Moving Abroad Part I – Making the Decision

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We’re moving to Berlin! Hooray! And it is undoubtedly going to be a stressful and tumultuous time for everyone. Yippee! So I’m going to think it through, and make the process as organized as possible, by writing out a series of blog posts about it.

You might be wondering why we’re moving from beautiful, sunny California to cold, gray Berlin. Well, the first reason is because we once lived there. After getting married in 2007, Rama and I packed up our apartment in New York, drove our stuff up to his grandmother’s house, and flew to Berlin. It’s hard to believe that was ten years ago.

After two years, we had fallen in love with that city, but it was time for Rama to pursue a PhD. So while we settled in the San Francisco Bay Area, we always held this idea in the back of our heads that we could move back one day. But eight years is a long time, and the memory has become quite faded. Now that it has been two years since “plain old Rama” became “Dr. Rama,” we’re realizing that we’re in a place that’s just not very stimulating for us creatively. And while we’ve made some wonderful friends, all our family is back on the East Coast, so there’s really nothing holding us here. As a freelance writer and a composer/sound artist, we’ll never be able to buy a house in this crazy competitive real estate market, and we’ll never even be able to move our of our current apartment to another one in the area because the rents have shot up all around us.

So, instead of staying stuck, we are crawling slowly out of our safe, secure, easy, comfortable life, and throwing ourselves across the ocean with the hope that we may land in a place where we can flourish — namely, the dynamic, German culture-capital called Berlin! Sounds doable, right?

Like I said, eight years is a long time. And in a metropolis where extraordinary growth happens every single day, eight years seems more like an eternity. But maybe I’m being dramatic. Let’s hope our old Berlin is still there when we land. What we know is that cheap rent is a thing of the past, gentrification will most likely push us to the city’s outer boundaries, and there’s not longer an abundance of available apartments. At least the beer’s still good.

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