Today I’m gonna tell you the story about the only time I’ve ever been out of the USA.
Did I choose to tour Europe, visit Australian beaches, or go on an African safari? Nope.
I went to frozen Toronto in early January in the middle of a blizzard.
And I was lucky to even be shivering in the snow.
The whole debacle started because of Black Friday. When online poker disappeared overnight so did my faith in the online poker industry.
For the first couple of years I played solely live poker and cursed the online poker powers that be.
But some of my friends had been crushing it VPN’ing onto the European platforms by setting up shop in Canada.
“It’s super easy”, they assured me.
“You just fly to Canada, sign up for a UPS P.O box where you get a Canadian address, set up a Canadian bank account so that you can deposit/withdraw, and then we’ll connect you with a guy who you can pay to set up your VPN.
After that, you’re off to the races.”
There were other steps I’ve forgotten and you’ll see shortly why they’re irrelevant to the story.
So I booked a flight to Toronto in January with plans of staying for exactly one day.
Before I go on, there’s one thing you need to know about me:
I’m not the slick type of person who can pull stuff like this off. It always ends in embarrassment and awfulness.
In this case, nobody told me that International Customs was a thing and so I had no plan or story to tell the officer when she asked me why I was in Canada.
So my first and only interaction with Customs went something like this:
CUSTOMS LADY: “Why are you here?”
ME: “I’m in Toronto because I’m thinking of re-locating here for work.”
CUSTOMS LADY: “So you’re going to look at rental houses for less than 24 hrs in Toronto in January?”
I’m pretty sure I looked at the blizzard outside through the airport windows, realized how idiotic I sounded and said…
CUSTOMS LADY: “If I let you through, what’s stopping you from disappearing and never going back to the USA?”
So I replied with this gem, “Well, I mean … It’s Toronto in January.”
Actually I didn’t say that last bit. I have no idea what I actually said because the memory is repressed.
I do remember thinking over and over, “Please just send me back home. I don’t wanna do this. I don’t wanna be here. DON’T LET ME IN!”
So of course she went against her better judgement, decided to let me through, stamped a 12 hour pass onto my Passport, gave me the evil eye, and told me if I didn’t check into Customs by 6 pm I’d be arrested.
She did not need to worry.
The first place I visited was a pub for lunch where I ate a BLT with fries and wallowed deeply in my own shame.
Then I went to the UPS store for my address which, mercifully, went off without a hitch.
Next was the Canadian Bank.
The bank manager had never seen a 12 hour stamp in a Passport before, eyed me suspiciously, and told me he was gonna put some kind of restrictions on my account.
And because I was already in way too deep, I forked over $100 to set up my bank account and was the proud owner of a brand new Canadian debit card I knew would never, ever get used.
From there I bailed on all of the other things I was supposed to do, went straight back to the airport 8 hours early because I was terrified of international jail, checked in with Customs, flew back home, and never even once attempted to make an account on any European platform.
I’m probably still paying for that UPS address somehow.
In the immortal words of Michael Gary Scott:
“I’m not usually the butt of the joke. I’m usually the face.”
At least maybe now you know why I could never sell you something I didn’t fully believe in…
Because, beyond a shadow of a doubt, I’m convinced I’d somehow end up scared and in jail.
With that said, Fish in a Barrel Launches Saturday 3/13 at 2 pm EST.
If you wanna check out a course I’m convinced I’m underpricing because well, that’s just how I’ve gotta do things… Here’s your link:
Talk to you tomorrow,