I first stepped into the blue basement of the legendary Renzo Gracie Academy in early 2005 when I lived in…
Purple Rain And A Crazy Road Trip
One of the best trips of my entire life was a cross-country road trip many years ago from San Francisco to New York City with 13 friends. I had just sold my first company, and we rented a huge RV. Without any plans, we just started driving across the country. I remember thinking how magical the freedom was, and how I might never feel that free ever again in my life. Every day was a wild adventure. Our RV was our home. We would wake up in the morning and vote on where to drive to next. Some days, we would drive all day. And other days, we would drive only a few hours. The scenery was a beautiful kaleidoscope of changing landscapes and colors. Some nights, we would stop at a random trailer park. And other nights, we would stop in the middle of nowhere and just park under the midnight sky. One of my favorite memories was falling asleep on the roof of our RV under the stars in the Grand Canyon. I distinctly remember Purple Rain (by Prince) playing on the radio. I also remember arriving into Sante Fe to a magnificent sunset that painted the sky with pastel streaks of crimson red and deep orange. And I will never forget stopping for gas at some tiny remote town in Oklahoma. It felt like one of those old cowboy movies. Everyone was asleep, and I walked into the small, rustic convenient store. By the look on the store manager’s face, I was pretty sure that I was the first Asian guy he had ever seen in his life (or either that, it might have been that I looked like a terrorist because I hadn’t showered in several days). I also remember one night in Chicago or St Louis where we hit the clubs and partied until dawn. Most of all though, I remember laughing my ass off every day, eating junk food and candy bars, talking philosophical nonsense about life, and living in the moment with good friends. Money can buy a lot of things in life, but it cannot buy true friendship.
Life flies by so quickly. Cherish every moment. Cherish every friend. Cherish every adventure. Before you know it, some of the best days of your life will be gone. Above all though, do what it is that ignites your soul. Take big risks. Live with adventure. Chase your dreams. And love fearlessly.
And yes, take a crazy road trip too.
Chatri Sityodtong is a self-made entrepreneur and lifelong martial artist from Thailand. His rags-to-riches life story has inspired millions around the world on BBC News, CNN, Financial Times, Bloomberg TV, CNBC, Channel NewsAsia, and other major media. He is the Founder, Chairman, and CEO of ONE Championship, Asia’s largest global sports media property in history with a global broadcast to over 1.7 billion potential viewers across 136 countries around the world. Forbes most recently selected Sityodtong as one of Asia’s next generation tycoons. He was also named “Asia’s King of Martial Arts” by the Financial Times and the “3rd Most Powerful Person in Sports in Asia” by FOX Sports. He is an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at INSEAD, Europe’s top business school. Sityodtong holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA from Tufts University.