I’m Back!

The typical posts here on the Top Draw blog are usually centered on our industry or our customers, but I wanted to write something a little more personal this time around.

Life sometimes takes us to places we never expect. In my case, it was halfway around the world to Santiago, Chile, where I lived for the past year.

As much as I would have enjoyed a one-year vacation, I did continue working full-time for Top Draw while abroad. Not every company will accommodate an employee in this manner, but Ken was fully open to the idea and the support I received from the team was incredible.

The wonders of technology really assisted me during my time away, as I was able to contribute and communicate with the team via chat, email, VOIP, and Google Hangout. It was as if I was working from home… only 10,000 kms away!

Funnily enough, these same technologies played a huge role in why I went to Chile in the first place. A few years back, I happened to meet someone in an online community about a certain book series (one which featured a boy wizard and his friends battling an evil foe… you may have heard of it!). We utilized similar technologies to get to know each other, and that someone eventually became my wife.

Unfortunately for the two of us, I was in Canada and she was in Chile. Although she was able to spend a year in Canada, during which time we got married, we knew we would have to face a long separation while she returned home and applied for her permanent residency to Canada. The best option we could come up with was for me to move to Chile as well. Never in a million years would I have dreamt that I would have ended up living there. I barely even knew where it was when I first started speaking to her!

This plan raised an entirely new set of challenges. I certainly would have taken Spanish in high school had I known I’d need it one day. Luckily, since I was afforded the opportunity to continue working for Top Draw, we were able to proceed with this plan and move down there. It was a great experience for me, and it gave my wife the chance to spend time with friends and family before permanently relocating.

I had a wonderful time in a beautiful country while helping our customers here in Canada, so I got the best of both worlds when it came to my personal and professional lives. I even managed to learn a bit of Español, though I’ll have to keep practicing now that we’ve returned to Canada.

I wouldn’t have been able to undertake in such a trip without the support, patience, and cooperation of everyone here at Top Draw. I want to sincerely thank Ken and the entire team for giving me and my wife this chance to do what was best for our family. We will always be grateful for that.

Now the next adventure begins… we have a little one on the way this November!


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6 thoughts on “I’m Back!

  1. Welcome back to the Canadian office Karim : ) I have to say that you rocked it while working from Chile. You made the transition into working remotely seamlessly and your delivered – that’s not something everyone would be able to do. Thank you for your dedication and often working late hours due to the up to 4 hour time change. Glad to you have you back on Canadian soil! Congrats again on your soon to arrive baby!

    1. Thanks for the amazing opportunity! I really did my best to try and make my absence as least disruptive as possible. It’s nice to be back home and working with you all in person again! We’re looking forward to meeting our little one :)

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