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Did you move back to the UK & regret it?

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Today, is the last day of our 4 week trip back to the UK after covid kept us away for almost 2.5 years. We always appreciate our trips home, but we’re always happy to return to Australia, In fact we usually spend our trips comparing things to Australia & feeling happy that we made the move!

 

However, with both my mum & my husbands grandmother having being diagnosed with cancer in the last 18 months & the fact we were due to return to Oz to start our own little family, it has made trip feel very ‘different’, & for the first time In 7 years we’re both feeling very different about leaving & debating whether we should move back to the Uk?

 

Looking at things logically it would be a terrible time to move with the current state of the UK - NHS on its knees, property and utility prices through the roof & salaries still pretty low. We have a fabulous life in Australia both professionally & financially, something we probably wouldn’t have if we moved back… we’d literally be doing it for the love of family & wanting to be around them again.

 

Has anybody else moved back for this same reason? Jas anybody moved back and completely regretted it? Keen to hear other peoples experiences.

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I think what's happening with your family is the same question everybody asks when they move to Australia.....family deaths will inevitably occur one day, and when they do, can i really do anything to help if i'm on one side of the world or the other?   Have you changed your perspective since you moved to Australia, or is the question only raising itself now that difficult times are coming closer and you're feeling panic?  Lingering illnesses are the worst, you feel guilt but you don't know what/when the outcome will be, so do you sacrifice your own life to make yourself feel that you've done more?  Would your relatives even want you to do that if it put your own life plans in jeopardy?

We have a separate fund for emergency flights, and the understanding is that for a parent or sibling we will return asap if need be...but would never consider moving back there because of sentiment, we would lose so much and it's unwise just because you feel "useless" for that period of time.  If you've not started a family yet, you could live for another 60 years....what would your kid's futures be like and where have they got most chance of having a better life with financial security for themselves?  I think you know that answer already.

I had a 17 day trip home in January, same as a lot of people after covid border closures and an awful lot of post-covid crap and death issues to sort out.  Whilst there i had a good hard look at the place, caught up with people, cast a very critical eye over the UK and how the towns were doing, genuinely considering if we should move back here for a period or take a job back in England.  Taking out the sentiment, it was a very quick realisation to see that it would have been an unbelievably bad decision to make.  The few months since then have just confirmed it...massive debts to pay back, public being shafted, inflation, real wage cuts, hopeless politics....and they were starting from a low base anyway.  They have not reached the bottom yet.

A friend recently had to make the trip back to Aberdeen for a sibling's death, they were in the UK for only 2 whole days for the funeral and then came straight back to Australia....a crazy jetlagged trip.  All about compromise and a sensible level of sacrifice, but i dont think you should throw your whole careers and futures into doubt over something that is inevitably going to happen one day.

Of all the people i know who've returned from Australia to the UK, the only one's who've done really well are the ones who never intended to stay here anyway....young women who did the travel thing and went back to get married/have a family.   The ones who moved back to the UK out of sentiment and homesickness...they seem ok but none enjoy the lives they had here, certainly not from a financial, quality or contentment perspective.  You seem to have a plan...don't ruin it.

I think if you genuinely miss the UK (which you don't appear to), then go.  If it's just a sense of impending guilt and regret, you have to put head over heart and soldier on because it happens to us all.  When you've made your money and the kids are settled, then's the time to start looking at long trips home for enjoyment, with none of the pressures.

Edited by beketamun
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We went back for a "holiday" in 2011 and eventually returned in 2020 because the wheels fell off the parental wagon, somewhat and as they were careering towards 90 their vulnerability was becoming more obvious.  I am an only child, it was a lay down misere to go and care for them which we did until mum popped her clogs and dad decided, eventually, that he quite liked the care home he was doing occasional respite in.  He died 3 months after we left but, by then, in mid covid I couldn't go back for his funeral (he always said not to bother anyway).

For me, personally, it was the best thing I ever did, even though we were 24/7 caring for oldies and squatting in their back bedroom.  My demented mum hated it but dad was grateful to spread the load.  I lost a shed load of weight, made new "good" friends and caught up with those I had had for half a century and more. Loved the countryside and being where I belonged. Sadly, we were well past the point of no return financially and materially so we are now back in Australia. I hate it. I have other friends who have moved back and most of them think it is the best thing they ever did, some of them decided to return to Aus (one even ping ponged back to UK) - there's no one answer which fits all.  Actually, now would be a good time to go with the good Aussie dollar exchange rate, if you have a decent amount from sale of home or savings.  I think had I known back when the kids were small, what I know now, I would have pushed to have gone back then - Australia was never going to be forever, it was just a stepping stone.  I didnt mind it when the kids were growing up, we needed to provide them with stability for education and we both had good careers, it was only when I realised I was past the point of no return and trapped here that I hated it - nobody likes being trapped.

However, you are in a totally different head space. You actually like Australia - after 4 decades here I dislike it immensely.  I also had no siblings - if you have siblings I think you can do what the hell you choose and someone else will pick up the slack.  I tend to think that if you like it here, are doing well and are selfish and self sufficient (not in a pejorative sense) then stay and get on with it. Who knows, in your retirement maybe you will be in a position to go back and care for whatever family you may have left like we did or it may be too late, nobody knows. You have to make the decision for you and what you can live with, you  cant live your life for someone else and guilt is not a great emotion for a migrant to entertain. Personally, I chose to support my parents - if we had left them alone then God knows what would have happened to them, and I am immensely grateful that my DH who once said he could never live in UK again because it would make HIM depressed, actually made the decision for us to stay and help them (and he loves UK now, thoroughly enjoyed his 9 years there!).  But that was our personal decision - had I had siblings, I dont think I would have made the same decision but would have done other things to try and help out.   Bottom line, there's nothing that a passport and a credit card won't solve!   Good luck.

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We moved back in 2016 and have not regretted a single day being back. We found ourselves in Scotland in a very pretty little village so enjoy a very rural life. But, we have a small town just a few miles away and Glasgow is only half an hour away.

Scotland is incredibly progressive, which suits us. NHS is wonderful here. Even dentists. Housing is very reasonable and general living costs also very low. 

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2 hours ago, VERYSTORMY said:

We moved back in 2016 and have not regretted a single day being back. We found ourselves in Scotland in a very pretty little village so enjoy a very rural life. But, we have a small town just a few miles away and Glasgow is only half an hour away.

Scotland is incredibly progressive, which suits us. NHS is wonderful here. Even dentists. Housing is very reasonable and general living costs also very low. 

If i ever went back it would be to Scotland, but it would not be until our careers were finishing and we could live a very easy life, somewhere Speyside but within reach of relatives and where family came from.

Sorry i don't know how old you are, but you raise a good point....cost of living is low, it's quiet like most of Australia, the cold isn't a problem when you originate from there...but is it great for a young couple with careers looking to build and accumulate?  Not so sure. 

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4 minutes ago, beketamun said:

cost of living is low, it's quiet like most of Australia, the cold isn't a problem when you originate from there...but is it great for a young couple with careers looking to build and accumulate?  Not so sure. 

The problem is that if you stay in Australia to " build and accumulate"  and you have children, then you're probably going to spend your whole life in Australia.  Your kids are going to grow up Australian, possibly marry Australians, and then one or both of you will be reluctant to leave the children/grandchildren (and yes, I know there are people who have no problem living on a different continent to their grandkids, but from what I've seen, it's a minority).

Even if you're double-income-no-kids, you're likely to find yourself substantially worse off retiring in Scotland after a working life in Australia, so when it comes to the crunch, you may not be able to afford it.

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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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16 hours ago, aconcannon said:

 

Today, is the last day of our 4 week trip back to the UK after covid kept us away for almost 2.5 years. We always appreciate our trips home, but we’re always happy to return to Australia, In fact we usually spend our trips comparing things to Australia & feeling happy that we made the move!

This says it all for me.  

There are people who miss the UK and their family dreadfully, so much so that they never feel settled in Australia.  Those people should just go home regardless of concerns about the NHS or the weather, because they will be so much happier where they belong.   But that doesn't sound like you.  You're just feeling the weight of your responsibilities.

Would it be an option to return to the UK for a few years while your parents/grandparents need you, but don't burn your bridges in Australia?   Keep your home here and rent it out, and plan for your return.  Is there a reason you couldn't start your family while you're in the UK too?  

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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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For a lot of people struggling with getting work here in Australia, homesickness, and missing family and friends would make it a very easy choice to return to the UK and settle happily back into life there.  You read posts on this forum from people who have done just that.  

I'm in constant touch with my sister and friends in Scotland and the north of England and they do whinge about 'things' that happen there but then I whinge about things here so not much different really.  Nowhere is perfect.

It's a difficult choice for the OP.   I don't think any of us can really give them advice.

 

 

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15 hours ago, beketamun said:

If i ever went back it would be to Scotland, but it would not be until our careers were finishing and we could live a very easy life, somewhere Speyside but within reach of relatives and where family came from.

Sorry i don't know how old you are, but you raise a good point....cost of living is low, it's quiet like most of Australia, the cold isn't a problem when you originate from there...but is it great for a young couple with careers looking to build and accumulate?  Not so sure. 

Build and accumulate? That suggests an over emphasis on material values and money  over being in a place preferable for emotional well being and alternative values. As mentioned the lower cost of housing removes a lot of the housing acquisition stress far too dominant in Australia allowing things of real value to flourish. 

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15 hours ago, Marisawright said:

The problem is that if you stay in Australia to " build and accumulate"  and you have children, then you're probably going to spend your whole life in Australia.  Your kids are going to grow up Australian, possibly marry Australians, and then one or both of you will be reluctant to leave the children/grandchildren (and yes, I know there are people who have no problem living on a different continent to their grandkids, but from what I've seen, it's a minority).

Even if you're double-income-no-kids, you're likely to find yourself substantially worse off retiring in Scotland after a working life in Australia, so when it comes to the crunch, you may not be able to afford it.

Yes. The longer the harder it would likely prove to return. On a personal level, I have noted the financial hit I would endure moving to UK to live. It's a balance though in the end I believe if emotional health is improved in relocating. It 's a question also of where one prefers to age. It's a very hard decision to arrive at to achieve the best outcome. 

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2 hours ago, Blue Flu said:

Yes. The longer the harder it would likely prove to return. On a personal level, I have noted the financial hit I would endure moving to UK to live. It's a balance though in the end I believe if emotional health is improved in relocating. It 's a question also of where one prefers to age. It's a very hard decision to arrive at to achieve the best outcome. 

You keep talking like this without ever actually moving anywhere, which i find strange.


Buy a man eat fish. The Day, Teach Man, to lifetime.      - Joe Biden.

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21 hours ago, beketamun said:

If i ever went back it would be to Scotland, but it would not be until our careers were finishing and we could live a very easy life, somewhere Speyside but within reach of relatives and where family came from.

Sorry i don't know how old you are, but you raise a good point....cost of living is low, it's quiet like most of Australia, the cold isn't a problem when you originate from there...but is it great for a young couple with careers looking to build and accumulate?  Not so sure. 

I am early 50's, though still consider mys of fairly young. Young enough in fact that I am taking advantage of the free university educations here to go and retrain for a new career. I am going to be a nurse.

Scotland is actually fantastic for younger people and Glasgow and Edinburgh are both very young feeling. For example, Glasgow has one of the largest live music scenes in the UK, and a lot of the industry is now very tech based. Edinburgh has a very large computer game industry and Glasgow also has a lot of things like tech. Oddly, it is also the home of the U.K. space industry. I think a lot of young people are drawn by the more progressive policies here. 

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38 minutes ago, VERYSTORMY said:

I am early 50's, though still consider mys of fairly young. Young enough in fact that I am taking advantage of the free university educations here to go and retrain for a new career. I am going to be a nurse.

Scotland is actually fantastic for younger people and Glasgow and Edinburgh are both very young feeling. For example, Glasgow has one of the largest live music scenes in the UK, and a lot of the industry is now very tech based. Edinburgh has a very large computer game industry and Glasgow also has a lot of things like tech. Oddly, it is also the home of the U.K. space industry. I think a lot of young people are drawn by the more progressive policies here. 

The profession looks forward to welcoming you! 😀

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1 hour ago, VERYSTORMY said:

I am early 50's, though still consider mys of fairly young. Young enough in fact that I am taking advantage of the free university educations here to go and retrain for a new career. I am going to be a nurse.

Scotland is actually fantastic for younger people and Glasgow and Edinburgh are both very young feeling. For example, Glasgow has one of the largest live music scenes in the UK, and a lot of the industry is now very tech based. Edinburgh has a very large computer game industry and Glasgow also has a lot of things like tech. Oddly, it is also the home of the U.K. space industry. I think a lot of young people are drawn by the more progressive policies here. 

Well done Stormy!!  

The Galloway region of Scotland (where I'm from) is very short of nurses.  In fact there has been a year long campaign to recruit 40 overseas nurses to hospitals in the region.  Four arrived very recently.  They are all fully trained and well experienced in their own country but need to gain their UK registration to practice.  They are to undergo 12 weeks of intensive training to secure their UK NMC registration before they can fully practice as a nurse.

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On 09/05/2022 at 15:48, Toots said:

For a lot of people struggling with getting work here in Australia

If you are struggling to find work in this current economy I suggest you will always struggle.  Crazy out there at the moment.

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PR (100) moved to Perth September 2021

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On 10/05/2022 at 10:07, Parley said:

You keep talking like this without ever actually moving anywhere, which i find strange.

I wonder why you find that strange. I've done the necessarily work that clearly shows I'd be worse off financially going to UK. As for moving, I've moved many times over the years to various places. Different concerns come into play though as one crosses off the years.  

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5 hours ago, Jon the Hat said:

If you are struggling to find work in this current economy I suggest you will always struggle.  Crazy out there at the moment.

2.2 million looking for work, 1.7 million can start immediately, 423,500 vacancies mainly specialised positions.  27 JobSeekers per entry level position.  

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On 10/05/2022 at 16:21, Toots said:

Well done Stormy!!  

The Galloway region of Scotland (where I'm from) is very short of nurses.  In fact there has been a year long campaign to recruit 40 overseas nurses to hospitals in the region.  Four arrived very recently.  They are all fully trained and well experienced in their own country but need to gain their UK registration to practice.  They are to undergo 12 weeks of intensive training to secure their UK NMC registration before they can fully practice as a nurse.

just out of interest, what will they be paid as a newly registered nurse ?

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1 hour ago, beketamun said:

just out of interest, what will they be paid as a newly registered nurse ?

I don't know the wage but surely the overseas nurses would be paid the same as a UK registered nurse.  Hope they won't be treated the same way as some of the overseas nurses in this article.

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2022/mar/27/overseas-nurses-in-the-uk-forced-to-pay-out-thousands-if-they-want-to-quit-jobs

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Theones who moved back to the UK out of sentiment and homesickness...they seem ok but none enjoy the lives they had here,certainly not from a financial, quality or contentment perspective.  You seem to have a plan...don't ruin it.

How could you possibly know if returnees enjoy their life in the UK ... what amazing arrogance to assume they don’t  !

 

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We moved back from Sydney in 2015 after 7 years there.  We were 50 and 55 respectively. We both secured jobs and husband is now self employed and earning equivalent salary to his Aus one.  We bought a lovely large barn conversion and are happy here.  Our son has received first rate support in his education which he never got in Sydney ( he has dyslexia)

we came back and father in law was shortly afterwards diagnosed with terminal cancer ...  we were around to help where we could and pleased to do it BUT if we had stayed then we would have had to find other ways to help and support and, ultimately, live with the choices we had made .. good or bad.

just as we have to live with the consequences of moving our family to Australia in the first place ... there’s always a price to pay.  Only you know your moral compass. Good luck 

 

 

 

 

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9 hours ago, beketamun said:

just out of interest, what will they be paid as a newly registered nurse ?

A bottom band 5, which is where newly qualified nurses and those new to the nhs who are employed into that band, is £25655 pa. Employee pension contribution comes out of that. London weighting is paid on top. This is for England, NI and Wales. Scotland is similar at £26104.

The jobs have to be matched to the pay bands for Agenda for Change,  so you can’t just pay a higher band because you want to and once employed you can only progress through the pay points in that band at the prescribed times, you can’t fast track, so if moving back and experienced then haggle hard at the time of signing the contract for a higher starting point! I moved back into a band 6 role and started 3(?) pay points up rather than on the bottom of that band.

Does any of this make sense? 😂

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8 hours ago, blondie said:

Theones who moved back to the UK out of sentiment and homesickness...they seem ok but none enjoy the lives they had here,certainly not from a financial, quality or contentment perspective.  You seem to have a plan...don't ruin it.

How could you possibly know if returnees enjoy their life in the UK ... what amazing arrogance to assume they don’t  !

 

And even more amazingly arrogant for you not to be able to read the complete sentence in English and yet still make a brazen assumption ! 

Quote

Of all the people i know who've returned from Australia to the UK,

 

 

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52 minutes ago, Amber Snowball said:

A bottom band 5, which is where newly qualified nurses and those new to the nhs who are employed into that band, is £25655 pa. Employee pension contribution comes out of that. London weighting is paid on top. This is for England, NI and Wales. Scotland is similar at £26104.

The jobs have to be matched to the pay bands for Agenda for Change,  so you can’t just pay a higher band because you want to and once employed you can only progress through the pay points in that band at the prescribed times, you can’t fast track, so if moving back and experienced then haggle hard at the time of signing the contract for a higher starting point! I moved back into a band 6 role and started 3(?) pay points up rather than on the bottom of that band.

Does any of this make sense? 😂

Yes 🙂

 

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This says it all for me.  
There are people who miss the UK and their family dreadfully, so much so that they never feel settled in Australia.  Those people should just go home regardless of concerns about the NHS or the weather, because they will be so much happier where they belong.   But that doesn't sound like you.  You're just feeling the weight of your responsibilities.
Would it be an option to return to the UK for a few years while your parents/grandparents need you, but don't burn your bridges in Australia?   Keep your home here and rent it out, and plan for your return.  Is there a reason you couldn't start your family while you're in the UK too?  

That’s exactly our thoughts. We won’t sell our house in Australia and will rent it out, head home for a few years and potentially reassess. We’ve been eligible to apply for our citizenship for a few years, but we haven’t done it yet so will get that sorted as well so we don’t have any visa issues re returning.

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