Going back to Galicia

As many of you know, I come from Galicia, a quite peculiar autonomous community in north-west Spain. I have spent most of my life there, in Santiago, a 100,000-people town with a large university and an a World Heritage listed city centre.

In mid 2001 I got an invitation from a very well known researcher in my area to join him at a technical university in Sydney, which, after some thinking, I accepted. At that time I was running my own company in Santiago, I had my home, my car and, in general, my life going on quite smoothly. So this offer to move to Sydney was unexpected and surprising. Isabel jumped on to the adventure so we decided to leave Santiago and move to Sydney. Our plan was to stay for two years and then re-think the situation and decide whether to stay longer or to go back.

Well, it’s been over three years now, and we want to go back to Galicia. We have given ourselves a maximum of two years from now before we go back, which will probably become a shorter time if everything goes OK.

It is not an easy decision, because our life in Sydney has many good things that we cannot get in Galicia. On the other hand, our life in Galicia used to have things that we can’t get in Sydney. So we need to weigh everything appropriately, acknowledge that we cannot have it all, and make a decision. And the decision is to go back. I know we will lose something, but we expect to gain something bigger.

Sometimes, I cannot avoid being an engineer, and in the process of making this decision I have made some lists of which good and bad things we can find in Sydney and Santiago. Building these lists made me collect some interesting facts and definitely has made me think. I intend to discuss these facts and observations here, one at a time. You are most welcome to participate in the discussion.

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