Why I Love Being Single

 

Every time I check into a new hotel in Phu Quoc, the front desk receptionists always ask “when is your wife arriving?” or “where is your girlfriend?” or “you’re here alone???” in a shocked tone.

A lot of people ask why I sometimes feel the need to post my opinions on marriage & long-term monogamy and it’s because this opinion is underrepresented (WHY DO YOU FEEL THE NEED TO POST YOUR ENGAGEMENTS AND MARRIAGES. It’s the same thing lol). Every day we see engagement and marriage posts on our feeds which are openly applauded and accepted (despite the inevitable failure of over half of them) but few people are openly sharing the other lifestyle, the lifestyle of “there are reasons and benefits to be happily single and avoid traditional relationships at all costs.” Unlike people in a relationship who become dependent and almost feed off of their significant other’s scent, I am in complete control of my happiness (and my daily moods). That and I have my dogs to provide actual unconditional love. Romantic love is extremely conditional. Gain 100 pounds of fat or lose everything at the casino and you’ll see how conditional love is.

unconditional loveAnd this goes for both women and men. With gender equality existing in places like America which enables women to be financially independent, they no longer need a man to fulfill that traditional gender role of “providing for the family.” They can provide for themselves. And this is a beautiful thing. After living in Asia for 7 months, I’ve seen traditional gender norms almost fully intact.

American Businesswoman
God bless America (looks like LA).

My point is – we need to normalize that it’s OK to be single and it’s ok to have casual and mutually respectful relationships. Personally, I have never had sustainable happiness in a long-term relationship before and a lot of it has to do with traditional relationships limiting my freedom (“don’t text her, don’t look at her, don’t do this, come with me to this party, I’m in a bad mood now we are both in a bad mood, etc”). You ”love” someone but you’re telling them what they can and cannot do lol. That doesn’t sound like love to me. That sounds like self-inflicted imprisonment.

Do you have any idea how liberating it is to not have to worry about someone snooping on my phone and finding something that I didn’t want them to find? Nobody is perfect. There is always something to find if you go looking for it.

Snooping
Guys that are only half-into a relationship have to hide their shenanigans. Their girls be looking like…

It is absolutely normal and OK to be attracted and want other people than your significant other. This doesn’t lessen your love for them. It just highlights your humanity. Yet society says this completely normal thing is wrong and evil and invalidates your love. Unlike the married, I have the freedom to do what I want and not suppress my wants and desires (“I want to talk to that girl at the bar and buy her a drink but I can’t because I’m not supposed to”) lol.

You can love both your parents. You can love multiple friends. But you can’t love or want more than 1 person? Please. You want to try new foods. Try new jobs. Try new hobbies. Travel new places. But god forbid you want to have sex with someone else. The expectation that you are supposed to have sex with and love 1 person your entire life is so absurd that it’s laughable. lol.

dan bilzerian
If married men were honest, they’d admit that they’d rather have Dan Bilzerian’s lifestyle (I’m not at his level and I probably will never be and that’s ok)

Personally, I’m simply not willing to compromise any degree of the happiness I’ve created for myself just to be in a relationship (“I must just deal with some drama because this is what I’m supposed to be doing”). Many sheeple accept mediocrity from their relationships because they are 18-40 and a relationship is the “ultimate prize” because everyone around them is doing it. As they get older and time becomes more of a premium, they learn that they shouldn’t put up with anything but the best. Until then, many people think marriage is some sort of personal validation or badge of honor. It’s not. I see it as some sort of jail.

“Humans are born free and any perceived limitations will ultimately make us want to rebel against them!” -KarelDonk

freedom
This is how many single people actually feel

And many of you will think “you just haven’t met the right one yet.” There is no “right one” and when finding this unicorn of a person becomes your ultimate goal, you lose focus of the present and just enjoying someone’s company without any expectations. And ask all the couples you know that broke up, got divorced (which is about to happen en masse) about how it went after they thought they “met the right one.”

Ultimately I believe it comes down to human nature. Many of us are more selfish than we are willing to acknowledge and selfishness is one of the worst things in a relationship (for the record, I am selfish af but I care deeply for my close friends). For a relationship to work long-term it has to truly be selfless with completely open communication. Many of you share things with your best friends that you’d never tell your wife/husband. The only chance your relationships has to survive is to SHARE EVERYTHING – even the truths he or she may not want to hear (“so there’s this younger girl at work and I think we are developing a connection.”)

unhappy couple
This couple doesn’t seem to be doing so well

And do I want kids? Absolutely. If I can find someone with my lifestyle, co-parenting is an option. But so is surrogacy and adoption and I can be the best single dad just as I’m the best single dog dad. And a child does not need a mom and dad to thrive so stop with that traditional thinking. There are many same sex parents (2 moms, 2 dads) and single parents that are crushing it. Likewise there are many traditional parents that are always fighting and have created a chaotic environment for a child to grow up in. Personally, I know many single moms that are amazing. I really do think a solo and happy stable household is better than a chaotic, constantly fighting undersexed mom&dad.

Anyway – stay woke. I’m going to enjoy this fresh passion fruit juice and continue to check into bungalows on the beach single. 😁

befreemysheeple phu quoc passion fruit

 

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Are you happily single too? Leave a comment or you can e-mail me adam@befreemysheeple.com. If you enjoyed reading/watching this, you can follow me on Instagram, @adamfrancisco & @befreemysheeple.

Be Free My Sheeple!

How Instagram Can Fix Instagram

 

I was working out at the gym and it just hit me: I figured out how Instagram can fix Instagram. 

befreemysheeple gym
When you’re working out and a solution to fix Instagram hits you

Defining an “influencer”

First, I want to define how I am defining “influencers” for the purpose of this article. I do not consider actors, actresses, reality TV stars, athletes, musicians, etc. to be influencers. Yes, they are influential but they would be famous with or without Instagram. They achieved fame via TV, radio, YouTube, etc. and use Instagram as an amplification platform.

I am defining an “influencer” as somebody who built their audience specifically on the Instagram platform. I estimate that 90% of Instagram influencers are fake. Don’t believe me? Plug in your favorite influencer’s names in this link and if they score anything below a 70, they did something to their account. Then, plug in a real celebrity’s Instagram and you’ll see a huge difference (usually 85+).

befreemysheeple zac efron
Zac Efron does not need Instagram to be famous

What can brands do?

Many brands also question the effectiveness of using influencers and this is more because of the influencers they’re choosing to work with versus the influencer industry itself. If brands focused on using authentic, verified influencers, they would have a much better overall experience by achieving better ROI. It’s important to always validate the authenticity of your paid influencers using readily available third party tools.

befreemysheeple instagram fraud calculator
I made this clickable for you

 

Follow/Unfollow Method

One of the biggest complaints that the IG community has about Instagram is that many of the “influencers” use a method called “follow/unfollow” to build their audience inorganically. Here’s how Instagram can put an end to it, if they really wanted to (they should want to because it dirties the platform). 

Analyze user behavior

The first step would be to run a deep analysis on user behavior. Look at the accounts who are following 100s to 1,000s of accounts a day and put them in the “follow/unfollow user” bucket. Real talk – who really needs to follow that many people in 1 day? Nobody. 

The second step is to take look at the users who are following a more reasonable number of accounts per day. I would guess that the average person (not using growth software) organically only follows anywhere between 1 to 25 people a day. 

befreemysheeple instagram

IG Follow Credits

Once Instagram has analyzed this data, they can come up with a daily follow cap. Maybe this number is set at 25. This means that an account can only follow 25 other accounts per day. They can create a new virtual currency called IG Follow Credits. Everyone gets 25 credits a day for free (1 credit equaling 1 follow). They expire daily so you either use them or you lose them. They don’t accrue. This is the same as Tinder Super Swipes…just because you didn’t sign in for a week doesn’t mean you magically get 35 super swipes when you sign back in … you get 5.

befreemysheeple iG follow credits
25 follows a day – that’s it!

Should a user want to follow more than 25 accounts in a day, they would have to purchase more IG Follow Credits at increasing rates across tiers. These credits could be sold starting from $.01. For example:

0-25 Follows = Free
25-100 Follows = $.01/follow $.75
100+ Follows =  $.05/follow  $7.50
250+ Follows = $.10/follow $19.5
500+ Follows = $.15/follow
1,000+ Follows = $.25/follow

So if I wanted to follow 445 accounts in a day (after using my 25 free daily follows), it would cost me $27.75. 

With this approach, influencers that are using the follow/unfollow method would have a financial barrier of entry to overcome and this would almost guarantee the end of the strategy overnight. Of course there will be those that might find it worth paying for the additional follows. This gives Instagram a new revenue stream. 

Why should Instagram do this?

One of the most disheartening feelings for an authentic Instagram user is when they get followed by a bunch of accounts and they think that their content is finally resonating … only to see their follower count quickly decrease because they were followed/unfollowed by software. Because the follow/unfollow strategy works, Instagram users are incentivized to either jump on board or sit on the sidelines and watch everyone else get “famous.” This has created an untrustworthy platform for both users and brands and I believe it’s Instagram’s responsibility to fix it as quickly as possible.

I still think the best way to fix Instagram would be to completely remove follower count from the profiles. It is simply a vanity metric and not an indicator of how valuable so that account is because it is easily manipulatable. 

befreemysheeple Instagram

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What do you think about my solution? Leave a comment or you can e-mail me adam@befreemysheeple.com. If you enjoyed reading/watching this, you can follow me on Instagram, @adamfrancisco & @befreemysheeple.

Be Free My Sheeple!

How I Lost Body Fat and Gained Muscle (While Living in Thailand)

 

When I moved to Thailand in October 2018, I was worried that it was almost a guarantee that I would gain weight. Thailand is known for delicious (and cheap) street food with many of their dishes featuring rice and noodles as the primary ingredients. The iced coffees in Thailand are often loaded with condensed milk and sugar.  The desserts (like mango sticky rice) are spectacular. And the nightlife of Thailand – from Bangkok to Phuket and even little beach towns like Hua Hin – is awesome. It’s even more fun because it’s super cheap compared to partying in America. For example, it cost me $100 USD for bottle service with top notch table service at Sugar Club Bangkok last week. This would have cost me $700 USD at a place like Greenhouse in NYC.

befreemysheeple hua hin
I watch the sun rise on a grateful universe

With that said, I not only was able to gain muscle mass while living in Hua Hin, Thailand (and exploring the rest of the country) but I was able to lose fat as well. I am going to share some basic tips and strategies that I used to improve my health and aesthetics during my time in Thailand. The cool part about this article is that many of these tips will work for anyone no matter where they live.

Before we get into it, I want to be clear that I am not a fitness or nutrition expert. I enjoy working out because I want to look good and feel good, but I do not take any supplements, I do not meal prep, and I do not track my “macros” or “micros.” Admittedly, my fitness and appearance would go to the next level if I incorporated supplements, meal prep and nutrient tracking into my lifestyle, but I’m the kind of guy that likes to eat a bacon cheeseburger and drink vodka sodas. Perfectly balanced, as all things should be. #thanos

These are simple, common sense tips that almost anyone can immediately incorporate into their daily routine and it will make a positive impact on their health. 

Drank my iced coffee black

When I lived in the US, my Starbucks order was “venti iced coffee, splash of soy milk, 2 pumps vanilla syrup.” Typically, Starbucks puts 5 pumps of flavored syrup into their venti drinks which translates to over 100 calories. if you’re drinking 2-3 of these a day, you’re adding 200-300+ calories into your day just from coffee. Thailand takes it to the next level by adding condensed milk. While this makes their coffee absolutely delicious (almost like a dessert), I removed all condiments from my coffee and drank it black. It took me awhile to get used to the taste but after I did, I felt so much healthier and leaner. Also, my favorite spot to get freshly-brewed iced coffee was 7-Eleven (they have cafes in Thailand). 

Take it from @maxlugavere, Author of New York Times best-seller Genius Foods.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Coffee vs. “coffee”! ☕️🤤 Which side are you? — ☝🏼 Most frozen coffee drinks are loaded with sugar and fat which can make you feel bloated, while a simple iced coffee has more coffee, and no sugar and fat. Certainly good news for our waistlines but also for overall health! — 🔬 The literature favoring coffee as a means of improving life and healthspan seems to be weighed in favor of consumption (at least for the general population—everyone is different). — 🎉 In a recent study, people who consumed 1 cup of coffee a day (including decaf) were 12% less likely to die from heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, and respiratory and kidney disease over 16 years compared to those who didn’t drink coffee. People who drank 2-3 cups per day were 18% less likely. — ✅ The notable thing about this research was that the study population was highly diverse (this is called population heterogeneity)—it was varied in ethnic makeup, encompassing African-Americans, Japanese-Americans, Latinos and white people. This means that the effect is more likely to apply to the general population (although still, its a correlation, which can not prove causation). — ❓How does coffee work for you? Does it make you feel good? Or jittery? Let me know fam. 👇🏼 — Study referenced: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28693036 • • • • • #weightloss #healthyfood #healthyeating #cleaneating #healthylifestyle #nutrition #healthyliving #weightlossjourney #healthychoices #protein #fitfood #coffeetime #cafe #iifym #instafit #glutenfree #healthylife #exercise #organic #coffeelover #fitnessjourney #gains #wellness #coffeeaddict #getfit #fitgirl #fitnessmotivation #fitspiration #plantbased #muscle

A post shared by Max Lugavere (@maxlugavere) on

Aware of carbs

With pad thai being one of the most famous dishes in Thailand, I mostly avoided anything that had rice or noodles. Instead, I ordered a plate of stir-fried or grilled vegetables to pair with my proteins (typically chicken with peppers and onions). This filled me up without all the extra calories from carbs.

I also discovered a type of oatmeal dish called Muesli which is a cold breakfast cereal dish made with rolled oats. The typical toppings were yogurt and fresh fruit. According to Men’s Health, “Muesli. Originating in Switzerland, muesli is a fiber-and-protein power combination of rolled oats, dried fruits, and nuts. Though 1 cup pushes 300 calories, the payoff in vitamins and minerals across the board makes it a hearty meal.”

befreemysheeple korean conner
Korean Conner : the best Korean restaurant in Hua Hin! I never finished the rice.

Cut back on drinking and never drank beer

When I drink, it’s whiskey, tequila and vodka (no mixers). Beer is an inefficient way to get a buzz. It’s a lot of calories, it makes you feel bloated, and it puts a tire on your stomach. To be clear, any amount of alcohol is not good for you if you’re trying to build muscle and lose fat. It’s empty calories, it makes you hungover (which negatively affects your workout the following day), and it hurts your recovery. I kept drinking to 2-4 nights a month, which is almost like being completely sober in Thailand. 

Worked out consistently

Whether or not you’re new to lifting weights or you’ve been doing it for awhile, you know that consistency is the number one rule. The fitness program I primarily used was Anabolic Aliens on YouTube. What I like about this channel is that the host, Mike Rosa, does his HIIT routines along with you. He doesn’t just explain what to do but he does it in real-time. He’s put together routines as short as 5 minutes that have seriously killed me. His channel is good for gym rookies (both men and women) and bodybuilders who want to mix things up.

And if you find yourself in Hua Hin, the gym I recommend is Metamorph Hua Hin. It’s the only boutique gym in Hua Hin and they offer both personal training and yoga. Their day passes are 150 baht but you get a better deal the longer timeframe you buy (1 week, 1 month). The owners O & Nick have become good friends of mine so if you go there, tell them I recommended it. And if you’re in Hua Hin during the full moon, they have full moon meditation.

bear williams and O metamorph hua hin befreemysheeple
BeFreeMySheeple Guest Correspondent Bear Williams with O, one of the founders of Metamorph Hua Hin.

Rode my bicycle everywhere

I had a bicycle during my time in Hua Hin and I would sometimes find myself biking 10-15 km in a day. It didn’t feel like I was exercising because I was just trying to get places but it added up. If you live in a climate where you’re able to walk or bike between places, take advantage and sneak some additional calorie-burning into your daily routine. 

Shared my carbs with my dogs

Even when I was eating mango sticky rice, I needed to find a way to not finish all the sweet rice. My solution was to share some with my dogs! Now to those who say that this isn’t healthy for my dogs, understand I love them more than anything in the world, but also that they walk anywhere between 3-5km a day. They walk more in 1 day than most dogs walk in a week. The point is that they burn off all the calories that daddy feeds them.  Whoooooose a good girl? Whoooooose a good boy?

befreemysheeple raindrop and flex
Whatever I eat, they eat. Except for things likes onions, chocolate, raisins, etc.

Late night meals were relatively healthy

Given my night owl schedule, I would often eat dinner around midnight. I found restaurants like Conom on the Rock on Soi 88 that had healthier options such as roasted chicken. Another hack that I discovered was that the 7-Elevens in Thailand had refrigerated grilled chicken packets that they could heat up in the microwave for you. And they only cost 40 baht ($1.33 USD)! With 20 grams of protein and only 90 calories, these snacks were life-savers. I would sometimes eat 2-3 of them for dinner, and of course share some with my dogs.

Drank 3-4 fresh coconuts a day

Every day, one of the moments I would look forward to the most was getting to the beach and immediately ordering a cold fresh coconut. I didn’t even realize how beneficial coconut water was for weight loss until recently. This article from Women’s Health explains how powerful coconut water is for weight loss, or you can read the below from NDTV.com.

“For all those looking to lose weight can have coconut water. Coconut water is low in calories and easy on stomach. It is packed with bio-active enzymes that are known to ease digestion and boost metabolism. The higher the metabolic rate, the more fat you burn. And the best part is that even though coconut water has a very low concentration of carbohydrates, it still gives you a feeling of being full. Drinking coconut water at least 3-4 times a day may help in losing those extra kilos.”

befreemysheeple fresh coconuts

Ate a lot of fresh fruit

Some people say that fruit will make you gain weight because it has carbs and this is half-true. Yes if you eat 5 pounds of fruit a day, you will almost certainly gain fat, but according to Healthline, “Fruit is low in calories but high in nutrients. Eating it in place of a high-calorie snack can help increase weight loss.” So there you go. If you have a sweet tooth, and a craving hits you, it’s better to have a freshly-cut, cold pineapple, than a Snickers. 

befreemysheeple fresh fruit cart
Fresh Fruit cart close to Soi 88

Bonus Food Vlogs!

If you’ve been a good boy or girl and you’re looking for a place to get delicious, home-baked desserts in Hua Hin, the Pang Hwan Bakery (across from Hua Hin’s Big C) is a must. My uncle said their pandan pudding is the best dessert he had during his entire time in Thailand.

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What are some simple weight loss tips that you know of? Leave a comment or you can e-mail me adam@befreemysheeple.com. If you enjoyed reading/watching this, you can follow me on Instagram, @adamfrancisco & @befreemysheeple.

Be Free My Sheeple!

 

Pet-Friendly Hotels in Thailand (Chiang Mai)

 

I wanted to put together a list of the best pet-friendly hotels in Thailand that I have stayed at in the past 6 months. If you’re like me, you consider your dogs family and you want to travel the would with them in style and in comfort. I have been living exclusively out of hotels since October 1st so I have found some of the best pet-friendly hotel deals across Thailand.

This is going to be an on-going series with cities such as Hua Hin, Phuket, Chiang Mai, Koh Phangan & more being added. As I travel to Vietnam next month (and then South America towards the end of 2019), I will create pet-friendly hotel guides for each city. You can find them on my homepage under Dogs>Pet-Friendly Hotels.

Back in November when I first arrived to Thailand, I answered the question : Is Thailand Dog-Friendly? Five months later, my opinion remains that Thailand is very dog-friendly. I’ve had significantly more positive experiences than negatives ones. The hotels below are being listed in alphabetical order. 

And if you book a hotel from this article, please support the website by using this Booking.com link which gets us both a $15 coupon! 

Note : this guide only contains 1 hotel because I got super lucky with my first pick. Pricing, service, amenities – this hotel is amazing. 

Pet-Friendly Hotels in Thailand (Chiang Mai)

Wiang Kum Kam Resort

117/1 Moo 11 Soi 4B, Ban Chang Kham,Tha Wang Tan , 50140 Chiang Mai, Thailand

Pets stay free!

Wiang Kum Kam Resort BeFreeMySheeple
Rolf, the owner, and me with Raindrop and Flex

How They Describe Themselves:Wiang Kum Kam Resort in Saraphi features accommodations with free bikes, an outdoor swimming pool and a garden. With free WiFi, this hotel offers a tour desk and luggage storage space.”

Overview: If I had to give one adjective to describe this hotel it would be “zen.” The design and architecture are extremely unique (it was built by the husband and wife owners) making you feel like you’re in a wonderful Chiang Mai garden or sanctuary. The owner Rolf is one of the nicest guys I met during my entire time in Thailand. He goes above and beyond to make sure your time in Chiang Mai is awesome. You literally never have to leave this charming resort if you didn’t want to – he has coffee, personal food delivery, and a massage room where you can order a masseuse for an incredible 200-baht massage. 

Location:  What I like about the Wiang Kum Kam Resort is that it’s quiet, peaceful and serene. It’s perfect for a couple on a romantic Chiang Mai getaway or a family trip. For those who want to be closer to the nightlife that Chiang Mai’s Old Town offers, you’ll need to take a taxi or borrow one of the resort’s motorbikes. Personally, I always rented a car when I went to Chiang Mai and there’s parking available within the resort.

Wiang Kum Kam Resort Map BeFreeMySheeple

Room Pros:  I have stayed at every room within this resort and they are all very spacious. Most of them have a bedroom and a living room which is great for groups or families. Each room is equipped with air conditioning and a refrigerator. The lack of a kitchen is irrelevant in Thailand as you should be eating out every meal anyway (not only is the food delicious but it’s so cheap!). 

Room Cons: The rooms do not have a kitchen or a washing machine, but the resort can do the laundry for you. 

Hotel Pros: The owner Rolf is one of the best reasons to stay at this resort. He really goes out of his way to help you with anything you need. You can order food and he’ll go pick it up for you. You want coffee? He has his own little coffee and smoothie shop. I recommend his iced lattes and banana smoothies. There’s also a beautiful pool in the resort that was never busy during my time there. It has a cool temperature which is great for cooling off from the Thailand heat. To enter the resort, you’ll need to use a remote to open and close the gate which adds a nice element of safety. Great WiFi!

Wiang Kum Kam Resort Map BeFreeMySheeple

Hotel Cons: There are a few soi (street) dogs that live on the winding streets that surround the resort but from my experience, they were harmless. If you’re driving to the resort at night, please drive slowly as these dogs like to sleep in the middle of the street. My guess is because there are less insects on the cement than on the grass. 

Recommended for: A couple looking for a romantic getaway or a family that needs a bit more space and a pool for the kids.

Pro Tip: Try to visit Thailand during the Loy Krathong or Lantern Festival (November 2019). It’s an incredible experience and one of the most romantic things you’ll do (if you can get away from the crowds) even if you’re by yourself.

Loy Krathong Chiang Mai BeFreeMySHeeple

Favorite Restaurant: Ask Rolf for the hotel food menu and all the items are cooked by traditional Thai chefs at street food prices. 

Bonus Vlog!

And of course if you’re coming to Chiang Mai, you’ll likely want to hang out with some elephants. I recommend the Chiang Mai Elephant Home. They have a perfect 5.0 rating on Facebook. Ask for Ronie Handyman. He’s a great tour guide. 

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Have you stayed at a pet-friendly hotel in Chiang Mai that you absolutely loved? Leave a comment or you can e-mail me adam@befreemysheeple.com. If you enjoyed reading/watching this, you can follow me on Instagram, @adamfrancisco & @befreemysheeple.

Be Free My Sheeple!

I Almost Had My iPhone Stolen My First Night in Ho Chi Minh City

 

After spending an incredible 6 months in Thailand with my dogs, I wanted to spend some time in Vietnam before heading back to USA (where I will start my real estate empire). My original flight itinerary was Bangkok to Ho Chi Minh City (3 hour layover) to Phu Quoc, a Vietnamese island that lies between Vietnam and Cambodia. But once my plane landed in Ho Chi Minh City, I made the spontaneous decision to leave the airport and skip the second leg. Ho Chi Minh City…here I come!

I’ve been to Ho Chi Minh City several times before and I’ve always had a good time which is why I wanted to spend time here before returning to the beach life of Phu Quoc. This decision almost proved to be a bad decision when my iPhone almost got stolen my first night here. I say “almost” twice because this story was an inch away of ending very badly for me. What’s a blogger without his phone? 

I’ve always heard that pick-pocketers are something to look out for in Vietnam but I personally never experienced it any of my previous visits here over the past 3 years. 

I had time to reflect on what almost happened last night and it’s kind of my fault to have put myself in that situation. It was late at night, I came from the bars so if they had been watching me they knew I had a few drinks so I was an easier target, there weren’t a lot of lights on the street, it was an empty street, I was distracted on my phone, and I was walking 2 dogs. So if you look at all the things to do to not get pick-pocketed, I was doing none of them. When you make a mistake, the first step is to admit you were wrong so I’ll admit that I was doing everything wrong and I made myself look like an easy target.

But the two things that I did do right, was when I saw 2 suspicious-looking guys on a motorbike heading towards me on the sidewalk, I instinctively applied more strength to my grip, and I moved the phone closer into my body (which caused him to miss getting a clean grab). I vlogged within seconds after this happened and then reflected on the incident today.

After he drove away empty-handed, I stared at him like “really bro?” and he stared at me like “you’re lucky.” I really hope that his life takes a turn for the better. 

So after almost getting my iPhone pick-pocketed in Ho Chi Minh City, I thought I would turn this almost negative experience into a learning lesson for myself and a word of caution for my fellow travelers. This is my quick guide on what NOT to do if you don’t want to get pick-pocketed. 

How To Not Get Pick-Pocketed Guide

Don’t Look Flashy

If you typically wear things like jewelry or a nice watch, keep it at home. If you look rich, then you become a target. Not only do they want what you have, but they won’t feel guilty because you look like you can buy it again. 

BeFreeMySheeple Rich Guy

Don’t Walk on Empty Streets

Never walk on an empty street, especially at night. When a street is empty that means that there are no witnesses to any potential crimes and there is nobody nearby that is able to help you so you’re on your own. And pick-pocketers know this.

Don’t Walk Home at Night

If you’re walking home at night, that means that you probably had a few drinks which makes you an easier target. When you’re drinking, you have slower reaction time. Take a taxi or cab home, especially when you’re in a country like Vietnam. It’s worth spending the extra dollar. Seriously – my cabs all day today were 16,000 dong which is the equivalent of $.60 USD.

Don’t Walk While Looking At Your Phone

In places like America that are relatively safe, we can walk down the street with our faces buried in our phones and almost always nothing happens to us. This is such a bad habit that it’s easy to forget that this behavior is not acceptable in other parts of the world. Always keep your head up and be aware of your surroundings. If you’re staring at your phone while you’re walking, not only are you distracted but your phone looks like bait to a fish.

Walking while staring at phone
Don’t be like this cool kid abroad.

Be Aware Of Your Surroundings

One of our most important senses is hearing. If it wasn’t for my dolphin-like hearing and spider-like reflexes, I wouldn’t have seen the pick-pocketers coming because they were coming full speed at me on a motorbike. Instead of relying on one sense, it’s better to apply all of your senses on your surroundings. Try to keep distance between you and anyone else on the street. The only way for a pick-pocketer to steal from you is if they’re close to you.

BeFreeMySheeple Dolphin Hearing
My sense of hearing resembles that of a dolphin.

Turn on Find My Phone

If you have an iPhone, please use the “Find My Phone” feature. If your phone does get stolen, this feature enables you to remotely wipe your iPhone and render it useless. You can also send the thief messages that will appear on the home screen  such as “If you are looking for ransom, I can tell you I don’t have money. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills, skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you.”

Turn on iCloud Backup

One of the worst feelings in the world is to lose all of your memories because you never got around to turning on your iCloud backup. Always turn iCloud backup on! And also make sure you connect to your hotel WiFi so that everything gets backed up to the cloud.

And I am extremely fortunate that I can end this blog post with the following words…

Sent from my iPhone

Bonus Food Vlog!

And if you’re in Ho Chi Minh City and looking for a delicious place to get poke, check out Poke Saigon.

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Do you have additional tips to stay safe in a foreign country? Leave a comment or you can e-mail me adam@befreemysheeple.com. If you enjoyed reading/watching this, you can follow me on Instagram, @adamfrancisco & @befreemysheeple.

Be Free My Sheeple!