All over the world, the state of affairs in 2016 was universally bad. More people than ever died from terrorist attacks, and the world rewound hundreds of years in socio-economic spheres. But while the world crashed and burned, my year started well and ended up being the most memorable one in my 22 years of existence yet.
I cannot write all the stories that made this year so memorable. Some of them are long and boring, some are only meaningful to me, and some just cannot be told. But what I can try to do is use numbers. Numbers cannot be misinterpreted, and they tell a story.
So here goes.
I love travelling more than anything else in the world, and 2016 was the year when my travelling life really took off.
In January, I ended up making two round-trips between home and my university to attend the weddings of two of my cousins.
In March, I went to my first ever KDE conference - conf.kde.in 2016, at the Lakshmi Narayan Mittal Institute of Information Technology in Jaipur. There I fell sick and had to trudge back home, again.
Ever since becoming a member of the KDE Community I wanted to attend an Akademy, and in May I finally applied for and obtained my first ever passport to go and attend this year's event in Berlin. I went.
And finally in October, I went to the United States of America to attend the Google Summer of Code Mentor Summit at Google's offices in Sunnyvale.
The numbers for my travels this year are impressive:
- 52,188 kilometres flown
- 9,047 kilometres travelled by train, in 2 countries.
- 10 different kinds of aircraft flown.
- 9 airports visited, in 6 countries.
- 7 passport stamps obtained from 3 countries.
- 4 classes of travel experienced in Indian trains.
- 3 foreign countries transited through.
- 2 foreign countries visited.
- 2 visas obtained.
- 2 North Atlantic crossings made.
- 1 passport obtained.
- 1 aeroplane cockpit visited.
2. Academic and Professional Life
This year, my academic life was a roller-coaster of successes and failures. I failed my first ever course in college and had to repeat it, but I had incredibly good grades in the subjects I did manage to complete.
My professional life saw nothing but success this year, however, as I worked as an intern over the summer while simultaneously mentoring a student through Google Summer of Code. I also managed to obtain multiple job offers, and signed a contract which would see me start working straight after the end of university this year.
The numbers are:
- ₹50,000 made in salaries from working 2 months.
- 155 active members of KDE e.V. decided on me as their 156th member.
- 15 courses completed in college.
- 8 talks given or unconference sessions chaired.
- 3 job offers obtained.
- 3 conferences attended.
- 2 job contracts signed.
- 1 job resigned from.
3. Personal Life
For me, 2016 was an year of major changes in my value system, thought processes, and personal and familial circumstances. The two months that I spent in Gurgaon working, the 2 weeks that I spent abroad, and some meaningful interactions with so many people spread throughout the year made measurable changes in who I am today from who I was a year ago.
As usual, the numbers:
- €220 saved up from my earnings to spend in Germany.
- 2 very expensive birthday treats given.
- 2 incredible sunsets witnessed while flying over Baku.
- 1 drink at a 5-star hotel's bar.
- 1 episode of major depressive disorder endured.
- 1 piece of designer clothing bought with my first ever salary.
- 1 incredible friendship formed under once-in-a-lifetime circumstances.
In the year that was, the highs where higher than ever and the lows were lower than ever. I learnt a thing or two about living life to the best of my abilities, not being sorry for things that I wanted to happen but which didn't, and handling everyday life when my mind just didn't want to co-operate. I learnt to not run away from my emotions, but to embrace them, feel them, and harness them.
And most of all, I formed some very meaningful bonds with new people. For all of you who are part of the many stories behind the numbers above, you have my undying gratitude, and lots of love.
I can only hope that 2017 will be as good a year for me as 2016 was.
Till next time, tschau!