Thursday, November 12, 2015

Making the decision

The last 10 years, our family has lived in 4 different countries. This wasn't really on the agenda when I first moved to the US - we fell into this expat life quite unexpectedly. And while I'm incredibly grateful for every moment of this wonderful experience, I do sometimes wonder how our lives would have turned out if we had just stayed in the US, never moved out of Peoria. No doubt, we would still be happy, claiming our little piece of the American Dream, content to be a part of the growing Indian diaspora!!

But even then, back before this nomadic lifestyle, Ajey and I still dreamt of eventually moving back to India, to live in our own country, be close to our culture, and our families. 3 years of living in Chennai showed us that this was not an impossible dream, that we could eventually make it happen. And staying on in India at that time would have probably been the best - except the China carrot that was offered to us - come back to US for a year, and then 3 years in China! Another international assignment - no way were we turning that down!! So that move to Peoria didn't really hit us that hard!!

This time around, it's different. This time, wherever we go, it will be for the long haul. So what were the options, if any?? We would have loved to stay on in China. Except for the pollution - and that really is a huge issue - our life here is pretty great. Good school, great friends - and it is so easy to fly home to India! Except that we always knew this was a short-term assignment!!

The default option is back to Peoria, back to the US. And that's what it came down to in the end - move back to India for good, or back to the US. Which one, which one?? This is probably the first time in my life, that I've faced such a dilemma - no easy decision here! So we did what all sensible engineers do - drew up a Pugh matrix, and spent 6 intense hours weighing the options - Ajey, me and a white board to hash it out!!

Soo...India - with the emotional pull, our home, our country. We would be close to our parents, Manasi would get to be around her grandparents, our Indian culture. And very far from India, with the bitterly cold winters, getting sucked up into complacency - but with better standards of living. The considerations are many - emotional, financial, social, education, health, it's endless!! Back and forth we went - until finally, we had a decision.

After all these years of wanting to go back to India, ultimately our decision is now taking us back to the US. I do believe that right now, all things considered, this is the best direction for us to move in. Right or wrong - only time will tell. Either way - que sera, sera - whatever will be, will be!!

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