Moving back to Berlin
On January 2017 I moved to Budapest. My girlfriend was living there, and the distance was very hard. I had been in Berlin for approximately two years, and although I loved the city, I thought that moving to Budapest was the right call to make. I liked, and like my company, SoundCloud, so I wanted to continue working for it. I appreciate a lot the opportunity that I was given by them, working remotely supporting the team and the project from there. I was very excited; new working setup, new city and life style.
Working remotely is great if you are a remote person. I'm not.
The first thing that I noticed during that period is that I'm not a remote person (thanks Maria for helping me to notice it). I had read a lot about remote working and how cool it is, and I started the remote setup full of appealing expectations. Unfortunately, none of them were as expected, and I went through a very tough period. I missed hanging out with my colleagues, grabbing a coffee or a beer after work, brainstorming using the whiteboards at the office. I felt that I lost what I liked the most of working from an office, the people. I tried to prove myself that what wasn't working wasn't me, but the setup. That working from a coworking space would help with my bad feelings, but it turned out that it didn't. At the same time, I was hiding all those feelings because I didn't want Maria to see that moving to Budapest was affecting me so badly workwise. But she is smart, and she noticed it from the first day. I still remember her describing me as a "non-remote person". She knows me very well!
Budapest is a charming city, full of stunning views to enjoy, and thermal baths to relax after a very intense day. However, I found very difficult to have friends in the city. Compared to Berlin, where you find a lot of people relocating to the city and having the need to meet new people, Budapest was very hard in that sense. It makes total sense. The majority of the population is local and they have their friends circles. The same thing would happen if you moved to Spain, people would have their friends and use Spanish all the time. This difficulty making friends, together with the work situation, wasn't a good experience for me. My team at SoundCloud and Maria were very supportive all the time. They both were aware of my feelings and tried to help me as much as they could.
Maria, who had been searching for a job to move on from Budapest, got a job offer in Berlin to start in August. I couldn't believe it! Both of us were very excited. I would come back to the office, and she'd start working in the area she had studied for, translation and interpretation.
Sometimes in your life, there are calls that you have to make, and put your emotions in front. I don't regret having moved there, even though the decision came with some uncertainty. Eventually, those decisions pay off, and your life finds its way to its fullness. I learned not to keep those things with myself, as I did with Maria, because the people around you, who know about your feelings, are the people that might do their best to help you.
On Sunday we are flying to Berlin! New adventures and experiences are about to come, and I can't wait for them. Ping me if you are around, or you plan to visit the city, I'd love to meet up.