Berlin

I've been feeling an overwhelming sense of exhaustion with America lately. The polarization is at an all-time high, the countryside is hollowed out, the cities are dysfunctional, the culture is lowest common denominator, and our demographics are collapsing. I haven't encountered a healthy community that wasn't upper middle class (or richer) since I was a kid. Everything is worse every day, with no end in sight. It doesn't matter which party is in charge, because the issues are structural and transcend political agendas. Non-political solutions have been sublimated into politics. Everything non-political, in fact, has now been sublimated into politics. The nation is broken. I don't know how much longer I - or it - can keep going. It feels like I'm marooned in a foreign country that vaguely matches the contours of the nation in which I grew up.

A few weeks ago I finally entertained, with complete seriousness, the idea of immigrating to another country. I considered Asia (I know Japanese, if poorly, and have experience working with multiple Asian companies) but it's very difficult to break into, and it's sitting atop its own powder keg of demographic collapse and power imbalance. Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, etc. are in worse shape than America so it's silly to move there. Eastern Europe is still recovering from the effects of communism. That leaves Western Europe and the Commonwealth. The Commonwealth is an easier move, but Western Europe is much more interesting. Berlin, in particular, has caught my interest: the cost of living is still relatively low, it's full of engineers and artists, and despite not being an officially English-speaking city the average English skill level is high.

When I can travel again without long international quarantines (or mandatory vaccine passports) I'm going to fly to Berlin and check it out. If I like the city I'll begin the process of moving. I might even be able to do an internal shift within my current employer, as we have a Berlin office. When America feels like a foreign country to a native, why not opportunistically move elsewhere?