Hello world (I flatter myself... hello to the handful of people that have stumbled onto this blog)!

Today, I partake upon the noble tradition of expressing myself through the tubes. To explain, I'm afraid I'll need +140 characters.

Three months ago, I graduated from Rice University with a BS in Computer Science. I also got a full time offer from Amazon to work in AWS where some naive HR person gave me the choice of setting my own start date. My first thought was some time next year but much reasoning (and more importantly - a finite budget) made me settle on starting the beginning of september (2013). That gave me three and a half months to do something.

I decided to go traveling. Figured I take some time off, go see the world and maybe do some soul searching. I also wanted to see the living root bridges with my own eyes.

So off I went, a backpack, some cheap airline tickets and a trusty (and as I later found out, somewhat delicate) Nikon D7000. Three months later and the job anfang imminent, I start a blog.

To connect the dots - before I left uni, I consulted some professors who I considered mentors about post uni life. One of them told me that the most important thing I could do is "to know myself". I was traveling in part to do just that.

During my journey, I met people from all walks of life, all traveling for different reasons. In Taiwan, I met a couple (about to be married) who traveled for the sake of the thing. In Malaysia, I met a French man traveling because of a broken heart. It was in Thailand that I met someone who was no longer traveling, someone who knew himself in a way very few do.

His name was Tom; he was monk, landlord and teacher. I stumbled onto his guest house in Chiang Mai by accident and hadn't planned on staying long.

The first night we met, Tom asked me to sit on a beanbag couch across from him. He asked me why I was traveling. I said I was "finding myself". He called bullshit. It only got more uncomfortable from that point.

For the next few nights, Tom continued asking me questions. What was my purpose? How was my relationship with my family? What did I want from him? The directness of his words constantly caught me off guard. I had difficulty giving him a straight answer for anything.

I ended up staying with Tom for the better part of a week, debating and arguing about self, purpose and spirituality. Near the end, we managed to come to an understanding of sorts (as in I finally understood what he's been saying to me all week and something I said he actually acknowledged).

I left still not quite knowing the answers but feeling much better equipped to find them.

Alas, blogging. One of the most important lessons I took from Tom is to live life honestly. This blog is an attempt to shape into words my values and beliefs. Half baked ideas, philosophical ramblings and personal pet peeves (why does my eight year old cousin, along with everybody else in the world, know Gangnam style?) - together, these things constitute my world view.

By making it public, it keeps me accountable for my words should my actions ever wander. Maybe some will even find it helpful.

I end with the disclaimer(as seen in every open source software project ever) that everything in this blog is published as is with absolutely no guarantees about anything. But that's (my) life.

Ps. After a ridiculous journey, did manage to reach the living root bridges (the picture doesn't do it justice)

![Tree Bridges]({{ "/assets/images/tree_bridges.jpg" | relative_url }})


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