The Clash had it spot on with their song.
If I go, there will be trouble
And if I stay it will be double
When the decision was made to up sticks and leave, I realised that it might be a huge mistake. Of course it might – any large, life changing move might be a mistake. So I journeyed to Karlsruhe for a week over Easter to check the place out.
[I should say here that the “I” is, of course, a “we”. I am using “I” because fundamentally this writing is about my thoughts. But I was never operating in a vacuum].
I’ll describe my thoughts on the place in a future musing, because that isn’t the purpose of this piece. The thing is, I liked it down there a lot. It was already a lot warmer than the UK, the food was wonderful and less expensive, the people friendly (in their German way – more on that in a future piece) and the whole environment clean and efficient. I returned to the UK in fine fettle and fully ready for my adventure. But then disaster struck. I got home!
Problem is – being in Germany was wonderful: I could see my new life there with beautiful, sunny summer days and winter skiing. But at home, I was confronted (it was literally in my face) by the things I like about being home – the green and pleasant land, rolling hills, people talking about the weather, friends, etc. Every day I saw all the things I will miss about being in England. I got rather unhappy about the whole thing, and maybe even a little depressed. Was it the right thing to do?
So I returned to Karlsruhe. This time for a weekend only (to check and finally arrange accommodation) and took another, critical look at the place. And found that I liked it even more, knowing I was definitely relocating there. Upon my return I altered my mindset. Instead of looking at all the things I shall miss from my current life, I simply remind myself that both times whilst in Germany I have been happy and I therefore know that I will enjoy that life too. I trust myself that it will be great there, and for me, that is enough. Thus even though I am reminded daily about the wonderful country that I live in, when things get too much I just say to myself
“Remember, you have loved Karlsruhe both times you have been there. You’ll continue to love it when you are there.”
And that is enough.
Of course, there will be some things that will irritate the hell out of me about being in Germany. I’d be delusional if I didn’t think that. But there are things that irritate the hell out of my being here, too. I am scared to leave the UK and try something so very new, but on balance, the way things are heading here with our abysmal leaders, I am more scared to stay. And I have an important life rule. Massively important.
It is easier to regret the things you did than the things you didn’t.