What's special about the place you grew up in?
Updated: Sep 18, 2020
We are built from our past experiences, and our upbringing has an impact on who we become. The Hangout Team has all lived in many different parts of the world; even Ben and I have much different perspectives despite growing up in the same city. As a company, we strongly value this diversity and believe it makes us a better team. We don't always agree, and sometimes it's difficult to see the viewpoint of one another, but each one of us brings a different set of values, ideas, and beliefs that allows for innovation and creativity in our development.
Our strength stems from our differences. In a world that doesn't always value this, its imperative that we act on these ideas in our daily lives. There is no change without action, and we need to be that action. A human beings ability to understand and motivate is one of the most beautiful things in the world. We need to not only accept our differences, but value the input of others, listen to the voices of others, and believe in the power of others. We are strong. We are diverse. And we are beautiful.
Here is a little bit about us, our origin and our differences. I hope you enjoy :)
Our responses to, "What's special about the place you grew up in?"
Aamir: I was born in the city Patna, India, which has a very rich history. It was once the capital city of India and it is the birth place of 2 major religions: Buddhism and Jainism. It is also home for the most powerful and holy river of India, the Ganges, which flows through the city. It also had the world's oldest university which attracted scholars from Japan, Korea, Mongolia, Turkey etc in the 5th century. It was sadly demolished in wars but the remains still attracts tourists now. (On a lighter note: Except for the history, my hometown has nothing interesting about it. Not a city any Indian would ever recommend to see if you visit India 😛)
Vincent: I grew up in South Korea and the United States. All my life I've been moving back and forth between both countries, and I've also been to a few different countries like China, Cambodia, Thailand, and Japan. Since I moved around so much since I was young, I got to have a more international perspective of the world and I think that's what makes it special. I especially like finding common aspects of the cultures between South Korea and USA and one thing surprisingly common is that both countries absolutely love their freedoms. I want to continue travelling the world moving forward.
Aibek: I grew up in Almaty, Kazakhstan, which is also called the Apple-city, because the first apple trees originated in that area. Aside from apples, Almaty is famous for serving as a bridge between the East and the West, being one of the hub cities on the Silk-Road. It is also famous for its mountains and incredible ski resorts, which attracts many tourists for that as well. If you visit Almaty now, you'll see a combination between the old Soviet-style buildings and monuments and new modern glass buildings. The interesting part is that downtown Almaty is itself high in altitude, and is located 20 minutes from the ski resorts, making it an easy getaway for skiing in the winter and for hiking in the summer.
Victoria: I grew up in San Diego, one of the most beautiful places in the world. It never gets cold, there are no bugs, and the beach is always there to welcome you home. Unlike the East Coast or even the upper west coast, San Diego is various shades of brown, lacking any semblance of green. However, when you look closer, the plants will astound you with their resilience and innovative strategies for survival. SD is a landmark of wonder, and there really is no place quite like it.
Ben: Like Victoria, I grew up in San Diego. One of my favorite parts is the amount of things you can do in the area. There is definitely a city life aspect, as well as many hikes and beaches available to enjoy outdoors. I love to tell people that "everything is only 20 minutes away" because you can drive a little to get an entirely different experience.