I started this post towards the end of 2021, but didn’t get around to finishing it until April, 2022.
It’s that time of the year again where we look back on the last year of our lives and look forward to the next. It is useful because it allows us to review what we did right, and what we can improve on in the future. You can see my previous years here:
2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
2021 was a unique year in many ways. The US began to open up after a year of lockdown, while Thailand started to lockdown after a year of being open. This meant that we spent longer in the US than usual, longer than anytime since 2012. We also had 7 friends from around the world visit us in Colorado for the first time, which was a lot of fine. Here’s a look back in what I did in 2021.
- 2020 winded down in Bangkok on the roof of our place in Bangkok with friends. January started with a 30 day hip stretching challenge, and working on getting a loan in the US.
- The later half of January we spent in Phuket. At the end of the month, we celebrated a friends birthday in northeastern Thailand.
- In February, we went to Pataya with Kemji’s family. At the end of February, we went wakeboarding with a bunch of friends and got chess cake for my birthday. I also closed on my first property, a place in Chicago.
- In March, we went to Koh Samui to view property, though didn’t find anything we liked. At the end of March, I was part of the filming of a music video with our friend Taime.
- April began with Kolour Festival in Phuket, which was a nice opening from the covid lockdowns. Mid April a group of us did a staycation at Four Seasons along the river, and at the end of April went to Mahanakhon Skywalk. I also purchased a property in Bangkok.
- In May, we went to US at the end of the month. We met in Chicago with my cousins, then flew to Colorado and played disc golf, as well as visited rocky mountain national park.
- In early June we got vaccinated, went to Ft Collins with my uncle, saw Joey Harkum with Erika and Scott, and drove up to Evergreen with Tim. In mid June we went to Las Vegas and visited my brother in Salt Lake City. At the end of June, Marc and Taime came to Colorado and Marc and I went to the Kelly campout for a few days. After returning to Denver, we hiked south table and took them to their first baseball game. Richard also came to stay with us for a few days.
- In early July, Chris and Sam came from Bangkok to visit Colorado. On July 9th, we saw Lindsey Stirling at Red Rocks with Chris/Sam/John/Marc/Taime/Jesse. On July 11th, we (Marc, Taime, Kemji, and I) met my brother Ron in Montrose and climbed Mt. Sneffels. The following day we did a night in Salida and visited Andrew, and the following day drove to Winter Park and stayed at an epic cabin. Chris/Sam flew back from LA and stayed there with us – it has a sauna, hot tub, and epic views. After Winter Park, we flew to Las Vegas again to see Kygo at XS Club. Once there, we drove Mustangs to “Grand Canyon”, which was actually just an Indian reservation but still impressive nonetheless. On the way back we visited the Hoover Dam, and at the end of July we flew to Portland, Oregon.
- In early August we all drove to Seattle from Portland. We met our friend Luis (who we know from Bangkok) there. After a few days there, Chris and Sam left to the UK. The rest of us went to a MLS game. We flew back to Colorado while the rest of the crew flew out of the country. Once back in Colorado, we celebrated Ryan’s birthday at his cabin, my brother John and I played disc golf at an epic course on the way up. Later we took Kemji’s friend Oui up to Rocky Mountain National Park. A few days later we visited a MLS rapids game with Tim and Karla. and went camping in southern Wyoming with Tim. At the end of August, I went to the golfing range with my uncle Jeff. A few days later 2 other friends from Bangkok came to Colorado, Chris and Namtarn. The following day we took them to a Molly Hatchet concert, which was memorable. The following day we took them to Boulder.
- In early September, with Chris and his girlfriend, we drove up Mt. Evans, and took them to their first Rockies MLB game. My brother Ron and his wife came out from Salt Lake City and we went to art gallery in Cherry Creek. We also met another friend from Bangkok, Lenny, in Ft Collins which was a pleasant surprise. On Sept 8th, we saw Jimmy Buffet at Red Rocks, which was a lot of fun and something I’ve always wanted to see. In mid September took my mom and uncle to Bootleg Bottom. Towards the end of September, I closed on rental property in Virginia. We also went to Steamboat Springs to support Richard in his 100 mile Run Rabbit Run race. Afterwards, we drove with him and his girlfriend to Geneses to stay with their friends Jon and Aaron who have a beautiful property there.
- We later saw Twenty One Pilots in Denver, which was epic. Our friends from Guatemala, Rodrigo and Natalia, came to visit and we got to spend time with them for a few days.
- In early October we flew to Chicago. saw the symphony orchestra there. On October 10th, we arrived into Phuket, Thailand for a 14 day quarantine. We also viewed property in Phuket and I refinanced the Chicago property to purchase a villa in Phuket.
- At the end of November, we went to Chiang Rai to visit Vy and Ann, and then took a taxi to Nan to visit Kemji’s family.
- For Christmas, about 20 friends and us rented a villa in Phuket and had a memorable time celebrating there. New Years we went to a rooftop bar in Satorn.
Busy year, fun year, and satisfying, though didn’t have a lot of downtime. It was certainly a year to remember.
WHAT WENT WELL THIS YEAR?
2021 was a year full of a lot of uncertainty, but also a lot of adventure. When we left Bangkok in May, somewhat last minute, we left as lockdowns were becoming more strict. On the flip side, the US was opening up. We left in May with the plan to spend a month or two abroad, but ended up extending multiple times and spent several months in the US. We had 7 friends from all over the world visit us in Colorado and had a blast sharing the adventure together. It was the first time that many of our closest friends in Thailand had the chance to visit Colorado. I also had the chance to spend more time with family, the most amount of time back in the US in a year since I left to Thailand in 2012. It was enjoyable, but also a long time to be on the road.
Overall, the US trip was full of parties, concerts, camping, hiking, and eating. I was surprised by the costs of Colorado shooting up with inflation and with the influx of people moving there – AirBnb and car rental prices had increased substantially. Finding an Airbnb for more than 10 days was nearly impossible as people often book just weekends.
We arrived in the US in May, and only planned to stay for a couple months. However, due to the conditions in Thailand not improving, we kept extending our trip. In total, we spent nearly 6 months in the US, departing in October to Phuket, Thailand. It was a fun summer and the longest time we had spent in the US since I had lived there.
Health: The first quarter of the year I ended up in perhaps the best shape of my life in terms of strength and endurance. At the end of 2020 I’d been training for a trail race that ended up being cancelled, and I had kept doing the Stronglifts 5×5 program, which has been effective in building strength. After departing to the US and being on the road, the lack of routine made it hard to keep the gains but nonetheless stayed active. Upon returning to Thailand, I started again. Overall, I’m happy with my health progress for 2021 and plan to improve in 2022.
Knowledge: 2021 I certainly learned a lot – ended up purchasing 4 houses by leveraging low interest rates and it was quite a learning experience. I didn’t get to read as many books as I’d planned, but felt satisfied with my improvements in this realm.
Relationships: Between getting to spend months with my family and friends in Denver, and being able to have some of my best friends from around the world visit Colorado in 2021, the experiences I had with the people around me were enjoyable and fun. I had the chance to go camping a few times and go on some fun adventures.
Business: 2021 was another year of progress in the business side of things. Along with real estate, which was a big focus on 2021, I made progress launching a new brand for a hangover cure, as well as improving and growing my existing businesses.
Overall, most of the stuff I was working towards in 2020 I improved on in 2021. I continued to stretch consistently, worked out at least 3x/week, sauna 3x/week, and had a lot of fun.
WHAT DIDN’T GO SO WELL THIS YEAR?
It’s hard to complain after 2021, but I could have definitely done a better job with routine, both in terms of staying active on the road and consistently lifting/running, as well as writing and reading. I see writing and reading as fundamental pieces of life in terms of learning and communicating, and I can certainly do a better job at that. Aside from that, I definitely partied a fair amount and could do a better job at minimizing the late nights and work on waking up earlier in the day.
WHAT AM I WORKING TOWARD?
One of my goals for 2021 was to get a house in Colorado for us and my family/friends. However, due to low interest rates and Denver’s market exploding, none of my offers went through and was unable to purchase a property. Nonetheless, going to wait to see the effect of rising interest rates and reevaluate in a few months.
Aside from that, health wise, will continue to do the hip and back stretching 2-3x/week, lift 3x/week, and implement at least 2 days of running a week. I want to get to 100kg bench for 5×5, maintain 110kg squat 5×5, and continue to work on flexibility.
Business wise, I’m launching 2 new brands this year and excited to see how they turn out.
Lastly, our house in southern Thailand should be finished by October and excited to spend more time there and work on furnishing and improving the first real home I’ve ever opened, which is exciting.
Overall, I’m satisfied with the progress and experiences I had in 2021. Looking forward to what is in store in 2022. I’m about 4 months late in publishing this post as I had it half written but failed to finish it until now.
I’m excited to get back into a regular writing schedule as I’ve written a fair bit but haven’t published much in the last year or 2. I have a lot of ideas in my mind that I want to write down to clarify my thinking and I enjoy the research/writing process, though it takes a fair amount of work.
Currently, we’re in Denver, Colorado and just finished a trip to New York City and Miami/Bahamas for the Flogging Molly Cruise, which was epic. We plan to be in Colorado another month or so before departing back towards Asia, potentially stopping over in Europe.
In 2021, I only published one post:
Here a few interesting links from 2021:
- Notes on Technology in the 2020’s
- Smarter People Take More Risks
- You are what you consistently do
- How to work hard
- What happened in 1971?
Quote to ponder:
Money buys happiness in the same way drugs bring pleasure: Incredible if done right, dangerous if used to mask a weakness, and disastrous when no amount is enough. (?)
A book worth checking out: The Psychology of Money
You can follow me on Twitter here.
Thanks for reading and all the best in 2022 and beyond.