Twenty Five

20141228_194530I liked the number “25” as a kid. Setting my TV volume to 25 was oddly satisfying just because it was a multiple of 5.

Turning 25 is a completely different story though. The age clock seems to tick so fast that I’m not looking forward to my next multiple of 5 anytime soon.

Inspired from Noah Stokes, I decided to write my own list of twenty five things that I have learned in twenty five years. Here it goes:

– Find people who inspire you and copy them.

– If you regret not starting a year earlier, you should be starting it now.

– Stress gives you bad dreams.

– If you can’t explain it to a kid, you don’t know it yourself.

– On your death bed, you wish you had spent more time with your family.

– Planning sets you up, but putting a strict deadline takes you to the finish line.

– Learn the basics.

– Relationships take time. And courage. And dedication.

– Sometimes, all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage.

– Don’t make money the priority, think long term and invest in improving yourself and your skills.

– But don’t let a situation come where you have to think twice to order a pizza.

– Stop impressing people, do it for yourself.

– Learn to say no. So powerful.

– Friday night isn’t about drinking or socializing. Know what makes you happy, do that!

– A lot of Sweetness is bad not only in your tea.

– Read a lot, and then take a walk.

– Hide some money in your inner wear. Always have a Plan B. Have Plan C in your head.

– No office work at home. Invest in other things.

– Know when to recharge. Everyone needs their ‘me’ time.

– Make food for your roommates, wash their dishes. Ask them do the same.

– Know important people in your life. Sometimes saying sorry is all it takes.

– Have a glass of water next to you at night. Drink a lot of water.

– Be the hardest and smartest worker in the room. There is no substitution to hard work.

– Balancing life is the key to a happiness. Work isn’t everything. Know this early.

– Be honest AND smart. Honesty wins trust, smartness takes you forward.


‘Til my next birthday.

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2015 Mantra – Put It Down

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Honestly speaking, I don’t even remember my resolution of the previous year. Resolutions (for me) last momentarily – think, plan, say it out to your friends, and it’s gone before you know it.

I always thought New Year was a day when everyone gets drunk and shouts Happy New Year to each other. I even questioned – Why is it happy for you – to my friends when I received the common phrase. Understandably, I received stares but it did forced them to think and eventually spill out their happy moments of year that went by.

Everything or action should have a meaning.

This year, I took this day to stop and reflect on what happened last year and what I’m planning to do the next year. My mantra for 2015 is going to be simple. I’m going to focus on one thing only:

Put it down.

Simple, right? But, put what down you may ask!

Put everything that is distracting me, down.


 

Put the phone down.

As a foreigner in a different land, all my close friends and family are thousands of miles apart from me. The only way to be connected and in constant touch with them is via my phone (yes, laptop too!). I tend to check every beep or vibration of my phone thinking that they might be something important – an email or a message. Distraction is way too easy with my phone and this has affected my productivity and mentality. This has kind of become an addiction, where I’m a slave to my phone instead of the opposite.

This year, I’m going to put down my phone, very often.

I will try to find a balance between staying connected with close ones and be distraction-free at the same time.

Don’t be surprised if you don’t receive an instant reply, like you used to. But you will hear back from me, eventually.


 

Put down the excitement

2014 had a lot in store for me.

The first half of the year was all about studies and work. And the second half of year was more about finding and growing into myself, the person that I want to become.

2015 is going to be a year where I will focus on sustainability. A lot of things excites me and I tend to act and rush into things prematurely (learned the hard way!). I feel that this doesn’t work well in long run.

Here, I’m talking about both my work and emotions. Both needs to be kept on check so that I have the same level of excitement and enthusiasm throughout my endeavour.

In 2015, I want to focus on keeping. Achieving takes a lot of effort, but maintaining is a totally different ball game. I want to maintain the same level of enthusiasm throughout the year in everything that excites me.

In 2014, I started my journey to understand love. Love for work and love for people. And to be honest, it is way too complicated. I’m sure it will be a life long journey. But what I’ve understood so far is: love is when you do something inherently for someone’s happiness.

Best explained by this answer in Quora:

What is Love?

Love is when, I sleep with one blanket on, and wake up with two, because my mom was probably feeling cold.


 

Put down my thoughts.

I intend to write my thoughts on things that come across my head throughout 2015. There are few things that I want to share, but I need to figure out the best way to convey my ideas. 2015 is going to see more of that.

Also, I plan to write more technical articles in 2015.


I don’t believe in having a long checklist and making your life mission to achieve them. But, I do have few things that I want to do in 2015:

  • Get my license, a car and drive to another state (long time due)
  • Visit either Canada, Mexico or Europe (a man can dream, right?)
  • Hot Air Balloon (first step to conquer my fear of heights)
  • Learn to play Explosion in the Sky – Your Hand In Mine in a piano (I love this song and would love to play and create my own version)
  • Go to a beach (1.5 years in US and no beach yet, damn! – Santa Monica doesn’t count)
  • Hike in Grand Canyon National Park (Heaven)
  • Cook Dim Sum (I have my own reasons)
  • Attend Boyce Avenue & Lights and Motion Concert (Anywhere in the United States)

‘Til then

Year In Review – 2014

Visited 44 different cities, 41 states with a total of 60 cities throughout the year.

Lived in 2 places.

Rode 6 different trains/subways. (BART, MUNI, TriMet, New York Subway, DC Metro and Amtrak)

Took 11 domestic flights.

Rode Uber 19 times.

Rode Cab 3 times.

Rode 3 metros in the wrong direction.

Kicked out of a cab 1 time.

Couch surfed 17 times.

Volunteered in 2 events for a total of 32 days (MozDrive).

297 git commits for Clip for 3 products.

Worked on 10 projects (including hackathon hacks).

Attended 3 hackathons.

Drank 792 cups of tea and 64 cups of coffee.

Attempted 5 different types of Mo: Mo: achar.

Sent 47 postcards.

Read 11 books and left many incomplete.

Published 26 and drafted 5 blog posts.

Saw 1 live concert.

Watched 4 movies in a hall.

Watched Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogy at least 7 times.

Celebrated 2 trophy wins by Arsenal.

Changed my passwords 2 times.

Played with at least 12 dogs.

Changed my thesis topic 3 times.

Planted 6 vegetables and at least 20 flowers.

Fell at least 50 times while ice skating.

Became tatu (lost all money) while playing cards 1 time.

Learned 3 new card tricks.

Donated money to non-profit 3 times.

Started working out 2 times (streak failed both the time).

5 all-nighters.

Got pulled over by cops 1 time.

Watched Dark Knight trilogy at least 2 times.

Got to eat wai wai only 2 times. 😦

Launched Indiegogo campaign 1 time.


I will add more if any other comes across my mind.

‘Til then

Finding Happiness, Together

Here is a simple imaginary story written by a lazy person. Bear with me.

Let’s have two characters in our story. I like dogs. Let them be dogs.

We will call them Bum and Pie.

Bum and Pie were super cute together and instantly formed a strong affection towards each other after they met.

But, this bond of affection was in the form of a leash. They were attached to each other. I’m talking about a physical leash where they couldn’t be away from each others’ sight.

This was something unexpected.

But, they loved each others’ company so they didn’t really mind the leash. Actually, they loved it.


Let’s introduce a maze, a gigantic maze, in our story.

Bum and Pie found themselves wondering around the maze confused to why they were there in the first place.

This wasn’t a game; this was real. Both of them had to decide whether to take left or right. They had to do this together because, umm, of the leash.

The direction didn’t matter at that time because they liked each others’ company. They would consult each other, decide a direction and run. It was fun.

Oh, did I tell you that the maze had stars all over the place? Bright yellow stars. Every time they came near a star – poof!. It didn’t leave any trace nor had any value. Just, poof it went!

It was a game now, their game. To run around and find stars.

Poof! Poof! Poof!

It really didn’t matter which direction they took because they eventually found a star.It made both of them happy. They found happiness.


As days passed by, finding a star became harder and harder. It wasn’t that the stars were getting over, but the maze was playing a trick on them.

Frustration and desperation started to creep in.

Finding a star became difficult, or, they would say finding happiness became difficult.

Now, Bum and Pie started to have arguments over directions.

They didn’t have that initially, remember?

Frustration kept piling up. Blaming and resenting over small issues started.

Situation was getting out of control because they started to doubt each others’ sense of direction.


Things had to change.

Bum and Pie took a step back and thought over the entire situation.

It was about them, remember?

It was always about them.


Now, to be more realistic, let’s replace few things:

Bum and Pie are a couple.

The leash is a relationship bond.

Maze is the world.

The directions are decisions for certain situations – can be something big like career or small like restaurant choice.

Stars are, you guess, instant gratification. Or Happiness.


Now, think of the entire situation again.

Initially, they didn’t even know stars existed. But, they found them without looking for them. They took decisions together and found stars along the way. If they were confused on the direction, they talked it out and ran, together.

They understood each other – compromised, sacrificed and put their ego aside to take decision together.

But once they started looking for stars, they forgot the fundamental rule of the maze.

It was never about finding stars. No matter what, how and where – the first rule was to understand each other and always to be together.

Stars, just, came along the way…


‘Til then

A Year of Thankfulness – 2014

One and half years have flown by since I moved to the United States in August last year. Today is the second time I celebrated Thanksgiving Day with near and dear ones. With so many things that I dislike about America, I’ve come to realize that Thanksgiving is the second best thing about this country (the first being – attendance not mandatory in classes).

Thanksgiving has one core meaning: being thankful for all the good things that happened in the past year. It’s secular and you aren’t asked to follow any religious beliefs to celebrate this day. It is simply getting together and reflecting on things that you are thankful for.

It is a pure and rare holiday that has a simple foundation, isn’t overly commercialized (like so many other things in America), isn’t another perverted celebration (again, like so many other things in America) and doesn’t involve going to the pub/club (America!!).

It is beautiful because everyone finds time to come together, cook delicious food and share stories.

In short: It creates happiness.

I want to take a moment to write a thankful note for the past year and hope to make this my yearly tradition.


I’m thankful for having the most loving and caring family. Even though we aren’t physically together, I want to thank all those moments of closeness as one family in the past year and hope to have many in years to come.

I’m thankful to all my IIITA friends who are close to me yet so far.

I’m thankful to all the wonderful technologies that have significantly reduced the distance with loved ones.

I’m thankful to all my wonderful friends in Cincinnati who have become a significant part of my life.

I’m thankful for having more happy moments than sad moments in the past year.

I’m thankful for being able to travel to more places than I imagined.

I’m thankful for understanding that life is all about priorities. The more important the person, higher the priority.

I’m thankful for being able to able to trust my instincts and take more risks.

I’m thankful for being able to volunteer my time and knowledge in causes I believe in.

I’m thankful for being able to write this note in my room, in peace, and know that I have important people in my life everywhere.


‘Til then

My Plan for – Being So Good That They Can’t Ignore You – The Idea

I’ve always been keen and curious to learn about people and their stories. I don’t mean reading a biography book (I don’t have the patience for that, yet) but I mean  stumbling across a wonderfully-thought article and then exploring the author’s ideas, experiences and life, in general.

I feel that everyone should have an online presence – sharing their experiences and reflection on their life which someone can read and relate to. This is how human civilization moves forward; everyone learning and helping each other in an invisible way. This is why I love the web so much – okay, that’s a story for another day.

“Be so good that they can’t ignore you.”

This statement came across my head while I was reading a blog post by Alex Mccaw. I knew I heard this quote somewhere in the internet, so I tweeted it just to note the time stamp of my thought.

I knew something inside me clicked after reading Alex’s traveling adventures.

He wrote how he traveled around the world for a year to write a book. He had the luxury of doing so because he was so good that people couldn’t ignore him. Even though I traveled to 41 US States in 25 days for a cause and pledged to share my experience,  I knew that I am nowhere close to being that good (not negative, but consider level 0). I believe there is so much to learn and grow that I feel like an amateur almost all the time.

This is not the first time that I’ve read people traveling as a passion – Derek Sivers traveled to 16 Asian countries to learn their cultures and business, Greg Hartle traveled around the US with $10 to rediscover himself and help businesses along the way. So, it was not the traveling part that excited me, but having the luxury to work on something you’re passionate about and having fun at the same time.

That post sparked a fire inside me. I can’t tell you exactly why because I don’t know. Maybe we are in the same profession or because of the title ‘JavaScript Developer’?

I really don’t know.

But what I do know is, I questioned myself – Why not me?

This is a question that I constantly ask myself to get motivated when I read something like this. Because it takes lot of effort, hard work and dedication to reach that level of doers.

The first principle of successful people are – Successful people work extremely hard. The old saying that ‘right people, right time’ is crap what jealous people say about successful people. Successful people are giving 101% all the time, so when opportunity knocks at their door, they are ready to grab them with both their hands and give 110%. That’s how they rise and become indispensable.

I want to be that too.

Because – Growth Mentality, which basically means that you can learn any skill if you passionately work towards it with dedication and hard work. To be so good that you can’t be ignored, you really have to get up, think, have a plan and work hard towards your goal. This is why I wrote this post – The Idea – and start of my journey to try to be so good that they can’t ignore me.

Follow me @prashishh

‘Til then

Appreciate Small Things in Life

I really don’t like Wednesdays.

This day of the week, I’ve got an eight-hour on-campus work shift, followed by another three-hour lecture class.

This picture clearly depicts how I feel when I reach home, all battered and bruised, from the day’s work.

it's over

And after reaching home, all I want to do is to take some rest and get back working on my massive to-do list for the day: hobby projects(+), hobby research projects(+), thesis work, interview preparation and blah.

But, I end up cooking a proper meal.

Be it 10 pm or 1 am, it doesn’t matter.

Because it isn’t a chore; it isn’t something that I’m forced to do.

Why?

I really don’t know, coming for a guy who didn’t cook a single meal for 22 years of his life.

But really, I feel that these are small things that I love doing. I don’t see them as routine. Routine is boring and it sucks!

Also cooking helps me de-stress, re-focus and have my me time.

And it does saves me some money for dinner, which I can use later for a weekend travel. (It adds up!)

Keep Calm and Look Around

Everyone of us complain of our hectic lives and not having enough time to do small tasks.

Don’t lie. You’ve had several excuses for not calling your parents, or not doing your laundry, or not cooking your lunch, or not cleaning your room.

If you think over it, it has become a habit now. Repeatedly not doing that work has made you self conscious of pushing it for some other day aka never.

Think about why you are doing it in the first place, and that realization will help you get that extra motivation to start and cross the finish line.

Look around and enjoy the small things in life.

Call your parents once a weekyour bond with your family will grow stronger.

Cook lunchyou’ll eat healthy and save some buck.

Talk to her while commutingyou’ll feel closer and your love will grow.

Sing a goodnight song to herI mean just wishing her a sweet goodnight will make her sleep well and make her tomorrow better.

Walk to your office once in a whileexercise = healthy body.

Take anything that you feel is a routine work, look from a different perspective, think of why you are doing it and make it enjoyable. This will significantly help you understand and appreciate the small things in life.

‘Til then.

#99Days

As I was mindlessly figuring out my schedule for the next few months, something caught my eyes. It led me to count the number of days till New Year.

It was exactly 99!

2014 has been a year of stories for me. I’ve done crazy things that I would have never done a year back; from stories that I can share to oops!. Looking forward, I wondered what the rest of the year has in store for me? I tweeted about it.

I personally thought that the tweet was for someone to think what he/she would like to do in the next few months. It was a simple nudge that life is short, 2014 is almost over and it is about time you start acting on the thing that has been on your mind for a very long time. It was time to reflect back, step up and start working on your bucket list. But, when James replied to my tweet with a list of things that he’d like to do by the end of 2014, I knew I was up to something.

That was when I decided to make a list of things for myself that I would like to do before the end of the year. It isn’t the most aggressive list, but hell, something is better than nothing and I know these will always be on the top of my head whenever I need to take that split decision or when I procrastinate.

Here goes the list:

– Visit 5 different cities:

Not the most ambitious of travel plans, but after #MozDrive, I decided to spend the later part of the year with my beloved laptop – creating beautiful things of value.

– Launch 2 personal projects:

I’ve already started/planned some hobby projects, and I would love them to take off before the end of the year. I would be a stretch and pushing the limits, but I take on the challenge.

– Find the perfect soulmate:

I’m sure many of you didn’t expect this or must have giggled after reading this. But, I’ve realized that life is complete with another person to your side to share the moment with. There is a thing called – ‘love’ – which makes you do crazy shit for the other. I’m looking forward to finding that person, the person who will bring the feeling of butterflies in my stomach.

– 10 things I’ve never done before:

I have absolutely no idea what I’m going to do but Stay tuned.

– Complete 5 books:

After Punit challenged me to #BookBucketChallenge, I realized that I haven’t read a lot of book this year. That needs some work.

I’ll constantly be editing, crossing and adding things to my list as I accomplish them during the course of time.

If you think you need some motivation, #99Days is the perfect catalyst for you to act. #JustMakeAList #JustDoIt #99Days.

If you see this post after the 99th day, find out how many days you’ve got from here, #JustMakeAList #JustDoIt

‘Til then

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Update: 30th Oct, 2013

I have been saying two very contradicting statements to myself in the last few months:

1. Life is a long haul.

2. Life is short.

There are times when I get – ‘You have to fix your priorities’, ‘You have to be doing more’, ‘Make up your mind’, ‘Settle down’. Statement 1.

And there are times when I get – ‘You’re insane’, ‘Huh?’, ‘Slow down, tiger’, ‘You really work hard’. Statement 2.

There is and always be time for everything that you want to do in life. It’s all about what you should to be doing at the moment. Life is a long haul – because you can’t do everything right away, right now and it is good to step back and focus on the good things that is happening at the moment. But, whatever good is happening right now, you should be doing them well. Do them with such finesse, style, class that you will be remembered. Mediocre is not acceptable. Work with passion. Travel with an open mind. Cook with your senses. Love with all your heart. Do things with all you’ve got, and you’ll be remembered. Because – Life is short.

Follow up on the list:

1) Visit 5 different cities:
Washington DC, Virginia, Portland, Baltimore, Maryland, New York, New Jersey.

2)Launch two personal project: Exciting times ahead. I will launch one of them in a few days. 🙂

3) Find the perfect soul mate: Many of my friends were very curious and excited about my this resolution. First of all, I want to point out that I didn’t mean that I WILL find my perfect soul mate in 99 Days. Come On! I just meant that I will keep myself open to such possibility. In no universe will you find out if the person is your soul mate – in 99 days.

Update: All I can say right now is – Life is strange. You can never know who you will bump into and expect to meet someone you’d have never imagined in your life. But, Life is good.

4) 10 things I’ve never done before:  Yeps. I have done some strange things. I will write them down in the next update.

5) Complete 5 books: Even though I’ve read 100s of articles, I haven’t completed a single book. This is going bad. Need to work on this.

A reminder when you are feeling low. #life

A post shared by Prashish Rajbhandari (@prashishh) on

‘Til then

The Plan – After MozDrive

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“You should install a GPS tracking app in your phone so that we can track your location anytime.”

“If we don’t see your social media update every hour, we’re going to call and find you.”

“When you go through this route, don’t go wandering around except the highway. Just drive, don’t stop.”

“You better be in one piece at the end of the 25 days. We need you here!”

It was my last day as an intern in the Silicon Valley. My colleagues and supervisor jokingly threw comments and suggestions at me while I was debugging my final piece of production code before I leave. All my luggage and equipments were packed and stationed in the office so that I could directly go to the airport to catch my flight. My schedule was so tight that I had to drive out the day I landed in Cincinnati. There was no time to relax nor meet friends after I got home. I had to immediately check-in with my friend who was suppose to drive out with me, pack my remaining things, make sure we have everything for the journey (food, medicines and utilities) and head out. The fatigue after the 12-hour flight along with the timezone difference was the last thing on my mind. To understand the scenario, let me take you back a bit.

It had been 23 hours since I took a short nap, let alone good sleep. I was participating in an intern hackathon in LinkedIn HQ (probably one of the best hackathons that I’ve been to). It was 3 am in the morning and I was so caffeinated to a point that I was lost in my own code base. As I was working to fix a nagging problem, I received a notification in my inbox. You know those situation when you are feeling so helpless that you wander off as an legitimate excuse in the slightest opportunity in front of you. Yep, that was one of them. I even started opening some unread “Deal of the Week’ emails to reset my brain.

The message read –

“This is approved by the council. We really can’t wait to see the first report from this. : D Good luck : )”

As my brain was still trying to process the email because of how sleep deprived I was, I got another notification.

“Hi Prashish, Please document your trip thoroughly. We are very excited and waiting to see all your videos, pictures, blogposts and reports. : D”

Wow!

It had been little over a week since I sent my proposal to the Mozilla Reps Council and to be honest, I didn’t have much hope for my mega-drive to get approved. I had to stay calm, control my emotions and send out a ‘Thanks!’ email sounding happy and excited. I did that. Before telling this to all my friends and Mozillians who had been constantly supporting me, I had to finish my project in the hackathon. It was a test of control. I shut down the emotions and continued working on the project without sleep for another 17 hours. Even after the presentations was done and the event was officially over, I didn’t want to think with my super-tired head. It was a test of patience. I wanted a sound sleep and then think of the super exciting journey that I would be taking from the month of August.  I couch surfed at a nearby friend’s house in Santa Clara and woke up fresh after a full 12-hour uninterrupted sleep. I passed all my tests. It was the beginning of couch surfing and what was to come in the next one month.

The next few days kept me super busy as I planned and launched the official website, social networking profiles (Twitter, Facebook) and a Q/A page. As I was working on the MozDrive website, I asked several Mozillians for suggestions and testimonials.

William Reynolds, Product Manager at Mozilla – “I’m excited about the Mozilla Awareness Drive. This is one of the most ambitious campaigns organized by a Mozillian. There’s nothing like visiting Mozilla and Firefox fans and having casual chats with them.”

Sayak  Sarkar, Mozilla Reps Super Mentor  – “I think that this is perhaps one of the most ambitious yet promising initiatives towards spreading the Mozilla mission and awareness about the open web since the Firefox Crop Circle initiative. This initiative speaks out a great lot about how passionate Mozillians are towards the project and how much they are inspired towards contributing towards a common goal of a Free and Open Web.”

The testimonials by Sayak and William really caught my eyes as both of them used the phrase – ‘one of the most ambitious’. To be honest, I didn’t realize the scale of this project until the very last moment. It isn’t that I didn’t understand the project but the desire to do something meaningful for the Mozilla community made the whole planning process look very straightforward. You see, it had been little less than a year since I came to the United States as a graduate student. Back in Kathmandu, Nepal, I would be attending/organizing Mozilla related events in a regular basis; be it orientations, hackathons or meet ups. That drastically changed after I stepped in the United States as I was adapting to the new environment and getting myself caught in the new world around me. To be fair, I did attend the Mozilla Festival in London and Mozilla Reps Meet up in Portland the same year. But, I felt I didn’t make a lot of impact that I would have liked to. In Nepal, there was a huge movement in Mozilla and Open Source that you could actually see the community growing and getting more active. That was something that I wanted to do here too.

The Mozilla Community is very close to my heart because everyone really cares about their work and how that impacts lives around the world. Every Mozillians that I meet are passionate about their work and the community. There is no ‘I’ but ‘We’ in our community. You don’t see a lot of these sort of things in the world we live in. And to be part of this, always makes me a proud Mozillian. I could have easily spent my 25-days break completing full seasons of TV series that I’ve always wanted to. Or if I wanted to be productive, work on a hobby project. Both of them sounded fun as I had spent months working on many products in a very competitive startup in the heart of Silicon Valley. But that’s not something Mozillians do. A Mozillian would spend his free time taking actions on how he/she could build communities together. A Mozillian would plan and work to make the web free and open. A Mozillian would create a movement. That’s what I wanted to do. I wanted to inspire thousands of Mozillians around the world to take actions on their dreams to make them a reality. That’s the reason I set out on this incredible journey to travel around the United States to spread the love about Mozilla and the Open Web.

To tell you the truth, I’m freaking scared of driving. But who isn’t? When there are cars zooming from every direction, the only thought in my head is reaching my destination safely. I never drove a car for more than 10 hours total in my life (which includes me sitting on the driver’s seat and being amazed by all the buttons in front of me). I never had a driving license in Nepal and I barely passed the maneuvering exam on the same day that I was set to fly for San Francisco (internship). That left me with a learner’s permit to drive with a legal driver next to me.

But that didn’t stop me from driving almost half the United States in less than a month. It didn’t stop me from gathering the courage to say ‘YES!’ to the most amazing adventure even though I had no prior experience. It didn’t stop me from taking that risk that would drastically change my life for good.

You might think I’m crazy.

Ask John – that guy who we found in Craigslist to rideshare with us to Los Angeles. He had traveled to almost all the US States and when I told him about our drive, he immediately responded –  ‘You(‘re) crazy man!’.

Or ask Laura – the lady who I met in Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City and had to convince her by showing MozDrive’s Facebook page after she rejected my approach saying – ‘I don’t buy this sh*t’.

Or ask my mom whom I had to convince 4 times everyday that everything will be alright and is under control.

Because driving 13,000 miles in 25 days which is around 8-10 hours everyday is not a joke in any sense. The body and mind could take so much that you needed a lot of self control and motivation throughout the journey for you not to burn out. Yes, there were times when I questioned the entire journey and why I was doing this. Yes, there were times where I wanted to chicken out half way through thinking people will forget about this. But, when you are on a journey which carried such powerful mission and values, that becomes your driving force. When you truly believe in a cause, your physical body will somehow find a way to make it happen and keep you moving forward.

The journey itself was immense where I had opportunities to meet people from all walks of life, culture and countries. I have so much stories to share that I don’t even know where to start. But I promise, I will. That’s why you are reading this. I want you to know what’s in store for everyone in the next 3-4 months. I’m not a writer by any means nor do I have any experience in professional writing. It took me two days just to think and come up this amateur 2,000 word chapter. But, I’m a strong believer of Growth Mindset, and I believe that I can eventually learn the art of expressing my thoughts and ideas through words. My final goal is to write at least 20 chapters of my experience during MozDrive. And to take it one step further – publish it as an ebook in future. That’s the dream!

It is impossible to accomplish a goal without taking actions on it. And this is my first step towards that goal. I know it will take a longer time, but I feel that it will be worth it at the end. And I do hope that you find a positive progress in my writing over time. By taking actions, I simply aim to inspire and awaken hearts of people to do something that they believe in.

If you are reading this – I thank you for taking time and interest in my next journey for MozDrive. Since, I am no writer, I’m looking for people who would be interested to proof-read and edit my future articles for MozDrive. Please send me a message or tweet if you have any suggestions, feedback or are interested in being part of this journey with me.

‘Til then.

How #MozDrive Started

For me, it all started with a phone call..

It was a lazy Monday morning when I got a phone call from my very good friend Ankurman from Cincinnati. It was the very next day after the Memorial Day Weekend, which meant I slept late and was in no intention to wake up early.

“Prashish! You’ve got to listen to what I’m planning to do.”

“Hey! What’s up? It’s 4 in the morning here by the way.”

I sensed his sudden realization of the time zone difference from the tone of my voice.

I’m sorry to have awakened you. Do you want me to call you later?”

“Nah. Tell me.”

Then Ankurman started narrating his story:

 “Imagine driving across the lower 48 States in the US, exploring the unknown lands, meeting with amazing people from different backgrounds, the cultural diversity, while raising social awareness regarding the obesity epidemic in the US.”

I had this sudden excitement which got me off my bed immediately. I went straight to the kitchen to get some caffeine.

“Okaay, I’m listening.”

He narrated me about the idea of his campaign and what he planned to achieve. We talked for more than an hour talking about various other awareness campaigns.

Later that evening while I was digging through my pictures from the MozFest in London earlier this year, the Mozillian inside me had the eureka moment.

“What if I could also travel across the United States and share the true story of Mozilla with the people; that we Mozillians truly care for the open web and that to make a positive impact in the society is one of our ulterior goals.”

You see, I was easily convinced by the idea of such public awareness campaigns. I was inspired by many stories of people traveling to raise funds for charity or awareness.

I found Tenlap by Greg Hartle, in particular, very interesting. Greg gave away all his possession and started off with $10 to understand and to create work in this world full of insecurity. He plans to travel to all 50 States, meet new people who are rebuilding their lives and then, launch businesses in areas new to him. All in 1,000 days. Gowtham Ramamurthy from my university just recently rode to all 48 States to raise funds for children and it was a massively successful.

The web is a global participative platform where everyone can have their own voice and opinion. Despite the presence of such a huge source of knowledge in the web, people are still confused about possibilities of the web.

People know Firefox as the browser with a blue globe and an orange fox around it.

But, we are more than a browser.

We are a global community of passionate volunteers and contributors whose mission is to serve the user above all, advance the state of the web and keep it open.

People need to know this.

People need understand the web better so that they can take control their online lives.

People need to know Mozilla’s mission, that we are more than a browser. They need to know what we are doing and how they can be a part of this global movement.

And it is our duty as Mozillians to spread this message to masses.

This is how #MozDrive started.

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