Another year has passed. I always enjoy doing a recap because it allows me to recall all the great things of the year and also allows me to plan ahead and look forward to the next year. It is somewhat motivational.
2010 started off in my flat in Leeds, England. I had returned from a backpacking trip around Italy on Christmas Day of 2009, and I was in my dorm getting some work done. The rest of the dorm was completely empty so it allowed me to relax and really think about what needed to be done. Around January 7th, I began revising for my finals, which started a week later (finals for the Fall 2009 semester occured after the Christmas Break). Finals were 3 weeks long, and by the time they ended, it was practically February.
In early February, I hitchhiked to Amsterdam, Netherlands. In addition to hitching, I raised £150 for Ninos de Guatemala, a charity which builds schools in Guatemala. The hitch went from February 4-8th. The 4th was a day of travel, as we trained to the ferry port in Hull, England and then took an overnight ferry to Zeebrugge, Belgium. The 5th was a full day of hitching, the days in between were touring Amsterdam, and the night of the 7th/8th was taking a ferry from Rotterdam, Netherlands back to Hull, England. During this trip, I ended up meeting my current girlfriend, Sophie, from London.
In no time, it was already March and the second term was wrapping up. Easter/Spring Break started March 20th and lasted until April 20th. Since I had an entire month, I decided to do some traveling. I packed nothing more than a backpack and traveled around Europe via this route: Leeds, England to Paris, France; Paris to Zurich, Switzerland; Zurich to Munich, Germany; Munich to Salzburg, Austria; Salzburg to Vienna, Austria; Vienna to Prague, Czech Republic; Prague to London, England; London to Leeds, England. You can see my trip report here.
By the time I arrived back to Leeds, the 3rd and last term of the school year was about to start. April was just about to end, and May was about to begin. Late April and early May was spent with messing around with friends since finals would begin in late May. In mid-May, I began revising for finals, and then took finals, my last one being June 3rd. I found it very hard to stay focused during finals time since I knew my time in England was coming to an end and I didn’t want to be sitting inside studying.
The summer started June 4th with Leeds Summer Ball. It started at 9pm and lasted until 6am or so the next day. The following day we (Sophie and I) attended the UK Nationals 2010 puzzle competition in Bristol, UK. Since the competition started at 9am on June 5th and was a 3 hour train ride south, we left the ball around 3am, pulled an all-nighter and caught a train to arrive in Bristol around 9am. I ended up breaking most of my personal records at the competition even though I slept very little, including a 10.69 second 3×3 single solve (which is fastest than the world record when I started cubing). A few days after, I went paint-balling for the first time with some friends. And a few days after that, my girlfriend and I drove to Watford (just north of London) to stay at her family’s house for a few days.
In mid June my family came over from the US to tour London and Ireland with me. It was the first time I had seen them in 10 months. Sophie helped us tour London for a few days, and then we flew to Dublin and toured much of Ireland for a week or so before going back to London where my family flew back to the US. You can see the London/Ireland trip report here.
After my family left, Sophie and I went back up to Leeds and traveling around the area including Ilkley and Roundhay Park. On July 5th, we drove back to Watford for the night. July marked my departure from England. On July 6th, I flew back to Denver from London Heathrow. The rest of the month was spent getting used to the US again during my reverse culture shock. I stayed at my brother Ron’s house during this time until I could find a place to live and get things sorted (phone, bank, insurance, etc.). I ended up finding an apartment in Golden to live in which is where I am living now. Tip: DO NOT ever use Crickett for a phone service, they are horrible. Take my advice and go to WalMart to buy a $30 pre-paid phone card – it is month to month, has 1000 minutes of talking and 1000 texts a month. You won’t find a better deal (it is Straight Talk, a sub-company of Verizon).
For the later part of July, I moved to my new apartment and began wrapping up some school work that I needed to complete by the summer. In early August I flew to Boston, Mass. to attend US Nationals 2010. After the competition, I met up with my friends Richard and Donovan and went drove to New York City, before heading back to Boston and flying back to Denver. You can see the Boston/NYC/US Nationals 2010 trip report here. In late August the Fall, 2010 semester started up for me.
Most of September was filled with school, work, and studying German. I also played in an ice hockey league in Arvada with my brother and some friends.
In early October I attended and won the Denver Open 2010; my biggest accomplishment of the competition was a 49.86 second 4×4 single solve. In mid-October I went skydiving. I’ve been wanting to skydive for quite sometime, and it was an amazing experience. In late October I took the EIT/FE exam.
November was pretty much full of nothing but studying. I did buy my first season ski pass and went skiing a few times.
In December I wrapped up finals and my girlfriend flew in from London to spend some time with me in Colorado. And that is where I am now. So far we’ve celebrated Christmas in southern Colorado, went hiking and skiing. It has been a blast so far.
I expect 2011 to be an exciting year. I plan to expand my business to a new level, graduate in May, and hopefully go to graduate school in England in the Fall. In early January I will be heading to Las Vegas to Affiliate Summit West 2011.
In early 2010, I created some goals to complete during the year, let’s take a look:
- Sell our house in southern Colorado FAILED – still working on it
- Make enough money to pay my tuition expenses for the year, and beyond DONE
- This ties with above, but make a full-time living doing a part-time job DONE
- Finish my current to-do list (it’s long) FAILED – still working on it
- Attend US Nationals in Boston DONE
- Go skydiving DONE
- Setup an LLC DONE
- Join another ice hockey league DONE
- Visit more of Europe DONE
- Find a house to live in so I can start my senior year of university when I get back to the US DONE
Goals for 2011:
- Graduate from CSM with an Electrical Engineering degree
- Go to graduate school in England
- Travel more
- Expand my company, expand to more consistent niches
- Take the GRE
- Attend Rubik’s US Nationals 2011
- Get better at ice hockey
- Sell house in Southern Colorado
- Develop more websites and expand current ones
- Learn more German