Celebrating a 35th Birthday in Bangkok, Thailand

One of my best friends (also named Adam), landed in Bangkok on December 9th, which happened to be his 35th birthday. We thought about driving to Pattaya to party.  But after a 24 hour flight from New York City to Bangkok, he didn’t want to add any additional travel time. Here’s how we celebrated his 35th birthday in Bangkok, Thailand.

Khao San Road, Bangkok

A great place to pre-game in Bangkok is Khao San Road.  You can get delicious street food here like pad Thai, meat skewers, spring rolls & smoothies. After a long 24 hour flight of eating only airplane food, Adam jumped on the first food cart he saw (spring rolls). The hot sauce was too spicy for him, but not me because I’m Mexican.

After filling up on spring rolls, there’s no better way to digest than a foot massage (along with a vodka soda bucket). I also showed Adam my newest magic trick (appearing beer).

Before we left, I had a fresh mango & banana smoothie and it paired perfectly with my lukewarm vodka soda bucket.

Riding a Tuk Tuk in Bangkok

The most efficient way to travel around Bangkok is a motorbike because they can weave around traffic. The most fun way to travel around Bangkok, especially if you’re with your friend, is a tuk tuk. And from my experience, almost all tuk tuk drivers speak at least a little English.

The only negative is that there’s no meter so you’ll need to negotiate a little bit on the pricing. The first driver we asked to take us from Khao San Road to Patpong Night Market (a 20 minute ride) wanted 500 baht ($15 uSD). The second driver we asked wanted a more reasonable 300 baht ($9 USD). In the US, a difference of $6 during a night out is almost irrelevant (I used to spend $200-300 every Friday/Saturday night in New York City), but here in Thailand, that’s the cost of a 1-hour massage.

Patpong Night Market, Bangkok

After Khao San Road, we headed to Patpong Night Market, a fun place to shop for clothes, electronics, souvenirs, etc. Lining the streets along the market are bars (some with go-go dancers), live music, restaurants, massages and the infamous ping pong shows.

Now I’ve been living in Thailand for almost 3 months and I never really had any interest in checking out a ping pong show. For those of you who don’t know what a ping pong show is, you can read more about it here. You’ll understand why this form of entertainment isn’t high on my list of priorities.

We got to Patpong Night Market a little too early as many of the bars were empty. We asked one of the bar managers if there was a busier bar. She led us to a staircase leading to a bar upstairs and I told her that we did not want to go to a ping pong show. She confirmed that this was not a ping pong show (“no ping pong show”) but of course as soon as we sat down, it was a ping pong show. A good rule of thumb when you’re at Patpong Night Market is if the bar is on the 2nd floor, it’s probably a ping pong show.

Looking back we should have immediately left. Instead we figured that since we were already there, we might as well have a quick drink. Adam got a beer and I ordered a vodka soda. I told him to drink as quickly as possible and not to engage or stare at the performers as if this would prevent us from being scammed (as I read these places tend to do online). The performers ignored us as we sat in the corner trying to quickly chug our drinks and GTFOH.

Ping Pong Show Scam

The bar was advertised as “no cover charge” with drinks being 100 baht ($3 USD).  What they failed to mention is that there isn’t a cover charge for entering, but there certainly is a cover charge for leaving. This is referred to as a “looking fee.” The looking fee (the fee for looking at the performers) at this fine establishment was 1,500 baht per person ($48 USD). There was also a 1,200 baht “service fee” per person ($37 USD). Our bill for 2 drinks (which we finished in under 10 minutes) … 6,000 baht!!! Roughly $180 USD. LOL.

We explained to the cashier that there was a misunderstanding :  we were told by the bar manager that this wasn’t a ping pong show (which is why we were leaving after 10 minutes). We settled on paying 1,000 baht ($32 USD). Still too much, but not on the scale of 6,000 baht. Had we engaged with the performers at all, we would have understood the charges. Our experience was consistent with many others that I’ve read about online here.

Soi Cowboy, Bangkok

After avoiding being fully scammed at a ping pong show, we went to the legendary and iconic Soi Cowboy. Like Khao San Road, Soi Cowboy was named in my article The Craziest Party Streets I’ve Been to in the World!

Soi Cowboy is a great place to have a few birthday drinks while looking at bikini-clad bartenders and hostesses. There’s also live music and restaurants so you can eat between drinks.

Pretty soon after we got there, I stopped vlogging. In keeping consistent with my vlog, I’ll end the article here. Let’s just say it was a wild and memorable night.

Bangkok is a great place to celebrate a birthday or bachelor party. I wish we had time to hit up a rooftop bar or RCA, but there’s always next time!

Have you celebrated a birthday in Bangkok?  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.

If You Don’t Love Your Job, You Should Watch This


A few days ago I shared some thoughts over my Instagram Stories @adamfrancisco about how to become a digital nomad and it got a lot of positive feedback through DMs and private messages on Facebook so I wanted to make it available here. I didn’t think I would end up using the videos after the 24 hours expired so the content is very raw and somewhat disorganized (I mean, look at my hair) but I think the message can inspire some people. If you don’t love your job, you should watch this.

Key Highlights

“Your future is not guaranteed. You might never be 60 or 70 so don’t keep thinking that you’re gonna make it that far”

“If you’re one of those people that makes over six figures and you don’t really love your job, you could probably make $15,000 a year remotely.”

“As long as you have a boss, you’re not really gonna be in control of your own life, of your own time, of your own freedom”

“Freedom is the most powerful currency.”

“Besides freedom, the other most important currency is health. Without health, all the money in the world doesn’t really mean much. Ask any billionaire who has a terminal disease if they would trade all their money for health and the answer is gonna be yes. So really, health, time & freedom…I think those are the top 3 currencies.”

“I think that advertising is to blame in a big way because our job as advertisers is to convince people to buy things that they don’t need or to tell them what they want.”

The Subtitles (Because I’m a New Yorker and I talk fast)


All right guys so to recap …

The weather here’s beautiful, especially if you go the beaches where you get a nice breeze, it’s a lot cooler, less humidity. Everything’s cheap. So my personal recommendation to all of you…

My recommendation is get a taste for it now while you’re young. Your future is not guaranteed. You might never be 60 or 70 so don’t keep thinking that you’re gonna make it that far. Get a taste for it today. And here’s how you do it.

So many of you are going to retire one day and you’re probably going to want to retire at the beach. I mean that’s just a fact.  Look at Florida. Look at all of our grandparents. They all go to Florida or they move somewhere warm. So you’re gonna want to retire at the beach. My recommendation is…

Try to save up $10-$15,000 dollars instead of spending it on stupid shit like brand name clothes, or things you don’t really need. Save that money, take a gap year. A life gap year. Just leave your life for a year.

Get rid of your rent. Get rid of your car payments Get rid of your … whatever you don’t need. Even your phone bill. Get rid of that too. Live rent-free. It’s so cheap out here. And you can just travel for a whole year on like, 15,000 bucks. You can travel for an entire year in Southeast Asian and the beautiful part about traveling is not only is it good for your Instagram, but it also expands your mind and shows you new culture and meet new people. It’s great.

Now look. If you are one of the 1% of people out there that really loves their job, then you know what, good for you. You hit the lottery. For most people, they don’t like their jobs or their job is a headache or a nuisance. You deserve a year off.

Here’s another thing. I’m 35 now. I know a lot of my friends make over six figures now so if you’re one of those people that makes over six figures and you don’t really love your job, you could probably make $15,000 a year remotely. Think about that. You probably could do that if you really tried.

Now companies are trying to be progressive now with these remote work cultures and “unlimited vacation days” but as long as you have a boss, you’re not really gonna be in control of your own life, of your own time, of your own freedom so just think about how you can become more free.

If LA (Los Angeles) taught me anything, freedom is the most powerful currency. Having actual unlimited vacation days…oh here’s my breakfast. Hey girl, what’s up?

And yes, Asia may not be for you. You might not like Asia or Southeast Asia. Whatever. You can really do this anywhere you want. You can go to Eastern Europe, South America, Central America, Africa. There’s so many other places.

One quick footnote: besides freedom, the other most important currency is health. Without health, all the money in the world doesn’t really mean much. Ask any billionaire who has a terminal disease if they would trade all their money for health and the answer is gonna be yes. So really, health, time & freedom…I think those are the top 3 currencies. Somehow, our society messed up along the way and we made money the most important factor in the world. And there’s a lot of people that have enough money to be very happy and they just keep chasing and chasing like it’s an endless video game. Like an endless runner. And I love this meme.

Stop Chasing Money

Honestly I think that advertising is to blame in a big way because our job as advertisers is to convince people to buy things that they don’t need or to tell them what they want. And therefore, they need more money.

I used to live in New York City and I had an apartment for $4,000 dollars a month but I also had a job. I was drinking 5 nights a week with clients and I had very little time to myself. Very little time. So now that I’m out here in Thailand. Or even when I was in LA, I drank once a month. Twice a month maybe. And I had so much personal free time. It was awesome.

And so while I loved LA, I had to leave because you need to work hard to make money to sustain that lifestyle in LA or New York, even though LA is cheaper than New York. I had to move here to stop the financial hemorrhaging and bleeding and I’m stabilized now. 

So anyway, if you are upset with your job, if you hate the routine, the monotony, if you hate having to rush your vacation days, and rush your gym time and personal time, DM me and let’s brainstorm how we can make you a little bit freer. I’m happy to help.

If you’re already married, I’m sorry for your loss. But if you’re not married and you’re single, I recommend taking a gap year and traveling the world meeting people from all around the world. Just living this free life. I’ll tell you this much guys, the single best part of traveling single is you get to meet local people of the opposite sex and they get to show you their country in the most authentic way. It’s incredible.

That’s not an innuendo. I literally mean they take you to the best local restaurants, the coolest places.

I was in Laos (it’s pronounced Lao not Laos by the way) 2 years ago and I met up with a local Laotion. She invites me to this park which was an hour outside of town and I never would have gone or heard about it because it was so far out of town that tourists don’t really go there. But she was a local so we went out there. It was awesome. We had a great time at the park. We took a lot of great photos. I’ll put some in this feed. She then invited me to a wedding that night. How cool is that? I went to a traditional Laos wedding. It was so cool.

Of course I had no dress clothes with me so she said let’s go the mall and let’ buy an outfit so I’m thinking the malls that we’re used to seeing in America. In Laos, they don’t really have a mall. It’s just street vendors and that was their mall so I bought an entire wedding outfit for like $15 bucks.

That’s my rant for the day. Hope you guys enjoyed it. I hope you guys watched the whole thing. If not, that’s cool too. I’m gonna go get a foot massage, maybe 2 hours. You know why? Cause I deserve it.”


If you have any questions about becoming a digital nomad or want someone to bounce ideas off of, I’m here! You can e-mail me adam@befreemysheeple.com. And of course message me on Instagram, @adamfrancisco & @befreemysheeple.

Be Free My Sheeple.

Crossing the San Ysidro Border from San Diego to Tijuana


I recently crossed the San Ysidro border by foot. A few things I experienced :

1) I was shocked at how quickly I was able to walk from USA into Mexico. The total process, including reviewing the health certificates for my dogs, was under 20 minutes. It is my preferred method from getting into Mexico from USA if you’re visiting Tijuana (which has a revitalized food & culture scene which you can read about here). 🌮

2) When I was filling out the paperwork to enter the country, being that I appear Mexican (because I am Mexican), a Mexican border official asked (in Spanish) if I was Mexican. Although unable to speak Spanish, I understood this question and said “Si.” Realizing I don’t speak fluent Spanish, he asked if I was born in Mexico and I proudly said “Yes, Guadalajara.” He snatched the paperwork out of my hand and in English said “You were born here so you don’t have to fill out the paperwork.” Winning! 🎟

Crossing the San Ysidro border
Being welcomed home into the USA with open opens

3) When I was adopted from Mexico I wasn’t necessarily saved from a terrible life. Who knows how my life would have turned out. But because I was adopted by an incredible mom and dad from New York City, I was gifted with becoming an American citizen, a strong education and a country with upward mobility. And I get to say I’m a Mexican Jew (or a challah-peño) which sounds really cool and unique. 🇺🇸🇲🇽✡️


I’m sharing these stories because it’s reminder of how blessed many of us are to have a roof over our heads, food to eat, water to drink and the ability travel at will. Many of us will never have to escape our countries against our will by foot. We can leave our countries by choice and be welcomed with open arms as I was in Thailand.

Hearing about the caravan situation at San Ysidro border is absolutely heartbreaking. I fear there are not going to be many winners in this scenario. If anyone knows of a trusted charity that I can make a humanitarian donation towards food, water and/or housing specifically for families with children, please let me know in the comments.


As a note, this is not a political post. I am not sharing any opinions or solutions. I don’t even know what “right” or “left” means unless it’s a driving direction or what “right wing” or “left wing” means unless it’s referring to an airplane. But as a human being, the children involved should at least have food, water and a bed until this is resolved.


I would love to hear your thoughts on what’s happening at the border or you can e-mail me adam@befreemysheeple.com. And of course follow me on Instagram, @adamfrancisco & @befreemysheeple.

Be Free My Sheeple.

Dearest My Frozen and Cold New Yorkers


Dearest my frozen and cold New Yorkers. I miss you all. I truly do. I can barely see you through the thin layer of ice and snow that has enveloped your shivering bodies despite the layers of triple goose, plaid scarves and faux fur you’re wearing. But don’t worry – warm weather is only 6-7 months away! You will get through this like you always do. You will survive.

The question is though – why do you feel like you have to? Is surviving cold winters a badge of honor? There are no participation medals given for your suffering through negative temperatures, 3 hour commutes (which should normally be less than 1 hour) or getting into work despite arctic conditions. And most warm cities are cheaper than New York City! So you’re paying a premium for misery! I would love to hear the last time somebody got a raise because they made it into work during a snowstorm. “You’re here Jim? Instant bonus!”

I remember winters in New York City and I am so happy they are a distant memory. There was a 3-4 day stretch in January 2015 where the weather in New York City dropped to -10 degrees Fahrenheit. I didn’t leave my apartment for 3 days straight. Every meal I ate was delivered from Seamless (I tipped my deliverypeople handsomely). My poor dogs wanted to go outside but they were forced to pee and poop on their pee pads indoors (in my defense, I tried to take my dogs outside but as soon as they felt the cold, they quickly U-turned inside).  When you’re home for 72 hours straight, you end up playing a lot of video games and talking to people on Facebook. That’s when I messaged my friend Yuri  who was living in Los Angeles and unknowingly sealed my fate as a traitor to New York City (something I never could have imagined happening in my 20s – I LOVED New York).

The moment I had enough

When I made the decision to leave New York City, I was making a ton of money in ad tech sales (a majority of which came from nights out until 4 am crushing fireball shots). I knew leaving New York City would mean that I would be sacrificing significant future income, but it was still an easy decision. I would be gaining a different kind of wealth, currencies that we as a society tend to overlook: happiness, health & time. New Yorkers are way too stressed. We all have reasons to stay where we are, and for me, the money I was making would have convinced most people to stay in place, but there is more to life than making money.

Life is too short to spend time in a place you don’t really want to be while you dream of places you’d rather be.

I look across my Facebook and Instagram feeds today, and many of you are posting #tbt pictures of warm vacations you went on in the past as a reminder to yourself and others of where you really want to be. In my opinion, it’s where you deserve to be. If you aren’t posting pics of warm vacations you went on, many of you are looking forward to the moment that you can hop on a plane for a short flight down to the Caribbean, Mexico or Florida (but not Thailand because you’re limited by “vacation days” – I remember having those).

I get it. I was once one of you. But realize, life is too short to spend time in a place you don’t really want to be while you dream of places you’d rather be. Maybe you’re thinking to yourself, “one day I’ll retire someplace warm so I never have to deal with snow again.” How about this thought instead…

Take a step back, evaluate your skillset, and realize that you can cut out the middle man with a little career creativity. I define the “middle man” as : the time between the moment you realize where you want to be and the time  you believe you must spend to get there. At 31 it hit me…I had to live someplace warm but I believed I would have to wait until I was retired at 65 to live on a beach. By moving to Los Angeles at 32 and now Thailand at 35, I got to where I saw myself retiring 30 years before I was “supposed to.” I type this as I sit on the beaches of Hua Hin, sipping fresh coconut juice while getting a coconut oil Thai massage on my beach chair.

Current mood

Now I understand some of you really like the cold. You prefer it actually. If that’s the case, then this blog post does not refer to you. You’re happy with cold weather because you like skiing, snowboarding or winter fashion (because you think it looks cute). You belong in New York City, Boston, or wherever else it gets cold. The cold is like mushrooms to me, I don’t understand how people can like them.

I noticed a theme – people from New York City who move to Los Angeles rarely move back, but people from Los Angeles who move to New York City almost always move back.

Then there’s another segment of you. People who grew up in warm places like Los Angeles, Miami or Bangkok and you wanted to move the big city to try something new and challenge yourself to see if you can make it. This blog post also does not refer to you. I strongly encourage people to push themselves out of their comfort zone.  After 4 winters though, you’ll realize “why am I doing this to myself”? I noticed a theme – people from New York who move to Los Angeles rarely move back, but people from Los Angeles who move to New York almost always move back.

Then there’s another segment of you that this blog post does not refer to…those that have already traveled the world, lived in many different cities and said, “You know what, New York City is for me. Despite all those terrible winters, the overburdened subway system, the career-first, money-hungry mentality, the constant anxiety, the insanely expensive lifestyle, this is where I want to be.” You’ve explored the world and made an educated decision on where to settle down. Cold weather and snowstorms are just part of the deal.

But for those of you that do not like winters, the cold or the snow, and have never lived anywhere else, you can do something about it. You can move. You know what the best part about moving away is? You can always move back. 

Life without winter is even better in execution than in concept

Ask your job to transfer you to a warm climate. Do a month-to-month apartment rental from AirBnB. Get a storage unit in New York City and leave most of your stuff there if you’re not ready to go all-in. You can both escape the cold and simultaneously challenge yourself by pushing yourself out of your comfort zone living in a new city. The worst thing that happens is you don’t like the move and you move back. The best thing that happens? You realize life without winter is even better in execution than in concept, you become more worldly and maybe even discover a happier and better lifestyle for yourself. Yolo! Someone recently told me, “if we weren’t meant to travel, we’d have roots instead of feet.” So use your feet and go plant new roots somewhere warm.

See you on the beaches of Hua Hin!

I would love to hear what you think. If you have any questions about moving cross-country or to a different country, you can e-mail me adam@befreemysheeple.com. And of course follow me on Instagram, @adamfrancisco & @befreemysheeple.

Be Free My Sheeple.

Is Thailand Dog-Friendly?

Is Thailand Dog-Friendly? If you’re obsessed with your dogs like I am and you’re either thinking about moving to or visiting Thailand with your fur-babies, then read this! I’m going to talk about my personal experiences having not one – but TWO dogs with me during my 1st month in Thailand. 

First – it’s important to know that I have what are considered small breed dogs : a Yorkie (Raindrop) & a Shih Tzu (Flex). Combined, my dogs weigh 28 lbs (or 12.7 kg). If needed, I can always quickly scoop my dogs up and carry them.  I also have the option of putting them in dog bags and carrying them. If I zip the bags shut, most people won’t even realize I have dogs with me.

I love all dogs but I’ve always preferred smaller breeds because they’re simply more convenient due to their size.

Before we get into it…

Is Thailand safe for my dogs?

The answer is mostly yes! I did a lot of research before moving to Thailand and the safety of my dogs was of utmost importance.  In Thailand, I at least know my dogs will not end up on a dinner plate.

So, is Thailand dog-friendly?

Thailand is a weird combination of being very dog-friendly and then not dog-friendly. Here’s some observations from my 1st month living in the Land of Smiles.

PRO: Whenever I walk down the street with my dogs, most people smile or make kissy noises at them. Thai people love dogs.

CON: Bangkok is the hottest city in the world and I quickly realized the impact this has on my dogs. It simply is not safe to take your dogs for long walks during the day-time due to the high temperatures and humidity. My solution was to invest in a baby stroller so I now look like a crazy dog daddy. Yolo?

Me in Khao San Road in 2018.

PRO: While many Asian countries continue to eat dogs today, Thailand is one of the few where eating dog never became part of their culinary history (outside of few remote villages). Since then, the Thai government passed animal welfare laws in 2014 for dogs, cats and other animals. Bravo! You can read more here

CON: Many streets do not have full sidewalks so you have to share the road with cars & motorbikes. I strongly recommend keeping your dogs on a short leash while walking them.

PRO: Some restaurants & spas (that aren’t dog-friendly) have allowed my dogs in (when I have them in the baby stroller) without much fuss. After they see how well-behaved they are, I’m basically allowed in with my dogs after that (with or without stroller).

Foot massages with my kids.

CON: Not only are there homeless dogs in Thailand, but many owners keep their dogs unleashed in front of their stores or in a front yard that isn’t closed. If your dog likes to bark at every dog he sees or hears, you’ll have dogs seemingly coming out of nowhere!

PRO: There are a number of hotels, spas, cafes and restaurants that are dog-friendly catering to this specific audience. In America, your dog has to be a Service Dog to be allowed into an indoor restaurant (or most establishments) and even (some) pet-friendly hotels will charge fees but here it really just seems up to ownership/management.

Note : I have successfully snuck my dogs into some non-pet friendly hotels & restaurants by keeping them in their stroller or in their bags. If it’s in a stroller and whatever’s in the stroller is quiet, people assume it’s a sleeping baby. WRONG. It’s 2 awesome dogs. #winning

CON: If you happen to be in a grassy area, insects will swarm your dogs. I put Raindrop & Flex in their baby stroller on a grass field and Raindrop started freaking out. I quickly checked on her and ants had climbed all the way up the stroller and were covering my dogs bodies. These tropical ants are lit. No wonder Thai dogs prefer sleeping on concrete here.

PRO: If your dogs love the beach, it seems like all beaches in Thailand are dog-friendly as there are a number of local beach dogs already hanging out.  When I lived in Los Angeles, I’d have to drive to specific beaches.

CON: It’s sometimes very hard to find a taxi that will accept your dogs. This is very frustrating when I have places to be (luckily I don’t really have places to be because I’m a digital nomad😂).

PRO: Thailand uses Grab (instead of Uber) and you have the option to pick a motorbike. So far I haven’t had any issues holding my dogs on the back of a motorbike. If your dogs like to stick their heads out your car window when you’re driving, then they’ll love this!

CONDogs cannot fly in-cabin on any Thai airplanes. They must be in-cargo. If you have to fly your dog in/out of Thailand, try to schedule your flight at night when temperatures have cooled down.

PRO: Even the temple grounds are dog-friendly! While your dogs cannot go into the temple themselves, they’re more than welcome to hang out outside of the temple. I saw many monks with pet dogs. 

At Big Buddha Phuket. Epic.


CON: There are street dogs here so they are untrained animals which means they piss, shit & bark wherever they want so there’s a perception from some people (likely non-dog owners) that all dogs will piss, shit & bark in their place of business.

PRO: Thai women love dogs. I think all women love dogs. As a single guy, this helps. If you’re single, get dogs. You won’t be as needy and you’ll automatically become more desirable. If you’re not single, get dogs so when your inevitable breakup happens, you won’t care as much because you’ll have unconditional love from your dogs. Just make sure you figure out who owns the dogs before you get them. The worst thing is losing your dogs during the break-up.

CONEmotional Support Animals and Service Animals are yet to be recognized in Thailand so even if your dog is required for an actual medical need, this isn’t recognized or protected by any laws (yet).

PRO: Many restaurants and bars have outside seating areas, so even if the restaurant or bar is not dog-friendly, you can still sit outside with them. 

With Jeff Bukhari – still single.

CON: Most public parks are so perfect for dogs with grassy areas & huge parks to play fetch in, but many of them are not dog-friendly. 

PRO: Getting your dogs groomed or going to the vet is so cheap here! The following services were $80 total!:

-2 dog haircuts
-2 dog nail clippings
-2 dog anal gland cleanings
-2 dog teeth cleanings
-2 vet appointments
-2 medications (for ear infections)

CON: But pet stores are expensive. Buying high-quality dog food costs about the same price as the US. 

PRO: You get to live in Thailand, the Land of Smiles, with your best friend(s)???? What else could be better!!!

So there you have it. Some idea of what to expect if you bring your dog(s) to Thailand. Just make sure you go through the entire pet permit & import process correctly. It’s a bit of a headache but I was able to figure it out with a little help from a Thai friend.

My next article will include some of the best dog-friendly hotels that I’ve stayed at so far.

If you have any questions about owning a dog in Thailand, feel free to contact me adam@befreemysheeple.com.

And of course follow me on Instagram, @adamfrancisco & @befreemysheeple.

Be Free My Sheeple!