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Old Dec 28th 2014, 5:26 am   #61
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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
Just read my original post from February 2013.... Things have deteriorated since then, I think in Feb I saw a glimmer of hope... that has gone.
My eldest daughter has just left for a four week Contiki tour of europe, yet again another sad farewell at the airport. This time it has really made me think that for the past ten years I have either loathed, tolerated or accepted my isolated existence in Australia but very rarely enjoyed.
Australia is just too bloody far away, and the longer I stay here the further it is getting.
Start planning the escape then As you've seen, no point staying for the kids.....
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Old Dec 28th 2014, 6:37 am   #62
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Default Re: Life Happened While I Made Other Plans - 8 Years On

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Start planning the escape then As you've seen, no point staying for the kids.....
Yup! Once you've made the step away from the kernel of your family your kids are likely to do the same to you and you end with a family scattered to the 4 winds! It won't be easy but find yourself a place you can belong in. You never know your luck, your kids' wandering a may lead them back closer to you. Escape now before it is too late!
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Old Dec 29th 2014, 12:23 am   #63
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Default Re: Life Happened While I Made Other Plans - 8 Years On

Hi Steve
I read your post with great interest because you moved to Australia in2005 when I did. I hope my little story helps you make sense of it all and gives you hope for the future. Similar to you we moved to Aus because we had a holiday there and both loved it. I was married to my ex back then and we were a blended family of two children from my previous marriage. In the uk we both had good jobs and lived in a four bed detached homesite two brand new cars. I am a bit like you and always wanted to better my self and my family situation. On arrival in Aus we moved twice because we couldn't settle - the second home was very lovely and close to a fantastic beach. I had a really good job and had made some lovely friends. As part of my agreement with my ex husband was to pay for flights back home so my kids could see their dad in exchange for maintenance so I wasn't too worried my kids would miss out- fact is he never kept his word and it prevented me from fully settling. He never paid for them to fly back once. I got to feel really bad about that and so decided to get my citizenship and return to the UK. We all returned in 2007 and I was keen to rebuild relationships with my sister and other family members. I was in the uk for six years and in that time I hardly saw any of my family and my close friends had moved on. My oldest boy went to university- I really struggled to find a good job - the pay back in the uk was terrible compared to Aus and I wax also made redundant twice. I had sixteen jobs over a period of six years!! I eventually went self employed and did some further training. My husband and I hot divorced and the icing on the cake was when my son who was 13 went to live with his Dad- despite trying to change his mind I couldn't convince him to come back. so I found myself on my own !!it was really hard and I couldn't work out why I had ever returned to England. Six months later I met my current partner... He lived two hour car drive from me and so I moved in with him after two years. I had realised what a huge mistake and high price I paid for returning to what I thought was going to be a lovely family situation. A year ago my partner and I moved to New Zealand and my son (the one who went to live with his dad) joined us four months ago. I am trying to pick up the pieces of what my ex husband did to him emotionally over the years he lived there and then kicked him out on his 18th birthday. My other son is still in the Uk and hardly speaks to me. I guess you will always have that pull back to the UK but what sometimes seems like an idyllic situation can and will turn bad. You have a good life in Aus and I guess can afford to return for holidays? Think long and hard about whether you want to return for good or would rather have some nice holidays which you will treasure memories for ever. I love living in New Zealand and have no plans to go back now .. It was an expensive and horrendously emotional journey for me
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Old Dec 29th 2014, 12:48 am   #64
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Default Re: Life Happened While I Made Other Plans - 8 Years On

Great post !! The sad thing is we are all different I for one have lived in Aust due to family and I hardly ever see my Grandkids only when it's their birthdays to pick up money that I give them every year,even when they have had their babies.I have made up my mind that I will not be doing it after this Christmas as only one of the 8 had the kindness to buy me a Christmas card ! Have never expected a gift just a card but no,so can say I am over it.
Now my thoughts why did I not return to IRELAND instead of putting family first.not bitter just very very disappointed.
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Old Jan 13th 2015, 6:03 am   #65
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Default Re: Life Happened While I Made Other Plans - 8 Years On

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Originally Posted by Debidoos View Post
Hi Steve
I read your post with great interest because you moved to Australia in2005 when I did. I hope my little story helps you make sense of it all and gives you hope for the future. Similar to you we moved to Aus because we had a holiday there and both loved it. I was married to my ex back then and we were a blended family of two children from my previous marriage. In the uk we both had good jobs and lived in a four bed detached homesite two brand new cars. I am a bit like you and always wanted to better my self and my family situation. On arrival in Aus we moved twice because we couldn't settle - the second home was very lovely and close to a fantastic beach. I had a really good job and had made some lovely friends. As part of my agreement with my ex husband was to pay for flights back home so my kids could see their dad in exchange for maintenance so I wasn't too worried my kids would miss out- fact is he never kept his word and it prevented me from fully settling. He never paid for them to fly back once. I got to feel really bad about that and so decided to get my citizenship and return to the UK. We all returned in 2007 and I was keen to rebuild relationships with my sister and other family members. I was in the uk for six years and in that time I hardly saw any of my family and my close friends had moved on. My oldest boy went to university- I really struggled to find a good job - the pay back in the uk was terrible compared to Aus and I wax also made redundant twice. I had sixteen jobs over a period of six years!! I eventually went self employed and did some further training. My husband and I hot divorced and the icing on the cake was when my son who was 13 went to live with his Dad- despite trying to change his mind I couldn't convince him to come back. so I found myself on my own !!it was really hard and I couldn't work out why I had ever returned to England. Six months later I met my current partner... He lived two hour car drive from me and so I moved in with him after two years. I had realised what a huge mistake and high price I paid for returning to what I thought was going to be a lovely family situation. A year ago my partner and I moved to New Zealand and my son (the one who went to live with his dad) joined us four months ago. I am trying to pick up the pieces of what my ex husband did to him emotionally over the years he lived there and then kicked him out on his 18th birthday. My other son is still in the Uk and hardly speaks to me. I guess you will always have that pull back to the UK but what sometimes seems like an idyllic situation can and will turn bad. You have a good life in Aus and I guess can afford to return for holidays? Think long and hard about whether you want to return for good or would rather have some nice holidays which you will treasure memories for ever. I love living in New Zealand and have no plans to go back now .. It was an expensive and horrendously emotional journey for me
Hi Steve

I think Debi is very right in her post. I have, personally, ping ponged back to the UK and back to Oz. When in Oz, I had these idyllic thoughts of being in the kitchen of my lovely new home in the UK, with friends and family coming round for a chat and coffee/bite to eat. This never really happened, people are busy with work and their own families. Time passes by and you hardly ever see them. However, I did make a real effort to see my parents often, who lived over 90 minutes away. I did find the lovely home in the UK, in fact I still own it, but a lovely home is not enough. Unfortunately, your mind plays tricks on you and you forget the bad and remember the good. I really felt for you in what you were saying in your post though and you must not be unhappy, life is far too short. However, whatever you do, do not burn your bridges, because you just don't know when you may want to cross that bridge again. I wish you all the best. Kathryn
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Last edited by Kathryn V; Jan 13th 2015 at 6:11 am.
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Old Apr 23rd 2015, 11:55 pm   #66
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Default Re: Life Happened While I Made Other Plans - 8 Years On

The majority of replies I received after this post have been great, so thank you all. There are some very touching stories and we all are older and far wiser for this journey. I am still here, haven't given up or packed up!!! Just deciding on a holiday trip to the UK in November for a few weeks with the wife and my youngest. Oddly enough my enthusiasm for a long haul trip to the UK is beginning to diminish, nice to catch up with family (friends have gone!) but arriving and leaving is really not that exciting.
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Old Apr 28th 2015, 3:42 am   #67
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Default Re: Life Happened While I Made Other Plans - 8 Years On

Thank you for sharing your experience & insight, steve-n-jo. It certainly makes for a sobering read, and although my personal & family circumstances are quite different from yours, your story may help me avoid making the same rose-tinted glasses mistakes in my own case! Good luck with whatever decision you end up making, and keep that chin up, mate!
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Old Apr 20th 2016, 2:22 pm   #68
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Default Re: Life Happened While I Made Other Plans - 8 Years On

I have found this an absolutely fascinating thread and thanks to the OP for sharing his story and getting this started. Its amazing how common 'Holiday Fever' is! I suffered the same thing myself for about four years. I was fortunate enough to have an annual trip back (I live in Far East so its more do-able) and yes, not working for a fortnight, summer English weather, relaxing meals in nice pubs, being the centre of attention....it all feels great! Thoughts of coming home suddenly creeping into your head....and that happened to me on annual trips. I would hate to think how I would have felt had I not been back for three years. Luckily I had my wife talk me out of any silly notions and a few years down the line I am glad she did. I have now learnt to think of home trips for what they are - a very privileged opportunity to experience the very best of England, your friends and your family in a short concentrated burst that is in no way representative of real life!

Its been fascinating reading about the loss of UK self - a feeling that surely resonates with so many long term expats - myself included. I do wonder though whether I am mourning loss of my UK self OR loss of my younger self or maybe a bit of both. Due to my age at the time, my UK lifestyle involved a lot of holidays, friends, pubbing and hobbies. That got lost straightaway when I moved overseas partly due to the remote nature of where I was living but also partly due to getting older and having a family!

Thanks again to the OP and best wishes for the future. The thread was started by a very well written, compelling and thought provoking piece of writing.
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Old Apr 21st 2016, 7:19 am   #69
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Default Re: Life Happened While I Made Other Plans - 8 Years On

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Originally Posted by I like tea View Post
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.
I can relate so much to your post,so much that it brought me to tears. I watched a program a few years ago about a lady who had longed to return to England,she had many Grandchildren and Great Grandchildren in Oz.She was 81 when she went back and when she was interviewed she had never regretted her return,happy living in the Cotswolds. So never say never good luck if you do manage to get home 👍👍☘
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Old Jul 19th 2016, 7:41 am   #70
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Default Re: Life Happened While I Made Other Plans - 8 Years On

Thanks so much for this thread...it couldn't have come at a better time..

It really echos for me so much of the sadness i have been feeling the last few years...

I too left my home country to settle in Oz...my kids are Aussies but i missed the "ME" i left behind.... i have been travelling more and more often back home now that they have grown...and each time the goodbyes are getting harder and harder...coupled with a sense of guilt as parents are getting older and more frail...

Fortunately my home country where i grew up is not as far as UK .... and i am thinking more and more of establishing another home base....
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Old Sep 10th 2016, 9:43 am   #71
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Default Re: Life Happened While I Made Other Plans - 8 Years On

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Originally Posted by dean350 View Post
I have found this an absolutely fascinating thread and thanks to the OP for sharing his story and getting this started. Its amazing how common 'Holiday Fever' is! I suffered the same thing myself for about four years. I was fortunate enough to have an annual trip back (I live in Far East so its more do-able) and yes, not working for a fortnight, summer English weather, relaxing meals in nice pubs, being the centre of attention....it all feels great! Thoughts of coming home suddenly creeping into your head....and that happened to me on annual trips. I would hate to think how I would have felt had I not been back for three years. Luckily I had my wife talk me out of any silly notions and a few years down the line I am glad she did. I have now learnt to think of home trips for what they are - a very privileged opportunity to experience the very best of England, your friends and your family in a short concentrated burst that is in no way representative of real life!

Its been fascinating reading about the loss of UK self - a feeling that surely resonates with so many long term expats - myself included. I do wonder though whether I am mourning loss of my UK self OR loss of my younger self or maybe a bit of both. Due to my age at the time, my UK lifestyle involved a lot of holidays, friends, pubbing and hobbies. That got lost straightaway when I moved overseas partly due to the remote nature of where I was living but also partly due to getting older and having a family!

Thanks again to the OP and best wishes for the future. The thread was started by a very well written, compelling and thought provoking piece of writing.
I am still humbled and amazed by the response to my post, I havent logged on for a while but was thrilled to see it is still provoking thoughts. Great replies like this especially. Not because it says the original post is good, but because the comments and observations are so true for so many.. including me.. I think I will have to pen an update to my update!
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