I have big personal news to share: My family and I will be based in the U.S. starting in November 2013.
I’ve been telling folks individually, and have been getting many of the same questions, so I’m putting up this FAQ explaining our plans and some of the reasons for our decision.
Wait, what are you doing?
Jimena (my wife) and I have been talking for a long time about the possibility of moving to the U.S. (She is a U.S. citizen, as are our kids.) We are motivated by a variety of professional and personal reasons, which I will not get into here. We’ve decided now is the right time, so we’re leaving Panama and moving to the U.S.
When are you moving?
We’re leaving on the last week of October 2013.
Where are you moving to?
Our first landing spot will be New Orleans, where my in-laws live. We will remain there until I receive my green card (should be around two months, government shutdown notwithstanding). We will then move on to a more permanent location. We’d like to be based in the San Francisco Bay Area, and will be exploring options over the next couple of months. (If you are in New Orleans or the Bay Area and would like to meet up, please get in touch.)
You’ve lived in the U.S. before, right?
Yes, I finished high school and went on to university in the U.S. I also spent a few years living and working in northern Virginia in the early 2000s. (Coincidentally, I moved to Panama almost exactly ten years ago, in November 2003.)
Why are you doing this?
As I mentioned, there are both personal and professional reasons. I will only touch on the latter here. BootStudio (my UX consultancy) turned 18 this year; it’s a successful business, with great clients and a fabulous team. However, I’ve reached a point in my career where I’m feeling very constrained by the limitations of the local market and the complete absence of a local peer community. The former can be addressed remotely (although not easily), but the latter can’t. I’m hoping to be more engaged with the global UX community in the next phase of my career, and being based in North America will make that more feasible.
What will happen to BootStudio?
BootStudio will continue to have an office and a team in Panama, and I will continue to work with them and our clients remotely. We have ongoing work that is keeping us very busy.
Aren’t you scared?
Yes, it’s a little scary. But it’s scarier to imagine looking back at my career in the waning years of my life and regretting not having moved on to a bigger stage when I had the opportunity.
Change happens. It’s going to be alright.
Have you gone mad?
“Stay hungry, stay foolish.”