• shane@countryexec.com
  • Seguin, Texas
Daring Life Benefits Gained From Being Receptive To The World

Daring Life Benefits Gained From Being Receptive To The World

I consider myself a bit of a renaissance man having grown up in a world I would term to be a closed environment. We knew what we knew and that was that. We didn’t take vacations. Traveling the country or visiting Disneyland sounded like crazy talk. That just wasn’t in the cards. Fancy types did that, not us. There was no need to leave Texas, we got everything here. If you’ve read any of my posts, you obviously know I love me some Texas. I had to leave my home state to learn how much it meant to me. The daring life benefits gained from being receptive to the world allowed me to know it as a fact because I ventured out and experienced what was out there.

I was born into the closed mindset, but I was never wired that way for whatever reason. It’s just my DNA. I like to experience life. I don’t like everything I’ve tried, but I find content in knowing I can mentally check it off the list because I actually do know it’s not for me. I’ve never been afraid to venture somewhere new. I know today that open mindedness to embrace change has paid dividends many times over in my life. The experience of living and working around the world made me a better man, and a better person. It also made me a better professional.

The Country Executive - Receptive to the world

Where Did It Come From?

The internet wasn’t around when I was kid. It was around somewhere, that somewhere was definitively not the backwoods of East Texas. I was too busy playing sports or Army in the woods to spend time in the library satisfying my curiosity as to what did exist outside my immediate bubble. My little country brain never really put two and two together to realize the wild curiosity I sometimes felt may have been appeased by swinging through the ole’ school library. If a teacher didn’t make me read a book, it wasn’t going to happen.

I should have known that my little noggin was starved for knowledge. Make no mistake I was just as hardheaded as a kid as I am today. My grandparents had an old set of encyclopedias that occasionally I would open up and my imagination would run wild. The idea that different countries of the world existed blew my mind. There’s a place that doesn’t speak English? Nu-ugh! How is that even possible?


Keep in mind, as a youngin’ the proliferation of media did not exist. I was a kid when Fox television came to be. Before that it was only ABC, CBS, and NBC. It was so weird; Fox 51 just appeared in East Texas. Why did they choose channel 51? The other channels were like channel 7, and 12. Those encyclopedias didn’t hold a candle as to what really motivated me to see what was out there. What did open my eyes to being receptive to the world was on that brand new channel, Fox 51. It was Bugs Bunny. I am 100% not joking.

I used to love Bugs Bunny cartoons growing up. As soon as the school bus would drop me off, I’d run inside to catch the last few minutes every afternoon. My favorite episodes were the ones where he would be in another country.

The episodes set in Venice, Italy completely derailed a young country execs’ mind because the streets were made of water. The idea seemed so crazy to me. How could a city not have roads? Years later I came to a realization that even at a young age I was motivated to go see what all the world had to offer.

That Makes Sense…I Guess

Perhaps I was predestined to work in the high security world of the US government. I spent fifteen years supporting tech behind locked doors. I was a boy scout, not literally, but figuratively in my approach to life. You didn’t really have to worry about me going out and doing wild stuff, in turn jeopardizing the security clearance bestowed upon me that was the fundamental means as to how I provided for myself and later on my family. I went out and had fun, but I was never that out-of-control kind of guy.

The career I fell into may have been the best possible situation to allow me to grow and develop as a person. The high stakes world of military intelligence is a closed environment, much like growing up as a kid in East Texas. I was assigned to RAF Molesworth in the UK as a young man right out of military tech school. It was my second choice, Italy being my first. Did you think I was joking about those Bugs Bunny cartoons? They had a big impact on me!

A Texan Abroad

England was incredible, even as a 20-year-old that had never been on a plane before joining the Air Force. It was so much older than Texas. So beautiful. The castles. The cathedrals. People didn’t have air conditioners there, I had a hard time wrapping my head around that.

You could go to the next village over and experience something that had been around for three hundred years. I don’t know about you but I think that’s pretty amazing. I may not have opened a lot of books in school, apparently I am a nerd though.

Englishmen thought the three-liter V6 I had in the truck I shipped over was enormous. More than one bloke (nod to you England!) told me that was the largest engine they’d ever seen. A V6? Crazy! Regardless, I could not have asked for a better landing spot to initiate my being receptive to the world.

Bugs Bunny Was Right!

I got to travel so much in my three and half years living there. Some of it for work, but a lot of it was by choice. I went to verify the streets in Venice are made of water. Bugs Bunny was 100% correct, he definitely did not make that up folks.

I spent a week in Italy. Flying into Rome, I rented a car and drove up to Pisa, Florence, and eventually made my way to Venice. I was lost the entire time, but I didn’t care. It was an adventure I will never forget. I ate spaghetti at a sidewalk café in Rome, I mean you have too right? I took a picture with a single finger holding up the leaning tower of Pisa. Totally the tourist.

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More Adventures

I travelled a lot. Wales, Scotland, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Germany, France, Greece, and others. Spain was my favorite. I flew into Malaga and spent a week in Marbella. Costa Del Sol, what an utterly incredible place. My goodness.

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Greece was a close second. I spent a few days in Athens, and several days out on the islands of Greece. Lost the entire time once again. No GPS, no Google maps. To this day I can walk into an art gallery and identify the paintings of Greek architecture. People paint Greek architecture and the scenic backdrops for a reason. It’s beautiful.

No More Active Duty, But More Adventure

I flew back home when my enlistment was up. Man, it felt so good when I touched down in Dallas. It was July 4, 2000. Could you possibly pick a better day to arrive home after three plus years abroad?

I rented a car and started making my way back to East Texas to spend some time with my grandparents. By the time I got out of DFW airport, dusk had settled and there was the backdrop of fireworks as I made my way East on I-20. That’s what I’m talking about. I’m going home.

Outside of a few trips to Mexico, several years passed before I went on another big out of country adventure. My being receptive to the world didn’t cease. I had to meet my wife first. After some time spent working in Dallas and the DC area, I settled in Los Angeles for several years. I had a good time there, boots and all on the beach. Everywhere I’ve ever been they love the boots. And the accent. Instant conversation piece.

A Texan In Thailand

Mrs. Country Exec liked the boots and the accent enough to drag yours truly home to Thailand. Talk about being receptive to the world. That was an experience. She’s from Bangkok, it reminded me of New York. That place is wild, but I am so thankful I got to meet her family and experience Asia. We spent several days in Phuket. As we were flying home to Texas, I saw the sunrise twice on the same day. Is that not a crazy thought?  Still not sure I understand that one.

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We flew back to Thailand together a second time, splitting our weeks between Bangkok/family and Krabi. My father-in-law has three children. I’m convinced I’m his second favorite. He’s an impressive guy, hilarious and super intelligent. Extremely accomplished. He’s funny because he’s so grouchy. I see myself being him in 30 years. I hope so.

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Thailand reminds me of the world from Avatar. The beautiful sea, and the rocks jutting out of it is something to behold. Truly paradise on Earth. You have to see it. If you ever have the chance, go. You won’t regret it.

Getting Back To The Point

The daring life benefits gained from being receptive to the world opened my eyes and framed my mind beyond the enclosed doors of my upbringing. The knowledge ascertained allowed me to apply context on many different levels. Life experience. I relate to people well, even despite being so stubborn. The ability to interact and communicate with many walks of life evolved into earning a good living.

In 2014 I left the federal government as a contractor and took my boots and accent back home to Dallas, TX. Dell hired me away to work in middle management. They handed off a team of global cybersecurity engineers working out of Dell offices in Mexico, Romania, and India. I had never not worked next to an America citizen in the clearance world. Didn’t phase me. I had the experience of the world to lean on.

Eighteen months after starting with Dell I was told I was going to be laid off. No worries, Fujitsu America hired me away to be their Manager of North American Cybersecurity Operations. With Fujitsu I had employees in Dallas, Costa Rica, and the Philippines.

Embracing The Unknown

I never met any of my foreign staff in person, but we got along well and were successful as a team. Despite my entire life prior to adulthood existing in a closed environment, overseeing staff and operations outside the American culture was a non-issue.

I was so intrigued by virtually managing global operations I wound up writing my graduate thesis on the topic. It feels a little dated today, but maybe I’ll post it on the site at some point for anyone that may be interested.

It was the benefits gained from being receptive to the world that allowed for the success to manifest. The open mindedness to what was beyond the bubble of my youth is a fundamental aspect as to how I broke out of the cycle of poverty.

Finding My Place

I find my life’s journey to be ironic in nature. I came full circle in a sense. Yes, it’s true I live three hundred miles south of where I grew up in East Texas so technically, I am not back where I started. Culturally it feels the same. I love my community. I may not have been born here but it is definitively my home.

Stepping beyond my given surroundings to experience the world helped me understand my place in it. Who I am as a person, what it is my heart beats for. Success is a relative term, and I feel that I achieved it despite walking away from the inflated salaries of corporate America and choosing to bring evolving tech to small town Texas.

I know today I don’t need all that. Don’t want it. Owning my life’s purpose and being selective as to how I commit my time and where I do it is the definition of success for me today. Hard to believe Bugs Bunny led a little country kid to figure all that out. Funny how life is.


The daring life benefits gained from being receptive to the world is learning about yourself. There is undeniable peace derived from it. When I sit out on my back porch and watch the deer and wild turkeys roaming my property, I am living my best life.

Being receptive to the world educated me to the extent that I know that to be a fact. I am thankful for all the experiences. More life experiences will come, but I always know where home is and will forever be. I very much hope whoever may be reading this is fortunate enough to know the same. Until next time thank you for reading, and please take care of yourself and the ones you love.

19 thoughts on “Daring Life Benefits Gained From Being Receptive To The World

    • Author gravatar

      Thanks for sharing your adventures. There is so much gained from travel, meeeting different people and experiencing new cultures. It helps you appreciate different perspectives and understand that “the way we do things” isn’t the only way. It also makes you appreciate home, and that’s not a bad thing either.

      • Author gravatar

        I’m an open book, thank you for reading my adventures! I wrote that I am a better person for embracing the world, I believe that to be a completely accurate statement. I was fortunate to get to know my former employees from around the world at a much more in depth level than when I would travel somewhere for a week and go back home. What I realized getting to know them was that we as people are all basically the same. We want to provide for our families, live, and enjoy our lives. That’s it. After that you can begin to add the layers of complexity derived from culture. When I came to this realization my view of the world was elevated. Most people at the end of the day are good and are only trying to work there way through their lives as best they can. I can relate to that, I think everyone can! Thank you for commenting Michelle.

    • Author gravatar

      Like yourself, I have traveled the world and saw nothing but benefits from experiences of different cultures. I think this is an underrated quality to help people become more open to new ideas to just about everything, thoughts, food, values and so much more. Awesome post!

      • Author gravatar

        If I had not stepped beyond the bubble that encircled me for the entirety of my young life I’m not sure I would have been able to open my mind as much as I did. By venturing outside my comfort zone I learned just as much about myself as I did the world. I am a generally happy, appreciate guy today for that reason. I know my place in the world and possess complete contentment in it. I wish for everyone to feel the same amount of peace in their lives, it makes the day to day grind so much easier. I very much appreciate your time reading and commenting! And may I say I love the name and premise of your blog. I will definitely be digging into it more!

    • Author gravatar

      Your travel blog has inspired me to travel more and experience the world. Thanks for sharing.

    • Author gravatar

      This was an interesting post! I really enjoyed reading it, your writing style is nice and relaxed.

      • Author gravatar

        Thank you Nina! I always say I write like I speak, I am thrilled that’s how my writing style may be perceived overall. I appreciate you taking the time to read and comment!

    • Author gravatar

      This post made me really consider the word receptive and all that it entails. Something I haven’t done before. Thanks for sharing and I love your header graphic!

      • Author gravatar

        I’ll call that a victory then Abbey, thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment! Being receptive, embracing change are aspects of not just my profession, but life in general I coach to my staff. Putting yourself out there, challenging yourself in a professional or personal capacity will only serve to benefit you! At the end of the day it’s really the underlying message of this site. As the quote states on the home page “who you are today is not who you have to be tomorrow!” I know this to be true, and I want everyone to know and experience the same if they are inclined to do so. Thank you again Abbey, best of luck to you!

    • Author gravatar

      It was so great to get to know you (and Mrs. Country Exec!) through this post. Amazing adventures that led you to who you are today. Thanks for sharing!

    • Author gravatar

      Enjoyed the reading Shane!

    • Author gravatar

      😊Thanks for sharing your life story. It was a very interesting read. I definitely want to visit 🇹🇭 Thailand. Seems like a lot of great fun and adventure.

    • […] wanted peace, and I had to leave everything I knew to find it. To find myself. To find my purpose. Do I think it’s fair that I had to escape […]

    • Author gravatar

      This post has reminded me of my years living abroad! It has been a very pleasant read and with a humble point of view that I loved. Living abroad is really the best experience to learn, live and enjoy life! Greetings from Seville (you sure know where it is 😉)

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