Anyone moved back after a couple of decades? - Even for a fixed period of a few months?
I would be interested on peoples thoughts on the pros and cons and other long term migrants experiences on moving back after a very long period.
I was 14 when I moved here from a coal mining village in Yorkshire and am now 33 and I have always missed England. I am married with a 4 yr old son about to start school next yr. My wife was born here but is of German heritage and we have visited her relatives several times in Germany / Austria and Holland. She loves Europe but flatly refuses to move, even for just a few months, due to the upheaval.
My circumstances are complex - I shall try and summarise (It will still be an essay - many thanks if you have the patience to read through!)
Obviously it was not my decision to move here. I was simply sat down one night in 1989 and told that I was about to move to Australia. I understand it is a parents decision but I have always resented that such a monumental decision was taken about my life just like that. (Obviously I wouldn't exist without my parents but nonetheless I live here because of what my father wanted not what I wanted).
I have never had a close relationship with my father and my father figure was my maternal Grandfather who is still alive and well as can be expected at 84. He also lead the local scout troop which was the other love of my childhood and provided the most special experiences of my life. I have one other grandparent also alive and well in the village. I really want to spend time with my Grandparents while I still can. I don;t want the regret of knowing I could have spent time with them but chose not to when I still could.
I had several very close friends in England all of which I will be staying with in July on a UK visit. My friends in the UK are much, much closer to me (emotionally speaking) than my friends here.
I was always extremely fragile socially and quite academic so going to a rough western sydney high school lead to a great deal of stress and loneliness. I hate driving past it even now - My school in England was hardly fabulous but my friends were there.
I have also developed some severe mental health issues which has obviously tainted my experience of life in Australia. At University I developed OCD which completely destroyed my university life (I was given effective medication right at the end of Uni after 2.5 yrs of suffering) and I just scraped through. Two years ago I had to take 12 months off work for severe depression and was hospitalised for several months. I am still steadily recovering. I plummeted into depression on returning from the UK where I was best man at a school friends wedding.
(Moving opens up some serious health insurance issues - I have good cover now because I had it pre illness - Taking out a new policy would be next to impossible for a sane premium - I still use hospital services and need the protection and reassurance it provides. Don't know if you can maintain a policy if you are not in the country even if I moved just for a few months.
I had a life that was happy although far from perfect that I have never come close to realising again in Australia. Not even close.
There is one feeling at the core of it. When I lived in England the place was 'mine' the village was mine, the school was mine, the history of the country was mine (despite one grandfather being a european migrant) My town was mine, even if parts of it were totally crap. Australia is not me and nothing is 'mine' - I just mean this in the sense that I have no sense of heritage or belonging or pride in the place I now live. I understnad other people feel totally comfortable here, both locally born and migrant. I just never have. It just feels like I am in a foreign country alll the time despite living here for 60% of my life.
My wife refuses to entertain moving even just for a 6 month period. She is still recovering from single handedly supporting the family through my illness. I understand this but she refuses to even talk about options. With Hugo's school starting next year I don't want him to start then stop and be out of sync with the English system.
I understand England is not the one I lived in in the 1980's (and I am no longer 14) but I just want to try it out - Just for a few months.
I suspect on many fronts I may be disappointed and surprised but at least after so many years I can stop wondering - and finally the decision will be my own