Leaving For London
Enter the mind of DeGatchi as he moves continents, once again! Ever wondered what happens in a developer's life? Someone you relate to or look up to? In this article DeGatchi exaplains his rationale for leaving his home country to venture into a new one to start a new life -- all in the name of *blank*...
Heya internet frens!
If you’ve been following me for a while you know I was living in Dubai for 6 months and usually reside down under. However, I’m moving to the land of cloudy skies and old as fuck buildings. You may be wondering “DeGatchi, why would you move to such a dull place?“. A terrific question indeed, young wattson! And I have a few answers to that. Grab your green-tea and put on your coding socks, we’re getting into the nitty gritty!
Initially, my move to Dubai was purely spontaneous for the hopes of earning more by not paying taxes (0% income tax and 9% business tax). I had never been there before and did little research to what it was actually like. I quickly realised that the culture of Dubai is different to what I was expecting. Instead of the hustle culture you see in the USA, where judging someone is based on what they’ve gone through and their experiences, you get judged in Dubai from your end result, money. I didn’t meet any devs relative to the amount of property / social media people. Unsurprisingly, this was not my vibe. And so, when I told people I was residing there they were shocked and asking me why I did such a thing — in turn making me confused.
During my 6 months there I met some local people that had the same views. Even just looking out of my window society seemed, for lack of better words, odd. It seemed like people were forced to be there as there were no better options from their home country (because of their passports). This is fine but the air was different relative to what I experienced in NYC or any other country I went to. Either way, I decided this was not my cup of tea and decided to leave in Nov 2023. It was a good run, my first solo apartment and first time moving countires solo as well. And I think that my agnostic views doesn’t really work well with a Muslim country, where you must abide by Sharia (Islamic law). I did meet some amazing people there an I think the future for the UAE will be quite interesting. The same with Saudi and their ambitious projects. Ultimately, it’s not for me at this point in my life. Hopefully I get to do camel riding and hawk sports later D:
And so I went back to Australia to see my family once again. I spent around 2 months with my grandpa, who I deeply love. His sense of humour is the funny kind of sarcastic, similar to mine. We mostly watched tennis, making fun of the players and their simple muck-ups. During this time I was contemplating whether I should move back to my home town in Australia or go for another country move. I ended up writing an article on my life plan in Dubai, however this all changed quickly. I know what you’re thinking, “holy shit why are you doing this to yourself?!” and to be frank, I long for comfort. Sure, I know my home town like the back of my hand and the entire system, have (some) friends and family is nearby. However, this isn’t enough for me. I think deeply about the future and what it means for every decision, how geopolitical events will occur, how an environment will ultimately shape myself as well as my future. With this in mind, I weighed up the options. My first though was towards imminent war.
A major concern for me is long-term safety. Where can I live that I’m able to fully invest and drop bags of money on to build a kick-ass setup? Within current events going on, WW3 seems right around the corner. My my thoughts are: WW3 will begin in the Middle East, as Yemen is already bombing Abu Dhabi while Israel and Gaza duke it out, meanwhile Ukraine and Russia are still fucking around. China will take back Hong Kong and seize Taiwan to gain control of the world leading chip manufacturer (37% of the world’s new computing power each year), TSMC. I wouldn’t doubt North Korea trying to takeover South Korea and then expanding. Japan, man they’re in a tough spot too. It is clear that Australia is geographically fucked right under China with the Middle East in the crossfire to flee to the West, especially with their pathetic military force. Australia is a hub for ores and minerals that are sent to USA and China — best believe after Taiwan Austalia is next. Either way, China already owns a ton of Australia from deals and land. They’re on borrowed time. So the only option left is the West: Europe, USA, UK. In a war, it will be the West vs Middle East vs the rest. And so, geographically, the UK is right next to the USA to be united when the wars happen, which is better than being anywhere else, aside from inside the USA.
Aside from politics, the UK is one of the leading innovating places in the world — all coming from London city, not even the country…It combines all fields from AI, politics and finance condensed into a single spot, instead of split across multiple states like NYC, SF and Washington. This means that there a lot of people there. And it just turns out there are a lot of people I know! And so, the hustle culture and history of invention of the UK is an obvious choice for an ambitious chap like me. I want to be surrounded by these kinds of people and follow in the footsteps of people I looked up to, e.g. Alan Turing. In addition, I’m quite young and exploration is the key to knowing what I want in life. Luckily, the UK has terrific train systems and cheap flights to EU and is right next to the USA for any time I want to go visit any conferences, homies or otherwise potential living areas. From Australia it took 10 hours to go from Sydney to Japan! And this flight was not cheap…
Long Term Plans
On top of the fantastic emergence of opportunities to explore the world, the UK has great access to capital and the best minds the world has ever seen! If you have a great product or need to be around people smarter than yourself everything is easily accessible. I have the end goal of creating a private military company that focuses on weaponry technology (defense and attack) in the artificial life field. I’ve always been curious with the weapons side of things, whether it was cybersecurity or listening to darknet diaries and the arms dealers / darkweb members that do the most unheard of stuff. Ultimately, I think my brain is wired in some way in which I enjoy the “villian” side whenever playing any games or being naturally attracted to the offensive side (although in sport I always loved being a defensive player that shutdown those kids that are meant to carry the other team to victory, oh how i love pvp). Anyway, I have this grand vision of developing sentient robots that empirically explore the world and intutively learn (articles on this topic soon!) — similiar to human babies.
As a side note, since the internet in Australia is complete dogwater and there is nothing useful around, the UK seems like a great spot to setup a warehouse or a farm to build a robot militia (and hopefully get some deals going with some government groups). I’m sure you can see how this plays into my paranoia thinking of WW3 (which is inevitable). But really, to be actually safe you need an underground radioactive protected bunker. One last thing, when AI does start replacing jobs and/or when governments decide to default on their dollar (every country is in generational debt that is really unfixable) then the world is going to fall into complete chaos where civil warfare will occur. This was also another reason I wanted to move to Texas or WV in USA, for the guns! Sadly, UK bans guns but theres nothing a bit of engineering can’t fix (if it happens).
Cost Of Living
I want to mention taxes, ultimately, are merely the price for being there. If you have enough money to have the best equipment to enable you and you can get private healthcare with the best quality of food then you’re laughing. What else could you possibly need to succeed? Seriously, I was living off 15k AUD (7.5k USD) in Australia and was having a perfect life (although I had no car D:). Making enough to pay for rent and the things mentioned before is really enough, at least for me. Then spending money would go towards buying more equipment (microscope, electronics, hardware, computers, kick-ass kettle for tea, standing desk, a shit-ton of full-fat milk, etc). Let say rent is 48k GBP a year (4k GBP per month) to be super conservative.
Lets assume you work in software where you can easily make 100k USD salary. All you need to do is buy equipment to prepare for the biggest moment of your life: creating a brand and a product. The way you break out of the rat race is not through salary, but through equity or % of earnings (e.g. quant, cofounding, investing, etc). You just need enough money to survive to make it through taking risks. If you don’t take risks, you’ll be working day jobs for the rest of your life. Make a personal brand. Design a product. Get funding. Do what excites you and do it well. Be the best at it. This is the way of living (at least in my mind atm). But remember, money is a tool. Use it to enhance yourself!
All in all, moving to a city that you can blend in with personality wise is a terrific way to get you fired up, especially with the added pressure of “oh shit, its expensive here…time to buckle down and get grinding so I don’t become homeless!“. Being around like-minded people or even the aura of the environment helps boost every area of life. Although, London is known for the leading knife crime, I’m not too worried. Being street smart should help avoid being shanked or getting robbed (although when I used to live there in my early days my mother got robbed quite often and we had a few home invasions, no biggie). Obviously, ignorance is bliss and I hope that it all goes well for me. I look forwad to seeing all my internet frens IRL and exploring the world! Just like Dubai, I’m going in blind (lmfao, why do I do this to myself), but hopefully I can actually enjoy my time there and invest fully into the city. If you have this urge to get up and build a new life go for it! I also go by the motto “regret what you do, not what you don’t” because the regret of not doing the thing weighs heavier than not.
There is the final question of “what about your family?” to which I answer…I honestly don’t know. I think there are risks I need to take in order to get to the next stage in life and they accept that. However, I super hope they will still be around when I come back to visit. When I was in Dubai a family member passed away and that was my only concern, not being around to see them — although, I saw them for 2 weeks and left for Dubai and the following 2nd week they passed. I felt horrible. I knew I should of just stayed at home with the fam and given up the stupid rent money but I didn’t. I had booked for a week after I closed the apartment, which ended up being too late. Another lesson that money doesn’t mean shit. Time and experience is worth giving up everything for. The hardest lesson I’ve learned is: money is a tool, not the reason for life. Taxes, money, its all an illusion to sway you from the real fruits of life: experiences with those you love and cherish. If you achieve a world-changing invention or multi-mils who are you going to spend that success with. This is why is so important to have friends and keep those you love close, for we don’t know when we’ll draw our last breath.
Thank you for taking the time to read this article! I hope you got something out of it, not matter how small! I will keep ya’ll updated with the move as I migrate to London on the 26th of January 2024. I can’t wait to start my 3 piece suit with a tophat arc! Take the leap of faith if you are contemplating something, try new things and fail constantly, and spend time with those you really care about (or if you can’t, give them a call or a facetime!). Also, big shoutout for the homies for offering me a room at their place — Lucas Martin Calderon and 0xTaker!
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