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2018 was a good year

2018-12-31

If you watch the news, then you already know that the entire world is burning, and we’re all doomed. But, if I set all that aside, then I have to admit that 2018 was actually a really good year for me personally. So, here’s a quick recap of my accomplishments for 2018:

1. Set aside time for myself

I had spent most of 2016-2017 putting almost 100% of my time into running Arclia LLC. Consequently, I was spending all of my time consulting on other peoples’ projects rather than doing any of my own projects.

After a rough end to 2017, I decided that enough was enough. I chose not to renew any of my contracts, and I placed Arclia LLC on hold. Well, more accurately: I placed the consulting business on hold. (I still plan to use Arclia LLC for my own projects.)

In the meantime, this also meant that I’d reclaimed roughly 40 hours per week! So, for 2018, I decided that I’d invest these hours towards personal growth rather than growing a business. Thus, most of my accomplishments for 2018 can be directly attributed to this decision.

2. Traveled Internationally

After college, I had traveled throughout the United States for work-related reasons. And, on a few occasions, I had taken some short trips to Wyoming/Colorado to visit relatives and go hiking.

I was just getting ready to plan another one of these trips when my friend Deb came to me with an interesting proposal. She wanted to visit some distant relatives in Colombia, and she was looking for a traveling companion. This presented a great opportunity for me to learn how to travel internationally!

One of these days, I’ll have to write a more extensive blog post about this trip. But, for now, here’s a quick overview:

We were in Colombia from April 14 until April 21. During this time, we visited Bogotá, Medellín, Guatapé, and Cartagena. The country operated almost exclusively in Spanish; consequently, I had to relearn the language very quickly while we were there. Several months later, I’m still having dreams where I’m speaking in Spanish!

Here are some photos of the first hostel we stayed at:

Sun room

Main room

Here’s a photo from a market we visited during our first day:

A market in Bogotá

(Note: that market had avocados the size of a football!!!)

Here’s some photos of graffiti in Bogotá:

Graffiti

More graffiti, plus Deb

Lastly, here’s Deb at the top of El Cerro de Monserrate (With Bogotá photobombing in the background!):

El Cerro de Monserrate

3. Met several new friends

I also made many new friends in 2018! For example, here’s Esther and her dog, Sadie:

Esther and Sadie

Sadie had never gone kayaking before, so she was a little nervous (correction: very nervous!) and wouldn’t sit down. Nevertheless, she was at least willing to make a silly face for the camera.

4. Got organized

This project is still ongoing, but I’ve definitely made a ton of progress in 2018!

Back in August, I wrote a blog post about using 3D-Printing to create custom storage space in my apartment. Since then, I’ve continued creating even more custom storage. For example, I’ve freed up almost all of the table space I used to need for my 3D Printer:

3D-Printer storage solutions

Consequently, I was able to reclaim a lot of space in my apartment. This made it significantly easier to sort through old boxes and get rid of stuff I no longer needed, thus allowing me to reclaim even more space!

Recently, I also purchased a ScanSnap iX1500 document scanner. This has allowed me to quickly digitize hundreds of paper documents and store them in the cloud. I no longer needed physical copies of most of these documents, so I was able to shred them and eliminate even more clutter. Furthermore, I was able to find many documents that I thought I had lost years ago. Score!

5. Rebooted my blog

Let’s not forget that I also managed to reboot my blog this year! This was something that I had wanted to do for a few years, but I never seemed to be able to find the time. (Probably because I was spending 100% of my time running Arclia LLC…)

So far, I’m really loving this new blog! In particular, I’m no longer writing technical articles just for the sake of attracting new readers. Instead, I’m writing about things that I personally find interesting. Hence, writing is much more enjoyable, and less of a chore.

6. Contributed to charitable efforts

During 2018, I decided that my money would be best used by helping others. As a result, I contributed to several charitable efforts through GoFundMe, Kickstarter, Kiva, and others. Additionally, I spent a good chunk of time mentoring others so that they could switch over to technology-related careers. I hope to do a lot more of this in 2019 as well!

In conclusion…

Overall, 2018 was one of the best years I’ve had in… well… years. Thankfully, it also means that I’m going to be starting off 2019 on the right foot as well!

So, how did your 2018 shape up? Hopefully, you all have had some good moments as well!