I left my friends, my comfort, my family, my home …
To embark on a journey to learn more about myself.
April 29th, 2019: While writing my exam at 9AM, I kept wondering what it would be like to join the other fellows who had already started 3 days before. I most probably will be missing out but I can’t do much in my power since I have exams on the final day…
April 30th, 2019: Farewell to my friends and family. Time to catch my flight!
✈️ MTL → SF 🏠
After a 12 hour flight, the first night I walked in, I was completely out of the loop as to what everyone was talking about. Fortunately, my cohort welcomed me in with open arms and filled me in entirely.
I still felt a bit lost …
What am I doing here?
I felt like a fish in a sea of sharks. Intellectual sharks. Brilliant sharks. Amazing sharks. The coolest, open minded individuals. Couple of days passed and I integrated seamlessly with my team “The Philomaths” (yup, that’s the name we were given). We were tasked to come up with a business pitch to real investors and a self-elevator pitch. We kept working: trying to get to know everyone, finding and polishing business ideas, and writing a self-pitch. In the meantime, we visited LinkedIn, Dropbox, Cresta, Lever and Tesla to name a few. Our cohort got along really well and we all pitched our ideas to each other to get critical feedback on how to improve for the pitch day.
I felt comfortable the day of my pitch; my elevator pitch and business pitch. Everyone supported eachother and we were pulling eachother up even if we did little mistakes (albeit very few). Finally, we finished all our pitches, ate a huge meal and spent the rest of the day with the Cansbridge family.
On Saturday morning, our cohort got together in one room and in a circle we started something: name each person’s strengths and talk about your highs and lows.
My high: finally graduating high school when I was told I would never be able to.
My low: well… let’s not publish it here.
My strength? This was a series of comments from one fellow to another.
This day, was honestly the most memorable day I will ever have. This day, is what made us feel safe, feel comfortable, feel at peace, feel at home. My biggest takeaway from the entire conference was:
Be you, be confident, no one can take that from you.
🚎 SF →LA 🚙
I’ve never been to LA, so two of the fellows and I got together and decided to go on a road trip. We took the MegaBus from SF to LA and made it in 6 hours. With no itinerary/plans we decided to follow wherever the road led us (not literally). We then hopped onto an Uber to Avis Car Rental. Rented a Jeep Compass and started our day at IHOP. After breakfast at 6am, we then went to Griffith park and knocked out in the car for 3 hours. After Griffith park we went horseback riding.
Bucket list achieved ✔️
Next up, Hollywood, honestly not really much here as we saw celebrity names on the floor, had street food and went to the illusion museum.
Lastly, we drove to Santa Monica Beach and had Bubba Gump’s resto, ate an amazing meal and then went Uber e-biking for 30min. That was the end to that one fruitful day. We all dispatched.
✈️ LA → 🏨 JPY → 🏡 KL
Where am I going?
I am going to Kuala Lumpur (KL), Malaysia! Super excited as I will be doing Ramadan, so an abundance of halal food around. Before landing in KL, I had one 18 hour layover in Japan (’tis what I get for buying a cheap ticket). I entered as a tourist and booked a hotel for the night at Ninehours (9hrs) hotel, which was connected to the airport (Narita). The hotel isn’t what you might think it is, a room, a bed, maybe a TV, a bathroom, a mirror? Nope.
These were pods. Sleeping pods. You walk in, they gave you sandals and a uniform and a towel. I felt like I was in jail. I was inside the pod for about 10 hours and it was the first time in my life, I felt as if I was living life in a box. I was confined in such a humid space, with nothing but loneliness. I just kept playing in my head “it’s okay, just one night and you’re out.” This one night felt like an eternity. This was hectic, nothing I’ve imagined.
The next day,
Finally, I slept 3 hours and rushed out to leave the pod to catch my flight (I was 5 hours early — on purpose). Just bought Starbucks for breakfast, dropped $25 USD for a veggie sandwich and a small ice frapp. Talk about hustling.
Caught my flight and here we go …
🏡 Kuala Lumpur | Malaysia
On another note feel free to follow me on insta as I post on my story quite often: @nayem_wizdom ✌️