Please tell me good things about moving back to the UK...(11 Posts)
We are moving back to the UK next year after 6 years in The Netherlands, and I am so sad about leaving here :-(
My dd is at a local Dutch school and therefore bilingual. I have a good job with lovely colleagues. I live in a beautiful town, cycle everywhere and have fantastic friends. Of course there are things about living abroad that wind me up sometimes, but on the whole we love it.
I grew up abroad and have also lived in Russia and France, so have not spent long periods of time living in the UK - and when I have lived there, I've generally wanted to be somewhere else! This is the first time in years I've felt so settled, but we have to come back.
There are things I am looking forward to - hills (!), being closer to some of my old friends, and erm, that's about it. I want this to be a positive thing for our family so would love to hear about good experiences of moving back to England from abroad.
Cycling is much bigger than it used to be, although you do have to learn to cycle up hill (unless you live in Cambridge).
Treat it like a new place abroad. Do the tourist stuff, find Dutch speakers , there are quite a few near me and I know there used to be a few in Huddersfield.
Jo, it's a few years now since we moved back to the UK after a similar time in the Netherlands. Also our DCs attended Dutch school so were bilingual.
I dont know what your experience was like moving out to the Netherlands but we found the school to be very welcoming and helpful. The school gave our DCs lots of help to learn Dutch and settle in.
Sadly on return we found the British school our DCs went into far less helpful. If I had my time again I would have been far more on the case about explaining precisely what the DCs had and hadnt done in their Dutch school.
Our DCs have all benefited from having been so fluent in Dutch. The younger two have forgotten it all but are finding picking up French & German a piece of cake. Our oldest DC was able to take Dutch GCSE in year 7 then took Dutch A level in year 10. These were done as twilight subjects (outside the school) but using the school as an exam centre.
I second the idea of treating the UK as a new place abroad. You speak the language which helps!
I think it depends where you are moving to. (and where you're moving from). The school thing is a big issue, especially in parts of England, where getting into the right school is so difficult.
What I enjoyed when I came back were: decent supermarkets, bbc radio, easy access to healthcare (I know, a lot of people main about the NHS, but when you've had to deal with private healthcare, it seems brilliant in comparison), being able to see my family easily, understanding 'the system', being able to live in my own house instead of renting, being able to work if I wanted to.
But I had lived in the states, which is very different from Netherlands. I still miss some things about it, but do feel settled. I think it would be easy to blame the UK if things like your job here isn't as good as there, or the kids' school, so I'd put a lot of energy into getting those things right. Cycling everywhere might be a harder nut to crack easily!
Jo, I feel your pain - I love Holland, and grew up in Brussels myself, so I do see how, after a continental experience, life in the UK doesn't seem that appealing! We have spent time in Oz and NZ recently and came back for family and friends reasons - and still miss 'Abroad' greatly. But there ARE great things about the UK! As others have said, the NHS, BBC radio and proximity to loved ones are big factors for me too, as are the friendliness of people here. But the greatest factor of all? Sheer natural beauty. I love the fact that the UK is a collection of stunning islands. I love the coastline, the hills, the vastness of its landscapes, the wildlife and the sheer variety here. We live near the Brecon Beacons and I just love walking there - nothing like that was ever part of my Belgian experience, I can tell you, much as I loved it there! Going to the remoter parts is a great pleasure for me, be it Skye one year, Orkney, Pembrokeshire or the Dales another. I also love hopping onto trains and going somewhere completely different in such a short time - be that London (3 hours away) or Ludlow (1/2 hour). I agree that seeing the UK as another new and exciting destination is the key - I got the Rough Guides to England, Wales and Scotland when we got back. Good luck with the move!
I wish I could write lots of positive things.
The one thing that I miss about the UK is my family. Being close to family, cousins, siblings - all the things that most people take for granted - that's the only thing we'd move back for.
But working in the basis you're moving back to be near your family - I'm hugely jealous!!!
We moved back a year ago and found it a piece of cake compared to the bureaucracy so prevalent in Spain. Really miss the sun - especially this year - and my lovely neighbours and my pool. Love the beauty of the UK, the wonderful supermarkets, availability of public transport.
Advice would be to pick a location which suits you and your family as the variations in quality of housing/schooling/facilities/employment can be dramatic. We picked a small market town in the south west full of old cronies like ourselves - so far it seems to suit us well.
The sense of humour, the tolerance of eccentricities and differentness (yes, I know there are still twats out there), the variety of the landscape, the fact you're never more than a few hours away from the sea.
Thank you everybody for your replies and I definitely agree with you meerkate about the British landscape, it is stunning and I am looking forward to exploring it more, and especially with my dd. I am also quite looking forward to not having to speak a foreign language again badly!
Namingofparts - thank you for your advice and great to hear your dcs are doing well in their Dutch and other languages at school - that gives me a lot of hope! I will definitely take on board what you say about informing dds future school about what she's been doing here.
The thing is, I've lived abroad most of my life and I guess I am having worries about not feeling like England is really my 'home'. I grew up abroad, most of my family still live abroad and I love having experienced being a part of different cultures, even though it has been difficult at times.
I know there are great things about the UK, and many of my close friends have moved back there in the last few years from various countries, so I do have being able to see them more often to look forward to.
I think I need to stop feeling sorry for myself, and instead keep telling myself how lucky I've/we've been to have experienced living in such a great place for the last 5 years.
Why are you heading back ? I was having z moan about Australia today but lets face it I'm not going back to the UK if I can help it
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