Watercolor by Winnie

Happy winter solstice, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year to all of you fellow financiers and adventurers-in-place.

And Happy Hanukkah! Happy Kwanzaa! Happy Diwali! Happy Festivus! Seasons Greetings!

This was our 8th full year of post-work life. 2020… man, what a year.

We started the year on the ski slopes of Japan, returned home to Taiwan just as COVID-19 was starting to spread, and welcomed kid #2 into the world in peak summer (yeah!) This fall/winter we have been spending most of our time poolside at the country club.

Since more travel was out of the question, we did our best to enjoy home life as much as possible – which meant lots of outdoor time and gatherings with friends. It was a pretty wild year emotionally and financially, with lots of ups and downs – We were pretty fortunate to be in a coronavirus oasis in Taiwan (the VP is an epidemiologist, and the pandemic team has seen this movie before with SARS.)

In search of that Christmas spirit

This was a pretty physical year for me. I biked 2x more than I have in any previous year (~3,500 km) and tied my previous peak year in the pool, swimming about 50 km. I also did my heaviest 10-rep squat as an adult (~140 kg.) I still have a ways to go to get back to my high school personal best (~250 kg 1-time) but it is fun progress in any case.

Winnie has been busy with parenting, painting, and baking – her carbs are the best carbs. She also managed to grow another human, which is always impressive.

Jr has been growing in all possible ways – he is now tall enough to ride all the big kid rides at the amusement park, he can read “1st grade level” books on his own in both English and Chinese, he ditched his arm floaties and comfortably glides across the pool, and he even rode a solid 20km on his bicycle with me on one fine summer day. This was also his first year for skiing, sledding, skateboarding, body boarding, and tennis.

Waiao Beach, Taiwan

Rock climbing in Yilan, Taiwan

Hiking Elephant Mountain, Taipei

Kid #2 is also doing really well – he is super easy-going and seems quite pleased with himself when he manages to shove his whole fist in his mouth. Perhaps it is the nanny, but this go-round seems way easier overall. Big brother is also a big help.

Blog wise it was also a pretty good year. This is the 34th post of 2020, a pretty relaxed schedule – work / life balance is good.

In a bold new direction, Brandon joined Team GCC to write the Award Travel Series, a practical guide on how to make the most of credit card rewards programs for cash and travel. This is now 7 posts and counting. With vaccines already rolling out, this should be useful sooner rather than later.

Check it out for your own “free” travel: Introduction to Travel Hacking – Award Travel Series.

Of course other content was also popular. The 5 most viewed posts of the year were:

The 5 posts that have best stood the test of time include:

And here are a few of my favorite pics (more on Instagram)

Hitting the slopes

I Know Kung Fu

Flying High

GCC Family

We wish you all a warm and joyous holiday season, and a rapid return to normalcy. Thank you for reading, sharing, and telling all of your friends! ;)

Here is to 2021 being better than this one.

Jeremy, Winnie, Julian, & Jaiden
Go Curry Cracker!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!