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Relocation to London

About two years back, I relocated to London with my family.

It was not something really pre-planned. I was looking for job opportunities in late 2020 and a recruiter from Meta (then Facebook) reached out to me. I had managed to close a couple of other big tech job offers and was almost sure to join one of them. But then when Meta extended an offer, I decided to take it and explore what it was like living outside India.

Two years down the line, I can definitely say it has been a unique experience. From theatres to parks to museums, London has a lot to offer for everyone. The excellent public transport system makes it easy to travel anywhere. Compared to Bangalore where I lived for 8 years, pollution almost seems to be non-existent. The weather is a bit unpredictable and winters could be a bit gloomy but the fesitive spirit in November and December doesn't make that time that hard. Education and health (although a bit stressed of late) are free which is probably the reason why people don't worry about building a huge pension pot and spend more on entertainment and hobbies.

However, there are things which we definitely miss when compared to India, the most important being family. The warmth and affection of immediate family members is something that we yearn for here. I do have extended family in UK and I get to see my parents about two times a year, which to some extent makes up for it. When it comes to friends, we are making new friends here it but it doesn't make up for the decades old-friendships that we have back in India. The impromptu guest visits and the frequent family functions, which sometimes we found a bit overwhelming when we lived in India, are what we realized actually made life more dynamic. And with comparable tech salaries in India now, I definitely have more financial freedom to puruse things of my interest rather than worry about mortgage and increasing cost of living.

We are at a juncture where we are strongly trying to form an opinoin whether to come back to India or continue staying here. And the more we think about it, the harder it gets. Our decision keeps changing every other month. What I finally feel is that whether we decide to stay back in London, or go back to India, there is something to lose and something to gain. Probably what matters more than the decision we take is being content with the decision and how we shape our lives once we make the decision.


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