2020 In Review


This past year has undoubtedly been unlike any other. Covid happened. Despite the pandemic, I’ve done so many things that I never considered doing. Here’s how my 2020 went:

I lived and traveled all over America. 

By far and away, I will look back on 2020 as the year when I lived and travelled across the country. I started the year thinking I’d finally get to discover a new city, but due to covid only spent about half the year in SF. For the rest of the year I road-tripped over 25k miles around the country.

I finished my first year at Patreon!

Due to the pandemic, I was only working out of the sf office for about 10 weeks! Those first two and a half months were great. Loved the views of the SF skyline from the office, and loved the free lunches even more! There’s a lot to be done in the new year, and am thankful that I have the opportunity to help continue working for the company. 

Posted on LinkedIn. Got certifications. 

Beginning in mid-July I began posting on LinkedIn with the goal of posting at least once a week. My intentions in doing this were primarily to join the conversation and perhaps start building a personal brand around marketing operations. Additionally, I sought out getting certifications with a number of platforms and related services including Google Analytics, Pendo, Workato and Demandbase. I also spent 6 weeks in a React.js class through the General Assembly, which was immensely helpful in understanding how the web works. 

Achieved my financial goals!

I maxed out all of my tax deferred accounts and started re-building my taxable brokerage account for the first time ever! Incredibly amazed that it’s only been about 15 months since I officially became debt free (September 2019), having paid off all my student loans and my car!

Looking Ahead – 2021 Goals

  • Finances: max out my tax-deferred accounts (401k and Roth), and continue contributing to my downpayment fund  
  • Fitness: Walk at least 10 miles a week; 50 push ups at once, hold a plank for 60+ seconds, 200 bodyweight squats at once
  • Travel: Visit Alaska. Visit one new country, covid permitting
  • Wine: Take the WSET Level 2 Exam. Enroll in WSET Level 3 Class
  • Chinese: Memorize all the words on HSK 4 Vocab and HSK 5 Vocab lists

2020 Travel Highlights


2020 was an incredibly weird year.

Thanks to the global pandemic that will be forever known as covid-19, I spent most of the year NOT flying. The last time I flew was in mid-February, right before the pandemic really took ahold in the U.S. beginning in March.

When I moved to San Francisco earlier this year, I seriously considered selling my car.

I’m so glad that I didn’t.

Although I spent most of the year in California, after our lease ended in May 2020, and with a paid off car, I spent most of the year living a digital nomad-like lifestyle: working my typical 9-5 during the work week, and exploring the outdoors over the weekend.

Here’s where I went in the U.S. in 2020:  


  • Saw the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah
  • Antelope Island in Great Salt Lake
  • Hiked around Bonneville Trail in Salt Lake City 
  • Visited Park City Utah 
  • Went to Capitol Reef National Park
  • Went to Canyonlands National Park
  • Saw the Delicate Arch at Arches National Park
  • Went mountain biking around Moab Utah 
  • Jogging around Cottonwood Creek Trail


  • Spent a few weeks in Glenwood Springs, Boulder and Denver! 
  • Drank wine in Paradise in the Colorado River Valley AVA 
  • Kayaked on the White River near Denver
  • Got up super early for a sunrise view at Maroon Bells near Aspen
  • Participated in an impromptu rally for Black Lives Matter in Aspen 
  • Visited Aspen Museum of Art and had delicious beer al fresco 
  • Hiked to Hanging Lake, outside of Glenwood Springs 
  • Saw ancient pueblos at Mesa Verde National Park 
  • Walked around and spent a night in Durango CO
  • Almost hit a giant Eagle on our way to Steamboat. 
  • Walked around and spent a night in Steamboat Springs CO
  • Visited Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park 
  • Drove the Million Dollar Highway from Ouray to Durango
  • Did a morning hike to Deer Mountain at Rocky Mountain National Park
  • Sandboarded at Great Sand Dunes National Park near Alamosa 
  • Visited Garden of the Gods Park in Colorado Springs
  • Went running along Boulder Creek in Boulder 
  • Jogging around Cherry Creek Trail in Denver
  • Visited the Colorado State Museum 
  • Running / walking along the Colorado River in Glenwood Springs 
  • Saw the headwaters of the Colorado River, in RMNP! 
  • Saw the headwaters of the Arkansas River on our way to Alamosa! 
  • Visited Telluride CO! 


  • Went to a scenic stop along the Oregon Trail near Gering

South Dakota: 

  • Saw buffalo cross the road for the first time at Custer State Park 
  • Sunset and incredible colors at Badlands National Park 
  • Finally saw Mt. Rushmore in all its glory 
  • Visited Crazy Horse Memorial

North Dakota: 

  • Running along the Red River in Fargo ND
  • Walking along the Missouri River near Bismarck, the state capitol 
  • Visited the State Capitol! 
  • Had delicious Jewish food at a deli in Fargo 
  • Discovered Horenbacher’s, a ND grocery chain. 


  • Saw a massive Paul Bunyan statue 
  • Walked along the Lake Superior shorefront in Duluth 
  • Visited the massive Mall of America 
  • Walked along the Mississippi River around downtown Minneapolis 
  • Went to the Hmong Village (felt like Asia!!) in Minneapolis 
  • Running around Lake Calhoun aka Bde Maka Ska
  • Visited the grounds around the Minnesota State Capitol in St Paul  


  • Day trip out to see the Apostle Islands State Park 
  • Visited Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin 
  • Had delicious cheese and visited my first cheese-factory: Marieke Gouda 
  • Almost ran over a black bear. 


  • Snuck across the border from Wisconsin to cross this state off the list! 
  • Hiked to a waterfall near the Lake Superior / Wisconsin state border


  • Running along the Iowa River in Iowa City 
  • Having surprisingly good boba in Iowa City / University of Iowa 
  • Visited the State Capitol building in Des Moines 


  • Had delicious BBQ in Kansas City at Q39. 


  • Saw the Kansas State Capitol in Topeka 
  • Survived a crazy wind / rain storm on the drive back from Kansas City to Denver! 


  • Visited the Wyoming State Museum 
  • Visited the Buffalo Bill Museum in Cody
  • Saw the super interesting looking geysers at Yellowstone National Park 
  • Incredible views of the Rocky Mountains at Grand Teton National Park 
  • Hiked along Jenny Lake in Grand Teton National Park 
  • Spent a weekend in Jackson, WY 


  • Hiked the incredible 14-hour round trip High-Line trail to see glaciers at Glacier National Park 
  • Took some nice photos around Flathead Lake 
  • Went running around Missoula
  • Spent a week enjoying the pleasant mountain air in Big Sky
  • Visited the Montana State Museum in Helena 
  • Hiked to Ousel Falls, just outside of Big Sky 
  • Finally had Taco Johns (like a Midwest Taco Bell) in Helena 
  • Saw the headwaters of the Missouri River! 


  • Went running along the Boise River in Boise
  • Went to the Idaho State Capitol 
  • Saw the massive Shoshone Falls 


  • Did a train trip along the Virginia and Truckee Railroad in Virginia City 
  • Walked around the Nevada State Capitol in Carson City 
  • Walked around downtown Reno 


  • Visited some incredible wineries, including Stags Leap, in Napa 
  • Walked along the Sacramento River and Sundial Bridge in Redding
  • Visited Joshua Tree National Park 
  • Went wine tasting in Lodi 
  • Visited the California State Museum and State Capitol 
  • Running around Noe Valley 
  • Hiking up to Bernal Heights Park, Twin Peaks and in the East Bay 
  • Visited the Salton Sea in the Imperial Valley


  • Visited Crater Lake National Park 
  • Drove along the Oregon Coast 
  • Visited another cheese factory, the Tillamook Creamery, in Tillamook
  • Day trip to Astoria to visit the Columbia River Maritime Museum
  • Spent two weeks living in Portland’s Pearl District
  • Running / jogging all around the Pearl District 
  • Eating voodoo doughnuts in Portland 
  • Hiking around Eugene
  • Visited my dad’s college in Corvallis 
  • Walked around the University of Oregon in Eugene 
  • Experienced Oregon Wine Country, visited Stoller Family Estate 
  • Day trip along the Columbia River Valley to Mt Hood


  • Experience Washington Wine Country, went to Yakima Valley 
  • Went back to Woodinville and got drunk at DeLille Cellars
  • Rode the Washington Ferry from Edmonds to the Olympic Peninsula 
  • Hiked Hurricane Ridge, outside Port Angeles
  • Hiked in the Hoh Rainforest, outside Forks 
  • Went to Ruby Beach, my first beach on the Washington Pacific Coast!
  • Lived for two weeks outside Seattle in Lynwood, WA
  • Visited the Washington State Capitol in Olympia 
  • Walked around the downtown area in Bremerton 
  • Re-visited Pikes Place Market in Seattle 


  • Visited Taliesin West in Scottsdale
  • Hiking around Saguaro National Park outside Tucson 

New Mexico: 

  • Stopped for a fantastic scenic view of Las Cruces just off the I-10. 


  • Dipped my feet in the Rio Grande at Big Bend National Park
  • Hiked at McKinney Falls State Park on Christmas Day
  • Hiked at St Edwards Park on Christmas Eve 
  • Visited the San Antonio Missions
  • Finally went to see The Alamo 
  • Walked along the RiverWalk in San Antonio 
  • Hiked around two parks around La Canterra in San Antonio 
  • Experienced Texas Hill Country Wines at Becker Vineyards
  • Walked / hiked around Austin, including RiverPlace Nature Trail 
  • Had some delicious frozen margaritas at Lake Travis 
  • Visited Zilker Park / Barton Springs Pool in Austin 
  • Discovered the local Texas grocery chain: H-E-B. 
  • Went to the highest peak in El Paso and saw Ciudad Juárez

2019 Travel Highlights


Usually at the end of each year I’ll spend a day or two looking back at the highlights of the year.

In 2019 however, I spent the last two weeks of the year moving cross country from the Washington DC area to the San Francisco Bay Area. As a result, I did not have a chance to write up my travel highlights from the year until now!

For the sake of tradition, although a full year late, here’s my travel highlights from 2019: 

  • MLK Weekend in Charleston and Savannah  
  • Went to Big Island to see my grandma in February. Visited a coffee plantation and a brewery.
  • An incredible gastronomic experience in Bogota
  • Spent an evening at a lovely Hacienda Plantation 
  • Trekked to an equatorial glacier at Parque Nacional Los Nevados 
  • Exploring Hilton Head Island over Memorial Day Weekend
  • SF Pride, followed by July 4th Weekend in Santa Barbara 
  • Orcas Island and Seattle for a long weekend in August 
  • Annual Atlantic City / Jersey Shore trip! 
  • Running the San Jose half-marathon in early October
  • Day trip to the Hudson Valley from NYC in mid-October
  • SF visit in late October and again in late November 
  • Day trip to Salem from Boston 
  • Walking around the skyline in Columbus OH 
  • Visiting a Frank Lloyd Wright House in Springfield OH
  • Visiting the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield IL 
  • Seeing St. Louis atop the Gateway Arch
  • Visiting Crystal Bridges Museum of Art in Bentonville!
  • Visiting a massive greenspace / park in Tulsa  
  • Christmas Midnight mass in Oklahoma City 
  • Walking around Santa Fe NM 
  • Visiting the native american museums in Albuquerque
  • Seeing the Colorado River at Horseshoe Bend  
  • Driving through winter storms to reach Monument Valley in Northern Arizona 
  • Sunrise hike in Zion National Park 
  • Seeing the incredible hoodoos at Bryce National Park 
  • Walking along the rim trail at Grand Canyon National Park 
  • Celebrating NYE in Palm Springs 

2018 Travel Highlights


Despite not traveling so much this past year due to a focus on saving for grad school, I still managed to travel to a few places this year. Here are my highlights from 2018:

Cities Visited: 17
Countries Visited: 4 countries
Miles flown: 47,511 miles
Weekends away from DC: 13
Total miles redeemed: ~100k (for flights to Hawaii and Asia)

January – Louisville


February – Maui

Sunset in Lahaina

February – Big Island

Early morning run in Hilo!


February – Vienna, Austria

Visiting the palaces of Vienna, Austria

February – Bangkok, Thailand

Rooftop bar in Bangkok

February – Siem Reap, Cambodia 

Visiting Angkor Wat!

May – Las Vegas

Rock formations at Red Rocks State Park near Las Vegas

August – Brussels

Flight of beer in Brussels!

August – Gorges du Verdon, France

Swimming and kayaking at Gorges du Verdon in France

August – Nice, France

Biking and walking along the Promenade des Anglais in Nice, France

August – Monaco 

Wandering around the streets of Monaco.

August – Paris

Visiting Paris for the first time!




August – Paso Robles, California

Visiting the wineries of Paso Robles, Central Coast, California

November – Albany, New York

Visiting the NY State Capitol in Albany

December – Ashville, North Carolina

Honey tasting in Asheville!

December – Nashville, Tennessee

Visiting the music city of Nashville!

December – Southern Kentucky

Walking through caves (including this cool suspension bridge) in Southern Kentucky


December – Charleston, West Virginia

Visiting the West Virginia State Capitol