This year has by far been the best year of my life. I have been so unbelievably lucky to experience so many unforgettable moments and achieved so many things I am beyond proud of. I am so grateful for the life I live and the people loving and supporting me throughout it all. I absolutely wouldn’t be where I am today without my family and friends, and I really, really like where I am in life. So thank you!
Over the last few years, I have gotten into the habit of doing a year in review each year , while also setting goals for myself [2019, 2018]! This is a great way to check in on how my life is going and push myself to be better each and every year. Here’s a recap of some of the amazing things I’ve accomplished this year!
It’s been another unbelievable year of travel, that’s for sure! I was lucky enough to visit another 6 new countries this year and repeat some of the ones that I’ve already been to. I was traveling for ~41% of the days in 2019, flew 130,000 miles on United alone, and achieved my goal of reaching United 1K status! I’m really proud of all of this. Here are some highlights:
- Gibraltar — I was beyond hungover the day we went to Gibraltar… Regardless of being hungover, it still ended up being one of the best days of the trip! We got to take a tour around the whole country and it was just a lovely day of exploration.
- Morocco — What a unique place to visit! This was my first country in Africa and I am so, so glad I was able to make this trip happen. I initially wasn’t expecting to go but while I was in Spain I decided to change my return flight to spend the weekend in Casablanca [a place I’ve heard of for so long from the movie]. I think my favorite part was the Mosque we got to go see. It was one of the most impressive and stunning buildings I have ever seen. The markets of Casablanca were a close second for my favorite and the food was incredible!
- France — What a country… I was blown away by the beauty all around me! It was one of my favorite places I’ve ever visited and I could see myself living here at some point in life, probably later in life. Especially Nice & Cannes. I loved it there. My favorite part was the Airbnb we stayed in up in the mountains. My friends and I got to just relax in the mountains of France for a few days. Wine, great food, an even better view, and a swimming pool. What else could we have possibly needed. We also had a TINY rental car that we named “Daniel.” Let’s just say driving an underpowered stick shift car up mountains in France was not the easiest driving experience I’ve ever had… But I still crushed it!
- Monaco — All the extravagance you could imagine & more! I always describe Monaco as where James Bond would go on holiday. Our last day consisted of an evening dining at Nobu, doing extremely well in the Casino playing roulette, and taking a helicopter ride from Monaco to the Nice, Airport. What a trip! I will never forget this one.
- Austria — At some point in life, I think everyone should go see the Christmas markets in Austria. It was absolutely stunning! And while you’re there, be sure to have so much Apple Strudel that it makes you sick… [Not that I’m speaking from experience of anything…]
- Australia — Bondi. Bondi. Bondi. I fell in love. I talk a lot about wanting to go live abroad and it’s something I am positive I will do for myself at some point in life! With that being said, I think Sydney is one of the most realistic places for me to go live while I’m young. I’m striving for 2–5 years and then I can go live here. The fireworks for New Year’s Eve on the steps of the Sydney Opera House was indescribable too! 🎇
Starting 2019 with friends & family
On the first day of 2019, I was on a trip with my parents and one of my best friends, Katherine, in Costa Rica. At the time, I knew how amazing this trip was! But reflecting on it now, a year later, has made me appreciate it that much more… It was a perfect balance of fun, adventure, relaxation, and time spent with loved ones.
Knowing that I’m a very independent person [with no issues doing everything I want to do solo], I’ve been thinking about this trip a lot and how it has really made me appreciate time spent with people I enjoy. This realization has made me set a goal to travel more with friends in 2020!
[Highlights from my Instagram story here]
Matt’s Wedding, Bachelor Party, and Las Vegas 😈
I had the privilege of seeing one of my best friends, Matt, get married to his amazing wife Maryana last summer. It was the first time that I had a close friend of mine get married, so it was a very special experience. On top of that, I was lucky enough to be Matt’s best man for the wedding. It was a great wedding and I’m so glad I got to experience that weekend with him. He is one of my closest friends and I can’t wait to see where life takes the two of them.
Leading up to the wedding, we did a few special things to celebrate Matt and his upcoming wedding. All of the groomsmen, except myself, live in Colorado. Since they were all so local, it made the most sense to do a bachelor party in Colorado! We had an amazing weekend where we had a night out in Denver, then drove up to the mountains to relax in a really nice log cabin. We shot guns, drank whiskey, and grilled steaks. I’d stay it was a pretty perfect weekend to celebrate Matt.
Me being me though, any excuse to go party is a good excuse. There was a brief conversation to go to Las Vegas for Matt’s bachelor party. Ultimately, this didn’t work out, but the idea was still in my mind… I couldn’t help but act! So what did I do? I got Matt, Sam, and myself to fly out to Vegas for the weekend…
For the last 2.5 years, I’ve had a bit of a love for Las Vegas [although it is also my strong belief that 24–36 hours is the maximum amount of time anyone should spend in Vegas…] My love for Vegas all started with Matt, Sam, and myself flying out last minute to Vegas for 12 hours to go to a nighttime pool party. That’s a story for another time though.
For this trip, we decided we should go see The Chainsmokers at XS Nightclub! I kept putting off buying tickets for the show. While I was on my flight to Vegas, I thought it might be a good idea to finally get the tickets. And what do I see? Sold out… The only reason we were going to Vegas was to see The Chainsmokers! I thought to myself “Wow, what do I do now? I totally messed this one up…” So I did the ~only “logical” thing~… I bought a table at XS so my two best friends and I could see The Chainsmokers!
Oh wow, what an experience. This is something I’ve always wanted to do so I think subconsciously I kept putting off buying the tickets in hopes that I would be able to get to do it. It’s definitely not something I can do for every trip, but it was well worth the experience & story.
[More Instagram highlights here]
This was my second year going to the unbelievable music festival in Boom, Belgium. 2019 was a special year though. The Friday of the music festival was my 25th birthday and it was the music festival’s 15th year of taking place. There really isn’t a good way to explain how amazing this festival is. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before…
This year, Nick, Sam, and I spent the week leading up to Tomorrowland in the south of France. The last day before our flight to Belgium for Tomorrowland, we were in Monte Carlo, Monaco and had a flight from the Nice airport to Belgium. It’s about a 40-minute drive from Monaco to Nice. Sure, we could have rented a Taxi! But is that really the Monaco thing to do? Not a chance. So we rented a helicopter instead! After an incredible helicopter ride, we arrived at the Nice airport where we had a flight to Belgium.
This was the moment. We were finally back in Boom, Belgium to party at Tomorrowland for my 25th birthday! And what a weekend it was… It’s hard to put into words everything that went on… It might be easier to explain through pictures and videos. It still doesn’t capture all of it, but you can watch some moments of the weekend in my Instagram story.
RapidAPI continues to be a massive part of my life. [And one of the biggest reasons for why I’ve stayed in San Francisco.] I’m really proud of the work the entire team is doing, as well as the achievements I’ve personally had because of working at RapidAPI. It’s been a tremendously successful year for me!
2020 is going to be an even bigger year at RapidAPI! Over the last two years, I have been the Head of Developer Relations. Ultimately, my job has involved traditional developer relations tasks like blogs, videos, conferences, hackathons, docs, etc. It has also involved doing all support tickets for a few months, then hiring and managing our support function too. I also assist our partnerships team during calls with providers and building custom integrations to support those providers we’ve onboarded. Plus, I’m sure there is a lot more that I do that I haven’t even thought of. It has definitely been a typical startup experience of being a jack of all trades, which I love.
Over the next year, I’ll be moving more officially into our sales team as an Enterprise Sales Engineer to assist in establishing our enterprise sales function for the company! I have been thinking about this potential move a lot and I have come to the conclusion that it is a very strategic move for the company and myself. By being pulled into this position, I have felt valued and trusted in that I will be helpful in establishing this new, vital, aspect of the business. I have already been working quite a bit with our new VP of Sales, Colin, and taking a lot of really exciting meetings with him! It is going to be an outstanding year and I can’t wait for all of the skills I am going to learn and develop through this position.
Failure to Create
I think it is extremely important to not only highlight the things that went well, but also some of the things that didn’t go so well. I hope it’s apparent that I’ve had a tremendous year! But that doesn’t mean it didn’t have its ups and downs throughout it all. Late nights, early mornings, a lot of hard work, feeling bummed out, etc. We all go through tough times.
One of the things that I didn’t achieve was being as creative as I wanted to be last year. I had a few creative goals like shooting & editing a video, painting a jean jacket, learning how to DJ, and posting more pictures. I didn’t do any of them… It just wasn’t my priority or I wasn’t feeling creative. But that’s okay!
It’s my belief that if you are meeting every single goal you set out for yourself, then I don’t think you’re pushing yourself hard enough. So I accept the failure and use it to push myself harder and become better the next year. Here’s to completing even more goals in 2020 and being more creative too!
These are Just the Highlights
And as always, with any life update or social media post, please remember that these are just the highlights from the year... There are many more positive things that happened (like trips to Hawaii, Ultra Music Festival, weekends in Chicago with my best friends to talk about our future dreams and keeping each other accountable, etc.) and lows that happened (cutting my foot open and getting stitches, 17-hour workdays, getting the worst food poisoning of my life while on a 6-hour flight, missing loved ones, etc.) and so many more things that happened in my life that I haven’t shared or talked about. Every person is so much more than their feed or the things they choose to share on the internet. If you want to learn more about the things I’ve been up to or how I’m actually doing/feeling, please reach out! I would love nothing more than to share, while also hearing about how things are going with you.
It has already been an incredible year for me [and a busy one… I’m posting this a month late because of how busy I’ve been] and I can’t wait to keep working and living the best life I can. Thank you again to all of you amazing people reading this and supporting me in life. Please feel free to reach out through email, Twitter, or Instagram!