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Conflicted about returning to UK from Australia. Help!

(26 Posts)
SeymoreButts Fri 31-Oct-14 19:44:42

I wrote out a massive post about our situation, but in a nutshell we are at a bit of a cross roads. We can either stay permanently in Sydney, or move back to the UK permanently.

I swing from one to the other. Our lifestyle in Sydney is much better than anything we could afford in the UK. But our family misses us horribly and want us home now, add to that one of my parents has become quite ill since we moved out. I really miss them. I recently went back to the UK for a visit, family time was absolutely lovely, but the UK itself felt very depressing.

Can anyone share their experiences of moving home please?

heather1 Fri 31-Oct-14 19:48:37

I would also love to see replies about this. In Switzerland. Love many things about it, weather, mountains. But others not so much.
I would love to live in a house again and have a family kitchen.
Watching with interest.

KosmoKramer Fri 31-Oct-14 19:56:33

We moved back to the uk from Melbourne in 2009.

My husband had been very unwell, as had my mum who was in the uk. I am really pleased to be back...we had been in Australia for four years.

It took a whilst to stop comparing the uk to what we had in Oz, particularly our Mahoosive house, but that quickly went. I don't even think about Melbourne anymore although I miss my lovely Mumsnet friends over there very much.

The exchange rate worked in our favour too. Feel free to pick my brains,although my hangover today has rendered me pretty much useless!

KosmoKramer Fri 31-Oct-14 19:57:57

My mum died six months after we came home....I cannot explain how important it was for me to be here. I would have been distraught to not have been able to support my sister and children.

SeymoreButts Fri 31-Oct-14 20:00:47

It's so hard isn't it heather

Thanks kosmo that's good to know. The house thing worries me a bit, we'd definitely have to downsize because DH needs to be commuting distance to London. How did your DCs settle in? DS started kindy this year, kids his age in the UK are now in year 2!! Argh!

juneau Fri 31-Oct-14 20:10:21

We moved back to the UK five years ago after six years in the USA. At the time of our move I wrote out a list of pros and cons for staying/going and it really helped me to be comfortable with our decision. The big ones pushing us to move back here were:
1) Family (particularly relevant if parents are elderly and/or unwell);
2) Proximity to Europe;
3) Preference for UK school system over US.

Since moving back we haven't once regretted it, although I personally prefer the climate here to the East Coast US where we lived (freezing, long winters, and boiling, humid summers). I think that the balance of things has to be in favour of the move, but would it be possible for you to reverse the decision down the line if it really is wrong?

heather1 Fri 31-Oct-14 21:20:29

I think we need to do this list of pros and cons.
We have been in Switzerland for nearly 4 years now. I feel more detached from the Uk every time I go back but equally Switzerland does not feel like home either.
I'm beginning to realise that for me home is being with my Dh and Dc and not the area where we live. But I would like more of a feeling of roots. Also, and it's very shallow I know, I still really miss Boots, M&S food hall, Waitrose and going to the cinema.
It's really expensive here so although we hike a lot we rarely go out for dinner and don't use babysitters very much as a teenage babysitter is about £10 an hour. But the the outdoor swimming in the lake is amazing in the summer.
Aaarrgh so conflicted

SeymoreButts Sat 01-Nov-14 21:13:32

Thanks juneau we made a list of pros and cons last night, there are more cons than pros, but the pros are really big ones.

Going back isn't really reversible. We talked about hanging on a few more months for passports but that would make life a bit difficult for me in the UK, I wanted to retrain and not being a UK resident would make it very expensive!

We've decided that we both really want to go back, we're just having jitters about it which is probably normal. We won't have the same lifestyle we've got here but there are plenty of things to compensate, and we've been really lucky to have it for a few years and then be shipped back our families!

juneau Sun 02-Nov-14 08:47:00

Jitters are entirely normal. I remember being really conflicted too, despite returning always being our long-term plan and my entire family and most of my friends being here. Human beings resist change, but if you know that its the right decision then that knowledge will help you to keep moving forwards. Moving country is hard, particularly when you're happy and settled where you are, but give it a year or two and you'll be happy and settled back here and it won't seem like such a big deal any more.

Aussiemum78 Sun 02-Nov-14 08:56:17

I might be biased! Lol

But if you are happy and have a better lifestyle, why move?

Although the grass is greener, my Australian friends who lived in the uk all miss being near Europe and the things that are available in London (museums, shows) that Sydney has less of because it's smaller.

Maybe stay for another glorious Christmas in the sun, and if you aren't eaten by a snake, make up your mind in January!grin

ifink Sun 02-Nov-14 09:52:52

Hi Seymore, you mention passports, are these getting Oz ones? Would you consider holding on until you have your children's australian passports and then as dual citizens could then have the choice later in life whether to come back to Oz to live, study work etc. Might that help in your return to the UK now knowing that they will have more options later in life and be thankful to you for it?

Sagethyme Sun 02-Nov-14 12:20:25

When i was working overseas, i always found expats where never truely happy, there was something missing, wether it was family or just an good old fashioned pub, interestingly expats from other countries also missed their homeland even if they had moved because their lives where in danger. I guess OP you and your family need to weigh up the pros and cons of staying vs leaving. What made you move in the first place? What has changed in that time? What was it that you wanted to leave behind in the Uk? What would you miss if you left Australia? What is important to you and your family at this point in time? (For what its worth i'd stay down under all that lovely sunshine grin ) i guess it also depends on if you have children and their ages, eg school moving and resettling, would they miss OZ or do they want to be closer to grandparents? You need to sit down altogether and decide what will be of most benefit to your family life.

NewEraNewMindset Sun 02-Nov-14 12:24:34

I'm afraid I would advise you to stay put. You and your family are happy, you must live for yourselves. All that awaits you back here is a smaller house, crap weather, depressed citizens (or is that just me lol).

I think it's admirable that you want to care for your sick parent, and of course your family miss you, but you have visited on a holiday basis and probably seen lots of loved ones and everyone has made a fuss over you. When you are living back here in the daily grind you will sit in your tiny cramped house and wonder what the fuck you have done.

ohtobeanonymous Sun 02-Nov-14 14:02:39

You are just over 24 hours travel time away should you need to come home for your sick relative.

If you like your lifestyle and are happy living where you are, why would you change?

That said, I would take the UK over Sydney any day!! So much closer to travel opportunities, history, thrilling natural beauty, culture. And I can't believe it is less expensive to live in Sydney than in most parts of the UK!!

giggly Mon 03-Nov-14 00:50:49

We are currently on our road trip before going back to the UK after a few years in Oz. IMO people fall into two camps, those that choose to live away from family and cope with death/illness and those that don't. I fall into the later, although as often gets pointed out you are only 24 hours away I've yet to meet somebody who actually gets home in that timescale.

I lived in the UK for over 40 years and never found it depressed/completely crap weather or small houses. Certainly in in Oz suburbia Houses are bigger but then you have to drive everywhere.

I also hate the increasing expat belief that money buys the Oz dream of education and health I see so many people faking this dream and to embarrassed to go home.

Home is where the heart is and like Komso said I would not cope being here when my parents die.

Having experienced living overseas I think the UK even with the Nazi Tories in charge is a much better place to raise children.

SoonToBeSix Mon 03-Nov-14 01:01:33

I would stay,yes family miss you but you and your dh and dc are your own family now and your dc's quality of life should come first.

MrsPJones Mon 03-Nov-14 10:56:35

Quality of life for you and your family means different things to different people. Having extended family nearby can massively add to quality of life above and beyond all other factors. But that of course depends on your family.

Mampere Mon 03-Nov-14 10:59:38

Id stay where u are. Budget in one return trip home per year.

Viber facebook cards ...... :-/

SeymoreButts Tue 04-Nov-14 03:43:36

Sorry for being late coming back to this, jet lag and the inevitable cold I get after doing the long flight have really whacked me out this time!

Thanks for all your advice. It goes to show how difficult this decision is that each of you have hit the nail on the head, despite having different views!! DH and I have had a long chat about it, he's told work he's interested in the London job, dependant on the terms. If they ask him to take a pay cut (convert his salary to £ and then reduce it for cost of living) we will really struggle because quality of life will nose dive. We are tight as it is. It would be easier for me to go back to work in the UK, but childcare for 3 DCs is not to be sniffed at!

In terms of passports, citizenship would make life difficult for me in the UK in terms of further study. I think the DCs could get working holiday visas if they wanted to come out here in future, under the age of 31?

SeymoreButts Tue 04-Nov-14 03:44:21

what's a viber Facebook card?! <gimmer>

Tigerstripes Tue 04-Nov-14 04:27:08

You don't give up your UK citizenship and passport if you become AU citizens with AU passports though. So you would still be able to access retraining at home student prices.

SurfsUp1 Tue 04-Nov-14 04:34:44

In terms of passports, citizenship would make life difficult for me in the UK in terms of further study.

How? Why?

SeymoreButts Tue 04-Nov-14 04:38:50

I spoke to NHS bursaries and I have to be "ordinarily resident" in the UK to get home student fees, if you apply for citizenship elsewhere you are considered to be ordinarily resident in that country. I think they are worried about people getting heavily subsidised training and then disappearing off overseas!

SeymoreButts Tue 04-Nov-14 04:41:28

Sorry, XP! I could still get an Australian passport and do the study, but I would need to live in the UK for 3 years prior to starting the course. I can't really wait that long!

Patienceisapparentlyavirtue Tue 04-Nov-14 05:08:48

By living overseas as long as you have, you are presumably already a permanent resident of Australia, right? and therefore considered 'ordinarily resident' outside the UK. Of course it is possible to fake it, especially if you've kept a place or have a family home in the UK that you can use as an address, and some people do, but if they ever were to investigate they could still ask you to reimburse bursaries / charge overseas student fees. It's definitely worth checking with inland revenue or other authorities as well as the uni office, I've been given some did advice in a similar situation!By living overseas as long as you have, you are presumably already a permanent resident of Australia, right? and therefore considered 'ordinarily resident' outside the UK. Of course it is possible to fake it, especially if you've kept a place or have a family home in the UK that you can use as an address, and some people do, but if they ever were to investigate they could still ask you to reimburse bursaries / charge overseas student fees. It's definitely worth checking with inland revenue or other authorieis, I've been given some dud advice in the same situation!

Other than that, we're having the same dilemma confused Something we did find helpful is looking at how we worded out pros and cons and what this showed our REAL underlying bias (e.g the pp who mentioned that she could never choose Aus over UK because of the UK's greater natural wonders... Well, the UK has Australia beaten on plenty of counts but surely not that one, it sounds like she's a real UK lover at heart! And DH's list was similar - he really wants to go home, I'm more on the fence).

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