Staying- when did you decide?

(21 Posts)
WS12 Fri 12-Jan-18 21:01:23

I've posted on and off over the past year about my homesickness and inability to properly settle here in Aus. We've been here nearly 16 months now, and we kind of have a plan in place for me to return for a few months with our DC to the UK if I continue to feel unsettled further in the year. That's not definitely returning, but more of a break from here and see how I feel after going back for a bit. DH fully supports this and was even the one to suggest it.

But want I'd like to know is for all of those settled overseas be it anywhere that's not the UK, how did you know that "yes this is it I'm staying" ? Did you know before you left, or was it something that slowly came over you while you were living away? What was it that made you definitely stay?

I would love to be able to say that this is it for me, I love Aus and no going back to the UK to live! But I can't seem to let go of what life could be in the UK (mainly a life with my family in it).

So how did you know you were staying overseas for good and not moving back??

OP’s posts: |
MerryShitmas Sat 13-Jan-18 00:57:12

For me personally it was really really tough to get here. So I was on autopilot for the first 6/7ish months getting the money and documents etc required for my visa application. I always thought I'd be staying. Then one day while I was having my morning coffee I was thinking to myself "but do I want to stay here?!" And then I realised maybe not... I have 3 months until I have to leave or apply for my visa. I'm really still not sure what I'll do.
Sympathies from central qld! flowers

echt Sat 13-Jan-18 04:49:48

Rather unhelpfully, we "knew" before we got here. In short, it would have had to be disastrous to turn back. At 50, we had no jobs to go back to so knew we had to make it work. It did, but there's no denying that our ages and their relationship to the job market were significant.

It worked out well for us.

MrsTerryPratchett Sat 13-Jan-18 05:06:35

It took YEARS for me. And honestly, it took the UK elections, Brexit and all that stuff for me not to want to return.

LadyCassandra Sat 13-Jan-18 05:40:09

We were the same as echt in that it took us so long to get here (came for a year, went home, decided we wanted to live here, applied for visas, property market crashed, got visas, held out but eventually got here 4 years later!) that when we did get here it was a relief, and we knew this was where we should be.
I've been here 8 years now, and I have a huge friendship group of expats. I always know who is in it for the long haul. Most give it at least 2 years. Our first two years were the hardest.
Where abouts are you?
(Also, you may be from my home town!)

Archduke Sat 13-Jan-18 05:43:36

Oh OP, the first few years are really hard. I would say the first 2 years I moved out here were the worst, then things gradually got better - but in a really non-linea way - lots of ups and downs and some REALLY bad bouts of homesickness.

After about 10 years I felt settled enough and started to find some things about the UK quite odd when I went back to visit (it's still home though). Now I would say I am settled in Oz, mainly because its my kids home, and I now have good friends here and we have a history.

It's an absolute headfuck though, I recently heard of an elderly English woman who had spent most of her life here (she came over as a ten pound Pom in the 70's), anyway she moved back to die in the UK leaving her family in Oz. Home is always home perhaps.

You have my sympathies, it has absolutely got easier for me but it still hurts to be away from home and family at times.

ICJump Sat 13-Jan-18 05:48:10

I’m an Aussie but spent 8 years in london before moving back to Australia. And I think I can only settle because I know we couldn’t go back to an enjoyable life in london. That a move now would be so hard and so financial unstable we couldn’t do it but... the thought of spending the rest I’ve my life here isn’t appealing. So I’m trying to get international transferralble qualification as is my partner (British).

We’ve been lucky our having MIL visit us twice and that’s helped feel better about being so far away from from OH family.


Bue Sat 13-Jan-18 06:02:05

I spent 12 years in the UK. It was only in the final year there that I truly felt I could stay and settle. Then we had an opportunity to come back to my home country. We've been here 1.5 years and while I feel "at home" and appreciate so many things about life here, I also have tremendous yearning for the family life we could have in the UK. I suspect we may go back. But then will the feelings start all over again in reverse?

GreenSeededGrape Sat 13-Jan-18 10:44:05

Bue do you mind if I ask where is home?

I've been in the UK 8 years. I was very homesick for the first year and I had a return flight! I went home to Aus in Feb 11 months after leaving home, got 2 weeks of sunshine and knowing I could see my family (albeit with a long flight!) and came back, got pregnant and bought a house smile

So 8 years on, British citizenship and now 2 dc I'm starting to feel unsettled and know that the UK isn't 'home'.

We are planning to leave next year. We are debating Ireland (dh country) or Australia just need to talk dh around

If you're like me knowing you can have an 'out' at anytime is really helpful in the settling believe it or not! It meant I didn't feel trapped and was free to enjoy it because I'd always said the move wasn't forever.

WS12 Sat 13-Jan-18 11:45:30

Oh thank you so much everyone for your messages! It's great to know I am not alone in my absolutely messed up feelings!! It's definitely a head f*ck the lot of it.

I have always really liked Australia. Before I met my hubby my friend and I were planning to travel Aus doing the back packer thing, and then I met an Aussie and fell in love. We'd visited here 3 times before moving here and I knew what it was like etc and I was quite excited for the adventure. But then our DC came along and everything seemed to shift,but my DH was still wanting to come home.

He does not want to move back and I totally get that (though he grudgingly would). If I had no one in th UK I'd be here forever this is such a great place to live. It's amazing!!

But I have so many reasons to be in the UK, it's hard to come to terms with staying here when for me and the DC I think we'd be better in the UK, emotionally better off definitely for me. I wonder if I would pick up after say 2 years? That seems to be a critical point by lots of accounts.

It's useful to hear from those who have been away for several years. It's showing me that these feelings may fade and come back, or never fade at all...

OP’s posts: |
WS12 Sat 13-Jan-18 11:49:57

GreenSeededGrape, I agree that having an "out" is the best feeling, and good for mental health too. I said to my DH I needed to just hear that he would come back if I needed to - knowing he would meant I could enjoy life (even just parts of life when I was really down) it made and still makes a huge difference. At times when I feel panicked thinking I want to go home, I tell myself "calm the f--- down!" As I know I can get on a fight if I really needed to and be back in a day.

OP’s posts: |
WS12 Sat 13-Jan-18 11:50:54

Lady Cassandra I am from northeast England, Teesside area

OP’s posts: |
Evelynismyformerspyname Sat 13-Jan-18 16:29:00

We decided it would be until the children finished school before we decided to move (so a long term commitment as dc1 was a toddler and dc2 a foetus) grin

Brexit confirmed it as it gave me the push to sort citizenship out (we're in Europe).

I had massive, intense ups and downs in the first five years though - if you're commited to staying 16 months is nothing at all, it takes a good 5 to 7 years to settle.

Evelynismyformerspyname Sat 13-Jan-18 16:30:26

We've been here 10.5 years now. Couldn't leave now as this is my children's home, they have deeper roots than I ever had.

LadyCassandra Sat 13-Jan-18 17:32:46

WS12 Ah no then! Your username is my old postcode!! grin

Subtleconstraints Sat 13-Jan-18 17:34:42

Same as Evelyn!

Bue Wed 17-Jan-18 03:32:32

@GreenSeededGrape sorry massively late replying. Home is Canada!

DeliveredByKiki Sat 20-Jan-18 04:11:14

I know everyone will say this but 16months is a relatively short time and def not enough time to feel remotely settled - but I also totally understand where you're coming from.

We've been here for nearly 6years, planned for 3-4. DH has made it clear he doesn't want to move back to the UK, I do but my reasons are all emotional and to do with being close to family and friends, particularly my older sister who has just had her first baby. All the logic says to stay here but no matter how long it is, I don't think I'll ever make a conscious decision that this is it

cjdamoo Sat 20-Jan-18 05:26:19

3 years. I spent 2 years when we first arrived in Australia after initial month or so holiday feeling passed hating it. I would compare everything unfavourably to home. 2 years in we moved suburb and although initially that created even more angst at some point it passed. It was no longer something that ate at me every day or even every week. Its now been 9 years and I know now this is home. We had the option to go back to Uk last year and decided to stay. I still miss the UK at times and am sad my children do not benefit from a huge extended family but with our friends we have created our own "family" network.

TheDowagerCuntess Sat 20-Jan-18 06:52:51

I lived in the UK for 13 years and I never had that feeling.

Not because I didn't love it - I absolutely did! But I just never had that pin-drop moment.

We've been here now for nearly 7 years and I'm fairly certain DH hasn't had that affirmation in his own head, even though he got his citizenship a couple of months ago.

I'd say that's perfectly normal if you love your home country - no matter how settled you might be in the adopted one.

allfurcoatnoknickers Mon 22-Jan-18 19:41:25

It’s been a slow realization for me. I live in the US and DH is American, but I always assumed we’d do 5 years here and then back to the UK. We’ll be staying out here though because:

- Own a gorgeous flat here we could never afford the equivalent of in the UK.
- I’d have to take a 50% paycut to do the same job as I have here.
- UK visa laws mean that DH and I would be split up for months, possibly years angry
- My mother has never forgiven me for emigrating and goes out of her way to be nasty to me whenever she can. After the debacle of our last trip, I don’t want to live on the same land mass as her. Let alone the same time zone.
- My friends are scattered all over the country in the UK - there’s no obviously place to move back to where we’ll have friends and family support.

I’m a bit sad that due to the visa issues, we can’t go back even if we wanted to, but overall, our quality of life here is so good, I don’t think we’d want to return anyway.

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