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what influenced your decision to emigrate?

(12 Posts)
myermay Tue 27-Feb-07 13:10:49

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potoroo Tue 27-Feb-07 13:20:01

Myermay,
I did the opposite - moved from Aus to UK. DH and I find cost of living cheaper here, but we moved from Sydney (most expensive place in Australia!) to living in Berkshire countryside - would be different if we'd moved to London.

Where are you thinking of moving?
www.domain.com.au is a real estate site that covers all of Australia so you can get a good indication of house prices.

There'll be lots of ex-pats on later who'll be able to help more.

slim22 Tue 27-Feb-07 14:28:44

weather and quality of life.
You are right about the fact that you might be deluding yourself on cost of living.
I see it that way: I'll be spending the same amount of money but on a more decent quality of life.house rather flat.garden rather than trip to the park.sunshine and beach sounds like a more relaxing weekend than rain and exhaust fumes. It's all in the little things that make everyday life more relaxed.
The downside is of course missing family and friends. Can give you no advice on this one as I am an expat in London myself!
However, having moved a bit in the course of my life, I can say this: you do have to make an effort to fit in. Look for expat clubs. Playgroups of british mums. Best way to make friends is through your kids. You'll find a lot of families who've already been there and will ne supportive.
Emotionally,it's a shock to the system if it's your first move. Be prepared.You have to have a very strong relationship with your partner to overcome first months of loneliness.Make sure you talk it through before you go. Because when you there, it's just you and him and those screaming babies/overactive toddlers!!

DaddyCool Tue 27-Feb-07 15:31:24

cheap houses
crime in the UK
crowding

that's about it really but I think we're coming back to the UK. We're finding Canada a little dull regardless of the issues that made us move.

scully Wed 28-Feb-07 01:02:56

We spent 11yrs in UK before returning to Australia last October. Dh and I met in UK, he's from South Africa originally so Australia was a new country for him and the girls. We enjoyed our life in UK, but once dd1 and dd2 came along, decided we wanted to give them a similar childhood to what we had, i.e. outdoor lifestyle, more space, closer to one of our families etc. The cost of living is expensive in Australia, for us it's been a lifestyle choice, not a financial one. I didn't enjoy having 2 small children in a cold, wet climate, and the effort involved in doing anything and them always being ill, etc. Although saying that we are managing a lot better on one salary than we ever could have living in Surrey and commuting into London each day. Being away from your family and friends is probably the biggest issue, especially when you have small children. dd1 was 4.5 when we moved here and for her whole life up until the move it had just been dh and I. We had some close friends who would babysit occasionally, but if you're used to having family close by who you rely on regularly, you will find it a shock when they aren't around. We are enjoying the opposite now, actually having family within half an hour's drive who love to see the girls is a novelty for us. It is easy to meet people here though, at school or playgroups, children are a great way to meet adults
I would suggest you come out for another holiday, for 3-4wks minimum, as places take on another perspective when you visit them after having children.
Some websites you might find helpful are
www.realestate.com.au
www.britishexpats.com
www.infochoice.com.au (among other things it has a tax calculator on it so you can see your after tax salary)
www.seek.com.au (jobs)
We've been back 4.5mths now and are 100% sure that we've made the right decision, but even with me having grown up here, there was still a lot of stress and effort involved in returning. Good luck

Ivor Wed 28-Feb-07 01:23:37

DH and I moved to the US just over 3 years ago, the reasons were mainly to do with his job, better pay future etc.
The cost of living over here IMO is about the same, heating costs are more, petrol is a lot cheaper. The main difference I see is that if we were still in the UK then I could'nt be a SAHM.
We've made a few friends, most are from DH's work which can get a little trying. I do find the US to be behind the UK in equality issues and you have to make sure you have good health insurance.
I think overall it's worth living overseas just to experiance the different culture. We made the mistake of expecting it to be the same as home because we speak the same (?) language. It's different.
I've allways said that I would'nt want any regrets (which has got me into a lot of trouble in the past ), but hell you can allways move back.

mamama Wed 28-Feb-07 01:38:34

We moved to the US for H's job... better pay, prospects etc.

Contrary to popular belief I don't think it is particularly cheap to live here - probably about the same as the UK, although petrol & cars are significantly cheaper. Making friends was no problem, toddler groups and activities were easy to find too and I think it has been a great experience for me but not one I would wish to continue. I'm moving back to the UK this year.

Downside for us:
Missing our old friends
Not seeing family
Cost of & time involved in visiting the UK
Cultural & language differences (Yes, even in the US)
More racial problems & segregation
Crime
Cost & limits of health insurance (& dental)
Healthcare system
Education system

I could go on...

eidsvold Wed 28-Feb-07 02:30:45

am an aussie moved to the uk to work and travel - met dh had dd1 and was 20 weeks pregnant with dd2 when we moved to Aus.

Why?
despite loving where we lived in the UK - it would not have been possible for us to buy a home there on one wage - and so would need both of us working. Our dd1 has special needs that despite living in a good village close to a county 'capital' we had very few services to access - lots more services and support available to us here. Lifestyle and opportunities seemed greater in Australia for both us and the dds.

We have been lucky - I had a house and was renting it out whilst overseas so did not need a huge mortgage to buy again - house prices have done what they have done in the UK - skyrocketed. Dh has a great job and so I am able to be a SAHM to the dds. We found some things more expensive and others not so expensive. All relative to what you are earning and more importantly where you are living. We are in Brisbane which is one of the/ if not the cheapest city in which to live with regards to groceries and day to day living etc. Again depending on where you want to live in Brisbane - real estate can vary a lot.

Funnily - dh has been back twice since we have been here and each time he is so glad to come 'home.' He said yesterday he could not imagine going back to live in the UK.

Very hard to leave his family and wonderful friends who had supported us through some tough time. Even harder - our two dds are the only grandchildren on his side - so that is hard. Really feel for his family missing out on seeing the girls grow up.

Found it hard when I moved back - my life had changed beyond all recognition in 4 years I had gone from being single professional woman to a SAHM to a dd who had special needs and another babe on the way ( our third is due later this month). So adjustments had to be made with regards to friendships. Have made lots of new friends since we have been back. Dh got involved with a community organisation and that has helped him move beyond the work/home cycle. He is really enjoying that.

Sorry just realised i have written an essay so will stop. Feel free to ask anything.

tinpot Wed 28-Feb-07 03:46:12

Isn't it strange that we are drawn back to living in the UK despite the obvious down sides e.g. weather / cost of living.

Our experience in the US is similar to some previous posters. It is culturally very different to the UK. We've had a great time but we're going to be coming back to UK too.

We will try to bring some of our US lifestyle back to the UK even if it does mean going to the park when it's freezing cold!

lynniep Wed 28-Feb-07 08:19:13

I'd say visit the sites scully suggested for a good info base.

We moved to Sydney in April 2005. I was kind of indifferent - was DH that really wanted to live there. It was fairly easy move as there was just us, no kids, and we both had a one year working holiday visa (DH quickly got a job where he could get a 4 yr business visa) We also didnt have to worry about selling property etc as we were renting.

You really need to do the research on salaries. DH is a mgmt accountant and they're very much in demand, so he had no probs at all getting a really good salary. I'm in IT, and had sligthly more trouble but took contracting work to start with.

As far as living costs, not that much different but felt we were better off. On the other hand we were just renting(and the price of renting has shot up there lately) Travel is far cheaper, but house prices in Sydney - its still bl**dy expensive if you don't want to live out in the sticks. Get used to cockroaches too the little blighters!

Bills were cheaper in general as was petrol, but they take mahoosive amounts of tax off you. The weather was great in general but it can take its toll - our rental didn't have heating - they don't tell you how blinking cold it can get in winter and we huddled around an electric fire for months! Summer is debilitating when you have to get to work every day in 30 to 40 degree heat.

Food shopping - I found that more expensive and really missed English supermarkets just for the choice and the offers you get. However for eating out you just can't compare. Thats the only thing I really miss about Sydney - everywhere being BYO and the variety, cheapness and quality of the food. Didnt matter how cheapo the venue, we never had a bad meal. We would eat several times a week there without thinking and never bothered getting a takeaway because it was just as cheap to go out. Here, going out for a meal is a real treat because of the cost and always a bit hit and miss.

You tend not to get the benefits you get here with some jobs (i.e in my job here I get free private health care) and the standard amount of holiday is 20 days, and we were forced to take 5 of those at Christmas, which makes visits back to the UK hard. That was a big deal to me.

My DH loved the pubs - they are far more focused on sports and tend to have loads of TV showing at least three kinds, plus 'pokey' rooms if you like to gamble (although their pokey machines are sh*t) I loved the fact that they are really into hobbies - took up hobby ceramics and made friends that way. They also seemed to have a lot of food fairs and events within the community which was great - always something to visit even though they were always pretty similar.

If I think a bit harder theres probably loads more I could write, but it depends a lot on the location you want to move to. I really liked Melbourne, but possibly because I felt it reminded me of the UK, and the weather wasnt that great, so then what would be the point! Neither of us is a beach person, so that whole surfy lifestyle was out!

In the end though, there was one factor that brought us back, and that was family and friends. We were only there 15 months, but I could never detatch myself from them and you have to to a certain extent. Its not possible to visit every year unless you're loaded, and its too much to expect other people to use up their own holiday and vast amounts of money visiting you. Yes communication is easier than ever, but at the end of the day I always wanted to have a girly chat after a few drinks with my mates on a Saturday night - as this was Saturday morning for them wasnt quite the same!
Also the thought of having a child out there (I actually found out I was pg with our first 4 weeks before we flew back, so it wasn't a literal factor in the decision but it was considered when making that decision!) which wouldnt have any other family left me cold really. I wanted my family to be close (not necessarily down the road - but close enough to pop down to visit dc for a day or two)

I absolutely recommend trying it though if you can afford to do that. I am so glad that we did. As I said I never considered it but DH really wanted to, and we had a lovely time even though I never felt 'settled'. That may have been different if we'd bought our own home, but I doubt it. I have more confidence in myself now as I had to go out and find work (whereas here I'd had the same job since I left uni) and it did feel very 'carefree' living there - but the good weather contributed towards that since as I said, it can actually get quite cold from about April to October and it doesnt feel the same in those months!

okay, ramble over...

brimfull Wed 28-Feb-07 08:33:17

Well I emigrated to GB in 1983 at the age of 20,only planned on staying about 3-4 yrs but love this country and am still here.Could go on and on but must have a shower now sorry.

myermay Wed 28-Feb-07 11:16:53

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