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Moving back to the UK

(19 Posts)
ReadySteadyGoooo Tue 12-Jun-18 05:59:17

Has anyone done it? What was it like? We've been living overseas in various countries for 10 years now and I am so keen to move back. Quite worried about reverse culture shock though. I feel like a foreigner when I go back, and am worried we won't fit in.

ItchyBites Tue 12-Jun-18 06:29:05

We moved back after about 9 years overseas. We didn't move back to where we'd come from though, and chose a completely different area of the UK. I think that helped in some ways. We never felt like we were moving back, just on to a new adventure. It took us a while to find our feet, lots of things had changed in the time we were away and I'd feel foreign in random places, such as the supermarket, but things settled down and now I think we all feel at home. I have loved seeing the kids experience their 'firsts'. First autumn, first snow, first spring flowers, first sports day, and so on, have all been enjoyed!

sayatidaknama Tue 12-Jun-18 13:03:32

I think as long as you give yourself time to readjust and have realistic expectations, it will be fine. You have to concentrate on all the good things about living back in the UK - for me they are the lingo, ease of getting things done and the friendly people (amongst many, many others) and remind yourself of this when you are feeling pissed off. We moved back last summer and apart from the weather and the space I miss nothing from our time abroad. The DC have slotted right back in too and are very happy.

BookWitch Tue 12-Jun-18 13:54:44

I'm in the process of moving back after 14 years in Asia. I can't wait I am so done.
DH is staying here for another year, but DD3 is about to start 6th form, mum is on her own and starting to need some care, DD1 and DD2 are home already and it is a big pull.

But it is daunting. I travel back every year, but am now in the process of sorting things out and realise I am going to be a bit like a foreigner but no one will realise I will need some guidnace on things like setting up internet and getting my car taxed (last time I taxed a car in the UK you went to the post office and got a disc stamped grin )

It's my last day at work on Thursday and my dog has already gone. No going back now!

ReadySteadyGoooo Tue 12-Jun-18 14:58:17

Omg bookwitch you've just reminded me I have no idea how to tax a car!!

ReadySteadyGoooo Tue 12-Jun-18 15:11:11

It's really helpful to hear others' responses. I think it will take us at least a year to leave, once we finally get started. Definitely agree that it feels like a new adventure. We'd be going back to somewhere we haven't lived as a family before and it's very exciting! I want to do all the tourist stuff!
The main thing I am concerned about is the change in how we spend our money. I think we have done very well in keeping the children grounded, but DH and I have become like spoilt brats. We have a lot more disposable income here and spend it on lots of nice 'things' - clothes, restaurants, electronics. We have a cleaner, a nanny, and a general home help. When we go back we will put our money towards owning a house. We're both really excited about that because it's out of the question here. But our day to day spending will have to be cut down a lot.
Most of our friends here are American and I also worry that we have become loud and brash. I have to be very forthright and kind of showy in my job and it's just become a habit. I will have to tone it down when we go home or I'm worried people will think I'm just bossy! Both mine and dh's industries do exist in the UK but they are different and much smaller so that will be an adjustment too.
Not too worried about the children - they are excited to live near their grandparents who they adore, and dd is excited about the potential of getting a house with a garden.
On the to-do list: find job, find house, find a school, get out of here!!

isthissummer Tue 12-Jun-18 19:09:34

We did it after a couple of years away and while some things were great we realised that it wasn't working for us overall so when another overseas job was offered we took it. Ironically by the time we left I think we were all settling in again but it took over a year. I cannot tell you how much I missed having help in the house and resented the bad weather.

BookWitch Tue 12-Jun-18 23:57:43

I've had help in the house for 14 years, but one of the huge pulls home for me is to have my own house. I've lived in three amazing houses and I consider myself lucky, but they were rented and def not mine.
When it is nice and sunny here I think I might miss it but I really miss seasons.
The air quality is terrible here at he moment.

farangatang Wed 13-Jun-18 11:15:25

3 weeks left for us in SE Asia and I am dreading the weather and cost of living back in the UK. I know I'll miss our 'luxury' lifestyle (i.e we have a maid, eat out regularly and holiday frequently!) and the work/life balance.

Hoping it is the right thing for the kids though, who need to learn some independence, especially if they want to go to uni in the UK - they need to know how to catch a bus and a train and not rely on a driver!

scaryteacher Thu 14-Jun-18 07:49:37

I moved back for 9 months after 7 years away, and slotted back in like I'd never been away. The first morning I woke up, rolled over in bed, counted down from 6 in my head, and right on cue, the boiler kicked in! It was a wrench to leave again, having sorted out the house post tenants.

I have now been away for another 4 years, and have another 17 months to go, and am looking forward to going home. Yes, we won't have the massive income, but everything will be paid off, ds is through university, we have everything we need and most of what we want, and can just go home, reoccupy our house and get on with the rest of our lives. I will miss the house we are in now, and if I could take it home I would; but such is life!

papooshka Thu 14-Jun-18 09:23:32

We spent 12 years in Singapore. Coming back was good and it was the right time for us but the first year was really hard. We didn't move back to our home town and so we had to make new friends etc which was not as easy as in expat land. I thought I would easily make friends at the kids primary school but it did take time. Our social life is definitely different, but still good, babysitters are easy to find - lots of willing teenagers. Food is much cheaper and generally life feels 'normal', although Singapore was definitely our home we knew it was never forever. Now we have our own house, no more renting and it feels good!

Cornflake15 Fri 15-Jun-18 20:43:53

We moved back last year and it hasn't been a smooth move at all. DH still hasn't got a job despite being hugely experienced etc and having very "big" role overseas so we are living off my meagre wage and struggling a bit. Wondering we should've stayed overseas after all...

Kursk Fri 15-Jun-18 20:48:43

Moved to the USA, would never be able to bring myself to move back to the UK.

Last time I went back to visit the UK it reaffirmed all the reasons I left

farangatang Tue 19-Jun-18 17:04:12

any more positives? The closer our move date gets, the sadder I'm feeling...

ItchyBites Tue 19-Jun-18 17:16:35

We found there to be lots of positives about moving back. The kids have absolutely thrived in the few months since we moved here, they are in a great school, and they have made friends with some lovely kids. They are able to play in the street, and although there has been some bad weather (particularly at the end of February), in the main it has been fine. Work/life balance is better for us here than it was in Australia and cost of living is lower, although that depends entirely on where you are coming from and where you are going to. It sounds silly, but the thing I've enjoyed the most is the changing of the seasons. We moved back last autumn, have had a winter, spring and we're just in summer, and have loved every second of the changes. I've particularly enjoyed from about April to now, the countryside is absolutely beautiful, green and lush with flowers everywhere you look. It really is a gorgeous country!

I hope your move back goes well, and that you settle back into life in the UK. It is without doubt the best thing we've ever done!

ItsalmostSummer Tue 19-Jun-18 17:20:34

Best thing we did moving back to the UK but unless you have a job it is hard to get reestablished. It felt like we had to start over so that was hard but I loved it so it kind of balanced that. It takes about 2 years I reckon to really feel established again but we didn’t have a house to go to so we started somewhere new too.

ReadySteadyGoooo Tue 19-Jun-18 17:52:14

Thanks for all the stories, both positive and negative. We definitely won't move until at least one of us has a job offer. The plan will be to get a rental initially and then hopefully buy a house once we are more settled.

OlennasWimple Mon 25-Jun-18 15:15:28

We are at that point in DH's assignment where we need to decide whether to return to the UK or sign up for another 3-5 years overseas...

Brexit - this is the big thing for me. Will a post-Brexit UK be a good place to live for us and the DC? If it's going to be like 1980s England (when I was a child) I can't see that it will be good for them at all confused

Scotinoz Fri 29-Jun-18 14:30:07

We moved back to the UK after 10+ years overseas. It's been good.

Yes, there are things we miss about our expat life, but have gained the things we wanted in moving back. Kids have extended family, we see family etc etc.

Yes, we feel like foreigners at times, but it's funny things too. We watch TV shows like 'The best moments of TV in the 00s' and it's all new to us, some bands and celebs have complety bypassed us etc.

It has been mostly positive though

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