2018 Update: May

written on 18 May 2018 by Andrew Dai

I graduated!!!

Having recently graduated from Georgia Tech (diploma coming soon in the mail), I am currently in the process of oversleeping and watching YouTube, literally doing nothing, worryingly looking over available San Francisco apartment rentals spending time with friends and family, resting and reflecting, and traveling before making the big move out West to San Francisco in mid-June.

I wanted to write up a quick update in general and provide some specific responses to plans and goals I outlined in the 2017 Changelog. In doing so I found (and published) the update I was writing at the end of January. Rather bury another incomplete bulletted list in my “drafts” folder for another 5 months, I’ve decided to go for it and post this ASAP.

Random updates

In no particular order:

  • I should (eventually) do a (minor) redesign of my website. Areas to improve include:
    • Blog page (quotes are large and take up a large portion of the page)
    • Projects page (~4 years out of date)
    • General styling things? maybe?
  • Following up on the “update blog page” idea, I’ve also been using this blog is a public diary or journal. I’ve noted before that I want to (re)-start writing technical content so if/when I do so, I should also consider separating or otherwise distinguishing between the purely-for-me-journalling and technical content.
  • Right before my Amazon Prime Student trial expired, I paid for a year. (Valid through next May)
  • I got 2 shiny new credit cards! (danger!)
  • I’ve definitely “written” more “blog posts” after making the quote feature for my blog.
  • My sleep schedule did get better (and then a lot worse after coming home)
  • I ran semi-regularly for a couple months and then fell off the wagon. Restarted recently and it’s going pretty well.
    • Target for 10k is no longer emphasized or considered, just trying to get running regularly again first
  • Made sauerkraut, got kinda scared, let it ferment, put it in the back of the fridge and forgot about it until the end of the semester and threw it all out
  • Didn’t really cook that much more or that many new things - definitely went out to eat a lot and I don’t really regret it!
    • Frequented Babalu, Yalla, Cypress Pint and Plate
    • Returned to Cooks and Soliders!
  • Did not write during the semester at all
  • Read a couple chapters from Designing Data Intensive Applications - very good and excellent read, planning on continuing/finishing it right after I commit this blog post.

I had an amazing final semester at Georgia Tech. Full of a lot of fun, quality time with great people, amazing adventures and traveling.

Traveling/This summer/Where is Andrew?

With regards to my travel plans, I do have several updates from my plans at the end of 2017. In the middle of January, we drove up to Nashville on a 3 day weekend trip (in the middle of a snowstorm!). For spring break, we roadtripped from Atlanta to New Orleans to Houston to Austin (and flew back). I did not run in the Publix Half Marathon or anything remotely similar to what I naively outlined in the 2017 Changelog. And most recently, I successfully graduated from Georgia Tech on May 5th 2018 (diploma coming soon in the mail) and flew back to Boston and was home less than 10 hours later.

Instead of a big trip to and through Europe, I decided to come home to sleepy suburban Massaschusetts and instead take shorter trips. This was in no small part due to a laziness and unfamiliarity with traveling abroad.

As such, next week, I will be going on a roadtrip with some friends from high school (and college) up through Maine and onwards to Prince Edward Island, Canada. I’m looking forward to some good lobster (and other food) as well as scenic hiking and general spontaneity.

A couple weeks later I’m flying down to Puerto Rico which will be my first trip down to the Carribean! Hopefully with more of these trips (especially abroad - Canada kinda counts), it will be even easier for me to travel. I think I mostly need to get better at and put more effort into looking for things to do or at least figuring out what I want to do. When trying to plan a trip to various destinations in Europe or South America, I found myself running into a paralysis of indecisiveness in both what I should and what I want to do while I’m there. Traveling inside foreign countries is also a bit of a mystery.

I currently have plans to visit Seattle at the end of July - looking forward to visiting a lot of people and seeing more of the city. I’m also planning on going to China and Taiwan at the end of year, finalized plans (and adult with job needing to schedule vacation time) to come.

In list form, my plans (real and hopeful) for traveling in the next 6.5 months include:

  • Roadtrip to Maine and PEI, Canada
    • Maybe Nova Scotia?
  • Day trip to hike around Massachusetts, maybe Vermont or New Hampshire
  • Cape Cod?
  • Weeklong trip to Puerto Rico
    • San Juan, ???
  • Seattle
  • Denver? Los Angeles? Lake Tahoe? The areas directly north and south of San Francisco along the coast that is breathtakingly beautiful and drive-able with such amazing variation in climate and environment?1
  • Back to Atlanta for HackGT 5!!!
  • ~3 week trip to China and Taiwan 2
    • Shanghai, Beijing, Jiangsu (where my family is from!), Taipei

Work? Adult life?

I will be flying out to San Francisco in mid-June (moving my timetable for starting adult life forward by one month). I’m looking forward to so many things. In no order, they include:

  • Meeting new people
  • Finding a proper reasonably priced “I am an adult signing a real lease” apartment
    • Restarting/building/stocking a kitchen and using it! I am super looking forward to cooking and trying out new things.
  • Heap! Actually super-seriously-for-sure starting my career as a software/infrastructure engineer. This includes and is not even close to limited to: learning new things, meeting people (repeat), making and seeing an impact, contributing
  • Exploring San Francisco more (food!)
  • Traveling more! Similar to my (recent) strategy of traveling close to where I live (roadtrip through the South, roadtrip to Canada), I am looking forward to traveling up and down the West Coast (and inland as well!).

This list is by no means exhaustive or well-thought out. I should write down what I expect or think my experience working and living in San Francisco and as an adult human will be like before I fully make that transition. 3

  1. FWIW I am a total sucker for the “car ownership is a symbol of (American) freedom” idea. (Thankfully) I have a very limited, although still painful, experience of driving through traffic for my commute to work. Currently, I strongly associate driving with roadtrips and travel. Hopefully this lasts and is true. The only difference is that I do not have plans to buy a car (especially not the dingy project car I mentioned in the Changelog) and instead plan on renting. 

  2. One China Policy??? 

  3. Inspired by a series of YouTube videos I found yesterday which discussed expectation vs. reality of being a software engineer