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6 months in Melbourne and it is breaking us

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Hi All,

 

This is the first time I have written on here, we have been in Melbourne for 6 months now and it feels like a lifetime to me. My kids and wife have settled pretty well but I have struggled very day literally since the plane landed.

 

I am trying to grasp at why we came, its been so hard that I can't even remember why we even came here now. We wanted to try somewhere different and didn't want to get older living our whole life in the UK and also to provide better opportunities for the kids.

 

What I have realised since we arrived is that we had a good life in the UK. Good job, friends, house, area, the only thing that let the place down was the school that my eldest was attending. We should have moved across the city not across the world.

 

My wife is my best friend and soulmate, I have felt so lucky to have met her, she is a strong women and she wants to give it a go for at least a year but I can't live here anymore and it us breaking us apart. We have two kids 14 and 10 which is worrying me even more, my 14 year old should have been starting year 10 this September in the UK.

 

To make things worse the company I worked for in the UK has a job available so I could literally job back into my 'old' life. I am losing my family here but if I 'force' them to move back to the UK I will lose them there also.

 

I'm not sure if its Melbourne or Australia or me. Personally I find Melbourne very bland, I love the city but that's not my life. I live in the North East and most of the work I am involved is down the eastern suburbs so hardly get to the city. Maybe if I was in my early 20's living and working in the city it would be very different. We have moved from the rat race to a huge rat race. I have thought about moving elsewhere in Australia but I think I will simply be uprooting my family again and taking my problems with me.

 

What I do know is that it's not somewhere I want to live long term, the weather isn't everything (and we are talking Melbourne ;) ), I don't want to put roots down here (especially with the price of housing) and with the age of the kids I don't feel we can give it a try as they need to be settled at this crucial stage in education. I feel we are wasting time 'giving it time' as after 6 months this feeling has got worse not better. I want to get my eldest back on to his GCSE's before he falls behind to far.

 

I think we are losing much more than gaining but my wife does not seem to feel the same. Not sure anyone can give any advice and sorry for the ramble....

 

Cheers

Ross

 

P.S For all those on the way out thinking that would never happen to me, be warned I was saying the same thing all the way up to the day we left, agree on a strategy before you come out if one or both of you find yourselves unhappy.


Ross (35), Anna (38), Eli (13), Jacob (9)

TRA 01/05/08 , Passed IELTS 11/07/08, 175 Visa online 08/11/08

C.O assigned 25/10/10, Meds and PCs 13/11/10 VISA GRANTED 13/01/11

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Hi Ross- oh mate I know how you feel. I absolutely felt lost here for the first 12 months. We have been here 24 months now and it does get tons better. Melbourne is a vast city and we have never found it somewhere we wanted to invest in. We want to move to regional Victoria which is a lot more 'us' but we have to pace it. We came for our kids who are succeeding ie they have jobs. I miss my old job but with the UK cuts it doesn't exist. I miss my old house- but we sold it to come here. The list could go on. However I focus on the rest of them and it is working out fine and I am looking into other options for me. It does get better because it gets more familiar- it does take time. I think your kids will have many more options here as they grow up. It isn't just the wrong school for your 14 year old its all the youth culture stuff back home that scared us- we left when mine were 17 by the skin of our teeth. I truly believe it is better for teenagers here currently not necessarily educationally but in every other way. You may well have hit a very common wall in the process. You may just have to weather it. Take care x

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Guest Foxx

Strong feelings there! I'm not sure what to say, there isnt alot people can say in terms of advice since it is something you have to work out; albeit your feelings! But i understand, I like to vent off feelings too.

I think one important thing to remember is you have only been there six months, it can take longer to settle in. You need to look into what you miss back in England, and see if you can implement them into your life you have now.

If its friends and social, they can be replaced wherever you are.

House, I doubt you will get it back unless its for sale. Area and work seem to be two things you could get back, but are they really important?

The two most important things are your family, and you. Out of them two, where would each benefit best?

 

I wish you luck, im sure you will be happy in the end, just remember that.

 

PS: I wish i was you in Melbourne. Think of us poms working all day in wet and cold England. ;)

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Hi Ross

Sorry to hear your dilemma. I have had a few expats who have felt this way in the first 6 months but after that they tend to settle down and start living the life they wanted here.

Have you tried talking to your wife about it, would she return if she knew how unhappy you were?


If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present.

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Hi Ross, if you feel the need to chat do send me a pm. :hug::hug: we are in the same boat and sometimes it helps to chat it through with others in a like position? All the best


And the end of all our exploring will be to arrive at where we started, and know the place for the first time.

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Hi Ross.

So tricky this, you're certainly not alone. Do you think there's any chance of sticking it out another 6 months? School term in UK obviously starts in September, so 6 months from now would take you up to June and the 14 year old wouldn't have lost out.

If the very thought of staying here another 6 months sends you into panic, then I suggest you and your wife have a heart to heart ASAP to thrash this out, possibly even through a relationship counsellor if the first chat goes t1ts up.

 

Ultimately, if you're both English, I think it's only fair to agree that if you're not BOTH happy here, you BOTH go home.


My Brain Hurts!

 

 

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Thank you so much for the replies. I can understand every ones points, the youth culture back in the UK does worry me but we were lucky enough to live in 'nice' area so even though it is going on I would like to think that our boys were not close to it. My 14 year old turns 15 in Feb so I am worried that if we did return in June he will have to retake a year.

 

I just can't see the point in staying somewhere if we are not going to invest and make it home, I want a 'home' again and to feel settled. I know it takes time but if you can't ever see yourself living in the place then you are never going to be settled. I want to do it for my wife and boys but I would like to be happy too. The kids were happy in the UK and doing well. If I do not intend on staying they why would I bring my boys up here with the likelihood of returning in a few years and splitting the family as they would have started there own lives (I know they could move anywhere in the world in the future)

 

We came to Australia to have a more outdoor life, family life. We have visited some beautiful places (Apollo Bay, Torquay, Philip Island etc) but there are lovely places in the UK also. We were always out at the weekend whatever the weather. We have come from a good position to a vast city where I will need to commute for hours and its a nightmare to get anywhere (the trains are good to the city on a Sunday). We weren't expecting to live next to a beach but travelling to a good coastal beach isn't quick and live needs to be a balance between working, family and friends.

 

My wife and I have had many heart to hearts / discussions / arguments about this and she feels its better here than the UK, saying that she too feels long term she would not want to live here (eventually she would like to live in Cornwall, a good few years yet). I am up and down every week and sometimes everyday. She can't take it anymore and I the thought of staying here for another 6 months does send me into a panic. The problem is we simply don't agree...

 

In all honesty I wish we never started this 'adventure' as for me it has turned out to be a nightmare, I wish I could close my eyes and wake up back where we were in the UK and the worry is that feeling is never going to change...

 

Thanks again

Ross


Ross (35), Anna (38), Eli (13), Jacob (9)

TRA 01/05/08 , Passed IELTS 11/07/08, 175 Visa online 08/11/08

C.O assigned 25/10/10, Meds and PCs 13/11/10 VISA GRANTED 13/01/11

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I guess if you want your family to be happy you need to take stock and try to see what is good about your life here, i e you have a family if you uproot them and move them again and your oh does not like it, you have said in your post that things may become very difficult.

 

Decide what you want, family and you being less settled than them.

 

Think about moving closer to your work. Not sure I would want to live in the northwest of Melbourne.

 

The ares of Melbourne are so diverse and so different that it can be like moving to another town just moving across town.

 

Take the depression test on "Beyond the Blue" if the test shows you may be suffering a bit, head to the doc, there is no shame in going to the third party to discuss stuff.

 

Melbourne is a really nice place to live once you find the right balance. I know how you feel. I left as a child, got married to a Brit and returned when I was married to the UK and felt just like you I could have jumped on the next plane back to Aus. Then finally got used to the difference, stayed for a while but we were always intending coming back. Came back to Aus and felt just like you again in the reverse. Its the difference and the loss of familiar things not necessarily the place.

 

Now 35 years later love the place, back in UK last year for three months and sorry I just do not get all the hype about UK anymore, its just another place with old stuff and too many people as far as I am concerned. Too diverse a population for a small country too, think it will be spot the real Brit very soon.


Petals

:ssign15:taking no prisoners :wink:

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Guest famousfive

It is hard when you both see things differently.Reading your post above has left me a little confused about your wifes reasoning.You say she thinks it is better here but wants to end up in Cornwall.....had you set a time limit on your visit here?If you end up back in Cornwall[maybe to retire?]has she considered the fact that your kids may well stay in oz?I really think if you have kids and you have no intention on staying here long term you need to think long and hard about the best time to return,considering education,age,ease of resettlement etc...

We have been in a similar situation to you in some ways.We came here undecided,quickly realised we were not going to stay here forever so have decided to leave in a few months to make the whole transition easier on all concerned.We will have been here over 3yrs.

Maybe if you had a return date,even if it is a year or two away,it would help ease the panic.

I think you need your wife to be more exact in saying how long she thinks you should all stay.....at least then you know whether to panic or not.

All the best,sorry not able to be of more help.

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I know where you're coming from regarding Melbourne. The suburbs can seem really bland and boring. The vastness of it all is something that needs adjusting to. I've been here a couple of months now and already I've been thinking about moving to another Australian city. I'm slowly warming to the place though, and I'm turning my focus away from what I don't have to what I could have. I've promised myself I'll give it two years here to allow for myself to adjust to the changes and explore what the city has to offer. If not, I might head out west.

 

I think my desire to leave here is just a stress response. It's natural to want to flee wherever we feel a certain degree of danger (fight of flight). Maybe you're experiencing this also. A desire to flee Melbourne for the sanctuary of the UK? I think Petals has made a good point about checking out your state of mind. Maybe try and change your focus and get involved in an activity that involves exercise and socialising. Meet new people, feel better about your self, and more importantly serve as a distraction to any negativity going on in your life.

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:hug: (even though you are a bloke!)

 

I hate to say it, but I think you may have missed the boat unless, as you mentioned, you are prepared to have your lad go back one year of school - which might be your only saving feature really. Once kids step off the GCSE merry go round it is very hard to get back on it again - although it is possible and it probably depends more on what a kid is planning to do with their lives but if university is on their radar then they need to be back for GCSE and A levels (otherwise it gets very expensive!)

 

I concur with marriage guidance counselling - it is so easy to go round and round in emotional circles when you talk about things together but having an impartial third party to help focus you both is really useful (Relationships Australia usually recommended)

 

There is nothing magical about 'better future for the kids' in Australia, you wouldnt be disadvantaging them by going to UK with them so that isnt really a feature that should dominate the argument.

 

It seems that you would be able to return now without having burned too many bridges - is an option that you return, get yourself reestablished and they follow in time for the new academic year in UK? Would you still be able to get your job if you stayed until September? Be warned though that you wont be reclaiming your old life, just moving on to the next step in your life adventure but in the old place (if you see what I mean!)

 

As the others have said, you may well become desensitized to Australia with time but if you dont feel you belong, you could be lingering there for the next 40 years still feeling like you dont belong (only 32 years for me but definitely got the t shirt!). However once you have made the decision about whether it is the people in your life or the place you live it in which is most important to you then you can work on ways to make things more liveable.

 

Good luck with your decision - I respectfully suggest that you do need to jump one way or the other soon before it really is too late.

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Guest brummie39

Hiya..

 

I do feel for you as we just went through this... I do agree with Quoll. You dont reclaim your life when moving back to u.k.. we have just moved back. To us its just the next step in life.

 

My husband (english), knew he didnt like in oz around week 6... Me the aussie convinced him to stay at least 1 year, and give it a good go of things. It was when our son started showing huge signs of not having a good life there, it convinced me my family was not happy.

 

I must say, since i had not been living in oz for over 10 years, i found it very hard to adjust. I knew too, that this is not where I want to spend my days. The feeling of being "stuck", did become over whelming for us. It something you need discuss in depth.

 

I believe like most have said, you may become desensitzed to it all.. But to us thats not living life. We moved back after 1 year, and so glad we did. We didnt move to back to our old life. We have stayed near city, to get restablished and better chance of saving money to move to our next step in life. The u.k has so much to offer in diverse places to live.. who knows where we will end up.. i find that exciting.

 

The sense of belonging is strong feeling, that does not go away. I whish you all best in your descision..

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hi mate yeah i was the same my 1st 8 months here then slowly started gettin better ! my wife likes it here and she s the one who never travelled bfore ! i wanted to come to melbourne as i loved it here back in the ninties ! but since i returned ive experienced my 1st hit of deppression in my life and could nt put my finger on it ! i have to stay here for 2 years and its my desire to try queensland now ! ive learned that since i came here ! so maybe take the family up there or somewhere with better weather ! i guess i mean it might be melbourne and not australia ! good luck !

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Ross that is very hard for you but if you know that you will be going back perhaps you could work towards that and look for somewhere beautiful to live in the meantime? I am thinking maybe the Yarra Valley or Dandenongs where at least you will be looking at lovely countryside and not the greyer aspects of Melbourne? You have your family with you which is more important than where you live, in the long run.

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Hi Afro Developer, Thank you so much for your post. Everything you wrote makes sense. I completely agree that Ross needs to get out, socialize, do his running again, and feel more himself. It has been the most difficult 6 months in our relationship. I love my husband very much, he is my best friend and soul-mate. I am trying desperately to keep our family together and can see the benefits of living here, as the kids do. We are looking forward to some time off at Xmas and enjoying our time together. Thanks again. Anna.


Ross (35), Anna (38), Eli (13), Jacob (9)

TRA 01/05/08 , Passed IELTS 11/07/08, 175 Visa online 08/11/08

C.O assigned 25/10/10, Meds and PCs 13/11/10 VISA GRANTED 13/01/11

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Sorry to hear your having a hard time.

 

I can't comment on Melbourne as I used to live in Perth, but when we first landed I remember being totally disorientated.

 

I think its just the fact that you have no familiarity with the surroundings. We too were surprised at the suburbs and missed high streets and corner shops. But as time goes on and you start to become familiar with things it will start to feel natural and like home.

 

You mentioned that it would have been best to just move across the city back in England, why don't you try that in melbourne? I think moving from England to Melbourne and ending up in the perfect suburb is unlikely to happen straight away (unless you had a reccie). We landed in holiday accommodation, moved to our first home 6 weeks later and then moved again 2 yeas later 30 mins away. Make things easier for yourself...cut down your commute, enjoy family days out, explore your surroundings. If you are already in the mindset of going home it will be harder to try and settle.

 

When we first landed, we were picked up by the English guy who owned the house we were staying in. To this day I remember him telling us it takes 3 years to fully integrate and feel settled. At the time I didn't think much of it...but now I truly believe it takes more than 6 months or a year and closer to 3 years to feel settled. If your going to go back to England wouldn't you want to do so knowing you gave it your everything and didn't give up. Keep plodding! It does get easier!

 

Hope you get things sorted

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Hello All,

 

Its been a year since I wrote the original post and I came online this morning to delete this thread...and I cant find how to delete it lol. So instead I thought it maybe better to give an update rather than deleting as it may help others.

 

Well things have definitely changed in a year and as others have said its about giving it time, well giving it time but also changing circumstances. From that very dark and depressing post I am a completely different person, don't get me wrong there are times I still think about things from the UK but those thoughts are few and far between now which I could never see happening.

 

So what advice can I give, thats a difficult one as everyone is different and there are different scenarios, however this is what I did:

 

1. Go to the doctors and get some professional advice, I only needed the help initially but the following changes made the difference

2. Reduce your calls home, your family and friends will encourage you return

3. Change your job if it doesnt suit you....this should be at number 1, this made all the difference to my life

4. Get out and make the most of your weekends...I brought a second hand 3 seater jetski and what a difference it made to our family weekends and the relationship with my 15 year old (he has learnt to wake skate)

5. Move from that dingy rental, after the contract runs out, that you had no choice in renting due to the $1000 per week motel bill

6. Join a club, meetup is not a bad application (seems to be more for singles) but good place to start. I joined a local running club that helped loads.

7. Give it time and don't think it is forever, you can always return after a couple of years if it doesn't work out, we have had friends that have returned to the UK and are glad they made the move.

8. Think about what sort of area you want to live in and have a good look around. I was depressed by the inner suburbs, they were cut and paste with no character. We have moved further out to a hilly / leafy area which suits us.

 

So from 12 months ago where I was ready to jump on a plane I have done a complete 180, we have brought a house in Diamond Creek which has a metro station so we can get into the city, the kids are happy in school in the next suburb and I am really looking forward to the summer.

 

I hope this post helps other people that find themselves in the same situation

 

All the best

Ross


Ross (35), Anna (38), Eli (13), Jacob (9)

TRA 01/05/08 , Passed IELTS 11/07/08, 175 Visa online 08/11/08

C.O assigned 25/10/10, Meds and PCs 13/11/10 VISA GRANTED 13/01/11

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Ross,

 

Excellent post, giving it a year between posts really shows it can be done, myself along with others who are moving out soon, or have just moved no doubt worry about this stuff all the time, I shall be re reading this if I find my self in a pickle.

 

Good luck with the future, and give us another update in a year bud.

 

Cheers

 

JTC


Voted worst new member 2011..... :err:

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Ross,

 

That is fantastic news and I hope others that are facing similar issues to those you went through, read your post.

 

Just this evening I wrote on a similar vein but in relation to my move to the UK from Oz, as another PIO member was very homesick after a short time in Oz. For me it took 12 months and a concerted effort to get out make friends and occupy my spare time with activities to get over the homesickness.

 

Good luck with your future wherever that may be.


Wedding 06/04/2013, 820 visa applied 30/04/2013 and granted 02/05/2013 - 2 days!

​300 PMV sent for partner (futureinoz) on 15/05/2012. Case officer assigned (LG) on the 17/05/2012. Medicals done 07/06/2012. Have been told 5-6 months. PMV granted 17/10/2012 :jiggy:

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It was really good to read your update, please dont delete your thread, it just shows what happens with a little bit of time and effort! Well done to you.

 

We have made a few impulsive decisions that have cost us a fortune ping ponging and here we are back in Melbourne and very happy.

Edited by AJ

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P.S For all those on the way out thinking that would never happen to me, be warned I was saying the same thing all the way up to the day we left, agree on a strategy before you come out if one or both of you find yourselves unhappy.

 

 

And what was the strategy you came up with?


I just want PIO to be a happy place where people are nice to each other and unicorns poop rainbows

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Great update. Glad it has worked out....Melbourne is a little like a country in that you need to choose the right area to get the best out of it as it can be so different from area to area....

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Great positive post, I'm glad you didn't delete the thread because I think it will help anyone feeling unsettled and homesick. Good luck for your future!


Steve, Shirley, Louis 19,Lucas 8, Leo 4, Lily- Ella 3, 7 /5/10, TRA recieved 9/7/10, wa state sponsorship applied 20/12/10, obtained 6/2/11, 176 applied 20/2/11. C.O 10/05/11 Meds 21/06/11 Police check uploaded 24/06/11 VISA GRANTED 15/07/11

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Hi Ross

 

So glad you updated your post, made me smile and I am happy that you have made all these changes to try and make this work. I do have a lot of doubts about moving after reading a lot of negative posts on here but it is nice to read the positives also, I know we will have to give it at least 2 years if we can.

 

Best of luck to you and your family

 

christine

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Guest Ptp113
Hi Ross

 

So glad you updated your post, made me smile and I am happy that you have made all these changes to try and make this work. I do have a lot of doubts about moving after reading a lot of negative posts on here but it is nice to read the positives also, I know we will have to give it at least 2 years if we can.

 

Best of luck to you and your family

 

christine

Remember that 99.999% of poms that have made it, have never, and will never, post on an ex pat forum. So you're seeing a very skewed idea of reality.

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