I hope you'll join me on this adventure. It's time to come together as human beings.
Photo by Fabio Comparelli on Unsplash
Most importantly, I’m an inspired citizen of our ever-changing world.
Four years ago I graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. After four years of studying journalism, I knew I didn’t want to be a news reporter.
During my time as an undergrad I interviewed a wide range of subjects: a local police chief and city council members, dairy farmers (it is Cal Poly), student entrepreneurs, and a top media executive among many others.
The funny thing is I dreaded each interview and contemplated switching majors countless times.
In retrospect, I’m thankful this was near impossible to do at Cal Poly; I don’t know if I’d be the curious individual that I am today without that experience.
I know that my time in journalism was for a reason. Firstly, I learned how to write, even though it felt grueling at times. Secondly, I learned to get out of my comfort zone and embrace my fears.
I realized that I resented news reporting because I felt like a nuisance, a fake, a fraud. I was writing stories I had no interest in; I felt inadequate as a writer because of this.
I believed those I interviewed were judging me and were insulted that I’d want to take up their time. That was me, the college journalist me, and I acknowledge that part of my past. I’ve grown.
Now, I believe the opposite is true. I don’t only embrace my past fear of confrontation, I strive to make it the focus of my life.
Admiration for the Gift of Life
We’re all human beings on this spinning rock. We’re here to support and respect one another. A title, an accolade, an accomplishment doesn’t make anybody better than anybody else. Moreover, we all want to be treated as human beings. I determined to treat everybody with the same amount of respect no matter who we are. This is a valuable lesson I’ll cherish for as long as I live.
I became obsessed with writing once I graduated from college and started a blog on Medium.com, a platform where anybody can share their unique voice. Beginning to write about the topics I genuinely care about unlocked my heart and soul’s dormant potential. I now write on my website, Medium, and News Break about travel, health, books, life, philosophy, spirituality, self-improvement, and history. I also write poetry and short stories — doing so soothes the soul.
This awakening of my spirit was the beginning of my writing career. The more I wrote, the more I realized it’s not just the act of writing that I love. While nothing makes me happier than waking at the crack of dawn to put my inspired thoughts on the page, I write because I long to better understand living.
I write to express everything from the thoughts in my head to the relationships we share as human beings. Writing is how I impart my admiration for the gift of life.
Passion for Travel
Since I was a kid, I’ve fostered a profound enthusiasm for travel and spending time in the natural world. Nothing brings me more joy than seeking the beating heart of any location.
This essence comes from the people, culture, and history of any place.
When I was young my favorite shows were on the Travel Channel. Andrew Zimmern, Adam Richman, and Anthony Bourdain were my guys!
Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations made me believe that it’s an art form to uncover the essence of a city.
The solution is simple: do as the locals do, walk, ask questions, observe, live. This often means staying in one place, watching the world go by, and simply being present.
I wouldn’t be who I am without Bourdain’s influence. Bourdain’s life has inspired me to be an explorer of this progressive planet.
Just like how my college interviews made me realize we’re all people who deserve the same amount of respect, so has traveling proven to me that no matter what slice of earth we call home, we’re all human beings. Anthony Bourdain exemplified this belief.
We may not all share the same verbal language, but it doesn’t matter.
I’ve shared extraordinary moments with strangers in foreign countries where we didn’t need to speak the same language. We communicate through love, connection, support, courage, an open mind, a smile.
All I want to do is learn about what makes us human. I believe we’re here to challenge ourselves by questioning all we think we know.
When we do, we open our minds to a way of living we could never have imagined.
I live to inspire others through my words and actions. I dream of living a life I truly love, day in and day out. That’s why one of my best friends and I created The Dare to Dream Podcast and the Dare to Dream Medium publication.
We believe every human deserves to live a life that lights their soul on fire.
Something burns in me that I want to give to the world to move us forward. Writing helps me appreciate that we’re here together on this spinning rock with many of the same problems, victories, doubts, and blissful moments.
With every new project and every step that I take, I hope to be a binding light that brings people together to see the good in one another.
I want to learn about who we are and how we’ve interacted since the beginning of time. Our cultures, similarities, differences, and history derive from our relationships with one another and the earth.
My spirit longs to experience all the marvelous treasures of our home. The beauty and peace of the world is healing.
I live to inspire other human beings by sharing my perspective of what makes life an absolute gift. No part of the world, no person, no experience is uninteresting. It’s a blessing just to be alive.
It was 5 am on a December day in 2019. I woke up in Tokyo, Japan and scuttled out of my hostel into the dim morning light. It had been my dream to visit Japan since I was a kid; I wasn’t going to waste any time sleeping in.
Nothing could hurt me, nor could anything diminish the smile on my face. I possessed boundless energy for my entire month in that inspiring nation, traveling from Tokyo to Hakone, Kyoto, Osaka, and the Iya Valley on the rural island of Shikoku.
When you think of Vincent Van Patten, I hope you think of discovery, adventure, connection, and learning. Through my projects, I dream of imbuing the world with the same enthusiasm and sheer joy that I felt on that first morning waking up in a foreign land.
I intend to illuminate the darkness and negativity that we see on the news by leading by example and getting out there. We fear what we don’t know. Yet, too many of us only know what immediately surrounds us.
Our way of living isn’t the only way.
Through travel, we learn how others live. Through learning, I strive to teach others what it means to be human and what it means to be good. In the biography of one of my heroes of history, Michel de Montaigne, the 20th-century writer Stefan Zweig writes:
"For him, seeing is learning, comparing, and better understanding all that demonstrates the perennial diversity of human nature. Out of the art of living comes the art of travel, to become the art of life."
Montaigne himself said:
"And I know no better school of life, as I have said so often, than that which reveals the way others live their lives."
With my camera in hand, I become a man on a quest to discover the essence of the place I’m in. When others see my name, read my stories and books, and glimpse my photos and videos, I hope they feel uplifted.
I hope to motivate others to get out and experience the world’s magic. This doesn’t mean breaking the bank on a trip to Paris.
As I’ve experienced countless times, travel doesn’t only mean vacation. It means doing something uncomfortable and new. It means learning about who we are. Learning is the best way to move forward as a culture.
I live to inspire others to learn more about what connects us as human beings. The pursuit of knowledge has been the most fruitful endeavor of my life. Just like writing, I truly became consumed by learning when I graduated from college.
The light that ignited in my soul tells me that perhaps our education system isn’t meant to do what it was created to do anymore.
We live in the most incredible time in history where the world is asking to shift.
It’s time to come together as human beings. The only way forward into a brighter future is through working together. I hope you’ll join me on this adventure; I’m just getting started.