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2021 Year End Review: Refocus

It's amazing how time flies. Here's my reflection on 2021.

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It’s that time of the year where I reflect on the past 12 months, how things have been for me – as a person, a creator and my journey – the highs, the lows, the opportunities and the roadmap for the next year. 2021 continues to have it’s macro challenges due to the pandemic, reframing our behaviour, mindset and actions. For me – One Tech Traveller and myself personally – 2021 has been a year of ‘refocus’.

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Taking Exercise Seriously

Probably one of the biggest wins for me this year is how I’ve stuck to building a better version of me and enjoying the process of exercising, the progress and the changes. Travelling a lot made it hard to keep on top of that and after I arrived in South Korea, I wanted to change what I saw and feel happier with where I wanted to be and feel.

While I did calisthenics before this drive and enjoyed some good progress, it wasn’t until the latter half of 2021 when I committed to exercising 4-5 times a week, worked on cleaning up my nutrition, building a mental discipline to be mindful of what I eat and conscious of my eating lifestyle. I’m still on this journey, working further to where I want to be and maintain, but certainly this was the breakthrough year to push through the mindset and see the progress I was hoping for.

With my time in South Korea coming to an end, I did worry about how the progress I had made would continue when I arrive back in the UK. This time around I signed up to the gym, got into the routine of working out 7-8am and still committing to 4-5 times a week, being able to work with heavier weights for muscle growth. I’m happy to say I’ve stuck towards it, continue to progress (or maintain after Christmas and I’m sure New Years as I allow myself to indulge), before getting back into the discipline.

I do miss proper pullup bars like the parks in Korea, or dip bars which feel much better to work with, but the addition of swimming, being indoors and sauna for relaxed days are very welcome and worth the price to be in shape. Love the process, enjoy the challenge!

Phoenix Plays YouTube Launch

Phoenix Plays is a strategic decision to open up a secondary YouTube channel away from One Tech Traveller. I’m excited about the opening as it allows me to share any gaming and entertainment related videos / streams within a gaming environment for my community.In the beginning I saw great growth, and interest in gaming on my main One Tech Traveller channel, but after a few months I realised how it strayed away from the main purposes of what I wanted the channel to be: travel stories and gear reviews.

It diluted what I wanted to do there – even if gaming videos drew many attention – so I brought it back to the fundamentals, announced the transition and then refocused it back on the exciting stuff I like to do there: travel the world in all forms and review the kind of awesome gear you can find. The foundations have been properly set and now I can continue to do both respectively.

Film, Anime and More Travel

With many projects going on, I slacked a little on my website, not giving it enough love to provide value to my readers where I want to, or often spending energy to make existing content on my channels viewable on my website. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but in my mind, it felt like I had ‘created’ on my website for that day when I really didn’t. I slowly started trying to create higher value articles again and focused on ideas and content exclusive on my website (something not talked about through my videos) to give a wider taste of things going on.

I wanted to bring value to other stuff I liked to do in my spare time and make them productive such as expanding into film and anime, redesigning for a cleaner and more value-based experience and continues to be a pivotal platform because I still have full freedom in that being accessible across the entire web.

I wanted to place more focus back on my travels, especially after spending 2.5 years in Korea, time in Thailand and Vietnam. There’s lots to unpack and digest, so I’m going back through my archives to share those!

COVID and Travel

Despite a tough climate with the pandemic, Korea has handled COVID pretty well. I can personally speak from experience how even staying indoors, social distancing, wearing face masks and exercising, I caught COVID and had a hard time with it. Fortunately, the infrastructure and healthcare here is advanced and very good, and was able to grow stronger from the tough time at the beginning of 2021.

Staying away from people on my travels and keeping them more to remote locations, I can say I still explored and enjoyed many of the beautiful sceneries in Korea: Gapyeong, Yangpyeong, Namhae, Jeonju, Jeju, Damyang, and more.

Exploring and wanting to see new environments are in my bloodline so I feel satisfied within the climate, I could still appreciate the views in Korea and hold true to my One Tech Traveller name.. I just need to be on top with getting those content out more timely!

Bought a new laptop to finally create

It’s true you can create on many devices these days, and that held true with my 5 year old Surface book.. before it decided to pack up. An expense for creators can be frustrating but finally opened up the chance for me to choose a new laptop that suits my needs in this day and age of what being a creator means. I wanted something to be more compact and lighter, powerful enough to edit native 4K footage, harder production software, streaming and gaming.

This is an important investment as a creator and thankfully can still say roughly 6 months on, I’m absolutely enjoying my ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14. It’s amazing powerful despite it’s size – the best in class in a 14″ that’s more value for money compared to the Razer 14 (but if you have the money, an NVIDIA 3080 GPU would be awesome), has THE best speakers you’ll find in a laptop and satisfies the all-round specs as a QHD, 120hz panel and AMD Radeon 5900HS CPU to push through harder tasks. There are a few compromises I had to make such as a lack of touchscreen, the glossy higher brightness display of my Surface Book, but it delivers everything I need in a small size suited to travel. Plus it has a unique animated lid and comes in a beautiful white.

Money well spent and in the end, as a creator, you want to have good equipment that suits your needs to create to the best of your abilities. I just need to keep on improving myself to keep up.

Korea has been amazing for me

Despite the climate, 2021 has been amazing as I thoroughly enjoyed my lifestyle in South Korea, something I appreciate much more after being in the UK. I found my way of life in the busy capital, got to experiencing living in different areas and different accommodation, and always indulged in Korean food.

Having that easily available to you at very reasonable prices and the overall convenience of how everything runs in Korea (besides there painful web experiences at some points), the exercise culture, fashion, music, places where you can enjoy nature and peace.. it certainly framed Seoul and South Korea as a place I can spend many more years.

Minimalism

I’ve always been quite a minimal person in the sense that I don’t need many things, but fewer, functional, practical items that suit my particular needs with style. Going back to the UK after all these years was the perfect time to purge though my current wardrobe of items and see what were still relevant in my life and what could be passed onto donations and clear away.The sense of more space, less clutter and the feeling of owning less baggage to think about is very liberating.

That carried onto arriving back in the UK, where I had to clear through boxes of years prior as I had to face all the items I’ve accumulated and not touched over time. Instead of shying away, I reveled in the face of it, clearing through boxes, plastic bags in a week to lighten my load back here to be more agile.

There’s still scope for me to be more aggressive on what I can do without, and will certainly do that into the New Year, but the significant process of really reducing my footprint was hugely rewarding. The ability to be more agile, move around with less baggage, condensing it down to the essentials and the most relevant things. The last stage is selling off the few electronics and valuables to move them on and then I will be in a good place.

Thank You 2021

2021 has no doubt been hard at times. Around the world and my own personal challenges. But it hasn’t stopped me trying to live my best life, doing what I love, creating what I create and just embracing every single moment for good or bad. Reflecting on the year always shows me how I can be better as a person, my attitude, my approach to life, my mental wellbeing and mindset, and the kind of person I continue striving to be.

The Keep being awesome mindset helps me with that and long will that continue into 2022! It’s been a year of transition, rebuilding and refocusing, and I feel like with all of the efforts now, 2022 is looking very promising.

Happy New Year 2022 Team KBA, I certainly will enjoy the final day of 2021 until the last minute lounging around, eating, gaming, watching and chilling, before going hard again January 1. See you in my next check-in as I share my 2022 plans for the upcoming road ahead!

Please consider supporting my work by contributing any amount as low as $1. This helps to maintain my website costs, development, creation efforts and putting food on the table. Your support is very much appreciated. Keep being awesome! Donate to support my platforms