We had the good fortune of connecting with Aisley Sengthong and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Aisley, can you tell us more about your background and the role it’s played in shaping who you are today?
I’m lucky enough to say that I was born and raised in San Diego, a city with cultural diversity and an abundance of happiness. I am a product of Laotian parents, and being Laotian-American is a big part of how I identify myself. As I grew up here in San Diego, my family and I would often visit Wat Lao Boubpharam Temple for events such as Lao New Year every April. Being at the temple feels like I am at a second home, the monks are like family to me. Also, during New Year, I have the opportunity to meet with other people of my culture and get to taste traditional Lao food from a place that isn’t my own kitchen. While exploring San Diego, you can find significant cultural spots such as Wat Lao Boubpharam. Laotian influence is only one of many that you can find here. Another place I enjoy visiting, especially for food, is Convoy District- one of the largest Pan-Asian business districts in the United States. My parents brought my younger sister and I to Convoy often for boba trips, and now, stopping in Convoy to grab some boba is one of my favorite things to do. My upbringing caused me to realize that, no matter how far I can travel from San Diego, this city will always remain to be number one in my heart. I, like the millions of others who reside here, belong in this city for the same reason- and that reason is culture. From Laotian, Cambodian, Mexican, Italian, Chinese culture… San Diego has it all, and that’s what makes this city so beautiful. If there’s one thing that I have developed from being raised in San Diego, it is pride in who I am. I’m proud to be part of the Laotian community, and am thankful that I get to share how passionate I am about this subject.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’m very passionate when it comes to sharing the simple joys of everyday life. Whenever I come across a moment where I am happy, I snap a quick photo on my phone to remember the moment. I’ve utilized Instagram to use as a platform to share who I am- my interests, my beach trips, and how I spend my ideal days. With this platform, my hope is to inspire others to also explore their hometowns, or even to visit and enjoy San Diego like how I do. Technically, it was easy to just share some photos of myself and experiences. That’s all it sounds like at least. It’s not the initial ‘drive’, passion, or lack of experience that hinders people from doing this, it’s the anxiousness when it comes to putting yourself out there. I used to be a person who was very private and hated posting pictures of my life because I assumed I was never really an interesting person or ‘good enough’ to begin with. But the thing is, a person does not have to be ‘good enough’ simply to share the things they enjoy with others. Luckily, I was able to overcome this blocked mindset by really delving into my inner self. I started practicing meditation and mindfulness. After a while of nourishing myself, I grew to be happier and more confident. Now I absolutely adore posting content for people as I am genuinely satisfied with who I am as a person! I’ve learned that using your voice is so important when it comes to anything at all. Speaking things into existence really works. Affirmations such as “I am happy, I am healthy, I am loved,” can go such a long way. I want the world to know that anyone can succeed. Any one at all. One person can truly hold all the power in the world if they believed that they could. Overcoming nervousness and fears is the hardest step to reaching a goal, but that step is absolutely necessary to do. Risk-taking can have many, many rewards.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
We would definitely go to La Jolla Cove to see the seals! Then, eat some brunch at Richard Walker’s Pancake House on Prospect. While on Prospect Street, we’d walk to visit the shops and photo galleries. Visiting Amethyst Moon in La Mesa Village is a must! We would buy some crystals to bring home for prosperity and good luck. After dark or at sunset, we would drive up to Mount Helix and see the San Diego city lights. So gorgeous!

I also love renting bikes at Coronado, riding along the beach is such a fun thing to do. We would then eat at a restaurant or cafe in the area. Taking the ferry to downtown is enjoyable as well! In downtown, I love going to Seaport Village to get Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. From there, we’d go to Balboa Park to visit the San Diego Natural History Museum and the Japanese Friendship Garden to see the koi fish.

Driving up to Encinitas, we would visit downtown to browse the shops and then head on over to the beach. I love watching the surfers and seeing people walk their dogs along the coast. A hike at Torrey Pines just before sunset is also not only rewarding, but a very beautiful view.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’d like to dedicate my shoutout to my sister, who’s always stuck by me and supported me in everything.

Instagram: @aisleysengthong

Image Credits
Aisley Sengthong

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