If you were following me on my Facebook page throughout the year you probably know that I’m still in Taiwan.
I may have a little different opinion on this country than before but I’m not planning to move elsewhere.
It’s still full of anarchy and I’ve learned many new things that have even strengthened this idea. I will share it with you in a different post because I haven’t decided how much I should disclose yet (yes lot of things are not very legal).
This will probably sound creepy, but finding an Asian girlfriend was on my long-term todo list. And guess what? I found one and it’s been over a year since we started dating.
I don’t really know how to talk about relationships so I’ll stop right here.
In total I’ve visited 5 countries, flew over 22 900km, stayed in many hotels, my first (and probably last) bunkbed hostel ever, many apartments and it (only?) costed me little over 2 600 euros.
Macau, oh wait…
My first stop was supposed to be Macau but I got the (second) worst diarrhea in my whole life literally few hours before my flight. I’m not sure what was the cause but I have a strong feeling it’s related to a mold-like looking thing in the pickled tofu I made.
I wasn’t even thinking of flying so I booked a ticket to Hong Kong a week later instead. Macau, see you next time.
I wasn’t really sure about the next destination because my friend Juraj told me all kind of "scary" stories. I and my friend Tomas decided to go to Thailand regardless and it turned out to be one of the best trips ever.
After many hours of waiting at the Bangkok airport, we managed to get to Surat Thani where we stayed overnight. A short bus and ferry ride and we finally arrived to Koh Samui.
This exotic island was all about delicious Thai food, white sand beaches, getting drunk and getting laid. Just kidding, I have a girlfriend after all.
I met my friend Erik that’s been living there for few years and we had a blast.
What happens in Samui stays in Samui.
On the way back we spent 2 nights in Bangkok which was barely enough to get familiar with the area we stayed at.
I will definitely go back to Bangkok (and Thailand in general) again to see what it has to offer. I'm even thinking of staying for some time. Taiwan is nice, but I feel like I need a change. Let's see what happens.
Malaysia and Singapore
This trip wasn’t planned beforehand but I found a return ticket for around 50 euros from Kaohsiung to Kuala Lumpur so it was a no-brainer.
It is a wonderful city full of diverse cultures and tons of food options. The city is "little" on a dirty side but all those Arab/Indian dishes make up for it.
My friend living in Singapore invited me over when we couldn’t meet in Taiwan and since it is very close to KL, I bought a 16 euro ticket and there I was.
I met a bunch of other anarchists and we had some politically incorrect conversations over drinks paid for by Bitcoin.
On the way back to KL I decided to take 5-7 hrs long bus ride and it turned out to be a good choice. I saw very poor yet interesting parts of KL that I would not have seen otherwise. A very nice trip indeed.
My aunt Gabi teamed up with my mom and they’ve been begging me to come back to Slovakia for Christmas and New Year’s since January.
After a lot of emotional bullshit and because I had to deal with some bureaucracy (which hasn’t worked for me after all) I bought a ticket for a return flight to Shanghai where my girlfriend currently lives.
Long story short - I met my family and lot of friends, drank a lot of alcohol (and smoked lot of, oh wait…) and had my balls frozen because -10 degrees.
Overall I had a good time, but one thing is for sure. I won’t be coming back before my passport expires.
Even though I kept lending my US dollars for XX% a year, the whole market was getting more competitive and I knew I had to change my strategies.
There was more and more money coming to the Bitcoin ecosystem and I knew the price would eventually go up after the bearish trend in 2014.
I was pretty loud about it on social media and I decided to put my money where my mouth was. I was consistently buying Bitcoin throughout the whole year and ~70% of my wealth is stored in Bitcoin now.
Risky for some, extremely profitable for me.
Of course, I wouldn’t be that profitable if I was just buying recklessly. Whenever I saw an opportunity I traded BTC for USD and vice versa. This brought me almost +250% in profit.
Everything is relative and it’s fair to say that I wasn’t obviously trading with all my money. I like to risk a lot, but I’m not stupid.
While I was in Thailand I talked a lot with Erik about affiliate marketing. He’s very knowledgeable about the topic and he helped me tremendously to understand the game.
The way he does it requires some initial cash to put on the table which I wasn’t sure about. I also didn’t feel ok with all those "aggressive" techniques to implement if you want to make real money.
Regardless, I decided to dig into it, at least a little, but do it my way.
I consider myself being very good at finding ways to fuck with the system. Any kind of system, be it offline or online.
Just weeks before the end of the year I’ve discovered a little stupid trick on Airbnb that made me more than $400 in just a few months of doing absolutely nothing and more than $4500 is still pending.
So much for affiliate marketing.
Finally, after almost 10 years of having a driving license, I’ve put it in a good use. I rented a scooter on Koh Samui in Thailand and explored the island with Erik. Though it was kind of scary at first (riding through the rain in a strong wind) I quickly felt in love with it.
The freedom (and fun) you have with this vehicle is priceless.
Considering that my life is not about securities anymore (quite contrary) I failed big amount of times. I keep trying new things and keep failing all over again. I believe it’s a necessary step in order to be successful, though, so I’ll share some fails with you as a reminder.
HotPotMama.com, a project that I worked on for more than a year, was failed right from the beginning. Two days after going public, Yelp came to Taiwan with thousands of restaurants covered and shitloads of marketing money.
I tried what I could - a contest, features Yelp doesn’t have, Facebook marketing, word of mouth, even bots filling my system with lots of content so the site doesn’t look so empty. None of it worked even a little.
I know it takes time to start a project but I put so much work and effort into it and haven’t seen any progress at all. I lost all the interest in it.
Bitcoin plays a big role in my life so I was looking into a more technical aspect of it. I was working on a cryptocurrency project that allows users to bet on any event. It supported both Bitcoin and Litecoin, two most used cryptocurrencies in the world.
Though I initially struggled with some technicalities I eventually figured it out. I knew from my past experience with HotPotMama that perfection is not the key and you have to move fast.
I was almost ready to roll out pretty quickly until I surprisingly found out about my competition - betmoose.com.
Not that I’m scared of one, but this was unexpected as I haven’t heard of them while I was doing a market research. Their platform is so advanced and filled with many great features my project didn’t have, I had to decide whether I want to put at least half a year more into development or I call it a day. I chose the latter.
I don’t regret my decision though because I’ve learned a lot on how Bitcoin works under the hood. While knowing that knowledge is more valuable than anything else I simply moved on.
I’ll cover more fails later as an evaluation of my top goals for 2015. I could keep up with some, sadly I couldn’t keep up with many, though. Stay tuned.
The year 2015 was full of gains which I’m really grateful for. I’ve worked hard (ok, I’m exaggerating) to get where I am, have learned many new skills, experienced many exciting
things and traveled many interesting places. Sure it wasn’t all sunny all the time, but those unfortunate times has taught me a lot and I acknowledge they are a necessary part of each and everyone’s life.
I can easily call 2015 the best year of my life both money-wise and relationship-wise. And as usual, I look forward to this year which already started full of surprises (both good and bad).
I’d also like to hear about your stories of 2015. Please leave a comment below and let me know what was your best and worst memories.