I was going through some interesting expat blogs, for example a Singaporean migrating to Australia here, and felt an urge to update this blog! :) I do write a lot in my draft notes and am a bit of a graphomaniac, but this blog has been a pretty consistent chronicle for a good while now. :) You can kind of see the arc of the last 5-7 years of my life here - though in glimpses. :)
On 27th August 2014, I am feeling fine enough. My life situation is quite fine materialistically. Mentally, I am the kind of person who is of the opinion that people can optimize any aspect of their life anywhere, but I do feel the increased opportunity cost of staying in my current scenario. To state clearly: I earn a pretty good deal of money working for Grameenphone in a low-mid level position. I travel enough, for both work and personal purposes. My personal life is fine enough by my own standards. I am approaching 32. And I am starting to feel an urge to test out new waters.
I know there can be many pitfalls, and I was actually reading up on it here (Irish woman in Australia), a 35-year long yearning of an Irish guy for his country and how it got cured and this post from a Singaporean guy here. This kind of reading is instant gratification for the searching soul. :)
I do not know what decision will ultimately come out. I am not sure this kind of decisionmaking can even be documented as it goes on; I suspect it does, but then it depends on who you would like to expose it to. :) We will see. But I do know some broad level factors relevant to this discussion.
One Factor: As Po Bronson says, it's so difficult to quit a good thing. And I have a very good thing going here in Dhaka! Whereas I will agree that I might be a bit bored, I also like the security, the moderate challenge, the known environment, the economic freedom, the family support and appreciation.
At the same time, Dhaka is not the most livable of cities. I kind of hate to admit it, true. :) I find great joy in adapting to it and making the most of it, and I believe I have broadly succeeded in this. Most of my moments I have been able to find a lot of joy despite Dhaka's many limitations. I strongly believe that human civilization has progressed enough that even in third world countries, and especially in cities like Dhaka where the best of the third world converge, there should be more than enough to make for a great life.
But indeed, my travel through other countries have shown me what heights human beings can achieve, and some countries have been especially powerful in that regard, The Netherlands, Switzerland and Australia come to mind. I know I can with determination be a member of these societies as well, but there is a significant cost involved too, and this is not only a monetary or physical cost, but a psychological one as well. I do not like my 'greed' to belong to these societies, yet I am driven by it as any evolved being would be.
The 'costs', I also feel, are a matter of perspective, and do start to make sense as character building exercises, especially given my condition as a single person who just don't want to keep earning money in a corner of the third world but wants to explore the first world and many other parts of the world as well, for which the first world has the most enablers. It will require effort, and as noted time and again it still has costs (reminds me of someone who said that the problem with human beings is their inability to sit in a room for any extended period of time! :)).
For now, I have decided to chase this as a secondary concern, as opposed to a primary one overriding my current life concerns and disrupting these, in my spare time. I would be interested to see where it leads to. :)