either with other friends or maybe to party it up somewhere, maybe go for some hookah.

Somewhere nice. Hookah's always better when it's someplace nice.

Somewhere nice. Hookah’s always better when it’s someplace nice.

Turns out you guys have a lot in common – both into sports, both into great music, both into travel and open to other cultures. It’s great – ever had those kind of conversations where it’s not forced and it just flows really well? Yeah – those are awesome. So you talk, talk, talk the night away. Bond with some hookah, bond with some drinks, hell, you may even become wing men/women and hit on people together.

Things seem great – until something happens. It could be the first time, could be the second, third even. Bottom line is – it happens…

…and usually, it leaves you with that sick, churning kind of feeling in your stomach. The “oh no…not again” type.

The bill comes, and they ask if you can cover some of their portion for it.

Or the bill comes, and they say ask if you can spot them this time because you’re “good for it.”

Or…my favorite, because it’s just so damn funny – the opposite (or same, for some) sex, says that you’re good for it, and while they may not have enough cash – they have something else for you afterwards if you do front their half of the bill. Then just kind of…nudge or press into you and wink.

After all....sex sells. For some. I'll pass though, thanks.

After all….sex sells.
For some. I’ll pass though, thanks.

Now don’t get me wrong here – I love treating people. I love buying a bottle or two and passing it around the table. I love buying food for everyone or buying every other round of drinksHowever – when it’s expected that it should be done automatically, sheerly based off the fact someone is under the assumption you’re better off than them – even if they may be doing pretty damn well for themselves. This absolutely irks me.

My friend Luke (no, not the one from Star Wars) absolutely hates it as well.

Why?

Well, because honestly it kind of makes a person feel like they’re being used. Taken for. Taken advantage of. Sort of like if someone’s looking at you, and you look into their eyes, and instead of the reflection of yourself – you see dollar signs. Their eyes are lit up, bright and green, with paper.

As green as this girl's shirt.

Almost as green as this girl’s dress.

And again hey, don’t get me wrong, this doesn’t just happen with successful men – so fellas, before you go on a rant about how women are gold diggers, there are plenty of guys out there who seduce women for the thing humans so highly hold called money. Don’t believe me? Check out the movie Spread (2009).

…and this is where the filtration process kicks in.

My friends and I all have different tactics – one of them when inviting new people out, attempts to have the most boring outing of their life, just so they can see whether or not the person wants to be their friend because they want to hang out with them. Not their money. You’re probably asking why they’d go out and do something boring – well, think about it…

…you’re out and about, having a good time, at a live music venue, yadda yadda. Or maybe you’re both playing squash or out racing go karts. Naturally, a setting has been created, where you’re both having fun. This really eliminates the need for any form of meaningful conversation. The fun is there – the mind is focused on said fun. The engagement is already there.

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Prepare to get owned.

It’s like video games – or even better it’s like watching a movie – you don’t really engage with each other – you just watch the movie, and maybe share some brief thoughts about it afterwards. Which is why I’m really not a fan of suggesting those type of things in my dating life, for a first date. It’s an inefficient use of time, and an exit for pushing yourself to become a conversationalist.

My point is creating a boring atmosphere really accomplishes two things:

  1. It pulls people out of their shell and gets them to talk – instead of fiddling with their phone.
  2. It reveals whether a person wants to get to know you or your money.

So when you’re sitting there with nothing but a Dos Equis in one hand and the view of the beach across the street, you’ve gotta actually think about what to talk about. What questions to ask, topics to pick, etc, etc. The best part about this is – you can get a relatively clear reading on the person. Not doing an all too engaging activity gives you time to study body language, eye movement, facial expressions (which tell you a LOT, like if someone’s lying – if you pay attention), and much more.

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This is the best way to get to know a person…and besides, before all the technology, before all the awesome things that were created for having a great time graced human existence today, this is how we started out – through conversation. Literature was once the fuel that flamed this fire – reading about different things, educating ourselves, studying an atlas, breaking down and comprehending poetry, all that jazz….

…and by conversating with and reading people, often you’ll find you can read their thoughts. Their motives. Their intentions. Their hearts.

You can tell if they wanna get to know you, for you.

Not your bank account.

Stay smart…and you’ll stay happy.

– Rego

Musings Episode 14: Friends for Friends….or Friends for Money….? is a post from and appeared first on Rego’s Life