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Would you move abroad with your kids for a 'happier' life?

(8 Posts)
Ge0rgina Thu 16-Jan-14 16:22:30

I have been offered to move with my 2 children to live with my brother in California. Of course, this sounds AMAZING. But this is still a huge decision to make, as it is inevitably going to affect my children's' lives.

I have been researching information on British expats and the quality of life in certain countries..

It's amazing to see how many Britons leave the UK to live in another country- according to the infographic on the homepage of, 198,000 people left Britain in 2012 (I'm struggling to find data on 2013 at the moment). When I think of it like that, it reassures me that I am not alone in making this big decision. It doesn't, however, say how many families/single parents with children left Britain.

I'm sure that they will absolutely love their lives out in California (once they have got past the transitions of new schools, new friends, and leaving their best friends back in England).

If I decided to go, it would be early August so that the kids have enough time to enjoy the weather and be ready for their new school.

Does anybody know of a friends' experience moving abroad with their kids? I'm keen to get a lot more personal insight on this subject, as it's hard to get out of my mind at the moment.

Minnieisthedevilmouse Thu 16-Jan-14 16:32:00

Yes a friend moved to Seattle. 3 kids. They adore it. Eldest now starting uni out there. Watching them it's been an amazing experience.

Happy is transient. Contentment might be better and they are very content there.

Minnieisthedevilmouse Thu 16-Jan-14 16:33:00

Tbh it was easier for the kids. Bit more scary for my friend.

NaturalBaby Thu 16-Jan-14 16:37:37

We're going to be doing it in a few weeks but only to Europe so it will be a relatively short trip to visit friends and relatives at home. We're planning on coming back for secondary school - ds1 is 5 which I've been told is a great age to do it, and he's very excited.

Ragwort Thu 16-Jan-14 16:40:34

Yes I would. But as Minnie says it is hard to define 'happiness' - certainly you can have a fabulous lifestyle in California.

We have tried to move to the States a few times but the employment/visa rules are very difficult - have you got all that sort of thing arranged?

When your children are old enough try and get them dual citizenship.

Sounds wonderful envy

HoratiaDrelincourt Thu 16-Jan-14 16:48:56

I would go for DH's work, or for DC... but I'm under no illusions as to the effect it would have on wider family life.

Expat friends make frequent (that is, twice-yearly) visits home, which is $$$, and still they don't get to see everyone. Skype isn't a substitute for an actual relationship. For medical reasons my mother couldn't fly to visit us, so all the visits would be our responsibility.

Then there's the cost of medical insurance if your employer's package isn't good - a friend didn't get back the value of her premiums and excess the year she was having cancer treatment hmm although admittedly no overnight stays which are the expensive bits.

If we didn't have other family still living, or if the right job came up with the right salary/benefits to offer real security, then maybe. But there isn't enough I dislike about the UK enough to leave for other reasons.

MooseBeTimeForSnow Thu 16-Jan-14 16:52:01

We moved to Canada 3 years ago. Best thing we ever did, although we didn't have children. DS is 2. We were able to relocate because of DH's job. There weren't any Canadians skilled enough to do it. We were sponsored by his employer on a work visa but we now have PR status and are applying for citizenship at the end of this year.

It's the visa aspect that would concern me here OP. Have you checked things out? I know the US is even more difficult to get into than Canada. With sponsorship we moved in 4 months. A friend who applied to emigrate through the usual channels was waiting 3 years.

LadyInDisguise Thu 16-Jan-14 16:54:58

I have done it as a child.
The best thing that has happened to me. It has opened my horizons in ways that nothing else could have done.
I have done it as an adult, albeit with no dcs, 3 times. In my experience it's harder for the adults than the children and you want to be happy to change the way you live as well as your expectations as to how things should be done, culture etc..,
If you are, the one of the best experience ime.

One comment about moving to be happy asin your title. You can not expect amour to make your life good and happy. Your life will be as happy as you make it to be regardless of the location and country.
So don't move to be happy. Move for a different culture, experiencing different culture, the weather. But nit in the hope your problems will be solved. Because they won't

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