A really nosy question.

(91 Posts)
VerySmallSqueak Wed 16-Oct-13 20:15:08

I've wanted to ask this question for ages.
I'm always curious as to how people end up living overseas.
I'd love to hear people's stories - whether it's work or family or some other reason.
I'm being very nosy,but if anyone would care to share,I'm all ears!

camrywagon Sat 25-Jan-14 18:42:44

2010 got a wisdom tooth took out - much pain and feeling incredibly sorry for myself. Got chatting to an Australian man on a forum about wisdom tooth removal pain (was a general chat thing not the focus of the entire forum!)...ended up forming a relationship and going out to see him - literally the most random and carefree thing I've ever done. An amazing 2 weeks together which resulted in a year of long distance relationship. Decided to leave my great job, the house I'd bought 3 years earlier and life in general and move out to Oz. Very out of character and i think most people I know and family thought I'd lost my mind...

3 years on we're engaged to get marry this year, I've got an assistant principal Job in a school I love and I am happier than I could ever have imagined I'd be.

I don't live in a 'popular' place in terms of what people think when they think australia but it's right for me - it's always hot, palm trees aplenty and it's incredibly laid back.

kiwidreamer Fri 17-Jan-14 16:59:52

DH was then boyfriend and I were in our mid 20's and had just built a house together in suburban NZ, had only been living in it 6mths and decided we weren't too keen on seeing the next 40yrs stretching ahead of us doing the same thing day after day. Coincided with his parents downsizing their property so we sold our house to them and hopped on a plane to Heathrow within the next 6mths.

Selling up was the worst decision we ever made but you live and learn, a few years later the property prices in Auckland exploded but at same time the financial crisis hit so we were priced out of the property market.

We got progressively better jobs and had a quick trip back to NZ to get hitched, life got easier and more settled, then we had kids and my parents moved over here from the UK to be closer to us and see Europe. Five years later, they are going back in the Summer and our plan is to go back in 2/3yrs.

Our 12yr anniversary of being UK residents is days away and we are celebrating by getting our British citizenship and possibly buying a house?!

DelGirl Thu 16-Jan-14 14:15:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

www Thu 16-Jan-14 14:11:33

Had some desire to move to spain when with dh, though loved italy but he'd never been. Dh died then I had dd and I still wanted to try it. Made redundant so took the leap 3 years ago when dd was 5. Still here but plan to return when she's 11. I do love it though some aspects are far easier in the uk. I want to be here now but quite ok about moving back too, though ask me again in 2 years!

alexpolistigers Thu 16-Jan-14 14:03:05

I came to Greece to work on a 4 month contract, having previously been in Italy for about a year. I met my DH within two days of being here, and started learning the language. I am still here 14 years later, working in a completely different field. I love it here.

AngryBeaver Mon 06-Jan-14 01:48:13

Hi, my dh was unhappy living in the UK.
(He is Irish but moved to England to be with me after uni) hated his job. The weather. The crime rate etc
Pestered me for years to move ANYWHERE else in the world.
Quebec(!) Australia...I always said no, that I couldn't leave my very close knit family (plus we had 3 kids under 5)

But one day, he asked me to move to nz.
I asked him to prove we could have a better life with more money and I'd consider it.

So he did.

And we moved 2 years ago.

He has a good job, on a better wage than UK, with good prospects.

We live on an island called Waiheke in the hauraki gulf!
We love it here.

I miss my mum and brother terribly.

But the kids have a much better quality of life.

Things are very laid back. (No one wears shoes for example!)

But it's very expensive here in nz. Crazy prices! Shopping is crap.

All in all, it was the right move for us and we won't move move back smile

fussychica Wed 25-Dec-13 18:39:06

Bought a holiday home (well a wreck!), hated coming home. Saw the chance to give up work so chucked in a VERY steady, well paid job and moved over. Stayed 8 years, DS did all secondary education abroad. Moved back 2 years ago - felt we'd had the best of the place. Enjoying living in the UK again - new area and no need to work. Wouldn't rule out moving somewhere else abroad in the future or splitting time between UK and overseas.

Isthiscorrect Fri 13-Dec-13 04:26:33

We are just looking for our next move, away from the ME. We've been here 7 years almost, DH is bored in his current role and company and DS will be off to uni in Sept, leaving here in June.
Dh is considering Australia, Indonesia and Burma, amongst other places. I'm open to anywhere I think, as long as it has good flights to DS in the uk ;-) it's certainly going to be interesting and I wonder what I will end up doing? I've always worked but I'm not really qualified, always been a bit of a blagger but with no DS I guess my options will be wide open hopefully.

I have a disability and was told I'd never be able to travel for work.

So I moved to Southeast Asia! grin

Hazeydays Tue 03-Dec-13 22:17:33

I totally share your views on" överseas"and volunteering/different experiences in your own country weegiemum, sometimes what is on your own doorstep is truly heartbreaking

I had to leave Malawi for similar illhealth reasons and came back to Scotland, but I would say that there is just as much poverty, at least in the big cities, its just poverty in different ways. Good on you for the literacy work, education is such a basic need... keep on it and try to stay away from the hyndland n.i.m.b.y's!

Weegiemum Tue 03-Dec-13 03:31:14

We planned to - it didn't work out.

We were on the verge of resigning (dh) and announcing a move to Latin America in order to work in a development role (I'm a teacher, with SN, basic skills and TESOL experience - dh is a GP with lots of lone working, remote/rural experience). We'd visited a project, been interviewed and accepted, started looking for funding for initial 2 years.

Then one day I was wobbly on my feet. After a few days was stumbling - then fell on the way to the loo. Multiple number of tests later I was diagnosed with a very rare neurological illness for which there is only one treatment, a monthly immunoglobulin drip that cost the nhs £8000 a go. After that, moving abroad was impossible, as it's a lifelong disability. We can't ask any charity/voluntary org to pay that, we certainly can't afford it, and any insurance company would laugh in our face!!

Instead, we've sought (and got) work in deprived areas at home. Voluntarily moved to one of the most impoverished urban areas in Scotland (we were already in Glasgow) - I teach basic literacy/numeracy/storytelling skills mainly to young mums who left school with no quals, dh commutes to the most deprived rural area in Scotland where he's a GP.

Depending on how you look at it, sometimes a virtual "overseas" is just around the corner (sorry, that sounds really "worthy", I don't mean it that way!!)

This is so interesting. I have hugely itchy feet but DH doesn't so much, and he is more realistic I think in terms of knowing the grass isn't actually greener. I just have this gnawing feeling that a better quality of life is achievable elsewhere and am getting a bit panicky that as DC approach school age we'll be trapped in the southeast long term as we're unlikely to upheave their education on a whim.

arfishy Tue 03-Dec-13 00:54:34

I was offered a job in Australia, flew over and didn't want to leave. Previously I'ved worked in the Netherlands, Germany, Italy and Thailand with stints in Sweden and the USA.

I've stayed in one place for DD's schooling but I would love to carry on travelling. I'd be back in Bangkok like a shot.

EspressoMonkey Wed 27-Nov-13 08:26:58

Lived in Milan for my job (ex fashion model, originally started out in London but i had a look that was popular in Italy so my agency based me in Milan but i did end up working all over). Lived in Paris, New York and now Switzerland for DH's job. Think we are staying in Switzerland.

SleepPleaseSleep Mon 18-Nov-13 13:29:53

Ps we're in belgium. Not first choice, would have preferred Netherlands, but that was too expensive for us. We are not typical expats as not well-off middle class.
I was amused when what i thought was the fortune it was costing us to move turned out to be the amount middle class then-colleague was spending on doing up her bathroom. Her bathroom!

SleepPleaseSleep Mon 18-Nov-13 13:18:44

What I say in summary is that it would probably be better abroad for us, certainly for our kids, and at least we'll have had an adventure out of life!

I had always fancied living and working abroad but never had the money (from traditional Northern working class background). Me and dh always seemed to be getting pee'd on in uk, so no big attachment to place, quite the reverse. Disadvantaged backgrounds, victims of unprovoked violence, etc. every time we tried to do something to improve our situation something came along and kicked us in the teeth. Fed up of paying taxes to support those richer than us while we were struggling to eat, only to be told when our turn came that the boat had left, that sort of thing. Could only afford to rent in inner city areas, not worse, but not best despite now both being working professionals. As soon as we could afford holidays we went to Europe to see if really was more socially equal and better culture, and it was. As soon as had kids really wanted out - not watching kids go through same - so dh started looking for jobs. Went with first offer to get out.

It is difficult being a stranger in a strange land, not very welcome as immigrants, and there's a language barrier for us. But we are living in a nice house in a nice area without fights outside our front door, the kids go to a school where older kids play with them not rob them of dinner money. Much better education system here, I believe better prospects for jobs whatever figures the uk produces.

Uk has gone to hell in a hand basket for working people who have no family support. The government always went on about Victorian family values and that's what you're getting - if you aren't born into right family you are stuffed. We had nothing to lose, and have gained an awful lot. Now we just have to see if I can get a job here too!

MaitlandGirl Mon 18-Nov-13 07:59:18

My DP is Australian and moved to England to live with me and the kids (from a previous marriage). Things were going great and although we joked about moving to Australia we weren't really serious about it. We came over for Xmas one year with the kids to see if they liked it so at least we'd know if it was a possibility when they got older but we still weren't serious about making the move.

Then DP had a nervous breakdown and it became clear that we needed to move 'home'. It took almost a year for her to get back on her feet and once things were ok again we made the decision to move. We were here within 2.5 mths of applying for our visas and haven't looked back.

I've always had itchy feet and never saw myself living in England all my life, I was always looking for jobs abroad before I got married and encouraged my husband to look for work abroad but Australia feels like home and we're never leaving. We've been in this house for almost 2.5 years and it's the longest I've lived anywhere in ages but I love it. So for now it seems as if my wanderlust has gone for good.

DramaAlpaca Sat 02-Nov-13 18:58:25

This is a fascinating thread with lots of interesting stories.

It's not exactly exotic, but I'm in Ireland. Met Irish DH when he'd been working in the UK a few years. We were very settled & had no intention of leaving the UK. But then DH's job moved to the Netherlands & he did a weekly commute as we didn't want to move there - we had three very young DC & a nice life. Then things changed. He hated his job, I hated him being away, and we felt we need a major life change. We decided to try living in Ireland for a couple of years. DH got offered a good job almost immediately & we had the house sold & had moved within six weeks.

Fifteen years later, we are still here. We've just about survived the horrendous Irish recession & are very happy & settled here. I love the pace of life & the sense of community, and we are close to DH's family, who treat me as their own. Our DC have grown up with a big group of cousins around them.

Interestingly, a lot of our friends here have similar backgrounds. They are couples where one of them is Irish & the other is from overseas, who have lived in other countries but decided to settle here. I can't imagine living anywhere else now.

MrRected & Salbertina I know several families from SA who are living here now. They value the safe environment more than anything - but miss the weather!

Lavenderhoney Sat 02-Nov-13 18:27:17

Well my dh was offered a fabulous package and I had one dc, heavily pregnant with another, so at least a few years of me not working. He took the job.

Its fair to say I have hated every bloody minute of living in the Middle East and I have done all the meet ups, making friends, watching them leave / get divorced etc.

I find nothing more annoying than a head tilt and someone saying " have you tried making new friends?" I want to shout " yes! And I want my old ones!"

I often berate myself for not just deleting the mails when I had the chance.

MrRected Mon 28-Oct-13 23:15:16

Sorry to hear that Salbertina. We too learned the hard way and pingponged between the UK and SA (moved three times), before finally acknowledging that the living conditions in South Africa, whilst tenable behind the electric fence were not really living conditions at all. It's a beautiful, amazing, creative, stunning country - but behind the facade, all that beauty and amazingness is at somebody's expense. I couldn't reconcile myself with that, or put my kids at risk, so we moved to Aus. Having said that if you choose to stay, then I understand that too. Try to enjoy the good bits and make a difference where you can smile.

Salbertina Mon 28-Oct-13 12:23:41

Hmm yes Mrrected, hear you. Its getting SO much worse in SA, just in the past couple of years and so many in denial here (with half an eye on their property prices, i reckon). I really wish we hadn't come, hard to enjoy it when you're in constant fear, cant work and it costs a bomb hmm

MrRected Sat 26-Oct-13 03:40:50

To escape the corruption, crime, disease and dangerous roads in South Africa. We left as we felt our kids were at best, without prospects, at worst in imminent danger.

I grew up abroad, wanted to live abroad when I had young children.

Had DC1 at 25, DC2 at 28 and felt I'd given up my dream of traveling to have children. So, when pg with DC2 and realizing I could no longer afford to work and DH was thinking about changing jobs I encouraged him to look outside UK (my work is freelance and project based so I'd only get work abroad for a month or two and wanted to do a few years somewhere else)

He got offered a job in LA when I was 8months pg, we moved here when DC2 was 2months, have been here 22months now

We'll most likely be here at least 2 more years, both of us up for living somewhere else after this but all depends if I can work (climbing the walls as SAHM and now waiting on my green card), aiming to take a 3-6month sabbatical when DC are around 6&9 then head back to UK to "settle" for the rest of their education

So I suppose I'm just recreating the childhood I had for my children (though I was in Sri Lanka and Lagos....somewhat different to California)

Alliballi Fri 25-Oct-13 23:24:10

Love! I married a US service member. We had planned on coming back to England after three years, but 20 years and six states later...I've made it to the East Coast!

WallyBantersJunkBox Thu 24-Oct-13 23:45:12

Got headhunted for a role in my field, for a company based in Switzerland.

Didn't think much of the company, wasn't too excited about the country from previous experience.

Came over for a curious interview - loved the team atmosphere. Said I would give it two years. Moved over with DH and DC9.

That was over 3 years ago, love living here even though I am sick of the company (team are still great though). Ideally I want DH to get a job to take the pressure off me and some health issues I have had. He is working on it. Fallen in love with the country, and the lifestyle I have.

I will be very sad if I have to leave.

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