Some thoughts being here in South Korea:
Some optimistic motivational happenings
One hilariously optimistic thing was recently visiting the Costco in Daegu, South Korea. Cindy presented at a conference here, and it afforded us the chance to check out Daegu, which is the third largest city in Korea.
Daegu really cool, it was like the Osaka of Korea. Industrial and gritty, with lots of wabi sabi textures and patterns. Also we stayed at an insanely epic Airbnb there, which was very very inspiring. A look of what architecture could look like.
One thing I find very exciting about the future is this link between South Korea, and being an international American person. For example my mom recently got a Costco membership here in South Korea, and it only cost around 15 bucks for the whole year! Visiting the Costco in Daegu was so inspiring, because literally everything is there!
For example, Seneca only likes to eat his meat crispy and crunchy. Back home in the states we got an air fryer, but we didn’t really have that option here in Korea. Open till we went to the Costco, and we just bought an air fryer at the Costco for only 45 bucks!
Also, meat. We got a ton of ground beef at the Korean Costco, very good prices, and the hilarious thing is that the layout looks exactly the same as Costco back in America!
I’m currently in the midst of creating some new products, products which I believe can aid our every day lives, in both a practical and substantive way.
First, blankets. Ever since summer has hit us, I found a lot of these traditional cotton or microfiber blankets to be very unsatisfying, even the new bamboo ones. I’ve been really fascinated by linen lately, and I had this idea of creating a 100% linen blanket.
About a year ago I met a woman here who runs a Linen shop, she herself calls herself a “linen-holic”. The other day we finally had the chance to visit her store, which is beautiful and huge, and really inspiring. I was able to look through all of her fabrics, and all of her linen raw fabric material, and I chose this really exquisite grid weaved linen, very high-quality stuff from Lithuania, weaved here in South Korea.
I asked Lily (the linen ajoomah) about whether or that material could be weaved or made suitable for a summertime blanket. She said yes, and she even offered to sew and hen the edges, and was able to deliver the final product on the day of!
I slept with the 100% grid weaved linen blanket the other night, and it was literally the best night of sleep I’ve had. Typically when I sleep, I get really hot and sweaty, but with this 100% grid weaved linen blanket, it is so breathable and natural, that I was able to sleep through the night without any additional moisture or sweating.
My first inspiration with linen and the grid weaved pattern was getting this 100% linen grid weaved towel from outlier.nyc as a result of being so insanely frustrated with these cotton towels which take forever to dry, and also absorb too much moisture and smells. I think I bought the towel for $110, and it has been one of the best ways I’ve spent $110, and I use it almost 3 or four times a day! It even works well when I am doing hot yoga with Cindy, I just put it on top of the yoga mat, and it captures moisture very well, and dries so fast!
Therefore I am currently prototyping several products, which include a 100% linen grid weaved travel/everyday towel, hand towels to use in the kitchen, as well as some clothing options.
One of the best things about jumping on the plane, and traveling is that it really reawakens your inner spirit, and is thoroughly motivating for your soul.
For example, I’m starting to think that the Mongolian Genghis Khan approach to life might be best; living some sort of semi nomadic and itinerant life, with much questing, exploring, and conquering.
Also, photography. I still believe that photography might be one of the most underrated things out there. Even though now we all have an iPhone, or a smart phone, and we photograph everything, there is still so much opportunity to be had in terms of using the camera as a creative tool. Even checking out some of the local sites here in Hadong South Korea, I am so inspired.
The world is infinite
Another cool thing; using AAA, I was able to get an international drivers license, which works here in South Korea. Therefore the last week or so, I’ve actually been driving here in South Korea! Driving in South Korea is very straightforward, more or less the same as driving in the states. The only difference is that there are 1 billion speed cameras everywhere, but as long as you observe the local speed laws, you are fine.
Driving through the mountains of Hadong, I rate it as 1000 times more beautiful than even going to Yosemite! Much more mountainous, more trees, and some of the driving Pats are even more sublime then being in Kyoto Japan.
Anyways my thought was even if you spend the rest of your life here in South Korea and going on road trips, you would still not be able to see you at all! Which means,
Even if for the rest of your life you dedicated your life to photography and travel, and even if you shot 100 trillion photos, you would still not be able to capture it all!
Watching John Wick 4, the evil head honcho apparently had “unlimited resources“ from the “high table“. I also wondered to myself what would I do or how would I live my life if I had unlimited resources.
First, not being confined to any indoor space. The ideal is being able to always be out and about outside, either with my iPad or iPhone, with some sort of 4G or 5G connection.
Second, I need to figure out a more sustainable way to approach my weightlifting and fitness. For example back in the states, I am able to lift over 900 pounds at the gym, but when I’m on the road, it is an impossibility. Lately I’ve been getting good exercise just walking up and down the hill and mountain, holding Sen.
One thing that I love about South Korea is that now that we have access to Costco, I will never have to concern myself at all in regards to procuring my meat.
One thing I still think about the benefit of being in South Korea versus the rest the world is Internet speed and access. I actually believe it to be quite tragic that even back in the states, our Wi-Fi sucks. It is so slow, inaccessible and also expensive. Here in South Korea, gigabit Internet speeds is like tapwater.
However one thing which is still kind of like a mafia business is 4G, 5G data connections for your phone. For example, in South Korea, it is notoriously difficult to obtain an international Sim card, unless you get it at the airport. Things are even getting a little bit more complicated with the whole “eSIM system.”
Your ultimate life goals?
At the end of the day, I believe what we need to concern ourselves with is our ultimate life goals. That at the end of the day, what is it that we truly desire seek and want?
For myself, it is radical and insane innovation. To me, I believe my personal Archimedes lever is the ability to think aberrantly, and also have the chutzpah, guts, balls, and audacity to attempt new things. For example, thinking new theories, and acting in different, diverse and new ways.
Some life goals and approaches for myself:
- Creating new products which I believe can aid myself and others. For example, my current obsession with 100% linen, and this grid weave pattern concept.
- My obsession and my personal interest in diet health fitness etc.
- My passion for photography, photography art creation, and also video blogging blogging etc. Trying to figure out ways to help “platform“ (cindyanguyen.com) other creators.
- Trying to discover and innovate and pioneer new ways in which we can more effectively select our best photos. For example, I currently have a backlog of around 5000 photos, what is the best way for me to sort and sift through all of these photos, and quickly and effectively upload it and share it online to disseminate it to others?
- New clothing concepts? Trying to discover a better solution for travel clothing, and also every day clothing. Some current thoughts I have include creating a merino wool tank top, in which the bottom of the shirt doesn’t drag too low; to be just at your waist line. Also shorts. The current best shorts I have discovered is the Lululemon license to train shorts. Yet the problem is that the 7 inch length is simply too long. I’m interested in the 5 inch model, but maybe I need to go shorter. 3 inch?
- Merino wool leggings for travel, even in the summertime is a good idea. Why? The ability to create some sort of base layer which at least protects you a little bit from pesky mosquitoes which seem to really enjoy biting my ankles, and my legs.
Passion for car design?
Being here in Korea, I just witnessed the brand new Hyundai Grandeur on the streets and was insanely inspired! And it essentially looks like a futuristic Rolls-Royce, with the most fascinating futuristic cyberpunk design. Flush doorhandles, a rear end with a singular light strip, and proportions which simulates a Rolls-Royce sedan; high, rectangular, poised and confident. It is currently my new favorite car design.
Also the new Hyundai Ioniq 6; seeing it in the flesh, it is insanely cool. One of the most inspiring rear ends in a car. I read it as 1 million times more inspiring than any Tesla car.
The funny thing with cars and car design is this:
For myself at this point, I don’t really seek the “best“, which is actually probably a Tesla or something else. What I am more interested in is disruptive, futuristic, and badass design.
Once again, if I had the option of owning a Hyundai Grandeur or Hyundai Ioniq 6, or any other car out there, I would prefer a Hyundai Grandeur or the Ioniq 6, even though objectively both are probably not the best cars.
Lots of cool stuff to come. Stay posted.
If your hungry to broaden your horizons, and become more, check out some of my upcoming workshops in the states and beyond:
- Conquer Street Photography in PHILLY — October 14, 2023
- Conquer Creativity in Seattle, 2024, Feb 10th
Currently interested in some of the new cameras which are incipient (incoming). For example, everyone is waiting on the new RICOH GR IV to come out. What is personally on my wish list include a single thing; a built-in flash. Everything else is perfect in the RICOH GR III/IIIX.
Also, I am actually pretty excited or interested in some futuristic Fujifilm cameras, for example the Fujifilm x100VI, or even a really really compact Fujifilm camera that doesn’t have an electronic or optical viewfinder. I really think that electronic viewfinders or optical viewfinders are both a waste of space and design. All you need is an LCD screen.
Also, you don’t need a tilting or articulating LCD screen. This is another frivolous design concept.
The future of media creation?
It seems that one thing we have an insatiable appetite for is media. Media in the context of videos, film, Cinema, movies, podcast, YouTube videos, music, music videos etc.
Thus, the simple goal to entrepreneurship:
Just create and disseminate more media!