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Which home country?(19 Posts)
Can you not get residency in your dcs home country? Where is it? Tbh moving back to the uk was the hardest move I made, the uk wasn't how I remembered it from 8 years before (although we didn't live in the same place as I grew up in so had no friends or family in the area). We've done two more moves since then....
Can you stay in the DC's familiar country until your youngest is finished with school, via the work permit route? Would you, or the kids, then be eligible to apply for residence if you wanted?
We are in Europe, in DH's home country, which is also the DCs' home country as the eldest was a tiny toddler when we moved and the others born here - they have only visited the UK on holidays, never more than 10 days at a time, never more than once a year... Our plan is to stay here until the youngest finishes school, but not necessary "for ever".
Your kids can then make their own decisions once they are adults, they may want to work or study in any of the 3 countries you have links to, or somewhere else altogether... and then you and DH can make a fresh decision knowing the kids can come with or not, as suits them... Nothing has to be forever, and you don't have to ever return to the UK if you don't want to and can support yourself elsewhere, so I personally wouldn't view returning as something that has to be got through at some point so might as well be done sooner rather than later...
Maybe just try somewhere totally new? Jobs allowing of course. You sound like seasoned expats. Not missing the uk isn't a failure! There are places you will prefer out there. Better weather, lifestyle, education system.. Canada, USA, Australia, nz for the big ones.
We've been back in the UK for a year now, following a year overseas. Whilst it was a relief to come back to the UK because it resolved big issues we had when overseas with schooling, we do not feel settled in the UK. We have moved back to a different area (about 45 minutes away so can still see old friends). But we never wanted to come back here and whilst living overseas we didn't really miss it. We aren't close to family so don't have that to worry about either.
We have constant, weekly discussions about whether to try again (it would be possible with DH's work) but we worry about the children as they have already done 2 x moves in 2 years. DS1 starts secondary in September. Whilst DS2 is never gonna love school he is happy and relaxed and getting on well, back at grade level :-)
Butterflies, I cannot remember how old your kids are? Are they all settled in TX, and do you think you'll make another move?
I worry that we'll never feel settled ever again. It's opened a huge where shall we live can of worms and we can't seem to get the lid on! (I must add we are living in the moment as much as we can and having a good time, but we don't/won't/can't plan too far ahead.
Why do you feel like you must "settle" for good in the UK when you obviously have very good opportunities elsewhere?
What's so compelling about it? Who needs roots in your family and why? And why now?
I remember clearly pupsie's story and yes, in such a case, if there is a compelling argument that's a life changer fine! If not you shoukd really keep an open mind.
Home is your nuclear family unit. And thats portable.
That's what we struggle with Master. We very much want to keep an open mind, but given what happened before we are terrified. To keep an open mind or not. That is the question...
(I realise you weren't asking me those questions btw!).
Good to hear all well for you!
If you remember we went through the same heart wrenching school refusal and absolute nightmare last year.
Moving home was not an option for us. We changed schools after pretty much a year of homeschooling and the plain truth is the school was just
shite a mismatch on so many levels.
The problem was the school, not the country.
I do recall Master. I don't remember where you are though?
Trouble with where we were - such a small place and most of the schools were the same. The couple that weren't had massive wait lists.
Has everything settled down now?
I have had reassuring chats with two separate friends in California about the schools there so that's a positive.
We've been here now for 9 months which seems ages and no time at all. We haven't been to the UK or Asia (which seems more like home) since we arrived - we tend to spend ages in our new country before visiting outside it. We've had holidays in Austin and Florida and we're settling in. Kids are fine, both enjoying school, making friends and generally pretty happy. We have a good lifestyle here (much more down to earth than singapore) and have applied for green cards.
Our two determining factors on where we live are dh's career progression and opportunities for our dcs (not necessarily in that order). Both seem to be fulfilled here. Our dcs are 9 and 5 so in terms of schooling, we could fit in another move if we needed to before dd1 heads to senior school but I think this is it for the long run.
Dcs are at a British school and pupsie one thing you need to bear in mind is the schooling system you pick. I have UK friends here with dcs in both US and UK systems and they are pretty different once you hit around 11, 12 years of age. The content in history is a million miles away and science isn't taught the same apparently (biology / chemistry / physics vs. science). I have heard from friends with experience that if you swap between the two systems after about 12 years old, there is a lot of tutoring involved to fill gaps. Of course, there are IB schools in the US and in the UK, this might make a swap easier if you worked within that system .... just worth considering.
Sorry for hijacking your thread bbkl, fwiw, I believe in living for the moment. If the UK isn't doing it for you, find somewhere that is. Life's too short to live somewhere you're not happy with.
Glad all is going well butterflies. I would love to know all the countries you have lived in and what you though of each! Do you expect your kids to finish their education there then and go to uni there?
Thanks for what you say. That is pretty much what I had figured and I think it's a big part of why I/we are struggling to settle. It is too soon to uproot again. But time is not on our side (oldest DS is year 6). So it feels like we can't do it for another 8+ years. Such regret that we didn't do it years ago. Why didn't we do it years ago??!!
I think where we're at is that if a really compelling opportunity comes up we will seriously consider it. But DH's industry is not one of those where you are constantly shipped off from here to there. He does work for a mega US company with offices worldwide though, so there would be an opportunity at some point, but it is not a common thing to do within the company.
Ok countries (never written a list).....
I went abroad (France and Spain) for a year working and studying during my degree and was offered a job by my employer when I graduated. Starting on graduation:
1995 Paris 4 years (met dh)
1999 Singapore 8 months
1999 Azerbaijan 18 months
2000 Dubai 3 months (the day our shipment arrived, we had notice to move on)
2000 Singapore 1 year
2001 Spain 6 months
2001 Paris (got married there) 1 year
2002 Aberdeen (had dd1) 4.5 years
2008 Singapore 5 years
I guess we did most of our moving before we had kids, we both worked hard, moved quickly with a couple of boxes and lived well, mostly due to good expat packages and double incomes. Love love love Paris, it's my soul city (if that exists) but not suitable to live there as I would like to with young dcs. Plan to retire there. Azerbaijan was a total blast, totally illogical but an amazing insight into a really different culture, lovely people and stunning countryside. Not keen on Dubai (too much bling and double standards). My choice with school age kids would be USA or singapore, due to language issues, quality of education and medical care and also probably because we know them. They are also very accepting of other cultures, which is something that we want our dcs to be, both as expats and people. It's half the point of living overseas.
Sorry again for hijacking your thread op, should have started another one but wanted to stay on the same thread as pupsie's question.
Wow Butterflies. Thanks for the list! You have been around. What strikes me is the number of short moves pre Aberdeen (coinciding with pre-kids I see!). You have must seen many changes in Singapore in the 15 years since you first went!
I love Paris.
(Yes, sorry OP for leading your post astray!).
I know how you feel OP! (See my thread "expat or migrant")
I think we'll "settle" in a good 10-12 years when the kids are off to uni.
We"ll hover around them driving them crazy and that's when we may finally buy our "home" a place for everyone to gather for holidays and decorate with mementos of our lives.
Am really sad that they won't ever have any attachment to a childhood home.
Loved living in Paris throughout my 20ies and would love to go back for a few months each year after we retire. Hopefully one of the Kurds might study/work there for a bit, but slight chance!
We are lucky to be in Asia where schools are decent enough and hope to stay put a few more years so that they have proficient enough mandarin to reap the benefit of our outrageous school fees. This is what roots us for now.
We are not Kurdish! Meant the kids.
bbkl I have exactly the same background of parents moving very regularly til I was 7 and then settling somewhere I never felt I belonged, but chosing private schooling a long distance from where we lived madr it worse. Its one of the reasons we've stayed put since the kids were toddlers and used the local education system, avoided expat circles and intend not to move til they are through school - the kids speak the local dialect as well as high German and English, and nobody ever tells them they're "not from 'round here' due to talking differently etc.
Children need roots AND wings, to coin a cliche... and one size doesn't fit all, but its what I want for my kids... a very personal thing and I think parents experiences growing up ate a massive contributor to gut instinct on this - its not really something with a right answer.