“Global Voices is …” – A description of Global Voices, from the voices of the community itself. Filmed at the 2010 Global Voices Citizen Media Summit in Santiago, Chile.

I have already said so many goodbyes that it is starting to feel like I’m dragging this on. But I realized that I have yet to mention my departure from Global Voices here in my own little carved-out corner of cyberspace. It has been five years since I first started working on Global Voices as the regional editor for Latin America and three years since we launched Rising Voices.

It has been the most amazing experience of my life …

I am staring at my computer screen, at a complete loss for words. There is just no way for me to articulate the meaningfulness of the friendships that have formed, the projects I have seen flourish, the small moments with so many inspiring and talented people all across this globe. I get choked up every time I wander down the path of nostalgia, every time I look through my pictures on Flickr, every time I read the overwhelmingly generous notes of support and incredible video messages I’ve received over the past few weeks.

It is enough to make me wonder if I’ve made a terrible decision. But in order to continue growing we sometimes need to step outside of where we are most comfortable to face new challenges with new groups.

What’s Next

In the past five years I haven’t spent more than three consecutive days offline. That hyper-connectivity has allowed me to maintain meaningful relationships around the world, but I think that it has also taken away part of my humanity; my ability to reflect, to appreciate art, to literally and figuratively disconnect. Starting tomorrow I will spend the next two weeks completely offline. No email, no web pages, nothing. Just a few books and my journal.

When I re-emerge next month I will begin the next chapter of my life. I will turn 30. I will be living in Mexico City, where I will attempt to forge a glocal life. I will be working with Open Society Institute’s Latin America and Information programs to help them think strategically about the use of technology by civil society in Latin America.

I’ll have much more to say about all of this come next month, but now it’s time for me to close this laptop and keep it closed. It’s time to hit the road.

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