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Anyone else relieved to be away?

(31 Posts)
Grillpaneddy Sun 19-Nov-17 21:16:07

Back in the UK, I have a tight knit group of long standing friends, plus lots of family members close by.

I've lived abroad a few times before and we are nearly a year into our current location. So whilst it's very early days, we are very happy here and could see ourselves staying a long time. Or going somewhere else for a bit then returning here. DH and I both currently can't imagine wanting to move back to the UK.

I really thought I'd miss everyone and find it hard to be away, but instead I'm finding it quite liberating blush There's no pressure to see people, we don't have to get caught up in the small town stuff they are all embroiled in, we can just do what we like! The DC are settled and learning a new language in an international environment, so whilst every now and again I feel a pang of nostalgia that my kids won't grow up with friends' kids or have the same kind of childhood I had, I feel that the pros of living here outweigh the cons. And this somehow makes me feel disconnected to my friends and family back home.

Trips back have been great, we've enjoyed seeing everyone and kind of slip into our old lives again. Which is fine, we were happy there, but we are always really really pleased to get back to our new home and have space again (physically, socially and emotionally).

Anyway, I think I'm rambling a bit now. But I just wondered if anyone else felt like this? Or maybe I'm being a bit cold and ungracious (for want of a better word) about "home"?

Girlgoneglobal Mon 20-Nov-17 08:46:08

I’m a bit mixed, but not for the reasons you describe.

The environment I live in means I am away from long-standing and close knit friends but forced to be part of a community of women (and it is 99% women) who I would never be friends with at home. I have lots of benefits (travel and money) but we have paid a price.

Having said that the UK seems unremittingly awful at the moment and getting worse. I’m going home tomorrow so I have a chance to revise this opinion. But the news is just grim. I feel bad for wanting to avoid Brexit and the shambles that is our current political discourse and parties but not bad enough I’m going to go home and fight the power!!

Before I left home four years ago I would have always said I could never live outside London. I’m a Londoner and I thought I would stay that way. But now I can’t see myself moving back to London... and that is the only part of the UK which has my heart. It makes me sad.

Sorry, that’s a ramble! On balance, yes I’m glad I’m away from home but I feel sad I feel like that.

danTDM Mon 20-Nov-17 08:48:56

No, I feel the exact opposite, give it a few years and I bet you do too.

LadyCassandra Mon 20-Nov-17 09:08:32

danTDM that's a bit of a sweeping statement! I've been away for 8 years now, and I love the freedom from the expectations of DH's family. Particularly at this time of year.
Embrace it OP! grin

allfurcoatnoknickers Mon 20-Nov-17 23:42:24

@Grillpaneddy I sort of know how you feel. I have a difficult relationship with my parents and the only reason we still speak at al is because I’m 3000 miles away and the distance acts as a buffer. My home town/suburb were stiflingly dull, living there was like a living death. Visiting for a weekend is fine, but any longer and I go stir crazy.

I do miss my friends, but I’ve made new friends where I am now and they’re wonderful.

Originally I thought this would be a temporary move, but not I’m leaning more towards staying out for good.

Cavender Mon 20-Nov-17 23:53:11

I know what you mean. We love where we live in the UK and we do miss our friends and family.

However we love how much more family time we have here. We get the whole weekend to spend together, we aren’t trying to deal with family expectations every weekend.

We have agreed that we’ll need to make changes on our return to the UK.

Evelynismyspyname Tue 21-Nov-17 06:30:34

danTDM that's your truth - don't project it onto the OP, especially as your message is basically "just wait until you're as experienced as me, then you'll feel really shitty". The same doom and gloom people with older children love to give people with younger children the benefit of, to make sure they are admired for their wisdom whilst scaring and depressing those not as far along the road.

I left the UK in 2007 and will never go back - got citizenship of the country I live in now. No country is perfect - I'd go so far as to say that all countries are equally imperfect but in different ways. However I prefer to be in the imperfect country I'm in now, on balance.

After a certain amount of time you can't go back anyway, so its wise to hope you won't suddenly want to turn back the clock and to plan accordingly. Obviously you can physically transport your self and family to the UK and enrol in schools, find jobs, buy or rent a house - but you won't be "back", once you've lived abroad for a certain length of time the place you left doesn't exist as you remember it (people have moved on/ made new connections/ changed their routines), and the person you were doesn't either.

Evelynismyspyname Tue 21-Nov-17 06:33:42

*OK not all countries are equally imperfect - obviously some are worse due to poverty, war, despotic regimes. What I really meant was all westernised, first world countries have their own pros and cons and I'd never claim that where I live is "better" than where I came from, only that I won't swap the old set of pros and cons for the new.

jellycat1 Tue 21-Nov-17 12:09:06

Interesting thread. We’ve just moved out of London - also about 3000 miles away! I’m nearly a year in and I’m feeling quite homesick although I felt just how the OP describes feeling, until recently. I’m more worried that the kids won’t have a choice of schools and the wide range of opportunities that London offers....or offered. Who knows what will be left after the debacle that is brexit.

juneau Tue 21-Nov-17 12:20:10

As someone who was pro-remain and who lived OS for almost 10 years I can kind of understand how you feel, but honestly, things aren't bad here in Britain at all. I think when you're far away you can feel like everything has changed and it's all going to hell in a handcart, but that's not true. Things haven't changed as far as I can see and there is no 'Brexodus' - our European friends getting on with life here, like we are.

So enjoy living OS - it sounds like you are - but don't feel like Britain has turned into this xenophobic place full of hate that you don't recognise any more. It hasn't. It's the same as ever.

I loved living OS too, but I'm glad to be back. There are lots of things I love about living here. I think a lot of that comes from our town though, which is great and well-connected and not at all boring. Home is where the heart is - and my heart is here - along with my friends and family.

mumisnotmyname Tue 21-Nov-17 18:19:00

I also find it quite liberating, I can dip in and out of local celebrations at will. Christmas will be much smaller and seems much more manageable. I am not looking at long lists of things to buy, people to visit etc.

Grillpaneddy Tue 21-Nov-17 22:02:38

The UK itself is fine, I feel there are a lot of plus points there. We are close to London and our hometown is nice enough (surrounding area a bit mixed but overall there are far worse places).

I guess I thought I'd miss the people more than I do. With WhatsApp and Facebook I still feel connected but less stretched to fit in grandparents, friends etc in our limited free time. I have a tricky relationship with my mother too @allfurcoatnoknickers so perhaps that makes it easier too.

Like @cavendar says, it's really nice to just do what we want to do at the weekend, and to be just us.

I am keen to make new friends here but am definitely enjoying the space at the mo. I'm sure I'll feel differently at different times but the feeling of being self-sufficient is great.

Quite hypocritically though I want the dc to stay close and not bugger off abroad when they grown up!

Grillpaneddy Tue 21-Nov-17 22:05:41

@girlgoneglobal I do feel a bit guilty / ungrateful too. Like I'm somehow just disregarding my UK life. I don't think I am but then I'm a bit of a people pleaser so just doing my/our own thing feels a bit frivolous hmmconfusedblush

scaryteacher Wed 22-Nov-17 11:00:26

I've been away 11 years; 2 more to go and I can move home. I like where we are now, but what seemed quirky when we first moved here, now is a PITA, and everything still takes so bloody long to achieve with all the myriad layers of bureaucracy. Even dh is getting pissed off with it now. I will be glad to go back to the UK and home.

BeALert Wed 22-Nov-17 13:09:25

I know exactly what you mean OP. It's Thanksgiving tomorrow and all my friends here seem to be either hosting dozens or travelling hundreds of miles to be with family. We are just planning a chilled out long weekend and some DIY.

Mrsdraper1 Fri 24-Nov-17 09:24:12

I am feeling terribly homesick at the moment. I hate it here right now. I don't have any friends or any job opportunities. I feel like I have sacrificed everything I wanted to make everyone else happy and it's killing me. DH has a good job and speaks the language here, dd's are in school and doing really well.
Hasn't helped that my brother in law died suddenly in the summer, my cousin died at the beginning of this month (both in 40's) and now my mum is having tests for a serious health condition. I feel wrong that there are people are love and I voluntarily moved away from them.
I can't stop crying and wish I didn't wake up in the morning somedays.
I feel stuck.
Sorry for moaning, I don't have anyone to talk to. My DH doesn't get why I am unhappy and I just feel so sad.

Evelynismyspyname Fri 24-Nov-17 09:56:01

Are you legally allowed to work wherever it is you are MrsDraper?

I loved being home with my kids when they were young, but once the youngest was at kindergarten I had a bit of a midlife (?) crisis of identity. We'd been abroad 7 years but suddenly I felt there wasn't enough point to me, no justification for my existence especially because I'm not a natural housewife - I lived being a sahm and focussing on doing the best job possible bringing up kids who were with me 24/7, but once they were all out of the house all morning I felt that I should be keeping the house in showroom condition and doing all sorts of crafting and baking which is so not me without it actually being a kids activity I'm just facilitating. DD has friends whose mothers dedicate hours per day to home made seasonal decoration around the home, with set pieces like Harrods window displays in their immaculate homes - I just can't do that, not only do I have no talent but I'd feel ridiculous!

At that point I had a crisis and felt that if I was in the UK I could walk into a job, but I still needed to work around school hours and my UK qualifications aren't all recognised here, and I spoke the language but in rather a pidgin form! For the first time in my life got loads of rejections and non responses.

Keeping on going and finally getting into work (first just a care home job 15 hours a week, but it was a stepping stone and helped my language skills and gave me a recent reference) has really helped me find my place in the world again.

Being a sahm to school aged kids anywhere requires huge self confidence and a social network of friends doing similar in order not to severely knock your self esteem and self image IMO so doing it abroad and not by choice is incredibly hard psychologically.

My advice would be to do whatever you need to to make yourself employable - even if it'll take a solid year of treating language classes as a job as a first step, or swallowing your pride and taking a job you'd never have done in the UK.

You can find yourself again, but you have to take the first step and recognise it's a long journey, potentially.

Ttbb Fri 24-Nov-17 09:58:28

Yes! I moved to a different country and have made a conscious effort to live as a hermit like lifexas possible. I love it! I can go out looking like a slob and no one will notice. I can not leave the house for weeks on end and no one will notice. I can go where I want and do what I want. It's like being invisible to everyone except the people you like. It's wonderful.

Mrsdraper1 Fri 24-Nov-17 10:30:06

Thanks for replying Evelyn
I am legally allowed to work.
I was part way through retraining when we left the UK but the qualification is not recognised here. I can't do the same thing here because I can't speak the language well enough. My kids are both at school but little one is mornings only so I don't even know how you fit in a job in that time. It seems like an awful lot of messing about to be at work for about 2 hours a day by the time you get there and when you have to leave. I would be willing to do something "lesser" I'm not snobbish. I just don't speak enough even to do what you are doing. Probably not even qualified for that, you have to have qualifications to clean a bloody toilet here .
I am struggling with motivation to learn the language, I know it would make my life better if I learned it but I don't actually want to be here. I think that is the main problem. I mainly came here because I was sick of DH moaning about how shit the UK was. I had no interest in living where we are, I let him persuade me it was a good idea against my better judgement.
I have joined some groups to try and make friends but to be honest I am struggling with that as well, none of it makes me optimistic. Most of the people I have met who are here permanently seem unhappy and like they live for visits to their own countries (they are not all English-some Americans, a Dane, Thai, Filiippina, NZ, Chinese, Brazillian). Is that all there is to look forward to? No one seems to have any friends in the local community.
Sorry, I sound so negative. I am having a really bad day. I am waiting to hear what the consultant says about my mum's health. Am really scared it's going to be bad news. Have had two shocking deaths in the family this year, I am reeling.

Evelynismyspyname Fri 24-Nov-17 10:39:57

Are you in Germany? I only ask because of the needing qualifications to clean a toilet comment wink I'm in Germany too and there are options, though it doesn't feel like it at first. It's also very normal to do an apprenticeship as a career change at any age, especially in shortage fields. Apprenticeships are paid better here too (in care about 14k per year while training, which goes up each year and doubles on qualifying).

I hope you hear good news, it's impossible to focus when worried. I just wanted to share my experience as it sounds as though you're somewhat where I was 2 or 3 years ago.

Mrsdraper1 Fri 24-Nov-17 10:42:34

Yes, Bavaria

Natsku Fri 24-Nov-17 10:43:01

I left the UK ten years ago, could never go back to live, I'm far too settled in Finland and am comfortable in my life here. Definitely miss many things about the UK but it just wouldn't be home any more.

Evelynismyspyname Fri 24-Nov-17 10:48:42

Me too Mrs

It's probably not the right time for you as you've lots of worries, but if you want any info on getting into work I'll be happy to share any info I have.

If you're on the Dachau side of Munich and willing to work in disabled care my employer is always looking for employees...

Bananalanacake Fri 24-Nov-17 11:12:49

I'm in Germany too. Been here 3 years. Had to move when I had dd1 as dp is German and has his own company here. I still have a flat in London and I go there 2 or 3 times a year. I'm setting into German life but can't get used to Christmas being on Christmas eve and nothing on the 25th.

Mrsdraper1 Fri 24-Nov-17 11:31:59

I feel so pathetic. I have never been a SAHM except for mat leave and I struggled with that. I thought I was just getting to do something for me as I was happy with my new thoughts of what I wanted to do and now I can't do it and oh blimey, I am just going round in circles.
Evelyn you are very kind am actually south Munich (Unterhaching) so bit far from Dachau. Glad you are enjoying what you are doing xx

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