Category Archives: Personal

One Door Closes…

I don’t write here very often, but when I do, you know it will be about something big, drastic, amazing, emotional, and any other adjective you can think of that would relay the gravity of my random life updates.

The last time I published, I had taken a work assignment back in San Francisco with a young tech start-up. Yes, I was lured by grand ideas, seemingly limitless potential and of course… lots of money.Well, as most of the techies and entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley can tell you or will soon find out, unicorns still don’t exist.

At the start of the new year, I returned to Hong Kong. I was feeling a bit deflated, unsure, and cautious. I didn’t really know if it was the right choice but I felt I owed it to myself as well as others to give it one more try and not let the sudden departure from last July be my final chapter abroad.

I took a position with a great company within their marketing department and started to try and settle back into my life. Sadly, that was the end of positive waves the universe sent me. I won’t bore you with the details, but I’ll sum up by saying that a handful of circumstances and experiences that was crowned by the fast and very harsh deterioration of my long-term relationship put me into a bad spiral. I questioned everything I was doing here, made some bad decisions and began to severely miss my family and friends back in the States.

It’s always a horrible feeling to have bad things happen to you. I’m starting to believe that it is an even worse ordeal to see things happening, feeling powerless to stop it and having to make what, at the time, seems like the impossible decision to either keep going or finally toss in the towel and move on.

3 years to the day of my initial arrival in Hong Kong (funny enough), I’m making a painful choice. I am closing out this chapter of my life to return home. I would say that this choice to return to the United States feels even harder than the choice to leave was. Yes, I have regrets. There are many things I wish could have done differently but ultimately that’s life. We can’t control it. We can only make the best of it. While we all wish life was nothing but beers and beaches, it’s the difficult times that we learn the most from and they end up having the biggest impact on defining who we are.

My time here has taught me so much that I would not trade it for anything and I still strongly recommend that everyone spend at least 1 year abroad at some point in their lives… the earlier the better. Being exposed to new lands, different cultures, new ways of business and diverse friends has been the biggest eye-opening time of my life.

Farewell Hong Kong.

San Francisco, We Meet Again – Part 1

I’m a bit overdue for this post. It has now been two months since leaving Hong Kong and returned to an amazing city that I first saw 10 years ago. I thought my first experience of arriving in San Francisco after growing up in the Midwest was a culture shock, it did not compare to returning in 2014 after living abroad.

Plane-view Sunset
Arriving back in California

I have jumped straight into my new career, jet-lagged and all, and I have to say it is an amazing, fast, head-spinning magic carpet ride so far!It’s been a mild adjustment moving from a B2C world and into a B2B world. It’s been a bigger adjustment re-adapting to not just San Francisco but also the States.

Hong Kong was a bustling, fast, no-nonsense, act-or-get-run-over type of city both in lifestyle and in business. San Francisco is much more of a mellow, laid back, easy-going, I’ll-get-to-it-later kind of city. While I definitely enjoy being laid back, there is a time and place for it and not as a perpetual state of living or business. I was just getting used to the metric system, small specialty shops, excellent/modern transportation and technology, authentic food, and a much more accepting and aware mindset in terms of the world and it’s cultures.

HK vs SF Public Transit
HK vs SF Public Transit

Back in the States… the Imperial system really IS confusing. Transportation/technology infrastructures are forehead-slapping sad. Americans are in a self-imposed bubble on the whole when it comes to awareness and acceptance of the rest of the world. And doing business is slow and complicated as all hell.

In the pub
Enjoying a REAL beer at the pub

Don’t misunderstand me. I’m an American, born and raised, and I love my home but it is truly life-altering to live elsewhere in the world where you can finally start to see a bigger picture and begin to understand just how much we lose ourselves in the simplest day-to-day bullsh!t.

I’m still in a state of reverse culture shock but am also enjoying the new adventure so far.

More to come…