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Lady bird

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  1. Lady bird

    Stay in the UK or return to Oz?

    Thanks for your reply BacktoDemocracy, I do really like Brisbane, it’s a fantastic city with a relaxed and vibrant feel to it and lots of character IMO. I definitely miss the weather too! I do find the heat, humidity and storms in Jan/Feb a bit oppressive but aside from that it’s near perfect weather (for me) for the rest of the year. Sorry to hear that your wife had such a bad experience at work-hopefully things worked out ok for her in the end work wise though? Getting older and employability is something to be mindful of definitely, it’s not something I’m overly concerned about in the specific field of healthcare that I work in as there have always been unfilled vacancies for experienced staff (both in the UK and Oz) since I started working (over 16 years ago) and I can’t anticipate that changing any time soon in either country. Securing more senior roles like the one that I’m in at the moment would be more challenging if I move around too much though, but I hope to have made a firmer decision as to where to live long term within the next 2-3 years so I can start to put down more permanent roots (work and life) before age becomes a factor. Re the family thing, I’m lucky that my mum and step dad are both fit and healthy and very active (they’ve got far more friends and a more active social life in their 70’s than I’ve ever had!). So the guilt at the moment is about how much I know they’ll miss me rather than concern about how they would cope practically without me. They definitely don’t expect me to arrange my life around them and understand why I want to go back to Oz but my mum worries about me I guess, so this is another reason she would prefer me to stay here. She’s much more of a home bird than I am and the thought of living on the other side of the world on her own away from family and close friends would be her idea of a nightmare. So I suppose that she struggles to imagine that I could be content in that situation and worries about me feeling isolated……Ageing parents is probably the toughest issue facing most people who emigrate to Oz I imagine…there will obviously come a point in the future when they do need me to be around to support them and when that happens as an only child I will have to move back, either temporarily as I did with my dad or more permanently. Not just due to guilt or duty but because I want to be there for them when they need me.….I may well have moved back well before that becomes an issue anyway if they keep on going strong as they are currently.…but at the moment I’m trying to get away from stressing so much about that and my age-hopefully time is still on my side for now!
  2. Lady bird

    Stay in the UK or return to Oz?

    Thanks for your reply and your condolences Captain Tor. It certainly has been a challenging few months. I’m lucky in that I do have a bit of breathing space, (off work and staying with family) before I make a final decision but I think the decision is more or less made to be honest. As you say there would be too many ‘what if’s’ if I don’t at least go back to Australia in the short term, I think I’d feel like I’m settling in the UK for a lifestyle which isn’t exactly want I want at this stage in my life. I wouldn’t say staying in the UK would be entirely about family and a sense of duty, I love the UK, it’s a spectacular beautiful country, my emotional connection to here is stronger than my connection to OZ and there are definitely aspects of the UK that I miss when I'm away.....however in terms of the reality of my day to day life as a full-time health professional, my lifestyle in Australia is more comfortable and enjoyable and offers me better work opportunities at the moment. Also there’s so much more of Oz that I still want to see and explore and with citizenship so close it would feel like a waste not to go back at least for a couple of years, see more of the country, then reassess. Hearing everyone’s thoughts on this forum has been so helpful as it’s really helped me to get some perspective on the situation. So with my decision more or less made I’m feeling excited and not too daunted-I’ve got far less to sort out on arrival in Oz than when I moved over the first time thankfully. Not looking forward to arranging everything this end though…..shipping (fingers crossed I can get away with a large move cube), pet shipping, short term accommodation, flights, car hire etc etc-can’t believe I’m doing all this again!
  3. Lady bird

    Stay in the UK or return to Oz?

    Thanks for your reply grizzly. Returning to Oz for a couple of years to reassess and get citizenship is definitely an option and probably the one I'm leaning towards most at the moment....as my salary is so much higher over there I'd be in a better financial position if I did come back to the UK after 2 years, even factoring in the cost of the move both ways and a few months off work, than if I just stayed here...and I would have my citizenship too. Financially I'm in a good position now but even with healthy savings for a big deposit I'd struggle at the moment to buy a property I'm happy with in an area I like in the UK close to family on NHS wages. If money was no object and I could afford to live where I wanted and take lots of holidays every year to get my sun fix then I'd probably choose the UK in the longer term to be honest....but given my practical and financial situation my day to day life in Brisbane would be more comfortable and enjoyable...and the thought of not living there again makes me sad after all the hard work I put into moving over and building a life for myself there. If I do move back to Oz it will break my heart to leave my mum though we've grown very close over these past 6 months, she's been my rock through all of this and I know she'll be devastated if I go back which makes me feel so guilty after all the support she's given me...so it's still a tough decision to make!...having said that I could afford to come back at least once a year and she and my step dad are financially in a position to visit me too or meet for a holiday halfway so I could make it work. Thanks again for all your replies everyone it's been really helpful to hear your thoughts and I do feel like I'm getting closer to making a decision!
  4. Lady bird

    Stay in the UK or return to Oz?

    Thanks for your replies everyone. Quoll-Not macabre at all it’s something that anyone in my position needs to seriously think about……pre-symptomatic genetic testing is available for the condition that runs in my family and whether to go for the test or not is something that I have agonised over and discussed with various health professionals and other family members in the same position. However as there’s no cure or effective treatment at the moment I’ve decided that I don’t want to, it would be like having a black cloud hanging over me if I did test positive for the gene. Living with the uncertainty as you say is not great either but it’s the option I’m sticking with at the moment. If a cure or effective treatment was identified (which is a significant possibility within the next 5-6 years) then I would most likely get tested. Testing positive would also have implications in terms of securing a mortgage and health insurance etc. Finding it more difficult to establish a support network in Australia than the UK is something I’ve read on this forum many times and something that I do worry about. My group of friends and colleagues in Oz is a mix of UK expats and Australians and to be honest I haven’t found them any less friendly (not just superficially so), supportive or difficult to connect with than the people I know in the UK. Though obviously you’ve got more experience of this than I have and as you say it’s whether those relationships stand the test of time…. Tea4too-Thanks for the good luck wishes! it seems like the consensus is with you, that I should follow my heart and prioritise my immediate happiness at this stage of my life and at least go back to get citizenship….. Marisa and Ramot-Your replies made me smile. I probably am overthinking the age thing, reading my post back you’d think I’m 80 not 40! I know 40 isn’t old and there’s hopefully lots of time for fun and adventure still. Marisa I do agree that my recent losses, particularly losing my dad, has triggered this fear of being alone and needing to settle down, a frame of mind that’s most likely temporary as it’s not like me to feel this way generally, so I shouldn’t let that dictate my decision. Cal-I think you hit the nail on the head with your comment about ‘settling’. Staying in the UK seems like the easier, more practical and sensible option and I’m sure I could be content here but I worry that I will feel like I’m ‘settling’ for less if I do stay as it’s not where I imagined ending up at this stage in my life. Ali-Thanks for your condolences. I don’t have citizenship yet just PR. I agree that if I don’t return to Oz it might always feel like unfinished business, and then I might struggle to settle properly in the UK due to the what if’s. Thanks again everyone your replies have given me lots to think about and brought about a bit more clarity!
  5. Lady bird

    Stay in the UK or return to Oz?

    Thanks for your replies so far. Quoll, if you'd asked me this time last year I would have said that I'm in 'life is an adventure' mode. I'm not a homebody by nature, I moved away from home to uni when I was 18 and then to London and never looked back. I've always been very independent and self reliant and never felt the need to have lots of people around me or to see my family very often. I was focused on enjoying myself, living an interesting life and travelling as much as possible. But this past 6 months I've felt an increasing need to feel more 'settled' I think it's due to the combination of losing my dad and finding myself single again at this age and turning 40, that's all brought with it the realisation that I'm getting older and that my family won't be here forever. I guess it's left me feeling vulnerable which is new to me. So whether I stay in the UK or move back to Oz one of my main focuses would be on establishing a strong support network (as awful as this sounds-before my mum and step dad pass away), buying a property and potentially starting a new relationship down the line. Given my age I really want to start establishing this now rather than ping ponging so whichever country I choose it would be with the intention of staying there long term and building my life there. If I was 5 or 10 years younger I might be more inclined to go back to Oz just for a few more years and see how it goes but due to my circumstances if I do move back now it would be with a view to it being permanent-this obviously brings with it more pressure to make the right decision! I completely agree that it's a bad time for me to be making life changing decisions but my work have already granted me 12 months unpaid leave and can't extend this so I need to return by May at the latest. Obviously I have more of a support network to build on in the UK if that's my priority .....but I prefer living in Australia overall...though I do have a few good friends in Oz and some lovely colleagues and my ex-partner is still there and I'm still on friendly terms with him and could potentially rely on him and my friends in a crisis. Toots-many thanks for your condolences-yes it really has been a rubbish few months! Marisa I'm interested about your gut feeling that my future is in the UK, is there anything in particular that leads you to feel that?
  6. Lady bird

    Stay in the UK or return to Oz?

    Apologies in advance for the long post but I think it’s important to give some background info to my current dilemma. I moved from the UK to Australia just over 3 years ago with my partner of 12 years. I moved back to the UK about 8 months ago primarily because my dad was terminally ill and partly because my relationship was breaking down. My partner and I subsequently separated and my dad sadly passed away 2 months ago. I was always unsure whether the move back to the UK would be permanent as I enjoyed life in Oz and my work agreed to keep my job open for me until May this year in case I return to Oz. So I’m now facing the huge dilemma as to what to do and need to decide within the next couple of months. I don’t regret separating from my partner it was 100% the right thing to do however I don’t have any children and I’m not ‘young’ anymore (I’ll be 41 this year) so I’m also feeling the pressure of making the right decision as to where to build a new life for myself as a mature single person. I really struggled when I first came back to the UK but I think a lot of that was coming to terms with my dad’s terminal illness, my relationship break up and also the fact that I was living and working in city about an hours drive away from my family where I didn’t know anyone. I’m finally starting to feel more comfortable here again now though. At the moment I’m taking some time out and staying with family whilst I attempt to make a decision as to what to do next. I don’t have a huge support network in either the UK or Oz. In the UK I have my mum and step dad and a few extended family members. I have a couple of close friends in London where I lived for 18 years prior to moving to OZ. I can’t afford to live in London as a single person on NHS wages though so if I do stay in the UK it will be close to family in the North Midlands. My best friends lives in Portugal so I don’t see her too often but it’s obviously a lot easier and cheaper to see her from the UK than from OZ. In Australia I have a few friends but as I was there for less than 3 years and also because my partner and I spent most of our time together I wouldn’t say I have any really close friends there but definitely there’s scope to build on those existing friendships. I guess in either country though I’m kind of starting again as a single person friendship wise. I guess my pros for moving back to Australia are: · I prefer the weather overall (sunshine and blue skies in Brisbane most of the year). · I have a really good well paid job in the health service which I enjoy and I get on with my colleagues. In the UK there is possibly more variety in terms of the jobs in my field however the pay is significantly lower and I’m approximately £25000 a year worse off salary wise in the UK. · My standard of living/quality of life in terms of housing and areas I could afford to live in is higher in Oz. · I prefer Brisbane as a city to the region in the UK where I would be living and working. · I prefer the lifestyle in Brisbane overall. · Also I worked so hard to get the visa (PR) and that job that I have in Oz so not returning would potentially leave me with lots of what ifs. My pros for staying the UK are: · My mum and step dad. Neither of them want me to go back to Oz and I’m aware that even though they’re in good health they’re not getting any younger (mid 70’s) so that could change quite quickly. They have lots of supportive friends but immediate family wise I’m all they’ve got and losing my dad has made my acutely aware that they won’t be here forever and that I should cherish the time I do have left with them. · Closer to my close friends and best friend so I can see them for weekends and also holiday with them. · The illness that my dad had is genetic so I could potentially develop serious health problems within the next 5-10 years. Though I’m ok at the moment and don’t know whether I carry the gene or not. · I have a cat (who has already travelled to Oz and back with me once), rehoming him is not an option and I’d feel so guilty putting him through that again-not to mention the expense! · The disruption expense and upheaval of moving back to Oz · I did miss things like seasons, history, pubs, sense of belonging etc when I was away and I’m only just starting to feel more settled again here now. I’m just so torn at the moment my sensible head says stay in the UK and build a new life for myself here closer to family, that sunshine and a big salary and lifestyle is not as important as loved ones. My heart says that I should just go for it and return to Oz but I’m terrified of getting back there and feeling alone and thinking ‘what have I done?’. Returning as mature single person will be very difficult to going there as part of a couple or a family with that ready-made support, I’m well aware. I know that it’s my decision and no one can advise me of what to do but I’d be interested on hearing other people’s thoughts on what they would do in position? And whether anyone thinks it sounds completely mad and reckless to be contemplating returning to Oz with my circumstances? As most people on this section of the forum will have had experience of living in both countries/moving back/ping ponging I’d really appreciate your words of wisdom!