It’s been a long way to where I am now.

How does it feel to have been in 6 different countries since the start of the year?

If you asked me this question 10 years ago, I wouldn’t have been able to fathom how I would be able to achieve this. Even if you asked me this question 5 years ago, I also wouldn’t be able to imagine how this could be.

The idea of traveling by myself and staying where I want to stay and doing what I want to do for X amount of time was the dream. Nowadays, I look back and think to myself, wow, I’ve been through so much to enjoy this, but as I look back, it’s not really about the result anymore.

It’s about the process.

The other day, I remembered for a while I wrote and maintained a blog and I decided to look back. This blog in itself is a recording of the process in itself. Looking back, traveling and growth went hand in hand for me. I had to physically expand my horizons for myself and see for myself my own capabilities and not be caged in the here and now.

Therefore, enjoy the now no matter what is going on, and plan for the future. The future holds much to be enjoyed.

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“For what it is worth, the work you’re doing, the city shouldn’t matter.”

Probably not her exact words, but I have this friend who inspires me.

Everytime we see eachother, which is not often…at most it’s twice a year, I always manage to pick up some good advice and habits. Needless to say, I find her fascinating and I admire her in too many ways to count, but it’s in this conversation I realized my friend was right – it doesn’t matter what you’re studying – the material is more or less the same – it’s just the situation you’ll apply it on and how well you apply that knowledge and discipline yourself.

She also said something else that I found highly satisfying.

“Get that piece of paper and get out of there.”

She understands.

Why you must try new things

Old friends, new connections.

I’m here sitting at a café on the last day of my stay here in Berlin. Time passed way too fast here, and you could say this is because I’m having too much fun, but I can also say, after visiting this particular city on 4 particular occasions already, things are way less interesting than the first few times.

There are so many things I’ve seen in the city, and I’ve begun to remember the streets and where everything is. Suddenly, it’s not so interesting anymore. But that is not to say, this city has more charm than others.

And that’s when you need to get out there and seek out new experiences.

Or else, I realized. Any city would be boring.

Berlin is a nice city to be. It is very vibrant. It isn’t like North America where everything are so distant and far and those distances must be conquered by personal cars. Over here, one could easily hop on the many modes of transportation, the U-Bahn (underground), S-Bahn (train), or one of the trams and busses – you’ll get to where you need to be in around 20 minutes or so.

I’ve been lucky enough to stay in the vibrant Center of Berlin, where walking home at 2AM in the morning and you’d still people out on the streets drinking their beers and smoking.

There’s life here that you wouldn’t experience elsewhere.

With that said, through my friends I’ve also met many new connections here, many of whom are incredibly intelligent and inspirational. I’m also incredibly surprised how well I was able to resolve some personal issues as well, rather than focusing on what I can’t change at the moment, I’m gearing myself up for the moment and what could be done.

What can I say. Overall, this trip was therapeutic and productive in its own way. A nice city break.

When you realize life is beautiful.

Ok, as promised, here’s the longer post on the trip thus far.

What can I say: everytime I’m away from home it’s an adventure, an exploration. I always discover new things I would’ve never discovered if I stayed home. I would of course go explore new places, but sometimes, I go back to places where I’ve already been but still discover new things about the place and of course within myself.

As everything stands, each second in this city (and this continent) in general is making every cell in my body alive. I can only say that staring at the cityscapes I’ve missed so much makes all those 12 plus hours working a day worth it. I can’t say much about anything else in life that makes me this happy, being around people I love and in a city that reminds me of my actual home.

Now with that said, I also noticed a harsh truth: no matter where you are, the struggle will be the struggle. The struggle is universal. I can say this from visiting my friends whom more or less are all around my age (millennials) and contrary to popular belief we’re all busy either working or studying or doing both or juggling with our own business ventures – yeah, we’re all busy bettering ourselves and our situations, no matter which city in the world we reside in.

The work is never done. And quite frankly, I find the friends that I’m with would agree with me. There’s always something to do, something to improve upon. And therefore, life might be challenging, but it would never get boring for us.

I would also like to remind myself and those that find themselves in my shoes (because I know this is also common), if you ever wake up angry, frustrated, depressed or just unmotivated – remember that every second of the day that you spend angry or resentful or in a negative state is a second wasted. Sure, I get it. There are times when it’s hard to turn off those emotions – but you must remember and laser focus on your journey and your goal. Remember where you want to be, rather than be distracted by the right now – live for the vision that you have in your mind rather than the circumstances you find yourself in currently. I know I’ll need that reminder for when I get back to my current ‘homebase’ (which I absolutely despise). Make it possible for yourself to find peace, with your vision in mind, push for the reality that you’d imagined. 

 

 

Greetings from Berlin

I’m back in Berlin. Having caught up with a few of my friends in the past three days, it really feels good to be back. The old cobblestones and side street cafés are a nice break from North America’s concrete and franchise chains. I especially love that the cafés play techno music (which is pretty much my workflow music anyways). I have much to update on in the next post and preferably when the laptop isn’t at 16%. This is a quick check in. Greetings from Berlin!

Is this life all you’ve hoped for?

I’m currently on route to Berlin, I’ve spent the last week in one of my favorite cities on Earth. I caught up with friends and of course met new ones. Now I’m on route to Berlin. I’ve come to certain realizations as I’m leaving.

  1. I really don’t give a f*ck about the city I currently reside in: the further away I am the better. I can’t be bothered to read the news about that place, and honestly I don’t want anything to do with it. For me, there’s nothing to cultivate or nurture. I’m not a fan of endless nothingness and more nothingness.
  2. I need to work harder: as things are standing, I realized the best thing I can do at the moment is to enjoy my summer adventures, learn as much as I can, strengthen my skillset and then set off and try and try again, so much so that I can not give a f*ck about my current homebase. I realize how important this is, how my friends are all struggling in some ways, no matter which great city of the world they reside in. The struggle is universal. Learn to live with it.
  3. I’m the one I need: not exactly an realization, but I’m at that point of my life where I’d rather be alone and do great work than being distracted by anything else. While the cities I’m visiting this summer has a lot to offer, I realized the work I still need to do must be done alone. I realized my productivity diminished to zero since I hit the road. This is going to change. I have a 3 hours wait time at the airport later. Time to crack open books and get working.

I’m on the go again!

It’s currently 4:03AM as I write this. I’m currently sitting in the waiting lounge of Seattle Tacoma Airport’s International Terminal. Yes. I’m on the move again. Let’s just say after 8 months back on this coast, one term of Computer Science I am so ready to jet off.

As I wait for my 5AM flight, I have the time right now to do some reflections rather than doze off back to sleep.

Let’s start off by saying that I learned a A LOT in the first half of the year. Academic wise, I started from not knowing anything about Computer Science other than basic HTML and CSS to coding a fully functional and responsive website. I learned about the front end and backend languages and development. Not only was I introduced to web development, I was also taught Java and Python and of course, version control tool Git.

And of course, every programmer’s favorite: the command line.

Yes. It has been a really thrilling ride, the past 6 months, somedays I’m at school the entire day working on stuff (with side procrastination of course, and mentally not coping very well, as I was dreaming of that better place far off elsewhere.)

But I’m happy to say that I made it, that I used my time wisely overall and has been able to walk away with a great experience, despite all the stress, cups of caffeine consumed, frustration and several ‘almost’ mental breakdowns.

Here’s what I summarized that really helped me get through the past 8 months of being back on this coast.

1. Value Hardwork: As I saw over and over again this term, hard work pays off. Hard work is the only way to cover all your bases and set you apart from others. This ties in with #3. You have to be present to do good work.

2. Exercise: This was definitely something I took for granted when I wasn’t working 12 hours a day while sitting down. Exercising is super super important if your career of choice is sedentary. Also on top of that stress, you’ll actually want to meal prep as well so you don’t break the wallet. I have to say this term at least, I’ve learned to throw together ingredients that make tasty recipes, think self made Chiptole Salad Bowl.

3. This too will pass: FOCUS for the moment. This too will pass. You need to do your best job at your present pursuit to make sure you’re giving your 120% and then some. Remember to be present and enjoy the process, you’ll be out of there soon.

Great things take time

I can’t believe it’s been 1325 days since that one night.

I can’t believe it’s also been 1144 days since I was almost killed by a car.

I’d been living since and sometimes it feels that very little has changed, although, I can’t say I wasted 1000+ days of my life. Things have changed. I like to think if back in October 2013 was the pivot point that signified all else after then I have to say that my 1000 days have been spent trying out different options.

First, I strengthened myself.

Second, I started to try different things to get myself out of my less than ideal situation.

Third, I found out that I had to change course many many times and I did.

Fourth, I am here today wishing that I had started sooner, but at the same time glad that I started at all. I feel like I’m going somewhere, though of course there are tweaks I need to complete and various routes to explore. However, hardwork and despair are no longer feared, instead they are welcome as I am sure they will be my companions for times to come.

Fifth, for all those out there struggling to become better, I encourage you to look back on the past few years, perhaps look back on that point where you decided you could be better, could do better, do be somewhere better, and look at how far you’ve come. I want you to give yourself credit for all of your accomplishments, because only you know the inner struggles the sacrifices you have to gone through. And for that reason, we’re all warriors in our own right.

Sixth, now, with all that in mind, get out there and continue to improve.

Where have you been?

And so it seems, with that last post, I completely vanished off the face of the earth.

However, that is clearly not the case as demonstrated by this post here.

The past four months have been some of the most intense times of my life – but hey, I made it out alright and that’s all it matters.

I’m weathered, older and wiser.

On top of that, I’ve traveled to more places, met more interesting people, matured through laughter and heartache.

But mostly heartache.

Apparently, that’s the main driver behind life these days.

But even so I’ve managed to pacify and make peace with.

There are things take needs taken care of before I move on to the next steps and of course, I will have time on my hands now to recount them and regather myself.

Moving forward.

Refocus, have a serious talk with yourself

Last night, I wrote a love letter to the city I’d just left.

I detailed reasons for this temporary separation and detailed plans for my ultimate return.

After I completed the letter, it was as if a weight has been lifted. It was permission granted from myself that I should refocus my energy on the right now, finally.

Without that letter, I wouldn’t have been able to settle down and settle into this new reality which is completely different – but I am refreshed and ready to tackle the days with enthusiasm even if everything is less than ideal.

I still went out for exercise even though it was dark and cold.

And that’s when it hit me:

If everything was going the way you wanted them to, would you still want them to?

Wouldn’t that bore you to no ends because everything is the same, day in day out?

Isn’t that what you’re trying to break away from?

You’re trying to build your life now with outmost authenticity and you have everything you need – even if you don’t think you do – but you do.

Remember as little as a month ago, you wouldn’t have just grabbed your running shoes for a run because it was storming outside, let alone would you want to leave the house even when the sun wasn’t shining.

You’d wait all day and waste all day.

Now, it’s different – you’d came back fearing that three months of loneliness was in store – but now that you’ve accepted it – you can also see the good in it.

Productive time.

Little distractions.

Time to explore and grow – but in a different way.

Here you will reach clarity and give yourself credit because you’ve always figured a way out before.

And this time with outmost clarity you shall tackle obstacles and build the life you’re proud to live.

Everything now points to you’re at your best.

You’ve never been more at ease, more forgiving, more gentle towards life.

 

You changed yourself for the better in this continuous journey of life.

Now it’s time to refocus and improve yourself even more so you can be who you’ve always wanted to be.