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Are we meant to return home? Is life abroad temporary?

(17 Posts)
lamii Tue 15-Nov-16 15:56:47

One more thread!

We are in Sweden, he is at home and I am not. We lived in the UK before. I can see that many expats are longing for their homeland.
Everyday I question my choice of being here. I could move back to London or move to my homeland. But I wonder if that is just postponing the fact that I will want to move back home one day....
London seems to me as the only place where I don't miss home.

What is your experience? Do having kids influenced your wishes?

Laptopwieldingharpy Tue 15-Nov-16 23:10:25

Having kids has influenced me for sure but never into making me want to go "home".
Home is where we are as a family.
It was hard sometimes when the kids were very little and as they grow older, a few family mentoring figures would be nice.
That said, we have our friends for that. Forces you to invest fully in your friendships as some become like family. And when you move on, they are more likely to come and visit than family who frankly make little effort.

BaronessBomburst Tue 15-Nov-16 23:22:12

The longer I've been away the more I miss my family.
But having DS has made me realise that we can't go back to the UK. Where we live, the free time we have as a family, a large house, travel opportunities, affordability of sport, the environment we live in, the leisure activities; he has so much more here. We couldn't afford the sane standard of living in the UK. DS wouldn't have the same opportunities.
We see it as being here until we retire.
And then we'll go to Catalonia.
Unless of course he marries a local girl and we have grandchildren......

Laptopwieldingharpy Tue 15-Nov-16 23:33:19

Lol Baroness. Could have written your post!!!!
We are actually looking into moving to catalonia next year as we not have a job where we are next year!
I still think that one day my eldest will marry an Asian girl smile

KeyserSophie Wed 16-Nov-16 00:45:26

One of the issues is that where I live at the moment I definitely view as "no country for old men". I cant imagine being retired here- it's ultimately a gold rush town, and one with a very uncertain political future. I really like my life but I do view our time here as finite. Dh would like to stay longer than me I suspect. I think what will happen in practice is that when the DC get to secondary age, they will board in the UK and I will start to split my time between UK and here.

ShanghaiDiva Wed 16-Nov-16 00:54:52

Agree with pp, home is where we are as a family. We have been expats for over 21 years and as my children get older it is more challenging to move as education is a key factor. We have decided to move back to UK in 2018 when ds will be going to university as this seems like a natural break.

scaryteacher Wed 16-Nov-16 01:01:41

We will be going home in December 2019 (can't you tell I'm counting?), and I can't wait! I've been away since 2006 (all bar 9 months), and I want to be in my own home again and near my Mum, as she gets older.

Ds was at sixth form in UK and is now at university there. Perfectly do-able, but it would be nice to be able to get to him in 4 hours if needed as opposed to somewhat more.

citychick Sat 19-Nov-16 10:42:52

keysersophie you are right about "no place for old men".
DH took a 3 year assignment and we are almost half way thru. time has flown. i am already mentally redecorating our uk home for when we go back.
i am rather disappointed about our time here so far . work and schooling are goid and we are all benefiting and that makes me very happy . socially tho, disaster . its very clubby here and the package dh took offered nothing in terms of club membership. i said it was a huge part of being an expat. so we watch from afar. pisses me off daily . and it will be a main reason for returning home . unless there is a huge turn around. which there wont be . of course ds plays plenty sports and attends swimming giving him a great time which is important to me . but its cliquey with the adults who are suspicious of the blow ins...which i understand.

we have no helper except for when i cannot do school run. she is a great help but for the rest of the time i am either run ragged or begging around for a sitter so we can go out.

so yes, whilst this is a great chance to see and resee another part of the world, when its time to go home i will be running onto the plane. that makes me feel sad as we are living in a very exciting part of the world.

AtMyHouse Sat 19-Nov-16 23:51:43

The ting is, those who are really happy and have no wish to return are unlikely to be posting...

timetomoveon Sun 20-Nov-16 01:09:48

I am really happy and have no wish to return.
We left the U.K. in 2001 as a couple and we've now got two children and have lived in 6 different countries on two continents.
I have no idea where we will retire to but it's unlikely to be the U.K. but we still have 20 years to figure that out.
The opportunities that we have had and now that our children have (both in terms of the things we can afford to do and the amazing exposure to people who are not the same as them) far outweigh any desire we may have had to ever return. But honestly, after the first 6 months I think we realized that we would not go back. I have had times where I've wanted to move on to somewhere new but never back to the U.K.

buntymcfun Sun 20-Nov-16 08:35:00

We are in Catalonia at the moment. Our first move aboard, but fourth move in 7 years. I don't think I would ever feel at home here, purely due to language issues. A lot of things makes this a wonderful (but extremely expensive) life. I constantly worry about money, my children being happy at school, and trying to communicate with professionals can be very stressful. I would be happy to move back to the UK. But equally happy to move to another country. I do enjoy the adventure element, finding out about a new area, culture, meeting new people. In the end, we go wherever offers the best opportunity and future for the family, so that could be anywhere sad

buntymcfun Sun 20-Nov-16 08:35:23

That was meant to be a smile!

PinkPlastic Sun 20-Nov-16 08:59:15

I'm starting to think that way OP. We have been here ( Switzerland) for over six years now. I thought we would be here forever but recently we have started to look into going back to UK for good.

Something that bothered me is my DCs not really belonging anywhere. And thus the thought of DH and I growing old here alone. We met some older UK expats recently, their DCs live on the other side of the world (what do you expect when you raise international kids) and they are here alone and aging and very lonely but have no more of a life back in the UK to possibly return to.

Glastokitty Sun 20-Nov-16 09:10:24

I have no intention of going back, we love it here. The only thing I miss is my mum, and she lives in NI which I left with nary a backwards glance 25 years ago. I've lived in a few other places but when I moved to Australia I felt like I'd found my home. I'd actually cry buckets if for some reason I had to move back! I actually feel like I fit in better here than I do where I actually come from.

sanshiqi Mon 21-Nov-16 04:55:35

I am struggling a bit with the temporary nature of our time overseas. We are here for a set time, and although everyone seems to say that at the start but ends up staying longer, I have a specific reason to return, so at the moment that's the plan.

In some respects I guess that can help, open-ended temporariness must be hard to deal with. Though if I thought we were going to be here indefinitely I think I would be doing it differently, putting down more roots maybe.

As it is, it feels like my DH and DC are doing 'real life' with work and school, but I am filling time until I can get back to real life in the UK. I'm having fun, trying out new hobbies etc., but I am counting down a bit - in fractions - we've done a 12th of our time here, an 8th, a 6th.

Hopefully knowing we have a set time does mean we will make the most of it with travels around the area. I imagine a downside to not knowing how long you'll be somewhere is thinking, oh, we'll do that next month/next year...

Kuriusoranj Mon 21-Nov-16 05:57:55

We're moving on, but very unlikely to move back. Our current location is great but very transient and I'm heading to the end of my tether. Like a PP , my husband would probably stay much longer here but I need to settle somewhere now. He is from a whole other country and that is our next and semi-final destination. I want to be settled for the secondary school years which start 2019 for us.

I still hope and believe I'm not done with the UK and miss my family desperately but I have no interest in moving back under current circumstances.

cjdamoo Mon 21-Nov-16 06:32:48

I regularly struggle with the lack of extended family here. PIL live here too but are very hands off. That said this is now home because it is my children's home they do not remember the UK. I'm not sure they would adapt well to living back in London in particular and they certainly wouldn't cope with the weather. Unless we suddenly become exceedingly wealthy and can travel at leisure we are here to stay.

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