Sreeram Padmanabhan
Why I chose a life in Germany over a well paid job in India and the UK

Last updated on 22 May 2020

This question runs in my mind every day. It’s my greatest dilemma. It could turn out to be my biggest regret if I don’t take the right decision in the coming years. In 2016, I went to the UK. In 2019, I went to Germany. Where next? My answer is based on my experience at 30 while I am still single.

Questions like these are very difficult to be given a straight answer. There are pros and cons, two sides like a coin, a double edged sword. The answer depends on what you want in what stage of your life. So I will touch upon a few decisions I made.

My best friend earns 40LPA in Bangalore. I earn 70KEUR in Berlin. Who is better off?

A life in Bangalore which gets you 3 lakhs in hand in Bangalore or a job which gets you 3 lakhs in hand in Berlin?

A life where you are with your loved ones or a life where you are alone?

A life of monotonous routine tasks, meeting the same people every day or a life where you meet and learn people of all kinds, experience different cultures, learn a new language?

A life filled with traffic and pollution or a life in a developed country?

A life where you can contribute to your country or a life where you are a Digital nomad exploring the world?

The truth is, some people choose a comfortable life, with parents, with friends. Some choose to travel and explore. You can never say one is better than the other.

For me the packages were similar. I had 3 things in my hand. A job in Germany with an income slightly more than €70k, a job in India with an income lesser than ₹40LPA and an opportunity to continue living in the UK until 2022 with an income of about £45k. Everything seemed good. I had to choose one.

What did I choose? I considered the following.

You cant put a price tag on life’s lessons. Its returns are exponential. Money will not give you experience. And by experience I mean both good and bad equally. You have to live it and go through it to gain it.

At the same time, money is something. It’s how you quantify your value in society. But let me ask you this, would you rather have all the money in the world and sleep in your home all the time? So while money is important, I decided to invest a part of it in life experiences and knowledge instead of putting everything in loans, fixed deposits and mutual funds.

The parameters that I weighed against are:

Where do I get the most money? - You earn almost the same after paying for taxes, family etc. 0–0 🇩🇪🇮🇳

Where am I of most value? - I am of better value in India. But its multi-fold when I have the experience having lived in various countries. I have set up my own sole proprietorship business in India which employs 1 person today. I don’t think I would have even thought of doing this if I was in India. 0–0 🇩🇪🇮🇳

Where do I make most people happy? - I am losing precious time I could have been with my parents. 0–1 🇩🇪🇮🇳

Where can I grow more? - Better in EU with many developed countries fighting for the best talent out there. 1–1 🇩🇪🇮🇳

Where can I experience life? - Now this is an important point, probably the most important point I considered. The experience you gain from: meeting new people, learning a new language, living alone, cooking for yourself, facing new issues, paying multiple taxes, flying business class, missing flights, negotiating rent, driving right side, going on a blind date, trying weed, trying a new religion, new food etc to say the least, you just cant get these being in your cocoon. Let the world know of your existence. We are 1/5th of humanity for god’s sake and the world is ours too for the taking. So, 2–1 🇩🇪🇮🇳

Will I be back in India?

There will come a day when I am stable enough to setup a private limited company to relieve the government off the burden of providing jobs to 10 people, and when I am done exploring, thats when I will hang my boots and end my vana-vaas. That will be my graduation in life. I think thats about 3–4 years away from me.

Thank you for reading.

☕ Buy me a coffee maybe?