This is the first of a series of posts I’ll be making of my travels around the world. This blog will be the main source of my updates (since my Facebook account was accidentally shut-off…long story), although I will be also posting updates to my new Facebook profile, so you can add me there if you’d like.
London, England – Lots of Learning
England was really great! I honestly wasn’t that big of a fan on London, it was too big of a city for me, but here are two pictures of the English gardens at Regent’s Park.
One interesting thing I observed about London was that the people there are very unfriendly and cold, demeanor-wise, during the day; but after the clock hits 6pm, everyone seems to run towards the pubs and loosens up a lot. Its kindof endearing; lots of the English people will throw their hands around each other, start singing some random song, and do a weird sort of drunken dance/hop when they’re out at night, I thought that was awesome. Sorry I didn’t get any videos, hah.
I was in London for the StackThatMoney London Meetup, which was basically for networking in my industry, over 600 people from all over the world attended. I was with my buddy Nick Mascetta and Scott; Nick and I actually decided to travel a bit and we went to Bruges, and are in Amsterdam at the time I’m writing this.
I also attended a really cool learning program put on by my friend Charles Ngo called Affcelerator. I learned a number of things I’ve started applying immediately in my business (Facebook advertising) that’s going to allow me to take my business to the next level, which I’m excited about. I have a testimonial video on my Youtube here. My main takeaways were: Facebook advertising tactics, creating ‘edges’ for yourself (as opposed to advantages, which are shorter-lived), and playing the business game ‘Chinese-style’.
There were roughly a dozen people at this program, and one thing I was extremely surprised about was that people asked barely any questions. I’d say I asked more questions of Charles and Ben than everyone else combined. If you ask me, that’s pretty ridiculous. Literally the only requirement Charles had before the start of the course for us was that you should come prepared with lots of questions. I personally think questions are the most important pillars necessary for learning to happen. To be more exact, I believe open questions (where you have no pre-concieved bias of what you believe the answer should be) are necessary for learning, as opposed to leading questions (where you do have a pre-concieved notion of what you believe the answer should be. #endrant 🙂
Dover, England – White Cliff Country
After London I went south to visit Dover, because I had heard of it in a song ‘The White Cliffs of Dover’ on Guitar Hero. My buddy Nick was headed to Paris, but honestly I don’t care much for big cities (or the French).
The place I stayed in in Dover was really cool, it was a 500+ year old house that was built for a knight, and was placed immediately below the big castle in Dover. Dover, and the county (Kent) Dover is in are the closest points in England to France, so there are numerous old castles built along the coast to protect against invasion.
I’ve been getting a little fat lately, so I decided to go for a really long run along the cliffs, but the first stop was to see the local museum, which was pretty interesting. I was pretty amazed people had lived in England for over 3,500 years. I also learned England and France were actually connected before the last Ice age (10,000 years ago), and that each centimeter of chalk on the white cliffs takes 100,000 years to form! That’s a lot of work for 1 centimeter of chalk!
Jogging along the cliffs was definitely one of my major highlights though. Its absolutely breathtaking. One thing I found a bit sad though was there were two separate spots where someone had laid flowers and notes down on the edge of the cliff where someone had committed suicide. Really sad. That being said, it was really majestic scenery all about. I guess on a clear day you can see all the way to France, which is 23 miles away, across the channel.
I’m not sure why yet, but I’ve been taking a lot of videos of my walkabouts in various areas all over the world so I can remind myself of the scenery/shrubbery/views. I’m not sure how interesting anybody else will find these videos, but I’m embedding some of them below anyways so you can watch them if you want.
At the halfway point of my run, I came across a really cool beachside pub where I had a half-pint of beer, and made really nice conversation with an English man, and he told me a lot about some of the local history, English politics, and other interesting local stuff thats going on. Dover’s a port town, so there’s a lot of immigration; its a big issue all over England though. The UK isn’t actually part of the EU, and it has a much better welfare/health/educational benefits than the other EU countries, so basically all the immigrants want to come to the UK. They actually had to move their border patrol to the French side of the channel because they had such a problem with Eastern Europeans and Turkish coming in illegally on boats then somehow escaping into the rest of England.
I got back kindof late from my run so I think I caught a cold. Bleh. The next day I took a day-trip to Canterbury. I highly recommend anyone visiting England to visit Canterbury, its a really old town that is very distinctly English. The oldest church of England is there, and this was the Mecca for all British Christians for hundreds of years. I only had a few hours to look around before my ferry departed for Calais France (where I was supposed to catch a train to Bruges, long story), so I could only stay in Canterbury for 3 hours, but I wish I had at least another day or two to wander around.
All-in-all, that was the English portion of my trip. If there’s anything in particular you would like me to research out here (politics, views on ___, pictures of food, availability of ___, etc) let me know, and I’ll try to include it in my next posting! I wasn’t able to get many pictures in Bruges, Belgium (unfortunate…its another magical city), but I will have another posting go up in another week or so on my travels in the Netherlands, which is where I am right now.