Thoughts of a geek

26 April 2012

Decisions, decisions

Filed under: Me — Tags: , , , — qwandor @ 6:45 am

I moved to London in May 2010 for various reasons. Partly because Jordan and Josiah told me to (hmm…), partly because I was not sure what was next in life so I thought a change might be helpful, partly to travel and see the world a bit, partly because I did not seem to be getting anywhere in Wellington on several fronts. I originally was planning to stay for between 6 months and a year, get whatever job I could find, travel as much as possible, and then head back home to Wellington. I ended up getting a better job than I expected, and found the travelling bit to be much more time-consuming than expected (particularly planning and organising everything) and so did not get as much done as I had thought I would.

It is now 23 months later, and I still have not done as much travelling as I would like or feel like I should, but am not keen on the idea of staying in London long term either. I have still not worked out what to do with my life. A number of things which I am dissatisfied with include:

  • I am not finding the project I have been working on at work all that interesting, fulfilling, or in an area I want to focus on.
  • My flat has numerous problems (the kitchen not being very nice to cook in and living areas not being particularly conducive to community are probably the biggest issues for me, though how cold and damp it gets in winter is a close runner-up). It is not possible to find a flat in London which is all three of nice, affordable and in a convenient location. Even finding two out of three is tricky.
  • People are almost always very busy with work, travel or various other commitments, and also tend to be a bit more reserved than those in e.g. New Zealand. This makes it difficult to make friends, and even once one does have friends or at least acquaintances they hardly ever have any time to actually meet up or do anything. Some people are always busy with work, some are travelling a lot, some are booked up months in advance; for one reason or another pretty much everyone is busy. Even organising weeks in advance people are usually busy, or will cancel at the last minute. Not that this is never a problem anywhere else, but it seems to be worse in London in my experience.
  • The city is just generally big, crowded, dirty, noisy and unfriendly. There are no beaches, no hills, and I cannot really go walking about barefoot. The parks are good but not really comparable to Wellington’s town belt.

On the other hand, there are many good things about London, and this side of the world in general:

  • Lots of great museums, art galleries, and some fairly decent parks
  • Lots happening to see and do — plays, musicals, live music, dancing, festivals, and pretty much anything one might be interested in
  • Cheap and fast Internet connectivity
  • Amazon MP3 store, free last.fm radio, iPlayer, and other online services that are not available in NZ
  • Cheaper music than NZ, cheap or free delivery from Amazon and various other online stores, and some other cheaper things too
  • Cheap and quick flights to pretty much anywhere in Europe

On that note, and a particular dislike of cold dark winters in London, I am pondering moving on at the end of the year. Though there are yet things which could keep me here, your advice (dear readers!), would be much valued. Some options I am considering — with varying degrees of likelihood, and not actually in any particular order — are should I:

  1. Keep working at Google in London
    1. On Offers
    2. Transfer to another team
  2. Transfer to Google somewhere else
    1. Sydney
    2. New York
    3. (where else?)
  3. Do an MSc in Computer Science
    1. At VUW
    2. At Auckland University, Canterbury, or somewhere else in NZ
    3. Somewhere in London, maybe Imperial
    4. Somewhere else in the UK
    5. Somewhere in Australia
    6. Somewhere in Europe
  4. Do some sort of diploma or certificate in theology, or something similarly God-related.
    1. At Laidlaw in Auckland
    2. Somewhere else (where?)
  5. Move back to NZ and look for a job (at what company?)
    1. In Wellington
    2. In Auckland

Any advice? Comments? Suggestions for other options? Things to consider?

This also means that I need to get on with seeing as much as possible on this side of the world before I leave.

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