Do you regret moving abroad?

(99 Posts)
ODearMe Thu 06-Feb-14 06:59:07

We are considering a move to Australia for two years only initially.

I wanted to ask about your experience of taking the leap-was it the best thing you ever did (and why) or do you wish you had stayed put in retrospect (and why)?

Thank all

TheseAreTheJokesFolks Wed 26-Mar-14 10:26:35

What we owe our parents and duty of care including cultural comparisons is an issue which arises between siblings when there is any disparity though.
Only children carry the burden if it is considered a burden, some do it willingly.
Others may argue they have their own families or work commitments or they live too far away even if residing in the same country.
Ringing on a daily basis and encouraging a parent to emigrate might be too little too late but is something.

I have 3 children...easy for me to say now admittedly...but they owe me nothing when I age. I did not have them for that purpose and my love for them is unconditional.

If they felt obliged to call or visit or provide care then it becomes a duty call a guilt visit ...I would rather see them if they wanted to see me not out of family ties and I would rather live in an OAP home or take myself off to a one way trip to Switzerland than impose on my kids.

Partner feels same way. Not the guilt talking.
We had kids as we chose to have them. We raise them the best we can as we adore them but not as some kind of insurance for later as a solution provider for loneliness or healthcare.

pupsiecola Wed 26-Mar-14 12:31:42

I didn't have an unhappy childhood. Things started to go wrong when I started forming my own opinions etc. (For example I went on the pill at 18 (been with bf for 2 years) and my mum didn't speak to me for a month (we lived in the same house)). No ability to talk about it. We just don't get on.

atthestrokeoftwelve Wed 26-Mar-14 13:03:33

Same here pupse, I think we all go through a teenege falling out thing, but we can come through it. I am still not my mother's biggest fan but I am and pragmatic enough to see that she needs help and I am the only one around to give it. So I do.

pupsiecola Wed 26-Mar-14 14:19:29

Some come through it. Some don't. We all have a choice at the end of the day. Your sister chose to up and leave and you've chosen to stay.

pinkhousesarebest Wed 26-Mar-14 17:05:46

This is an interesting thread. We moved for a year 16 years ago, although I had a good idea that once dh got away we would not be rushing back. All things considered it was probably a good move- bilingual dcs, weather, a bigger house- though definitely not bigger salaries.

But for me the price to pay was family. I broke my heart leaving my dsis and her little dcs and was profoundly unhappy for the first few years. Looking back, I realize that things got better when we all started to let go sad. Skype etc is no substitute long term and cannot fill in all the gaps in the day to day life that you aren't privy to (and I'm only in France).

atthestrokeoftwelve Wed 26-Mar-14 17:21:06

pink I think that the tactic of "letting go" is a survival tactic. On both sides. It can be to have mininal contact with relatives abroad, because that way it's easier not to think about the separation and loss. Sad, but it helps us get on with our lives.

atthestroke you have a very valid, insightful point of view. I appreciate you posting that.

We are abroad, and while I've lived away for longer than DH (from different countries), his DP have been very involved with previous GC, and they are their LIFE! His DM is very sad we are gone, and prints out all the pictures I send and has them up in the house. His DF also of course, but he was very happy for us at our move. We haven't been to either of our families for 3 years now, last when DS2 was 8mths, he's now a walking, talking bona fide person, that they would find immensely amusing. I feel like we should go back this summer to PILs, but DH has an idea of a road trip in the country we are in instead. My DB lives in same country as my PIL and likewise, I haven't seen him or my niece for 3 yrs also... So difficult, you feel pulled in all directions.

atthestrokeoftwelve Wed 26-Mar-14 17:34:58

I think that's what happens royal. You put roots down and before too long abroad is your home. THis happened to my sister, emigrated at 17, kids shortly afterwards, school friends church community. Fast forward and my sister is now a grandmother to 3 grandchildren, two married daughters, who themselves have jobs, lives, in laws, extented family.
My sister no longer feels she has the option of coming back to the UK- her roots are abroad and she wants her grandchildren to grow up with grandparents- something her own children didn't have the chance to do.
Bizarrely now my sisters DD now wants to come to live in the UK permanently- and my sister is distraught at the thought, athough she also wants our mother to come to stay permanently in Australia so she can see her great grand children growing up.
Very complex situation all around, and no easy anwers.

Very interesting thread, has helped me consider the move we might make. I've heard someone regretted moving to where we might well move to, due to not as much long terms expats, most are there for a few months to maybe two years or so, then moving back, so a lot of the English speaking friends made, and friends for DC in schools, will move on, so apparently the social life there could be fun but wasn't secure iyswim?

soapnuts Sun 30-Mar-14 10:37:32

I don't regret moving abroad - I regret still being here though. I wish we had gone "home" a couple of years ago. you never know until you try though.

cryingoutproud Sun 30-Mar-14 19:59:51

Interesting perspective Soapnuts. I think that's how I feel actually - I think we had to move here, but we should have stopped hoping it was going to work out a couple of years ago. Once you've actually made the move, though, I think it's a lot harder to admit defeat and go home. Even if it's in everyone's interests sad You always want it to be worth the hassle and heartache. Sometimes it's just not the right thing to do though.

giggly Mon 31-Mar-14 17:08:26

That's the thing soap nuts, I know I will have a better life back in the Uk and so glad I didn't buy a house here(for a ransom) and put down roots that would be harder to break.

PossumPoo Tue 01-Apr-14 11:09:55

I haven't meant to but I do really socialise a lot with people from my own country or DH's and we all talk about moving home etc so I don't feel like I'm laying down roots that can't be ripped up and placed somewhere else smile

We bought a house and financially this has been a very good thing for us, however the weird thing is I won't buy a car as that just feels too much like 'putting down roots' (very weird I know!). Plus as I say to DH who do we have to visit where having a car is a better option? All our friends are scattered across London so we generally meet centrally.

Schmedz Tue 15-Apr-14 09:26:33

You only live once! Far worse to turn down an opportunity than spend the rest of your life wondering 'what if....?'

I am also an expat...initially moved for 2 years and 14 years later still in the same country...but getting itchy feet to try somewhere new again...

peacoat Tue 15-Apr-14 09:48:12

I moved to the UK around a decade ago from Australia. I had an absolute ball for the first 6 years or so. I've been homesick for the past 3 years but unable to move back yet. I'm now planning to move back in 2 years (I'm studying and want to finish it, plus it gives me a good amount of time to tidy things up here). Saying that though, if I was from the UK and my friends and family were here, I'd happily stay as I love the UK.

I agree with atthestrokeoftwelve - one of the reasons I'm going back is that I don't want to live my entire life away from my family and best (childhood) friends with whom I have years and years of history. I don't think it's maudlin to think this way. Even though I admit my glasses are tinged a little rose-coloured, I miss popping in for a cup of coffee/tea and a chat with my sister, brother, nieces, friends etc. I miss that I can't babysit for my best friend every now and then. I miss that I am not on camping holidays with her and her family. I'm sad that I can't take my DF to the hospital for his appointments.

I'm not looking forward to the casual racism, the high costs and the conspicuous consumption that I experience in Sydney. You just have to take the good and try to ignore the annoying wherever you are.

Best thing I ever did. I have a disability and it has made me much more independent than I would have been had I stayed put.

It has its challenges though

Cerisier Thu 17-Apr-14 04:53:53

No regrets here. We moved to Singapore for two years about ten years ago and are still here. DH and I both have jobs we enjoy and our DCs are happy so we are very lucky.

Since I left home I have never lived near family or old friends and with a busy job never found it easy to make new friends, so I have never had anyone I could pop in to see on my way home from work for a cup of tea. Hence moving across the world wasn't the wrench that it might have been.

We are still emotionally very close to all the parents. We know if there was a problem they'd be straight on a plane to us and we would do the same.

crispsanddips Thu 17-Apr-14 05:04:34

Moving from the UK to Canada has been the best thing I ever did. Better attitude, better weather, etc.

My parents were excited that I was moving, I talk to them most days of the week.

If I don't stay in this country, I will definitely go somewhere that is not the UK.

Sillylass79 Mon 02-Jun-14 00:09:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TheSarcasticFringehead Mon 02-Jun-14 00:13:30

I moved from the UK to the US and it has been amazing. I moved for my dream job, we are in California and I honestly love it. The school system is great for the DC and life feels more laid back, it's been a great experience which is now not an experience, just 'life'. It's home and we're hoping for dual citizenship, don't want to move back tbh.

BioSuisse Mon 02-Jun-14 13:51:26

I have no regret but we are in Switzerland considering a move to Russia, but i doubt we will stay forever in Russia, so not too far away.

My DSIS has always had problems with my living all around the world. She says it is because she misses my DCs and i am missing hers, but when i do plan a trip back home she makes little effort to meet up. Eg. I will call her up before i book flights, ask her whether she is free and usually give her a couple of months notice. She huffs and puffs about having her own life and not being able to drop everything to run and see us. She refuses to get Skype and doesn't return any answering machine messages. To cut a long story short, she is jealous and so is as difficult as possible. And our parents haven't even retired yet! Goodness knows how hard she will be when they are ill and need help.

Go for it OP. Goodluck!

fussychica Mon 02-Jun-14 14:29:47

No - it meant I could give up work in my mid 40s, my DS had lots of freedom to roam and little commercial pressure, it allowed him to become fluent in another language.
On the downside we missed family & the collapse of the housing market meant we lost money when we sold and have had to downsize on our return to the UK.

JewelFairies Tue 10-Jun-14 18:21:35

Yes, but after 22 years abroad I don't think it's actually possible to go 'home'...

bebespain Wed 11-Jun-14 09:33:32

I do. I´m in Spain

BUT...I know that if we hadn´t moved here I would have always wondered.

After 7 years of wondering what the Hell we´d done I now tell myself not to regret anything because at one point it was exactly what you wanted - thanks Marilyn!

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