I Am Going To The US!

Las Vegas, to be exact. πŸ™‚ I don’t know how to put it in words better than how I feel right now.

When I was having my late lunch, I kept looking at my passport. The page plastered with the Visa to US. To think that I waited 4 years for this!

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You see, back in 2006, I wanted to go to the US to attend a JV Alert seminar in Philadelphia. I was year one old in the Internet Business, and I wanted to meet other Internet Marketers in the US badly.

I was staying in Johor Bahru and I didn’t have a car at that time, so I took a bus down to the US Embassy in Kuala Lumpur. I was to go back the same day.

Imagine the horror when the officer told me, after rushing to get the documents down pat for several days, six hours of getting here, and two hours of waiting before the interview…

The American officer said to the effect of:

“Young man, I am sorry but I cannot approve your visa. You failed to demonstrate strong ties to your country. Your business is so virtual you can just operate from Starbucks and not come back to your country.”

I did my best to assure the officer I would come back to Malaysia, then he went on to say:

“Your visa application is declined and that’s final. By the way, please don’t try again next month. Don’t come back the next 6 months. Don’t even try again next year.”

And I let those words sank in. Those words kept playing, over and over again in my mind, on my way back to JB. I was despaired.

Problem was, I was a total nobody on paper. Granted, I was doing somewhat okay financially.

But I was not a student.

I was not an employee either.

And as a business owner, I didn’t have a company registered at all.

To add, I didn’t have anything else to back up my proof that I would return to Malaysia. I didn’t have a house or even a car to my name to prove that!

I went home, dropped an email and told the people in US I had to give up my seat at JV Alert. It totally SUCKED.

But I was very sure that one day I would overcome this.

… And that day actually came! Albeit a really long wait.

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It’s been a while since I last heard from Dylan Loh. And when he messaged me on Facebook, he asked me, “Hey Edmund, wanna follow me to Las Vegas?”

There’s an Affiliate Summit 2011 going to happen soon. There will be the big shots and giants of the Internet from companies like Google, Facebook, Zynga, Twitter, etc. going. There will be a ClickBank party too.

I had been spending unusually a lot as of lately – the recent Egypt trip being one. My mother was to go for operation to remove a thyroid from her neck which is going to cost a bomb.

But I knew I cannot pass this up this time. FOR REAL.

So I hurried to apply for my Visa to the US for the second time – paid the processing fee, get my visa-sized photo done, and went through the tedious application form on the Internet.

“This has got to work!”

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Yesterday, I drove to the embassy. It’s been 4 years since. Cold. Impersonal. Nothing at this place changed.

I surrendered my car keys, hand phone and IC to the guard house before entering. It was less than two hours before it was my turn to get interviewed.

While waiting, I heard the American officer booming through the glass window at some of the applicants.

Vietnam guy didn’t make it. A lot of discrepancy in his application.

Iranian woman was feared that she won’t return ever, even though she already has a family there.

Then… my turn.

And I was more well prepared than I was years ago. My company is registered. I have a house and 2 cars to my name. And a healthier bank account. I’d also like to think that I was lucky to be interviewed by an officer with a more positive attitude.

“Your visa application is approved, Mr. Loh. Collect your passport from Wisma MCA tomorrow anytime from 3.00 to 4.00 PM.”

YEEEEEEEEEEEEES!!! WOOOOHOOOOOOO!!!

Las Vegas baby, here we come! 8)

This is like a dream come true for me. I’m going to be meeting some of my marketing heroes face to face for the first time ever – two of them being Jeremy Gislason and Simon Hodgkinson!

I hope I can meet up with Stephen Luc too, though he stays far from Vegas. All these years of communicating online, I really can’t wait to meet face to face. πŸ™‚

Also, another reason why I really want to go for this is so I can meet up with new joint venture partners for my business. I have no connections with the ClickBank marketers at this stage, and I have a launch coming up that is going to use ClickBank as the main platform.

I’m looking forward to this – 5th January 2011. I’ll be back in Malaysia again on the 18th. πŸ™‚

YAY!

10 Days in Egypt!

Almost exactly a year ago, I was crafting my dream board (I’m looking at it right now). One of the places I must visit was Egypt.

Going there wasn’t a problem. Finding a companion to go with was the real challenge.

And we did it… finally!

I went with Elle Wong and Colleen. 8) Colls is the latest member of our “work from home” gang. πŸ˜› And I should thank my lucky stars, not all the time I get to travel with two beautiful women LOL πŸ˜› (oh, and I got to know another one during the trip too!)

So we joined a tour group, Globalite, and went to Egypt for 10 days 8 nights (27th November – 6th December).

A total of 28 in all, we Malaysians were joined by Egyptian tour leader Haytham Mostfa (pronounced ‘Haisem’) and we covered several places.

From the temples of Luxor and markets of Azwan, cruising the Nile River, to the city of Alexandria and the streets of Cairo. Of course, the best saved for the last, we also had been to the Great Pyramids of Giza! πŸ˜€

I uploaded a bunch of photos on Facebook, the other bulk is also on Elle’s photo album.

I have to admit: ever since I learned to compile videos, I got a lot more lazy uploading photos on my blog.

Check out my video – it sums up the trip in 5 minutes. I only wish I bought a Federer hat and leather jacket before the trip. Enjoy!



To see more photos on Egypt, check out my Facebook profile or Elle’s. πŸ™‚