Travelogue (II)

Check out the blog’s ‘Travel’ page that I created today. I will update it whenever I have new places to add to the lists. This would help me keep a record of my whereabouts.

As you can see, other than China, I didn’t go anywhere outside the United States until 2006. This was largely due to my visa status – it was a hassle to re-apply. Additionally, once the Green Card application started, it was a risk to leave the country during the process, which took many years. Fortunately, there were many beautiful places in the US to keep me busy. 🙂

1997 – Visited Washington D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia, Atlantic City, New York City for the first time. Shenandoah National Park was only an hour’s drive away so it became a regular place to explore over the years. From now on, I won’t count the dozens of trips to MD, WV, PA, NJ and NY.

1998 – Went to Guangzhou and Shenzhen in southern China during summer break; A road trip to Florida by way of VA, NC, SC and GA. I had a great time in Orlando, Miami and Key West.

1999 – Attended the Interface ’99 conference in Schaumburg, Illinois. This was my first ‘business trip’. It was also the first time that I gave a presentation and it went quite well. A friend drove me to Chicago afterwards. Unfortunately it was raining so hard that I wasn’t able to do much.

2000 – Attended Joint Statistical Meetings (JSM) in Indianapolis. JSM is the largest gathering of statisticians in North America, usually held in early August. Several cities that I would visit in the years ahead were hosts of JSM. A road trip to Niagara Falls – its sight and sound took my breath away.

2001 – A 3000-mile road trip in western US – from Seattle to Portland to San Francisco to Los Angeles to San Diego to Las Vegas to Grand Canyon to Salt Lake City to Boise, crossing Cascade Range (no fun in winter) and back to Seattle. Visited three National Parks this year – Mount Rainier, Grand Canyon, Zion. They were all marvelous in their own way.

2002 – A trip to Las Vegas and Grand Canyon – again. A trip to Niagara Falls – again. You see, my parents came to visit me so I showed them around. The time we spent together and those precious memories will stay with me the rest of my life.

Okay, time to take a break. My mom just sent me a message so I will go talk to her on video. Till next time…

Happy New Year!

I can’t believe it is the last day of 2013 already. It is a good time to reflect on this past year and think about what I plan to accomplish in 2014.

I read 41 books in 2013. The top ones are listed below, for which I might write separate mini reviews later. Let me know if you are interested in seeing the full list. 🙂

  • Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard by Chip Heath and Dan Heath
  • The Five Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts by Gary Chapman
  • The Honest Truth about Dishonesty by Dan Ariely
  • Tesla: The Wizard of Electricity by David J. Kent
  • Inferno by Dan Brown
  • The Inextinguishable Symphony: A True Story of Music and Love in Nazi Germany by Martin Goldsmith
  • Great Souls: Six Who Changed the Century by David Aikman
  • Bridge of Sighs by Richard Russo

Compared to 2012, I didn’t travel as much this year – only visited one new country Jamaica. But I did check off two National Parks from my list – Great Smoky Mountains and Mammoth Cave. I also  made a trip back to China in July for reunions with both middle school friends and college friends, some of whom I haven’t met for nearly 20 years. It was good fun. Counting in a few business trips to New York and London, all in all I spent 58 nights away from home this year.

In 2014, I plan to do what my blog tagline shows:

  • Read – likely 40-50 books, hopefully more good ones
  • Travel – to the southern hemisphere, visit a few more new countries
  • Play – more exercises (maybe lose 5 lbs), less time spent on games
  • Feel – God’s love, natural beauty, other people’s needs
  • Learn – professional expertise, Bible, Chinese brush painting

Happy New Year, everyone! Looking forward to a wonderful 2014!