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First visit back to the UK - any advice?(17 Posts)
We've been in Oz for about 18 months. We're going back for 3 weeks. A friend over here said, "So it won't be much of a holiday, then?" We're splitting our time between two different places and telling people where we are rather than dashing around madly trying to see everyone. I'm a little bit scared that I'll realise how much I miss all my friends and family, or that I'll be on the plane back and think of one person I really would have liked to have seen but didn't manage to. And I suppose what I'm really worried about is that we'll get back and I'll think, "this is my home, I don't want to go back to Australia."
How has everyone else found that first trip back, emotionally?
I'm also wondering about practicalities. We're flying with Singapore Airlines and taking car seats for the two younger kids, plus a buggy. We have booked a car and holiday home in one place, hotel in the other. I think we might have to buy a travel stairgate for dd (11months). I think I've sorted out what clothes we need to pack. We have dd's passport (phew!) and hopefully her visa will be sorted by then...
I'm going to stock up on the ds's favourite toothpaste as they haven't found one over here that they like! And maybe buy some duvet covers too.
I have been in Oz for a year & have just returned from a 3 week trip back to UK. Got back this weekend. We flew out with Qantas, returned with Singapore airlines. Also laden with carseat etc! Flights were fine, staff attentive, interactive tv good for children. DS is 4 so loves the tv stuff, we also took some books, stickers, fave toys but he was happy with tv/food/sleep & a few walks around.
This was our first trip back, I had very mixed feelings. We also stayed in 2 bases & encouraged folk to come to us, still did lots of running around & didn't get to see everybody. Emotionally, I was a wreck saying my goodbyes to family, more so than when we emigrated last year BUT I found the trip restorative, and I feel better for having seen everyone, knowing they are still there for me. The only advice I can think to offer you is to have something to look forward to when you get back, something to plan. My sis is coming over in a few months, then some of DH's family & having that to look forward to is helping me get through! Also planned stuff with friends here for immediately on return.
You sound very organised about the trip. I'm sure you will all have a lovely time! We did lots of clothes shopping, also got DS toothpaste/clarks shoes etc. I wish I'd shopped more!! I meant to, but was busy catching up with people & enjoyed that. Is your move over here a permanent one? We are meant to be here on a 2 year trial but I suspect our move is permanent due to DH's work....I am enjoying Sydney but remain ambivalent.....anyway, enjoy your time back in the UK. Yes, I did land there and think "I'm home" but equally I got back to our house here and felt at home. And DS has coped well with it all which helped. Hope you have a great trip
our first trip back was in November. It was horrible, rainy, cold, dark. In retrospect it was a good thing. Helped us appreciate our new home more.
Lol, hopandaskip, perhaps we should have arranged to go back in the autumn and then I wouldn't feel bad about coming back to Australia.
Thanks both of you. It's good advice to have something organised when we come back. I was planning to sort out our apartment as we still have piles of stuff everywhere and boxes in the garage. But that will require lots of staying in, and not much interacting with people, so it would be good for me to organise things with friends.
We're on 457 visas but for the maximum 4 years and dp's job is permanent. He definitely wants to stay permanently. I'm fairly settled but not so sure that I want it to be long term.
Expect to have a few "low days" when you return to Oz. I always get this when I've been back to the UK, even though I'm perfectly happy living in Hong Kong. It does pass.
Also, appreciate that you won't see everybody as some friends won't make the trip to see you, either because they can't or because they've basically moved on from the friendship. It happens. Try not to dwell on it.
I realize that I'm probably unusual, but I have gone back three times in the five years we have lived here and have practically run back onto the plane to Sydney thinking "I am SO lucky not to live here any more" every time.
A lot of that is due to the ages of my children (much older than yours) and comparing the life my kids are living here to what my English friends' kids are up to. Yes, I miss family and friends (and if my mum was still alive maybe I would feel differently) but my advice would be to enjoy seeing people and what the UK has to offer and not over think it too much. You will presumably be lucky enough to be able to make the decision on where you want to live permanently in a couple of years.
Not so sure about the emotional stuff (different for everyone) but practically - make people come to you, don't spend precious time going to them. And group people together as much as you can - school friends/baby friends/work friends etc. And don't see people twice unless you really really want to!
I can't tell you how many times I've made special effort to see someone and then they're stunned that I'll only do it once and can't see them again the next week or whatever.
If you don't do all this and try and accommodate everyone instead of them accommodating you then you'll just be exhausted and harassed and pissed off. And you'll be a weird and emotional anyway!
am so torn too - we only moved to California in Feb and going back in July for a month. So worried I just won't want to get back on the plane
I have been back several times over the years and sometimes I miss it, sometimes I don't. This time I miss things I never have before ( going to the nursery to buy flowers, and gardening) we live in Egypt right now, so do almost no gardening.
I actually think I could live here again but then I look at the cost of housing!
Hi HFD! I've already been back a few times since we've been here and the one thing I have learnt is that you can't fit everyone in in 3weeks. Just do your best, get people to come to you as much as you can and try and fit some relaxation time in. Try and organise this by email before you go as much as possible - it really does help!
I would also look into how much it costs to bring an extra bag back with you - not only do people give you stuff, but you end up buying stuff that you've missed while over here - BA was doing an extra bag for £34 last time (March) that I returned and it was well worth it! That extra 23kg makes all the difference.
With that in mind I would also say try to take as little as possible with you in your bags, so you have space to bring stuff back as well.
Coming back to Australia has always been relatively easy because so far my DH hasn't accompanied us on any of our UK trips - so we're always coming back to him as well. It will of course be different for you because you're all going.
Nice to see you had a good time RVP - are you coming to the meet up on the 18th June?
And will you still be around then, HFD, or not? thread here if you haven't already seen it (and any other Sydney/NSW MNers as well)
Just got back from the UK, we only live in Germany but hadn't been in 2 years. I agree take an extra bag if you can for shopping TBH although I had been longing just to be somewhere where everyone around me spoke English (and enjoyed a trip to Sainsburys on my own with just the baby more than any sane person should, especially as I have never been someone who likes shopping...) I found England really crowded and the traffic a nightmare (we were in Yorkshire too, not the even busier S.E of England). I am rather glad to be back in my own
almost child proof house where I can sort of relax now
Thanks for all the other replies! I'm trying to make sure everyone comes to us and not us to them. And I don't think we'll be seeing anyone more than once apart from very close family (my mum, my sister and my sister-in-law).
I am taking over loads of clothes for new baby niece so hopefully will have lots of space to fill with purchases. We were thinking of posting back things if we have too much to carry.
thumb we will be in the UK already on the 17th!
Just having to sort out my dd's visa because we stupidly didn't do it as soon as she was born... it is supposed to be automatic but the migration agent dh's company use is telling us we have to fill in lots of forms and it will take 3-4 weeks, oh and of course we need to pay him lots of money too
Oh that's a shame for us, HFD - you and Seymore aren't winning with our meet up dates! We'll have another one soon enough though, I hope - and hope you can come to that one.
thatisnotitatall I'm sure I will notice the traffic too! And our holiday rental looks rather flowery to me so I'm sure it will be good when we get back to our 'own' baby-friendly apartment, boxes and all!
thumb I hope I manage to meet up with you one day before my visa runs out