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

(143 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.

ifink Fri 13-Jan-17 11:27:45

I have just moved back to the UK. We were away for 6 years in total in two different countries. So far so good I think. It just snowed which was pretty exciting! I do feel a little removed from people and the initial excitement from other parents at meeting someone new who was living overseas will wane pretty quickly I fear. Finding school places has been an absolute nightmare for my DS in particular (year 2).....I'm feeling absolutely exhausted from all the admin involved for which I was woefully underprepared to face as i spent so much time thinking about leaving the country we were in, not joining the 'new' one. I feel confident though about the career and training opportunities I can now progress -which I couldn't do as an expat. So yes, positive so far but its early days I know.

naturalbaby Fri 13-Jan-17 09:35:46

Hi, I'm been mulling over whether to move or not for a while. Ds is coming up to secondary school age, which was when we planned on moving back. Our kids education has been my priority but I feel like they're missing out on a lot because we don't speak the language fluently or fully understand the system, so can't get the best out of it.

I feel like the only reason I really want to move back is for my career and social life, both of which I gave up when we moved. Life is better here all round but I can't stop thinking about jobs and training I could do back home. Considering my options here feels like settling for something I don't really want.

scottswede Sat 07-Jan-17 11:05:07

manyhappydaysoutside Sorry to hear about your situation. Unfortunately it probably happens like that for a lot of families trying to make huge decisions about where is best. More often than not one family member is usually less happy with whatever decision is made.
I would hate to see us split the family but I wouldn't be surprised if it did in the end.
I love dh and our family unit and will do what needs to be done to preserve it.
When asking "What's best for the family? then one adult is usually making that decision based on what makes them happy.
It is so hard to see your own life objectively.

Velocitractor Sat 07-Jan-17 07:54:17

Manyhappydays - flowers that sounds like a horrible situation. Exh and I couldn't work it out with where to live, we were just incompatible I think. But it took us 6 years before realising that and I can remember the feelings of resentment between us (both ways I think) from then. I hope you manage to find a solution whether here or in Aus.

Velocitractor Sat 07-Jan-17 07:50:06

Took me a while before I realised this was originally an old thread!

After 8 years abroad, I moved back to the UK with 2 small dc (from DK) in 2009. I lasted 13 months before moving back to DK. I found it difficult to adjust and there were some small differences in the culture of raising a family that I hadn't noticed when on holiday in the UK but really noticed when living again in the UK with dc. That year was a real eye-opener for me. We moved back in 2010 (have since divorced and exh, not British or Danish, has moved to a completely different country) and I have my moments but overall have realised that while I love visiting the UK, it is much easier to live here with dc and generally I like the lifestyle here more. Funnily enough OP, I now have a Swedish dp and we're looking to buy a house here (in DK) now!

I do a British cornershop order now and then to stock up on missed foods, Skype is great for UK family and friends and we go back a few times a year (flights often cheaper than train tickets and my family are incredibly spread out over the UK!) so we've found a good balance now I think. Took some years of settling and working it all out though!

Surreyblah Sat 07-Jan-17 07:32:13

Why did you decide to stay overseas OP? You still don't sound happy.

GETTINGLIKEMYMOTHER Sat 07-Jan-17 07:21:40

We were overseas (the Gulf) for 13 years. Moved back once elder dd was coming up to senior school, since we had seen too much of what Dh called 'overseas daughter syndrome' - I.e. away so many years, never able to settle back home, and feeling that a country they are never going to be a citizen of, is home. Also, although it was a wonderful life when dds were little, it would have been very unnatural once they were older - never doing 'normal' things like taking public transport, being driven everywhere, etc.

I have never regretted coming back - obviously it's different if you actually emigrate - except of course for tax free salaries. Non stop sun can get very boring and the summers were frankly horrible.

I have a long-widowed sister who has been in the US for over 30 years (east coast) and is increasingly talking about moving back. She says she still doesn't really feel at home there in the way she does here - misses the pubs! - and the politics really get up her nose, especially lately. And the climate where she lives is not very nice - very long, very cold, winters and very hot and humid summers, fly screens on all the windows because of the midges.

She has a daughter living on the other side of the country, who she doesn't see often anyway, and as she says, it's almost as cheap and easy to fly there from London as it is from her neck of the US.
I have told her more than once that while certain things get up her nose there, she will certainly find other things getting up her nose here, too, but I think she's well aware of that.

manyhappydaysoutside Fri 06-Jan-17 21:49:08

Thank you for your thoughts. I really appreciate your kindness.

JeNeBaguetteRien Fri 06-Jan-17 21:29:30

Will post my experience later but in response to manyhappy sorry you're having such a rough time. flowers Your children will be more adaptable than you think whatever you decide to do

manyhappydaysoutside Wed 28-Dec-16 23:09:53

A little bit heartbroken revisting this thread. Just returned from Aus with 2 kids after nearly 4 years there ( Aus husband came 8 weeks earlier because of work). Everyone unhappy. Husband morose and so angry, kids up and down, and I feel conflicted. I did like Aus but never felt loved. I know my extended family and friends will love me here in a way that I my husband never will. But I think I am happier with day to day life in Aus . Realise my husband will always resent me. He lived in UK for 15 years before we went back to Aus with kids but is completely out of love with me. Do I stay here with miserable, massive commute husband, or insist on going back to Aus ( husband insists he can't and that it's too hard to find job though we after incredibly well off by most standards) and get divorced there. He admitted he stopped bothering with me a year ago. My kids would die if we separated. I can live with unhappiness if everyone else was happy.

Sorry. Just needed to write that down.

IckleWicklePumperNickle Tue 13-Dec-16 10:05:42

I have lived in the UK for 14y and no plans to move back to Africa. I love my country and my family, but we have created what we have, my own family, home ect. here. I have no yearning to go back. We have a good life. For me you make your home/life what it is. It doesn't matter where.

scottswede Tue 13-Dec-16 09:36:14

OP here.
Since this thread has re-surfaced I thought I'd give an update.
It's been 3.5 years since I posted so been here for just over 6 years now. Yes we are still here.
Circumstances have changed along the way, as they inevitably do, which forced us to rethink almost everything.
I still don't love it here and know deep down I never will but I have stopped fighting the system and have learned to accept all the positives here rather than dwelling on all the negatives.Not easy some days but the alternative of being unhappy, critical and altogether miserable was starting to get a bit boring for everyone
I also realised that all these guarantees I was hoping searching, longing for back in the UK we actually had here already.
The safe living environment for the children, pets and us as a family we already have here.
The good school that the children are thriving in and love we already have here.
The good friends that the children already have here.
The lovely house in the countryside albeit a work in progress that we already have.
We have been back to the Uk a few times and yes there are loads of things I miss and can never replicate here, but there are also so many things that I am glad are not the same here......
It has been , and still is some days, really hard here but all the big important things are in place right now , so that is the important thing.

Londonmarsupial Sun 11-Dec-16 03:31:07

What a fascinating thread!!! I am an Aussie who has lived OS now for over 10yrs. I daily grapple with thoughts of returning to Aus, but my partner keeps me here. I want to go home but my partner less so. No kids, no committment. But a huge amount of issues ro go home. Thx for all the insight. Never realised how many people are caught between 2 or more worlds.

lamii Tue 08-Nov-16 16:27:12

Not from the UK but so tempted to move back there. I lived in London for 8 years and I am now in Sweden. For some reasons, I feel more at home in England. I complained a lot about London and I was the one who wanted to live. Now I'd almost be up for it again...just to escape the darkness, the snow, the cold and the antisocial behaviour...

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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.

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