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meme78

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meme78 last won the day on February 23

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About meme78

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  1. meme78

    Am i mad!?

    I came back to the UK 3 years ago after over 9 in Australia. Although it's taken adjustment here, I NEVER felt that 'at home' feeling down under, and it got very exhausting in the end. The old friends who were still around welcomed me back- we had all changed through life stages- but it made me truly appreciate a sense of belonging and 'being myself' again. Sometimes I walk around places in England and I well up- the sense of belonging somewhere still hits me even after 3 years back. I love going away and coming back to the UK. It's an amazing, diverse, challenging and wonderful place. For me, it will always be home, even if I travel again. No plans to leave- since getting back, i've got 'fresh eyes' and find everything so very interesting- i'm a sucker for history, and i'll never be bored in the UK. Also truly value the old and new people in my life here. I've found it much easier to make new friends in the UK. That's my experience anyway.
  2. meme78

    Moving Back to the UK from Australia - Positive Stories

    I have been back in the UK 3 years very soon, after about 9 in Australia. During my time there, I went from elation to loving the place and ranting about how great everything was to returning to UK when I had my baby, to returning to Australia and still liking it and raising a kid with little to no support, to then enter the years of being crushed by the isolation, homesickness and general 'this is not home' feelings. Like a lot of people, underestimated how as life changes, so do you- the backpacking me was no longer the mother me, the missing family, my own culture and seeing my parents age. Australia grated more and more, and i felt like a nothing person, i had lost all sense of self, normal for mums of young kids but coupled with cultural isolation, even worse. I was not into baking, netball, BBQs or beaches by this point- I longed for nothing more than to show my child what i had grown up with- basically UK culture. It has been hard starting over and it's a struggle for some of us returning. As a single parent, the UK is a tough place. Rent is high, help with childcare much less than in Australia and yet I am way happier. Returning to old friendships- i had to put a lot of work into re-establishing bonds etc, and have made lots of new ones also. I found it very tough making proper friends in Australia- most of those when tested, fell apart. Here, we have a life full of people and activities. And family. I walk around disgruntled by many things in the UK but I actually laugh here, connect to people and fit in. You cannot put a price on that. They say mental health is better treated in Australia but i disagree. When i was going through a terrible time, that old attitude of 'toughen up and get on with it' was not helpful. I find my British friends are a lot more sympathetic and help out more, and I do so in return. Overall, yes a success. I still think of Australia kindly and would like to visit for a holiday and dream of a long stint during my older years travelling around NW WA. However, for now, it has been lovely finding the old me. My child also loves UK life and has no desires to return to Australia. Whether that changes who knows, but there really is no place like home....
  3. meme78

    What makes Britain GREAT.

    One thing which I'm sure has taken its toll on me was the constant glare in Australia. Even in winter, I'd struggle to drive without sunnies. That can't be good, surely?! I find I am super sensitive these days to light and I wonder if 10 years down under had some sort of effect on that. The UK can be grey let's face it, but it can also be wonderfully changing, stimulating and different. I find being in tune with the seasons here does wonders for my natural body clock- I truly believe there is something to be said about feeling the 'right way up' and better placed in the northern hemisphere (if you grew up this way around). I always felt the wrong way around in Australia, seasons, time, you name it. I think it added to the sense of displacement. Whilst winters are no longer 'hard' in the UK (certainly not in the South anyway) by the time March arrives I hold my hands up and i'm desperate for Spring. But, I was also desperate for the Adelaide summer to bog off in March- and awaited more gentler weather patterns. I find the UK busy, diverse, culturally rich, problematic, historically interesting, the natural environment amazing, the people for the most part friendly and interesting, certain things expensive, certain things not. The best thing about it, is that it feels like home.
  4. meme78

    Quality of life for kids

    with sea and sand?! really?! that is just so very shallow. having lived in both with my child, her life is no better or worse in either. In fact, less to worry about here- no mossies, snakes or sunburn/heat exhaustion- her hayfever and constant skin infections are no more in the UK. We still visit the beach btw- and we still cycle, go for walks, swim (outdoors in summer, indoors in winter) and our lives are no better or worse for either place. Having had 2 potential skin cancers cut off whilst in Oz, I'm happy to be without slathering on toxic sunscreen. Honestly- think of all the kids who grow up in northern Europe, or Canada- you don't hear them moaning about 6 months of snow and are you seriously saying all those children are unhappy, or having a horrible childhood? The wonderful thing about humans are is- we are adaptable. I had a lovely childhood in the UK- weather is a big part of that- memories of long summer days or cold, snowy ones- all lovely, never stopped me feeling happy.
  5. meme78

    Quality of life for kids

    hello. don't over think it- kids will be kids wherever- i brought Miss 8 (was then just 6) back and she's doing great. She has no desires to return to Oz and says she barely remembers it now. We've done SO much in the UK since we've been here. London is on our doorstep-we've done the theatres, museums and galleries. We've been camping, visited castles and stately homes. We did our first trip to Spain and it blew her mind- our friends who speak 3 languages introduced her to a world she'd never known and she loved it. We've learned the geography of Europe, met people from so many places, she learns French and Dutch at school. We have things to do every weekend- not always costly- and we don't miss the geographical or cultural isolation that we had in Australia. There is just so much to do here. Sure- winter is testing by February- but so was the Adelaide summer- day after day of not being able to play outside, park equipment being too hot and fearing sunburn. We live near a small beach here and she loves it just the same- it's nothing on an Aussie beach but it's got water, safe swimming and no sharks and plenty of sand to build castles. School is harder here- they push them more and it's less fun. But, what can you do? I find the teachers excellent and the extra curricular stuff really good, if you're keen on that. Our lives here are richer for culture- without a doubt. We aren't outdoorsy, so not being able to do things outside all year doesn't bother us. Generally though, we are more engaged with life and the world. I lived in Perth for a spell and I can see where you're coming from. It is more of the same. There is nowhere to go barring a big drive or flight. Here, we can drive for an hour and be somewhere totally different. And we can catch a plane and the same goes again. Good luck! Ps. we still manage to swim, cycle and walk and I do yoga- we do all of those things here- just in a different way- we don't have our own pool, but there's plenty of indoor public pools. we can cycle most of the year and walk too- no snakes, mossies and sunburn- just mud
  6. meme78

    Quality of life for kids

    hello. don't over think it- kids will be kids wherever- i brought Miss 8 (was then just 6) back and she's doing great. She has no desires to return to Oz and says she barely remembers it now. We've done SO much in the UK since we've been here. London is on our doorstep-we've done the theatres, museums and galleries. We've been camping, visited castles and stately homes. We did our first trip to Spain and it blew her mind- our friends who speak 3 languages introduced her to a world she'd never known and she loved it. We've learned the geography of Europe, met people from so many places, she learns French and Dutch at school. We have things to do every weekend- not always costly- and we don't miss the geographical or cultural isolation that we had in Australia. There is just so much to do here. Sure- winter is testing by February- but so was the Adelaide summer- day after day of not being able to play outside, park equipment being too hot and fearing sunburn. We live near a small beach here and she loves it just the same- it's nothing on an Aussie beach but it's got water, safe swimming and no sharks and plenty of sand to build castles. School is harder here- they push them more and it's less fun. But, what can you do? I find the teachers excellent and the extra curricular stuff really good, if you're keen on that. Our lives here are richer for culture- without a doubt. We aren't outdoorsy, so not being able to do things outside all year doesn't bother us. Generally though, we are more engaged with life and the world. I lived in Perth for a spell and I can see where you're coming from. It is more of the same. There is nowhere to go barring a big drive or flight. Here, we can drive for an hour and be somewhere totally different. And we can catch a plane and the same goes again. Good luck!
  7. meme78

    Torn

    that's what im thinking- when we 'gave it a go' back in 2010 it was in full on recession mode but things are on the turn. we had no way to survive it back then either which really clouded our experience of it. it's true what someone else said, that you will always have Australia in your blood (it has altered me forever) and the UK will always seem different. but i'm hoping, not in a bad way. i long for a sense of belonging and you can never alter where you're from- esp as you get older and crave it more. we are so lucky. we can live in both. my job allows me to travel. fear is no reason not to do something either. the winter can be gotten through. both countries have things to offer and things which irritate. i'll try and make the most of wherever we are. kids adapt and who knows, we could get more out 'being back' than we thought. thanks.
  8. meme78

    Torn

    thanks for your reply. I know i sounded negative about the UK, but i do really miss some aspects of life there. My child isn't really old enough to decide, although she does miss her grandparents and her only cousins are in the UK too. My husband said he would 'do it for me' but has no real love of the idea- the last time we went back he struggled to find work although since that time, he has new skills which would find him employment i'm sure. But, relationships have compromises and it's ok for him as all his immediate family are here. I never imagined we would be in such a dilemma, although it's not an immediate rush like i said. but each year i am so 'homesick' that it slays me for a good while- i know a lot of people feel like this. i guess we could go back for a few years, make the most of our time with family, europe, uk places etc, and leave our house here rented.
  9. meme78

    Torn

    hi all- just another thread from an emotional and torn pom. I don't have anyone else to share with- my australian friends don't understand and unfortunately I am also friends with a lot of 'newbie' poms who are still in the honeymoon stage. Been here 9 years on and off, have citizenship so very grateful- husband also a pom but moved here when young and feels no connection to the UK- the only time we gave it a go there he hated it. Child- only lived here. I wont say i dont enjoy our lives here but it's funny how things change- now that i'm older I can see my parents ageing quickly and I don't think I could live with myself if i didn't spend time with them whilst they were still able to enjoy life. i always thought they would end up moving over but that's no longer going to happen as they have one child here, one there, and they will not choose one over the other etc- plus their lives are there. we are not able to move until 2 years when my husbands work contract finishes and at least that's something- it forces us to stay whilst we think things through. i am very fearful of life in the UK- I don't do winters, and last time I tried I ended up on anti depressants. I am also not used to life there anymore and last time i went for 6 weeks i felt like a complete outsider. i guess a lot of people feel like that and time makes that issue better. I also worry for my child's education- it's pretty good here and i only hear horror stories from my uk teacher friends and parents. i also worry my husband would struggle, although he does still have some close family there. touch wood i have a job to go to (my job can be done anywhere) and we have a house here to fall back on. i guess the dilemma is- is it worth doing so i can spend time with my family? we are close and i have learnt that friends move on (they really have and i no longer stay in touch with any really) but you only get one shot at being with family. it's fear more than anything- life in the UK is so different to what we have here. but, i struggle often with some aspects of life here anyway. i used to love the heat but found this summer unbearable, nearly trod on a brown snake this week just near my house, struggle to feed our family on less than $280 a week and have always had a nagging sense of loneliness despite having friends and a family etc. i know you may say 'go back for a while' but so worried it will be so expensive an exercise (we are on a moderate income) and we will all hate it etc- or at least, my child and husband will hate it. thanks for listening.
  10. Can anyone help? I left the UK around 6 years ago with an outstanding credit card debt. The credit card company then forwarded this debt to a UK based debt agency, and I have been making regular monthly payments in line with an agreement for around 4 years. However, unbeknown to me, the original credit card company have now sold my debt onto a US based debt agency who are being fairly aggressive in their communications. Basically, I have been paying money for around 18 months not knowing that the UK debt collectors are no longer dealing with it- not being UK based, they said they could not ring me. I'd like to know how much power these horrid US based debt collectors have? I am an Australian Citizen by now, and would like to make it clear I am not refusing to pay my debt, I haven't missed a payment yet, but threats are not nice at any level and how far can these guys go? The debt isn't substantial, but I can't pay them off in total right now. Thanks so much.
  11. it's true that having a baby that far away can be a massive upheavel- i did it too, and got through it. ALL of my family and long term friends were back home. but it's not impossible. it depends on your personality, your relationship, and your ability to cope, if this is your first child, well, you won't know how you are going to adapt till it happens, as it's cliche but nothing can prepare you for the life change. if you can wait, perhaps do so. I wish in some ways i had had more support, but saying that, when is it ever easy to live 12,000 miles away from uk family? my child is now nearly three, and it's still not easy. in some ways, if you put it off, you may never come, especially when your family start having a real relationship with your child. can anyone come out to help you for the first 6-8 weeks? just a thought. good luck! and remember, pregnancy is the easy bit- it's when they come out that the real challenges start
  12. I have been in Australia since 2005 and this year I finally become a citizen. I have been through 4 different visa processes myself, and I am thinking of re training as a migration agent. I would like to know if people who are using/have used agents would be more keen to use/trust someone who had not only migrated themselves, but who understood on a personal level what it's like to go through the visa process? Would you rather use a pom, or aussie, or doesn't it matter? How did you choose and agent and what was important? What's your experience been like? It's quite a big investment for me to retrain, but I do feel I could bring a lot of good qualities to the job. Thank you all.
  13. I had my baby here on a 457 visa. went to a public hospital, had all my ante natal care there, was brilliant. no one asked me a thing- i almost kept offering to pay but big hospitals are fully aware of the reciprocal agreement. i did have to pay for my own blood tests and glucose tests which all aussies do too- cost around $500 in total. not much over the 9 month period. had a c section in the end and a private room. only complaint was i was chucked out after 3 days stay- but that's pretty standard in the UK too. all was well though and no major complaints. you will be fine.
  14. I have a good friend currently in the same position. We had no idea GTP wasn't recognised until she paid for a migration agent and started the state sponsorship process. Like you she has made several hundred calls since this depressing news. Follow some of the GTP threads on there, but what i can tell you is that her only option (BA plus QTS plus 10 years teaching experience) is to re do a PGCE. HOWEVER, it is very hard to find a provider who will allow a teacher currently working and qualified to do one BUT she has found one. HOWEVER, even if she does this, she will THEN need an extra 2 years post qualifying UK exp before she can apply. She is weighing this up against doing the same thing here in Australia as a Masters of Education- if you have a spare load of cash, you can qualify here then apply for a graduate visa which will hopefully then go through to PR. I can't tell you what to do, but i can tell you neither way is quick or simple. Hope this helps. It's truly crap that the GTP was sold as a great route into teaching but it doesn't look like being world recognised anytime soon. Sorry.
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