10 Questions & 15 Facts

I am always behind on typical societal trends. Exhibit A: I just watched Slumdog Millionaire and am listening to Jai Ho for the 17th time (singing the chorus as "Dalai Lam" at Tunga's suggestion which I think was genius). Exhibit B: I have finally written my "15 Things You Might Not Know About Me" thing 5+ months late. I did listen to your encouragement (Michelle, Jenn, Leslie, Nathan, Chase, Matt and Anna) but I wanted to make it more intense. I'm pretty predictable in that way, I will make things more intense and "productive" if I think I can. I may take a long time (5 months and counting) to do this sometimes. So here it is, with 10 Questions from Brian Johnson's great Big Idea newsletter and 15 Random Facts interspersed between...
  1. If you were absolutely guaranteed to succeed, what would you dare to do? I would build the Advance Humanity Foundation dedicated to making our world a better place and convince incredible people to be on the Board of Directors. I will also meet the Dalai Lama.
  2. Random Childhood Fact: My dad wanted to name me Gauge and my mom wanted to name me Travis. How different would I have been if my name was Gauge? I like Travis, but I think being named Gauge would have been insanely awesome. You can call me Gauge if you want to.
  3. Random Big Goal: I have been wanting the address AdvanceHumanity.com for a long time and finally got it in 2009 after talking with the owner for years. I still have TravisHellstrom.com but will start using that for only my personal stuff soon. Advance Humanity is way bigger than me.
  4. What are you most passionate about? I love the idea of helping to create a peaceful world.
  5. Random Childhood Fact: I have always wanted to either be an Astronaut, President of the United States, or Secretary General of the United Nations. Those are in alphabetical order, I still can't decide.
  6. Random Regret: When I was in 1st Grade, I won a drawing competition for the local EMS service because I drew a picture of a emergency medicine helicopter flying into a sunset over our city. I thought I would get the picture back, but I didn't I just got a plaque and ribbon. I've always wanted that picture back.
  7. What are your greatest strengths? I am very optimistic, focus on the good in people, always focus on changing myself before expecting change outside myself, enjoy organizing things, public speaking and keeping up with people over long periods of time.
  8. Random Current Fact: I've never been the tallest and whitest person in a province of over 50,000 people. It's a lot of pressure. I try to smile a lot, say "hello" to everyone, play basketball like a fiend and give lots of hugs. I think that's helping.
  9. How White Am I?: On the current list of Stuff White People Like I like 67 out of 129 the things listed. (Most notably Apple products, Barack Obama, awareness, not having a tv, Asian girls, Wes Anderson movies, dogs, Juno, the Daily Show/Colbert Report, study abroad and hating on corporations)
  10. How can you get paid doing what you love? I plan to get involved with international organizations dedicated to world peace like the United Nations and Peace Corps. I would also like to work on behalf of the Advance Humanity Foundation.
  11. Random Love: I love lists and goals, a lot. Maybe too much? I'm not sure.
  12. Random Vice: I bite my fingernails, like bad. I have done it for as long as I can remember and have been trying to stop forever. I haven't been able to stop yet.
  13. When (In what circumstances? Around what people?) Do you feel most alive? Whenever I read the words of people who inspire me (Barack Obama, Buddha, Dalai Lama, Emerson, Jesus, Gandhi, Thoreau...), when I spend time around incredible people who I admire (Amy, Alex, Chase, Jessica, Jonathan, Michael, Shaw, Taylor, Tunga...), when I am involved in an incredible idea and whenever I am able to pull back from my ego and see the world of possibilities around me.
  14. Random Fact: My favorite car was my first one, a Jeep Cherokee stick-shift which left my life too early because of internal problems. I want that freakin' thing back.
  15. My Favorite Show: And in my opinion the best show ever made by a human being, is LOST. I want to be like John Locke. I think he's the man. In addition to Barack Obama. And the Dalai Lama.
  16. What were your 5 greatest accomplishments over the last 5 years? Starting Circle K at Campbell ('04), being an RA in Lynch House ('06), joining the Peace Corps ('08), getting into the best shape of my life ('09) and dating Tunga ('09).
  17. Your 5 greatest accomplishments over the next 5 years? The next 25 years? Being an outstanding Peace Corps Volunteer and Peace Corps Volunteer Leader, working for the WHO and United Nations, establishing the Advance Humanity Foundation, earning a graduate degree, becoming a husband, becoming a father, becoming enlightened, and becoming a nominee for the Nobel Prize.
  18. Random Scar: When I was a few months old I had my head cut open to stop my plates from fusing together. I have a scar that runs over a foot from my forehead to the back of my head. It's not too uncommon for kids. My surgeon had the same surgery when he was a kid.
  19. How White Am I?: In the Song White & Nerdy by Weird Al, I match 22 out of 47 things referenced. (Most notably I've got Stephen Hawking in my library, will ace any trivia quiz you bring on, I edit Wikipedia, memorized holy grail really well I can recite it right now and have you ROTFLOL, I love doing websites, and I'm nerdy in the extreme...whiter than sour cream.)
  20. How can you best share your gifts with the world? I would like to work with my fellow American citizens to engage in international politics and bring us together as a stronger and more peaceful world. I think this can involve development projects and education initiatives both at home and abroad. More than anything else, however, I think I need to become an enlightened person and become everything inside myself that I hope to see outside in our world.
  21. Random Vacation: I have always wanted to visit northwestern America: Washington, Oregon and northern California.
  22. Random Number: I love the number 12 and use it all the time, whenever I can.
  23. What would you do if you weren’t afraid? I would appreciate what I had and not want for more. I would free my mind from hatred and worry, live simply, love more, expect less and give freely.
  24. Random Plan: I hope to hike on the Appalachian Trail with Tunga and my mom for a while late next summer.
  25. What other questions should you be asking yourself?!? What more could I do today to get where I want to be?