Fine for me + DH. But with DC to consider, omg, I need to go lie down in a dark room. I feel so overwhelmed. Is there a trick, a strategy, for figuring out what's best? Should I go back to reading the Tips thread?
Eek, we have 3 cats, too, but I think UK-> USA isn't so bad, right?
Pollyp the list wasn't in order of preference. I would love to see more of my (very huge) family than was possible last 22 yrs. They are a big pull, even DH likes them. If his mum (heaven forbid) died tomorrow he wouldn't feel any compelling family ties to the USA at all.
I've found 2 state secondaries that offer International Bauccalareate near to where we'd live, with loads of IB schools in their feeding clusters. I hate hate hate the way GCSEs operate. It's a big pushing force away, iyswim. Which is partly why we feel we need to make decisions in next 6-24 months. Yet UK University funding is fabulous, far superior to the system over there.
We left a 12 year old cat with my dad when we moved to singapore from the uk. Living with a toddler, the vet thought that the cat might only live another year and the relocation would probably hasten that. 5 years of being pampered at my dads house (and ruling the roost), she's still going strong
I mean petty little things like the availability of marmite, not being allowed a satellite dish or to mow the lawn on a Sunday, no shopping on a Sunday (priceless American faces in Switzerland when they realise ), milk tasting "wrong".
You usually anticipate all the big deal breakers, but in my experience it's a multitude of little things that wears you down.
I get the feeling that going 'home' will be for good. Once you are surrounded by family again it may be hard to leave again. As a family you will set roots which may tie you down but in a good way. As the dcs get older you will have support around them which will enable you to escape to adventure from time to time. Are you wanting this or worrying about it? The US has everything in terms of landscape and adventure I think you are very lucky to have that option.
DieWilde I completely agree about speaking the local language. Life is extremely difficult if you can't speak the local language unless there is a large ex pat community to assist you. It's day to day things which can seem impossible. Just finding out how to do things and where to go for things is infinitely harder if you can't ask!
I grew up being trotted round various countries after my DF. The things that may be important for kids (based on me and international school friends) is that in some way life is better. In my case DParents were financially better off so we were encouraged to take up more opportunities like school trips abroad, skiied regularly and DF was traveling less, so we saw him more.
Maybe if you are closer to extended family or can have more "child friendly" adventure that would help you decide? But DC won't be initally happy at all, so brace yourself for that.
I have a terror of US schools based on kids tv and gossip from friends who went to them. So if you have teens watch out for things they ve picked up from tv.
The language issue depends where you go. I think if you are moving within Europe you definitely need to learn the language but in other places it's not so necessary. In Africa and Asia English is a common language even among locals who often speak several different languages. I've lived in 3 countries and only learned the language of one of those. OTOH, learning the language can be one of the positive experiences even if you never become fluent (I didn't).
I generally like the small stuff. The culture gap, to me, is part of the draw - the wider the better (as long as people are basically friendly and I would avoid places where that doesn't appear to be the case). It's the little stuff that keeps every day life interesting.
There is no doubt that getting stuff done is tough and requires vast amounts of patience and perseverance. Especially in some places. And that is not a perk, I totally agree.
We are also an Anglo-American couple. I no longer have any family here and dh is not particularly keen to live near family in the US. We have occasionally thought about moving there - the main pluses would be the outdoor landscapes and climate (if you pick the right parts). We do not like the urban feel though - the endless low-rise suburbs and driving everywhere. We are neither of us very keen on the idea for ourselves. If dh were closer to his family and they were in a good place that might be a deciding factor though (although it would be of no consequence without dd). Healthcare is scary though.
This urban style is also typical of the middle class areas of many larger African and Asian cities and with dc we would be out in the burbs anywhere we went. I lived that style in one of my 3 countries. I was working FT and had my own car then but as a non-working, car-less accompanying spouse that could get very dull (anywhere).