I am moving to Berlin


There are several reasons I stated in my previous blog post. Other than those, here are a few more:

  1. Peer pressure

    At this point it is customary for Punjabis to immigrate to a foreign country. Since I was little I was conditioned to want to go to a developed country, so it had become a deep rooted desire. My choice was of which country, and going against the advice of almost everyone in my family, I chose to not go to Canada or Australia. I was promised more money and easier life in those countries, but I see more of my personal goals in alignment in Germany.

  2. Cold weather

    Punjab has colder weather than most parts of India, and they're my favorite part of the year. I absolutely abhor Punjab's summers. Germany's cold weather was appealing.

  3. Europe

    The fact that I get access to more than one country was also a factor. If I still have the appetite, I can move to a different culture relatively easily.

  4. Rules

    I am a sucker for rules. If they are sensible and sensibly implemented, they can free you up in so many ways. Many lines-of-thought can be short-circuited and mental resources invested in more interesting things. Germany as far as I have researched online have more sensible rules, and a culture of mostly following them.

How I am feeling

I am scared shitless. I am full of stress and anxiety, I can barely sleep and can't focus on anything. I have stopped drinking coffee because I no longer need caffeine for the jitters.

It is way more scarier than what I imagined. When I decided to move to Berlin I was excited, a little scared too but also looking forward to it. Now I am fighting myself to not just drop the whole thing every second of the day.

I am not an adventurous person, I find all forms of traveling tiresome. I stay at home to recharge. Fear I am feeling right now however is more than the ambiguity of going somewhere new. Me burning through my savings during past few months is also a major contributor. I have made this huge decision, and spent almost all my remaining funds to book housing, tickets and stuff.

What lies ahead

I intend to come back to India after at most 2 years and at least 1 year.

1 year minimum because 1 year is the limit I am putting for myself to buckle up and stay in Berlin, experience stuff even if I don't want to. I am hoping it'll be enough to reveal whether my feeling that being outside my comfort zone will make me do more fulfilling things is true or not. 2 year maximum because I think 2 years should be enough for personal growth by being in a foreign country.

I find the ideas of e-governance and using technology in public administration most exciting. I think India is the right place to make most impact with these. I want to establish a parallel social administration system, which can help the State's system, or fight it to make a positive impact. This is also one of the reasons I have decided to go work outside India. Because it is a significant commitment and I don't want to find myself taking breaks from it for other things I wanted to do which might significantly disrupt this commitment.

Or all this could just be fantasies. In almost every phase of life, whenever I felt like things need to be improved I have fantasized about how things could have been made better. At my home, in school, in college, in software companies, in my village, in my city, in the companies I worked in; pretty much everywhere. I have not always taken action, and often moved to the newer set of problems forgetting the old ones as they became irrelevant to me. I won't fight it if it happens this time as well. I can't fight every battle, I prefer letting the fights pick themselves for me. But so far I am fully intent on returning to India and participate somehow in public administration.