At the end of 2020 we said, “What a year!”. And January 2021 came. It’s almost February, and I want to say, “What a month!”. January 2021 truly felt like a whole year. So many things have happened (or are happening), including all the events around the world (America has a new President!), ever-raging pandemic, and chaos…


We had hope for this January

This January started strong. I’m sure it was the same for you. Ah, all the hopes and dreams. Thinking about travel plans that we pushed off in 2020. It was a moment to renew paused projects and refresh for the new beginnings. I celebrated New Year’s Day with my Korean dumplings (the best way to welcome the New Year) and looked for a bright future.

Overall, personally, a lot of good things have happened. My new projects are picking up, my body is finally settling in after my frequent visits to the doctor last year, and this January has been absolutely beautiful in Anchorage. I went skiing almost every day until the warm spell came in recent weeks. This January has been active, stimulating (for my brain), and a great opportunity to regain my confidence.

But of course, there were some pretty negative things that happened, especially in the US in early January. That’s one of the reasons why this month felt soooo long and intense. It’s a continuous fight and disappointing reality, but I sincerely hope that we come out for the better.

I’m not going home for the New Year

A new year ceremony, paying respect for our ancestors

It’s been one full year since I saw my family in Korea. It’s probably been almost two years or more since I saw my brother and his kids. During my last visit in February 2020, the first serious COVID-19 outbreak started in Korea, and I was taking care of my mom after her surgery, so we were pretty homebound for two months.

As I witnessed how the pandemic progressed, I hoped to visit Korea during the Lunar New Year, which is in two weeks. I bought tickets, but with a heavy heart, I had to postpone the trip. The vaccine isn’t rolling out fast enough, the COVID-19 numbers aren’t going down (at least in the US at the moment), and I couldn’t put my parents in danger by visiting after several airports and airplane rides. Since I can’t really help in the frontline to make the situation better, I decided that staying home is helping everyone and the best I could do.

It was a hard decision but I knew it was the right one. I wish to be home, making and eating dumplings and mung bean pancakes. The smell of sesame oil, heat from the bone broth that’s been boiling for a full day, the sound of a TV in the background while we cook, sizzling pancakes on the frying pan, even the fatigue after cooking for two days, I miss it all. As I wrote in my recent post The Home Away From Home Dilemma, it can be difficult to live away from the place that forged who you are. Tentatively I’m planning a visit in September for Chuseok (the 8th full moon of the year, so let’s hope the pandemic isn’t worse by then.


My new project: following the spirit of the Musk ox!

Combining my experience and expertise, from Runaway Juno to recent projects, I launched a new marketing consulting company, Ovibos Consulting. It started after an epiphany last September. I will write about the whole story soon, but a long story short, I finally got out of a funk, and the negativity that was embedded in me by outside influences. It was an amazing moment. I could imagine myself breaking out of a giant eggshell, just like Bak Hyeokgeose did (it’s a famous legend in Korea, the first king one of our ancient kingdoms was born from an egg.)

So once again, I stand on my own, thanks to all the amazing people around me who cheer me on. Since its birth, Ovibos Consulting has taken on a few clients already and we are planning to do more fun and meaningful projects. The company is new, but what we do isn’t new by any means. Through all the media trips, photography projects, marketing campaigns, and traveling around the world for the last 10 years, it’s the culmination of my expertise in a better-organized structure.

Visit my new website to find out what’s the meaning behind the name and what we do!

There’s a whole year ahead of us. Although it’s been such a tough January, let’s not lose hope. I feel like we need to greet “Happy New year!” again at the end of January. But I’m still feeling positive. Stay safe out there and don’t forget to care for people around you! We need each other.

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