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Do we stay - Australia?

(16 Posts)
MrsDe Thu 14-Apr-16 05:19:49

I’m nearing the end of a two year overseas secondment with my company in Australia. It looks as though I’m going to be offered a position to stay permanently and I just don’t know what to do. We have two children (DD 8 and DS 6) love the life here and what is on offer for us a family and the education etc.

We feel that going back to London will be hard – education issues (cost of private v- state etc), career prospects (they are better here), cost of housing (our house in london is tiny compared to what we have here), and the weather. By I feel sick every time I think about my friends and family we might be leaving behind. I loved my life in London before we came here and honestly only thought we would stay for 2 years and then go back. But we all love it here and just don’t know what to do. Yes there are downsides to being here and yes there are upsides to being in London but how on earth do we make the decision to stay or go back? They have a lovely school in London – just worried about secondaries and, oh I don’t know – worried about everything. HELP.

Glastokitty Thu 14-Apr-16 06:32:15

I've lived in London and loved it, Cork too, loved that too. But now I'm in Oz there is no way I would go back, I love it here and think the quality of life is so much higher. Of course I miss family and friends, but none of us are homesick and we just realise that our life here is better. But its a decision you have to make for yourself really, weigh up the pros and cons. Personally going back to UK weather and grey skies alone would be enough to make me cry. [smile] Oh, and I do think in a way while you can go back of course, the place you go back to is never quite the same place you left. Good luck whatever you decide.

Pupsiecola Thu 14-Apr-16 08:42:35

Sounds to me like you think you should stay :-) Coming back isn't always easy. There seem to be a lot of positives to where you are and by your own admission you love it. The family and friends thing is tough, but I think that if you came back you would be saying "we have our family and friends but we so miss our Oz lifestyle and weather and career etc.).

Family and friends could move to the other end of the UK. Plus as your kids get older it will be easier to travel back for holidays (although expensive I know).

Could you say you'll stay another year and decide then?

oleoleoleole Thu 14-Apr-16 08:48:23

Just stay and tell yourself it's temporary if it makes it easier. My son is in Brisbane and as he keeps telling me he's only a day away!

ABetaDad1 Thu 14-Apr-16 08:51:44

MrsDe - be extremely careful with this.

If you are being transferred to 'local' employee status you will lose your expat protections.

The thing is the Aussie Dollar is weakening and you could find yourself trapped in Australia and unable to come back because you local currency earnings are so devalued versus cost of living in UK.

Transferring you to 'local' contract terms could make you very cheap compared to what you are being paid as an expat. Most expats are protected against currency movements and are not on a local salary but are contracted out of UK on a UK linked salary. .

ifink Thu 14-Apr-16 17:04:09

Hmm you have my sympathies it is such a toughie. We lived in Oz for 4.5 years (got citizenship) and spent much of that time pondering whether we would go back to the UK - family and friends being the big draw, health in parents deteriorating etc. We side stepped the big decision by moving to Asia for a two year adventure telling ourselves that we will decide UK or Oz once we have done this next assignment. To be honest, the UK is pulling me back and we are only a few months into Asia. I really didn't think it would but I realise that my UK friends and family mean so much more to me than the sunshine and I have missed Australia far less than I thought I would. I also believe that the shorter journey home (a mere 15 hours of flying!) reminds me that the journey to/from Oz is brutal, totally brutal on your time, holiday allowance, health and wallet. Don't get me wrong, I loved loved loved it in Oz but I never let go of the UK and never would be able to. I'm always in awe of those I met who moved to Aus and just got on with it never harking back to 'going home'. But that's just not me or DH. TBH though it feels rather selfish denying our kids the chance to finish growing up in Oz but they can make their own adult decision to live there in the future, if they want to.

Pupsiecola Thu 14-Apr-16 17:20:32

How old are your kinds fink and where are you in Asia?

juneau Thu 14-Apr-16 17:32:56

IME if you moved back to London now you'd slot back in pretty quickly. Two years isn't long to be away so I'm sure within a few months you'd just pick up where you left off and you'd go back to being perfectly happy again. It only seems daunting because London is on the other side of the world and Oz is the current status quo.

For me there is no replacing family and old friends. New friends are lovely too, but you don't have the same kinds of deep roots after two years that you do after a lifetime. What you need to ask yourselves is whether you're okay with that, because some people are, but the vast majority aren't, which is why most people, in the end, choose to go home.

ifink Thu 14-Apr-16 18:40:14

Hi Pupsiecola, we moved to Indonesia for our adventure. Kids are the same ages as the OP.
Well said Juneau,sharing a history with someone binds you to them and them to you...v hard with new friends to do that where you haven't shared a background, doable, but hard.

ggirl Thu 14-Apr-16 18:47:00

I moved to UK from Canada in my 20's and left my family behind.
Love Uk but now regret not bringing my children up close to grandparents..they are old now and its too late ..will always regret that.

DiggersRest Thu 14-Apr-16 20:24:08

We have been in London for 6 years and we are at that point where we either need to buy a bigger home here, thus committing to at least another 5-10 years or head back to Australia.

I can't make that decision either! Will be reading this for interest smile

ohtobeanonymous Fri 15-Apr-16 07:41:22

First world problems! I am Australian, have lived in the UK for nearly two decades and would never move back to Australia unless I was forced to! That said, we moved to SE Asia to be closer to family (only a 9 hour flight!) as parents are getting older... Really miss London sometimes, but have never missed Sydney. There were key moments (based around kid's schooling stages) where the decision to return to Oz/stay in UK was made. Would you feel better about staying if you had plans of when to evaluate your decision?
Different strokes for different folks. OP - stay where your gut tells you - it doesn't have to be forever, you can always change your mind in future.

chloeb2002 Sat 16-Apr-16 21:55:07

We have lived in Aus for 9 years now, wouldn't go back to the uk.
I miss my friends that are so intrinsic to my life and upbringing. However they can visit!
Couldn't afford the lush uk lifestyle many here seem to go back to! Private schools are outside our reach in the uk. As is an acreage property within spitting distance yo a major city, sports and similar are cheaper. So for us it's a no brainer we stay.

MrsDe Tue 19-Apr-16 04:21:06

Hi all, I'm so sorry for the delayed response.

Thank you all for your views which are helpful. ABetaDad - yes, I totally understand what you're saying and what the package will be is clearly a major factor. I'm waiting to find that out and then will weigh that against my ex-pat package and my package in the UK and the impact that has on our lives here and our lives in the UK.

It's just so hard. It's like I want Sliding Doors principle to be real - you know, to have 2 different lives running parallel with each other and enjoy both. Impossible I know, but I just can't see how we will decide. Both of us feel the same and so the one good thing is that I feel supported and that we will explore the options together and come to a joint decision.

One day my gut says Oz, the next it says the UK.

ohtobeanonymous Wed 20-Apr-16 13:51:09

OP, it sounds like (if the package is acceptable) it would be worth saying. How awful to go to all the trouble, expense and upheaval to go back to the UK and wish you hadn't given Australia more time.

You can always stay put for a few years, and re-evaluate in the future.

Good luck with your decision. Remember that 'going back' is never actually possible because you bring all your interim experiences (which change you) with you, and your friends/family/city has also moved on in the interim.

Vagabond Wed 20-Apr-16 16:41:48

I now live in Australia (18 months - moved from the UK) and I was missing home so much I just went back for 4 weeks. As much as it was great to go back, the only thing I really loved was seeing friends and family (of course) and going to excellent country pubs. The weather was grim and I was really depressed by the exam stress my DD's friends are going through. It just seemed like an endless grind of exams and stress over schools. Also, was very alarmed by the amount of alcohol my DD's old classmates are drinking at parties (13/14/15 year old).

London is a fantastic city but you need so much money to live well there. Unless you're lucky to have bought a house in the inner zones pre-2010, most people are priced out of the market for decent family homes with a garden.

I think the biggest battle any expat faces is culture. I will never love Australia the way I love England, but I love the lifestyle in Australia much, much more. I wish my parents had moved here when I was little so that all my siblings were here with me.

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