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Adjusting back to living in the UK

(15 Posts)
user1485546310 Sun 12-Mar-17 14:59:48

Hi there, It has been 18 months since we (myself, husband and two kids) moved back to the UK after living in Singapore for 5 years. I still miss it so much and don't feel settled back here at all.
I'm wondering if anyone else has had this experience? If we need longer to adjust? or maybe it's a sign to pack up and move on?
It would be great to hear of others' experiences of settling back into their home countries after living abroad.

papooshka Sun 12-Mar-17 16:04:42

We were in Singapore for 12 years and got back nearly 3 years ago. It takes time. My first year was bad, I felt quite depressed and very lonely. I was desperate to make friends (we're not living in our home town) and found it so different to Singapore where everyone is up for coffee! I think it was after about 18 months that I actually realised I was feeling better and enjoying being back. You really need to give it time and 'grieve' for your old life. I still miss friends, Bali and DTF but on the whole I am happy here now and don't think about our old life as often as I used to. Are you a member of the FB group 'I am a triangle' ? Its a good group and lots of expats on it moving around and how it affects everyone.

scaryteacher Sun 12-Mar-17 16:06:17

I was lucky enough to move back to my UK house for 9 months in 2013/14 to renovate it post tenant, and I then had to move back to Belgium. It was like I'd never been away, and I had to force myself to come back to Brussels.

I cannot wait to move back to UK, and dh and I were discussing the possibly of going back early, but I think we'll be staying til the end of his contract. It's stupid things, like not being able to buy a fluorescent tube for a kitchen light off the shelf - we had to order it from a little shop as none of the usual suspects sold it. Some things here are just so damn difficult, and haven't improved in the decade I've been here.

Obsidian77 Sun 12-Mar-17 16:10:34

What were your reasons for moving back? Could you return to Singapore if you decided this was right for your family?
We lived abroad for a while and moving back to the UK was absolutely the right decision for us. We knew that immediately and felt at home again right away.
18 months seems like plenty of time to readjust.
What part of the country are you in now? Are you working outside the home?

FourKidsNotCrazyYet Sun 12-Mar-17 16:36:04

It does take a long time. We lived abroad for 10 years. I still miss it (been back in the UK 7 years now). We have a mortgaged house here but I still get itchy feet to move on, not particularly abroad but just around.

poochiepants Sun 12-Mar-17 16:45:49

Lived in NZ for 3 years and Canada for 1, back in the UK now for 2 years & I still have that 'flat' post holiday feeling. We're back in the area that we left, so feel as though there's nowhere to explore and discover......don't get me wrong, it is lovely to be back but I did really like the sense of adventure that moving overseas had....

baarsy Sun 12-Mar-17 16:48:07

I was told by a therapist before I moved back that it takes the average person who returns home after living abroad around 2years to settle in. That is if you are surrounded by friends and family and you don't feel isolated. It takes time.

user1485546310 Sun 12-Mar-17 17:30:09

Thank you so much guys this is all very helpful and reassuring. I have moved to live in a completely new area and the countryside after only having lived in cities before. I totally relate to the 'flat' feeling and sometimes feel like I need to pinch myself when I think back to the life I had. I am not working and have been a SAHM since moving back as well which I'm sure contributes. I will check out that FB group - haven't heard of it - sounds very useful.

Obsidian77 Sun 12-Mar-17 19:16:04

Then no wonder you miss Singapore, being a SAHM in the countryside is a massive change and you're probably the one having to suck things up and keep everything ticking over for the family.
Do try the FB group. Can you study or do voluntary work? Something to broaden your horizons and meet more people? Mumsnet local?
If you had a happy life in Singapore that should tell you that you're the sort of person who has the ingredients to build a happy life somewhere else too although it may not be where you are right now.

BettyBaggins Wed 15-Mar-17 21:41:10

I was in living in Asia for 5 years, I'll of been back 2 years in a couple of months and have found it really hard!! I read it can take 3 years to settle back and I totally relate to the lack of adventure. I also think I have been affected by the lack of sun/vitamin D to a big degree which I had got so used to. Reverse culture shock took ages to pass and I get the 'flat' feeling too.

If it wasn't for family concerns I'd be off again pronto but in the meantime I am looking at how I can plan my future to still have times of adventure and can continue to embrace new cultures.

I'm going to go find that fb group now too!

PoundlandUK Wed 15-Mar-17 21:49:41

Also moved back to the UK and not feeling it...and also off to find that FB group, thanks for the suggestion.

becs1973 Fri 17-Mar-17 18:28:49

Join the 'I am a triangle' group and you will see my post from a few days ago saying almost the same thing as you! We did 5 years in Malaysia and 2 insouth Africa, been back a couple of months now and yep, its very hard adjusting! X

BakiniAtoll Fri 17-Mar-17 18:38:05

Live in the US, I have to go back to the U.K. In a couple of weeks, I am not looking forward to it. We decided that we would never move back to the UK before we left.

Every time I go back it reinforces that I don't want to come back to the UK.

realhousewife23 Sat 18-Mar-17 18:18:32

BakiniAtoll - what changed your mind or was it changed for you? We're currently in similar position. We always said we had no intention of returning if we could help it but now decision making time is fast approaching and it's looking very likely we'll be heading back. Don't know what to think, one day I'm up for returning, the next day it's the worst thing possible!

BakiniAtoll Sat 18-Mar-17 23:26:44

realhousewife23 We are in rural Maine, we have a house and lifestyle we could never afford in the U.K.

When I last wend back everyone seemed depressed, no one had enough money and everything was so expensive!

Plus it was so overpopulated, it felt really small.

DH said moving back to the UK from the US would be like winning the lottery, then having HMRC take it all away.

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