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Old Mar 4th 2013, 12:33 am   #16
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Default Re: Life Happened While I Made Other Plans - 8 Years On

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Originally Posted by steve-n-jo View Post
I am writing this more for emotional therapy than “informing others” this post is neither a complaint nor adulation about either Australia or England, just one Mans personal story...Mine!

We emigrated here to Adelaide in 2005, It took a couple of years to get the visa and me, my wife and three kids 10,8 and 15 months boarded the plane and headed off. In so doing, we both left close families with brothers, sisters, nephews, nieces, aunts uncles etc etc. I also shut down a very successful construction business and laid off workers I had employed for over 7 years. At the time life in England was pretty much perfect, a close family, we had a nice house, money, nice cars, had several holidays a year, usually one of which was visiting Australia, and being the boss I could come and go as I pleased. Why did we leave? Because I saw it as a great adventure, live in Australia for two years get a passport and if we’re not happy move back knowing we can return whenever we wanted.

I decided to emigrate after our second holiday to Australia, the kids were keen because as youngsters they had great recent memories of kangaroos and koalas! The wife was happy because her brother lived here, (on the proviso that we lived close to him), it was a compromise I was happy to accept as I got to move to Australia just not the exact part I wanted to move too! so we applied and were accepted.

We told the family who on my side were horrified, saddened and were in disbelief, my inlaws were far more pragmatic and just took a deep breath and wished us all the best. The house was sold, container packed and the very hard goodbyes had been said with many tears and we boarded the plane.

My inlaws have visited us nearly every year since we moved and my parents only made the trip once. My dad was taken ill in January 2009 with fluid on his lungs which was later diagnosed as Mesothelioma (asbestos lung cancer) he died boxing day 2009. I flew to England the week before Christmas 2009 and spent a week living in the cancer hospice, my dad fell into a coma a couple of days before Christmas so I decided to fly back to my wife and children in Australia and landed Christmas morning where I was greeted with ‘welcome home banners’ made by the kids, a huge difference from the horrific goodbyes to my mum and sisters at the hospice along with a last kiss for dad, I also felt like I was walking out on my sisters and mum in their hour of need. All because of my decision 4 years earlier I now had 2 families which were half a world apart and have to be cared for individually. I could not stand the thought of not spending Christmas with my kids. My sister phoned on boxing day saying Dad had died, I never made it back to the funeral.

I had dreams during the early days of pre migration and after migration that mum and dad, inlaws and sisters would visit and spend quality time by the pool, and this would make up for me not being around them. Sadly this generally hasn’t been the case.

I have worked extremely hard here, re trained and now have a well paid job. My wife has a part time job. The kids are “Australian” they sound Australian, friends are Australian and they do not consider themselves as “poms” this is because they all have now spent the majority of there lifes living here. We have a large house with a pool, we have four cars parked in the drive (1 each). My eldest is now at University, our middle daughter leaves school next year and the youngest has a while to go yet!

Is my wife and children happy? Yes, very. Am I happy? NO! Would they leave either Adelaide or Australia? NO. Would I? Yes I would love too.

As I said at the opening of this essay on my recent life,’ It is neither a complaint nor adulation about either Australia or England’ I neither love or hate either country, they are uniquely different and half a world apart, both have things I love and things I hate, both annoy and both delight, you have to work and pay tax in both!!

I have had one constant problem with the journey of migration, that problem is “ME” I am an Englishman living in Australia and am now living with an Australian family (even though it is mine!) I miss all things England, especially the family and I find it sad that my kids are generally uninterested in the ‘English family’. I miss the hustle and bustle, I miss the smallness of England and how close it is to the rest of the world, I miss the sometimes bad food and very busy pubs, I miss the unpredictable weather, I miss Poole Quay. I miss the English humour. I miss the ‘ME’ that migrated, as is often said there are turning points in your life and living at the cancer hospice was mine, I went into it as big kid and came out a wiser man, being the only Son with three sisters I feel i should be around them. We have been here nearly eight years, It hasn’t been easy, I do not have rose tinted specs and often wonder why we bothered to move.

Is “life” better now? Who can tell what may have been, the only thing I am sure of is that life is definitely far more complicated now. I have learnt that you have to look inside yourself to find 'better' and not at the world around you, I now realise I had the answer all along, I just never understood the question.

Steve
I think the biggest factor overlooked in emigration is the emotional side. If there is more than one person, opinions on the 'great adventure' will vary. Sometimes to an extent where the family become divided or split.

A decade+ on, my partner would stay in australia, I am in the process of a visa to leave, my eldest son is now in 'love australia' mode due to a huge party, music, sport, young single lifestyle in brisbane. Middle one is stuck here for his trade for a few years and youngest has had one foot out the door since the day he arrived, off to study on a scholarship hopefully in the USA as he finishes school this year.

Messy outcome for many families, and in the process you can stuff up relations with extended family too, taking the grandkids away provokes some severe reactions

But I had a big 'ouse, pool and more cars than I cared to insure and clean for many years ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ
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Old Mar 4th 2013, 5:36 am   #17
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Default Re: Life Happened While I Made Other Plans - 8 Years On

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I have hardly ever posted on this site but just want to say that your post as made me cry as it is so real and its really touched a nerve inside of me.

All the best to you and your family with this journey we're all on xxx
Me too.
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Old Mar 4th 2013, 6:58 am   #18
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Default Re: Life Happened While I Made Other Plans - 8 Years On

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I think the biggest factor overlooked in emigration is the emotional side. If there is more than one person, opinions on the 'great adventure' will vary. Sometimes to an extent where the family become divided or split.

A decade+ on, my partner would stay in australia, I am in the process of a visa to leave, my eldest son is now in 'love australia' mode due to a huge party, music, sport, young single lifestyle in brisbane. Middle one is stuck here for his trade for a few years and youngest has had one foot out the door since the day he arrived, off to study on a scholarship hopefully in the USA as he finishes school this year.

Messy outcome for many families, and in the process you can stuff up relations with extended family too, taking the grandkids away provokes some severe reactions

But I had a big 'ouse, pool and more cars than I cared to insure and clean for many years ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ
Ahhh the pool, essential part of the Great Australian Dream. I swam more in the uk than here, still do. Nearest I got to a pool was a 6 month rental that Was turned down cos my OH thought tge pool might flood the garden I wanted 6 mobths of the 'dream' but never even got that
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Old Apr 13th 2013, 7:14 am   #19
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Default Re: Life Happened While I Made Other Plans - 8 Years On

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"Nothing is wrong but nothing is right" sounds like a perfect summation of your story.

When your youngest is off your hands and your wife's not so caught up in the kids/school thing, she may be agreeable to a move back? I'm going to be presumptuous here (because I'm too far away to be kicked), but have you talked about how you feel to your wife? If not, it might be worth thinking about. She may think you're happy as Larry here.

Oh yes we've talked!!!

As I said before my wife and kids LOVE Australia and wouldn't even think of leaving, Were all going back to the UK for a holiday in October and I will either love it even more and wish I was there or think 'forget it', either way the family this side are not interested......

It would be interesting to find out how many relationships have broken up due directly to migrating, I know of several long standing relationships that are now 12,000 miles apart, with kids losing a parent only to see them on Skype or Facetime....
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Old Apr 16th 2013, 9:16 am   #20
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Default Re: Life Happened While I Made Other Plans - 8 Years On

What a great post!

On the subject of ME, I am always ME. Come rain and shine - or is that flood or fire?

My kids have grown up here and are Australians but they also know there is stuff going on in the world they are more than happy to go and see - and so they do.

I often wonder why people move in the first place- it all seemed so right when they did...

for me/us, it was a massive sense of adventure and working out exactly what we could get from the experience.
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Old Apr 16th 2013, 9:18 am   #21
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Default Re: Life Happened While I Made Other Plans - 8 Years On

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Ahhh the pool, essential part of the Great Australian Dream. I swam more in the uk than here, still do. Nearest I got to a pool was a 6 month rental that Was turned down cos my OH thought tge pool might flood the garden I wanted 6 mobths of the 'dream' but never even got that
Is it - lots of people are not that interested in a pool. We have one but it's not the be all and end all. Our biggest problem is trees blowing leaves in it - if not for that, it would be easy.
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Old Apr 17th 2013, 11:04 am   #22
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Default Re: Life Happened While I Made Other Plans - 8 Years On

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Is it - lots of people are not that interested in a pool. We have one but it's not the be all and end all. Our biggest problem is trees blowing leaves in it - if not for that, it would be easy.
Not mentioned on here quite as much as when you and I joined the forum, but think back a few years - almost everyone wanted "the dream"- the pool, the big house, the huge garden, the BBQ - you know it was the stereotyped "Aussie dream". I even remember the parents posting who wanted to know how to placate the kids after promising them a pool and ponies and dogs, just to get them here - only to be brought up short when faced with living in a small suburban street.
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Old Apr 23rd 2013, 5:03 am   #23
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Default Re: Life Happened While I Made Other Plans - 8 Years On

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Not mentioned on here quite as much as when you and I joined the forum, but think back a few years - almost everyone wanted "the dream"- the pool, the big house, the huge garden, the BBQ - you know it was the stereotyped "Aussie dream". I even remember the parents posting who wanted to know how to placate the kids after promising them a pool and ponies and dogs, just to get them here - only to be brought up short when faced with living in a small suburban street.
maybe back then, yes! The awful thing was, this was all got at the expense of soul...
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Old Apr 27th 2013, 10:33 pm   #24
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Default Re: Life Happened While I Made Other Plans - 8 Years On

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Oh yes we've talked!!!

As I said before my wife and kids LOVE Australia and wouldn't even think of leaving, Were all going back to the UK for a holiday in October and I will either love it even more and wish I was there or think 'forget it', either way the family this side are not interested......

It would be interesting to find out how many relationships have broken up due directly to migrating, I know of several long standing relationships that are now 12,000 miles apart, with kids losing a parent only to see them on Skype or Facetime....
Don't think it would be fair to directly attribute everything going wrong in my relationship to emigrating - but it certainly didn't help! It was the uncertainty and the yo-yoing. Brings in frustration and missed opportunities. No kids for us though, so at least it only affected us two directly.

Ironically the one of us who was most unsure about living in Oz is the one who has lived in Oz pretty much ever since! Suppose that I've been weighing up my options. I can safely speak for both of us in saying that neither of us would ever want to live in the UK permanently again though.

Whether Oz will give me (or my ex), what I really need to be completely content, I don't know? I think that's looking at it wrong. There are more things that put a smile on my face in Oz though than there are in the UK in general, and as for the rest of being happy and content, well if you're not happy with yourself then you won't be happy no matter where you live.

None of this is addressing anything in particular that's personal to yourself, I guess it's just my tuppence worth to my first go of making Australia work for me. Speaking for myself, I know what needs to be different second time around (this time coming soon! ).
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Old Apr 28th 2013, 8:29 am   #25
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Default Re: Life Happened While I Made Other Plans - 8 Years On

Great post. So many things you have said resonates with my situation.

Yes, coming to Australia broke up my marriage. I felt this enormous resentment towards my ex for not putting me first when I developed post natal depression after my second child and homesickness and so badly needed to go home and have family support. He was not interested in my unhappiness only himself and Australia. Eventually the marriage collaspsed.

It's taken 37 years ( due to children, job, etc) but I am now planning my return to the UK. But now have lots of doubts about fitting in and the enormity of moving and all that entails at 65. Plus leaving two adult children and grandchildren.

I have never been 'Me' and have lost so much of my personality since living here and trying to fit in to a place I never felt I belonged.

Emigrating is a lottery and for some it works out but for many others it brings heartache and unhappiness.
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Old May 19th 2013, 11:32 am   #26
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Great post. So many things you have said resonates with my situation.

Yes, coming to Australia broke up my marriage. I felt this enormous resentment towards my ex for not putting me first when I developed post natal depression after my second child and homesickness and so badly needed to go home and have family support. He was not interested in my unhappiness only himself and Australia. Eventually the marriage collaspsed.

It's taken 37 years ( due to children, job, etc) but I am now planning my return to the UK. But now have lots of doubts about fitting in and the enormity of moving and all that entails at 65. Plus leaving two adult children and grandchildren.

I have never been 'Me' and have lost so much of my personality since living here and trying to fit in to a place I never felt I belonged.

Emigrating is a lottery and for some it works out but for many others it brings heartache and unhappiness.
Wow

That is a big decision, when will you be moving back? where in the Uk are you heading? What other family is waiting for you?
Good luck...
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Old May 19th 2013, 11:43 am   #27
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Wow

That is a big decision, when will you be moving back? where in the Uk are you heading? What other family is waiting for you?
Good luck...
Steve
I have yet to sell my house, which at the moment I am renovating, so it may take another year or so. I will eventually be heading for Yorkshire. I originate from Leeds but would like to end up in a smaller place that has a community feel perhaps Ilkley or Beverley. I want to be able to go into a shop and they greet me by name, to be able to say 'Hello' to neighbours and have the occasional chat over the fence both of which I have never been able to achieve here. I don't feel any sense of belonging and after many years have come to the conclusion it's not me but a miss match of my belief system and Australia.
Whether my dreams will eventuate we will have to wait and see.
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Old May 21st 2013, 3:45 pm   #28
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Default Re: Life Happened While I Made Other Plans - 8 Years On

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Glad I helped, although every story is so individual and complex.
My outlook on life is totaly different after this journey, my life is different after this journey, my family both here and in the UK are significantly different from that of 8 years ago. I always saw myself as one of lifes 'go getters' and that is a large part of the problem today (and why we're here!!)my family here are settled and I am the most unsettled I have ever been, I did not give up my family and everything else in England for what I have now, it is not a 'fair swap'.
My mind tries to compute a solution to the current problem but the only answer I get is 'Fatal Error - computer will shut down'
As I said before, nothing is wrong but nothing is right.
Great post really enjoyed reading that.

I'm in a very confused state of mind now and sometimes wish I had never went to Oz. The problem I have is that after 5 years in Brisbane I am now back in Glasgow. My marriage broke down in Oz (mutual and no bad blood) and I spent the last 2 years as a single man. I had a great time with no responsibilities and certainly no regrets.

However as I was fast approaching 40 the single lifestyle was getting a bit much and the cycle of going out drinking most weekends really started to get me down. On my trips home I met a girl I knew who I had always thought was amazing (like me married) who had decided to leave her husband. After getting my PR I thought 'why not' and came back to live in the highlands with her and give it a go.

We are now expecting a girl in 4 weeks and everything should be sweet. However it's not.

My work is non existent in the highlands so need to commute from Glasgow at the weekends which is an 8-9 hour round trip. I love the Highlands (in summer at least) but it kills me having to back to Glasgow.

We are stuck because my partner has a wee girl at 13 and we don't want to upset her anymore, she is happy and settled at her school and wouldn't come to Glasgow anyway.

But here is the real killer...I just can't get Oz out my system. It is like kryptonite around my neck every single day. Hand on heart if my partner wasnt pregnant I don't think I could cope with waiting 3 years until her daughter is old enough to emigrate with us.

You see this is the plan, when she is 16 she can decide for herself if she wants to come, which she will I'm sure. If I go back before feb 2017 I don't need my re-entry visa and would be eligible to apply for my citizenship after 1 year due to the time already spent there. This is how we are going to approach it because once I get my passport then we can relax, until then I think I will always feel like this.

My brother is devestated that I am going back and thinks I am being selfish breaking up her family. The thing is her dad lives in Brisbane anyway and she is thrilled at the chance of living there but I don't think she realises how hard it will be. She also has 2 sons who will be well into their 20's by then, one of which is planning to emigrate there with or without us anyway. It's really just her wee girl that holds all the aces.

Anyway I'm rambling, my point to the OP is, although you are feeling how you are now in Oz and it must be frustrating, there is no guarantee being back in the UK will cure this.

I think an extended holiday may do the trick. The things i took for granted in Oz I now miss terribly, to the extent its dominating my life when I have more important things to worry about really.
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Old May 23rd 2013, 12:10 pm   #29
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Default Re: Life Happened While I Made Other Plans - 8 Years On

I hope everything works out as best it can for everyone on this thread, but sometimes there just isn't an answer.....

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If I go back before feb 2017 I don't need my re-entry visa and would be eligible to apply for my citizenship after 1 year due to the time already spent there.
If you are saying you left Australia a while ago and will not return to live for at least 3 years, I can't see how you can qualify for citizenship within 3 years of your return. You need to have spent 3 of the last 4 years in Australia before you can apply. If this is crucial to your plans, you should look into this further.
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Old May 23rd 2013, 1:27 pm   #30
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I hope everything works out as best it can for everyone on this thread, but sometimes there just isn't an answer.....



If you are saying you left Australia a while ago and will not return to live for at least 3 years, I can't see how you can qualify for citizenship within 3 years of your return. You need to have spent 3 of the last 4 years in Australia before you can apply. If this is crucial to your plans, you should look into this further.

When I phoned immigration they said because I had lived there for 4.5 years I could apply for citizenship after 1 year due to my time spent there previously?
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