First, a recap of 2019 (and 2018, kinda)

2019 has been a difficult year for me in general. I’ve been very busy with life and work. 2018 was much the same unfortunately. Sometimes there are more important things in life than hobbies, such as a close family member becoming sick and shortly after losing them, or another having a very close call. It serves as a reminder that, no matter how much you want to do something, life sometimes unavoidably gets in the way.

And that’s okay.

The key, however, is to bounce back from whatever trials you may encounter. This post is the start of that bounce-back for me (technically, the bounce-back has started, but now I am recording it).

In 2018, I launched my game development YouTube channel over at http://youtube.com/travisvroman. A *lot* of time went into that. However, as of late, it too has fallen by the wayside. I also tried picking up guitar, as well as bought a project car late in 2017 that I worked on.

In 2019, I’ve worked on numerous large projects at work, and even did some work-related travel this year.

I first went to Las Vegas early in 2019

I quite liked the trip to Vegas, even though I worked like crazy for most of the time I was there. I got to check out some neat attactions like Freemont Street and the Pawn Stars shop. I even got to watch the Vegas Golden Knights play, thanks to my awesome coworker taking me:

I Created and Online Video Course

Over the summer, I wrote and eventually published an online course in TypeScript via Packt publishing. For anyone interested, it can be found on Packt’s website directly or on Udemy. It is also available from O’Reilly.

I am still very grateful for the opportunity and am thankful to have experienced it. I’d even consider doing it again at some point. I learned a lot during the process.

However, once it was finished, I was completely burned out between that and work. A break would not come for a couple more months.

I Went Back to South Africa, 3 Years After my First Visit

This was followed later in the year by a second trip back to South Africa for a conference. It was based in an area called Umhlanga, which is close to Durban. Here are some pictures of the area:

I also made sure to take some time out for some enjoyable things, such as concerts. Saw a lot of bands this year, so it definitely wasn’t all bad. There was a lot of good as well.

Onward and upward

Over the summer, I decided to make some changes. I simply had too many things on my plate. I sold the project car because I just didn’t have time for it. It needed a new engine and, while I’m fairly confident I could build one, I simply did not have the time. I also posted a video to my channel saying that updates were coming, but no longer had the time to work on it. I have also delayed because I want to pick a good direction for it. This is something I still struggle with. However, given my other goals, I haven’t had the time for it as of late.

I’ve Revamped this Site, Again

Earlier this year, I stripped down the site to super-basic text to make pages load faster since I have not been happy with my host’s speed. However, after a few months of trying to update this way I realized it is simply not sustainable to work that way, and decided to re-launch the site on top of WordPress, as again I do not have the time to maintain a proprietary codebase just for my content here. I also decided to move hosts. I will be shutting down the old site in the coming days, as well as decommissioning allnihongo.com. I will point the domain here until it expires, and then I will let it lapse. I intend to do the same with namorv.com, only in that case I will be keeping the domain.

I had a Resurgence for my Japanese Studies

I suddenly had a resurgence for my Japanese studies a couple weeks ago when I watched a clip from a friend who was in Japan at the time, and discovered that I still understood a fair amount of what was going on in the background, despite not having studied seriously in over two years. I know, really bad 🙁

I’ve decided to resume my studies somewhat differently than last time, using phone apps for the most part to get things started. Obviously this will soon be supplemented and eventually replaced by hardcore studying with textbooks and immersion combined with dictionaries, but I knew I needed to start small. So I did. Kinda.

The apps I am currently using:

  • Duolingo for Japanese – supposedly can get you to N5 level, or at least close. We’ll see. Good source of vocab and sentences so far. Contains decent audio for every word and sentence so far. This wasn’t available in Japanese a few years a go.
  • Drops for Japanese – Early days on this one, but will definitely be a good source for vocab. Too early to tell about sentences. Good quality audio, interesting visuals. Also focuses on drawing of kana.
  • Anki – My main flashcard program. I’m rebuilding my decks from new. Clean slate.
  • Japanese Dictionary Takoboto – A decent Japanese dictionary so far.
  • WaniKani – Haven’t gotten deep into this one yet, but it will be good for kanji for sure.

So far, I’m pushing pretty hard on this and am already seeing improvements from the point I was at since I left off. This serves as motivation to keep things going.

Anyway, I feel like this article has gone on long enough, so for now I am going to sign off and hit the flashcards!