Patrick Dang and Friends

After coming home from my half-year dreamlike adventure abroad in Hong Kong, I became slightly depressed. California couldn’t compare to fresh excitement and new faces my time overseas provided on the regular.

For the longest time, I had been trying to recreate that magic back home. And for the longest time I was telling myself, “It’s impossible. Hong Kong is Hong Kong; California is California. You can’t compare the two, Patrick.”

But I now realize my experience abroad wasn’t amazing because I was living on the other side of the planet. It was amazing because of the open mindset I and every other exchange student carried when we stepped off that plane.

Patrick Dang Downtown Los Angeles Car Ride

Everyone who has ever studied abroad did it for a reason. Whether it was to learn about new cultures, to challenge unfamiliar environments, or to just LIVE IT. And when you have an agenda like that, there’s no time for too busy, too cool, or too anything.

You do EVERYTHING. You never know who you might meet, you never know what you might see, and you never let an opportunity pass, no matter how trivial, because you never know what you might learn. And when this happens, life’s lens starts looking a little clearer.

My quality of life didn’t instantly improve because I flew to another country. It was the change in my perspective: from narrow to open. And if it’s really all in the mind, we can all widen our perspectives anywhere and anytime to make everyday life that much more enjoyable.

Patrick Dang Water Bed Friends