Biography and Accomplishments of Winston Wu
"You're probably the most atypical Asian male I've ever met."
- Peter, An old Scottish traveler who's been to nearly 100 countries
all the flak you get you are certainly an interesting character and
the most famous (or infamous) self-made asian on the internet” –
Asians don't think for themselves. They
simply follow the pack. You are one of the exceptions." -
“As far as you being a banana – a white man trapped in an Asian body - I would like to qualify that you are not an American white man inside an Asian body but a
European Existentialist - a Frenchman, Italian or Spaniard trapped in an Asian body. You are certainly not a modern Anglo-Saxon trapped in it.” - Ladislav, Winston’s Expat Advisor
"In every revolution, there is one man with a vision."
- Captain Kirk (Star Trek episode Mirror Mirror)
Winston Wu is founder of Happier Abroad and SCEPCOP, two unique movements that are the first of their kind and very much needed. He has been featured on radio shows, magazines, websites and even television news. Mr. Wu has been described by some as among the most atypical and unique Asian males on the planet, for almost everything he says, thinks and does is "outside the box". Some consider him a hero and inspiration, while others consider him a dysfunctional loser for not conforming to the system. Here is his biography in his own words about how he emerged from a turbulent hellish childhood to a transcended state of mind and life that serves as an inspiration to others.
Hello, my name is Winston. I am a Journalist, Writer, Actor, Traveler, Photographer, and Marketer. I consider myself to be a Renaissance man, freespirit, Existentialist, free-thinker, nonconformist, philosopher, writer, actor, seeker, adventurer, spiritualist, an old soul, and lover. As a result, I connect with and prefer the company of open-minded, nonjudgmental, free-spirited people who are intellectual and spiritually-attuned to some degree. And I dislike and get along least well with judgmental and closed/narrow minded people who have rigid beliefs about how things and people “ought” to be, for those are my pet peeves.
I am an Asian American of Taiwanese descent. But I am unlike the typical type which is career-minded, conformist, duty-driven, closed-minded, judgmental, materialistic, money-loving, petty, mathematical rigid thinking, and unable to think “outside the box”. (In fact, a Scotsman I met named Peter who has been to nearly a hundred countries in his life, described me as “probably the most atypical Asian male” he had ever met.) (You can also view my critique of repressive traditional Asian mentality here)
Unlike most Asians who simply follow the pack and don't think for themselves, I do. Whereas most of them are rigid conformists, I am a freethinker and freespirit, which sometimes makes other Asians uncomfortable around me and avoid me. Also, they believe that the purpose of life is to work hard and suffer in glory and honor, while I believe that the purpose of life is to enjoy it and live to the fullest. Thus, me and typical Asians have some intrinsic differences.
As an eclectic, I am a blend of Italian/French-like traits. Though I am wild, passionate, free-spirited, sensual, romantic, and feeling, I am also intellectual, shrewd, insightful, cerebral, organized, and practical as well. Such a blend makes me more like a European or Latin than American or Asian, as I tend to have far more common with the former than with the latter.
I am an Existentialist type of person who delights in reflection, introspection, asking big questions about the meaning of life, and trying to put it all together. Therefore, I don’t have the typical American/Asian view that life is all about making money and being committed to a career. Instead, I share the European/Australian attitude that life is about having new experiences and adventures, exploring the world and meeting lots of new people. And I judge my life and self-worth by the richness of my experiences, rather than by career status. That’s who I am, not a conformist to what the establishment tells me.
In my experience, I tend to get along best and naturally with travelers, free-spirits, New Age people, mystics, actors, writers, and Europeans/foreigners. I have a natural comfort zone and synergy with those types and find them to be more wholesome and complete. My vibe, consciousness, and soul energy seem to vibrate at a much more similar frequency with theirs, leading to a stronger sense of a more kindred spirit. On the other hand, I don't seem to connect or jive with the types of people who frequent nightclubs or bars a lot, nor with the mainstream all-American valley/hipster types. Their vibe and consciousness seem to vibrate at a different frequency than mine, and their communication style seems plastic to me, and doesn't fit my communication style. So it feels awkward and unnatural trying to relate or interact with them, like we have very little to talk about, making them seem unapproachable to me. I don't know why, but this pattern seems consistent.
I enjoy writing, acting, theatre, meeting people, traveling, European culture/travel, photography, tennis, billiards, ping pong, swimming, martial arts, hiking, coin-collecting, chess, scrabble, history, History Channel, Travel Channel, PBS, British comedy, museums, science-fiction, cooking, cultural events, 80's pop music, watching Twilight Zone reruns, vegetarian food, metaphysics, exploring mysticism, New Age spirituality, philosophy, paranormal phenomena, and just living life to the fullest. I enjoy all styles of music except country, rap, and heavy metal. I am a vegetarian and my favorite foods are Chinese, Italian, and Vegetarian cuisine.
I think that most of the stuff on TV today is trash, and I never watch network programming. The only channels I watch are History Channel, Travel Channel, PBS, AMC, and sometimes BBC (British programming).
My sun sign is Pisces with Scorpio rising and Gemini moon (for those who don’t know, the rising influences your outer personality and the moon sign influences your inner self and emotions). And my Meyer-Briggs temperament type is ENFJ. My favorite movie is The Empire Strikes Back. And my favorite books, which I consider the most profound and life-changing, are The Power of Now and A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose by Eckhart Tolle, Way of the Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman, any book or audio by Wayne Dyer, The Holographic Universe by Michael Talbot, and Under the Tree by Greg Stone.
lived in four
Since my early days, I’ve shown a propensity to go “against the grain” and think on my own. For instance, during school, when all the other students judged their achievements by their grades (especially Asian students), I choose not to attach my self-worth to my grades and saw no logical reason to. Just because society, the school, or my parents told me to was not a good enough reason to convince me that grades determined my achievement and self-worth. I had a far deeper sense of self beyond the shallowness of academic scores. Thus, when I got bad grades, even D’s and F’s, they never really affected me. I also deviated from my parents’ Buddhist religion at an early age, becoming a born again Christian instead, unlike most people who stick with the religion of their family their whole life. When I was 14, I won a debate against my Youth Pastor, Ross Gunn III, over Bible doctrine, which unsettled him and demonstrated my ability to think for myself at an early age.
have accomplishments (described
below) in writing, acting, parapsychology, traveling, and spiritual
the main events and highlights of my life from birth until present day.
Turbulent and conflicting beginnings
(Note: You can read a more comprehensive version of my childhood here)
child, I grew up in the California
Bay Area suburbs in the 80’s.
Kindergarten and First Grade in
Due to my passion for life, desire to connect with others, love and be loved, I was unable to accept this condition and strived against all odds. To cope from being alienated by the “mainstream norm” of the adolescent crowd, I resorted to intellectual pursuits and cultivated a rich inner life. Having a natural feel for deep thinking and analyzing at an early age, I was a chess champion who rarely lost a game. And with a knack for spelling and grammar, I won my class spelling bee in 6th grade.
Religious fervor and mental breakdown
Eventually, my search for meaning led to becoming a devout born-again Christian fundamentalist, where I found solace, a sense of hope and purpose. It gave me the power and reason to make sense out of my troubled and conflicting childhood, as well as my unjust persecution by my peers (i.e. “glory in the persecution of the saved by the world”). Impassioned with fervor, I became involved with Church youth groups and even planned to go into the Evangelical ministry. After a few years, despite my fervor and dedication, my life suddenly went through a series mishaps and misfortunes, which led me to collapse into depression and insanity. This in turn served as a catalyst, unleashing some sort of weird obsessive/compulsive anxiety control routine in me, which the establishment dubbed as a “mental disorder” at the time. Whatever it was, it put me in an “inner hell” beyond my control and incapacitated me, growing worse daily with no solution or support in sight. I was given medication by mental health professionals, but they did nothing but give me bad side effects. Though seemingly doomed by pain and incapacitation for the rest of my life, my will to live endured and kept me alive. My stubbornness and willpower refused to succumb to my dire circumstances which seemed to warrant suicide.
being taken out of the persecution of
high school where I was unable to function or study anymore (and where
and psychic shield were constantly being attacked by energy leeches), I
few weeks in a nice rehabilitation center and went on home schooling. When the year was over, I
spent a year in
Rebirth: A new Winston emerges out of the ashes
When I returned to the states, I was like a new man; reborn, filled with an insatiable desire and talent for expressing myself. Suddenly, asserting myself came naturally. I possessed an ability to write and communicate articulately that I never had before, which seemed to come from nowhere. It was like I was suddenly filled with this “energy” inside me that needed to express itself. In addition, I possessed an inner confidence, strength and optimism that few my age had. And I was also blessed with an ability to appreciate the beauty and richness of the little wonders of life, which few have (something that those who lose their minds and return to sanity again seem to cultivate).
You can read the turbulent but inspiring story I wrote about my deconversion from Christian fundamentalism in my article My Rise to Christianity and Transcendence From It.
A major paradigm shift into metaphysical views
All this led to a major paradigm shift which expanded my view of reality. The victory over insanity, persecution, and doom gave me the strength and inspiration to conquer my problems and put me on a path of discovery which gave me the interests I have today. My spiritual quest moved away from orthodox religion into a search for a “unified theory” which explained and accounted for all religious and supernatural phenomena. This led me into New Age and metaphysical realms.
During my post-deconversion research, I also discovered that the Christian fundamentalist infallible doctrines I preached before were not what they claimed to be. You can read a book I wrote detailing the research and discoveries I made during my search, entitled Debunking Christian Circular Arguments and Assumptions which addresses major arguments made by Christian Evangelists and Apologists such as Josh McDowell and C.S. Lewis, filled with scholarly citations and quotations.
Post-graduation life and first relationships
After finishing my last year of high school, I went to a community college and met my first girlfriend, a cute petite Vietnamese Accounting student named Phuong Nguyen.
But after two years together, we split due to irreconcilable differences and incompatibility, but remained friends. (i.e. I was open-minded, expressive, imaginative, free-thinking and free-spirited, while she was judgmental, materialistic, and closed-minded.) Gradually, I realized and discovered that my soul and destiny were not fit for a conventional business career or the corporate culture, but wasn’t sure what the alternatives were. I found that I was too much of a “free spirit” and a fish out of water in their materialistic and conformist mentality. My best talents and self seemed to lie in more creative pursuits. Therefore, I began to pursue acting in addition to a business degree, got involved in theatrical and film productions at school, and worked in a few professional film productions (movies, TV series, commercials, and corporate videos) through casting/talent agencies as well. My acting resume and business reume can be viewed from my About Me page.
years later, I graduated from
California State University Hayward with a business degree in Marketing and Computer Information Systems.
Then I moved to
We lived a nice life together of balance and stability for two and a half years, and even got engaged to be married. However, unfortunately the relationship forced me to live in an area of the state with little career opportunity, so I was forced to take a string of meaningless dead-end jobs to pay the bills. Eventually, we grew apart and discovered that we wanted different things in life. The passion, chemistry, and energy between us was also gone, and we both yearned to be free. The split threw me into another state of psychological trauma for the second time in my life, since I had always been a hopeless romantic, and a believer in old-fashioned love, sticking through thick and thin.
My writing accomplishments lead to recognition and fame in Parapsychology community
To cope, I immersed myself with my passions and spiritual pursuits to an even greater degree. During this time, I produced an acclaimed treatise and book (by the parapsychological community) that was the first of its kind - Debunking PseudoSkeptical Arguments of Paranormal Debunkers. It was an extensive point-by-point scholarly debunking of the arguments of pseudo-skeptics (e.g. James Randi, Michael Shermer, CSICOP, etc.) which was the first of its kind. Many paranormal enthusiasts considered it to be the “Gospel” against pseudo-skepticism.
This work gave me notoriety among the metaphysical community and was endorsed by top parapsychology researchers and authors. See their praises and quotes here. You can read reviews, endorsements, commentaries, references, citations, and criticisms about this noteworthy work of mine in my Articles About Me section.
this treatise was first released, it was acclaimed in the paranormal
community as brilliant, effective and the first of its kind. It led
to my appearance on several radio shows such as The Forbidden
by Michael Goodspeed, The Clyde Lewis Show (KOTK 1080
AM) in Portland, Oregon,
and Ghostly Talk Radio (you can listen to
my interviews here). Later, due to widespread recognition, I
was invited to an
international conference as a guest speaker at the Mysteries of the World theme
Years later in 2009, I formed a group and website called SCEPCOP – Scientific Committee to Evaluate Pseudoskeptical Criticism of the Paranormal, which was the world’s first organized counter-skeptic group created to counter CSICOP, JREF, etc. Although at this time SCEPCOP is in its infancy, its popularity has soared among the Paranormal community and received attention from the Skeptic camp as well. (See a list of websites and blogs announcing SCEPCOP here) And in August of 2009, the popular paranormal magazine Atlantis Rising did an article on SCEPCOP in issue 77, which you can download here in PDF format. (see pages 24, 26 and 61)
Though well read in paranormal studies, I did not limit my knowledge solely to books, but also participated in interactive activities such as organized ghost hunts which gave me fascinating first-hand experiences of such phenomenon.
critical thinker who hates
brainwashing techniques as a result of having been brainwashed a few
myself, I also wrote against scams and shady business practices such as
extended warranties and multi-level marketing. See a list of
also written articles published in
various hard copy publications, such as
Rejuvenation and expression in Nevada
To finally conquer the trauma of my breakup with my long-time ex, I went to live in Virginia City, Nevada (where Mark Twain underwent some sort of transformation and changed his name from Samuel Clemens) at the invitation of my friend John Benneth, a staunch advocate of homeopathy and one of the nemeses of the most famous paranormal debunker, James Randi who is offering a controversial million dollar psychic challenge to anyone who can demonstrate supernatural abilities under controlled conditions (details on his site). There, I stayed with Benneth for a while and then got my own place. (It’s been said that the best way to clean out unhealthy baggage from the emotional trauma of a breakup is by moving and putting yourself in a completely new environment to start a new life; well it’s true.)
It was in
(In the one on the right above, you can see a blue orb, which is quite common among photos taken in Piper’s Opera House and is thought to represent ghosts and spirits haunting the area)
did some work in commercials and
corporate videos through a model talent agency in
It was also there that I met one of my best friends, Michael Goodspeed (his pseudonym), one of the radio hosts who interviewed me about the debunking pseudoskeptics article, and who also wrote a plethora of free-thinking articles published on the popular paranormal/counter-culture sites such as Rense.com. (You can Google his name to see tons of his articles)
came to pursue some acting as well
as a change of environment from the dull vibe of
about 7 months though, the shows I
was involved in went into low season, my job at the model/talent agency
phased out, and my love affair with Danielle suddenly ended after some
visiting my parents
back home in
My epic long odysseys to Russia and Europe
instead I found myself making
plans to take a trip to the exotic lands of
I was hesitant and fearful to do
such an unconventional thing, but my willpower and sense of adventure
the courage to follow through on these plans and prepare a trip. And hence,
that’s how my famous and infamous
finding a wife or a serious
partner was not as easy as I thought, nor was it as simple as the
agencies portrayed in their advertising.
However, I had the best time of my life.
I had many adventures and experiences which I otherwise
would never have
had. Some of them
were comical, while
others were downright dangerous (and thank goodness for my Guardian
Spirit Protectors). Many
experiences and stories were comparable (or even better) than the drama
particular, the experiences I
had with con-artists, criminals and scammers, and their elaborate
like grand black comedies. And
able to easily form social connections whenever I wanted, since I
that the world outside the
Abroad, I was able to get the things I wanted and lacked in my adolescent teenage years that I never had - being popular, having fame, attention, an active dating life, partying, and being able to attract and get beautiful women easily whenever I wanted. And I experienced more deeply and dramatically the triumphs, glories, and heartbreaks of love. Thus, pretty much all my teenage dreams finally came true, as a result of these extreme and unorthodox ventures. I was even engaged to be married twice during my trips. One of my fiancées, Katya Buchkina, was super hot and looked like the girl of my dreams, but she turned out to be nothing but a conniving gold digger and user:
My second fiancée was nice, we just weren’t compatible physically, mentally, or chemistry-wise.
But most importantly though, I got the high stimulation in daily life I craved and was deprived of in the states. So much in fact, that it became emotionally draining, and led me to realize that I ought to be pursuing more spiritual and wholesome ventures, instead of a neverending circle of hedonism.
of the internet marriage agencies
that is true though, which I can easily attest to, is that the quality
Each time I left and came back home though, I’d feel flat and experience withdrawal symptoms, as my experiences, status, and the “vibe” there became an addiction for me. So I’d work some temp jobs to save up money for my next trip and return back again. During the time between my second and third trips, I met a local girl at a New Age church in my town who quickly became one of my best friends ever, Amber LaMond.
We had an
instant connection, as though we
had known each other for years. In
addition to the interest in New Age spirituality, we also shared a love
traveling. In fact,
she became enamored and
envious about my journeys abroad (especially since she also viewed
in the states as a “rut” too).
essence, I was like a “gateway portal” to the
will and resourcefulness, in
During my trips, I began and gradually expanded on, a long point-by-point treatise comparing why I liked the culture, environment, and social scene of Russia/Europe more than America, which eventually became an ebook entitled Happier Abroad: Why You Will Have A Better Love and Life Beyond America. It also contains articles and essays such as Propaganda vs. Real Life in America and The Industrial Culture and Automaton Populace of America which you can find in my Article Index.
Although I believe in the American ideals of freedom and democracy, I am opposed to its materialistic and conformist lifestyle and culture which constantly equates outward materialistic wants with happiness, depriving people of a rich inner life, inward happiness, and a foundation of inner strength and confidence. I believe that this lack of inner self common amongst many Americans is a major cause in the following problems: 1) The high rate of mental illness, insanity, obesity, and dysfunctional behavior in America, 2) overly fragile egos and low self-esteem which is easily offended, and 3) the propensity to become bored and lonely so easily, requiring constant consumption stimulation and distractions to avoid facing inner emptiness. These issues are expounded upon in my counter-culture essays above.
My international online following begins and grows
During these journeys I started writing journal updates to a group of fans and interested onlookers which grew from a few dozen to nearly a thousand, with readers from all over the world. Soon I started receiving regular fan mail from those who read about my adventures and looked through my Photojournals. And I was being discussed on internet forums, where I quickly became the center of attention and controversy. Some found my writing too brutally honest and open, making me an easy target for attacks from critics and armchair quarterbacks, while others found them informative and engaging, as though they were watching some sort of “Reality TV”, which made them feel like they were experiencing everything there with me. (You can download these journals here, view thousands of photos here, or read a synopsis of them here.)
You can view a collection of feedback letters from my supporters and fans here. There you will see hundreds of intelligent, insightful, genuine letters from those who've “seen the light.”
The height of my fame reaches a national level in three countries
was during my third and longest journey in
my adventures were also featured
Transformation, cultural expansion, and a step toward self-mastery
third trip in
I concluded that Russian women
probably aren’t for me.
Though among the
most beautiful in the world, they are too greedy for my taste, as well
stingy, taking, opportunistic, ungiving, stubborn, conscienceless,
manipulative, deceptive, changeable, and hypocritical, all in extreme
addition, several strong
conflicts exist between my mentality and theirs.
Overall, as I and many others have learned,
in the big picture the risks of being involved with women in
And other attractive good prospects I left behind, such as:
according to advice from friends, my
better prospects lie in the Eastern Russian regions and former Soviet
such as Uzbekistan, Kazakstan, Krygyzstan, etc. which are far more
and accepting of my race, and have women who with better values. Other great choices I
also say that whatever the results
from my long odysseys in
I've also come to realize that I've derived some meditational benefits from my trips. You see, one of the primary purposes of meditation is to reduce the mind's attachments - such as clinging to pleasure/assets and resisting pain/undesirable conditions. But my restless nature and ADD symptoms prevent me from practicing regular meditation. However, I've achieved similar results. With all the constant traveling I did, I constantly detached from the people and environment around me, to the point where it became a habit, like second nature. With all that practice in detachment, I am almost able to detach my mind and emotions at will, a benefit similar to that achieved in meditation. But of course, the other aspect of meditation of attaining a still mind, eludes me, as I am basically still a restless and wandering spirit, thriving on novelty and new people/experiences, rather than stable routines.
not least, I gained valuable
career experience in professional Journalism which I wouldn’t
have been able to
get in the
In addition, I believe that I‘ve also discovered the secret to happiness. I've become aware that external things or people do not directly cause "happiness", they merely trigger the biochemicals inside us that make us feel that way. What I've discovered is that we can learn to trigger these biochemicals that make us happy at will, through training, practice, and awareness meditation. One merely has to realign the biochemical reactions inside us, reprogramming them to respond differently and breaking old cycles and addictions. It would take some time of course, but it's possible. And I've already had a lot of practice, as I've managed to keep myself happy in that way through thick and thin, even through disappointment and disaster. Thus, it’s led me one step closer to self-mastery. And as the ancient undefeated Chinese general Sun Tzu said, "The one who conquers a thousand nations is not as great as the one who conquers himself."
My post-trip crossroads
After my Europe/Russia trips, I was at a crossroads. My choices are to either 1) return to Europe to travel and work, since my expressive nature fell in love and felt at one with its culture and social environment, 2) follow my dream years ago of going to Hollywood to pursue an acting career, 3) move to the Southwest part of America where the beautiful desert terrain and canyons have a very invigorating spiritual and social energy, or 4) begin pursuing some type of Journalism or mass media career, the niche I discovered in myself while in Russia.
New birth in the Philippines
doing a lot of soul searching, I
decided to go to the
So it was
either go back to
hadn’t been that attracted to
Asian women before, Filipinas had Eurasian features (due to them being
a mix of
Asian and Spanish) such as the rounder eyes, and are more well-endowed
chest than other Asians, such as Chinese and Japanese.
Also, they are more outgoing, like me, than
the other typically shy Chinese, Japanese, and even
taking a road trip through the
beautiful desert Southwest USA during the Summer of 2006 for a few
enjoying the beloved desert canyons and terrain that I longed for,
desert fever, and doing a lot of soul searching, I decided to head for
Philippines with the help of a friend in Hawaiia whom I met from my
list. He was also
looking for a serious
partner and was persuaded to choose the
find Filipinas to be the best match
for me, in so many ways. They
attractive and exotic (the ones here are better looking than the ones
details, you can read some of my
raving ecstatic updates from the
After a series of relationships, I finally found a great girl named Dianne to be serious and steady with who is a “keeper” for me. She has personality, looks and is also kind, funny, interesting, charming and devoted to me in a way no one else ever has been. For the first time in my life, someone I really love, desire, and am very attracted to, feels the same way about me.
Launch of my new website skyrockets and gains me hero/legend status
I began my own website HappierAbroad.com
to disseminate my discoveries about how one can have a better life
completely turn their love life around.
It also became a support network bringing together people
with the culture and dating in
With growing traffic and site hits, I began earning money from my site through advertising income, affiliate commissions, and ebook sales to earn residual income. Hence, I found a way to profit from doing what I love, in accordance with the saying, “Do what you love. The money will follow.” As of now, my site offers a barrage of various content and services, which you can see at HappierAbroad.com.
At this point, my site is growing in popularity and expanding daily. As my readership grows, I am getting more and more Fan Letters and Testimonials of changed lives and heightened awareness. See these quotes. Some have even declared me as:
“Despite all the flak you get you are certainly an interesting character and probably the most famous (or infamous) self-made asian on the internet”
My Expat Advisor and friend also put me in this amusing light:
“Winston you are now an Asian American Moses, and you are leading your people out of the “captivity” of boredom, loneliness, lovelessness and datelessness to the various promised lands of milk and honey, many honeys that is and milk is to come later. Lol.”
increasing number of Americans feel
the way we do and become enlightened about the real world outside the
I've always know that I would be a leader of some sort and help people. Long ago, I couldn’t see how that could possibly come true since I was so shy and timid. But now, I see that perhaps that this destiny is beginning to emerge.
Thank you for your time, attention, and interest if you’ve read this far. For more links about me, see my About Me page.