2023 - A Year of Moving

So, I hadn't really planned on writing a summary post for this year, as lazy as I am, but somehow, here we are.

Honestly, 2023 for me was both quite interesting and boring at the same time. I can see very clearly that there were two distinct periods during 2023: the first half, the early 6 months of the year, and the second half.

The first half year

In the first part of the year, I had busy with so many trips. I was in Kuala Lumpur to celebrate the new year at the Petronas Towers, but then can right after that took a ten-day trip across Ha Noi, Ha Giang, Ha Long, Hai Phong, etc., in the North after Tet holiday. I also traveled day to day across many provinces in the West - Rach Gia, Can Tho, Bac Lieu, etc - or stayed and hid in some random islands of Indonesia.

I met friends and new people, and took many photos for our upcoming wedding that we have been planning for several years. My fiancé and I prefer a relaxed style of travel. Instead of rushing to popular tourist spots for photos, we like to spend time getting to know a place without feeling rushed. That's why some trips can be a bit boring with certain people.

The second half of the year

I left Fossil sometime in early Q3 with many regrets and emotions. It was good timing, but not in that way. I had planned for a gap of about 6 months or more after that, to continue on other trips to Europe. However, it could not be completed because of so many problems and all my plans kept changing. It could be said that it was almost random - buying an apartment.

My first house

I'm the type of person who can spend weeks thinking about whether or not to buy a small piece of technology. But I make big decisions like buying a house in a split second and quickly. We had discussed the pros and cons of living in other places, digital nomad or different country, or staying in Vietnam. I don't remember exactly what we talked about, but we met the seller the next morning after returning to HCMC and signed all the paperwork two weeks later. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Nini she is in charge of working with an interior design team and waited for them to build the house according to her wishes. I invested a lot of money into it, almost everything. It was a really stressful time for her but quite empty for me during that period. So, during that time, we continued the gap for a few months,... left for new trips in Southeast Asia, having to postpone our European plans the year later (hopefully).

The career

I invested a lot of money into the house. In the last few months of the year, I started applying to some companies to see what was going on over there. I hadn't even thought about looking for a big tech company or being part of such a large team yet, or becoming a manager or technical lead again.

I was really stressed when I was the tech lead several years ago, fighting with the other teams, endless meetings during the day, and coding at night.

The best for me at the moment are just to be an individual contributor, with no more meetings. I applied to a few companies, got some offers, and was ready to relocate to the EU, but I hesitated, feeling that I'm not ready for this. After a conversation with Cartrack, I feel like I can be comfortable here, at least for now - zero meetings, working asynchronously, and everything exactly the same as at Fossil that I can touch from the infrastructure to making technical decisions.

I am back to what a Data Engineer does - doing ETL, preparing Data Lake, working with ClickHouse, Airflow, Spark, Python, etc. Rust still holds a place in my heart, but for now, I am using it just for smaller projects, continuing to learn and preparing for bigger challenges in the future. I'm have so much time and happy now.

The plan

Well, it's not entirely clear yet. I'm here enjoying my low-key lifestyle, at least until I start feeling bored and look for new things.