A Primer on AwO

We’d wanted to come up with a blog for some time now. And whats stopping us? I mean, in this day and age, anyone can be a writer, right? Buy a domain, have thoughts, regurgitate them through the keys. It was simple. Too simple, a part of me thought. It just seemed so.. uninspired. Everyone and their grandmother could be doing this. What’s the draw? What’s so unique about us? That’s when it clicked. We’re a four-strong core tribe of predominantly Asian brothers (uh-oh, you know what that means! Feel free to add in the keywords Frugal, Rice, and Math. Didn’t even have to say it; betcha it was already in your head. Like that pink elephant) treading paths in the outdoor and adventure sport industry that we currently see precious few other members of our rather large continent even doing- let alone writing about. And we can’t be the only ones. Now, what I first thought was a glaring cultural difference between us and most of our co-workers does often set us apart, it’s true. I’ve got to act unsurprised when some of my friends can get a bellybutton ring without first submitting themselves to an in-depth, harrowing, slippery-slope-fallacy-like debate with their family definitely including points a) What grandma would think and b) That all drugged-out junkies on the corner started with a bellybutton ring, it’s the entry-level drug to entry-level drugs, don’t you know? And yes, Chloe, you do have to remove your shoes before you step into my house/van/tent (as case may be). I hope you’re chuckling right now, because that would illustrate my next point:1 that these differences -what we think sets us, Crusoe-esque, on our own lonely islands of stereotypes and marginalization- are in their own way felt, echoed, and as such, empathized by each and every human on this earth. So what we believed were solitary islands are truly just grains of sand swirling together in the collective ocean of humanity. We’re all one, baby. All we’ve got to do is reach out and connect with one another. And this is just another medium for it.

So now you’re wondering: “this is sweet n all, but why don’t you guys do what normal people do and just make a facebook group?” Tried it. Didn’t work. Digitally, we’re not the most connected group of individuals over social media2.  We just tend to fade out. However, we all keep manly men travel logs- they’re a first-rate way to keep oneself on track with goals, needs, and reflections on the day.3 So I thought, why not put those weightier thoughts down on this platform? Communicating our perceptions with others forces us to remain eloquent throughout the process of dedicating our musings to black and white. Additionally, telling someone else helps keep us accountable & committed to the ideas we’ve promised, and there’s no one else I’d rather share my thoughts with than you guys. And, by the end of this, we’ll have an archive of information/tips/tricks/hacks or -at the very least- shared memories that not one, not two, not even three, but FOUR people have compiled over the years at our fingertips. You know how they say two minds are better than one? Well, I’m no mathematician, but multiply by two, baby!

Now, in my travels, I’ve noticed Asians have aided and perpetuated a stereotype for themselves as being quiet and subservient.4 That’s because, traditionally, in our cultures we’re taught that wisdom belongs to the man who listens more than he speaks and humility5 is one of the greatest strengths an individual may possess.6 Well, mum and dad, ya probably shouldn’t have brought us to the West. ‘Cause now? Now we’re just assholes with opinions.7

 

“A ship in harbor is safe- but that is not what ships are built for.”
– John A. Shedd

 

  1. Hold my avocado green smoothie, Jacques- I’m about to get all One-Love up in here
  2. Personally, I subscribe to the 3-swipe rule. More on that in a later post
  3. Marcus Aurelius himself kept one, so I figure it’s a good call
  4. Tiger-moms, Bruce Lee, and Stephen Chow being the general exceptions to this rule
  5. Old Chinese proverb: “Be like the bamboo. The higher you grow, the deeper you bow.”
  6. Although, if I’m to be completely upfront, one of the greatest OG’s of the East (our Tupac, if you will); Sun Tzu, dictates that “The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.” That’s right, boys and girls. You’re just playing into our long-game.
  7. A-SHAZAYM! Man, I love ending on a strong note. ahem. get it?