We’re joining the ranks of people uprooting their lives to join in “The Great Migration”, relocating from Chicago to San Antonio. Let’s take a step back and break this down:
Prior to the pandemic, I enjoyed a secure life of fiscal/career stability, working as a well-compensated executive at one of the world’s most recognizable and prominent communications/marketing firms. That all changed in an instant, and like many who transition from stability into the unknown, especially with a global pandemic in the backdrop—you begin to evaluate what’s really important in your life. For me it’s about my immediate family, quality of life, proximity to friends, and the ability and flexibility to work with others based not solely on a fiscal compensation model, but an alignment of purpose, compatibility, and mutual respect.
Why San Antonio?
I’ve always had a love of Austin and the many relationships I’ve cultivated there over the years and I’m interested in dialing those up even more—but I’m less interested in being right in the middle of the Austin growth explosion and white-hot real estate market. For me, San Antonio represents an underrated city that’s only going to get more connected to Austin’s momentum as a technology hub. It’s one that mixes culture with a blue-collar work ethic that reminds me of my upbringing. The people there have this unique grounded quality to them that resonates with me. My instincts tell me that this is an untapped urban center whose full potential remains unknown. As I speak, the corridor between San Antonio and Austin is attracting a migration of people from all over the country. The Austin/San Antonio of today will look different from that of tomorrow. I’d like to be a part of this.
What About Chicago?
The city of big shoulders has been very good to me. I came to it from New York in my mid-20s and joined the Chicago Tribune during the early years of the Internet. Chicagoland taught me to appreciate the humble but hard-working nature of Midwesterners. I’ve watched the skyline here transform over the years and have formed relationships that I’ll take through the remainder of my life. But I also feel like the world no longer revolves around physical location and that creates all kinds of new dynamics. I won’t miss the harsh winters I’ve endured over the past 20 plus years and am ready to move into new seasons both literal and figurative.
The past year-plus has been nothing short of life-changing for me. Not only did my career trajectory transform in an instant—but I still remember vividly sweating through the delirium of a 102 degree Covid induced fever as 24-hour news networks covered the insanity at the Capitol building. This, only months after a summer of civil unrest as I navigated my early days of career reinvention. It felt like living through an alternate reality and I look at the world differently as a result.
It’s cliche to say that these times are unprecedented, but that doesn’t make it any less true. I’ve been blessed to have super interesting opportunities working with smart and talented people in both the autonomous EV and contingent workforce management space. These are two fields that are literally defining the future of transport, urban centers and work itself. I’m once again working on the front lines of transformation and that “T” word has never been more relevant.
So, the next chapter begins in San Antonio. I’ll see you there, (or at SXSW :-)
Well-articulated piece on the next destination in your life’s journey. Best wishes
Best of luck David. Like you, I need a move as well. It's not the first time I've moved the family but 2020 made us all reevaluate so much and, in doing so, make decisions that set us up for success and happiness in the future. As you know, not an easy decision but with discernment, the right one. God bless you in your new home and hopefully see you sometime soon!