4 min read
Jan. 2, 2024
I wanted to do a quick recap on 2023 as it was one of the most adventurous years of my life and it's nice to look back and have a cumulative look back at your year. I'm not big on resolutions (mine tend to be the same: write more, read more, etc.) but I do like to look back and think about how a year went.
At the end of 2022 me and my wife sold our house and put our things in storage to travel full time. This was something I had been trying to do for the last 5-6 years and it was awesome to finally be able to make a dream come true.
We started the year in Auckland and ended up visiting 9 different countries throughout the year. I will do deeper dives on individual places but it was a neat experience to be able to spend longer amounts of time to get to know a place a bit better. I wouldn't say we were ever locals anywhere but it's a different experience than trips I typically take where I'm trying to fit as much in as possible.
One place in particular i've been trying to spend time in was Japan. I first went there as a high schooler and took Japanese in college as well. We got to spend over 2 months there and I really appreciated being able to use my language skills and spend more time in a place I've been wanting to stay for a longer period of time for about 15 years.
For people who like stats like me here is a snapshot of the flights I took over the year
Before starting to travel full time I picked up a Fuji x100v and it became something I carried around everywhere. Over the year I shot 8,298 photos from Fuji cameras and I am now a fanboy. I've always dabbled in photography but never carried a full camera with me as much as I did this year. This is a habit I think will stick as it's something that has become second nature. I'm still learning a ton as well and am basically still a beginner so I hope to see progress over time.
One of my favorite shots from the year
One of the big projects I did photo wise was 24 hours in Tokyo. I did 2 hour shifts for 12 days walking the same route through Tokyo to see how things changed at different times of the day. I'll probably do another big writeup on this as I think it deserves it's own story.
In 2022, I was very serious about continuing to learn Japanese. I did over 100 iTalki lessons in 1 year and I was definitely leveling up. In 2023 I slacked on iTalki but started a pretty serious Duolingo streak.
I'm definitely not fluent in Japanese but on our travels there I felt I could handle myself pretty well. In 2024 I will switch over to Spanish as it's something i've always wanted to learn and can hopefully get to the same level of proficiency as I have with Japanese now.
As I started working with AI more, I realized a lot of my prompts were getting lost in my code base or in ChatGPT itself so I wrote a tool that is version control for prompts called Izlo. It's still really new but I'm proud to have launched it and even got to present at a local tech conference in the twin cities.
There's going to be a lot more from Izlo in 2024 and i'm ramping up on new features and marketing in the near year.
It kinda seems like everyone did this over covid and I joined the bandwagon. I had played as a kid but was never really good. I'm still not good but it's fun getting outside and having something to practice. Golf is also a great excuse to hang out with friends and I hope 2024 has a lot more golf in my future. I'd like to possibly even do some golf travel and see what it's like playing other places outside the midwest.
Overall 2023 was super busy, but one of the most rewarding years I've had. I was really lucky to be able to experience new things with people I care about and have a lot of fun along the way. Here's to more of that in 2024.