Yes, Vancouver, I have moved.

Raul 2

Photo credit: Linda Solomon

So there is a rumour in the blogosphere that I may have moved away from Vancouver, and most people are wondering “where the hell is Raul”. Well, the time has come to put these rumours to rest. And I think I owe Vancouver an explanation, so I hope you can understand it and work with me moving forward. The TL;DR (too long; didn’t read) version is: I love Vancouver but when I found the chance to spend time with my ageing parents and a great new era in my career, I couldn’t say no.

Raul speaking at Social Media Camp Victoria 2011 Awards (Photo by Shelley Lipke Photography)

Photo credit: Shelley Lipke Photography

A number of people (originally, only my closest friends but slowly, it has been trickling to other folks with whom I may not be as close) knew that I was moving away from Vancouver, and a few chosen ones know the reasons behind my move. Most people have asked me to blog about it, and I frankly didn’t know if I wanted to. At least not in the detail that it would require. Much in the way Mellisa Fung wrote in her auto-biography “Under The Afghan Sun” (about her ordeals while kidnapped in Afghanistan while reporting about Canadian troops), I really don’t like being the story. I like telling stories.

HB604Blog 7

Photo credit: Gus Fosarolli on Flickr

But here’s the truth: I have lived in numerous countries, Canada being the one where I have lived the most, and Vancouver the city where I have spent the vast majority of my adult and professional life. Vancouver is, has been and will always be my home. I am in Mexico right now. Home is where your heart is, and mine is in Vancouver. BUT my heart *is* also in Mexico. My parents are here.

Raul with Safety Sam

Photo credit: Tyler Ingram on Flickr

Two years ago, I sat down with the most important person in my life (JT) and discussed the fact that my parents were ageing and I was worried about them. It’s a legitimate concern. And by 2010, I had already achieved pretty much everything I wanted in every field. I was teaching at one of the best universities in Canada, I already had my PhD (from the same university, coincidentally), my consulting practice was burgeoning and my social media life was pretty much at its peak.

Sailboat Trip up Indian Arm

Photo credit: Rebecca Bollwitt on Flickr

But then I realized I missed my parents, very much. I realized that I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life regretting being away from them and not spending time with them as an adult. You’ll see, my parents always wanted me to fly away and be a worldly man. They wanted me to explore new land, travel the world, live amazing experiences. But in doing so, I have spent many, many years away from them. And I miss them. And I don’t want to regret the rest of my life not having taken the opportunity to spend time close to them as they grow older. At the same time, I was offered the opportunity to teach at the equivalent of Harvard of Mexico. That IS an amazing opportunity, and thus I did not want to waste the chance to grow professionally as well as personally.


Photo credit: Tris Hussey on Flickr

This wasn’t an easy decision to make, nor was it one that didn’t have pain attached. I left a lot behind: close friends, a wonderful group of faculty members and a supportive department to grow as an academic and an educator, a fantastic team to work with, my former students and those who were waiting to take a class from me. And I also left behind some of the people I love the most in the world. But at the same time, my new job is a fantastic career move for me, and the chance to be with my parents is one of the best opportunities I can have. I’m close to where they are and my research agenda is blossoming, at an institution that is the right fit for me.

He was

Photo credit: Rebecca Bollwitt on Flickr

This was the right decision for me, and the best decision for me. And it doesn’t mean that I have broken up with Vancouver, with British Columbia and with Canada. My heart and my soul are still there, and I will be shuttling back-and-forth for the next few years. Yes, I may not be permanently in Vancouver, but I’m still a Vancouverite and my blog will continue to support those causes I am most fond of: the arts, theatre, dance, lifestyle, food, travel. It will just have a more emphatic travel slant for the next few years.

Raul Pachego Vega  - Northern Voice 2011

Photo credit: Kris Krug on Flickr

Fear not, Vancouver. You can take the Hummingbird out of Vancouver, but you can’t take Vancouver out of the Hummingbird. I will be back very, very soon.

Related posts:

  1. One year later: I’m glad I moved to Mexico and left Vancouver behind
  2. “Are you happy you moved?” My response to this often-asked question
  3. Please update your bookmarks and blogrolls – I’ve moved

Comments (25)

@jenhillAugust 6th, 2012 at 1:02 pm

Raul, I am happy for your new chapter. Looking forward to hearing about your new adventures! You will always be a Vancouverite! :)

YukariAugust 6th, 2012 at 1:11 pm

I’ve been missing you since you left and I’m sure many feel the same way. It’s just not the same without you-but, of course we understand. Having lost a parent earlier this year, I know how important it is to spend time with them when they are still around. Best wishes with your new career and I am sure we will see each other again…hopefully soon. :)

JeannineAugust 6th, 2012 at 1:11 pm

Very excited for you and this great new adventure you are embarking upon Raul! We will miss having you here in person, however the beauty of social media is that you can stay connected with everyone and everything happening in Vancouver. I am sure when you return it will feel like you haven’t missed a beat.

I look forward to hearing all about this next phase in your professional life!

Ed LauAugust 6th, 2012 at 6:13 pm

We’ll miss you around here, bud. Don’t be a stranger.
Ed Lau recently posted..Golden Bauhinia Restaurant

Kerry SauriolAugust 6th, 2012 at 6:16 pm

You will be missed my friend…but I do totally get the ‘rents thing and you can’t turn down amazing opportunities when they come your way.

Way cool…and thank gods for the interwebz…

Kristi FergusonAugust 6th, 2012 at 6:45 pm

Congratulations on your new adventure! Vancouver will miss your smile but happy to hear you will be back and forth. You made the right decision and I bet your parents are thrilled :-)
Much love XO ~ Kristi

Janis La CouvéeAugust 6th, 2012 at 7:19 pm

Raul – as an adult I have never had the opportunity to be with all the people I love all the time. So I made the commitment to truly be where I was, when I was – (no regrets). And I wish this for you dear friend. Enjoy your time in Mexico with your parents and congratulations on your new academic adventures!!!

We’ll stay in touch and celebrate together next time you’re in BC. In the meantime – as Jeannine says – there is social media. It sure beats letters back and forth, never quite remembering what you said in the last one.

Take good care!

MelanieAugust 6th, 2012 at 7:28 pm

I’m feeling extremely privileged to have been amongst the chosen to know in advance – especially because it gave me the chance to give you a “Bon voyage” (not good-bye!) hug. Little S will be so happy, too, to see you again during your visits. Miss you!

Maggie MurphyAugust 6th, 2012 at 8:38 pm

Hi Raul, I am certain you will never regret your decision to spend time closer to your parents. I am thrilled for you that such an opportunity opened up for you.xoxoxo Maggie

LoisAugust 6th, 2012 at 8:41 pm

Having been to that area in Mexico, I would say that’s a pretty excellent place to live also. There are more great places to live than there are lifetimes to do that, so we can’t help but miss out on one thing by embracing something else. Your parents and students are very fortunate!

LeeannAugust 6th, 2012 at 8:48 pm

Good for you Raul! I look forward to hearing from you as your next chapter is written.

SarahAugust 6th, 2012 at 10:22 pm

Congratulations Raul. This is really great. And it resonates with me on a deeper level because I’m going through something similar, having been away from home for four years now….

JenAugust 7th, 2012 at 8:04 am

Good for you for being able to see clearly and follow your heart. Good luck!

JenAugust 7th, 2012 at 8:04 am

Good for you for being able to see clearly and follow your heart. Good luck!

Lori-Vancouver AirbnbAugust 7th, 2012 at 12:02 pm

Your parents did a great job raising a great son…I’m sure they are beyond proud :)

DilaraAugust 7th, 2012 at 1:29 pm

Congratulations on this new adventure in your life, Raul! I wish you nothing but the very best and continued success in whatever you choose to do. You will be missed! xoxo

[...] as Hummingbird604. Well, it looks like the “604″ part is changing, because Raul has moved out of Vancouver and back to his home country of Mexico. He’s there spending more time with his ageing parents [...]

Jim DugganAugust 8th, 2012 at 11:48 am

Great news for you! I am very happy you have chosen this new path. Allow me to say that Vancouver will be diminished by you leaving. I am happy that we got to meet once and thankful that you supported the DTES Produce Project. I wish you all the best!

Chromilo AminAugust 8th, 2012 at 4:59 pm

That’s a too bad. I saw you speak once at the Freelance Camp 2011 and am a loyal reader of your tweets. Hope to see you back here but lots of luck to you on your move out there.

Jon StrocelAugust 9th, 2012 at 7:39 am

This town won’t be nearly the same without you. All the best my friend :)

KC ClaveriaAugust 10th, 2012 at 9:51 am

Great to hear that you’re following your heart, Raul! I look forward to hearing more about this new chapter in your life. :)

TawcanAugust 10th, 2012 at 12:39 pm

Vancouver won’t be the same without you. All the best and come back to visit us often!

Nancy (aka moneycoach)August 10th, 2012 at 1:01 pm

I *so* relate to your story. But in the end, Yellowknife has been very good to me. But Vancouver is still home #1, and I imagine always will be.

fotoeinsAugust 10th, 2012 at 1:38 pm

Raul, I’m glad you made the decision that was right for you. Take care and great things to you and your family!
fotoeins recently posted..3 Travel Memories: New Zealand’s South Island

Lanora MuellerAugust 17th, 2012 at 7:52 am

What happy news! You can have the best of both countries!

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