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To go home or not?

(22 Posts)
lulu995 Fri 05-Aug-11 07:21:02

We moved to Canada 2 and a half years ago, with 2 months notice I packed up the house and moved our dd aged 4 and ds aged 2.5 by myself as hubby had to start work 2 months prior to our arrival.

I have found the whole process hard but I feel stronger for it, anyway since I have been here most of my uk friends have moved on, even my BFF who is god mother to dd has never called or sent a card, it left me heart broken. ( I have no idea why).

Any way as I ramble on... I have been given the opportunity to return for 2 weeks with kids by myself, (hubby can't get 2 weeks off.) having never returned since we left, part of me wonders whether i should bother and instead put the money toward a holiday for us (maui) instead? My parents are frequent visitors here so the kids see their gPs qt least 5 times a year, for at least 2 weeks at a time. AIBU?

flatbread Fri 05-Aug-11 08:19:15

oh gosh, go to Maui instead! you are so not BU. grin

Megatron Fri 05-Aug-11 08:22:47

I would go home to see your parents. It must cost them a lot to come to you so it would be nice if you took a turn too don't you think? It's only been 2 years since you moved surely not all of your friends have moved on completely? Perhaps this is an opportunity to renew contact with some old friends?

flatbread Fri 05-Aug-11 08:30:19

I wanted to add, OP, I live half-way around the world from my parents and friends. For the last 20 years I have gone back home every year, sometimes twice a year.

Looking back, I wish I hadn't (not because anything went wrong, but none of these trip stand out in my memory as anything special either). I really wish I had used that time and money to explore different parts of the world.

Megatron Fri 05-Aug-11 08:37:46

See I look at it differently flatbread. Having also lived the almost all my adult life so far away from my parents and friends, I'm really glad I visited them as often as I did. I had a fantastic relationship with my parents and they did with my children, and I have friends from a long time ago that I still hold dear. I'm not saying you can't have that if you don't see people as there are so many ways to communicate these days but for me, it helped keep our relationships close.

Though in this case, the though of going to Maui may just have swayed me! grin!

flatbread Fri 05-Aug-11 08:49:02


I agree with you to an extent. But given a choice between Maui and home, Maui would win grin. If OP and her DH return back to UK for good sometime in the next few years, they may never get the chance to experience Maui.

I would have chosen home over Maui 20 years back. But now I am older and wiser grin. I sometimes mourn about the places I should have visited when we lived in NA. Now they all seem too far away to make the effort:-)

QuintessentialShadows Fri 05-Aug-11 08:57:38

Gosh, I dont even know where Maui is.....

Anyway. I left my hometown in Norway when I was 21 and went to London. I came home for visits every year. 16 years later upon returning home with my family (husband and 2 kids), I still had most of my network of friends to come back to. No, life had not stood still, they had new friends and family and children. But it meant that there was room for me and my family too, in their new circles of friends. That would never have happened if I had not bothered to come home and see them.

The way I see it, it is the person who leaves who has to do all the running regards to keeping in touch with friends. YOU left, not them, so dont expect them to "chase" you. Dont expect them to write cards and emails, etc, unless you do it yourself.

I would not look upon it as friends moving on, but life going forward for everybody concerned.

Dont go to Maui, or whereever, to make a point. Go there if you want to, go there if you want it more than seeing your home, your family or friends.

But, if you return from Canada in 5 years from now, what will you miss most. Not having visited Maui, or having lost total touch with all the friends you did not bother keep in touch with over a 7 year period?

QuintessentialShadows Fri 05-Aug-11 09:00:19

oh yabu. Just googled Maui (and now i know why I did not know of it)

A beach holiday. How is Maui any different from Ibiza or Tenerife?

Up to you, of course.

thelittlestkiwi Fri 05-Aug-11 09:27:42

I think it's hard when you move away. I certainly feel that the onus is on me to stay in touch with pals. I make a lot of effort and am now probably closer to people who also make an effort then others who I spent more time with before I left. I think friendships are just different. Some people I don't hear from much but I know if I went back for a visit we'd easily pick things back up.

I say do what you feel like doing. Do you need to go back? It's so expensive for us to go back from NZ that we can only manage it every 2/3 years which feels about right.

flatbread Fri 05-Aug-11 09:52:47

I can understand the need to see family and the longing for familiar surroundings. To drink in the sights, smells and sounds of home.

But to me the friends thing is over-rated. Dunno if you have read Ignorance by Milan Kundera. It captured a lot of what it felt like being an expat for me. You can make all this effort to meet friends when you are back home, and you can have a very nice time when you are together with old dear friends, but at the same time, you realize you are almost playing a role. You kind-of revert to being the person you were when you lived back home, so that everyone feels comfortable and nothing is stirred.

I didn't move back to my home country, like the poster from Norway, so don't know how it is to get back into the friend circle if you have not stayed in touch for many years. But that is something to consider, if you are planning to move back...although if it were me, I would probably be drawn to new friends who share similar experiences.

So, imo, YANBU no matter what decision you take grin

PS - YANBU to be peeved with friends who have not stayed in touch during this time of change and upheaval.

MrsBananaGrabber Fri 05-Aug-11 09:58:10

I have been in Canada for 5 years and I am coming home for good in 3 weeks, DH is staying behind until the house sells. I can't wait to get home. Saying that you could get a cheap deal to Cuba or Mexico, but after 5 years I know where I'd rather be.

Continuum Fri 05-Aug-11 12:47:59

Given that your parents obviously see you and the kids a lot, if you feel no other pull to visit the UK then just save up for you all to go somewhere as a family! Although YABU to choose Maui, Big Island is much more interesting!!

Also flatbread makes some good points about being an expat. I did move back home, but was very changed from the experience and there are friends you fit back with because of the people you are regardless of how intervening years have changed you, and there are ones you don't. It's just life and might have happened if you'd stayed at home anyway!

And there can be a lot of guilt involved and put on you for "moving away", but even though I spent my years wanting to move back, and eventually doing so, I still would've opted for a family holiday to somewhere new rather than just going back to old haunts!!

mrsbiscuits Fri 05-Aug-11 12:52:17

Go to Maui, it's gorgeous and Yay for grandparents who actually give a shit ! smile

lulu995 Fri 05-Aug-11 20:58:39

Thanks for the advice guys, i'm leaning toward not going home, and going away as a family, especially as we haven't had a family beach holiday away since our kids have been born.

Flatbread - i'll definately take a look at that book.

Its nice to hear from other expats too smile

lulu995 Fri 05-Aug-11 21:02:49

QuintessentialShadows - I have written,sent cards, gifts and phoned my friend, she has sent one e-mail in return.

My Christmas card was returned - apparently she moved house and hasnt given me her new address. Its a real shame especially as we had been best friends since we were aged 13. and we were god mothers to each others dd's and maid of honours at each others weddings. sad

lulu995 Fri 05-Aug-11 21:04:14

MrsBananagrabber, where in canada are you? how come you have decided to go home?

Whatmeworry Fri 05-Aug-11 22:28:11

Go back, if you want to see old friends etc one last time. Also lays a few ghosts.

MrsBananaGrabber Sat 06-Aug-11 00:18:43

I am in Oakville, just outside of Toronto. We came in December 2006 with our then 2 and 5 year old DS's, for DH's job. I have since had another baby here, we have built a house and really tried to get into the Canadian way of life (whatever that may, possessions, I don't know)

Having a baby so far away from our families was the last straw, we have just had enough, it's time to go home. Don't get me wrong, I don't hate Canada and I have some wonderful friends here but something is missing, our time here has come to an end. I leave in three weeks, I'm dreading saying good buy but I have a wonderful school set up for my DS and I now see the UK through different eyes iykwim.

lulu995 Sat 06-Aug-11 00:58:05

I know what you mean i too now see the UK through different eyes, we live in Victoria. I'm not sure I could cope with all that snow in toronto! lol

Its chaos here when it snows, everyone panics, no one has winter tyres, in a way its quite funny compared to how the rest of canada copes. lol

CheshireDing Sat 06-Aug-11 04:23:16

I think the family holiday is the way forward lulu. It is a shame your BFF can't be arsed to give you her new address. Do you use Facebook to stay in touch with people? This might help.

Flatbread makes good points.

We used to live in Australia and are back in the UK for now until we move to America and have picked up where we left off with some friends but because we moved counties it annoys me that some cannot even be bothered to drive to see us (when we have been down there a few times).

So really sometimes I think the relationships do become one sided and you get fed up being the one doing all the running.

Have a family holiday and just make some news friends in Canada smile

nojustificationneeded Sat 06-Aug-11 04:29:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

GotArt Sat 06-Aug-11 04:29:50

Um... Maui!!!! No brainer.

I moved to London from Canada and it was few and far between calls, mostly initiated by me, with friends in Canada. Coming back, now I can say the same about friends in England. When we moved from Ontario to BC, same thing. Hardly hear from family for that matter. I've never really concerned myself about though. Out of sight, out of mind for the most part.

Can I say Maui again. grin

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