11. Chania, Greece

11. Chania, Greece

I had heard many great things about Chania, and yes, it was awesome! Went as part of the Board of European Students of Technology alumni meeting, which made it even more fun.

Completed in April 2015

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10. Give a lecture

10. Give a lecture

This was a professional goal – to teach / give a lecture. Thanks to University of Tartu, I managed to do even better. I prepared and taught a whole course on language modelling and neural networks.

Completed in April 2015

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9. Viñales, Cuba

9. Viñales, Cuba

Viñales is a small village on the west side of Cuba, and it is situated in a valley by the same name. The valley has amazing nature and the karstic outcrops make the area look like something from the Jurassic age. The tiny village of single-storey wooden houses fits there perfectly and forms a very tranquil and beautiful location. Don’t miss this in Cuba. 🙂

Completed in November 2014

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8. Havana, Cuba

8. Havana, Cuba

From what I’ve heard, Cuba is one of the more unusual countries in the world, as a result of its political regime and isolation from the United States. And it always seemed like a very exotic place to visit, with old cars, colourful buildings, great weather and sandy beaches. I was not disappointed.

In November, Leo and I went to Cuba for three weeks and travelled around the island. Havana was great and it had all the things you would expect from the Cuban capital. Spectacular buildings, crumbling slums, street musicians, Che Guevara, great weather and an active nightlife.

Completed in November 2014

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7. Try fasting for 24 hours

7. Try fasting for 24 hours

So, this one is a bit weird. I wanted to try and not eat anything for 24 hours.

My classmate Marius recently wrote a blog post about how he doesn’t eat on Mondays, and it sounded interesting to me. In addition to the weight loss properties, I thought it would be interesting to observe how my body performs without food. Would I get tired or grumpy? Next time I go for camping, do I need to worry too much whether I have enough food with me, or is it fine to just go without if necessary?

So I ate a full meal Sunday evening, and didn’t eat anything else until 24 hours later. Only tea (no milk or sugar) and water was allowed. I was thinking I’d go for longer, and eat again Tuesday morning, but I ended up abandoning that plan and stuck with 24 hours.

Overall, it wasn’t a fun experience really. Some observations:

  • I got slower. My reaction speed was not the same any more, and it even took more effort to focus my thoughts sometimes.
  • I was feeling somewhat lightheaded. I guess this was expected.
  • I had all this extra time. Usually eating is a whole process. You first prepare the food, then eat it, then relax for a bit before getting back to work. I usually like to watch something as I eat, and keep watching for a bit even after my food is done. Without eating, all this free time opened up.
  • I didn’t see or feel any specific benefits after fasting.

Perhaps I would get better at it if I kept doing it. But for now, I don’t think fasting is for me. I’ll just go with more exercise and a healthy choice in foods. 🙂

Completed 18 August, 2014

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6. Bridge Hopping in Cambridge

6. Bridge Hopping in Cambridge

Bridge hopping is an old Cambridge tradition. As the punt (a special boat) passes under a bridge, you climb onto the bridge, and jump back into the punt from the other side. 🙂

I’ll be honest – I actually left this item out when I was putting together the list. Based on the bridges in central Cambridge it seemed like too much effort. I thought I would need to train and practise for quite some time, before being able to climb a bridge in one of the colleges, as there’s not much to hold on to, and they are quite high.

Well, a couple of days ago we took a punt in the other direction, towards Grantchester. On that route, there’s a bridge perfect for hopping – it’s very low and there’s plenty of options for grabbing on. So I did it 🙂

Completed 16 August, 2014

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5. Harvard University

5. Harvard University

Another very famous university. Went for the “Hahvahd” tour, which is not the official tour, but a tongue-in-cheek overview of the campus. Talked with people in the Harvard information center, and they didn’t seem too happy about the existence of that tour. 😛

Completed 3 July, 2014

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4. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

4. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is one of the top technology universities in the world.
Went for a visit and a student-led tour.

Completed 3 July, 2014

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3. See a play on Broadway

3. See a play on Broadway

Went to see “Of Mice and Men”, an American classic, written by John Steinbeck. Somewhat untraditionally, this serious play starred James Franco and Chris O’Dowd, both famous comedy stars. But they did a great job and the play was very enjoyable.

Completed 30 June, 2014

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2. Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge

2. Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge

Brooklyn Bridge is one of the visual symbols on New York. It’s 1825m long and 84.3m high.
We took the underground to Brooklyn and then walked back to Manhattan.

Completed 30 June, 2014.

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