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Ballaratburd

Considering making the big move

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Hi everyone. I posted here last year about the same topic but given that I’m considering moving home again I wanted to have a chat about it in a forum that can be non objective.

My husband and I moved to Melbourne from Glasgow almost 7 years ago, we now live in Ballarat (small city 100km west of Melbourne) it took a bit of time but we finally managed to get into good jobs over here (nurse and policeman) bought a house, have recently had our second child and just purchased a block of land with the intent of building our dream home. I was very homesick after the birth of our first child but it subsided for the most part however recently (past 6 months) my husband has admitted that he feels like he is “done with Australia” He isint unhappy, doesn’t mind work and likes where we live, but for the most part he says he doesn’t fit in here and I tend to agree with him. We have no real friends here, I have lots of friends from work and mums groups but no one that I feel I could call on in a real emergency. I miss my friends and family at home and I do feel like I am depriving them from having a real relationship with my two sons.

 

At the risk of sounding overly dramatic I now feel genuine turmoil because since he told me this all I can think about is whether moving back home would be the right thing for our family? I really enjoy my job here and I love so many aspects of the lifestyle but Is having better pay and working conditions and better weather and access to the outdoors worth never feeling that proper sense of belonging? It’s also a real struggle sometimes having two young children, a husband who works long hours and zero support. 
 

Not really sure what I am looking for here, just a bit of chat really and perspective from other poms I suppose. I should add that we became citizens last month and have extremely transferable jobs so if the worst came to the worst and we hated being at home then we could always come back, however I also feel I can’t really just use that as a back up because I’m a mum of two now and things are very different from moving here as a young couple with no ties and responsibilities.

 

Thanks for reading 

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You'll get plenty of people telling you, "Don't go back, you'll be worse off, you'll be mad to leave such a great lifestyle".   That's not the point. 

The question to ask yourself is, can you see yourself growing old in Australia?   Can you look forward to spending the rest of your natural life here, or does that thought fill you with dread?  If it's dread, then make a definite plan to go home as soon as you can.  It's going to take time to rebuild your life, pensions etc in the UK so the sooner you start, the better. 

We have seen so many members who wanted to go home but decided to persevere for a few years, to take advantage of better pay/better conditions etc.   But the problem is, the longer you stay, the more entrenched you get, and you'll find yourself putting it off for a couple more years, and a couple more, and suddenly you're stuck  - "we can't move now because it will disrupt our chlid's education",  "we can't move now because he wants to go to university and we'd have to pay international fees in the UK",  "we can't leave now because our son wants to stay with his girlfriend and I can't bear to leave without him", and finally, "we're stuck here forever now because of the grandkids". Don't be one of those sad people who get stuck in a foreign land.

 

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Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

"The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

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2 hours ago, Marisawright said:

You'll get plenty of people telling you, "Don't go back, you'll be worse off, you'll be mad to leave such a great lifestyle".   That's not the point. 

The question to ask yourself is, can you see yourself growing old in Australia?   Can you look forward to spending the rest of your natural life here, or does that thought fill you with dread?  If it's dread, then make a definite plan to go home as soon as you can.  It's going to take time to rebuild your life, pensions etc in the UK so the sooner you start, the better. 

We have seen so many members who wanted to go home but decided to persevere for a few years, to take advantage of better pay/better conditions etc.   But the problem is, the longer you stay, the more entrenched you get, and you'll find yourself putting it off for a couple more years, and a couple more, and suddenly you're stuck  - "we can't move now because it will disrupt our chlid's education",  "we can't move now because he wants to go to university and we'd have to pay international fees in the UK",  "we can't leave now because our son wants to stay with his girlfriend and I can't bear to leave without him", and finally, "we're stuck here forever now because of the grandkids". Don't be one of those sad people who get stuck in a foreign land.

 

Thank you. I fear that if we don’t do it now that it will keep rearing it’s ugly head until we do go back and by then it would be much more difficult

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5 minutes ago, Ballaratburd said:

Thank you. I fear that if we don’t do it now that it will keep rearing it’s ugly head until we do go back and by then it would be much more difficult

I think you're right to worry about that.  Some people (like me) can move to a new country and feel they belong there.  We make good migrants, and sometimes it's hard for us to understand why other people don't settle.   We're tempted to say, 'What's not to love? What are you complaining about?" but that's not the point. You can appreciate Australia and still feel there's a hole in your heart because you're not where you truly belong.  If that's how you feel, it will never ever go away - in fact, it's only going to get stronger.  So I think you need to move before your kids grow up too Aussie and you get stuck.

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Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

"The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

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Usual rule of thumb - do the coin toss - if your response to the first answer is "best of three" you know what you need to do.  I would once have considered myself a very successful migrant but 30 years down the track I was trapped and loathed it. I've just returned from nearly 9 years in UK and without a doubt they were the best 9 years I've had of late.  It really is a stupid ephemeral thing - belonging.  If you dont belong, you dont belong I reckon and trying to be rational and pragmatic about it just doesnt work.  For me it's a whole load of things - colours, humour, friendships, variety, history - the works.  Marisa said it - dont let yourself get past the point of no return!  I had to laugh at your comment about better weather though - in Ballarat????? (sorry, the in laws live there and the weather has done all sorts of weird things when we've been there, including the year it snowed on Christmas Day!!!!  Bushfires in Canberra and sleet in Ballarat, go figure!).  Good luck with your decision making!

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5 hours ago, Ballaratburd said:

Thank you. I fear that if we don’t do it now that it will keep rearing it’s ugly head until we do go back and by then it would be much more difficult

If you have been in AUS 7 years, do you have citizenship? If not have you been in AUS enough actual time to qualify.

If you have citizenship (or could get it by applying) I'd be tempted to head back to the UK and try it out, knowing I could come back anytime I want without having to go through visa applications again. 

It's a harder decision if you aren't yet eligible for citizenship/not willing to wait while it is conferred as then you need to think, "would I want to come back in 10 years?"

 

But as Marisa says, don't get yourself into a position where you are stuck in a country you don't want to be in - nothing worse than that

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24 minutes ago, Ausvisitor said:

If you have been in AUS 7 years, do you have citizenship? If not have you been in AUS enough actual time to qualify.

If you have citizenship (or could get it by applying) I'd be tempted to head back to the UK and try it out, knowing I could come back anytime I want without having to go through visa applications again. 

It's a harder decision if you aren't yet eligible for citizenship/not willing to wait while it is conferred as then you need to think, "would I want to come back in 10 years?"

 

But as Marisa says, don't get yourself into a position where you are stuck in a country you don't want to be in - nothing worse than that

OP says they got  citizenship last month in her first post

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We lived in Sydney for almost 9 years, and it was only in the last three or maybe four years there that I started to feel unsettled. Not homesick as such, but just like I didn't belong. We had friends, but as you say they weren't the kind of friends you could rely on in an emergency. People were friendly, but those deeper friendships never developed somehow. I started to feel quite isolated and depressed, but didn't feel I could tell my husband because he seemed to be enjoying himself. We came over to the UK for a holiday, and that pretty much cemented my feelings. I confessed I wanted to move back, and husband admitted that he was a bit 'meh' about Australia anyway. We ended up moving to Scotland (where we'd not lived before - husband was offered a job so we took the chance), and although our marriage has since broken down, I'm sure it was the right thing to do.

Although we're in a different place in the UK to where we'd come from, and we didn't move close to family and friends, I feel more at home here than anywhere I've lived before. I have made some amazing 3am friends (you know, the ones you could phone in the middle of the night), and am really enjoying being part of an amazing community. I think it's the best thing I've ever done! 

I completely agree with what Marisa says - don't get stuck. We moved back before eldest started high school for that very reason. I couldn't imagine being stuck in a place I didn't want to be (not to mention what might have happened if ex and I had separated over there! That doesn't bear thinking about!).

Could you afford to go back to the UK for a visit, once this Coronavirus has done one? Maybe that might help to clarify your feelings.

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18 hours ago, Ausvisitor said:

If you have been in AUS 7 years, do you have citizenship? If not have you been in AUS enough actual time to qualify.

If you have citizenship (or could get it by applying) I'd be tempted to head back to the UK and try it out, knowing I could come back anytime I want without having to go through visa applications again. 

It's a harder decision if you aren't yet eligible for citizenship/not willing to wait while it is conferred as then you need to think, "would I want to come back in 10 years?"

 

But as Marisa says, don't get yourself into a position where you are stuck in a country you don't want to be in - nothing worse than that

We have our citizenship so going home and “trying it out” is a definite option. It’s just a very overwhelming decision to make I suppose

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17 hours ago, LKC said:

We lived in Sydney for almost 9 years, and it was only in the last three or maybe four years there that I started to feel unsettled. Not homesick as such, but just like I didn't belong. We had friends, but as you say they weren't the kind of friends you could rely on in an emergency. People were friendly, but those deeper friendships never developed somehow. I started to feel quite isolated and depressed, but didn't feel I could tell my husband because he seemed to be enjoying himself. We came over to the UK for a holiday, and that pretty much cemented my feelings. I confessed I wanted to move back, and husband admitted that he was a bit 'meh' about Australia anyway. We ended up moving to Scotland (where we'd not lived before - husband was offered a job so we took the chance), and although our marriage has since broken down, I'm sure it was the right thing to do.

Although we're in a different place in the UK to where we'd come from, and we didn't move close to family and friends, I feel more at home here than anywhere I've lived before. I have made some amazing 3am friends (you know, the ones you could phone in the middle of the night), and am really enjoying being part of an amazing community. I think it's the best thing I've ever done! 

I completely agree with what Marisa says - don't get stuck. We moved back before eldest started high school for that very reason. I couldn't imagine being stuck in a place I didn't want to be (not to mention what might have happened if ex and I had separated over there! That doesn't bear thinking about!).

Could you afford to go back to the UK for a visit, once this Coronavirus has done one? Maybe that might help to clarify your feelings.

I’ve been discussing it extensively with my husband over the past few days and I think we are going to give it a go. We effectively have nothing to lose. Our children are so young that they will never know any different, we are citizens and we can both come back to our jobs easily enough if it doesn’t work out. 

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Yes- give it a go. Then you will know and if you have citizenship you could always return, albeit a bit poorer! All this is presupposing the disease abates sometime in the near future.  If not, stay here- less cases!

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Hi, hope it all works out for you.  Best to go home with the attitude that you will both make it work no matter what. If you have that feeling to go home just go for it.  Personally, from what I’ve seen of people who go home that always keep the option of returning to Australia open in their minds, they generally do go back, and sooner or later the same problems which drove them out of Oz just eventually come back again.  By this point they have spent a fortune coming back and setting up home all over again sometimes finding in the end that they want to leave for good.   That is assuming they can afford to... Ping ponging is a very expensive game to play and you can easily plough through tens of thousands, maybe even over a hundred thousand over a few years drifting aimlessly back and forth not really knowing what you want and unable to make a decision.  That is money that you will never get back again.  In our experience, we had that gut feeling that the place wasn’t for us quite early on. We did give it a good go tho.  Once you get that feeling, it’s just the matter of time before you return home. I relate to that feeling of not belonging, as we are always foreigners down there and we never truly fit in as immigrants. Even tho we look similar and speak English, most of them look on us the same way as they look on other foreign immigrants, were not special or better connected with the locals just because we are British.   We were 110% that we would never return and everything has gone great for us back home.  We have far more freedom (if that makes any sense)and a much more varied life than we did stuck away out there so far from the rest of the world.  In terms of outdoor life, at home in UK,we are outdoors far more than we ever were down there in that relentless baking hot unhealthy dry desert heat for months on end.  There are far more jobs for us here and we have much more disposable income.  Our house is bigger with more land around it and we live out in the countryside but also a short drive from a large town with a huge modern 24 hour supermarket and much more facilities than Perth WA had. Personally, we are so happy we came home and never looked back once.  We would never consider moving away out there again stuck in the middle of nowhere so far away from everything.  I hope it goes well for you both.

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10 hours ago, Ballaratburd said:

I’ve been discussing it extensively with my husband over the past few days and I think we are going to give it a go. We effectively have nothing to lose. Our children are so young that they will never know any different, we are citizens and we can both come back to our jobs easily enough if it doesn’t work out. 

If you can afford it, do it now. You have to explore the experience of these things yourself, and no one can make the decision for you, but once you have "tried it" it will hopefully help you make up your mind.

We've ping ponged, been back in the UK again for just over a year now and due to fly back to Aus in August. We've loved our spell here in the UK but it's just not for us anymore. However, it's been money well spent as we've had incredible experiences and thoroughly enjoyed it.

There is no shame in returning to the UK, or returning back to Aus, you need to follow through on your feelings, just be prepared to spend a lot of money 😊

I wish you well.

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 Perth WA  / UK / Queensland

 

 

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13 hours ago, Ballaratburd said:

We have our citizenship so going home and “trying it out” is a definite option. It’s just a very overwhelming decision to make I suppose

Hi, Thats exactly what we did. 9 years in QLD, felt home sick, missed my mum so much, worried about her, missed my friends, history etc etc, we have been back 3 years this November, we have holidayed the UK 5 times a year in the first 2 years back, caught up with our friends and our children have bonded with the grandparents. Unfortunately my mum contracted Covid19 in April and passed away, she was the main reason for my longing to return and right now I feel empty, I managed to cram so many memories with her whilst back which Im greatful for, but IMO UK has changed so much in the time we was away and we are in the process of returning to QLD in January, good luck, and if you have citizenship, you can always return. x

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Sometimes you have to look a little further than your own back yard to realise that you had everything in the first place!!! A valued life experience learnt!!! :yes:

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5 hours ago, Lady Tottington said:

Hi, Thats exactly what we did. 9 years in QLD, felt home sick, missed my mum so much, worried about her, missed my friends, history etc etc, we have been back 3 years this November, we have holidayed the UK 5 times a year in the first 2 years back, caught up with our friends and our children have bonded with the grandparents. Unfortunately my mum contracted Covid19 in April and passed away, she was the main reason for my longing to return and right now I feel empty, I managed to cram so many memories with her whilst back which Im greatful for, but IMO UK has changed so much in the time we was away and we are in the process of returning to QLD in January, good luck, and if you have citizenship, you can always return. x

It's a huge step to take but I suppose you have considered everything.  You may also find Australia has changed too whilst you've been away.  Hopefully it will all work out for you this time round.  

So sorry about your Mum.  That must have been so hard for you.

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On 24/06/2020 at 07:45, Ballaratburd said:

I’ve been discussing it extensively with my husband over the past few days and I think we are going to give it a go. We effectively have nothing to lose. Our children are so young that they will never know any different, we are citizens and we can both come back to our jobs easily enough if it doesn’t work out. 

Do you know what? When I was still undecided about whether to move back to the UK, a friend said to me 'You are not a tree'. In other words, it is relatively easy to pull up your roots and move, but then move again if things don't work out. My partner said to me just this last week, that he can't justify not doing things, just because that thing didn't work out in the past. You are the only you that will ever be. Live.

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On 23/06/2020 at 11:14, Ballaratburd said:

Hi everyone. I posted here last year about the same topic but given that I’m considering moving home again I wanted to have a chat about it in a forum that can be non objective.

My husband and I moved to Melbourne from Glasgow almost 7 years ago, we now live in Ballarat (small city 100km west of Melbourne) it took a bit of time but we finally managed to get into good jobs over here (nurse and policeman) bought a house, have recently had our second child and just purchased a block of land with the intent of building our dream home. I was very homesick after the birth of our first child but it subsided for the most part however recently (past 6 months) my husband has admitted that he feels like he is “done with Australia” He isint unhappy, doesn’t mind work and likes where we live, but for the most part he says he doesn’t fit in here and I tend to agree with him. We have no real friends here, I have lots of friends from work and mums groups but no one that I feel I could call on in a real emergency. I miss my friends and family at home and I do feel like I am depriving them from having a real relationship with my two sons.

 

At the risk of sounding overly dramatic I now feel genuine turmoil because since he told me this all I can think about is whether moving back home would be the right thing for our family? I really enjoy my job here and I love so many aspects of the lifestyle but Is having better pay and working conditions and better weather and access to the outdoors worth never feeling that proper sense of belonging? It’s also a real struggle sometimes having two young children, a husband who works long hours and zero support. 
 

Not really sure what I am looking for here, just a bit of chat really and perspective from other poms I suppose. I should add that we became citizens last month and have extremely transferable jobs so if the worst came to the worst and we hated being at home then we could always come back, however I also feel I can’t really just use that as a back up because I’m a mum of two now and things are very different from moving here as a young couple with no ties and responsibilities.

 

Thanks for reading 

You still call the UK home, which a lot of expats do. I'll never be able to understand that, even though we emigrated it wasn't long before here was home to us.

You must have always thought you'd go back one day.

If it feels the right time do it. 

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34 minutes ago, Paul1Perth said:

You still call the UK home, which a lot of expats do. I'll never be able to understand that, even though we emigrated it wasn't long before here was home to us.

I think that's the crucial difference.  I'm like you - I arrived in 1985 and if you'd asked me where "home" was in 1990, I'd have said, "Australia' without a moment's hesitation.   I'm sure it's one of the reasons why I couldn't settle when we tried retiring in the UK - it wasn't home, and hadn't been for 30 years.   The move made logical sense for lots of reasons but I didn't feel I belonged there any more.

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Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

"The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

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4 minutes ago, Marisawright said:

I think that's the crucial difference.  I'm like you - I arrived in 1985 and if you'd asked me where "home" was in 1990, I'd have said, "Australia' without a moment's hesitation.   I'm sure it's one of the reasons why I couldn't settle when we tried retiring in the UK - it wasn't home, and hadn't been for 30 years.   The move made logical sense for lots of reasons but I didn't feel I belonged there any more.

I arrived in 1981 and I admit that I still called Scotland home until Mum died 25 years ago.  My sister was living in London or overseas and my brother was overseas.  Now my sister is in Edinburgh so I know I have a bolt hole there if I have the urge to go back but I don't think that 's going to happen now.  I consider I am home now in Australia.  No urge at all to go back.  I have close friends around, I'm never lonely.  Life for OH and me is good but I dare say if push came to shove and for some reason I did have to return I would be just as happy there.  I'm sure there must be gypsy blood in my veins.  Wherever I lay my hat, that's my home. 😉

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9 hours ago, Marisawright said:

I think that's the crucial difference.  I'm like you - I arrived in 1985 and if you'd asked me where "home" was in 1990, I'd have said, "Australia' without a moment's hesitation.   I'm sure it's one of the reasons why I couldn't settle when we tried retiring in the UK - it wasn't home, and hadn't been for 30 years.   The move made logical sense for lots of reasons but I didn't feel I belonged there any more.

I honestly considered Australia home, for maybe the first four or five years that we lived here - there are plenty of posts on here with me saying as much. I think the change happened for me when my marriage started going down the pan, which happened probably three or four years before we went back to the UK. My ex kind of withdrew himself from our marriage at about that time, and I started feeling intensely lonely. I had lots of people who I knew through school and so on, but no one that I could really confide in about what what happening - they were all busy with their own families, and I was always kept at arms length. It was only after we moved back to the UK and I had made some really good friends, that I felt strong enough to end our relationship, and things started to get better.

I feel more at home in Scotland than I've ever felt anywhere else, even though I've not lived here before. I just seem to have landed in the right place at the right time, somehow.

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From a Mum and Grandma both-here and Australia I feel your confusion. 
been here 16 yrs but this year I got cancer thankfully early and good progress but my first thought was I don’t want to die in a country I don’t belong . Some casual friends ,  I’m a citizen but if your heart is calling you to go then go . 
Ideally be a citizen of both your young enough to come back 

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On 01/07/2020 at 08:43, Jennyrose Shields said:

From a Mum and Grandma both-here and Australia I feel your confusion. 
been here 16 yrs but this year I got cancer thankfully early and good progress but my first thought was I don’t want to die in a country I don’t belong . Some casual friends ,  I’m a citizen but if your heart is calling you to go then go . 
Ideally be a citizen of both your young enough to come back 

Good advice @Jennyrose Shields . All the very best to you and wishing you the best of health x

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On 23/6/2020 at 04:14, Ballaratburd said:

Hi everyone. I posted here last year about the same topic but given that I’m considering moving home again I wanted to have a chat about it in a forum that can be non objective.

My husband and I moved to Melbourne from Glasgow almost 7 years ago, we now live in Ballarat (small city 100km west of Melbourne) it took a bit of time but we finally managed to get into good jobs over here (nurse and policeman) bought a house, have recently had our second child and just purchased a block of land with the intent of building our dream home. I was very homesick after the birth of our first child but it subsided for the most part however recently (past 6 months) my husband has admitted that he feels like he is “done with Australia” He isint unhappy, doesn’t mind work and likes where we live, but for the most part he says he doesn’t fit in here and I tend to agree with him. We have no real friends here, I have lots of friends from work and mums groups but no one that I feel I could call on in a real emergency. I miss my friends and family at home and I do feel like I am depriving them from having a real relationship with my two sons.

 

At the risk of sounding overly dramatic I now feel genuine turmoil because since he told me this all I can think about is whether moving back home would be the right thing for our family? I really enjoy my job here and I love so many aspects of the lifestyle but Is having better pay and working conditions and better weather and access to the outdoors worth never feeling that proper sense of belonging? It’s also a real struggle sometimes having two young children, a husband who works long hours and zero support. 
 

Not really sure what I am looking for here, just a bit of chat really and perspective from other poms I suppose. I should add that we became citizens last month and have extremely transferable jobs so if the worst came to the worst and we hated being at home then we could always come back, however I also feel I can’t really just use that as a back up because I’m a mum of two now and things are very different from moving here as a young couple with no ties and responsibilities.

 

Thanks for reading 

Being very analytical and mercenary, all I would say is really think carefully before making the decision, the UK is forecast to suffer a 20% contraction in its economy and  now the time of this depression is not the time to be scrabbling for a new job in a new country, in this week alone there have been over 12,000 redundancies and large scale support from the govt is the only way millions of people are getting paid. 

Start to read the British online press, personally I would include the Guardian as a alternative.altho others might doubt it.

These are times not seen since the 1920's/30's so sentiment might have to be tempered with a lot of practicality.

Sorry, we are moving into uncharted waters,

You have my sympathy as we moved back ourselves 6 years ago for similar reasons,  altho we are much older, I imagine. 

Edited by BacktoDemocracy

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On 24/6/2020 at 21:21, Lady Tottington said:

Hi, Thats exactly what we did. 9 years in QLD, felt home sick, missed my mum so much, worried about her, missed my friends, history etc etc, we have been back 3 years this November, we have holidayed the UK 5 times a year in the first 2 years back, caught up with our friends and our children have bonded with the grandparents. Unfortunately my mum contracted Covid19 in April and passed away, she was the main reason for my longing to return and right now I feel empty, I managed to cram so many memories with her whilst back which Im greatful for, but IMO UK has changed so much in the time we was away and we are in the process of returning to QLD in January, good luck, and if you have citizenship, you can always return. x

I'm sorry to hear about your mother, my sympathies and condolences 

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9 hours ago, BacktoDemocracy said:

Being very analytical and mercenary, all I would say is really think carefully before making the decision, the UK is forecast to suffer a 20% contraction in its economy and  now the time of this depression is not the time to be scrabbling for a new job in a new country, in this week alone there have been over 12,000 redundancies and large scale support from the govt is the only way millions of people are getting paid. 

Start to read the British online press, personally I would include the Guardian as a alternative.altho others might doubt it.

These are times not seen since the 1920's/30's so sentiment might have to be tempered with a lot of practicality.

Sorry, we are moving into uncharted waters,

You have my sympathy as we moved back ourselves 6 years ago for similar reasons,  altho we are much older, I imagine. 

Hi there,

Thanks for your reply, fortunately my husband and I are both in jobs that are always unaffected by economic downturns. Both the NHS and the police are having recruitment drives at the moment so it appears we will be able to obtain employment easily. I have debated this decision more than any other decision I have made in my life and overall I feel the benefits of moving home to be closer to our families far outweigh the negatives. 

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