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

(76 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.

Missymoomum Tue 21-May-13 08:28:08

An interesting thread. I'm on the cusp (i think!) of heading home after nearly 3 years of being away. I was really homesick about 6 months in and then have been fine for the next 2 years. However this year has been very hard as the air pollution for the first 3months of the year has been dreadful (you can probably guess where i am!) and it really made start to question how much longer our family could remain here. Other things have also started to grind so a couple of months ago DH told his company that we would like to be considered for a move and then we waited. Things have started to improve here as it has really heated up and the air has been much better recently so i was starting to get back in the groove of being here when suddenly it looks like our relocation request has been approved (although still waiting for confirmation) and now i'm suddenly feeling like shock and panicking as i keep thinking of all the things i'll miss which tbh is literally just all of our friends and our house! Oh and the hot summers and the fact that we can holiday in SE Asia! At the moment these feel like big things but i know that if we stay then once the bad air strikes again which it will probably do in July the my feelings will return, but part of me does worry that i'm going to regret leaving earlier than we were supposed to confused .

Salbertina Tue 21-May-13 09:49:22

Agree, feelings change, sure they'll always be some regret when we return as obviously dome things ARE worse in UK- for me all the obvious ones, weather, everywhere crowded plus also feeling of ageing/options narrowing/giving up for going back...

However, guess much of that is in the mind and something i can do something about- escaping to Scotland regularly and other quieter places, enjoying the many advantages of Uk -its culture, nearby Europe, free health & education, train travel and of course (some) family and longterm friends.

Don't know if that helps at all, Op but good luck.

Erebus Tue 28-May-13 19:36:40

I returned to the UK after 15 years in Oz.

It wasn't really desperate homesickness that drove me but I must say it was only once I returned to the UK (with my Aussie DH and 2 little Aussie DC!) that I realised how much I didn't want to be in Aus any more. I thought I'd settled but my better mates ended up being non-Australian, and I sort of think you have to be Aussie born to really get that 'No Worries' outlook.

We've been back here 10 years now and DH is perfectly happy, has a better job than he'd be likely to have in Aus and the DC are getting a better education that suits them better than what was available there. We have a wider range of friends here and the very recent visit here of my BIL reminded me of how bigoted, racist and misogynistic some Australians can be!

We went over on holiday 2 years ago which was quite cathartic for me. I recognised that if we had to return to Aus to live, I could if need be. But it would have to be pretty close to a major centre.

Oddly just about all the Poms I knew in Oz who shared a broadly similar outlook to us are now 'back home', but more or less none of the Aussies I know living in the UK seem to want to go back there!

Speaking only for OZ, I think people in the UK are sold a bit of an image. It's too easy to overlook that it's a long, very expensive way away, especially when one's parents are ageing etc. And I genuinely believe that if Oz were a 4 hour plane ride away, there's a far bigger chance we'd still be there.

Rockdoctor Tue 28-May-13 20:56:27

Hmmmm. I was going to write a massive "yes" to the original question, but having read Erebus's post I'm not so sure.

Returned to the UK after 20 years in Australia for all the reasons Erebus mentions. I guess I have no regrets, but I could certainly have remained in a much better job in Australia (mining related - clue's in the name), my DH would probably have a better job there, and my DCs would almost certainly have better opportunities as a result. I guess we were unlucky, redundancies following our return and then a lot of difficulty getting back into employment with CVs that were essentially Australian - no headhunters here would take us seriously. We ended up buying property at the top of the market here and selling a house in Australia that would be worth gazillions now.

But... and this is where Erebus's post made me stop and think. All the things I mention are very material. My DCs have grandparents that they see regularly, we "fit" culturally, we have all those things I missed (seasons, pubs, long country walks), and my DCs will always have the opportunity to go back there if they want to.

Don't know if that helps. I guess you always idealise the place you're not in (iyswim), so while I'm in the UK I am always thinking "what if we'd stayed..." but I'm sure if I went back the reality wouldn't be so rosy.

Erebus Tue 28-May-13 22:12:14

Yes, Rock, speaking of material things,- a thing that really struck me, talking to the in-laws this past week was how great their measure of 'success' was how new their kitchen was, how new the ride-on mower was, how many (empty) rooms they had in their houses... BIL's 'girlfriend' (a 70 year old widow, he's unmarried and 60) was positively glowing with pride at the fact she had 6 sheds on her property. Several empty, the rest filled with 'stuff for garage sales'. BIL has, over the last 5 years, bought, then sold almost unused: a tinny (tin boat!), its larger replacement, a convertible car, a 'slide-on' to convert a ute into a caravanette, a custom bird aviary, and is currently sizing up, literally a new motorhome. He has a pool he barely swims in and acres of land he complains about constantly having to mow. He is surrounded in material wealth yet isn't anything like as 'content' as DH and I feel with our lot! GF is selling her property to move in with BIL but is worried that, and I quote, 'The Abo next door' may lower her property value shock...

Children and grandchildren's success was directly measured by 'age at which they bought their first 'plot'', and current wage. Educational achievement or 'standing' in their particular field made no impact whatsoever. Several have 'gone into the mines', 'doing really well', being largely tradesmen, ($$) but including young blokes who see their families one week in four.

But yes, our DC, being Australian can go over there when they want to make money if that's what floats their boat, I guess! Providing the Chinese economy doesn't implode first, mind....

WhataSook Wed 29-May-13 08:15:51

Erebus did you tell your BIL's GF that making statements like that is not acceptable or did you just nod and shake your head and get off the phone and comment on it then?

mummyk2012 Wed 29-May-13 16:11:58

We have not made the move back but i am crossing my fingers that we can move back to the UK in the next 2 years. I too wonder if might regret it after. But I have been in Canada for over 4 years and i still suffer from homesickness and still dont feel totally settled. Things have got better made a couple of friends etc and life not bad at all. But i still miss being close to my family so much. I still feel out of place here and when i visit home it just feels right. Plus it gets me upset that my son does not get to see his grandparents and family regularly. Hubby has a few sisters in Canada but they rarely see us which often gets me down too.

My husband is Canadian and we now have a son here who is 1yrs old. It has started to kick in even more since my son. Hubby has finally agreed for me to do some research into moving back and we plan to visit some new potential areas when we visit end on the year.

My only worry is.. he still thinks our lives will be better if we stay here and better for LO too. But i struggle everyday and i just need a balance again in our lives. I am in and out of will this be a mistake? But i am more for leaving then staying at the moment and hope to move back soon.

pupsiecola Wed 29-May-13 17:40:05

Where in Canada are you mummyk?

mummyk2012 Wed 29-May-13 19:01:52

We are in Ontario in the GTA.

howcomes Wed 29-May-13 19:13:40

Hi mummyk2012, I'm in GTA too. It has taken me a good two years to feel settled here but seem to be turning a corner now. Ds is 3 now and has just got his citizenship. I felt most homesick around Xmas and watching the Olympics!

Erebus Wed 29-May-13 19:42:53

sook I had her sitting opposite me more or less day and night for 10, long days. There was no 'getting off the phone'.

I was the soul of good manners, being English and all. She, within her culture would find it totally acceptable to measure 'success' in life via accumulation of material things. At 70, I doubt I'd change that! But it did remind me of a strong aspect of Aussie-ness that I don't miss.

As for homesickness, it wasn't so much 'family' I missed, though it was a bit of a factor. My parents lived in Africa for 8 years where I was born so we're hardly strangers to distance. And they visited us lots in Oz (as they're considerably better off than we'll ever be! grin)

As much as anything, it was the seasons, the changing light, the broadness of outlook one generally finds, and having one's views legitimately challenged from time to time.

Actually, a famous Aussie poem comes to mind:

"The love of field and coppice,
Of green and shaded lanes.
Of ordered woods and gardens
Is running in your veins,
Strong love of grey-blue distance
Brown streams and soft dim skies
I know but cannot share it,
My love is otherwise.

I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror –
The wide brown land for me!"

... I prefer the former, myself!

yetanotherworry Thu 30-May-13 08:22:33

We returned from Oz 2 years ago for practical reasons rather than because of homesickness. I do miss bits of our life in Oz - the kids were in a great school, I had some great friends and obviously the weather was better at times. We are as happy here in the UK as we were in Oz. However, I think once you have lived in another country you will always remember the good things and I often wonder what we would be doing now if we'd stayed (and occasionally have a look at houses on the real estate pages). I think the phrase ' the grass is greener on the other side' comes to mind...

Rockdoctor Thu 30-May-13 13:20:20

I think yetanotherworry sums it up well; once you've lived overseas there will always be a nagging doubt wherever you end up.

Salbertina Thu 30-May-13 20:08:04

Erebus- love that poem, evokes Africa for me! Which i love and hate in equal measure. It's in my v bones but is fucked up and frustrates me- for peace of mind i need to go back to Uk but oh how sensible and boring that sounds, even to me.

Yy, grass always greener. hmm sometimes think id be much happier if I'd never had lived overseas and therefore might never have thought of such a notion. And just been content with my little lot under those grey skies.

ihatesonic Thu 30-May-13 20:17:30

I moved back from the US after living (and loving it) there for 5 years. Although I felt homesick sometimes, it was nothing to when my mum became terminally ill and I realised my kids barely knew her. I moved back, kids knew Mum and I realised all things I missed when I was back, like close family, long term friendships, always knowing the social etiquette.

7 years later, I don't regret a thing

chloeb2002 Fri 31-May-13 02:40:10

I spent 5 years living in melbourne and Sydney .. Then retuned for a few reasons. Firstly a failed relationship, a small baby, missing my mum and friends.. Needing to retrain all list amongst the reasons. The first regret was my mum picking me up from the airport,. Stopping at a big service ration to feed my bub.. On the freaking toilet! I was mortified.. No where else to feed without being stared at and disapproving grunts.. I then cried all the way to my mums hose.
The novelty of a granddaughter was short lived for my mum who ultimately had her own life. Babysitting for the odd work shift, the odd Sunday out. My brother was the other end of the country. Never saw him. Friends were great but I had those in aus too!
First trip to my home town, one for the blokes who was a customer in the pub I worked in 5 years earlier jut walked past.. Nodded... Gave me a now then.. And walked on... Felt like ground hog day!
I then vowed to train as fast as possible and leave back to aus.
One plus. Going back meant I met dh.. And brought him back to us with us! Now with 4 dc living in qld... Not going back again! (Well to live) been back 6 years and not in a a hurry to visit. Dh had two business trips back and is reconciled life is better here grin

Maybe its deeper seated even than once you've lived overseas you'll always wonder if the grass is greener... I think maybe the majority of those of us who move overseas are restless by nature (or nurture) anyway, and would never have felt totally settled and content even if travel hadn't been an option for whatever reason grin

Salbertina Fri 31-May-13 11:34:28

Too true, know a lot of restless expats!

scottswede Fri 31-May-13 13:17:23

Salbertina, I agree. I know a girl back home, doesn't have a passport, never even left the county she was born in, happy as a pig in sh##.
I envy her in a way.
I spent 10 years travelling the world with my work, then lived in Greece, America, now Sweden. Now we are moving again. I don't feel I'm wasting time, but that I can't live my life to the full until I feel happy where I live. Like I'm waiting to settle.
Just pure wanderlust I think, but it has to stop sometime RIGHT???????

WillowTrees Sat 01-Jun-13 00:53:17

scottswede i know EXACTLY how you feel!
Lived away from UK 13 years, Norway, then Australia. Moving back this year, I want UK, DH Norway. I don't want to live in Norway because I lived there for 7 years, and it never felt like home then, so I know it won't now!
I'm constantly in limbo, can't even hang pictures up because I'm always waiting to find my 'home' (not helped by the fact we seem to move apartments every year)
I'm also waiting for it to stop, thought it would have by now with 3 kids in tow, but no, still looking for the place where I can settle ...
I'm starting to think though that maybe I'll never feel bound to one place, despite having a longing to, it's weird though because I love being at home and looking after my kids, I don't feel the need to travel, just can't settle on a country!!!

RubyOnRails Sat 01-Jun-13 04:46:35

We've only been back eighteen months and husband is sizing up a job back where we left...I'm very wary, had such a bad time there. We are having many discussions at the moment about WHY I was so unhappy and how things would be different. In terms of career we'd be idiots not to go for this job....

Has anybody returned to a place where they were miserable to find that second time around it was better! What changed?

TheRealFellatio Sat 01-Jun-13 05:32:26

Funnily enough I was having dinner with a group of friends last night (we are all expats in the Gulf) and one of them was saying exactly this. He has been out of the UK for 15 years and he has known loads of people who chose to go home and then regretted it.The grass is always greener I suppose but I think there are certain privileges to being in a cosy expat bubble (certainly where I live) as well as the inevitable frustrations, but it's not until you go home and the reality hits you that you realise why you fancied being an expat in the first place.

Not everyone who lives abroad is an expat though - at least in the living in an expat bubble sense grin There are 2 vastly different experiences of living oversees, and the expat (ex pat contracts, ex pat bubble, kids at international school, moving on every few years) experience sometimes seem to me to have very little in common with the experience of emigrating or moving very long term/ semi/permanently to a partner's home country, kids attending the local state school and speaking the local language, perhaps living somewhere where there are few other foreigners and trying to live as a local (through necessity or choice). The almost is key though, because I think one of the very few similarities to the two experiences is the restlessness/ bouts of homesickness and wondering whether you/ your family could be content moving back (to the UK or other home country) permanently.

The expat thing is an odd one as where I live there are both - expats passing through on 2 or 3 year contracts, massive salaries, 11k a year per child private school fees paid, and a whole different set of expectations and different outlook, alongside people who have moved here for good or long term, and we overlap at the same groups/ events/ venues sometimes, but on a bad day I feel I have as little in common with the expats as with the locals!

Salbertina Sat 01-Jun-13 09:00:33

Was just thinking the same, Mr. We have a small allowance, fortunately, on top of local salary but doesn't cover the significant extra costs we incur with sch/medical fees/high rental etc. Don't feel insulated therefore, rather much more exposed! Its only dh's career/dc friends/sense of adventure keeping us here as wd be far better off in UK.

Salbertina Sat 01-Jun-13 09:15:30

<would love to hot foot it to the Gulf for the tax-free income & long holidays, but dh never been keen on ME>

yetanotherworry Wed 05-Jun-13 21:50:44

RubyonRails, we did this. We spent a year in Oz. I enjoyed the first 3 months and then hated it enough to the point where I lost loads of weight and seriously considered divorce. We came back to the UK to consider our options. Then we went back to Oz as a permanent move but I thought about the things that I didn't like and considered how I could change these things. First time round I tried to join in with lots of things because I knew I had to make friends for both myself and the kids. Second time round I lowered my expectations of what I wanted and found it a lot easier.
Also, I made sure that DH realised it was a 5 year plan and if I didn't enjoy it then we would come back. I found the second time round was much more relaxing because I knew it wasn't forever.

MrsLion Thu 06-Jun-13 09:54:14

Interesting thread. 
I have posted on the homesickness threads and since then (and only in the last 2-3 weeks) I have sat down with dh and we have agreed to go back to the uk next year.

I am so so homesick here (NZ) and tbh have never settled. Not really. Dh is kiwi.

I am so excited. So happy I cried  but I am also terrified. I'm absolutely petrified that it will be a bad decision, that we'll hate it. That dh will be really unhappy. That we'll be struggling financially, that we won't get jobs... That I'll screw up my dc- especially seeing as dd1 is loving her school and doing well. 

I feel horribly and gut-wrenchingly guilty. 

I am also overwhelmed by the enormity of the task. Even getting a spouse visa for dh is a nightmare. I have to sponsor him, to do that I have to work for 6 months prior to applying for the visa (thank god I have a good job and went back to work after dc3- I nearly didn't). I also have to get a job offer somehow from over here for him to be able to work in the uk.

Moving with 3 dc seems a huge task.  I also have been out of the uk for 8 years now- I don't feel English anymore sometimes sad 
Will I fit in?

A lot if my friends have moved away, it's going to be very hard settling back- and where to? I used to live in London but I don't think living in London will be possible financially.

But I still want to do it- I feel it's now or never because of the DC and school. 

I feel like if I don't I'll regret it forever- I'm just not happy here.

I'm very interested in others' experiences and will be watching this thread with interest.

WhataSook Thu 06-Jun-13 14:46:04

Hi Mrs, are you sure about the spousal visa thing? I only applied for one 4 years ago and it was very simple (I have a residence card for a Family member of the EEA). We applied while we were living in Ireland and it was a very straight forward procedure, think it took 2 weeks to get an approval via email but I did have to do an interview at the British embassy in Dublin before I got approval.

WhataSook Thu 06-Jun-13 14:55:16

erebus I have just read your reply to my post, and I am actually laughing! "I was the soul of good manners, being English and all" and "did remind me of a strong aspect of Aussie-ness that I don't miss" . Do fuck off with you generalisations, English, good mannered and Aussie's materialistic?? hmm

And you completley missed my point Erebus, I don't give a shit if she was on the phone or actually in front of you, my point was why didn't you point out to you SIL that being racist wasn't on, doesn't matter what age a racist is, they should be called on it. You were being gutless not good mannered!

IsThisAGoodIdea Thu 06-Jun-13 15:23:42

WhataSook, oh the irony of your last post...

WhataSook Thu 06-Jun-13 15:49:29

no room for irony in some instances in life IsThis...

Lozzamack Fri 07-Jun-13 10:51:33

Really interesting thread.
We are heading back to the UK after 14 years away and I am absolutely terrified. Everything is so different now. I have lost both of my parents since being away and now have 2 dc.
I don't really want to leave here although I am not happy here and haven't been for a long time, I'm so scared about going back. I feel that part of it is that I don't work here so that if my dh wants to go back I have to. He is really unhappy in his job and feels it takes him away from us all too much, he wants to have more time with us at home. How can I tell him I want to stay?
Reading this has made me feel more confident though as so many of you seem to have made the move and not regretted it

Erebus Fri 07-Jun-13 11:57:14

No, sook, I am of an age and maturity that I know which battles to fight and which ones to leave alone.

Sure, I could have 'had my say' and felt all warm, self-righteous and glowy that I'd 'put 'er straight' but the fall out for DH would not be worth it. I live with DH 24/7, and he just the one DB as his 'family' now. There's every chance I may not see my BIL's new woman ever again. She has grown up in a culture that is far more casual about racism than we are here in the UK. She is 70. Many people of Italian descent in Oz refer to themselves as 'wogs', for instance!

It may not be 'right', it may offend you to the point of offending me, but that doesn't change the fact that me 'challenging' her would be both pointless and destructive.

complexnumber Fri 07-Jun-13 14:10:03

"Erebus- love that poem, evokes Africa for me! Which i love and hate in equal measure. It's in my v bones but is fucked up and frustrates me"

I felt exactly the same way Salbertina.

I spent 9 years in Africa (Nigeria, Botswana and SA), I know raising a family and getting the right job would make things almost impossible, but I can't help but miss Africa, I always will.

WhataSook Fri 07-Jun-13 14:17:46

I disagree erebus! Nothing about being all warm and righteous but you come on here, saying Australia has this casual racism as if it's a bloody FACT and not suffered anywhere else in the world, but when it's in your face you chose to allow it. I live next door to a lovely old (British) lady who insists on referring to our other neighbour as a Paki.

Yes I told her not to use that word to refer to our other neighbour, that in this country (UK) it's highly offensive. And she keeps saying it. And I keep reminding her. That's how it goes. I don't say it rudely, we are neighbours with our doors about 1.5 metres apart facing each other, there's no need for there to be a 'fall-out', no ones saying you need to be rude about it, but YES you do need to pull people up on it, regardless of their age.

Not think poor old DH??

Erebus Fri 07-Jun-13 14:49:51

I think we have hijacked this thread enough, sook.

MrsLion Fri 07-Jun-13 20:47:48

Sook, they changed the regulations last year sad
To stop sham marriages and people bringing hoards of relatives back to the uk to claim benefits and use the nhs apparently.

Hard to believe that if I was a sahm here in Nz, I wouldn't be able to come back to the uk with my 3 British citizen dc and kiwi husband, even though he earns good money.
unless of course I have £65k in savings...

WhataSook Mon 10-Jun-13 14:11:27

Mrs, that is not good, sorry to hear that. I wish you luck then as I found it a very easy process, hope it goes well.

Erebus agree smile, apologies OP

pupsiecola Tue 11-Jun-13 09:34:49

We moved back 5 weeks ago after a year in Asia. I've been analysing what happened as it was all a bit of a whirlwind. I don't think I was homesick per se. Perhaps a bit disengaged as per the other post (and certainly the school stresses became all consuming and it was hard to relax and just enjoy). Apart from a few close friends I didn't really miss anyone from the UK, and I didn't really miss the UK as a place to live either. I think for us Asia was just a bad fit. We all struggled with the climate and island living. We much prefer big impressive outdoor spaces. I think had we gone somewhere that was a better fit (California/Canada) we'd have stayed for a lot longer. But ultimately we came back because of the international school system not suiting my DS2. Which sounds trivial but it got worse and worse and worse and there was no other solution. Again, I do feel that Asia was a bad fit in this respect too. Partly due to their being little choice in type of school and partly because of the worth ethic (generally). Having said all that we are glad we went. DCs seem more wordly wise and we had some great adventures whilst there. Also met some lovely friends.

But I am so very glad that we came back. Once I put aside the feelings that we "failed" because we were meant to be there for 2 years. But I have a new appreciation for the UK. We've come back to a different area where we don't know a soul so it's not that we've just come back and slotted into our old lives. We are half an hour from the New Forest and went cycling at the weekend and it was just breathtaking. 5 weeks on I look around and still take pleasure in the small things. Last night I slept with the bedroom windows open and could taste the fresh air.

DH doesn't feel the same in that the move to Asia for his work was very successful. He's transitioning slowly but will be commuting between there and here until December (2 weeks in Korea, 2 weeks in the UK). Thankfully the company want him to stay even if that means in a UK based role. But for him the UK is tired and in the doldrums. Things like long delays at Heathrow having also got stuck in traffic on the M25 vs a quick and cheap taxi drive to Changi where there are no crowds and no delays are quite indicative. But we're committed to supporting him whilst he transitions and he's committed to accepting that for now we will all settle in the UK.

But we still feel the pull of trying again, though in a more suitable country. It's hard cos of the age the DCs are.

So no, we don't regret moving back because in the circumstances it really was the best option for the DCs. DH and I agreed I would come back and settle the children and I tried to give him the space to decide what he wanted to do. Which we has. So here we are.

I really think it depends on why you're not happy in the country you're living in. If it wasn't for the children we'd have gone straight from Asia to the US/Canada but we just needed to be somewhere familiar where we understood the school systems etc and would have our expectations met.

Sorry, that got a bit long!!

BegoniaBampot Thu 13-Jun-13 23:27:26

Agree about the restlessness and not quite knowing where you want to be. most of my family and old friends still live in our little hometown and have never really considered moving. I sometimes envy them not having to face the decisions on where best to live.

We made our home mostly in England, moved to Asia for some years where we had a great time and enjoyed the experience, moved back to England and children and I have been fairly happy. Husband isn't settled and wants to move to Europe. Hate the indecision and restlessness and worry that you could be giving the kids a better life.

GordieAcorn Mon 24-Jun-13 18:32:16

Howdy! I moved back to Canada (Winnipeg, god forbid) after living 28 years in London, England. I'm 51 now. Things were 'fine' the first year or so here as I was readjusting, getting used to the novelty of being back. Now, I'm pretty much resigned myself to the fact this was most likely the worst thing I've ever done! I don't know why I am posting on here as I don't know what I will get out of it. I guess I just wanted to 'share' and see if anyone else has experienced these horrid regretful feelings. They say you can never go home! Well, I do believe this now!

Everyone likes to think Canada is some sort of safe, homey wonderland. I find the climate brutal, the city of Winnipeg very rough and things here, generally, not as efficient as I thought they would be. In fact, I'm surprised how lumbering this country is!

I miss the English wit, humor and bitchiness! i miss the climate, zero presence of mosquitos, the food, the style, most everything! i never thought I could miss a place so much. It's like a loss - and I'm not sure when the grieving will stop!

more REAL soon!!...ggx

robroy1 Tue 22-Oct-13 12:52:07

I was just wondering if anyone has similar circumstances to me. I have been living in Germany for 12 years, some how I have never really been able to settle here. The reason I have stayed here is because of my daughter ( currently she lives with her mother my ex ). I somehow miss home Newcastle up on Tyne. I miss the English humor and easy going way of life, I miss living by the sea, miss my family. Here me and my new girlfriend ( who has to children ) wish to leave but I cant bring myself to do it because I love my daughter, but I see not a lot of her. Every day is a battle to stop here, it create stress just trying to Live here, it makes me feel guilty leave my daughter but its killing me stopping here. I don't know how to continue this, I wish I could some how put the guilt in the back of my mind. Germany isn't far but it still costs money, flights expensive finding somewhere to stay would be a problem. Also getting my daughter to visit here would be really difficult, has anyone found themselves in this situation has anyone any thoughts on this situation.

I love England and wish I could be there :-(

marmalademomo Wed 23-Oct-13 16:23:50

We are moving back next year after what will be 8 years in the US, we moved here for DH job and hoping they will let him work remotely in UK. Our reasons are mainly child based, though homesickness is high up there and craving some roots. Oldest DD is at secondary school age this year and has started US middle school, 2 others coming through the ranks. It occurred to us that if we don't make the move now, there is no chance for a long time to come. I don't want to grow old in the US, if we wait there is no good time to leave - you have to think about different curriculums in UK schools, before you know it everyone is the wrong age to move -GCSE & A levels in UK, Uni, jobs, partners, babies etc all come faster than you think and you are stuck. I miss the culture ( yes UK has one!), healthcare( scary in US), good free education- yes I know that's another thread, British sense of humor and a wealth of other things. I am screamingly nervous and trying not to have the rose tinted glasses, we are moving to rural Suffolk not back to London but change is good and though we have had a great time here, I am not cut out for the American way of life. I know the weather is also a deal breaker for some, but an average 3 months of grimness Jan - March I will take over 4 months of searing heat when you are restricted to AC and can't do anything. Ultimately a lot of expats move back to their country of origin once the children reach secondary school age.

pupsiecola Wed 23-Oct-13 16:50:37

If you don't mind me asking marmalade, which part of the US were you in?

bluebayou Wed 23-Oct-13 17:51:20

You may well regret moving to rural Suffolk after the USA , such a tremendous change , and not really all that good in Suffolk , Beware I say .

Salbertina Wed 23-Oct-13 21:26:13

Marmalade, with you on being "screamingly nervous", hard to know whats for the best. Can it really be that one can never go home? Been overseas 30% of my entire life. Dont even know if thats long any more. Long enough to see taking off as a solution to boredom, whatever (silly me!) but not long enough for me not to get homesick or consider UK home

I regret moving quite so much more than i regret fact of being overseas. Several times over, i chucked in a good life (job/friends) for some
bloke flight of fancy. I was so short-term focussed and never allowed myself to embed my roots.

karyncake Wed 23-Oct-13 22:00:53

We moved back to the UK where we lived for 6 years.
I often wonder what my life would be like now if I had stayed out there as it did seem so much easier (and indulgent) back then.

I fell pregnant less than a year after getting back so can't really compare the differences as life has changed so much.
Financially we struggle more than we did in America (Again, having a family now makes it hard to compare to life before) but I value my friendships so much more over here. I never really clicked with anyone in NY, I made good friends but there was always something missing which made it feel like more of an effort when socialising.
I worked in the restaurant industry and it became tedious being asked 40 times a day where I was from, what brought me here, do I like it? etc, etc. Sometimes I just wanted to blend in.

I love being nearer to my family now. My sister passed away while I was in NY and we never really got to that stage in our life where we could appreciate each other as individuals although we started writing to each other the year she died (she was 20 and I was 22). I didn't want to go through that feeling again of missing out on time with my family which was the main reason we returned.

One thing I do miss is my health insurance. I used to have weekly Chiropractic treatment, no idea what for but my therapist looked like a greek god!!

BeautifulThief99 Wed 25-Jun-14 02:34:51

Just following on from last years thread about moving back to the UK due to homesickness. Did any of you who mentioned you were moving back last year, regretted it at all? I moved to Aus with work 11 years ago with no intention to stay really - it was just an adventure at the time to see where it took me. I met my husband over here and now we have a little girl. I was young when I moved and had no idea that missing my family, the UK and all that it offers would take such a stronghold over me. I am extremely homesick, and just want to go home. The longer I am here, the worse I feel. I feel like I am just existing day by day and am longing to be around what I know and feel comfortable around again. But it is so hard as my husband is a true blue Aussie who will find it hard to leave his beloved country. I am working on him, but would love to hear some success stories of moving back home, particularly from couples who are from different countries. It is so hard, and makes me regret coming here in the first place.

differentnameforthis Wed 25-Jun-14 03:08:30

BeautifulThief99 This thread is fairly old, so you might want to strt another one, you might get a few more responses.

But I get it, I have been here 8yrs (Australia, too) and as time goes on it gets harder to leave (friends, girls school etc) but it also gets harder to stay because you realise what you are missing out on 'back home'

If I had the money I would leave in heartbeat, but I took dd1 away from her friends all those yrs ago & I don't know if I can do it to her (and dd2) again.

I am stuck. It's horrible.

BeautifulThief99 Wed 25-Jun-14 03:24:36

Thanks so much for coming back to me so quickly. It sounds like you completely understand! I feel like I am going insane. I feel like, what was a very quick decision to move here as part of that ever so exciting move to Aus, has turned into what feels like a nightmare. I have always prided myself of being in control of my life, but this situation is just so unfair and is making me more and more unhappy. I just can't see a way out. I just want to go home. It has hard to put your finger on, but it is just a massive cultural difference. And I guess what feels like home to one person, doesn't to the next. And this is why it's so difficult for my husband and I.

Might start a new thread too.... Thanks for listening. smile

differentnameforthis Wed 25-Jun-14 04:20:25

No worries. Link to the thread if you do start one, I'll come & join you.

I love Australia. I thought long & hard before I left home for here & it does feel like home, but I miss the people back home so much.

The cultural differences don't really stand out for me, it's mainly people & the inability to join in with things that knocks me.

I was so caught up in starting a new life, living somewhere where, to be honest, I had thought about a lot in life before I even met & married dh. I always wanted to come here for a holiday & when I did, a few years after my wedding, I loved it.

It was easy to say yes to dh's request to love here. I only hesitated to get the thoughts of my dad (who gave his blessing).

I had NO idea as to what I was giving up though. Friends getting married, having children, etc. Everything I watch unfold on fb, knowing I would be in the thick of it if I hadn't left.

Yet to go back is impossible right now.

BeautifulThief99 Wed 25-Jun-14 04:53:33

I am not sure how to link to the thread. Such a ditz with this sort of thing! Have started new thread... Let me know how to link it if you get chance.

I hear you. It is only when you leave, that you can look back onto your life in the UK and think boy, wouldn't it be amazing to be around for that birthday or that wedding. But I feel it is so much more that I miss. The sounds of the birds, the smell of home, the church bells at night, the trips to M&S with my Mum. Sad really!! I just also think people in the UK are so much more friendly too.

My DH is open to going back, but his heart isn't in it I guess. The sad thing is that these new visa rulings make it impossible anyway as you say. It is so, so unfair. I am a stay at home Mum, so there is no chance to go back home to earn gbp18k, let alone the upset of splitting our family up whilst we do so. It is screwed. Hopefully this High Court ruling will go through soon to change thus ridiculously unfair rule.

Feeling trapped in more wats than one at the moment.

CrystalDeCanter Wed 25-Jun-14 05:04:56

BeautifulThief99 what are the new rules??? I'm also in Oz and not looking to return at the moment but do get floored by homesickness periodically. I have always assumed we could all just buy our plane tix and rock up at h'row if it ever really came to the crunch, but is that not the case?

differentnameforthis Wed 25-Jun-14 05:30:56
BeautifulThief99 Wed 25-Jun-14 05:38:03

Hi CrystalDeCanter. I have just responded to you in new thread as I think this will create a but more interest. Thanks differentnameforthis..

Thumbwitch Wed 25-Jun-14 06:55:39

Just been reading this thread and thinking over how I'd feel if I had the option to move back to the UK now (realistically, I don't) - and I know there would be things I'd miss from here! But when I was back in the UK at Easter, I was so thankful to be there, and was so homesick all over again when we came back, it's been awful. But I really don't have a choice at the moment and I know we have some things much better here than there, so even if I could get DH to go back to the UK, I don't know that I'd feel any better there. sad

I know it's an old thread but I would also be interested to find out if anyone who posted last year has done what they wanted, and how they've found it?

pupsiecola Wed 25-Jun-14 09:09:28

I posted on this thread last year, five weeks after returning to the UK after a year in Asia. So funny to read that post again now!

We can't regret coming back because we didn't really have a choice; it's what we had to do for DS2. But 50% of the time we wish we weren't in the UK. That's not to say we would want to be back in Asia. But we feel very restless. Last Summer was glorious weather wise and we really enjoyed being back here. Winter was tough. The dark days and all that rain! Poor DH didn't move back until November, from the tropics. He found that really really hard. His commute is now 2.5 hours each way so he stays in London every week for one or more nights, then tries to work from home the rest of the time. So quality of life is not as good.

The DCs are happy and settled but even they say they don't want to live here forever. It's a good area etc. and when the sun is shining it's easier to feel okay about being here.

We don't feel emotionally invested here though which is both a blessing and a curse. If DH gets a good offer overseas we will be off again. If he doesn't we will be here until the kids finish school and then possibly move to London.

I do worry that we will never truly feel settled again. Our foray into living overseas has changed our mindsets. We've gone from wanting the forever house, to being terrified of having just that! I do take some comfort that this does seem quite normal though, having opened up that can of worms.

PossumPoo Sun 29-Jun-14 13:12:10

Pupsie the never feeling settled thing is my issue too. I'm from Aus and for the last 15 years I've lived away (in different countries) and I really do want to return home but the return home will be for good and I'm just not ready.

Not investing emotionally in places has helpled me continually pack up and move on but I've been in the UK now for 5 years which is the longest anywhere and DD was born here and starting school next year. Feel like we need to make a jump again soon though before we never leave!

Australia51 Sat 26-Jul-14 23:28:25

Returned from Perth after 6 years at the time due to my unemployment spells ( though wife had really good job). And I largely coped with the isolation of house husbandry.My wife was not a good communicator and struggled to gain or maintain friendships. This made me miss my uk friends.Lack of fruit ends, spells of unemployment, relationship issues and homesickness spells made the grass greener in UK and the rose tinted specs bigger. Our son aged 11 never complained about Oz until the latter half of 2013, so we booked a Christmas trip in D do 13 to UK to let him get his fix. Ended up falling in the trap of moving back after a UK holiday mot real life. Back in UK since April...wife settled in new job, boy settled in school with more friends thus far, but Groundhog Day for me. In hindsight I would have stayed in Perth, I cannot and will not settle in UK,,,,we are Oz citizens too......yet only I would return, hence living nightmare of regret and failure. Too much time alone at home in OZ gave me too much time to think, hence the mistake, did look for work but not easy for 51 year old with UK clerical cv.
Disaster....curse of the expat.

perthmom Thu 31-Jul-14 05:27:22

This thread makes for very interesting reading. I left the UK 22 years ago to settle in Perth (Aus) and then met my husband (an Aussie) and we've now got 2 children. For me, the homesick feeling has never truly left, just come and gone in varying degrees. For some reason I've been really feeling it the last year or so, and all I can put it down to is the fact that my kids have been asking a lot about the UK now they're older and interested in where I grew up, went to school myself, etc. I find the more I talk about it, and describe things, I get really painful pangs of homesickness. Maybe you always feel the "pull" of where you were born? Or it's probably just nostalgia for a place that no doubt is totally different now! I do like Australia and I could never expect to uproot my husband kids, but I sometimes think if it was just me, I'd move back.

Burmama Thu 31-Jul-14 07:53:07

Happy to discover this thread and now feeling much less alone but also sad that there is so much inevitable heartbreak, homesickness and grass-is-greener-ness in the expat life. I've been living and working in a very challenging underdeveloped country (clue in my MN name!) for almost four years and in that time have met DH and now expecting DC1. We are planning to go back to Ireland for the birth but I'm loath to make a decision about what to do after that, whether to stay or come back out here (where we both have good jobs but life is so difficult and homesick and grandparents so far.) This thread has given much food for thought but no resolution. WWYD?

perthmom Sat 02-Aug-14 12:00:43

Burmama, that's a hard decision for you to make and I really don't know what I would do in your situation. See how you feel after the birth I guess. Having children certainly changes your life, that's for sure.

Burmama Sat 02-Aug-14 15:36:02

Thanks Perth, that is definitely the approach I'm taking at the moment, I genuinely have no idea how I'll feel after Jan 28 (give or take) next year. Would be nice to have a plan though, because if we're not staying we have an apartment to deal with, things to pack before we leave, etc. I guess we will have to sub-let it while we're gone for the birth and then, if we decide to stay in Ireland, DH can nip back here and tie up loose ends? All just seems very messy though, wish things were clearer!

For me, someone early on the thread had it. To culturally fit in, is important. Even for me working in the UK, I couldn't cope with the attitudes there and found it difficult (am from NZ). It makes a difference to live somewhere where people know the soul of you. What makes you tick, your upbringing and family situation. We are travelling expats and each time we land somewhere new, not necessarily of our choosing., friendships are on a superficial level unless you're the type to give people a 1/2hr spiel about your history as soon as you meet. But the longer you are away, the harder it is to fit in anywhere.

Last time I went home for a break I was in the supermarket and 2 mongrel mob (gangs) guys were eyeing me up trying to work out where I was from. I stuffed up my NZ credentials at the counter when I asked what eftpos was as I couldn't genuinely remember! They looked at each other and went naaaaah she's not a kiwi. sad

I've never been as lonely as where we are now (US), DH doesn't make an effort to friendships and seems not to need them, but I do. I see other expats when I can, but it's tricky as I work FT now and most of them don't. I really want to move again soon, but we're here for another 2yrs I'd say.

Applefallingfromthetree2 Mon 04-Aug-14 13:23:08

I agree with Mr Tumbles, the expat lifestyle is definitely a bubble and has little to do with real life in another country. In this respect it is very privileged. If material issues and ease of living are what appeals then a return home will always seem like a let down.

Of course there is more to life!

mamisaffron1 Sun 17-Aug-14 12:37:45

I live in Italy, have done for the past 8 years, Since back end of last year, I really want to go back to UK. My hubby gets a small pension, but we do a spot of pet sitting and teaching to tick over here. We rent this place. I have a sister in UK, nieces, and friends. Problem is my husband does not want to go back. We are rock solid been married for 25+ years, and initially it was my idea to live in Europe and sell up. Obviously after these years we only have a small amount of savings now. We dont really have any friends here, although we meet a fair few people. I am now dreaming about going back to UK, and I know, its not in great shape. I feel sad, here and want to burst into tears, most days now. I try to keep a lid on it, but I am thinking o going to UK, in October, one way ticket, and hope to get a job. Funds are running out, and I love Italy, but I feel my roots are pulling me back I can live at my sisters until I get sorted, but at 55 its going to be hard to get work. I dont see that I have failed, because not trying is a fail. I have great memories of Italy, but I need to go. I hoped my husband would change his mind, its a mess really Sorry for the long post

feelingquitelost Mon 18-Aug-14 10:30:24

I am another one living in my dh's country and feeling a sense of longing to go back to the UK. We are in Europe so not too far but limited by money and small dcs. He is not totally against living in the UK but there are financial things we need to sort out here first. We would also struggle to save enough to make the move sad

I am so lonely, I don't fit in, expats are mostly in a bubble, my language isn't good enough to make local friends easily and even with those who speak English there is a big cultural gap.

I long to do normal UK things with my dcs, spend time with my family and feel like my life is more 'real'. Yet I know it could all be a huge disappointment and we could end up struggling in a shitty area and remembering all the reasons I was keen to move away in the first place.

murphys Mon 18-Aug-14 10:46:43

It is the other way around for me. Born in UK, moved to SA as a child. Moved back to UK after marrying dh (who is also British) and had the dc in UK. Moved back to SA after 7 years in UK. Have no intention of moving back to UK again at all. I don't miss it a bit... This is my home, although its not my birth country. If the dc choose to relocate to UK when they are older, it will be their choice.

BabCNesbitt Mon 18-Aug-14 16:39:30

I'm feeling a bit "oh god, what have I done?" at the moment. Back in the UK just over a week after two years in the US feeling horribly homesick. DH is from the US but managed to get a job over here, because he says he doesn't mind where we live as long as we're settled. I thought that I wanted to leave the US because I didn't want to raise DD in a place where I'd always be worried about the cost if any of us got sick or where guns are rife, but now I'm back in the UK, all I'm noticing is the bad weather, dampness, litter (no litter where we were because nobody walked anywhere!), tiny washing machines etc.

I'm now wondering if I've made a terrible mistake, or if I'm just the kind of mardy git who'd find something to complain about wherever I was! confused

papooshka Wed 20-Aug-14 11:48:35

We are back in the UK after 12 years in Asia. Its great to be back but I am struggling with it. Missing my life back there. But it was getting too expensive, that was one of the main reasons for leaving. So now we don't have school fees, cars are cheaper, rent is cheaper. Its good to be back near family and old friends and we do think we have made the right decision however. The sun is shining at the moment which is great but I am dreading winter! As someone else said its a 50/50 thing, theres good and bad about both places. (sorry this is a bit rambling!!)

Amaike Thu 04-Sep-14 13:18:04

I moved 6 months ago to Australia, where DH and I grew up and met. But we have just spent the last 15 years in the UK and for me it became "home". Now back in Australia, I am homesick for England but DH refuses to go back there so I know I am stuck until my children finish school. There is actually a Facebook page for Expat stuck mums which makes for interesting reading. I miss the cool weather, soft light, accents and history. I hope to return permanently to England in 10 years time but by then will it be too late as I will have inevitably become settled here? I was interested by the top posting in this thread about people who move back after a long time and whether they regretted it, despite having longed for it.

rushingrachel Fri 05-Sep-14 10:32:58

We moved back in March after 8 long years in Brussels and 3 lovely pre kid years in Paris. Feels like I've never been away and absolutely LOVING it. I still break out in a big grin from time to time in Waitrose, especially on a Sunday. There was much that I liked in Brussels, but nothing much I miss, other than a few lovely friends. In fact it's odd I lived somewhere for so long and barely ever think about it. The kids are very happy here too even though both born in Brussels ... . It's not perfect, but then it never was. I never settled in Brussels, for whatever reason, and to me this is home.

Amaike Sat 06-Sep-14 15:09:53

Dear rushingrachel, that time in Brussels must have felt long, if you didn't feel you belonged. So you were away from the UK for 11 years in total. Amazing that you have come home and the gap has closed over. There is hope for people like me yet! I suppose you just have to keep in touch with people, and keep the connections alive, and probably allow a part of yourself to not "go native" wherever you are. It's more common for people who have been somewhere for a long time to become very accustomed to it. Well done for making it home in one piece. I would love to hear from anyone else who was away from UK for a long time and finally went home.

rushingrachel Mon 08-Sep-14 11:13:22

Maybe one of the things that helped it seem so familiar is that where I am from is pretty provincial. People just don't seem to leave. So there are lots of people from school still here. And my mum is 20 minutes away and my sister an hour at most. It is so much easier working with the kids and family not far away. So it's not like I just came back to the UK, I came back to my home town.

I loved Paris. But I didn't love Brussels, even though by the end I was totally accustomed to it and spoke the language very well and had some great friends and neighbours whom I miss. I think it is in the end a very individual mix of circumstances and emotions that make you settle somewhere and love it, or never settle and come to resent it.

Amaike Mon 08-Sep-14 12:35:55

You are right there are so many factors at play it's hard to extrapolate from one person's situation to another. You're lucky actually not to have had too much reverse culture shock. I"m looking forward to the faraway day when I can walk back into Waitrose when I'm actually living in England again, not just visiting. Till then I'm sure life will have its ups and downs.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now