Goodbye London, Hello Berlin!

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London is a great world city. Personally for me, it epitomises the ultimate city to live in alongside New York. These two world metropolises afford so much opportunities for growth and development on so many levels, that it is impossible to condense them into a comprehendible list. However, all great world metropolises including London, suffer of a few, sometimes insurmountable problems for young people. As I managed to run into these difficulties myself, I thought to list just a few that resonate particularly well with 21st century living in London for a person in their twenties:

  • London is expensive. The rents are astronomically high, no matter in which part of the city you are ok to rent. Unless you are outrageously rich, your parents have lived in London for generations and you’ve got a huge house to share and subsequently inherit, you don’t mind sharing a house with a dozen housemates, or you don’t care that you would be travelling two hours from the centre of town and back each way, your rent for a one-bed flat in a decent area close to transport links would set you back at least £1200 per month, excluding bills. On the other hand, the transport costs are also prohibitively expensive, especially if you live where the tube does not go or you live in zone 3 and below, but work and play in zone 1. So even if you manage to offset part of the rent by looking for a house or flat in the suburbs, you would still be hit with huge transport costs that would most likely burn off the potential savings.
  • London is huge and the traffic is outrageous. Let’s say that you managed to make a compromise which allows you to live in a good place near the tube, for an affordable price, chances are that you would be spending more time travelling from Ealing to Leicester Square and back than someone who does the same run from Brighton, Milton Keynes or Luton.
  • The competition for jobs is immense. If you are an experienced person with lots of years under your belt, you should be well-paid and in a high demand, but if you are in your twenties and are still trying to find what you really want to do in life, or you are still building your work experience after University, the chances of getting a decent job that pays enough for you to afford a normal standard of living are very, very slim.
  • These few years’ artists, hipsters and everything in-between seems to be moving to Berlin due to its world-class infrastructure, cheap prices, and good location right in the centre of continental Europe. Here London does not have a fault of its own, but it’s good to take the plunge forward and try to live in a slightly different place, experience a different culture, and hopefully meet many new and interesting people along the way, when the opportunity presents itself.

Due to these reasons, and due to the fantastic job opportunity that I found in Berlin, I would be moving into the city in January next year, for at least a couple of months with the option to stay for up to two years.

Don’t get me wrong. I really love London, in fact, I would be keeping my UK bank accounts, credit cards, phone and etc. for the time being, but I feel that at this moment in time, Berlin is a good place to move into, get some experience living somewhere else for a couple of months / years, and then return to London more experienced, culturally enriched and generally better prepared to face the bustle and hustle of the unique London lifestyle.

Therefore, I would say, goodbye London, I’ll really, really miss you! I hope to return sooner rather than later, but in the meantime, hello Berlin! I hope I’ve made the right choice and I really wish that you are not going to disappoint me! πŸ™‚

  11 comments for “Goodbye London, Hello Berlin!

  1. Ani
    December 3, 2015 at 7:30 am

    Good Luck, dear friend! I am pretty sure that’s the right move for you and you are not going to regret a single day in Berlin. πŸ™‚ The world is your stage, go conquer it!

    • December 3, 2015 at 10:25 am

      Thanks! It’s true. The world is a stage. Let’s hope that the artist is gifted to make full use of it. πŸ™‚

  2. December 10, 2015 at 12:35 pm

    Good luck in Berlin! In fact, I’m sure you’ll achieve success in every city you’re going to! πŸ˜‰

    London is… a crazy city — too big, too noisy, too expensive, but too interesting and too exciting, too! πŸ™‚ Not sure if I would like to live or live+work in London but if I had the opportunity… hell, maybe yes! Who knows… πŸ˜‰

    When you’re settled in Berlin, do not forget to write about your experience there — but, I am sure you’ll like Berlin as much as London!

    • December 10, 2015 at 1:56 pm

      Thanks! I am already in Berlin. I should write a post about my initial experience soon. London and Berlin do not have many things in common. I think Berlin resembles Sofia much more than London does. πŸ™‚

      • December 10, 2015 at 4:09 pm

        Do write about your experience in Berlin! πŸ™‚

  3. December 10, 2015 at 2:01 pm

    Yours is a fair assessment of London, I think.

    I’ve only been able to live here myself from sheer luck in having entered London’s fledgling digital industry at the same time as a house price depression in the mid 90’s. So as well has being able to buy a flat at the bottom of the market, I was also able to walk into jobs which had virtually no competition but led to a lot of experience and contacts in a specialised fields that’s become much in demand.

    In 20 years time, you may find you’ll have been able to repeat in Berlin what I did in London. You may well be making an extremely smart move πŸ™‚

    • December 10, 2015 at 8:08 pm

      I completely agree that my timing is right. At the moment I am not entirely sure that I would be able to appreciate Berlin as much as I have appreciated, and still appreciate London and its specific lifestyle. Not because Berlin is inferior to London, for many people it’s rather the opposite, but simply because I’ve grown up with the culture of the UK and the US and I am musically, culturally, and after having lived in the big smoke for such a long time, even sentimentally connected to London in an intricate way that I might not be able to duplicate in Berlin. Notwithstanding the lack of knowledge of the German language, which, in my opinion, is an absolutely essential prerequisite for getting fully into the culture and the daily life of a German-speaking city like Berlin.

      I will try my best though and only time will tell what would happen. It might be a hugely successful step that would lead to a long-term relationship with the city and its people, or it might turn to be a one-off affair with the city that would simply reinvigorate me personally, bring many new contacts into my life, and last but not least, enrich me as a human being, both personally and professionally. In any case, it would be an interesting ride and I am looking forward to it.
      πŸ™‚

  4. December 16, 2015 at 11:01 am

    I wish you best of luck! let’s see how it goes — change is often a good thing… πŸ™‚

    • January 3, 2016 at 2:50 am

      True. Plus, I like to frequently experience changes. πŸ™‚

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