The Year of 2013: What Worked

January 2nd, 2014. Welcome to day two.

Today, I start the first of what will be a handful of posts on my “2013 Annual Review.” If you didn’t read yesterday’s post, this structured Annual Review that I am doing for the first time is based on Chris Guillebeau’s fantastic blog, check it out if you never have. Looking back at 2013, it was an incredible year of new opportunities, new friends, living with my girlfriend Becky for the first time in a wonderful apartment, and immersing myself in Ethiopian culture in the summer of 2013. 

Today’s post will look at ‘What Worked’ in 2013, a list of ten things that are in a somewhat rough order of importance. What Worked will be followed tomorrow with What Didn’t, and then a look forward at 2014 and the successes I hope to achieve.

What Worked in 2013

-Worked efficiently on schoolwork first before things like emails, utilizing the time right when I woke up and had high energy to do more complicated work. I saw that setting school as a priority pays off when it comes to the value I get out of the classes I take

-I was able to work on projects that got me excited, while being able to say no to some other projects (such as the class in Brazil, and an interesting app my friend was developing). I can’t say “No” well yet, but I did improve this year!  

-I found a challenging but beneficial summer program that took me out of my comfort zone, a 3-month internship in Jimma, Ethiopia

-I finally started a blog (this blog), and updated it quite regularly over the summer!

-Planned and surprised my girlfriend Becky with a mystery trip to three different islands in Mexico on an amazing trip. (But I must remember, Holbox Island is paradise on earth, but I must always try new places, the world is full of Holbox’s)

-I spoke often at events, jumping on opportunities to practice my public speaking (some days this went well, others not so much, but I am getting the practice)

-Found new opportunities through contacts, not just searching online, it’s now my network where I find incredible opportunities

-Running to think/discover while travelling became the norm while I was in Ethiopia. I had some of my greatest adventures out in the hills surrounding Jimma in my muddy running shoes

-Maintained healthy distance in my role as DASSS (Arts Society) President, trying to give everyone space to do their jobs

-Went for coffee with friends and always tried to be available, even when my schedule looked full, trying to instil the idea that there is always time for friends and family


If you read my blog post yesterday, thank you. Each reader I value greatly, and if you ever feel inclined to write a comment, I would appreciate that, as this blog is as much about a community of people who lead lives away from the ordinary as it is about me.

Peace and love from Oakville, Ontario,


Running after a rain storm on one of my first few days in Ethiopia – the mud got the best of me




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