Comox Valley Record reporter Jolene Rudisuela loads up her car for her trip back to Alberta. Photo by Terry Farrell

Column: See you later, Comox Valley

Jolene Rudisuela

Record staff

May 30, 2019 marked my last day at the Comox Valley Record.

By the time this column gets printed on the pages of Tuesday’s paper, I will be back in Calgary, probably procrastinating unpacking, just as I have been procrastinating packing my car.

I made the decision to move back to Alberta to be closer to my boyfriend and family. As much as I have loved living on the Island this past year, I have also learned that I am not built for long distance.

As I sit writing this column, I’m full of so many emotions. I’m excited to start a new chapter of my life, nervous about the fresh unknowns headed my way, sad to be leaving a place I quickly grew to love.

Thinking back to a year ago, I was in a similar situation – sitting in my home in Calgary, preparing to head to a city I had never heard of before, a place where I didn’t know a single person, buzzing with a collage of emotions and wondering if I made the right decision.

Well, I can say with certainty that I did.

In true Vancouver Island style I was quickly welcomed with open arms and felt like I fit right in – it helps that pretty much every other person I met was either from Alberta or had strong connections to the prairie province. And of course, it’s an added bonus that Vancouver Island is probably one of the most beautiful places on earth, with so many incredible places to explore and wildlife to spot. Though somehow I managed to never see a whale the whole time I was here – not for a lack of trying – but that just gives me a great excuse to come back for a visit.

I had worked at different news sources prior to coming to the Record, but this was my first full-time job out of University. After graduating, looking at the changing media landscape was daunting, but I knew journalism was what I wanted to do and I was determined to find a way to make that happen.

Throughout my time at the Record, I have certainly reaffirmed my passion for hjournalism, and have really discovered an interest in reporting on the climate crisis, social justice issues and ordinary people doing extraordinary things.

Never having lived in B.C. before, let alone next to an ocean, I learned a ton about aquaculture and West Coast Indigenous culture through my stories. I also learned that “Island time” is a real thing.

Before I sign off, I would just like to thank each and every person who made my time on the Island special. From the amazing friends I met, to the people I interviewed, to the teams that probably beat team Media(ocre) at volleyball, you were all part of making this past year one to remember.

And to our readers, thank you for picking up our paper, or clicking on the links that pop up on your Facebook feed. As journalists, we do our best to keep you informed and I hope I was able to teach you something new, maybe give you a fresh perspective, or even just a smile or a laugh.

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