How Southeast Asia Ruined My Life

How Southeast Asia Ruined My Life

Southeast Asia, I hate you. I’ve been here for only five months and you’ve RUINED me.

First of all, I haven’t had to do dishes or cook my own food since I got here. Having a maid who cooks on a daily basis means I don’t have to. On her days off, she leaves food in the fridge for me to nuke in the microwave. I’ve hardly lifted a finger since I landed here.

I’m losing my self-sufficiency! I just got my own place last week and I had to… I had to… Cook and wash dishes… The horror! That’s not enough for you? Well, I even had to go grocery shopping and stock my fridge for the week.

It’s okay though, because a new maid is incoming tomorrow, but damn it, what would I do without one? The time it takes to prepare food, clean dishes, buy more food, etc. all eat up time I could use to work. You’ve spoiled me well, Asia.

Second, there are just so many smart people here. They have decades of experience over me so both business and life advice are flowing everywhere and jumpstarting my growth.

I love my friends back home to death, but wow, the level of discussions over here is hard to measure up to. I don’t think I could be learning this much from anywhere else (at least not at home.)

How am I supposed to live in a place that’s lacking all of this now? You’ve spoiled me again.

And third, you’ve taken me from my family. How dare you pull me across the ocean and onto a tropical island?

Sure, back home I often fought with my family, reluctantly attended college, and had to deal with daily drama… Wait, actually, thanks for bringing me away from all that. Uh, I mean, damn you Asia!

Okay. Fine. You win. I admit that I freaking love it here. I absolutely adore the people I hang out with, the people I work for, and just about every citizen I’ve met so far (except for the jerk at the gym and Mr. I Passively Aggressively Turn Off Your Lights While You’re Working Until You Talk to the Manager Downstairs.)

As much as my friends and I like to complain about the small inconveniences of daily life, the hassles of living here are well worth the benefits.

I can’t lie, there isn’t any other place I’d rather be right now. For me, Southeast Asia – more specifically the Philippines – is my home. You’ve ruined my life by making it so much better.

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Vincent Nguyen is the author of Self Stairway and founder of Growth Ninja, a digital marketing agency that specializes in Facebook Ads. Voted "Most Guapo" five years in a row (lost during 6th year to a hand model.)

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37 responses to How Southeast Asia Ruined My Life

  1. It’ll do that to ya. I came here for 3 months in April 2011 and never left… 🙂

  2. I traveled for a year in Southeast Asia between 2006 and 2007. I went back to France for summer, then decided to go back to Asia and find a way to make a living. It’s been 6 years I’m here now. And I still love it.
    I’m planning to get a pied-a-terre one day in France but not for going back full time. Like you, Asia spoiled me. Things are convenient, cheap, many different people from many different horizons and cultures, lots of interests, foods from everywhere around the world. You can’t beat that! Welcome to a long life here Vincent.

    • Wow, 6 YEARS?! That makes you a SEAsia veteran. Where are you at nowadays?

      • I’m living in Macau now, next to Hong Kong. Way more expensive than the Philippines! But I have a job locally, paying accordingly. Planning to live between Macau/HK and France in the future, so working hard on making my money independent of my location!

        • Awesome. Hope you don’t mind I ask what it is that you do?

          • Currently most of my living is made by designing and developing (mainly) a university management system. I’ve joined the university when it was 5 years old, they had nothing digital at the time and I’ve created the system. There’s still a lot to do, you know, dev&design never stops, but I don’t feel like doing it 8 hours a day anymore, so I’m working on the next step! I’ve launched a free service 2 weeks ago ( around psychology. I’m planning to launch a blog, and write books. Rest of the time is sleep, cook, read, write, and traveling to do rock climbing.

            • I first read that as “I’ve joined the university when I was 5 years old.” Was going to say that’s one hell of a prodigy!

              That’s awesome man. I hope you do well with everything you pursue. I’ll check out your site. 🙂

        • Nice, man! Macao is an interesting city – Vincent should definitely take a trip out there to check out the “Vegas of Asia”.

          As for HK – one of my favorite cities in the world. So much good food, interesting things to do, etc. It’s not exactly cheap, but I LOVE how you can have an amazing experience with dinner at a 5-star restaurant one night and walk right down the street to a food stall the next. (And get a delicious meal as well)

          • Heh, Justin’s always trying to get me to leave the nest and explore outside of Davao. 🙂

            • Yeah Justin is right, you should drop by! You’ll get a free beer (or two) 😉
              HK is excellent too, I love the place. There’s nothing that you can’t find there. There’s tons of things going on and very interesting people. Macau is a village compared to HK, but it’s more relaxed. Although less interesting once you’ve been there for a while.

  3. Southeast Asia ruined my life too. Since birth. lol

  4. You wrote a funny article. I can just hear the joy you have.
    Enjoy, enjoy enjoy

  5. Enjoy the adventures! Great post… Love the humor 😀

  6. LudvigSunstrom April 15, 2014 at 2:15 pm

    Glad to hear you’re loving it, Vincent!

    Sweet picture. Show some more ones soon.

  7. so happy you are good.

  8. Sounds like an awesome experience! I feel happy reading the post!

  9. You live like a king! I had my share of prince living way back when we were younger (like 5) when we had a helper and nannies. That’s over. We grew up having to wash our clothes and clean up the house. You’re lifestyle is pretty much an expat’s and not like a local. 😛 You will probably want to try that in the future. It’s not really boring, it’s the same thing you used to do in the US but less convenient.

  10. I am just happy to know that you’re enjoying your stay in Davao. And you’re calling Philippines your home? that’s really nice! 🙂

    Davao is such a calm and beautiful place. It’s a peaceful city surrounded by the beauties of nature. Can’t wait to go back.

    Keep rocking Vincent!

  11. Pretty funny post. Glad you’re enjoying your time there.

    I haven’t been to Asia in years. I kind of miss it. I would definitely go back though.


  12. Yo buddy, I’m happy you love it so much, I cant wait to get back there!

  13. Great title 🙂 I have been to Thailand this year. I’m really amazed by the beauty and what’s you called ‘decades of experience’.

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