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Where in the world have you moved to AND achieved a better standard of living?

(86 Posts)
suebfg Mon 24-Dec-12 22:17:16

DH and I would love to move abroad for a while, have an adventure and a nicer way of life. Where have you achieved this?

Thanks and Merry Christmas to you all.

complexnumber Thu 10-Jan-13 10:35:40

I have just read this thread with interest, comparing others situations to my own living in Oman.

Then I realised that I have no idea what my standard of living would be back in the UK. I have been living overseas off and on since 1984, the longest I have spent back in the UK in that time period was about 3 years, and that was over 12 years ago!

I am happy here, we do have a flat back in York which we stay at every summer. But I don't really know if my standard of living would be better if we lived there permenantly. I think not.

Mosman Tue 08-Jan-13 11:12:51

If you had private health insurance you'd receive a great standard of care in Australia which might go some way to preventing pnd. However the birth is likely to be more medicalised in my experience in Australia

WhataSook Mon 07-Jan-13 21:06:36

What an interesting thread! I am in London and thinking of moving back to Australia but keep hearing how expensive Aus is now and so I really dont know what to do! We have no family here but sadly have got used to this and we do a lot of stuff always together.

My worry is that we woukd like another DC and I struggled with depression when DC1 was born and just cant think how I would cope next time.

CaHoHoHootz Sun 06-Jan-13 22:16:57

I lived in San Francisco , Quebec and SA, for quite considerable lengths of time, and I loved living in each country but I am glad we returned to the UK. There are so many different things to consider about the pros and cons of various countries I dont think. I could ever choose a 'best place' to live.

hmm Although, if I had a magic wand to away the poverty and violence SA might get my vote. I lived in Joberg and found everyone really friendly. We never had any problems but we were careful.

captainmummy Thu 03-Jan-13 15:58:35

You're right it's the work thing, esp with AI. I'd love to go back even just to visit, it's so beautiful.

Good luck.

FifromN12 Thu 03-Jan-13 14:17:47

@Captainmummy - I must say I think people have a misconception about it well at least for CT and I was one of them! I put my hands up! It all changed when I went to live there. I hear Jhb is another story and don't know much about it.
When I talk to SA's in London they are quite negative (mainly JHB) but I feel like they are justifying their move... and some do regret...many I know moved back to CT little by lilttle as London isn't all the paradise they thought it would be. But I of course understand those who leave as can't find work there.
I do think travelling opens your eyes to the different opportunities and gives you a different insight to the world no matter where you choose to live. (eck thats cheezy)

captainmummy Thu 03-Jan-13 13:59:14

Thanks Fi - that sounds positive! Of course I only speak to the SAs over here - and they're here for varying reasons, crime and poverty being only part of it. I got stuck in Jo-berg during the Ash-cloud, and walked to the nearest shop (5mins) against the horrified advice ofthe house-maid. This was a nice residential suburb, but I saw very few people out even in midday.

Cape town is supposed to be safer, it certainly seemed to be to me. we even walkd at night round the V&A

Maybe I'll look again at SA?

FifromN12 Thu 03-Jan-13 13:01:33

I have lived there before (9 months) in the Southern Suburbs where hubby is from. We will go back in the same area and looking to buy a house (with a pool;). It’s not a gated area and I didn’t feel unsafe when he was out. We will have an alarm (I do have one here! As 2 breaks ins on my street last month- and we live in a leafy nice area) and high walls and a dog!. You do get used to it! But I agree its not for everyone as we are all different. Violence (sadly) happen in the Cape Flats and shacks mainly. But this is another conversation to have!! My hubby will keep his job working from home and I will either go back with the charity I worked for or find something else. I do want to work part-time which is very difficult here financially to do so – I am full-time at the moment. I do have friends there already which helps. As for the driving everywhere I miss driving!! Try take the tube (London) with 2 kids;) I did walk to the shops while in CT (only during the day) and you do tend to see the weekend walkers quite often.

Its not as close to my family but I do love his family…

One thing I have learned is that the grass isn’t always greener and it’s what you make of it. But we believe we will be more secure financially and my little boys will be going to great schools. And its where hubby is from. Amongst the many reasons why we are moving.

Doing it now before my babies get too old to move them! And nothing is forever.

captainmummy Thu 03-Jan-13 09:35:57

Am jealous of you FIfromN12 - i'd love to move to Cape Town. Whereabouts are you going? I love the South Africans, v friendly, and the weather is great. when we were there in april last year, the weatherforecast was 'cold' - at 16C! Not happy with the crime or poverty tho, or the way you have to drive everywhere. No-one walks. Are you going to a gated community?

Am jealous of everyone, actually. Really want to move away, but will have to wait 5-6 years until DC finish school/college.

skratta Wed 02-Jan-13 22:24:56

We have a great life in a suburban area of a large village/small town in Connecticut.

The weather is actually great, we've got a great community, large houses, the children can play on the streets and bike down the roads, which they couldn't do when were in the UK. We are actually quite close to New York, which is great because we can go and have fun easily, but have a relaxed life here. We have a basketball hoop in our front garden and DD1 and 2 play with their friends outside there to practice shooting or whatever they call it. It's green, and lovely. It's not as vibrant as London for instance, or as fast paced, but its perfect for a family due to being close to a big city etc;

Also have to say, Stockholm. We only moved to the UK to follow jobs (first Belfast, then St Albans) but we moved from Kiruna to Stockholm. I love Stockholm. We lived in an area called Liljeholmen, it was next to a giant park with a giant lake, a playground area, slopes to toboggan on. We lived in flats, but they were very large, well insulated and were amazingly good quality compared to the UK for instance with a giant communal garden thing which was great, with a playground, and we knew everyone in the block, there was a train station, and tram stop close by, it was quiet and friendly and not too snowy (although I say that as we moved from Kiruna, which is way up North, in fact I think roughly 150km past the Arctic Circle!) There was Gamla Stan nearby, and it was easy to get around. In fact, Gamla Stan (the Old City) was great- Christmas market, resteraunts, beautiful old shops, a great place. There were also loads of great museums to visit, and if you speak English as a first language (I don't, I'm Swedish, but DH does) then it's also easy to get around as so many people understand it.

I'd reccommend Connecticut or Stockholm. However, some parts of the Stockholm Archipelago (islands around Stockholm, from fifteen mins from Stockholm to a few hours, the best ones to live on I'd say are around thirty minutes from Stockholm, so not as close, but easy to get there too). A very nice community, beautiful landscape, loads of outdoor sports, especially kayaking, esay to get to the city, sometimes wonderful beaches, and from my experience a lot of people living there are very welcoming and lovely.

AmericasTorturedBrow Wed 02-Jan-13 22:16:22

We're in some ways standard of living much is amazing, access to mountains, beaches, deserts, and inner city stuff. DH on a much higher salary, we can afford a lot more, DS thriving

But I miss my friends and family and it's a very transient city, not really somewhere anyone seems to put own roots in. And I'm on a spousal visa so can't work, evn if/when I can my industry is tiny and stagnant here

We're going to have. Very difficult conversation about moving back in a few years...

FifromN12 Wed 02-Jan-13 09:53:06

Its great to see everyone around the world! Currently in London and moving to Cape Town this year with SA hubby and French/SA little boy

Perhaps the difference for me, is that I don't really have an extended family, so all ds has is us. With no grandparents to factor in it was probably an easier move to make.

Oh boo, well perhaps make a special shopping trip to Germany one weekend!

In some waysi am sooo much healthier due to the expense and scarcity of takeaway meals!?grin

NanoNinja Fri 28-Dec-12 11:31:46

Thanks for takeaway tip, binful. We're in geneva, so a little way away. I am getting good at making my own curries!

butterfliesinmytummy Fri 28-Dec-12 08:00:29

Totally agree with richman, it depends what you value.

We used to live in rural Scotland which is absolutely stunning, moved to urban sprawl in Asia and really value the access to a vibrant mixed culture. Equally, life here is massively more expensive but we have a good expat package so we live a more epensive lifestyle thanks to that. Without the expat package, we couldn't afford to live here as we do.

ssmile Thu 27-Dec-12 13:46:53

Interesting thread. My sister is married to an Ozzie and they moved to QLD 6yrs ago. We nearly followed but did serious pros and cons list of all the things we value. Commute time, job, house, location to coast, outdoor activities, schooling etc. We decided to stay here in Devon as were better off financially, climate &family etc I just couldn't take my kids away from their grandparents. Ironically my sister is now looking to move back to Devon, her husband loves living here in UK. He is from Sydney and until they potentially inherit there is no way they can afford to live in decent house in Sydney plus the cost of living there has rocketed they don't eat meat everyday as its just too expensive on one income. Luckly they kept their house here rented out but also they all have dual nationality so I suspect they be living dual lives for few years.

MrsMushroom Thu 27-Dec-12 10:54:43

HopefulGlum We are a family of 4 normally resident in the UK and we spend about 70 to 80 pounds a week on grocery shopping. here in Oz it's SO expensive e're in shock with it.

One reason we think, is that there's not the economy brand things....we rely on buying certain goods VERY cheaply. So I buy rice, flour, pasta, binbags,noodles etc for pennies in the UK and we can't do that here...the same with cleaning things...they're pence in the UK as long as you get economy stuff.

We never buy economy meat or fruit or veg though and we eat well on that amount of money. We don't really buy much snack food or anything like fizzy drinks.

LarkinSky Thu 27-Dec-12 08:35:46

Hear hear RichMan, good post.

LarkinSky Thu 27-Dec-12 08:33:52

Switzerland also (French speaking part). Although we don't have it all and miss extended family particularly for our young DC - our nuclear family can feel quite intense without grandparents, aunties and uncles popping by helping with childcare regularly to 'dilute' the pressure of being the only two significant adults in our children's life. Of course family visit frequently (thanks Easyjet) and we've built a good circle of friends here, but that's how I feel essentially.

Otherwise our standard of living and career prospects are fantastic, far higher than would be even in London. We're pretty happy.

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Thu 27-Dec-12 04:59:19

OP I'd reiterate that you have to decide what better standard of living means to you. For some people, it's largely financial. For others, it's about access to hiking, skiing, beaches etc, even though they might be worse off in terms of cash in their pocket. For others it's about culture/social norms. For others, safety for their children and good schools. Then there are those who value lots of museums/galleries etc. Now, unfortunately, these things tend not to co-exist so you have to decide what's important to you. Without turning this into a thread about a thread, you already said on your Dubai thread that time with immediate family and your son's education are important to you. At the same time, you said you're not a big socialiser, so maybe moving somewhere with a big expat/ English speaking population isn't so critical to you as it might be to someone who's a "company junkie".

You also have to think about what challenges you would class as "adventure" and what would simply be tiresome/ make you want to lose your will to live. Personally, I find learning languages very difficult. I know I would be miserable in a country where I wasn't fluent in the language and was dependent on communicating predominantly in that language so I have limited myself to "expat-lite"- i.e. countries and major economic hubs where there is a significant english speaking population. On the one hand, that's a bit lame of me, but I don't see the point in making myself miserable just to look intrepid. On the other hand, other things that bother some people, like scary driving and inclement weather don't bother me that much.

I quite fancy west coast of the US or Zurich

For a great Indian go to Lorrach in Germany, on the border to Ganges restaurant! grin

NanoNinja Wed 26-Dec-12 20:27:09

We're in Switzerland too. In some ways have a much higher standard of living - public services generally work, feel less likely to be a victim of crime, lower tax and higher salaries, lots of outdoor activities. But it is eye wateringly expensive ( particularly rent where we are, eating out, food shopping, clothes ). I can live with all that, but the hard thing for me is being away from family and friends. And not being able to get a good Indian takeaway...

nooka Wed 26-Dec-12 20:07:01

We have been incredibly fortunate in our move to Canada, and for us as a family it's been (mostly) great. We live in BC which is undoubtedly beautiful, relaxed and friendly. Our town is a bit rustic and has very little 'culture' but has all the basics required and is incredibly easy to leave - 30 minutes takes us into wonderful empty wilderness. On the downside it takes a long time and is very expensive to get back to the UK (or Europe for that matter).

Because there isn't a huge amount to do that costs (not great restaurants, only one cinema, no concerts etc) we managed to be frugal enough to have dh be a SAHD for four years which he loved and gave the children much of the stability they lost in the move (in my experience moving is very tough on children and not enough considered by many families because there is so much emphasis on how 'great' the experience will be for them). Now he is working again we are going to be quite well off, at least at the same level as before our move.

One thing to bear in mind is that moving can be quite bad for your career. Lots of the best places do not have the best jobs, and UK experience isn't always thought to be as of much value to the local employers. Returning can bring the same issues too. I've probably lost about 5 years of career progression, and I don't think that is particularly unusual.

Salbertina Wed 26-Dec-12 19:53:36

Better standard here- weather, beautiful outdoors, fresh seafood, emerging market happening vibe sometimes umm thats it sad though is overwhelmingly beautiful doesn't pay the bills or keep you safe at night

Better Uk- nhs, free schools, lower cost of living, job market, security, kids can walk around, range and ease of travel, public transport, only need 1 car

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