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2020 review

I moved to Bali in February. Initially just for 2 months, but I later decided to stay longer as I realized the COVID mess will be a long term thing and I might get stuck somewhere else. Bali is a good place to be stuck, I thought. And indeed it was!

Habits

I changed my diet for the better: cut out most carbs and almost all sugar. I try to eat plenty of meat and eggs and some rice and vegetables. This diet has made a huge difference in my life. I feel healthier than ever, both physically and mentally. Also, I stopped drinking beer. A beer every couple of months is enough to remind me how bad that stuff is.

I started running. I was very bad at it at first, but I kept progressing. Then I realized running is not a good way to stay in shape, so I quit and decided to start lifting weights and go for long walks instead.

Over the past 6 months I went to the gym 3x / week, no exceptions! I think I only missed a handful of workouts.

Over the past 7 moths I walked 5km / day on average, so a little bit over 1000km total. I moved to a pedestrian friendly area of the town especially for this. No cars around here, just small alleys amongst rice fields and jungle. I also like walking on beaches every now and then.

Since now I spend a lot of time walking and in the gym, I also read a lot: audio books are great for that!

I started writing because I realized this is a very important skill to have and I want to keep practicing and getting better. It also helps me think clearer and not forget interesting ideas.

I started opening up my house here in Ubud every week for a “creative night”. What I did was: I basically bought a grill, and every Tuesday I would buy beef and tuak and open the house to anyone who wanted to join. As people were coming, we would eat and play music together. We also made some nice recordings of these jam sessions. I did this for 2 months consistently, but then it became a bit overwhelming and I decided to stop. It was still a good experience and I recommend it to anyone moving to a new place. It’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

Projects

I started Casa de Cultură back in Romania without being physically there. It’s an “art space meets Airbnb”, a concept I’ve been working on for years, but it was still never really “ready”. So what better time open than when I am not physically there to see that “it is not quite ready yet”? Turns out 2020 was the best time to start this after all! It was certainly not easy to get it going while living on another continent, but it worked out with help from good friends and family.

I started an experiment offering the tiny house I have in the woods for free to anyone as opposed to keeping it locked while I am away. It worked out well so far: people went there, enjoyed it, and left everything in good condition.

I started supporting some local artisans here in Bali who were hit (financially) by COVID. Together we are building some very unique musical instruments. We have 2 bağlama prototypes so far. More are in progress, as well as other musical instruments. My plan is to launch a series of unique and beautifully crafted instruments later this year. High quality, easy to play and beautiful.

I wrote a simple news reader to follow blogs I am interested in because I didn’t like any of the existing options. Google Reader used to be nice, but that’s long gone. After that died, I stopped using RSS, but I still believe it’s a really great way to follow blogs. And following interesting blogs is much better than reading FB, which I do less and less these days.