Updated on June 30, 2022

I'm currently taking at least three months leave from working at Vanguard to focus on my mental health.

Meanwhile, I continue to reduce my possessions, even though I ordered a new Priority Apollo gravel bicycle that will be shipped to me in August. In July, I will make a trip to my parents' house in Pittsburgh to collect the rest of my things and plan to sell most of them.

I've been waking up around sunrise and trying to do these things on a daily basis:

And on a weekly/biweekly basis I do the following:
  • Hiking
  • Going to the library
  • Volunteering: two hours at a second-hand clothing store

Me in Two Minutes

Made in China and assembled in the United States. Currently, I live in a suburb around Philadelphia.

  • 1984 to 1995: Born. Lived in the Hepingli neighborhood in Beijing, China, with my grandma and grandpa. Attended elementary school up to the fifth grade.
  • 1995 to 2003: Moved to the United States. Lived in Madison, NJ. Went to public schools. Spent the summer of 2003 traveling around the United States for 45 days on Greyhound buses.
  • 2003 to 2006: Went to the University of Rochester in upstate New York and graduated with a BA in chemistry, pre-med, and a certificate of management.
  • 2003 to 2018: Held photography and art exhibitions in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New York. Taught myself web development off and on.
  • 2011 to 2013: Went to Lehigh Carbon Community College in Schnecksville, PA, for ten classes in computer science and web development. Didn't receive a degree.
  • 2014 to 2015: Returned to University of Rochester, this time at the Simon Business School. Obtained a MS in Finance degree.
  • 2015 to 2016: Briefly moved to New York City for an unpaid internship. Couldn't find a job in finance and didn't pass the first actuary exam. Traveled to Europe for the first time. Completed a summer architecture program at Harvard Graduate School of Design in Cambridge, MA.
  • 2016 to 2018: Worked as a web application developer in Fort Washington, PA. Bicycled across America in 100 days from April to July 2018.
  • 2019 to now: Started my second web developer job. Hated it and quit after four months. Started working at Vanguard as an application engineer.

Me in an Afternoon

Read my biography: Zhaoism - The Autobiography of Hiatt Zhao: The First 25 Years (Kindle ebook and paperback from Amazon: USUKDEFRESITNLJPBRCAMXAUIN)


I think everyone should write a manifesto to live a life they want. Here's mine, written in 2016.

I am an explorer of life, both in the physical space and in the mental realm. I seek riches. They are memories, experiences, talents, knowledge, and wisdom.

To achieve these things I need to learn, travel, and experience as much as I can in life. Thus, I grant myself to make mistakes and to celebrate my wins.

I also know that my emotions are subjective, so enjoying every single moment is the key to a beautiful life.

I must do what I love and do them often. I must share with the world with what I have. And I must help others when I can. Because I want to leave a better world than the one I arrived.

Remember that I'm capable of much more than I think.

And do good. Always.

Favorite Posts

My most meaningful cycling memories and thoughts about certain things.
  • Riding with Crispin (2018, 2021 GAP Trail, 2022 C&O Towpath) - Crispin Schamp, at over 70 years old, is the best cycling friend one can ask for. His cycling journals are on CrazyGuyOnABike.com.
  • Taoism and Minimalism - Many great quotes about simple living in the ancient Chinese book, Tao Te Ching.
  • My Investing Strategy - This is how I invest money. A must read for the next Warren Buffett wannabe 😛


  • Facebook - I belong to these groups:
    • Long Distance Cyclists
    • Bicycle Travellers
    • Warmshowers.org
  • Instagram - My photo dump
  • YouTube - I'm trying to collect video snippets of my favorite people



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