A massive followup to my 11 month old post.
|longple   Sweden. Sep 19 2015 20:45. Posts 4472
Hi guys, it's been awhile.
I've gotten a decent amount of PMs here and there with people asking me what's up and how my little "adventure" went and I've told them all that I'll probably write something up when i feel like writing a blogpost. The thing is that so much has changed and happened that everytime I've thought about writing something I just didn't know if at all or where i wanted to start. Some days thoughts has popped up about what (if) I were to write something, what i wanted to touch etc. I have a few pages now of just notes on what to write about so we'll see where that takes us.
Today and over the last days my activity/reading/catching up on LP in general has been alittle more frequent then previously this year and more and more I've felt a blogpost creeping up. I'll probably end up throwing the notes over my shoulder and just take it as it comes as usual (wich also is something i expect this blog to be alot about, dum dum duuuum). Often when I write in my "journal/diary" or longer blogs/posts it feels like writing itself takes control over me and just takes me places I didn't expect to end up in the first place so lets go!
Almost a year ago now I made my last blogpost wich were about kind of putting poker and the daily routine on hold to do some solotraveling without no real plans on where or for how long, other then starting off with going to Sydney, Australia and take it from there. I was really scared and nervous about going and many times I thought if I maybe was just going crazy under some psychosis. Wich probably is perfectly normal and something ive experienced again and again after that moment aswell with maybe a touch of humour added to the worries compared to a year ago and previously. The only thing I felt i had with me and was holding on to when anxiety came around was that my goal was to travel and train BJJ (Brazilian jiu jitsu) wich calmed me a bit knowing that, atleast I have something to aim for when lost or alone, hitting up some BJJ gyms!
So lets do a classic tripreport and see where that takes us.
Scurred in a big world.
I left Sweden early november and met a swedish guy at the airport in Hong Kong who I recognized all the way from Stockholm. He was alot younger then me (19 I think, I'm 27) and he looked (and was) really scared and nervous going all on his own aswell, wich calmed the both of us alot i think. Especially me as I naturally took the (placebo?)role of the wiser, older, calmer more experienced person that he could lean on and talk to. He was kind of the guy who would worry out loud about pretty much everything (wich fascinates me to this day how sick it was for him to do what he did at his age). I'll give u an example. He would all the time say things like "oh, we will probably miss the bus, what are we gonna do then.." I would calmly answer with a smile, then we take the next bus, dont worry , etc. I helped him find his hostel in the central parts of Sydney and we spent most of that first day in Australia together until i had to find my own hostel down in the eastern parts of Sydney by the famous Bondibeach. I got there in the evening and the feeling of how alone I was slowly crept back on me and the first night at the hostel I was this wierd jetlagged overly social guy talking to everyone desperately trying to find a friend during a BBQevent they had at the hostel that evening without much success. I ended up going to bed the first few nights insecure with the feeling of wtf am I gonna do for all these months.
When i woke up the 2nd day I felt that I had catched a cold from the long flight but I ignored it and went to a BJJgym i had scouted out on my phone called "Miller Tannuri Jiu Jitsu Bondi Beach Acadamy" to show my face to the instructor and ask if it was cool for me to train with them and ask a bit about their timetable etc. The gym was pretty close to my hostel, only a 20min walk or so and I was met by this sceptical kind of angry looking blackbelt (Ben) asking me about my experience and how much I wanted to train. I answered everyday if possible and he gave me a sceptical look; "Everyday? Okey well u can start tomorrow I'm haveing a class at 11am". The rest of the day, and many of days to come, I wandered around looking at stuff, reading my book trying at all cost to avoid the awkwardness of hanging around alone at the hostel feeling like everyones eyes caught my nervous presence.
The next day i woke up with a fever and felt very sick and thought god damn it now he's gonna think that I'm a pussy not showing up for class after telling him I wanted to train everyday. I walked there to show my face and made my voice sound alittle sicker then it actually was to tell him that I'm sick and he just seemed to think it was random for me to show up giveing me a, ”okkeyyyyy well obviously u shouldnt train with a fever gl stranger” kind of feel to his answer wich was pretty much in reality just "ok". I ended up being sick for 3 weeks but started training alittlebit after the first week as soon as the fever dissapeared cuz I really wanted to show how hard i was willing to work asap without complaints to be accepted by him and his students. Wich probably was why I didnt get rid of the nasty cough that kept me awake every night in the first place, but jiujitsuclass was kind of the only thing i had the first few weeks and i got tired of sitting in parks reading my books for 12 hours each day before I got more and more chilled out with the hostellife. I had also prepared for this sort of by leaving Sweden without my laptop with intentions to not go back to comfortzone in playing poker all the time and I often reminded myself with nope, im gonna stick to no laptop for the first part of this journey and then maybe start mixxing in some poker to support myself later on if and when money started to become more of an issue.
The tides are changeing.
After those first few weeks everything kind of changed tho and feels like a very very important period to go through for me personally. I stopped careing more and more about being seen alone, eating alone (a big one) etc and I noticed, wich is kind of obvious, that I had just had bad luck with my roommates in the hostel (shared a 2 bunk bed 4ppl room) and that I was trying way to hard to make friends with people that I just naturally didnt click with. It kind of started with a Scottish lad, Theo, moveing into my room for a few weeks who was kind of a 0 fucks given backpacker who was really down to earth doing his own thing. Connecting with him together with me starting to chill more and going back to my regular persona I just started makeing friends naturally. Like, all the time, everywhere both inside and outside of the hostel and I ended up meeting some truly amazing people, him included. Hes now in Vietnam i think working at an orphanage for children in need.
I also contacted Tochminator from stars (NL HS crusher and one of the topdawgs in NL today, dont get to cocky for reading that I wrote that) from randomly finding out thru skype that he lived in Bondi aswell. We clicked instantly and today I regard him as one of my closer buddies. I think we both fed eachother and grew as people overall from some amazing discussion. (and still are)
Ok. So I'm healthy and well again and I started to feel better and happier then I'd felt in a long long time, training hard and forming some strong bonds with the people at the BJJ acadamy and coach Ben, who started to take the role of a father/bigbrothertype figure that u could always have a beer with and ask for advice that I atleast from my end formed some memorable bonds with and I truly felt like a member of the Miller Tannuri tribe and I really didn't want to leave so I ended up staying there for much longer then I intended from the start, little over ~2 months or so. The hostel slowly felt like home with all its people working/liveing there as I started to become a local wich every1 kind of knew. I had even gotten a request from the boss to take care of reception and start working for the hostel with a salary free of livingexpences in one of the better singlerooms. I felt flattered and parts of me wanted to just stay there but I had poker in mind by that time aswell as seeing a bit more of Australia before my Visa runs out. Myself and Tochminator had been talking a bit about going to Melbourne together to see whats up over there before his Visa ran out and time for him to get back to Denmark.
My last BJJclass in Bondi (im the dude w the wierd bird on his chest)
Melbourne and some more ranting.
I said my goodbyes to Bondi and flew down to Melbourne with Toch and we had some amazing times over there together. Melbourne is a very big city but I got the feeling that it was much more chilled out then Sydney. People were walking slower on the streets and idk the entire wibe of the city was more chill and less businessy. I started training Jiu Jitsu there at "CIA Paulistas" with the very famous 3rd degree blackbelt Carlos "Portugues" Vieira and I even got the chance to roll with him wich was a cool experience but tbh I missed the small gang in Bondi as Paulistas was a huge Acadamy with many people traveling through all the time.
Toch left after some weeks in Melbourne and I stayed there alone for a while, mostly grinding as I had started to play alittlebit of Poker again on a Surface Pro 3 I'd bought on the road as poker started to feel kind of fun again. Many discussions with Toch about life and poker surely led me wanting to persue a more balanced approach to poker, if it was possible and as Dogmeat stated in a few comments in my last blog that he thought that I was retarded for dropping poker and escapeing my problems. He thought I should strive towards finding balance with the grind rather then giveing up/escapeing the overworking burnoutish that poker had led to for me to suck it up for a few more years while theres money to be made. Surely there was some truth to it but most of you already know about my feelings about money and a friendly poster on LP made a good point about why sacrifice today for a better tomorrow might not be for everyone still echoes in my mind. In highnsight it was very good to just drop poker and go into the unknown like I did with the drastic change of how i lived out my days with going on this journey. Wich is also how I've gone about changeing my life many times that's how I seem to make things happen for myself, to throw myself out there and see what happends, kind of. Naivly not knowing what to expect really and it's an approach I think works fairly good for me personally, to get me to do things. I talked about this alittlebit in the last blogpost aswell, about takeing action over trying to think ur way to something. You just gotta do it, and I'm a believer in that now more then ever before. If anything the most important thing I've really come to realise on this trip is that the trigger is never gonna get pulled by itself and its something I think i will write more about later on in this blog as it became very relevant during another adventure I had this year, more recently then the Australia (spoiler) > Thailandtrip.
I'm gonna try to keep things shorter now as I think I got to a few things I wanted to mention about how hard and scary everything was in the beginning but how I kind of grew into it all day by day. Even though it seems to be hard to stop me when I've well started to write.
Me and toch repping scandinavia, w shoes and socks on a beach.
Byron Bay and a wild girlfriend appears.
Ok! Toch left and I spent a while alone in Melbourne. I then went back to Sydney, showed my face in the hostel and went back to the gym for a few rolls before I moved on to the famous hippiesurfertown Byron bay about 1 hour by plane north of Sydney on the eastcoast for some more BJJ and more experiences. I'm not gonna mention this too much in this blog out of respect but at this point I had been rubbing off some yolo on my ish girlfriend/ex from Sweden and we decided that she would quit her job in Stockholm and I would support her travels as I felt more as a giver now with different priorities (yeah..) too see if we could make it work together more as a real couple on the road together. She came with me to Byron bay and we had some amazing times together. Byron bay was just the nuts and the good old weedsmokerhippiedude inside me really felt like Byron was a place I could just stay forever aswell. I started training as soon as i got there at a gym called "Extreme MMA - Byron bay" with yet another amazing coach, 3rd degree blackbelt Daniel "Jacaré" Almeida filled with just amazing friendly people. I really liked it there and I again made many good friends on the mats in Byron.
My Visa was comeing to an end, and poker had been going really bad tbh as I was in a pretty rough DS over the ~50k hands I've played up to that point on the road, and expences got doubled pretty much as there was two of us to support with my saveings now we had to bail on the plans we had initially to go to Hawaii and train with BJ Penn (arghh) to instead go to Thailand where we could visit her family. (she's born in Thailand but grew up in Sweden) Where we could live for free with them, we decided to do that. I would also get a chance to hit up Phuket Top Team where my BJJ journey began about 2 years ago to say hi to the legendary oldschool professor Olavo Abreu (4th degree blackbelt under carlson gracie) who also, u guessed it, is just an amazing human being.
I walked to the gym pretty much the first day after we'd landed in Phuket with expectations that he probably wouldn't recognize me as he has thousands and thousands of students traveling through there every year and I hadn't seen him for a long time, I was met by a brazilian accent "Eyyyy brooo ur baaack" together with a big smile and a hug and I just felt, wow.
We stayed in Phuket for about 1 week and again I learned alot from Olavo even tho it was just a short visit and we flew to Bangkok to meet up with a childhoodfriend of my company, she has a hairsaloon in BKK and she gave us some new haircuts and then we took their car to a small farmertown outside of Nakhon Sawan in the middleing parts of Thailand where I was welcomed as a member instantly by her beautiful big and loveing family. The experience I had in the little village in Thailand has been one of the most powerful experiences in my life and something that I will never forget. For most of the people there I was the absolute first white person they had ever seen or met in real life and it was just sick how welcomed they all made me feel. All the kids, the kids were just amazing words can not express the memorys I'm haveing right now as I'm writing about it.
I ended up helping out with the daily work and stuff from time to time and I'm very thankful they let me be a part and get a glimps of their lives for the weeks we spent there. It gave me alot to reflect over how differently we live here and there. I'm gonna try to stay out of going on a long rant about that right now so lets leave it there. We have much to learn from eachother tho.
Saying goodbye to everyone in her family got alittle bit teary, especially with the family whos house we stayed at as they took extra care of us, the kids and the 95 year old stereotypical asiangrandma who was nothing but a badass and someone I got to practice my Thai with everyday in the mornings as we ate together.
Grandma to the left
Cousin, Aunt and me takeing a waterbreak
Like a baws
Going back home / Pokers.
After Thailand we had to go back to Sweden and my appartment as we were running out of money and felt like I must take some responsibility now over the economical situation that was starting to be alittlebit panicky, even tho It didnt feel too bad tbh but it caused alittlebit of stress, I must admit. As we got back to Sweden I felt a bit empty about how all these months had been so drastically different and how still everything stood at home. I really don't want to come off like a know it all hippie but for me personally I already knew that I needed to get back out there again.
As mentioned I dont want this post to be about our relationship but within a few months at home old patterns started to emerge between us and we wanted different things and with me slowly realiseing that this is probably what I want to do continue doing with my life, traveling around alone training Jiu Jitsu we came to the conclusion that it's not gonna work out, the timeing is just not right.
Lets just leave it there before I make it too wierd, lets change subject to poker instead.
As I got back home I was unsure about if I wanted to continue down the PLOpath since thats probably what (if) I will be playing in the future I got approached by some people who saw me grinding smallstakes what was up and if I was interested in some kind of stakeing deal.
I felt at first that I defenetely did not want that and that I would rather just grind my way up again, PLO swings fucked a bit with my head tho and together with some offered coaching and good conversations and generally a great personal chemistry and gut feeling about those people I finally decided that I was interesting in working together with them and I dont regret that today!
We started off doing some PLO but for economical and stressrelated reasons I had to go back to plan B wich all along was to play NL again until I atleast have a solid bankroll for myself, so we decided to do that.
We switched by my demand back to my roots playing NL on the swedish site Svenskaspel wich I grinded alot on as many as you know back in the day. Long story short I've had amazing results over the past 4 months of NL:ing and we've been playing resonably "big" games again (hmid/hs) relatively to what I've been playing in the past 2-3 years atleast, thinly veiled brag I guess but I'll let the graph speak for itself.
My approach since going back to NL has been much less volume/hour oriented and more honest/listen to my body and mind to try and achieve that long lost balanced relationship with poker and I think I'm on a path that is much healthier for myself right now with much focus on being honest with my focus while playing, when I start to lose focus and when maybe my mood is effected by poker and why. I do some offtable work almost everyday, if only many days for no longer then 5 minutes I feel very much intune and my goals now are more about only putting in quality (poker and life maximized EV volume) with playing a little bit less unless I really truly feel like I can uphold my A game in the zone type game for long hours wich happends from time to time.
Pretty much my only goals with the day now is to meditate followed by some short reflection on what I want to make of the day and as long as I keep that up I feel like everything else like, eating healthy, going to BJJ, seeing friends, going outside everyday, playing good poker, going to bed earlier valueing good sleep more etc often falls into place naturally as long as I meditate in the morning. I'm not gonna preach to much about it if anyone has more questions about that feel free to ask in the comments or shoot a PM. I made a few posts about it in RiKDs thread about Yoga/stretching/meditation here: + Show Spoiler +
U can always do more, play more, win more but do I really need more? I know myself that playing more and winning more wont make me satisfied so I'm in search of trying to find an alternative relationship to poker that works better for me then the past few years of playing way to much and working way to hard in pretty ineffective ways. I'm starting to even be convinced that the quality of play that I'm putting in right now, even if it's only half as many hands as I would have put in as my old self I think even the networth won bottomline might be higher with the less volume, more study better quality route.
Maybe I'm just running hot as fuck tho, who knows really when it comes to poker. I would argue tho that my theoretical understanding of NL these days and how to find answers through all the OP programs that are out today that I'm playing quite well.
The plans alltho since I still enjoy PLO, and as we're now up quite alot of money on the stake and with my backers pretty much trusting me completely and letting me play pretty much what ever I want aslong as I can argue any resonable reason to why I'd play this or that PLO is back on the map again and it's much more fun now minus the economical stress I had when I first got back to Sweden. NL is fun again aswell tho, and It's always fun to play in big games so I'll keep on doing that as long as it makes sense but I still feel like my future lies with PLO. We'll see what happends tho, building a roll again is prio A for now.
Into the wild, hike
Before I wrap this up I wanted to touch alittlebit (in before wall of text) on a hike I did a few weeks ago in the "wild" northeren parts of Sweden, turns out its pretty much Alaska up there. As It ended up being one of the hardest things I've done but also one of the most powerful things I've done. I know ive said that about alot of things in this blog but I told you in the beginning that alot has happened in the last year so stay with me. One of the many discussions I had in my head in Australia was that I had traveled around Asia alot etc and now Australia with plans on going to Hawaii and the US (wich didn't happen as you know) but I had never been to Norway, Finland and many places in Europe like Slovenia, Slovakia, Croatia etc. I hadn't even been traveling in Sweden much for that matter. So I stumpled into that subject with a friend in my hometown in Sweden and he recommended doing some Hikeing and that I could lend some of his gear and I was drunk so I took water over my head and shook his hand and said deal!
The more I started to research the more interesting and scary it got as I hadn't even slept outside in a tent before nor even started a fire before, yeah I know. Together tho we mapped out a route I could walk that would take me approxx between 5-8 days depending on weather and how my body would feel during the hike. The closer I got to it the same type of anxiety before I left for Australia of the unknown started to creep up on me and I started bullshitting myself alot trying to find reasons of why I wouldn't do it this year because of weather or timeing or blahh. I can sum up the entire experience as it was 90% pure hell and 10% golden legendary wich weighed the entire experience to something amazing, even the pure hell stuff was a positive experience in the end.
I didn't get much sleep the night before I jumped on the train at 6AM and began the 11 hour trainride up to Abisko wich pretty much is the northest part of all of Sweden and its mountains. For the first few days I followed a bigger trail along the famous "Kungsleden" and for the last 3 days by a smaller trail through a looong vally between some of the biggest mountains of Sweden (and Scandinavia) where I pretty much didn't stumple upon a single person during those days.
It was very interesting to observe my own thoughts for those days and how much I bullshitting I did and how much internal complaint there was and how they progressively dissapeared more or less after a few days. It all started before the hike even began I tryed to talk myself out of going because of this or that as previously mentioned and it continued on the train and I had thoughts like; "well I can get off on the next station and take the train home cuz i forgot X or Y" but I didnt. Followed by "well now that I'm here I can camp for 1 night and then If i feel like shit I can just go home tomorrow". Wich turned into "fuck it, I can walk for 1 day alittlebit in the nationalpark and see how it feels, if I dont feel good I can just turn around and take the train home tomorrow". As I started walking my feet pretty quickly started to sore up with the blisters quickly turning into wounds even tho I had massive amounts of tape and I started to have thoughts of how this is really gonna suck massive balls to walk all day up to 8 days straight and I had a good internal whine about that for a good part of the first day.
For some reason I kept on walking tho telling myself to reach where I wanted ish to camp for the first night to be on phase for 5 days (wich was best case scenario if I held a high tempo and covered alot of ground everyday). I managed to set up camp for the first night and my feet was already destroyed but at the same time as I got my tent up and sat naked in the 0 degree water creek washing my balls I started laughing realiseing how it must have looked like if anyone where there to see me and I started feeling pretty amazing like wow this is something else. I ate some food and put on some dry cloths and slept through the insanely cold night wearing every piece of cloathing I had brought thinking that I can turn around tomorrow and just walk back and still be pretty satisfied with going for a smaller hike of 2 days in the nationalpark.
The next day my body was sore but I started walking again with intentions to just keep on going even tho the bullshitting and internal whineing didn't go away but the things that was annoying the first day like, sweat, sore feet and mozquitos swarming me constantly I had more important stuff to whine about like the fleshwounds (Im overextending alittlebit) that started to get a bit infected on my feet and that I pretty much would be fucked if I all of a sudden couldnt walk anymore when I was in the middle of nowhere was starting to worry me but I kept on going with intentions to go past a cabin where I knew there was atleast 1 person where stationed where I intended to ask for advice and eat lunch and reevaluate. Lesson of the day: there's a big difference in km and km, it took me about double the time to get there based on the distance I covered during day 1. Stubborn as I am I ended up eating lunch around 5PM as i got to that cabin and takeing a little break and eating a good meal I felt like meh fuck it I've gotten this far worse case scenario someone will walk past me at some point if something happends and some rescue team will be sent after and I have food for many days to come so I continued on a bit after ”lunch” to kind of not slack behind schedual to much.
Camp day2 was very similair to day 1 and washing my balls with no one around kinda was the highlight of the day along side of some truly amazing views that silenced the mind if only for a short time. I tryed to do some meditation and I felt less paranoid about the upcomeing days even tho my feet were really bad at this point.
Day 3 everything really started to change since I was pretty aware of how much I was complaining about the pains and all I was worrying about, even tho I feel like it was pretty legit stuff to worry about it probably wouldnt kill me and trying to feel sorry for myself isn't really gonna help so as I hit the halfwaypoint of the hike there was pretty much no turning back either and I just had to make the best out of it and from there on out it was just amazing.
I made it down by the 5th evening and this is gonna sound a bit coco but I really had like a superhuman type experience almost where I just walked, ate and was present without really suffering that much from all the pain where it just wasnt that the pain wasn't felt it just wasn't too relevant anymore since theres not much I can do about it at that point anyways other then takeing a few days break wich I kind of had accepted that if it comes to that I'll do that but until then I'll just push on.
It's really wierd to think back on and I've reflected alot about those days in the mountains and I just want to end this with saying that it's very interesting how relative everything is in life as perspectives change. How quickly I left everything that kind of was bothering me at home as I changed enviorment. I'm sure this sounds a bit cliché and all that but I still wanted to mention it a bit before wrapping up this blog.
Outro and the future.
Theres been so much more that has happened that I didnt mention in this blog together with many people I've met that I never mentioned either that made big impacts on me.
I'll end this with saying that I feel alot better this time around then the last time I made a blogpost here on LP. I still struggle with things as any other human but I think my mindset has gotten alot better at how to deal with myself and my mind, relative to myself ofcourse. Doing some, atleast for me, scary and a bit crazy stuff has made me grow an insane amount this year. I'm gonna sound like a broken record soon here on LP but I know that meditation and trying to take more breaks in the day to reflect, remind and ask myself whats important really has been an important tool for me. I'm not talking about finding god or any mumbojumbo I'm talking about getting better at connecting with the present moment together with creating a greater awareness of what actually goes on in our mind. I'm not saying that I've figured it all out I'm just saying that I feel like I'm on a pretty good path right now. I'm sure I will get lost many times in life to come but thats not something to worry about right now .
Thank YOU for reading! This ended up being pretty long as expected. Today was just one of those days I felt like writeing all day.
I hope some of you who read all of it found it interesting and I wouldnt blame anyone for not reading or careing at all .
Much love peoples!
|Last edit: 20/09/2015 00:12
|Ryan Neilly   United States. Sep 19 2015 21:27. Posts 1631
Keep it up, don't stop livin the dream sir, happy to see you did so many amazing things! Keep it up, don't stop just cuz a years up.
|nicksson   Sweden. Sep 19 2015 21:31. Posts 4662
|Mariuslol   Norway. Sep 19 2015 21:45. Posts 4742
Oi, what a long post. Let me get the mood right, get something to drink, light some candles, yay!
|handbanana21   United States. Sep 19 2015 23:50. Posts 3037
gj filip. need to settle down eventually so u can get that blue belt.
|dnagardi   Hungary. Sep 20 2015 07:52. Posts 1776
|Trav94   Canada. Sep 20 2015 09:43. Posts 1785
Feel like paying for ex was pretty -ev.. but doesn't look like there was any damage done. Great read.
|traxamillion   United States. Sep 20 2015 19:41. Posts 10468
|iop   Sweden. Sep 21 2015 21:00. Posts 4951
Good read, would read again
Best of luck!!
|Milkman lol i didnt spend half a thousand on a phone so i could play it cool and be all stealth
|locoo   Peru. Sep 22 2015 04:49. Posts 4561
Epic post dude, all the best for you! I play with your guy tochminator a lot, indeed pretty solid.
|bitte bitte bitte bitte bitte bitte
|longple   Sweden. Sep 25 2015 09:39. Posts 4472
|Romm3l   Germany. Sep 25 2015 13:40. Posts 285
hi mate... lovely to hear, thanks for the update and all the best. life's indeed better and moves forwards when you get outside your comfort zone
|Jamie217   Canada. Oct 13 2015 01:31. Posts 4351
A little late reading this but great post, all the best in your travels next time as well!