2013: A Look Back on the Year That Was

photoThis year was a mixed bag, to describe it best.

There were numerous moments and achievements that took place in 2013 that can be characterized as significant, life-changing, historic among other terms. Not to take away from the positive developments that happened this year, it also was not a favorite of mine, attributed largely to my stalled career prospects. I hope that 2014 will become a far more superior year where I can finally get somewhere again.

Let’s take a look back on the year that was for me.

1) AmeriCorps – On Aug. 1, I finished my 11-month service term with AmeriCorps.

During my service term, I worked for an after-school program and at a food bank in Philadelphia, better affirming my long-standing support for nonprofit organizations. Although my overall experience did not quite live up to the expectations I had going into the start of the program, there were many lessons to learn from and I feel that if I survived this program like I did, I can handle just about any other challenges going forward.


Chicago skyline, as seen from Adler Planetarium

2) Chicago – In my ongoing quest to visit as many major U.S. cities as possible, I went to the Windy City for the first time in early August.

From there, I visited many of the major landmarks I have wanted to visit along with trying out the different kinds of delicacies Chicago is known for — the deep-dish pizzas did not disappoint. I also visited several friends of mine in the city during the course of the trip, making this a memorable one on multiple fronts.

3) South Korea – In mid-August, I visited the country I was born in for the first time in 20 years — when I was three years old. The main purpose was to visit my biological mother and my largely-unknown maternal family. I did not feel any differently coming back from the trip as I did going into it. While it was significant and historic in its own ways, I still don’t know what to make of it.

IMG_06354) Boston – In another first for travel this year, I visited Boston in early September. Following New York City and Washington, D.C. in years past, Chicago and Boston were the last two major U.S. cities high on my list I have longed to go. I was in Boston for a few days to check out a few landmarks and wound up going to Mike’s Pastry twice.

I would love to go back just for Mike’s Pastry alone. Those cannolis are to die for. So many of them…

5) PRSA 2013 International Conference – For the fourth year in a row, I participated in the PRSA International Conference (first two years for the PRSSA National Conference). This year, it took place in the same city I was living in — Philadelphia. As always, I learned a great deal about the public relations profession, best practices and expanded my network of professional contacts.

It’s also great to see all the old friends across the country I don’t see as often as well as meeting new people. Among the individuals I knew first through social media, I finally met Jessica Lawlor, whose own blog inspired me to revitalize mine over the summer.

Farewell, Philly. I hardly knew ye.

Farewell, Philly. I hardly knew ye.

6) Moving back to California – A week after the PRSA International Conference, I moved back to Los Angeles from Philadelphia. I did so in order to prepare for the start of the graduate certificate program in transportation management with the Mineta Transportation Institute at San Jose State University. It also meant that my hopes of staying in the East Coast for much longer will have to wait for another time.

I hope to move to Washington, D.C. by the end of the decade. For now, I have something important to take care of before I can make that happen.

Last, but not least…

7) simonoh.com – In late June, I revamped my blog with a new look, a personalized URL and regular series that became what is now simonoh.com. Largely inspired by the format seen over on Jessica Lawlor’s blog, the relaunch of this space revitalized a blog that seemed bland and moribund at times. I’m still looking to add more original content that will be just as relevant to you as it is to me. Stay tuned…

How did 2013 play out for you? What do you hope to see happen in 2014? Share your thoughts below. I’d love to hear from you.

Happy New Year, America! See you on the other side.


8 thoughts on “2013: A Look Back on the Year That Was

  1. Happy New Year Simon!

  2. Great recap. 2014 will include a great job. I am sure.

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  4. Thanks for the shout outs, Simon! I’m so happy my blog has inspired you.

    You had quite a year! I love how much you traveled. Boston and Chicago are high up there on my travel bucket list, so I’ll have to ask you for recommendations before I go.

    Happy 2014!

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