During my final week as a bartender here in Destin, Florida I have been mentioning to my guests that I will be headed to Santa Barbara, California for a week followed by a journey to Hong Kong for 35 days. With very few exceptions the immediate response has been “Hong Kong?!? WHY?”
Here is my response.
First off I have always been intrigued by Asian culture, it just seemed SO different from the world I know. Not different in a bad way, or a good way, just different. In school I planned a hypothetical trip to Japan for an 8th grade geography class which included researching plane tickets, budgeting, and constructing an itinerary. In high school I can remember creating several powerpoint presentations on China.
Second, as a finance major and entrepreneur with an interest in international real estate and negotiations, it just made sense to checkout one of the world’s leading international financial hubs with one of the most frequently traded currencies in the world.
Finally, I stumbled upon Anthony Bourdain’s Layover episode where he visits Hong Kong and it blew my MIND. The food looks amazing, the people look diverse and friendly, and the scenery seems just as fascinating! Not to mention the convenience of not needing a special visa to enter, and much of the local population speaks English!
So…yeah, that’s why.
My mother and I went for a four mile walk this afternoon as a “dry run” for what it will be like to explore while carrying a loaded backpack. It was a very enjoyable experience, even the little bit of rain didn’t bother me since I had a plastic bag for my iPhone. My Ecco Biom trail shoes could not be more perfect for this mixture of sidewalks, grassy fields, and gravel paths. They are comfortable, light, and ventilate well. The excitement keeps building as September 23rd comes ever closer.
My favorite podcast posts another seriously insightful gem tailored for any entrepreneur. Worthy topics of mention include: The idea of “infinite competition”, and how “being in a startup is less like boxing and more like playing music, less like warfare and more like art.”
AppSumo is a type of consulting company that helps to promote great products. The part I found most helpful was how Noah and Tim helped “want-repreneurs” stop procrastinating and start taking first steps of action through simple and cheap forms of testing. The constructive criticism from Tim and Noah toward their guest entrepreneurs was extremely educational and pretty funny. It’s a long interview but as Tim mentioned on his blog “If you’re going to skip any part, skip the first 20 minutes. Though I enjoyed every minute, the last 40 minutes are especially must-see.”
I bought a spiral notebook to help record my thoughts, ideas, and plans as I prepare for this trip to Hong Kong. Hopefully this will help my future posts become more interesting and useful.
To me, it’s clear that life is one big experiment. As a child I always loved science experiments, sports, nature, and of course food! Many people seem to lose touch with the things there were passionate about as a child. I refuse to let this happen to me. I refuse to “grow up” and become boring. I am an entrepreneur at heart and have always been pretty independent. This trip is a test to challenge myself to find a way to utilize my passion for experiments, sports, nature, and food with the hope that these experiences will mature me into a more well-rounded person.
This little gem was saved by my mother and included in a scrapbook for my high school graduation day. I think it’s pretty obvious this company turned a profit in the first quarter.
I have been saving for this trip for quite some time. I keep reminding myself that every $1 will bring much more enjoyment to me when spent outside the US. It’s going to be strange not having to work or go to school. I will be dedicating my time and money to learning the language and culture of Hong Kong in many different ways. I will do my best to document my struggles and success with the hope that it will be funny and helpful to others.
In other news, I had some basic business cards made via Vistaprint almost completely free. These have already been extremely useful for connecting and keeping in-touch with new acquaintances.
Much more to come.
“If the clock appears to move faster than it did in sixth grade, it’s only because we haven’t actualized our power as adults to set our own recess schedule.”
Rolf Potts in Vagabonding
Foundation is a project started by one of my favorite entrepreneurs, Kevin Rose. He interviews some brilliant people and asks the types of questions that stimulate interesting discussions related to tech, entrepreneurship, and life in general. I highly recommend these interviews to anyone who has an interest in starting their own company.
If you follow your passion you will be successful while enjoying what you do.
Last September I had an amazing opportunity to visit Maui with my Godmother Vickie. The only downside was that my senior year at The University of Central Florida was just about to begin. I went to the first day of each class, picked up the syllabus, and hopped on a plane to Maui. A funny thing happened when I returned to Orlando. I was elevated to a new level of motivation that I had never experienced before. I became intensely focused on finishing up my finance degree so that I could have another adventure like Maui. Even after I had missed an entire week of classes, I finished the semester with the highest grades of my college career.