Three Four

I read this meme yesterday describing 2019. The first half of 2019 and the second half of 2019 felt like two different years, and I could not agree more.

Having spent about two months this year in India and the rest in Vietnam, New Zealand and mostly Australia, for me the first two months and the rest of 2019 did feel like two different years.

I wondered if I would be as excited about writing these birthday posts as I was five years ago, and the excitement continues. Having to think about the year that was gives me great joy and documenting it is something I immensely enjoy.

From the goal I had set for myself in 2019, some I managed to achieve. 😊

  • More road trips. (Around NZ and Vietnam)
  • Continue learning new languages/tools. (Learning Docker and CI/CD)
  • Spend more time with family and friends. (Yay!)
  • Pick up a new hobby/activity to do. (Learning Muay Thai)

Things I failed at 😔

  • Travel to at least three new countries. (Only managed to visit one. Vietnam)
  • Make time to date someone seriously( Made some progress on this but not as much I would have loved to)


I moved from India to Sydney, Australia this year. Moving to a new country had its own set of challenges. A lot of lows and a few highs. I remember being in Hong Kong airport in Feb on my way to Sydney and almost booking tickets to head back to Mumbai. Staying away from my niece, family and friends for a long time was not something I wanted to do at that moment.

Sydney has been kind. Lots of new memories, lots of fresh food experiences, and getting back to flatting has been an exciting change. From having to cook dinners on some nights, ironing clothes to figuring our rent each month. A lot of exciting changes. I remember being scared of these changes in Jan this year when I was thinking about the move. I am glad it was not as scary as I imagined it to be.

Although I do continue to miss family and friends back home, meeting and spending time with people in Sydney has been remarkable. A lot of Whatsapp and voice calls were a personal highlight of this year.


If anyone asked me a few years back if I would consider taking up a full-time job, I would have answered “no” without giving it a second thought, but here I was six weeks after moving to Sydney, applying for full-time opportunities.

I initially told myself and a few friends that this was going to be a scary move. Its been long since I worked with an organisation of 5+ employees, and here I was signing an offer letter to join a 200+ company. (as I write this post, the company has now 300+ employees)

Working with ELMO has been great. The first few weeks were spent in panic mode, trying to learn Symfony framework and brushing up on Design Patterns. I have also had the most exciting programming based conversations this year and learnt so much about what it takes to write good code.

I also learnt the importance of using a debugging tool this year. Although I had read about Xdebug before, using it daily has been a big personal change for how I write software.

Tools I spent the most time with this year: Symfony, Xdebug, Docker, Bitbucket Pipeline, Github Actions, AWS Code Deploy and Vue.js.


This year has been terrible when it comes to travelling to new places. Although I am quite happy about exploring South Island in New Zealand a whole lot. Rented a caravan with and drove around South Island for 5 days.

Travelling around Vietnam with Mayur was great fun. We ended up eating at a few places recommended by Anthony Bourdain.

Visiting India in August to surprise my niece for her birthday was also a personal travel highlight of this year.

Goals for 2020

  • Move to an apartment somewhere close to the city. Cut down on travel time and spend that time reading/learning.
  • More physical exercise. Joining salsa classes in Jan.
  • Buy/rent a car and make more road trips across Australia.
  • Write/share more often on this blog.
  • Travel to at least three new countries. I am looking at you, Japan, Nepal and Finland.
  • Support more small businesses. Buy local and from Indie / small business owners.
  • Spend more time with family and friends.

I hope you all have an excellent 2020. 🙌🏻

Sunil Shenoy @sunil
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