Say Hello to 2024

Say Hello to 2024
Photo by Vincent Yuan @USA / Unsplash

As we near the conclusion of 2023, I find myself eager to reflect on the year and gather my thoughts for the upcoming year, 2024. This past year has been incredibly fruitful and meaningful, prompting me to consider my plans and aspirations for the future in this post.

1 Things Accomplished

The theme for 2023 revolves around stepping out of one's comfort zone! Here's a glimpse into my endeavors:

  • Relocated to the U.S. and established a new life.
  • Spearheaded a sophisticated project for my company.
  • Rekindled my passion for tennis, making remarkable advancements.
  • Crafted SpaceCraft (the blog) from the ground up.
  • Explored numerous destinations across the U.S. and captured stunning moments through photography.

Shall we delve deeper into each of these experiences?

1.1 Migration to the U.S.

Making the decision to leave my entire family, including my 18-month-old daughter, behind in pursuit of a better life in the U.S. was an arduous choice for a 30-year-old man like myself. My aim is to advance my career prospects, ensure a secure future for my family, and offer enhanced educational opportunities for my daughter.

The day it actually happened marked one of the most challenging moments for all of us as a family, bidding farewell at Shanghai Airport. Uncertainty clouded my mind—I couldn't fathom when I might reunite with them. I found myself alone in a country thousands of miles away from home, with the responsibility to establish a life on my own.

Upon arriving in the U.S., the challenges multiplied. Everything seemed different—I struggled to open a bank account, acquire a social security number, and even rent a car. Simple tasks like shopping for groceries became a puzzle as I navigated unfamiliar stores. Loneliness loomed large, especially during nights and weekends, making the initial period here deeply unsettling.

Photo by Vincent Yuan @USA / Unsplash

However, I persevered by adhering to my goals, enabling me to realign both my work and personal life swiftly. As I honed my focus, I gradually embraced the lifestyle here through adaptation and learning. It's crucial to prioritize life goals, exhibit resilience, and persist despite distractions. This approach significantly impacts your long-term journey, making a substantial difference.

1.2 Progress in Work

Since arriving in the U.S., my primary focus at work has been credit card application fraud detection, employing a combination of knowledge graph and machine learning techniques. This project stands out as one of the most intricate endeavors I've undertaken, encompassing both technical complexities and strategic business considerations. Leveraging insights from previous experiences was instrumental in its success, and I've predominantly shared these insights within the Tech section of this blog, using publicly available datasets.

1.3 Polished Tennis Skills

Playing tennis can evoke a complex array of emotions, particularly when the game proves challenging to grasp. In such instances, the experience can be far from enjoyable. Picture yourself repeatedly collecting tennis balls under scorching temperatures exceeding 35°C (95°F) for 2 to 3 hours due to an inability to sustain a rally with opponents at the outset.

Practice of Tennis, Photo by Vincent Yuan @USA / Unsplash

Tennis ceased to be just a recreational activity; it evolved into a pursuit that toughened me. Throughout summers, I devoted numerous nights and weekends to honing my serving and striking skills against a wall, armed only with a bottle of water and a tree brimming with tennis balls cascading out of the court. It marked the initial occasion I approached a sport with such earnestness and committed myself to extensive practice, determined to master it regardless of the challenges.

While I may not yet classify myself as an intermediate amateur player, significant progress has undeniably been achieved. Now, I derive more enjoyment from the game than the frustration it once caused me.

1.4 Developed SpaceCraft

I deliberated extensively before deciding whether to relaunch my blog and determining its content and style. Fortunately, I reached a conclusion from an objective viewpoint: just write if I enjoy it, keeping it that simple!

I consider myself fortunate not to have tainted it by viewing it solely as a means for making money, as this would significantly impact the content I share. Therefore, I approach it as a platform to chronicle my life and impart something meaningful to the world—nothing more!

For insights into the technical aspects of constructing this blog, please refer to the series below:

Host a Ghost Blog on AWS in 2023 (IV) - Create a Functional Table of Contents
Table of contents is easy for users to navigate through the long article, but Ghost did not provide a nice out-of-the-box solution.

1.5 Traveling and Learning

Traveling has significantly enriched my life in the U.S. I've gained extensive knowledge about this country and captured numerous wonderful photos along the way. It brings me immense joy to know that many of my friends thoroughly enjoy the posts in the Life section of my blog and admire my photography.

Since February 2023, I've curated and uploaded 863 photos to my portfolio on Unsplash. Remarkably, these images have garnered an average of 200,000 views and 1,000 downloads per month.

Photography is a passion of mine, and I find genuine happiness in knowing that my work resonates with people worldwide.

Vincent Yuan @USA (@vincentyuan87) | Unsplash Photo Community
See 863 of the best free to download photos, images, and wallpapers by Vincent Yuan @USA on Unsplash.

2 Looking Ahead to 2024

I believe I'm headed in the right direction, with no significant changes needed. However, I plan to dedicate more time to integrating generative AI into my workflow as I see this as a crucial factor for the long-term development of my career. I'll be sharing more posts on this topic later when the timing is right.

In addition to work, I'll be allocating most of my time to the following:

  • Investment
  • Photography
  • Tennis

I'll also be exploring these subjects for potential posts in either the Pro or Life columns. Stay tuned for more!