Nat? Nat. Nat!

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2014 Year in Review

Alright, alright, alright. Another year done, lets walk through the year in photos and other things. If you're curious about my past posts, you can see 2013, 2012, 2011 and 2010.

I took way more photos than usual this year, which you can see in order on Flickr. I've sampled some of my favorite and/or most representative of each month.

Why did I take more photos? Well basically because I moved to London. Google shut down my team in SF and thus I moved to London. After a year here, I'm glad for the experience, but pretty sure I won't be here for ever.

My goals for 2014 were pretty simple, and I completed almost all of them:

  • Survive move to London (Currently have a pulse).
  • Take more photos (I uploaded 928 photos to Flickr in 2014 compared to 350 in 2013).
  • Visit five or more countries (France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Japan, UK, USA).
  • Start running daily and watching what I eat (ehhh... not really).

I also had a few bursts of other goals that I tried to complete throughout the year, most around creating more. I wouldn't say that was successful, but I'll get to more of that in a separate post.

Without further ado, my month by month recap:

January:




January was chaos. I sold, gave away or packaged everything I owned. Including my prized Jeep. Held a few get together with friends and family.

Then I did a two week trip to Seattle for work. And then on the 30th, flew to London with a ton of suitcases.

February:


During the second month of the year, I wandered around London a lot and started working at Google London. I basically felt Jet-lagged for a month. Completely out of place. William Gibson describes the feeling I felt throughout the month quite accurately in Pattern Recognition(MISSING):

"She knows, now, absolutely, hearing the white noise that is London, that Damien's theory of jet lag is correct: that her mortal soul is leagues behind her, being reeled in on some ghostly umbilical down the vanished wake of the plane that brought her here, hundreds of thousands of feet above the Atlantic. Souls can't move that quickly, and are left behind, and must be awaited, upon arrival, like lost luggage."

I luckily had two friends visit around my birthday, C.H. and Alex Baldwin. We wandered London together, and then spent a weekend in Milan, which was awesome. We even went up to Lake Como for a day, which was magnificent. Such a beautiful place.

Nerding out

March:

Before I die...
Coffee with Nimesh and Phil

My coworker from SF Philip moved to London for a three month stint, so I started hanging out a lot with him. We spent a lot of time wandering parks and canals discussing life, art, philosophy and people.

I also made a weekend trip up to Harrogate to visit Peter, Elysha and Zoe. We wandered and climbed through some rocks and enjoyed northern England.

Peter and Zoe
Peter rock climbs with Zoe

April:


I spent most of April on-call, but continued my wandering.

May:



Blue skies

May began with a wonderful work trip to Amsterdam! I gave a talk about Compute Engine to a bunch of Googlers, and then wandered around the wonderful city for a few days.

Over Georgia.
Becky and Jeff
Seattle Skyline

I completely failed at taking photos, but I attended the first ever Fog Summit in Atlanta. We discussed all kinds of things about the future of the library. Sadly, we haven't made too much progress enacting them all. Afterwards I went and spent a few days in the Bay Area, and a week in Seattle.

I even got to see my brother Travis earn his Eagle Scout Award!

Travis: Eagle Scout
EagleCOHCeremony-4509.jpg
EagleCOHCeremony-4439.jpg

June:

After my whirlwind US trip, I was only home for a few days before I flew off to Japan. Japan was amazing, we spent time in Kyoto and Tokyo, and I wish I had a few months to just wander the country. So much cool design and art. Kind people. Interesting culture. I've selected a random sampling of my photos from this trip, but you can see them all in my Japan 2014 Flickr Set.







July:

In July, I saw the Tour de France come through London (but failed at getting good photos) and I attended the first Startup School in Europe.






I also was blessed by two fantastic visitors, Kyle and David.


August:

The last two weeks of August, I flew to Hawaii, SF and Seattle. In Hawaii, I saw my good friends Reed and Sarah get married. In SF I hung out with a bunch of friends from my days at Punchd, Cal Poly and high-school. And in Seattle Travis and I went to PAX.








PAX 2014 was crazy as always, and got its own Flickr set.

September:

Once I got back from Seattle in September, I attended IndieWebCamp UK 2014 in Brighton, which was awesome.

Then I had a variety of visitors: Paul, Robin & Laura, David Horn, and Reed and David Patierno.

I also took a day trip to Manchester to talk to Startups for Google Campus.








October:

In October, I started hanging out with Josh, a fellow Cal Poly grad who had just moved to Google. I also got a brief visit from Prentice and Brian.

I spent five days in Düsseldorf, where I spoke at LinuxCon / CloudOpen. Düsseldorf actually blew me away. It had fantastic museums, good food, it was quiet, and relatively affordable. I created a Flickr set of my time in Düsseldorf as well.








November:

In November, I went back to Seattle for a little bit for work, and attended my buddy Mark's wedding, where he got married to Tracy. I was in the wedding, and it was a blast. It was in this old library in LA, which was pretty epic.

While I was in Seattle, I saw a Sounders game, which was great.

When I was in London, Josh and I saw an NFL game, which was the weirdest thing I've experienced in a while.

Finally, the month ended with a meeting of my Literary hero, William Gibson! He did an interview for the BBC book club on Neuromancer, I got to ask him a question on the air, shook his hand, and he signed my copy of Neuromancer. So amazing.






December:

December was another guest heavy month. In fact I only had two days where I didn't have someone staying at my place. Annie visited for a week, which was a lot of fun. Then my Mom crashed on my couch for a week. Then my Dad and brother came (just Travis stayed with me), and the whole family was in town for a week for Christmas. Then Mom and Dad went home and Travis and I celebrated his Birthday and the New Year together. It was a blast.





The whole year...

I listened to a lot of music (Generated by Last.FM Playground):

Nat's 2014 in music

And wrote a lot of open source code:

Nat's 2014 in code

And I flew a ton of miles! Cemre created this cool app to graph them all:

nats flights

And even read 42 books.

Next year I plan to...

Figure out a way to build and ship products as part of my job. I really miss creating things for a living, and I am pretty sure it's the basis for a lot of my stress, so I am going to focus on getting that right. I still haven't turned that into OKRs, but I'm working on it, and will have a post out about that as well soon-ish.

Happy New Year!

/Nat

P.S. If you didn't see my holiday card, and you're reading this, you should check it out, it is meant for you: Nat's Holiday Card.

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