Friday, December 27, 2019

A few things that made my 2010s interesting..

Cruise to Sthlm from Helsinki, the return trip
We are reaching the end of the 2010s. Easily my most favorite decade in my 3 decades of life (not counting the 1980s when I was still an infant). It is also 10 years since I started my blog Llovizna in 2009 March. These all make 2019 an interesting point in my life to look back and reflect. I also blogged about my life of 7 years in Lisboa and similar stories from the other cities that I lived during my MSc and Ph.D. I have the habit of summarizing a year when the year comes to an end, in an annual post, since 2012. This time, I decided to summarize 30 things that made my 2010s enjoyable, starting the tradition of a decade post.

I graduated with a first-class in Computer Science and Engineering.

Witnessing snowfalls in Paris on my first trip abroad. It was also my best conference experience so far, in terms of social activities.

WSO2 was like a family in those days.

Biyadhoo Island, Maldives
4. Leading the Local GSoC promotion
I did some evangelization around GSoC and open source, touring 7 Sri Lankan universities.

My first solo foreign trip. I also had the DXB -> LAX flight, which is one of the longest non-stop direct flights.

It required me to travel to New Delhi, twice.

Erasmus Mundus single-handedly changed my life.

Bairro Alto, Lisboa, by night
8. Feeling young in Lisboa
We had a group of friends, and we had terrific memories -- especially the first semester. "Portugal" also became the one-word summary of my 2010s.

It was a romantic and remarkable new year celebration.

It was snow everywhere and the first time spending days and nights in a ski resort.

Stockholm was my second city outside Sri Lanka. It was dark in winter. Still, it left many pleasant memories.

Woods of Farsta Strand, Stockholm
12. A Christmas vacation in 3 Nordic countries
Including a cruise to Helsinki from Stockholm, and a flight to Copenhagen from Stockholm and a train to Malmo.

13. London in Winter
It was a pleasant experience presenting the full paper of my MSc thesis. It also marked the successful completion of my MSc.

14. Biennial visits to Shenzhen, China
I enjoyed my visit to Shenzhen every other year, starting from 2014 (2014, 2016, and 2018). 

15. EMJD-DC Ph.D. program
I started my Erasmus Mundus Ph.D. program from Lisboa. This made me stay in Portugal for a total of 6 years (2012 - 2018) - much longer than I ever imagined.
Early dinner in Puerto Penasco, Mexico

16. Crossing to Mexico by land
During the SDS 2015 conference in Phoenix, I started the habit of visiting nearby countries when possible.

17. Spending a summer month exploring the Balcans
It was a short-term scientific mission (STSM) research visit to Croatia. I ended up traveling to nearby countries, Italy, Slovenia, and Serbia during the weekends.

18. Calm and warm Maldives beach
Enjoying a sunny island of Maldives.

19. The Caribbean sea of Nassau
It was fun in the Bahamas, although one day was raining and ruined part of our trip.

Calm waters of Nassau
20. The beautiful Rhodes island in the autumn
I was there in Greece to present my papers. However, the island was too tempting not to explore. The conference was in the Greek touristic island, and it was fun.

21. Chasing snow in Liechtenstein

Determined to witness snow for the Christmas/New year vacation, we traveled all the way from Zurich to Malbun in Liechtenstein, eventually reaching the snow-capped mountains.

22. Daily walks along the beautiful Louvain-la-Neve lake
The Belgian village was self-sufficient with everything we needed.
The Belgian village of Louvain-la-Neuve

23. A train ride from Oslo to the sunny Karlstad
The Swedish town instantly became one of my favorites.

24. When a huge fan of Romanian music finally arrives in Romania
Romania was stylish and much better than what I anticipated. And I love Romanian music.

25. Exploring Saudi life
KAUST was like a country on its own. We enjoyed the canteen food and frequent visits to the cinema.
Atlanta getting ready for Christmas

26. Getting into random buses in Jeju
Yet, we eventually reached the destination!

27.  Thiruvannamalai
This temple is special for me as I always wanted to visit it from my young age. We had a chance to visit Chennai and temples around.

28. Exciting moments in Atlanta
It was a special feeling, becoming a father.
The Red Sea, KAUST, Thuwal, KSA

29. Successfully defending my Ph.D. thesis with a distinction
I had to defend it twice since it is a double degree - first in Portugal and then in Belgium! Now, I am finally done with all my higher studies.

30. GSoC Mentor Summit 2018 and the Baltic Adventures
It was quite a packed crazy trip, spanning 5 countries, out of which 3 countries were the Baltic nations that I have never been to before.

I find it exciting how events look different from a longer perspective such as a decade. This is the first time I looked back at a decade. This was also the first decade I was independent on my own, as before I was always with my parents. I hope the 2020s will be more interesting than the 2010s. I am looking forward to the 4th decade of my life! See you again with a similar post in 2029.


  1. That's a great year indeed! Congratulations and here's to many more years of interesting research and fun travel adventures!

  2. Thanks Keheliya, I wish you too a very happy new year, and a productive decade of 2020s - with fruitful research as well as adventures. :)


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