2011 Annual Review

Following my  2011 Preview plan for the year here is my 2011 Review which summarizes the progress on that plan.

Summary

I had a fantastic year. I traveled extensively while working and learning. I made growth in many areas of interest. I learned massive amounts too about how to do it all better; including setting more rigid goals.

Highlights

  • Visited 6 new countries. 44 lifetime (I think).
  • Visited 3 new world wonders (Machu Picchu, Pyramids at Giza, Petra). 4 lifetime (I think).
  • Took cooking classes in 5 new countries.
  • Worked for the majority of the year; game projects, API (coding) design/development, mobile development (iOS/Android), and a couple of prominent writing gigs.
  • Learned, from scratch, both intermediate Portuguese (PT) AND Italian (IT). I’m comfortably conversational in PT and can do pretty well in IT.
  • Partied at Carnival in Rio De Janeiro, Brasil and was interviewed by Globo News (Videoclip Removed From Internet)
  • Toured the Apurimac River (Peru) – Camping and rafting along on one of the worlds top 10 sport-rivers. Fantastic!

Best Of…

  • Apartments; Raquel’s Apartment in Rio De Janeiro, Brasil & Alghero, Sardinia, Italy.
  • New city: Venice, Italy. After my 3rd time there, I see that as a tourist, it is absolutely unique and spectacular.
  • New country: Bolivia & Turkey. I knew NOTHING about either at year start. Both are fantastic.
  • New technology: Apple’s iPad2.
  • New TV show: An Idiot Abroad. Hilarious travel documentary of a begrudging English tourist.

Calendar

Before 2011, when I created my 2011 Preview, I had plans for a second trip to Brazil and a first trip to Peru planned. I had thought other possible locations would be ‘More Latin America’ or a ‘Mediterannean loop (Croatia around to Tunisia)’. I also though of ‘S.E. Asia’.  I reached Brasil for the duration of my 3 month visa, and lived in Peru for the duration of my 2 month visa. During that time, I learned so many great things of Bolivia and Italy, I added those two countries and more to my itinerary.

Here are all locations I visited in 2011 by date;

  • Bonaire – Started The Year Here, Dove Amazing SCUBA Sites
  • Curacao – In Transit
  • Aruba – In Transit
  • Venezuela – In Transit
  • Brazil – January 19
    • Studied Portuguese for 6 Weeks
    • Partied for Carnaval in Rio De Janeiro
    • Hangglided to Sao Conrado
  • Peru – April 16
    • Cusco
    • 4 Day Hike to Machu Picchu – Breathtaking
    • 4 Day Rafting
  • Bolivia – June 5
    • La Paz
    • Lake Titicaca – Hiked in the moonlight. Beautiful
    • Uyuni – Drove a 3 day jeep-trip through surreal landscapes
    • Potosi – Toured an active silver mine with 10,000 daily workers
    • Santa Cruz
  • Spain – June 27
    • Madrid – Visited Museums & Parks
  • Italy – July 2
    • Alghero, Sardinia – Studied Italian 4 weeks
    • Toured – Venice, Florence, Cinque Terra, & Tuscany
    • Rome – Studied Italian 2 Weeks. Visit Top Sites
  • Switzerland – In Transit
  • Turkey – September 17
    • Istanbul – Toured ancient Mosques
    • Fethye – Cruised for 4 days between Turkey and Greece (2 times)
    • Cappadocia – Hiked and biked through the mountains & caves
  • Egypt – October 17
    • Dahab – Scuba dived, free dived, snorkeled, read books, ate very well. FANTASTIC budget location
  • Israel – November 8
    • Tel Aviv – Walking Tours & Dinner with Friends
    • Jerusalem – Fantastic City! Wow. Culture tours + food tours
    • Dead Sea – Floated around
  • Jordan – November 13
    • Petra – Truly fantastic
    • Wadi Rum – Camping in Desert
  • Egypt – November 18
    • Cairo – Experienced a moment of revolution, first-hand
    • Aswan – Cruised for 2 days down the Nile river
    • Luxor – Karnak Temple
  • Turkey – November 28
  • Italy – Dec 1, In Transit
  • USA – Dec 2, Visit family

 

Photos

 

 

Hanggliding Cooking @ Peru Machu Picchu Rafting
Peru Mountains Bolivia Tomb Bolivia Lakes Madrid @ Night
Cooking @ Italy Cinque Terra Tuscany Ruins
Turkish Mosque Turkish Coffee Egypt Diving Petra @ Jordan
Climbing Pyramids @ Giza Carvings Revolution

Books I Read

My beloved product, the Amazon Kindle e-Reader broke TWO times. I finished the year by reading boring old paper books. Ha.

Here is a list of the books which I read completely this year.

Music / Audio Book

Some of the stuff I enjoyed;

Goals Overview

I wrote an article for this blog N&T called “Are We Lost Without Goals?” after reading about success-minded people who find goals are not the answer.  While there are drawbacks to goal-setting, I still enjoy it as a basic framework toward progression and self-improvement.

How To Read These Goals

Here is a summary of my goals, by category for 2011.  I list the goals as they were originally stated in my 2011 Preview, and then added information about the progress.

Each bullet-point begins with ‘One-Time’, ‘Research’, and ‘Monthly’ to define the time required for each. I then define the status for each as ‘Completed‘, ‘Partial‘, or ‘Not Completed‘ and provide further explanation.

Goals

Business

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Summary

I am the Principal of Rivello Multimedia Consulting. Offer four core services in software development; Architecture, Development, Consulting, and Training. I will continue with those.

My income is active; an hour worked is an hour paid. I know that passive-income (earned ‘while I sleep’) will offer me more freedom and opportunity. I would like to diversify more of my income to be passive. Currently, I post pay-per view training videos with online training companies, as well as write a successful blog (this one) which runs off ad-revenue. I would like to expand that idea and develop other ideas like it. I want to explore more in this area. Developing a product (e.g. iPhone App) is another passive-income opportunity. Owning a product is a high-risk investment. I’m keeping my eyes open for that as well.

I would like to explore finding more ways to do business. Currently I offer services and write articles. I’m open to the business, financial, and personal benefits of creating a product, reusable templates for website products, etc…

I want to merge my N&T interests with business. RMC can stay as is, but I’m open to write/speak/consult about travel and lifestyle design. I’ll explore that. Documenting my journey now will be good later for memories and writing reference; journal? photos? Hmmm….

I typically offer my services in two capacities; I engage as an individual joining my client’s team or I build and lead a team to complete a client project. I am a salesman in both cases and in the latter I own the project, project manage, team manage, handle the client, and lead develop. I would like to explore offsetting more of these responsibilities to others. Instead of building a team of designers and developers, I’d also like to find a project manager / client-liaison.

Highlights
  1. ONE-TIME: Make a role description outlining my ideal responsibilities in RMC. Include exceptions (i.e. not-project management, not art).  Completed. See my blog post (N&T) called “Making Mission Statements”.
  2. ONE-TIME: Make a mission statement(s) (Think holistically; RMC vs N&T vs Personal).   Completed. See my blog post (N&T) called “Making Mission Statements”.
  3. ONE-TIME: Make a list of top technologies/job-qualities I want to look for in a prospective job.  e.g. PushButton, Scrum, etc… Completed. See my blog post (N&T) called “Making Mission Statements”.
  4. ONE-TIME: Set goal of X weeks at Y hours-per-week working. List purpose of the rest of time (vacation, travel&accommodations-setup, free-time, learning).   Completed. From experience I see that 20 hours per week of work leaves enough time to experience the surrounding city. However, to meet clients’ needs as a single worker, 40 hours per week is more competitive.  I think 3 month projects is ideal for efficiency and attention span and 2 weeks off between projects leaves time to decompress and get away from computers (hiking, etc…). This year I had a longer time between projects which allowed me to travel more rapidly and see more things which was a refreshing change of pace.
  5. RESEARCH: Generate More Passive Income
    • Set contact goals and ‘pitch’ goals for training (lynda.com, http://www.totaltraining.com/, and ad-revenue based site-ideas.   Completed. I prepared / updated a list of 15 technical topics and 11 non-technical topics and contacted 20+ cruise lines via email. I would like to teach on-ship in exchange for a free cruise. I read that is possible. TBD on responses from the cruise lines. I also contacted 4-5 online pay-per-view video training companies.
    • Other ways?  Partial: I developed a full concept for a Flash-to-Mobile (Android and iOS) game. I subcontracted for all the artwork. I have not yet complete the game coding.
  6. ONE-TIME: Contact 3 freelance project managers to blue-sky (brainstorm) what they could do for me. Develop a role-description for my own use and consider this when pitching to clients. Completed. I contacted several PM’s through my existing network and looking online. I have not yet hired anyone, but will build this into my new-project evaluation process.
  7. ONE-TIME: Speak or write (paid or unpaid) on a non-technical issue; travel, LIP, lifestyle design, etc.. Partial: I did not yet speak on these issues, but I prepared / updated a list of 15 technical topics and 11 non-technical topics and contacted 20+ cruise lines via email to propose I speak for them. I would like to teach on-ship in exchange for a free cruise. I read that is possible. TBD on responses from the cruise lines. I also contacted 4-5 online pay-per-view video training companies.
  8. RESEARCH: In addition to RMC-services consider offering ‘products’.
    • Think of some things I can create once and sell with minimal customization
    • Possibilities:
      • Create a ‘hostal website template’ and sell it (quick turnaround) to hostel clients. For pay or barter.
      • Create a ‘scuba website template’ and sell it (quick turnaround) to scuba shop clients. For pay or barter.

Writing / Presenting

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Summary

In 2010 I began a 5-article series for Adobe’s EDGE magazine on Flash game development. The assignment was profitable, good for promotion, and very interesting (as I chose the writing topics myself). Each article requires about 16 hours of time for editorial content and 40 hours for how-to content (which includes a sample programming project). My current assignment ends in January 2011. I would like to pitch ideas for more assignments. I have written about the programming sub-topics of Robotlegs and PushButton (two core focuses of my services), so I’m less keen to write ‘how-to’ articles. In the interest of time, perhaps editorial content is better for me.

In 2004 or so, I set goals for activity within my industry; conference presentations and technical writing. There was a time when it felt like the next step was to write a book chapter or book within my field; software. However, after some investigation it felt a bit like publishers do you a favor (paying you little so you can get promotion). This realization shifted my focus to write about something else. I’m still interested to evolve a book out of my interests in lifestyle design, mindfulness, and travel.

I’m also keen to build my blog business (like this website). I know that regular, relevant, interesting posts are needed. In 2011 I would like to blog more with the specific goal to build my audience.

Highlights

RMC

  1. ONE-TIME: Pitch to EDGE to write more content. Possibilities are below. Completed. I contacted two editors (EDGE & Devnet) and pitched new ideas. In 2011, I wrote article 5 of 5 for EDGE, and also wrote a fantastic article for DevNet. Both on games. I would have liked to right more, but within that network there seems to be no more opportunities.
    • Add five more articles in the Flash Gaming series (What topics?)
    • Each EDGE issue: Review of free, online Flash Games
    • Each EDGE issue: Interview creator of one free, online Flash Game
  2. ONE-TIME: Set goals for N&T blog – 12 articles, 6 original, and 6 outsourced. Partial: I wrote 9 posts. I did not outsource any. I did not actively seek help from other writers.
  3. BONUS: Increase RMC (srivello) twitter followers from X to Y. Partial: While I did not set a numeric goal, my followers increased. As of November 19, 2011 the Twitter Stats are (377 Tweets, 271 Following, 286 Followers, 19 Listed)
  4. BONUS:Increase RMC (SITE) monthly traffic from X visits to Y visits. Partial: While I did not set a numeric goal, my monthly RMC traffic increased from 1,182 Total Visits for January Through October 2010 to 1,065 January Through October 2011. So that is -9%. So that is not good. I have analysis on that. Perhaps it is because I direct more people to my RMC blog and not to my RMC site.
  5. BONUS:Increase RMC (BLOG) monthly traffic from X visits to Y visits. Partial: While I did not set a numeric goal, my monthly RMC traffic increased from 5,468 Total Visits for January Through October 2010 to 5,908 January Through October 2011. That is a 9% increase. I also changed the permanent location from blog.rivello.org to blog.RivelloMultimediaConsulting.com.

N&T

  1. RESEARCH: Explore “Location Independent Professional” as a personal brand/identity. A voice to write from. An audience to write for. Completed. I created article/presentation/class ideas to pitch to potential clients on this subject such as “Planning A Round The World Trip” and “Living Location Independent“.
  2. MONTHLY: Increase N&T twitter followers from X to Y. Partial: While I did not set a numeric goal (For X/Y), my followers increased. As of November 19, 2011 the Twitter Stats are (27 Tweets, 104 Following, 49 Followers, 3 Listed)
  3. MONTHLY: Increase N&T monthly traffic from X visits to Y visits.  Partial: While I did not set a numeric goal (For X/Y), my monthly N&T traffic increased from 658 Total Visits for January Through October 2010 to 1,149 January Through October 2011. So that is +74%. Good.
  4. ONE-TIME: Pitch a book to a publisher. Not Completed: While I am interested to write a “Travel As A Professional” type book, I did not research writing or pitching the subject.
  5. RESEARCH: Write Syndicated Column? – Pitch to a list of venues; print & online on a list of topics; Travel, LIP, Tech? Paid or good-exposure. Not Completed: I did not research writing or pitching the subject. It would be ‘cool’ and would help me towards a book, but I’m not very passionate about ‘writing’ yet/ever.
  6. BONUS: Pitch teaching topics to new clients.Completed. I prepared / updated a list of 15 technical topics and 11 non-technical topics and contacted 20+ cruise lines via email. I would like to teach on-ship in exchange for a free cruise. I read that is possible. TBD on responses from the cruise lines. I also contacted 4-5 online pay-per-view video training companies.

GFD

In 2010, I created a directory of Flash and Flex developers (GreatFlexDevelopers.com) to promote myself and others to prospective clients. It was a pet project. I learned a bit about outsourcing. The project was completed.

  1. MONTHLY: Increase GFD monthly traffic from X visits to Y visits.  Partial: While I did not set a numeric goal, my monthly N&T traffic increased from 293 Total Visits for January Through October 2010 to 1,229 January Through October 2011. So that is +319%. Great.

Promotions & Marketing

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Summary

I manage several of my own websites. Some for whimsy, some for site-creation practice, some for promotion, and some for revenue. My core business lives on RivelloMultimediaConsulting.com. I would like to consolidate my site and blog for a more cohesive presentation and update my blog more regularly to encourage readership. My personal-cum-professional interests are on NowAndThere.com – a blog about work-life balance and travel.

I would also like to bring in more offers for business. Currently I find new projects and I am found for new projects. The former requires active-time, the second (once setup) requires only passive-time. I will do research on how to market myself more effectively to bring in more offers.

Highlights
  1. ONE-TIME: Add a ‘So What is N&T About’ post on N&T and direct newbies there. Make it simple. Not Completed: I lost interest in the need for this post. I have an existing ‘About N&T’ page that suffices.
  2. ONE-TIME: Find PR reps that could help promote RMC. Not Completed: I did not find such a person.
  3. ONE-TIME: Migrate location of my blog from (http://www.blog.rivello.org/) to (http://www.RivelloMultimediaConsulting.com/blog/). Completed.
  4. ONE-TIME: Redesign and re-theme new blog to match core website (http://www.RivelloMultimediaConsulting.com). Completed.
  5. MONTHLY: Triple the incoming offers of business for RMC. First find a solution how, then implement that solution.
  6. MONTHLY: Publish 1 portfolio post upon completion of each RMC client project. Completed. I updated the portfolio section.
  7. MONTHLY: Publish 12 posts (1 per month) to new blog; Completed. I created 9 posts for N&T and 28 (nice!) posts for RMC.
    • 6 editorial – review of and commentary of a game, product, api, website, etc…
    • 6 original – Update on my API’s, demo project, sample templates, helpful hints for programmers, etc…

Family & Friends

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Summary
In 2010, I hosted two family trips. My mom visited me in Ecuador, and later, my sister and her fiancee did too. Its not always easy to imagine what my non-traditional life is like. So it was cool to show my family more about my day-to-day. My mom and I spent more time together than we had during past holiday visits. We had a great time. Living far from them for 10 years and traveling extensively as well, I don’t see my family as much as I would like. Its a compromise for sure. Rather than only view ‘going back home’ as the way to see them, I’d love to host more family this year too.

I met an amazing array of new friends in the past year. Some were backpackers, some were locals. I spent time with some friends who visited me too.

I spend a great deal of my time by myself as well. At times I am lonely too. I would like to make a more concerted effort to socialize.

Highlights
  1. ONE-TIME: Host 2 family trips. Not Completed: I focused the invitations to Italy in summer 2011 but had no takers.
  2. ONE-TIME: Visit family for 1 two-week trip. Completed. I visited my family for December in the USA.
  3. ONE-TIME: Host 2 friends. Completed. I had a friend visit for 2 weeks in Peru and visit for 5 weeks in Italy.
  4. ONE-TIME: Host 2 CouchSurfersNot Completed: I met CSr’s in Brasil, Peru, Bolivia, Turkey, but hosted none. I did not have an apartment where guests were freely allowed as in 2011.
  5. RESEARCH: [TBD, Goal about socializing more]. Partial: I did not have a well-formed goal nor a way to measure success, but I did very regularly reach out to include other people, meet new people, and generally be more social.
  6. BONUS: I treated 8 new friends to a nice dinner in Peru after a 4 day rafting trip.

Financial (Earning)

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Summary

My longest engagement was with a great client for 2 contracts over about 6 months. The sales, negotiations, work, and delivery of the project went very well. However between projects I had quite a bit of downtime, some voluntary and some not – looking for projects. Financially speaking, this cost me.

Highlights
  1. MONTHLY: Raise the value of my services by 25%  Completed. The high-end of my range of rate raised 25%, and my average income raised by > 15%.
  2. MONTHLY: Book at 1/3+ of my contract-jobs as flat rate (more risk, more profit) rather than hourly. Not Completed: I worked 2 flat writing gigs, 1 flat software gig, and all other work was by hour.

Financial (Saving)

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Summary

In 2011, I saved for taxes (of course) as well as maximized my retirement savings. I also saved considerably to purchase a home. TBD on that. I have no plans to find a permanent residence this year, but I like the idea of buying a property.

 

Highlights
  1. ONE-TIME: Structure an income budget (see chart) and stick with it. Completed.
  2. ONE-TIME: Structure a monthly living budget. TBDNot Completed: I was more attentive to find monthly accommodations for cheaper prices, but I set not specific budget.
  3. RESEARCH: Write a an appraisal and prospectus for 3 types of properties I may buy to fuel further thought; Not Completed: I will add this to 2012 goals.
    • Condo in Buenos Aires (Urban, Spanish, on-site work opportunities)
    • Tropical Latin (Rural, Spanish, Beach)
    • Tropical Asian (Rural/Urban, Beach)

Financial (Giving)

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Summary

I’m of the mind that financial gifts creates abundance. I gave more aggressively this year than before. It went well. My venue was to find something reputable online and give online. In the future, I’d like to financially give in other ways too.

Real generosity toward the future lies in giving all to the present. – Albert Camus

Highlights
  1. RESEARCH: Evaluate and find a core charity that resonates with me. Must be 501(c)(3) and have a web presence.  Perhaps focusing on technology, teaching, art, hmm….(TBD). Completed. Sponsored 2 Children Monthly at Children.org.
  2. ONGOING: Develop a per-country tipping standard upon arrival and use it. Research what is relevant rather than defaulting to either the high 20% (US standard) or the low 0% (which is the ‘oops I forgot’ traveler’s-standard).
  3. QUARTERLY: Increase my Kiva.org lending kitty from $233 to $1000 by year-end.  Completed. Increased to about $1088.
  4. QUARTERLY: Donate 5% monthly income to one charity in each country I live in (2+ months). Not Completed: I did not allocate funds for this nor make time to find charities of interest.
  5. QUARTERLY: Donate 5% monthly income to core charity. Completed. See #1.

Learning

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Summary
I think in 2010 I read more than every before. I maintained (more or less) that pace this year. I long had wished that I could read a book on a whim, instead of viewing it as a chore. I really read for pleasure and encouraged myself to read out of my typical genres as well.

“I am an avid reader.” I could never have said that before this year. I like that.

Beginning the year I had plans to study Portuguese. I had no idea at the time, that I would excel so well, so fast. This was thanks to help from Spanish knowledge, learning-how-to-learn a language better, and the luck of some lovely locals to help me practice.

This confidence and surprising success empowered me to choose yet another language. I started from scratch – studying Italian over my 3 months enjoying Italy. I have a real love for languages and am excited to improve both languages in the future – and maintain my Spanish (still my strongest foreign language), and maybe re-learn French. I purposely shied away from learning ANY Turkish or Arabic as a respite. However I regret not learning 5-50 words out of respect.

I took cooking classes in Peru, Italy, and Turkey. While I always regarded Italy as the epitome of great food, I found that Turkey is more impressive, consistent, and interesting. Perhaps because its much newer to me.

Professionally, I maintained my skills. I chose to focus on the same core technologies I had used before and added mobile game development to my repertoire.

Highlights
  1. MONTHLY: Read 12 books by year-end
  2. ONE-TIME: Present at a conference on Robotlegs by year-end. Not Completed: I did not attend any conferences all year. I chose not to speak online.
  3. ONE-TIME: Present at a conference on the PushButton Engine for game development (PBE) by year-end. Not Completed: I did not attend any conferences all year. I chose not to speak online. At year’s end I learned that PBE may be an abandoned project and thus not a good tool to use anymore.
  4. ONE-TIME: Complete 30 Portuguese lessons from The Pimsleur Language Program by January 20th. Partial: (I completed 20 Pimsleur lessons, then too 5 weeks of class in Rio.)
  5. ONE-TIME: Complete 4 weeks of group Portuguese classes in Brazil by April 18th.  Completed. I started at week 4 at Casa Do Camino, thanks to Spanish experience and Pimsleur audio lessons. I then studied for 6 weeks at Casa Do Caminho.
  6. ONE-TIME: Be able and comfortable to converse in Portuguese for 1 hour with a native speaker by April 18th. Completed. I practiced for 6 weeks after taking classes and can converse well.
  7. BONUS: While not planned at year’s start, I also studied Italian for 4 weeks of group classes in Alghero, Sardinia, Italy. I then studied Italian for 2 weeks of group classes in Rome, Italy. Completed. As of years end my best languages in order are now English (of course), Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, then French.

 

Health & Sport

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Summary

I had goals for the year about furthering sports and nutrition goals. I feel like I made no strong effort to change/improve my diet or exercise regimen. I continue to be interested in these areas for the future.  I swam regularly in coastal areas. I scuba dove in Turkey and Egypt. I walked/hiked extensively (3-6 hours per day for 5 weeks in Italy for ex.). Overall however, I did not make major changes to my life in this area. I still like the idea to regularly meditate, regularly go to a gym, or regularly run outside for fitness.

Highlights
  1. ONE-TIME: Build a weekly diet & exercise routine by February 14thNot Completed: I did nothing towards this goal.
    • A Conscious diet
    • Daily workout
    • Weekly activity objectives
  2. WEEKLY: Now ‘do’ the Diet & Exercise routine.  Not Completed: I did nothing towards this goal.
  3. ONE-TIME: Memorize the common names and photos of the top 50 Caribbean fishes and creatures. Not Completed: I lost interest in learning the fishes. I would still like to do something to increase my enjoyment while snorkeling/diving, but am just not interested in this goal.
  4. ONE-TIME: Get IKO certified as a kite-surfer. Not Completed: While In Dahab, Egypt, I found cheaper opportunities to do more kite surfing. I decided to wait until ‘Asia’ where maybe I can find kit-surfing for a price that is cheaper.
  5. BONUS: Get AIDA certified as a free diver.  Completed.

Spirituality

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Summary

I enjoy learning about meditation, mindfulness,  and life-balance.

I investigated these issues more (mostly through reading and simply ‘living’ life). I had some sessions of Reiki too.

Highlights
  1. ONE-TIME: Read 8 Minute Meditation: Quiet Your Mind. Change Your Life. and build a daily routine by February 14. Not Completed: I finished 3 weeks of the program, and then meditated throughout the year without much regularity. I would like to resume this goal in the future.
  2. ONGOING: Seek local yoga and meditation classes during travel. Partial: I kept my eye out for these classes, but did not attend many.
  3. MONTHLY: Attend 6 yoga classes. Partial: I attended 2 classes (Dahab, Egypt).
  4. ONE-TIME: First visit to acupuncturist. . Not Completed: I did not look extensively for a practitioner, but it wasn’t common to see them.
  5. ONE-TIME: First visit to reiki practitioner. Completed. While in Bonaire, I mentioned my goal and quickly had a session with a ‘friend of a friend’. In Brasil, I had another session. It is peaceful like meditation, but not as directly enjoyable (during or after) as a physical massage.
  6. BONUS: Attend Indigenous-culture spiritual ritual Completed. Attended a retreat in Peru.

Travel

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Summary

In 2011 I lived in two in new countries; Peru (2 months) & Italy (3 months), and repeated (3 months) in Brazil. I visited 6 new countries; Peru, Bolivia, Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, & Israel. I revisited two other countries; Spain (1 week), & Switzerland (in transit).

I spent most of my time in hostels, and the rest in apartments (perhaps a 70/30 split).  In hostels I socially ate food at restaurants with others, and in my apartments I cooked and ate, often alone.

Highlights
  1. QUARTERLY: ‘Live’ (stay 90 days or length of visa) in 6+ new countries. Partial: I stayed 90 days in both Italy and Brazil and saw many other countries for 1-2 months each. In 2012, I’d like to return to Italy and Brazil for a long time (good for language learning) and spend less time (30 days) in a variety of new countries.
  2. ONE-TIME: Go to the airport with bags packed and no destination in mind; and fly. Partial:Two times, I chose my next country, bought the ticket, and flew all within 72 hours (Turkey and Egypt). This spontaneity supports my goal here, but doesn’t exactly satisfy it.
  3. RESEARCH: Think About Setting Travel-Goals A Bit More… (Come on, this should be EASY for me….)

Life Assessment

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Summary

My practice to create an annual preview and review each year helps me to assess my life and what I want to become.

This year, I also read the book ‘The Time Paradox’ by Philip Zimbardo, a study on how personalities and cultures perceive time. Some are faster paced, some concentrate on the past, some live ‘in the moment’. I took a small test included in the book and here is my charted results. Reading the book, and completing the testing/charting I see that consciously-speaking, I’m not influence by the past nearly as much as I am present-minded and future-minded.  The metric/mesurement ‘Transcendental Future’ is related to those who think about ‘fate’ or ‘final religious judgement’ in their decision-making. I rated relatively low in this metric.

time_paradox_ttpi_graph_sams.jpg

Highlights
  1. Conversations With God: 1 & 2: I read both books (See ‘Books Read’ above). They are not ‘programs’ per-se, but gave me much to think about – strategies to help review my life, and my goals for the next year. Undoubtedly lessons learned will help me plan for next year and beyond.

Coaching & Support

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Summary
I would like to employ more support. Build a network, community, whatever that helps refuel and inspire me, is an outlet for me to share and help others, and also to offload some responsibilities to others to meet my goals.
Highlights

RESEARCH: Possibilities

  • More brainstorming, dreamscaping, and ‘checking-in’ with family and friends
  • Literary Agent
  • Speaker Services Network
  • Talent Agency for development consulting
  • “Evangelist” Represent a technology or a product at conferences, online, etc…
  • Coaching
  • Find people who have higher standards than normal, to me to influence, inspire, and push me
  • Look for PR people to promote me
    • Promote myself as LIP at conferences
    • Promote myself as LIP w/ flash-centric-audience articles
    • Promote myself in entrepreneur/tech/lifestyle mags

I will setup a regular schedule to meet to review my progress with my coach of 3 years to refine goals.

  1. BI-MONTHLY: Meet bimonthly with my current life-coach to review past progress and refine future goals. Partial: I had a few sessions (1 or 2) in 2012 with a coach, but then went my own way. I’m fine with that.
  2. ONE-TIME: Build a list of characteristics in an ideal mentor and mentoring relationship. Seek a mentor (online?) Not Completed: I did not make time for this. I set it as a goal in 2012.
  3. ONE-TIME: Find (or be found) by a mentee who wants to make the transition to professional living and travel as a location independent. Assist him/her. Explore that. Not Completed: I did not make time for this. I set it as a goal in 2012.

Volunteering

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Summary

I would like volunteer more time this year.  I inquired a few times, but the organizations required 1-2 weeks of time, and I was free for only 1-2 days.

Highlights
  1. ONE-TIME: Touch base with Adobe Youth Voices Volunteering (AYV) and get a list of opportunities. Completed. I networked through AYV and explored volunteering options.
  2. RESEARCH: Find 2+ venues to volunteer and do it! Completed. I found one great opportunity.
  3. BONUS: I finalized a deal and signed a contract. I will teach ‘Adobe Flash’ (related to my work) in Spanish (Language Goals!) in a volunteer position (Goal!), in Oaxaca, Mexico (New travel location, yay!), in February 2012.

Fun!

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Summary

I wanted to bring a bit more whimsey into my year. I dared myself to do more things for no-reason and enjoyed (almost) every minute of it. I also played TONS of video games for fun and work-research.

Fun stuff I learned;

  • ‘Turkey’ in English means a country and also means big feathered bird. ‘Peru’ in Portuguese means a country and also means that SAME big feathered bird.
Highlights
  1. FUN!: Make and take bets and dares with new friends. Not a measurable goal, and that’s A.O.K.
  2. FUN!: Don’t take myself too seriously. I catch myself breaking this one all the time. I’m aware of it, but sometimes only after the fact.
  3. FUN!: Once a month, simply google ‘Best iPhone Game’ and ‘Best Casual Game’. Buy/download 2 leading choices and play them.  Completed. I played hundreds of free/cheap games for iPad2/iPod Touch. Many were sub-par, but others inspired and entertained for countless hours. I will continue to play more games. Its an easy goal. Ha!

New Goal Categories

In my 2011 Preview, I did not include the following sections. I realized I was missing some things so I added them now.

Creativity

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Summary

“You can’t wait for inspiration, you have to go after it with a club.” — Jack London

To cultivate creativity and imagination in my life, I try to make new things and creatively solve puzzles and riddles.  A main creative outlet for me is my work – software development.

Highlights

Attitude / World View

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Summary

This year was marked with a generally positive nature. I am inspired by patient, compassionate souls. Forever inspired.  My current world view (subject to great change at any time) is as follows.

My Current View: Everything that exists does so because it has been defined that way. I define myself through my assumptions of what’s going on now, my expected outcome of the future, and my (perceived) limitations. Hard work and education (in a general sense) help convince me that I will succeed more, so I do. The universe, without fail, conspires to help me be whatever I truly think that I am now, and help me become what I know that I will become.

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Timeline

I reviewed my progress several times during the year. I began to write this annual review in October from Dahab, Egypt. I finished the review (and set my goals for 2012) before New Years from Philadelphia, USA.

 

Summary

 

The written declaration of goals (preview) and look back and reflecting (review) is a life-driving process. It helped me think in a structure way about where I am, what I want, and how to get there. Its a (possibly prohibitively) time consuming process to do it here in this blog, but I will indeed do it again in 2012.

 

Reflection Questions

 

What went well this year?

 

  1. Travel – The locations I visited and the pace of travel were ideal. The structure was good too. I planned a few highlights and improvised (heavily) for the second half of the year.
  2. Learning - I really did well with languages.  Near the end of the year, I went camping. Some other campers spoke English, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, and French. I took time to have full conversations in each language (except French). It was an awesome ‘graduation’ of a year spent studying language. Professionally I learned much too. I
  3. Fun – I had a lot of fun.
  4. Social - I pushed myself to be social in many situations. I am so comfortable to spend time by myself, that that became too easy an option, so I tried to reach out more.

 

What did not go well this year?

 

  1. Marketing/Promotions – I spent  a considerable time ‘looking’ for work, instead of ‘working’.
  2. Budgeting – I earned well and spent little. I tried to self-finance a software project for my first time (still in progress) which was a win/loss. That idea in general is cool. I did not set a monthly budget, but I did well to conserve funds. I could have lived much cheaper, but I could have been more extravagant too. Still I think setting a budget (on a monthly or by-country) level would indeed be a wiser move to raise my awareness of spending habits.
  3. Goal Setting – It is INCREDIBLY time consuming to set, follow, and update a big list of goals. I am very happy to have the direction provided by such a list and the opportunity to reflect on a written list and my thoughts on the list is priceless. I want to continue to do an annual preview and annual review for 2012. However there were many goals that I set in early 2011 that I did not try to complete or I tried but did not complete. I’m ‘ok’ with this, but it would help to do a post-mortem on each to see why exactly I didn’t succeed.

 

What went… ‘huh’?

 

This year, by choice and by default, I went without work sometimes. At first this was difficult to deal with psychologically – it had been literally years of full-time contract-based employment before-hand. It surprised me how challenging it was to maintain esteem during gaps in work. Then I became more accustomed to the work-hard then play-hard (without work) rhythm.  Divorcing myself front he work=self-worth will be an ongoing goal. So will marketing myself well so I don’t go without work.

  1. I have 100k of frequent flyer miles in each of several accounts. I don’t ‘know’ when to use them. I’ll set a goal for 2k12.
  2. I found myself paralyzed by liberty at least once. Faced with a limited visa, I needed to leave Italy, and could go anywhere in the world. Its tough to choose. But I’m lucky, its a good problem to have.
  3. I’m really excited to live a Location Independent life. In 2012, I will continue to do so, but will also set some goals to plan for possible next steps (living in one place for an extended period of time).

 

What’s Next?

 

Good question. I’m laying out my goals for 2k12 and will include a ’5 Year Plan’. Coming soon…

I’m often asked ‘Will you ever settle down (Stop Traveling)?’. I don’t know, but I wanted to think about it. A while ago, I realized that full-time travel is a practical and rewarding lifestyle. I have no plans to settle down at this time, but want to capture some brainstorming here.

Potential Causes To Settle in One Place:

  • Become tired of travel – Staying for 2-3 months in a location and keeping an apartment foster stability and reduce headaches. I add this into my current travel regime to offset the chance of getting ‘tired’.
  • Buy a house/condo/apt – I’m interested in the investment potential in home-ownership. I don’t really want to ‘have’ a house or ‘live’ in it or ‘fill it’ with ‘things’. I already set goals to save for a home and to explore where in the world I may want to purchase a home.
  • Accept a full-time, on-site job – I regularly converse with agencies and companies with high-paying full-time, on-site opportunities. I do not explore these opportunities yet. I will set goals to describe my ideal full-time job so that I can keep my eyes out for it.
  • Start a company with on-site employees – I miss working on-site, team-working, and educating staff. Sometimes my engagements offer short stints of this. Building a physical team of green talent, training them, marketing our collective capabilities (software development?) to clients, and creating great projects would be an exciting project for me.
  • Date someone with a full-time job (or other some other tie to a particular location) – I enjoy meeting new people and forming new relationships. However this is always within the frame-work of a temporary presence in each place where I live. I will set goals to describe my ideal mate so that I can keep my eyes out when I meet her (or perhaps I already have).

Comments

 

Please leave any comments and questions below and I’d love to answer them here too. Pardon my grammar and spelling. Rapid, free, stream o’ consciousness is my goal, nothing more formal.

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2Not Completed: XXXXXXXXXX