Last updated: November 1, 2022

I'm taking a short-term leave from work to focus on my mental health. Meanwhile, I'm trying to be a minimalist by downsizing my possessions. I'm also learning to code with Python.

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

  • Writing: journaling, morning pages
  • Walking: sunrise, sunset
  • Reading: see Goodreads
  • Playing guitar
And on a weekly/biweekly basis I do the following:
  • Hiking
  • Going to the library

Me in One Minute

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.

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 imperfections 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 collect video snippets of my favorite people

Support Others

I've been supporting these organizations for years. If you want to extend your generosity to others, please consider these nonprofits.



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