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Best Places to Live?

(24 Posts)
MayandGeorge Sat 13-Feb-16 21:25:52

Hi smile

I'm writing this in a bit of a frenzy (I have a one year old climbing on me!), but I'll try and explain the situation!

My Husband is a Consultant Anaesthetist, and he works part-time for a private practice. They are offering him a 3/4 year rotation (I can't think of any other word to describe it!) of working abroad. We have lived abroad before for his work, but only for short periods (We lived in Paris for a month, Kenya for two, Singapore for two, Ireland for one and Dubai for two!).

They are suggesting that we spend a year in Australia, one or two years in the US, and a year in Canada, but they also are allowing us to choose how long we stay in the countries, or if we even live there at all.

As for me, I am a Consultant Midwife, but I am a stay-at-home mum right now.

We have one son (aged 9) and three daughters (aged 7, 5 and one respectively). Two of our three daughters were adopted from China.

DH is desperate to go, and I am on-board with the move, but I simply have no idea where to start!

Can any of you recommend cities that may be suitable for us? Any advice would be appreciated!

Thanks so much! smile

saffronwblue Sat 13-Feb-16 21:31:14

Wow, what an opportunity! What do you like doing as a family? Outdoors or artsy cultural interests? Does your Dh need to be in a big city with a teaching hospital? Do any of your dc have special needs or interests? Do you prefer warmer or colder climates?

MayandGeorge Sat 13-Feb-16 21:31:48

Ooh! Forgot to add!

They are suggesting we that if we want to, we could replace one of the suggested countries with Dubai.

They are telling us that they will sort out the legal paperwork/visas/implications, and provide us with a Relocator is need be.

MayandGeorge Sat 13-Feb-16 21:39:33

Hi Saffron!

Yes, we are all very excited, it seems to good to be true!

We are quite an active family, but we have a range of interests. DH would probably need to be nearer a bigger city, yes. DS does Martial Arts, Basketball, Baseball and Rugby, and DD's all love Dance, Hockey, Netball and Swimming. DS loves his scouts and DD's love their Girl Guides! We really don't have a preference for climate! Ideally, we would love to live in/near a city that is very diverse, due to DD1 and DD3's adoption.

Thanks for your help! smile

pilpiloni Sat 13-Feb-16 21:44:50

You may find that as the children reach puberty they are less enthusiastic about moving. We moved to New York when our oldest was 8 and it went swimmingly. Now we nee to move again and she's 12 and she's very upset about leaving her friends

MayandGeorge Sat 13-Feb-16 22:01:51

Hi Pilpiloni!

Yes, I was concerned about that with DS and DD1. We told the kids last night. DS seemed a little upset at first, but after talking to me, he seems very excited! He's quite easy going when it comes to things like that. DD1 was quite teary at first, but I reassured her that we will be back before year 6, so none of her friends at home will have gone anywhere. I told her that she will be able to keep in touch with her friends in the new countries. She seems unsure still, but I hope that will change with time. My youngest two are constantly bouncing off the walls, they hardly listened to what I am saying!

Part of why I am trying to do it now is so it's less upsetting for them to leave their friends (the older they get, the tougher that sort of thing is). Ugh, it's even hard to think about it! sad

I wish you the very best of luck with your move and with your DD smile

pilpiloni Sat 13-Feb-16 22:07:16

I read that frequent moves are easier for kids if they are in international schools (or schools on army bases) which are used to handling children who move and have a high turnover of children.

Maybe something to consider in your choice of location?

Canyouforgiveher Sat 13-Feb-16 22:10:54

i'd be concerned also about the effect of 3 moves in 4 years on a 9 and 7 year old - I think the young ones will be fine.

If you are thinking of the US, Boston is a great city to live in. Loads of medical folk, lots of hospitals if you wanted to go back to work, Very diverse and inclusive. Every one of my children have had an adopted children and the children of gay parents in their grade in every year. great for winter and summer sports - your children can take ski trips through school and learn to skate/play ice hockey etc. World class orchestra, tanglewood in the summer, broadway shows visiting, loads of different towns/cities to choose from in the greater boston area.

but I really would think a bit about just how many moves you will make. I would be a bit concerned about your older ones saying goodbye to their friends in UK, then again in a years' time in Australia, and then again in another year in US etc. But you know your children best - they may love the whole experience and not be that bothered by it.

Canyouforgiveher Sat 13-Feb-16 22:12:30

sorry also meant to add about boston, that there are a lot of international visitors like you - academics coming for a year or two, medics doing a fellowship etc. There is also an excellent British School.

MayandGeorge Sat 13-Feb-16 22:20:12


Yes, I am a bit concerned about the effect on the eldest two, and I am considering only moving to the US to be completely honest. I think my son would love it, but not too sure about DD1.

If we were going to do the 3 moves in four years deal (after speaking to my husband about it - he just got home!) - we would ideally have them in international schools.

I think we may end up just going to the US (DH had a chat at work, and he feels strongly that we should just do one move). I have been looking at Boston, and it seems like a pretty good fit for us!

Thank you guys so much!

MayandGeorge Sat 13-Feb-16 22:25:22

I personally am not sure I would be up for packing up and doing another big move across the world, so I think we may just be sticking with the US smile

MayandGeorge Sat 13-Feb-16 22:33:03


Which Neighbourhoods/Towns/Cities would you recommend?

Babymamamama Sat 13-Feb-16 22:37:45

Try sydney. Eastern suburbs are gorgeous if you can afford them.

MayandGeorge Sat 13-Feb-16 22:39:54

Thanks, Babymamamama! smile

MyFriendsCallMeOh Sun 14-Feb-16 22:41:25

Just be aware that schools in the Southern Hemisphere have the school year run from January to December so your dcs will either to advance 6 months or repeat 6 months in their schooling and when they arrive and same again when you relocate to northern hemisphere. I'm sure there are ways around it.....

We live in Houston Texas, a great city with the largest medical center in the world less than 5 miles from our door, lots of research, well respected and world renowned, might be an option for you both with medical careers? Excellent schools (my kids are at a British school), lots of sports, fantastic food, very cosmopolitan, friendly city, great climate (although most expats leave in July /August when it reaches 100F). Been here 3 years, moved from Singapore, let me know if you want any info.

MayandGeorge Mon 15-Feb-16 08:48:43


Yes, I have also heard about Houston. So many amazing choices! Again, it seems like a great fit for us.

I went to college in CA and I'm 90% sure that one of my old sorority sisters lives out there, I'll have to look her up!


Canyouforgiveher Mon 15-Feb-16 19:48:16

In Boston, Brookline, Jamaica Plain are very cool places to live. Well Brookline is a town of its own with separate and excellent school system. Concord is like living in a picture postcard of a new England town. Cambridge is brilliant. Nearby towns like Arlington and Winchester are also great. Lovely places near the sea on the south shore (Scituate, Norwell etc). Some of the negative things people in the UK tend to associate with the US (gun culture/lack of reproductive rights/insularity) are not really found in Boston area (although maybe I am being generous about the insularity .... )

GrinAndTonic Tue 16-Feb-16 03:21:44

If you were to go to Australia you could choose to do something completely different and live rurally. Both of you would get work easily.
An agency doctor in a small hospital (medical superintendent rural generalist with either obstetrics and gynae or anaesthetics) would bring home about $27000 / week) Well that is what ours does.

However if you want your DC to continue ALL of those activities then maybe look at a bigger town. For example, I live in Queensland so would recommend Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Ipswich, Townsville, Rockhampton or Cairns. All are bigger cities where your DH could work for a public or private hospital.

GossamerApronStrings Tue 16-Feb-16 04:28:54

San Diego would be a great choice for a West Coast US city-very very diverse, excellent healthcare systems, universities, research... The climate can't be beat & you will be happy to be outside year round. Northern suburb towns such as Del Mar, Encinitas, & Carlsbad, have excellent public schools for the children. All of the activities you mentioned are easily found plus many new ones. San Diego also has a large naval base, so between that and the universities & bio tech companies, there's plenty of transitional families.

East Coast US, I agree that Boston would be my 1st choice!

Dontdrinkandfacebook Tue 16-Feb-16 04:50:53

Goodness me how lucky you are to be able to choose from such a fabulous list! I know people who have been plonked in Texas for a couple of years for work and HATED it, the people, the vibe, the physical environment, but I think other parts of the US would be fabulous.

Vancouver is always lauded as being an amazing place to live and I
I have heard great things about Melbourne and Perth as alternatives to the wonderful but slightly too obvious Sydney.

Glastokitty Tue 16-Feb-16 04:52:12

Well I'm biased because I'm in Oz (Perth) and absolutely love it, but if you are an outdoorsy family it would suit you very well. I wasn't when I lived in UK and Ireland but I'm seldom indoors now. You would need to like the sun though, its 40 degrees today!

Dontdrinkandfacebook Tue 16-Feb-16 04:53:04

Also I think Dubai would be fun but no way would I choose it over the US, Canada or Oz.

Laptopwieldingharpy Tue 16-Feb-16 07:19:02

Amazing cosmopolitan city, not the least in your case because of a vibrant chinese diaspora. A lot hail from Hong kong and cantonese is their first language. Mandarin though is widely tought in schools and it would be a great opportunity for your girls to learn along with kids familiar with the cukture but for whom it is also a second language.
Great schools all around British Columbia. Great range of after school activities and sports facilities.
The natural site is wonderful! Sea and mountain. Ski in the morning, sailing for sunset!
Clean farm to table food & no guns!

MayandGeorge Tue 16-Feb-16 10:04:38

Hi all!

Wow, thank you all so much!

Thank you for your suggestions! I'll have to check them out! Boston seems absolutely gorgeous!

Thank you! I have been to Oz a few times, and love it there also. I'll have to check them out! Yes, I completely agree, I'm definitely more inclined to choose the other locations!

Oh, San Deigo, what a beautiful place! Yes, I think we are largely looking at the East Cost. Thanks for that!

Ooh, Vancouver! I never really thought about it, but now I am, it seems like a pretty good fit! I love the clean farm to table food, as healthy living and healthy foods for the children are very inportant to me. Also, yes, I am very keen for the girls to learn Mandarin, and generally just love and respect their birth country and culture (The eldest has just started learning Mandarin). My other two kiddos have a second language too, so it would be ideal!

I realise we are very, very blessed to be in this situation.

Thank you all so much for your input, you have no idea how much it helps! smile

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