Anyone regret moving back to the UK because they were so homesick.......

(128 Posts)
scottswede Mon 20-May-13 16:11:21

Following on from the homesickness threads. I was wondering if anyone had moved back to their home country because they just couldn't settle, only to regret the move back home.....
I know everyone has bouts of homesickness, from every day to only on special occasions, from little things like not being able to buy certain foods to huge hating the weather issues. From taking a couple of months to settle to unbearable homesickness after 10 plus years.
What made you say"I just can't do this anymore"
Was moving back what you though, did you settle in, did you regret moving back, wished you'd stuck it out longer, taken more trips home to quench the thirst.
I am lucky I have the opportunity to return to the UK, with a willing dh (living in his home country now) we are making plans for next year. We have lived here for 3 years and I knew almost immediately it wasn't going to work though we have tried hard to make it, just not feeling the love.....
I know the UK is not the perfect place, but I know we can can a more enjoyable life there.

coweechrystal1 Wed 08-Jun-16 21:53:41

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Draylon Mon 09-May-16 09:52:01

Revisiting this thread (I contributed back in 2013 under a different name!).

One thing that stands out for me is that if you marry a forriner, the chances are that one of you will always be living 'abroad'.

I lived in Oz for 15 years, but have been back in the UK with my Aussie DH and 2 DC for 14 years now, they're 15 and 17. They were 2 and 4 when we came to the UK.

I am really fortunate that DH loves the UK; he's never shown any real inclination to 'go home'. Interestingly, his grandfather emigrated to Oz aged 19 from Shropshire, so there's a fair bit of English blood in him! DH has been back 3 times, once to sell our Qld house; once, 4 years ago with all of us on holiday; and once for a family wedding. He always enjoys these trips but it doesn't whet his emigration imagination, fortunately. And I must say, that 3 week holiday to Oz we all went on was cathartic for me. I discovered Qld has, well, 'grown up' a fair bit from when I left; it felt less insular, so at least I knew that if DH's very happiness depended on him returning, I could go with him- which is not how I felt when I happily left 14 years ago!

Admittedly, by the time we left Oz, both DH's parents had gone, and since we've been here, both mine have, but the ishoo would be that if DH and I went back to Oz, there's no guarantee the DSs would come too. They're quite English, indoorsy and non-sporty and I absolutely do not want to be in a different hemisphere to my DC or any GC that eventuate. My own parents visited us in Oz 8 times in 6 years, especially once the DC were born, but a) they were retired, b) rich enough to do so, and c) healthy enough to do so. But the day would've come when they couldn't any more.

So our compromise- to 'allow' DH the sunshine he misses, we rent an expensive villa in Spain for a fortnight every year and, when we retire (we're both in our early-mid 50s), we will move there! Easy enough and cheap enough distance for the DSs and for us.

If Brexit doesn't mess it up! grin

ShirlFerg Sat 30-Apr-16 15:36:46

I immigrated to Canada as a teenager and just returned home to Scotland for the first time in 42 years. It was a very short trip (funeral) but I when I landed in Glasgow airport I knew I was home. Being with my relatives, just walking down the street surrounded by Scottish built houses made me feel at home. I have a wonderful life in Canada but part of me yearns to be home in Scotland with all of my relatives. I believe you should always follow your heart, if you do everything else will fall in place. I would go back to Scotland in a heart beat but I would break many hearts and that I cannot live with. So I'll spend the rest of my years yearning for home as that is what I call it still after 42 years.

Sheila9 Fri 15-Apr-16 01:58:53

This post by GordieAcorn could have been written by me! I left Canada in 1973 (aged 24) and ended up settling in London for 40 years. I loved the UK but always bleated on about `returning to my roots'. Well almost 3 years ago I did it and came back to Ottawa. Too bad I had forgotten how awful the weather is, how difficult it is to make friends when you are not working, how important it is to have a car, the long distances needed to travel if you want to go on holiday etc. Canada is a very safe place to live, with great affordable accomodation and people are generally friendly. But like GordieAcorn I miss life in the UK terribly. I have no dependents or partner to take account of and I feel inspite of the downsides of UK living I will have to move back for my mental well being. One (and I certainly did) can romantize the place where you grew up but when I was here I had family and friends and a job. I would rather have what I consider much better weather (London) and good public transport than the really fantastic condo I live in here. It is so hard to put into words but I was blinded by nostalgia and probably pig headedness!

Pupsiecola Mon 11-Jan-16 21:02:29

We came back for our youngest DS newbrummie. No option really. It's tough. I'm sorry you felt like that coming back; it is a horrid, horrid feeling flowers.

Newbrummie Mon 11-Jan-16 19:30:54

I got back in March and visited over Christmas which wasn't good for me - arrived home yesterday and cried as I landed in Birmingham.
It's the right thing for the children to stop moving around but absolutely the wrong thing for me not to be in Perth

Pupsiecola Sun 10-Jan-16 14:56:41

We lived in Perth for three years and it was stressful, traumatic, really the worst period of my life and yet I miss it every day.

^^ This, in relation to our year in Singapore. I wouldn't go as far as to say the worst period, but it was hideously stressful at times and fantastically amazing at other times. Been back almost 3 years and still think of it often. I don't know how much is rose tinted specs, and how much is that we dread the thought of staying where we are forever and not having another shot at an overseas adventure.

How long have you been back newbrummie? I don't think it ever gets any easier. I am going to Singapore for a week in Feb, on my own, first time since we left.

meatpie24 Sat 09-Jan-16 08:19:27

My DH & I have spent the last 8 years working in some remote locations & for the last 2, finally found ourselves in a city in SE Asia where we both felt settled & happy.
Then an unexpected pregnancy happened & although we had plans to stay here, have the baby etc, our thoughts began to turn to our aging parents & the distance between us & how they would miss out on being close to their first grandchild.
Around the sametime, changes in my DH job meant that he started searching for a new job & we have decided to move back to the UK- we will leave in the next few days.
During our time away from the UK, neither of us have really missed it. Yes, there have been some days of homesickness, but on the whole, we know that we have been really lucky to experienced what we have.
I know deep down that we are making the right decision, but I am having a hard time accepting that we will return to our 'old lives'. Although I am sure once the little one arrives, those feelings will diminish.

Newbrummie Sun 20-Dec-15 22:29:41

We lived in Perth for three years and it was stressful, traumatic, really the worst period of my life and yet I miss it every day.

SushiAndTheBanshees Mon 14-Dec-15 19:06:05

When I mull over my own feelings of homesickness, the only things that Skype, regular visits and phone calls can't help with is relationships with aging parents and with friends who are going through life-changing events (marriages, children etc). The rest I get my fill of when I go back each year.

Relationships take time, and as we all settle down and children start school etc, it's natural that friendships drift at the best of times, let alone when you're 5000 miles away. Maybe it's just inevitable that there end up being fewer and fewer people in our lives that we've known for yonks, whether you live abroad or in the next town? Who knows.

I've always been the sort to make the most of any situation I find myself in, although as my parents get older I find that harder to do. There's a price to pay for everything, it's the guilt of other people paying the price for my decision to move away that's tough.

jessica361 Mon 14-Dec-15 03:35:00

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LexLoofah Tue 08-Dec-15 20:12:01

We were in the Caribbean for work (offshore financial services) for 10 years. DCs born there. Lovely for a 2 week holiday but boring all year round and too far from family so decided to move back. Took exactly a year of planning.

Been back 6 months and not a single regret. DCs (5 & 8) settled into school, made new friends, love seeing more of their cousins and granny, delighted with all the new varieties of sweets and chocolates to explore and having clothes for seasons rather than the same stuff all year round.

We are loving day trips, Radio 2, beautiful countryside, pub lunches, National Trust, decent supermarkets, next day delivery ...

I personally feel so much better here, so much more like myself than I ever did overseas.

Dowser Tue 08-Dec-15 19:55:33

I applaud everyone who has managed to pull up their roots, something I could never,ever have done. That takes a lot of courage.

When my cousin was 16 way back in the 60 s his family emigrated to Johannesburg.they really lapped up the lifestyle and I was so envious.

We never even got out for a holiday. Three years later his sister was born and he decided he wanted to go into journalism which he duly did eventually and he brought his south African wife with him.

When his sister was 11 my uncle decided that he wasn't happy about the family being split up like this. Plus it was getting a bit dangerous over there so he sold his business and they moved to London to be near his son.

They stayed in London till the end of their days. Having given up a fabulous life but the threads of family life were just too strong to be broken.

( spare a thought for the south African only child wife who never ever got to go back and her parents died probably heartbroken at losing her like that. )

I'm just mentioning this really in case people can take something from it. You can't live your life for others so the saying goes but sometimes there are such hard decisions to make. My uncle reached the point where he just knew he wanted to be in his sons life. He worried that if they stayed longer his daughter might have met and married someone from that country and with children of her own one day he knew he didn't want one family in one hemisphere and the other in the other.

I know the world has shrunk. I think it took my uncle and family six weeks on a boat but then there's all the expense of visits, flights and if you're somewhere like new Zealand horrendous flying times.

To me the best scenario is a two year contract. Enough to get a feel for the place but not long enough to feel stuck if like me you know you would struggle with a long term commitment.

If I go on a two week holiday abroad I miss my family so much :-(

Zubarider Mon 07-Dec-15 22:11:43

I know it's an old post, but I'm very intrigued to hear updates of those planning a move back to the UK. I've lived in California for 12 1/2 years, and am planning to move back some time in the next 18 months. I have never been totally happy in the U.S. And realize that if I don't move back soon, my now teen/tween dd's will never want to do it. DH has finally agreed that it's only fair we move back, as we were only supposed to be here 2 years to begin with. My biggest fear however, is that we will all be unhappy, and that all these years of homesickness were misguided, and I was just suffering from greener grass syndrome!
I miss real people, pubs, family, old houses, stylish architecture, style in general, real chocolate & sweets, rain, nonsensationalist news coverage, and morning radio that doesn't make me want to stick needles in my ears, lol!
I would love to read more posts of moving back home experiences, to help me balance my decision making! Thanks smile

Tinab1234 Mon 16-Nov-15 18:59:13

I have lived in the US for 26 years went back to UK and loved it. I have 4 children that are US citizens 19,16,15,13. The oldest would never leave the states but am taking the other 3 back in May to see how they like it. Have been thinking about moving back for 3 years, my family is all in UK and the older I get the more it bothers me to be away. I have enjoyed reading the posts here because it gives me a little insight. Anyone though have ideas on lwhere I should start?

swimmerforlife Sat 12-Sep-15 08:27:44

Interesting thread, I am a kiwi (though my dad is British) who left NZ as soon as I could at 21 (after Uni). I moved to Sydney to do a MA where I met my British DH and I followed him to the UK after 18 months, it was always the plan to move to London, it just so happened I met a Brit but I wanted to live the "aussie life" not what it's cracked up to be before moving to the UK.

We then moved to Toronto when I was 25 as I got offered a job there, we moved back to the UK two years after, I had a fantastic time there (loved the Canadian winters) but the job ended and we were ready to go back to London. This is where I realised how much I missed England - the people, the British sense of humour, the TV, how close everything was.

We have been back in London almost 7 years now, I love it and it is my home away from home, DS was born here, have a good career, I enjoy the hustle and bustle of London but I miss New Zealand. Sometimes I wish my DS would have the experience I did growing up, midnight swims in the beach or a summer Christmas, then I think about the amount of opportunities I missed out on growing up as NZ is so isolated. We won't be going anywhere fast as there aren't too many jobs in my industry back in NZ and it would have to be Wellington (I'm from the South Island) if I did move.

I would also seriously consider going back to Canada if the opportunity came up. But if I did stay in London until the end of my days, I would still die a very happen woman and would have no regrets about staying.

Bambambini Fri 11-Sep-15 23:10:51

Argh. Identify with so many here. We've been back in the UK 6 years now after 3 yrs in Asia. Loved Asia but was ok about moving back when the contract ended as a lot had happened, it wasn't the place so much as we settled really well and made lots of great friends - but other things that happened or how it affected us as a couple

The UK has lots of great things though and I really appreciate it. Me and the kids have been quite happy overall and they are settled. Friends had moved on though to a degree and it is different now. Winter gets us down and I really loved the international school system with lots of nationalities. Husband has never really settled and wants to move again as he hates the UK weather. So now we are looking at another possible move and we can live anywhere really as his work is more dependent on being near an airport. Kids are 13 and 10 now so it's now or never and they don't want to leave. I would only go if I think it would be great for them lifestyle wise and educationally.
Part of me wishes we could be happy in our little home town like everyone else was. We have choices which can be great but it also makes life and choosing difficult.

So full of indecision and wanting to do the right thing.

Iflyaway Sun 23-Aug-15 23:25:20

Love this thread cos it says so much of how I think too.

I grew up in 3 countries, live in one of them now.

Thing is, I always wanted to go back to UK but know I am living in the past in that respect. S0 much has changed... even old friends and me are on totally different life paths.....

Am a LP and my DS has grown up here and is living his life here... and my DPs (parents) have died now in that other (3rd) country too....

My way of dealing with it is doing the odd occasional when I have the money trips back.

DS being here is more important to me, cos his future is here. uni, friends, etc.

he's biracial so that makes a BIG difference too where we end up. i.e. a country/place where he is accepted for who he is

I would love to live back in London but that's not going to happen money-wise.... HA!

Wishing everyone the right insight for their best (and family's) flowers

scottswede Thu 06-Aug-15 08:49:40

It's been a couple of years since this post but I thought I'd check up and see if anyone had returned home that were planning too, if so, how is it?
Me, well I'm still here. Things changed in dh's job, meaning it would be a really bad idea to change location (at the moment) The children also changed school and it is really working for them.
I still struggle on a daily basis, still look on 'Rightmove', still research schools in the UK......
Things are by no means better, or worse, just more of the same.
So, did anyone move back?

annepauline Sat 13-Jun-15 10:57:25

Oh yes oh yes!!! We moved here in 2004 and within weeks knew we had done the wrong thing. But tried to get accepted into life!!!renovated houses, set up a business, but to no avail. We want to go home. We miss europe, the ease of travelling, the history the architecture, so much more to do if you are not wrapped up in dry land, trees hills and sea. We want more, so yes, we are going home. Did a 6 month recky last year and still want to go home. If it lasts this long the homesickness it won't ever go away. So now retired, well for 4 years, and bored out of our brains, here we go!!!

Newbrummie Wed 29-Apr-15 20:15:32

We arrived back 4 weeks ago and you know the uk isn't bad. It gets slated but aside of the shit weather I don't think it's any worse than any other country

rita68 Tue 28-Apr-15 19:01:14

I moved back to the UK four years ago, having lived in the middle East for over 7 years. Like you Karma, there were things I noticed when I moved back here that I had never noticed when I actually lived here before. There is a bitterness to the British people, an 'I'm allright Jack' attitude that I had never noticed before presumably because I'd had nothing to compare it with - obviously this is a gross generalization, but that, coupled with the intolerance for children I found very hard to re-adapt to. This business of insisting that your children leave home the minute they leave full-time education is also a peculiarly British thing, and the attitude of 'our parents never helped us out with money so why should we help our own children' is abhorrent.

The riots in the summer of 2011 (or was it 2012?) just about summed it all up and I felt really disappointed in my home country, or rather, in it's people.

I absolutely LOVE the weather, the scenery, the coastline, the gardens, the smells, the Sunday night television, Strictly Come Dancing, bonfire night, camping in the summer, cycle rides by the canals, picnics in parks, reliable postal service, waterproof houses and just knowing where to go and what to do with silly things like car repairs, electricity suppliers, broadband etc. I felt all at sea with those things living abroad.

Lovstigen Fri 24-Apr-15 11:02:49

Thanks KarmaNoMore, interesting reading, where do you live? In some ways where we have lived here so long I wish I could feel like that, I do a bit but feel mostly the pull of home......

KarmaNoMore Fri 24-Apr-15 09:02:42

Interestingly, I now find my old country irritating... I love the weather, the warmth of the people, the food, my old friends and family but... I really hate that everything is life us measured by the size of your house and that people don't read much (I find the levels of ignorance, racism, chauvinism, and homophobia absolutely appaling, interestingly... i never noticed them when I was living there)

KarmaNoMore Fri 24-Apr-15 08:56:41

Beautiful, the only thing I can say is that homesickness makes you idealise the distant place. I spent 8 years begging my then husband to move back to his country or min, no day passed on those 8 years when I didn't tell him how much I longed to go back. At some point we started to resent each other (I resented him for forcing me to stay, he resented me because by asking to leave, I was asking him to abandon his dreams) and eventually we split mostly, because I hated it here.

Although we often talked about me moving back home with DS, the moment we split he said I could go wherever I wanted but DS was staying here. Obviously, there is no way I could have left my child behind so, I spent a full night crying big time, proper big cry with sobs and everything and after that I decided that if I couldn't leave I would make the best of it.

Less than a year after I had totally fallen in love with the city I hated with absolute passion for 8 years, I was surrounded by lots of supportive friends, some old, some new, and found the place full of interesting things to do. I have spent the last 8 years loving my life here and no longer want to go anywhere, this is my home now.

Sometimes I ask myself if I would still be married if I had taken this more positive perspective earlier, but to be honest... I don't think that was the case... I think that I got to the level of negativism in the first place because I resented my husband's selfishness and unconsciously thought that if we went back to where we started, the balance would be restoreed. In my case (not saying this is the case with yours), my hating of all the local things was just a symptom that my relationship with DH was no longer satisfactory. It was not the city that I resented, what I resented was that he didn't care I was so unhappy here)

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