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To hate living in new town and want to move back North? (And has anyone else ever regretted a move?)

(79 Posts)
williaminajetfighter Wed 26-Dec-12 19:42:02

At the start of 2012 I moved with my family to Oxford from the North for an 'exciting job opportunity' and because I thought it would be a great place to raise kids and to be closer to London; I had visited as a tourist a few times and found it charming.

I have lived here for a year now and really dislike it. The town is small and relatively conservative; extremely expensive but very much divided between the haves and the have-nots (or better, those who have-less). The centre of the town is a no-go area for cars so one spends their time on ring roads around the city. The town is dead at night and there is little about it that is 'buzzy' or 'quirky'. Kids activities are fine but having been used to a large city of over 1m+ population, I miss the diversity and range of things to do. I should add that the shopping is dreadful unless you want to buy touristy items or over-priced jumpers and shoes. I have given it a good shot and have tried to get into a routine, go out and do lots of things.

I'm not trying to 'diss' Oxford for those living there who love it. There are a lot of lovely things (beautiful countryside, safe, close to London, good schools if you go private or live in the right area); it's just not for me and I just don't 'feel it'.

I feel like an idiot for moving here and for buying a property (rental costs were so high, I just thought it made sense to buy). I really do want to move back to where we were before. Has anyone else made the 'mistake' of moving somewhere only to discover it wasn't for them? If so did they stick it out and try to get used, did they plan a slow escape or did they just pick up sticks and leave? Experiences appreciated so I can decide what to do.

TheNebulousBoojum Wed 26-Dec-12 19:47:08

I did the opposite, moved from the South to the North because it was cheaper and I could afford a house and a family. I was never comfortable there and moved back after 7 years.
Every time I lament the size of my mortgage down here, I remember what it felt like living in a place I hated and it softens the blow. Children are happy, OH is happy.
I love Oxford BTW, but if you are not content then I'm all for escaping if you can.

williaminajetfighter Wed 26-Dec-12 19:50:33

Thanks 'TheNebulous'. It's funny how people just 'click' with certain places - sometimes there's no rhyme or reason. 7 years in a place you don't like is a long time!

Oxford isn't my thing but at least it's not Leicester (spent almost 2 years there, just dreadful!)

TheNebulousBoojum Wed 26-Dec-12 19:55:14

No rhyme or reason, I've lived in dozens of different places here and abroad. Sussex is my place, the NW is not. Simple really. smile

Mynewmoniker Wed 26-Dec-12 19:55:39

North to south. Hated it but had to stay due to many circumstances and other people's reasons. Decided to get a job and find new friends asap. Thank God I had kids who had parents I could make friends with.

Been here many years and when I go back north and compare, I love the warmth of the northern folk but don't regret staying and seeing family blossom here.

GrendelsMum Wed 26-Dec-12 20:09:17

I bet you've moved from Leeds or Manchester, haven't you?

I think that some of these towns which are very attractive to tourists are much less fun to live in than they appear at first sight.

Firstly, is there an area of the town which is more quirky and off-beat that might suit you better to live in, or to shop in? I have a not-dissimilar situation, and about once a month I spend a day hanging out in the area of the town which is more 'me', shopping, having coffee, doing interesting things etc etc.

Or could you visit London more often? It's pretty quick from Oxford, isn't it, so maybe that's why some things aren't as rich culturally as they up in the northern cities?

Ephiny Wed 26-Dec-12 20:10:58

Maybe you need a bit more time. It took me a good 3 years to get used to London (had always lived in the North before), but I love it now and can't imagine living anywhere else.

williaminajetfighter Wed 26-Dec-12 20:20:46

thanks Ephiny and Grendel'sMum. I moved from Glasgow. Oxford is very different on LOTS of different levels. The schools are very different and I'm finding it a real drop in 'quality of living' as well as general fun. Glasgow is great and very similar in feel to Manchester.

batsintheroof Wed 26-Dec-12 20:20:54

Oh god, why did you move to the South? It's bloody awful. London is nasty as well. Just move again, there's no point living somewhere that's making you unhappy.

jessjessjess Wed 26-Dec-12 20:33:13

Oxford varies lots depending on the area - whereabouts are you? Hated Oxford city where we lived for a while but now in a village which we love.

jessjessjess Wed 26-Dec-12 20:34:14

Not sure what's wrong with the shops though? Plenty of good ones in the centre or more quirky stuff in Cowley Road.

Chottie Wed 26-Dec-12 20:36:55

Life is too short to be unhappy. Follow your heart........

feekerry Wed 26-Dec-12 20:40:50

Do you live in/near centre of oxford?? If so is there scope to move slightly outside?? Some of the villages in oxfordshire are amazing. I live in oxfordshire but most certainly wouldn't live central oxford

TidyDancer Wed 26-Dec-12 20:46:16

I've done the opposite as well. I am a Southerner who lived in Nottingham when DP graduated, then in Newcastle for a while. Both cities I like, but the South is my home and I would rather be here than anywhere else.

batsintheroof that was very rude. The South is not bloody awful and London is not nasty. You may wish to preface such statements with 'IMO' in the future.

Comes down to where you feel you can call home. I don't think a year is enough to know though, if you can, give it another year and see if you feel differently.

Chocaholics Wed 26-Dec-12 20:47:58

I moved from the north to Oxford about 8 years ago. I lasted one year before I found a job back up north. I hated it there for all the reasons cited and it never felt like home. I decides to cut my losses and move back and I never ever regretted it. If you really don't like it I would say follow your heart as well....

KittyFane1 Wed 26-Dec-12 20:50:28

I love Oxford as a visitor and have family there but I wouldn't want to live there. Like I said, it's a wonderful place to visit!
If you are wealthy and retired it must be a fabulous place to spend your days at the theatre, eating out, taking a stroll... Or if you are a student, great for nights out, compact, studenty, good connections to London. For ordinary folk it's expensive, overcrowded and yes, the town centre is set up for the tourist market. It feels like a place people pass through.

GrendelsMum Wed 26-Dec-12 20:51:02

Glasgow is very similar in feel to Manchester, isn't it?

I think the real answer is that you've moved from a major city to somewhere which is comparatively small. Plus there's something about living in a big tourist hub that can be mysteriously stressful.

re the shops - my guess is that the OP can easily buy 25 beautiful dresses and a selection of contemporary literature, but not a whisk and a roll of bin bags (or equivalent).

curiousuze Wed 26-Dec-12 20:52:55

YANBU - move to London!

williaminajetfighter Wed 26-Dec-12 20:53:07

Thanks Chocoholics and TidyDancer.

Jess, I know there are good things about Oxford and I guess the Cowley road has a bit of quirkiness... I was nervous about mentioning where I was for fear that I'd get a pro-Oxford bun fight but I felt it made sense to include. I'm in the Florence Park area on Church Cowley Road. I am loving the traffic and the buzzy neighborhood - not! For a good time I head to the Temple Cowley centre or if I really want to go nuts, shopping at Debenhams or the Cornmarket. Maybe a crazy night at an overpriced restaurant in Jericho with a bunch of entitled students. urgh. Just not for me.

williaminajetfighter Wed 26-Dec-12 20:55:45

And I'm not a 'village person'. Sorry now the thread is just turning into a major whinge! My apologies!

I just really wanted to know if others have done a 'u-turn' or stuck it out as I don't want to bother any of my friends or have them think I'm mad!

FiveFestiveFlowers Wed 26-Dec-12 20:59:28

I'm not surprised you miss Glasgow, it's an amazing place and nowhere compares to it. And let's face it, you've also moved to another country.

I moved from Scotland to England and after nearly 20 years still feel homesick sad - but I've left it so long that when I do go back to visit, it now doesn't feel like home, so I'm a bit rootless really.

In a few years' time I'm going to be able to decide where I live as I'll be retiring, but am still undecided. Tbh, if I could go back in time I'd never have moved away.

addictedtolatte Wed 26-Dec-12 21:01:31

I moved and hated it. That was the darkest time in my life. I moved back to were am from and will never complain again about where I live.

TwitchyTail Wed 26-Dec-12 21:05:12

Move if you can afford to, and if you and your family all want to. Life's too short.

I spent 10 years in Oxford before moving back up North. I loved Oxford while I was a student, not so much afterwards. Never regretted moving back.

Although you'd be surprised how many people think Oxford/the South is amazing and why would anyone want to live in the grim North out of choice, so be prepared for a bit of that grin

joanofarchitrave Wed 26-Dec-12 21:07:08

I lived in a dull suburb near Winchester for a while. I could stand the dull suburb, it was just what it was, but Winchester I really hated for some reason. I could never pin it down, but I was extremely uncomfortable there despite liking my job and the circumstances of my life.

I moved to Oxford and have been really happy here from day 1 grin

So I'd agree, there's no point looking at a place and saying 'but OTHER people love it, I should love it too'. If you don't love it, you don't. Make plans to move. By the way, it sounds as if the job was disappointing too - what chances are there to shift work?

KeemaNaanAndCurryOn Wed 26-Dec-12 21:08:49

I've relocated twice. The first time was great and I never regretted a moment of it. The second time - I am still where I relocated to and I haven't been happy since I did. There are a lot of reasons why I can't move back again. I wish I'd never done it.

Don't get me wrong, I've made friends here, and make the most of what I have. But dear god if I had my time again I would NEVER have done it.

If you can go back to where you were and you would be happier then do it.

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