2020 review - worst year of our lives?

It's that time of the year. Despite it sounds simple I love to set the goals for the whole year and do a review at the end. It helps me to move in the right direction during the year and coordinate the goals. One year is a perfect time amount for me to finish something significant.

Good year

This year was one of the hardest in the new century. The COVID-19 pandemic affected the whole planet. I still can't believe we're living in that time. Sometimes I hope it's all movie or I'm dreaming. But it is what it is and we have to adjust to the new "normal".

For me the hardest part of the year was March. I and my wife had planned our flights in March and it was so frustrating and exhausting to figure out what to do. Also in March, we spend at home 30 or 40 days straight trying to isolate ourselves which added a lot of anxiety. I got a lot of mental problems and depression around that time of the year.

But later it's started getting better. The world was learning how to live in this new state and we were too. We started getting our heads around new behavior in public. We were getting used to wearing masks everywhere and spending more time at home. I feel incredibly lucky that when it all started I have been in Bali and I decided to stay here longer. We have not so many cases here. Not sure if it's climate or fewer people density but the situation is much better than in some parts of Europe. Most of the year we spent enjoying this beautiful island without many limitations.

And once I started feeling more secure and safe I started to enjoy this time more. It was a year of self-reflection, new experiments, and thinking. Since I didn't travel and most of the time spend at home I had more time on my hands than before. Also, I started thinking about health and life more and making smarter decisions.

In summary, I can say it was a good year for me. Like everyone, I want the end of the pandemic. But I can say I squeezed as much lemonade as I could.


Last year I posted a tweet with my goals for the year and I want to reflect on them and review what worked out and what didn't.

Here is what I tweeted:

🚒 Finish at least 2 side projects. One with monetization.

πŸŽ“ Finish the university and get the diploma

πŸ“¦ Move to another country in the EU

πŸ‘¨β€πŸ’» Grow in programming (Rails + React)

✍️ Write more on the blog

πŸ“Ί Come back to YouTube

Side projects - βœ…

The goal was to finish at least two side projects. One of them should have some kind of monetization. I wanted to work on my projects in my free time but I am pretty bad at combining my job and side-projects.

In March I launched my first project - Arcade Hub. And then an interesting thing happened. I decided to completely quit my job and work on my projects full time. With a few friends, we organizedΒ 12xstartup.comΒ - a challenge where we're working on 12 projects for 12 months. I started in November and launched my second project in December - Learning Story.

I can say this goal is completed. Unfortunately, I still didn't earn any money on them. But I hope the next year should change that. I am super excited to work on them in 2021.

University - βœ…

After 3.5 years I finally completed my university and got a Bachelor's degree in Computer engineering. I had a diploma defense in October and got a 100 out of 110 scores. Which is pretty cool. I am happy to finish this chapter of my life because I am not a big fan of academic education. I wouldn't go to university if it wasn't required for most of the immigration programs. It was fun but I know how to spend my time better πŸ˜ƒ

Moving abroad - ⏸

I postponed this goal because of the pandemic. I and my wife also re-reviewed our goals for immigration and we decided to change the plans. The original plan was to find a job in the EU (Germany or the Netherlands) and move there on job visas. Now we decided that we want more flexibility. We don't want to be locked on a work permit so we started to discover more options. At the same time, we released that we want to try to live in North America so we started to look there.

Eventually, we decided to move to Canada on the Express Entry program. Canada immediately grants you Permanent Residency and you free to do whatever you want. We're also participating in the US Green Card lottery. We'll see the results in May and then move depends on them. The chances to win a lottery are very small so it's 98% we're moving to Canada.

We even picked the city and it's going to be Vancouver, British Columbia. I hope everything will go as planned and the 2021 review I'll be writing from my apartment in Vancouver.

Recently, I visited a podcast where I talked with a couple who has moved to Vancouver a couple of years ago. I asked a lot of questions about the city and living in Canada. You can check it out here if you're interested.

Learning - βœ…

I've been learning a lot of programming last year. I won't be setting such a goal anymore because it became my routine. I was focusing on Ruby and Rails this year but I was doing a lot of JS development as well.

I also started learning Python in 2020. I've only learned basics and haven't coded anything serious on it but I'll do it this year.

Apart from programming, I've been bouncing around different areas of learning this year. I've been learning drawing, photography, and filmmaking, SEO and writing, business, and marketing. And my favorite one - surfing. I fell in love with this sport and I make sure to surf as much as possible until we leave Bali for good.

Writing - 🚫

I've been setting the goal "to write more" for the recent 3 years and most of the years I failed. I am still not sure about the reasons but I can't fit it into my routine. I wrote something during the year but it's a very small amount. So far my most successful writing experience is my telegram channel in Russian. But even there I am not so much active.

Apart from that, I have this blob but it is pretty much empty. It seems I'm enjoying tweaking and developing a blog more than actually write in it.

This year is going to be my last year when I'll try to pursue writing. If I fail this year I'll drop these attempts. It won't be a necessarily bad thing, it'll just mean it's not for me.

Come back to YouTube - ⏸

This was a very exciting goal for me but I couldn't find time for it in 2020.

I love YouTube and I already have a travel channel which I enjoyed working on so much in the past. This year I'm starting from the only goal to come back to videomaking. I'll post about it more soon. Maybe I'll find making video much more enjoyable and make it my routine instead of writing πŸ˜…