Osvaldas year 2017 in photos and resolutions

End of each year is time to reflect on the year, learn your lessons and plan another year.

This is a quick summary how my year went. It definitely was a year with most flights in my life, probably because I live on an island at the moment and most reasonable way of leaving the country is a flight.

Visited countries or territories in 2017

  • The Isle of Man
  • Northern Ireland
  • Denmark
  • Colombia
  • Ecuador
  • Peru
  • Chile
  • Bolivia
  • Argentina
  • Paraguay
  • Uruguay
  • Brazil
  • England
  • Scotland
  • Jersey
  • Ireland
  • Cape Verde
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania

<figcaption id="caption-attachment-1957" class="wp-caption-text">2017 started in crowded London</figcaption></figure>

<figcaption id="caption-attachment-1958" class="wp-caption-text">Hiked in Isle of Man with Matt</figcaption>
<figcaption id="caption-attachment-1959" class="wp-caption-text">Visited Northen Ireland and Derry</figcaption>
<figcaption id="caption-attachment-1960" class="wp-caption-text">Got addicted to Ethiopian food so trying them out in every single UK city which I visit</figcaption>
<figcaption id="caption-attachment-1961" class="wp-caption-text">First time driving on left side of the road. On the way to Whitby</figcaption>
<figcaption id="caption-attachment-1962" class="wp-caption-text">Working as a software engineer in a great team. But later quit to travel to South America</figcaption>
<figcaption id="caption-attachment-1963" class="wp-caption-text">Meeting my brother in Copenhagen</figcaption>
<figcaption id="caption-attachment-1964" class="wp-caption-text">Showing biceps on equator</figcaption>
<figcaption id="caption-attachment-1965" class="wp-caption-text">Hiking in Ecuador with Agne</figcaption>
<figcaption id="caption-attachment-1966" class="wp-caption-text">Had a picture with Amazon tribe</figcaption>
<figcaption id="caption-attachment-1967" class="wp-caption-text">Climbed 5200+metres peak, but failed to hike up 6300m peak</figcaption>
<figcaption id="caption-attachment-1968" class="wp-caption-text">Visited Peru and saw amazing dance including horses</figcaption>
<figcaption id="caption-attachment-1969" class="wp-caption-text">Visited Machu Picchu</figcaption>
<figcaption id="caption-attachment-1970" class="wp-caption-text">Sailed on lake Titicaca</figcaption>
<figcaption id="caption-attachment-1971" class="wp-caption-text">Had mirror picture at salt lakes in Bolivia</figcaption>
<figcaption id="caption-attachment-1972" class="wp-caption-text">Crawled into a mine in Bolivia</figcaption>
<figcaption id="caption-attachment-1973" class="wp-caption-text">Hitchhiked in Uruguay</figcaption>
<figcaption id="caption-attachment-1974" class="wp-caption-text">Enjoyed beach life in Rio de Janeiro</figcaption>
<figcaption id="caption-attachment-1975" class="wp-caption-text">Family visits Leicester, UK as I receive my Masters of Science</figcaption>
<figcaption id="caption-attachment-1976" class="wp-caption-text">Visiting Scotland with my family</figcaption>
<figcaption id="caption-attachment-1977" class="wp-caption-text">Got new job as a software engineer in Leeds with one of the best employers in the UK</figcaption>
<figcaption id="caption-attachment-1978" class="wp-caption-text">Betting on horses in York racecource</figcaption>
<figcaption id="caption-attachment-1979" class="wp-caption-text">Take selfie in Jersey, UK</figcaption>
<figcaption id="caption-attachment-1980" class="wp-caption-text">Justinas and his father visits Leeds</figcaption>
<figcaption id="caption-attachment-1981" class="wp-caption-text">National Lithuanian Television visits us in Leeds, UK</figcaption>
<figcaption id="caption-attachment-1982" class="wp-caption-text">Participated 25 hours non-stop coding event in Manchester with my team</figcaption>
<figcaption id="caption-attachment-1983" class="wp-caption-text">Climbing highest peak in Ireland</figcaption>
<figcaption id="caption-attachment-1984" class="wp-caption-text">Remeet my ex-colleagues at birthday party</figcaption>
<figcaption id="caption-attachment-1985" class="wp-caption-text">Did scuba diving in Cape Verde</figcaption>
<figcaption id="caption-attachment-1986" class="wp-caption-text">Coming back for Christmas and first thing we do is head to garage gym! I wish everybody for 2018 to have friends who invite you to workout!</figcaption>


It’s usually useful to plan your weekends, if you do, you will have a growth mindset, and expanding comfort zone. Getting out is beneficial for both your mental and physical health. Your body needs an activity, and the last thing you can do is to have 10 000 steps a day, which is not much if you go out during the day. If you won’t take care of your body, it will soon start to break, so you will have to take a break anyways.

To have an amazing weekend, I am researching several different types of activities.

  • Workshops
  • Road trips
  • Hackathon
  • Overseas weekend breaks
  • Competitions (either powerlifting, strongman or (obstacle) running)
  • Talks including science, tech or anything else interesting. I quite like to read about topics which I have negative opinion, in case it would change my mindset for good
  • New short-term hobbies and easy skills to learn
  • Guinness records to break

And I use several tools for my research:

(Don’t get me wrong, I love my job as a software engineering 5 days a week, but one reason why, is that relax and reset well during weekend and don’t burn out)

When we just moved to Leeds, we spend several weekends just at home. You know, typical stuff by going for a short walk to park, watching several films in on Sunday, sleeping till midday. After these kinda of days, I decide to go somewhere next weekend, but it might be too late – all favourite events are sold out, flights are too expensive etc.

Therefore I got a habit to track everything on Google calendar (blog post on how to sync Fitbit calendar to Google calendar using AWS is coming up soonish). I started frequently checking my calendar, but not much was there, only pages of empty fields with occasional activity once every few month. A quote by Benjamin Franklin popped into my mind “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!”. So I started planning my weekends, researching cheap weekend break flights abroad and purchasing them. Or signing up for a competition. Or finding other interesting events. Rapidly my calendar started filling up, even my girlfriend noted _“oh no, we’ve got upcoming 5 weekends planned. We need a break”. _And we took a guilt-free weekend at home.

Most importantly, don’t forget to include people around you in your activities. People around you are your biggest success factor. Also, it influences your health, for example, the main factor of 50 years old person deciding his cholesterol level at the age of 70 is his relations with people around him. Loneliness kills. This was concluded by 70+ years study as explained at What makes a good life? Lessons from the longest study on happiness. One of biggest regrets of the dying is losing contact with their friends as described in a book “The Top Five Regrets of the Dying” written by Bronnie Ware who was working in palliative care. You need to plan your free time, you need to stay in touch with people you love. As you were a kid, you best mates were just around the corner, but as you go further into a life, they are all around the world, which makes a lot of planning to still keep in touch. So if you would have a New Years resolution, it would be to stay in better contact with your beloved people, because it’s a ground point and everything will follow… success, health, money, contribution or everything you desire.

Have a great New Year,

Best wishes,

Osvaldas