I am DVDKOURIL. This is my blog.

David goes to USA: part 1

This was my first time flying to US and also first time on a long haul flight. First flight with Austrian (close to 9 hours) went perfectly well, they distract you with food and drinks, and I had podcasts to keep me entertained.

The other flight was with United (for around 5 hours) and I got lucky, I was sitting next to a lady who shared a Philly cheesesteak with me.

The immigration checks (or whatever it’s called) went smoothly too (it’s something I’ve heard is kinda random).

We went to SLC for a meeting of people working in the same field and I got to say that I left feeling very inspired! I really liked having Salt Lake City as my first contact with USA, the mountains are super pretty, the city itself looks very clean, and the University of Utah campus looks like a typical american university campus (very nice).

From there we drove to Grand Canyon. But we are stupid and didn’t book any accommodation for that night and it turns out it’s kinda difficult to find a room around Grand Canyon at 11pm in the night.

We ended up sleeping in a car on a parking lot next to Horseshoe Bend. At least we got to see it on sunrise the next morning.

We did two hikes while in the Grand Canyon national park: short one on Saturday and brutal long one on Sunday. The short hike was along the South Rim. The long one we hiked down on the South Keibab trail, then changed to the Tonto trail, and finally hiked up the Bright Angel trail.

After that we drove to Phoenix and now we are here at the conference. The conference ends on Friday 6th and after that our road trip starts.

Preparing for the USA trip

I’m going to USA in a few days and I’m excited (and just a little nervous) about it.

First, we have a meeting with collaborators in Salt Lake City and afterwards we will attend VIS 2017 in Phoenix, trying to squeeze a Grand Canyon visit in between those. After the conference me and three other colleagues are going on a road trip on the west coast. Plan is not exactly clear for the road trip yet, we want to go to national parks mostly but I would really like to see some of the big cities too. We are flying back from San Francisco on Monday, October 16th. That’s almost 3 weeks I’ll spend there and I’m just super hyped for that.

I’m looking forward for all three parts: In Salt Lake City I will meet people that I’ve only talked to online so far, I’m sure the conference will be inspiring, and the road trip afterwards is going to be awesome too. I’ll be giving a short presentation in SLC, nothing at the conference, I’m only coming there to watch, get inspired, and network.

But most of all I’m looking forward to just experience US. Ever since I’ve been a teenager, I’ve been living in the US world through the internet. Even though I’ve lived in Europe my whole life, I know a lot of the American culture from second hand. You get the feeling that this is the place where it’s all happening. I’m really curious to see how is this world experienced in person.

I’ll try to continue with writing updates on blog (with lots and lots of photos) but besides that I think it’s to be expected that I will be posting a lot of my instagram.

Vacation!!!

This year we spent a week in Kardamili, a town in Peloponnese, Greece. We did a similar thing as last time: rented an apartment, got a car, and traveled the area as much as possible.

We’ve been to: Polylimnio waterfalls, Methoni, Koroni, Pilos.

Beaches: Kardamili, Kalamitsi, Phoneas, Voidokilia, Kalogria

Unfortunately I had sun allergy again. I’m pretty fair-skinned so I’m used to getting sunburnt, but getting rash from the sun is something even worse. It seems that there are ways how to prevent that so I’m gonna try some of that for the next year!

Btw. I love flying. If I was deciding right now what I want to be I’d sat a pilot. I don’t really know why I like it so much, it just seems so cool to be flying planes.

One thing I like about going on vacation is that I leave my computer at home, no working, which makes me think a lot. I think about what I’m doing, what I want to do, how should I be doing it, what are my goals, how I’m gonna reach them, what future I imagine for me and Gabi, … I write it all down in my phone and then go through it back home. It’s very easy to lose direction once you are back in your regular life, it just feels like one day after another. At that moment, it’s nice to look at these notes and see if you are working towards something in there, or if you need to navigate the life a bit better.

We have some very nice photos (mostly Gabi did them but sometimes I pushed the button):

Heatwave 2: The Sweating Continues

The extreme temperatures continued this week.

We had a little bit of crisis in our relationship on Wednesday. I’m not gonna go into detail but we had to talk about certain things and figure out how to solve them if we would continue being together.

Luckily everything ended up well.

I took Thursday and Friday off, to spend some time with Gabi and also chill out for a bit. Our vacation is still one month away.

We went for a swim in Alte Donau and for a walk.

I really need to spend more time outside of the apartment. When I have nothing to do I’m just easily bored. There’s only so much work I can do in a day and when I have all the free time I can I don’t use it very well.

Being outside makes everything feel better. I don’t know if I can describe the feeling…it’s like you are a part of it, part of the city, part of the world. You are actually doing shit instead of just looking out of window and trying to figure out what to do.

Also: I cooked this deliciousness:

Thesis is submitted. What’s next?

A lots of stuff that’s what!

We both submitted our theses and now we just have to wait for the reviews, to see what people who didn’t spend several months looking at it think about it. But in the meantime, it’s not like we have a lot more time to do nothing. The only think that kinda changed is the pressure. In one month, we will be having our final examination and thesis defense, and that’s something you really need to prepare for. I also still need to pass an exam for my last course. And I have a lot of tasks to finish for my job at TU Wien. So no, I’m not slowing down after the thesis submission.

But it feels a little bit different. After writing something for so long, it feels good to have it printed and submitted. It’s kinda like I’m done with it (although I will have to talk about it in the defense of course). But after writing for so long, I like to get back to programming. In programming, you don’t primarily focus on making everything look perfect. You focus on getting things to work. Or at least I do. I guess I’m not a perfectionist, but I like to make stuff, see that it works, and move on.

I think I’ve already mentioned that I’m reading Tim Ferriss’ Tools of Titans. I really like this book. It’s pretty inspiring and contains great advice for living a life in general.

This week, I also decided that I probably should think about my goals and what I’m going to focus on in 2017. I wrote it down. The summary is something like this:

  • I want to keep myself as healthy and fit as I can. I will keep working out, maybe try new stuff. I want to focus more on my diet.
  • I want to keep writing, I want to keep blogging. This blog is primarily for me. There are several reasons why I started, but the two biggest are that I wanted to get better in writing in English, and that I wanted to capture my progress from basically nobody to somebody. I don’t know what that ‘somebody’ is, what the goals are, but I have so many things that I want to try and see what I can get out of life. I think my life is extremely exciting, I can’t even imagine where I’ll be next year, what I will be doing. But that’s very exciting for me and I want to capture this chapter of my life.
  • I want to put out more stuff. Mostly visual. I want to finish small projects—like some interactive computer graphics thingies with Cinder. I want to draw and paint again. I want to learn how to model in 3D. I would like to learn to take better pictures. I will publish all of this either on my Instagram or Tumblr. But I want to finish and publish more stuff!
  • I want to figure out how to make money other than from a job. This is a very complicated topic and I know that I’m already overcommitting with all these goals and this is a big one. But I just like to have control. Money is something that controls the whole world. My goal would be to break myself away from this. I want to make money something I never have to worry about and instead have all the time and resources to explore and experience what I’m interested in.

That’s about it. I can’t wait to get going in 2017. But first, I really need to go study for my exam…