Looking Back at 2016


Happy New Year!

2016 was a very different year for me and quite the rollercoaster as well. It started off newly moved back to the US and temporarily living with my family as I looked for new work. For 9 years before moving back I had lived overseas so the beginning of 2016 almost felt like starting life back at square one again. Until April, most of my days were spent honing my web development skills and applying to jobs. On April 1st, partly due to my inability to find a dev job as easily as I thought I could, my brother and I decided to start our own web design business. We had a client right from the start and a week later I also landed a large contract for a startup.

Since I had been so used to traveling the world and was going stir crazy in Michigan, I bought a roundtrip ticket to Japan from June to September. I thought I would try and test the waters and see how well I could do at trying to work remotely. After a couple months living in Kyoto, I said screw it and decided to just see how long I could keep traveling and working for. So the last half of 2016 was much different than the first half. Since June I have been to Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, and now Australia.

2016 has been much different than any other in my life so far. With that said, let's reflect on what I think I did well and what I can improve on for 2017...

What I am proud of in 2016:

  • Cracked down and studied/coded close to 10hrs a day the first quarter of 2016
  • Started my own company for the first time
  • Made the choice to free myself from most possessions and consolidate my life to one suitcase
  • Took the courage to start blindly traveling the world
  • Did well at cutting costs while traveling

What I could improve on for 2017:

  • Even though I did well with coding at the start of the year, my motivation to get better started to fade off after I landed work
  • In 2016 I realized just how much work is involved in growing a company. I need to improve internal communications and research the business side of things much more on top of just coding and design.
  • I need to learn to stay in work mode while traveling. The urge to go out all the time because I am in a new country is tempting but I am giving myself a few months in each country so that I can both work hard and enjoy the country.

Time to take on 2017!

Photo by: Montaegue