Do It For the Culture

My Mom is so fabulous…my big brother is mehhh at best

In the span of three weeks, I have kicked it with the homies Mac and Ant in Japan, partied to the hypnotic spinning of fellow remoter DJ Tina T in Cambodia, and trained with professional head bussas in Thailand in the Science of Eight Limbs. All of this while helping to lead and build a startup up from scratch — shoutout to the 10xU team, love y’all. Plus, my credit score just increased…Damn Baba, Do ya thang Baba! Sidenote: If you are looking to learn how to build a tech company, 10xU is hosting a free webinar on Customer Validation this Tuesday. #ShamelessPlug

Despite the many blessings that keep coming my way, the frequent travel while working around the clock can at times take quite the toll. Furthermore, you miss out on several life moments (birthdays, holidays, family gatherings, etc.) that you would typically be sharing and creating with family and close friends. What I have noticed is that an interesting dynamic starts to take form. You begin to internalize feelings of extreme gratitude and appreciation for life, while simultaneously experiencing a small bit of despondency and a need for seclusion. But let’s not be overly dramatic.

Whenever I catch myself slipping, I tend to do two things in a very specific order. First, I pick up a pack of Oreos with a tall glass of milk and go-to-town. Second, I call my mama.

Mama Said Make a Decision…Keep that Tunnel Vision

Before I started traveling full time, my momz told me to not lose focus or be distracted by superfluous things that won’t ultimately set me up for where I want to be in the future. I think my pops said something similar as well, but this post is not meant for him so we’ll just keep it pushing.

Pops always trying to steal someone’s shine. Go head somewhere bruh lol

In hindsight, like always, Victoria Adebayo (y’all better not be out here trying to google my mama) is always right. The more of the world that you see, the harder it is to keep your eyes on the prize. For instance, I have spent this past week on a few islands in Thailand and my lawwwdd is it hard to stay focus out here:

C’mon Thailand you better work!!

On top of the natural beauty of the world, traveling within a group setting can also push and pull you into temptation that is not necessary. There is always this place that “you gotta visit” or this event “you have to attend” and while I have so much love for the 60+ people with which I am exploring the world, y’all gotta fall back lol. I work night shifts and I be tired. But, after speaking at length about this with my momz, she made me realize that it is more of an internal dilemma if anything. She basically told me to mind my own business and stop worrying about what other people are doing. At the end of the day, it’s about knowing what you want and pursuing it addictively. This means that sometimes you have to say no to that side-trip or hanging out and hop on that 2:00 AM conference call instead.

Dear Mama, You are Appreciated

On top of staying focus, I believe motivation is another key to making this remote/travel lifestyle work. It’s not just being motivated by your job or the goals that you want to accomplish, but also by the people with which you surround yourself. I am fortunate to be experiencing all that the world has to offer with people who do amazing things for a living and have the best outlook on life.

Additionally, I am constantly motivated by my family and friends back home who are also excelling at what they do. But no one takes the cake like my momz — perhaps my pops, but again, this ain’t about you big fella.

My mother, an immigrant living and working in America, has sacrificed so much for me and my brothers (raising four boys is a feat that justifies recognition in itself) and her unconditional love and unwavering spirit drives me to hopefully make her proud one day. She represents discipline, loyalty, humility and an unmovable faith that I have yet to see in anyone else. For me, she is the epitome of what a human being should be and over the years has become my best friend. So much love for this woman and all that she does.

Yea, she had to put up with this rowdy bunch smh. Which one is Baba tho??

Baba Moments: Mama Said Knock You Out

On a completely different note, I had the opportunity to spend some time training at the world renown Muay Thai gym, Tiger Muay Thai. Now for those of you who do not know, I have been casually practicing the martial art for about 2 years now (light work, light work) and the camp spans over 100,000 square feet, sprinkled with both professional and amateur fighters who literally train, eat, and sleep all day.

I generally got into the sport after I watched this movie called Ong-Bak. The story follows this dude who is a boss. Homie wrecks cats with knees and elbows in a fashion that is even unorthodox to traditional Muay Thai technique. I mean he makes folks look straight foolish.

Dayuuuuuummmmmm

I’m not sure if it was me binge watching all three Ong-Bak movies the night before training, or if it was just my ego acting out, but I walked in with a lot of confidence and too much sauce.

The morning starts off at 8:00 AM with 2 hours of training specific techniques in a class setting. After the classes, you have a bit of time to grab food and then prepare for 2 to 3 hours of strength and conditioning, which is then followed by another 2 hour technique and sparring class.

Eventually we pair off to spar. I get matched with this Aussie who looks like he orders his coffee every morning with a new tattoo and scar. But Baba is not easily intimidated and I told him (jokingly of course) “You don’t want these hands playboi,” right before bumping gloves. I must’ve spoken too soon. For the next 15 minutes all I could say was “chill” and even that was comboed with a mouth full of glove — knees and kicks to my ribs on the side, free of charge. I mean homie was relentless, and I could have sworn the instructor said “only use 20 percent strength.” I don’t even know how you gauge how much strength you using, but buddy had to be at a solid 85, 90 percent.

Regardless, it was a struggle, but I found out later that he was semi-pro so I managed to salvage some of my pride. I def won’t be talking to my momz about this experience. I would appreciate if my readership kept this on the DL from her as well.

Figured it be best not to take a pic with the guy who whooped me for half an hour so I got one with the homie Louis instead

An Ode to Mothers