Hung On The World | Global is the new Local

Global is the new Local

August 10, 2012  •  2 Comments


Growing up in Vietnam, I knew all the local kids in my neighborhood and hanged out with them almost everyday. All this changed completely when I came to the US with my family at 10 years old. The area we lived in with our grandparents was predominantly Caucasian and I was the only Vietnamese among the few Asians throughout my middle and high school. The ironic thing was I didn’t feel like I really belong with all my American friends in high school and in college I was somehow too whitewashed to fit in among my new Vietnamese friends I had made. It took me many years to overcome my cultural identity crisis and truly embraced both my Vietnamese and American side.


As I was coming to terms with my cultural identity, another split in my personal identity had unknowingly occurred. The Vietnamese friends I was hanging out with during and after college were older than I was at the time. They were more matured and I had learned much from them but I was also unwittingly influenced by their rather traditional view of the world. Similar to the metaphorical story, I felt like the eagle egg that had mistakenly hatched among all the chicken eggs. I wanted to soar the sky but was told by all the chicken that it was irrational and impossible to do so. And for years, I believed them.


It was an extremely difficult decision for me to take a leap of faith and jumped off the mountain that was my secure career to see if I can truly fly into the uncertain sky of solopreneurism that held the freedom I’ve always longed for. Even though most of the people in my life tried to be supportive, I could feel most of them does not truly understand my true reason and motivation. It wasn’t until the World Domination Summit in Portland that I immediately felt “belonged” and that everyone understood me before I even opened my mouth. WDS’s theme of “community, adventure, and service” and underlying question posed to 1000 attendees of “how do you live a remarkable life in a conventional world?” has attracted countless remarkable people from all over the world and all walks of life.


In Australia, there are:


In Europe, there are:

  • Blogger Milo McLaughlin who freelance as a web-savvy copywriter and content strategist. A Scotsman with many interest, a full-time job and part-time passion, he is undoubtedly my “brother from another mother”.  
  • Confidence coach Steve Errey who lives in London, England. Personable, genuine, and inspirational, he is the older brother I wish I had growing up.
  • Guillaume Ceccarelli, starter and supporter of meaningful projects around the world, who resides in Paris, France. An amazing wheelchair dancer, he is a true testament that one is never limited by circumstance.
  • Yoga teacher Bettina Shzu who teaches in Berlin. A quiet introvert who listens before talking, she is a calming presence to be around.


In North America, there are:

  • Vegan connoisseur Laura Lynn from Canada who is as talented as she is elegant. She is a Jill-of-all-trade who doesn’t say much but will get more done than all of us talkers combined.
  • Writer Dave Ursillo who lives in New York and creates leaders all over the world.  Amiable, charming, and soulful, he is a natural ladies man and true gentleman to all.
  • Trail guide Syndee Stein in Woodland Hills, CA who sees deep into your being and helps you to move to where you want to be in life. She is as much a rad girl as she is a radiant woman and you can’t help but shine when in presence of her light.
  • Humanitarian Joshua Harbert in Chicago, IL who also helps creatives create website to showcase their work and projects. Being introspective and intelligent, he rarely speaks but when he does, everyone listens.
  • Web developer Katie Benedetto from Durham, NC who is as bright as she is beautiful. Underneath her youthful exuberance, she is an extremely capable woman that can accomplish anything she sets her mind to.
  • Designer Rob Modzelewski from Chicago, IL who helps entrepreneur with visual communication and telling their stories. A handstand enthusiast who gets just as excited about people as he does about entrepreneurism. 
  • Sharepreneur Chelsea Rustrum who is based in San Francisco, CA when she is not traveling the world. Online marketer by trade and possibilitarian by belief, she is living proof that anything is possible when we work together.
  • Videographer Jason Digges from Boulder, CO who runs his own production company. Spiritual with a peaceful demeanor, he instills a sense of calm in everyone around him. 


And there are my fellow world travelers with no home base:

  • Sun lover Morgan Daniels who is an ex-corporate gal spreading her passion of funemployment and living life joyfully. 
  • Traveler Dave Dean who is currently traveling throughout Europe and writing about the highs and lows of being a long-term traveler for the past 3 years.  
  • Artist Yamile Yemoonyah who helps free minded creative spirits around the world start and grow their own online business.


I came to WDS by myself and in a week, I’ve made more like-minded friends than I had in all my life. And the wonderful thing is that even though we’ve all just met, it feels like I’ve known them for years.  I can go on about each and everyone I’ve written above and there are also many others I’ve met but haven’t had a chance to get to know all that well yet. Through Facebook, we are able to stay connected and find out what each other is up to. And thanx to Google Hangout, most of us are able to participate in weekly chat sessions and continue having meaningful conversations where we help keep each other inspired, motivated, and accountable for our own aspirations in life. Twenty-five years ago when I was 8 years old, all the friends I had were locals within a mile radius of my house; whereas now, all my new friends span the globe. Global has truly become the new local!


I would love to hear your thoughts regarding this post or your own stories in the comment section below. Also, check out my travel photography and connect with me on your social media of choice to get pictures and blog post updates. Thank you for reading, visiting my website, and sharing it within your social network if like what you read and see.



by Hung Pham


Global has become the new local

Connected we are one and all

I am in you and you are in me

Close your eyes and you will see




Hung On The World
Thanx Elise. So happy to have met you in Portland and look forward to seeing you again in Australia in 2013.
Besutifully captured hung.. Thanks for the lovely mention - sending much love
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