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Want to move back to Aus

Want to move back to Aus

Old Jan 18th 2021, 6:50 am
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Default Want to move back to Aus

Hello everyone,

I'm new here: female, 31, Sussex born and bred, moved to Perth, WA, 10 years ago alone, got citizenship and then, guilt-ridden after the deaths of three grandparents and ageing parents, returned to the UK (Bristol) two years ago with Australian fiance (on partner visa).

We are pretty miserable here. After an initial honeymoon period of say three months, the first year was hard: money here is awful and, even though I earn about as much as I did in Aus (Project Manager in IT), it doesn't allow for decent quality of life or saving like in Australia. My partner (lawyer) took a 40% pay cut which has been devastating for him. We're horrified by the pension schemes here (no wonderful mandatory super!). Despite arriving with significant savings, we're now in debt. So much for buying our English home in 2020!

I thought I was coming back to be closer to family and friends (probably like lots of others). The reality is that life has moved on here and I'm not part of it. People have learnt to live without me and, once the initial novelty of me being back wore off, I barely see people. Even before Covid, my sister had only been to visit me once and my friends are having babies so their priorities are (rightfully) elsewhere. It actually feels very lonely because I put in a lot of effort to see everyone but it isn't reciprocated and I miss my Australian life, routine and friends (who had become my expat family). It's much worse for my partner, especially now during Covid and not being able to visit home and family.

The weather is exhausting. I hated it before and I hate it now. The winters are brutal - seemingly endless, dark, cold and miserable days, exacerbated by the lack of money. The summers are good when the sun shines - and a repetitive game of "when's the sun coming back" when it's raining.

Everywhere, even the countryside, seems to be crawling with people and cars. It's so overwhelming after years in WA. I'm a country girl and had hoped, romantically, before moving back, that we'd get a cottage in the countryside but now, I can't seem to even visit my family home without the sound of traffic on some nearby A road.

I'd wanted to be back here to have kids. The UK offers better maternity leave and undeniably better education. But now... I cannot imagine having kids here. The life here for a child compared to Aus are lightyears apart.

The natural review point for us would be the end of my partner's visa in March 2022. Having said all of this, I'm terrified of moving back to WA and having the resumption of guilt - especially because I'm worried I'll feel as though we didn't give it a "real go" because Covid interrupted what life could have been here.

Does anyone else feel the same? Did anyone else return to the UK just before Covid? How are you coping?

And has anyone else returned to the UK, thinking it would be permanent, but then gone back to Aus? How did it feel? Do you still have the guilt and what ifs?

Thanks for reading - I'm sorry it's such a long whinge.

Last edited by Harri_delf; Jan 18th 2021 at 6:54 am.
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Old Jan 18th 2021, 7:55 am
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Default Re: Want to move back to Aus

Originally Posted by Harri_delf View Post
Hello everyone,

I'm new here: female, 31, Sussex born and bred, moved to Perth, WA, 10 years ago alone, got citizenship and then, guilt-ridden after the deaths of three grandparents and ageing parents, returned to the UK (Bristol) two years ago with Australian fiance (on partner visa).

We are pretty miserable here. After an initial honeymoon period of say three months, the first year was hard: money here is awful and, even though I earn about as much as I did in Aus (Project Manager in IT), it doesn't allow for decent quality of life or saving like in Australia. My partner (lawyer) took a 40% pay cut which has been devastating for him. We're horrified by the pension schemes here (no wonderful mandatory super!). Despite arriving with significant savings, we're now in debt. So much for buying our English home in 2020!

I thought I was coming back to be closer to family and friends (probably like lots of others). The reality is that life has moved on here and I'm not part of it. People have learnt to live without me and, once the initial novelty of me being back wore off, I barely see people. Even before Covid, my sister had only been to visit me once and my friends are having babies so their priorities are (rightfully) elsewhere. It actually feels very lonely because I put in a lot of effort to see everyone but it isn't reciprocated and I miss my Australian life, routine and friends (who had become my expat family). It's much worse for my partner, especially now during Covid and not being able to visit home and family.

The weather is exhausting. I hated it before and I hate it now. The winters are brutal - seemingly endless, dark, cold and miserable days, exacerbated by the lack of money. The summers are good when the sun shines - and a repetitive game of "when's the sun coming back" when it's raining.

Everywhere, even the countryside, seems to be crawling with people and cars. It's so overwhelming after years in WA. I'm a country girl and had hoped, romantically, before moving back, that we'd get a cottage in the countryside but now, I can't seem to even visit my family home without the sound of traffic on some nearby A road.

I'd wanted to be back here to have kids. The UK offers better maternity leave and undeniably better education. But now... I cannot imagine having kids here. The life here for a child compared to Aus are lightyears apart.

The natural review point for us would be the end of my partner's visa in March 2022. Having said all of this, I'm terrified of moving back to WA and having the resumption of guilt - especially because I'm worried I'll feel as though we didn't give it a "real go" because Covid interrupted what life could have been here.

Does anyone else feel the same? Did anyone else return to the UK just before Covid? How are you coping?

And has anyone else returned to the UK, thinking it would be permanent, but then gone back to Aus? How did it feel? Do you still have the guilt and what ifs?

Thanks for reading - I'm sorry it's such a long whinge.
If I felt like you do I would of gone back to Australia ASAP we all have different options in life and mine differ greatly from yours about living in the UK but I do think that anyone who is so unhappy with their life should make changes as soon as possible and if I were you I would make plans to return to Australia starting from today, that's what I would do anyway and it might make you feel better having a plan. Good luck
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Old Jan 18th 2021, 8:26 am
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Default Re: Want to move back to Aus

Not in the UK/Oz myself now but these times are challenging for everyone and no matter where you move to, it can often take a few years to really get settled.
Only you can decide and to me it sounds like you just want someone to say they hated the UK and returned to Australia. Different times, different lives and different financial situations all play a part, so I wouldn't rely on that. Cottage in the countryside vs. city living is another problem and weather is weather. Without Covid a lot of things might be more positive and maybe focus on what you have now (a job) and what you can gain. We had to cancel all ferry bookings to France last year and haven't been in Spain for over a year now and the rest of holiday was lockdown at home. The days are already getting longer and the first daffodils are popping up, so it's not all bad and hopefully soon I'll be hiking out West and enjoying the sea breeze. If you feel Australia can offer more there's nothing stopping you returning but maybe there are other opportunities.
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Old Jan 18th 2021, 10:12 pm
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Default Re: Want to move back to Aus

Just be careful not to paint to much of a glow on WA, while putting down UK. Easy to do, what with the virus lockdowns and being in the middle of a long winter. Although the economy is supposed to be in good health in WA, there remain plenty of closed small business's. This has been so probably before you left. There are visibly many more homeless , mentally ill, drug impacted on the streets. Fremantle has an entire area outside the railway station of erected tents housing homeless. I live in inner city . We have had to endure severe meth drug problems over the past eighteen months and speaking with real estate and people in general, it is everywhere. News of the moment is the violence at Scarborough Beach over the weekends. At night can hardly be described as 'family friendly'. Since international tourists are scarce on the ground, find a certain 'buzz' has gone. Rents are crazy and scarce for those that need to find a place and prices to buy are going up after going southwards, due to government intervention in the market. Salary levels outside of the financial industry, I suppose have been generally higher than UK since I remember. There are plenty of moves in certain areas to lower wages though through restructuring. But the sun shines. We are very lucky with limited exposure to the virus to date , so much so that it appears almost to be non existent, apart from having to sign in most everywhere.
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Old Jan 19th 2021, 5:01 am
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Default Re: Want to move back to Aus

Reverse culture shock.
I went back in 2019 for a visit and had a great time, all old friends and family made an effort and it's was summer and sunny, it's easy to get tricked in thinking it will be like that all the time.
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Old Jan 19th 2021, 5:01 am
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Default Re: Want to move back to Aus

Originally Posted by Harri_delf View Post
Hello everyone,

I'm new here: female, 31, Sussex born and bred, moved to Perth, WA, 10 years ago alone, got citizenship and then, guilt-ridden after the deaths of three grandparents and ageing parents, returned to the UK (Bristol) two years ago with Australian fiance (on partner visa).

We are pretty miserable here. After an initial honeymoon period of say three months, the first year was hard: money here is awful and, even though I earn about as much as I did in Aus (Project Manager in IT), it doesn't allow for decent quality of life or saving like in Australia. My partner (lawyer) took a 40% pay cut which has been devastating for him. We're horrified by the pension schemes here (no wonderful mandatory super!). Despite arriving with significant savings, we're now in debt. So much for buying our English home in 2020!

I thought I was coming back to be closer to family and friends (probably like lots of others). The reality is that life has moved on here and I'm not part of it. People have learnt to live without me and, once the initial novelty of me being back wore off, I barely see people. Even before Covid, my sister had only been to visit me once and my friends are having babies so their priorities are (rightfully) elsewhere. It actually feels very lonely because I put in a lot of effort to see everyone but it isn't reciprocated and I miss my Australian life, routine and friends (who had become my expat family). It's much worse for my partner, especially now during Covid and not being able to visit home and family.

The weather is exhausting. I hated it before and I hate it now. The winters are brutal - seemingly endless, dark, cold and miserable days, exacerbated by the lack of money. The summers are good when the sun shines - and a repetitive game of "when's the sun coming back" when it's raining.

Everywhere, even the countryside, seems to be crawling with people and cars. It's so overwhelming after years in WA. I'm a country girl and had hoped, romantically, before moving back, that we'd get a cottage in the countryside but now, I can't seem to even visit my family home without the sound of traffic on some nearby A road.

I'd wanted to be back here to have kids. The UK offers better maternity leave and undeniably better education. But now... I cannot imagine having kids here. The life here for a child compared to Aus are lightyears apart.

The natural review point for us would be the end of my partner's visa in March 2022. Having said all of this, I'm terrified of moving back to WA and having the resumption of guilt - especially because I'm worried I'll feel as though we didn't give it a "real go" because Covid interrupted what life could have been here.

Does anyone else feel the same? Did anyone else return to the UK just before Covid? How are you coping?

And has anyone else returned to the UK, thinking it would be permanent, but then gone back to Aus? How did it feel? Do you still have the guilt and what ifs?

Thanks for reading - I'm sorry it's such a long whinge.
Do it

Good luck
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Old Jan 19th 2021, 8:11 pm
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Default Re: Want to move back to Aus

If you feel that miserable, pack up and go but I do wonder if you may have the rose coloured specs on just a little bit. It's possible even now if you are prepared to pay through the nose for a plane fare and then you just go into quarantine when you arrive. Dont agonise just do it.
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Old Jan 19th 2021, 9:55 pm
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Default Re: Want to move back to Aus

Just to say that if you do return to Australia and then decide to return to the UK, you'll need to start the visa process all over again if the visa has expired.....
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Old Jan 21st 2021, 2:56 am
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Default Re: Want to move back to Aus

Agree with those saying return. Make the decision and start planning; this will give you an immediate lift.

If you stay in the UK, some things may improve, e.g., finances, friends & family relationships, and you can make private pension arrangements. But the weather and crowds won’t. You could move somewhere less crowded (if able to find work), but the weather could be worse.

You’re probably viewing Perth through rose tinted glasses, and covid has hindered you in Bristol. But after 2 years, you’ve given it a reasonable go. If you’re concerned you will return and feel you didn’t give the UK a proper go, then commit to staying for x period (another year?) on the basis you will then return to Australia if still unhappy.
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Old Jan 21st 2021, 5:25 pm
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Default Re: Want to move back to Aus

The all to often heard ..".It actually feels very lonely because I put in a lot of effort to see everyone but it isn't reciprocated and I miss my xxxxxxx life"

So many people expect to fall back into their old way of life/back into the old crowd when returning 'home' only to find people have moved on/changed, have different priorities and, really, have little interest in what your life was like in the 5, 10, 15 years you have been away. (and the OP seems to be at a different stage of her life compared to old friends - they are in the having/had babies stage, she is still thinking about it)

I go 'home' every year or so, and can count on one hand how many people ask about my life/plans in the US (they talk plenty though about what they are/will be doing) - yes, nice to see you, but out of sight out of mind when gone.

As said by another writer, the relationship issues might improve over time, the finances might too but if you only returned home due to guilt issues about dying relatives and ageing parents (in other words you liked your life in Australia), then, personally, I'd be looking to move back.

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Old Feb 7th 2021, 10:49 pm
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Default Re: Want to move back to Aus

Originally Posted by Harri_delf View Post
Hello everyone,

I'm new here: female, 31, Sussex born and bred, moved to Perth, WA, 10 years ago alone, got citizenship and then, guilt-ridden after the deaths of three grandparents and ageing parents, returned to the UK (Bristol) two years ago with Australian fiance (on partner visa).

We are pretty miserable here. After an initial honeymoon period of say three months, the first year was hard: money here is awful and, even though I earn about as much as I did in Aus (Project Manager in IT), it doesn't allow for decent quality of life or saving like in Australia. My partner (lawyer) took a 40% pay cut which has been devastating for him. We're horrified by the pension schemes here (no wonderful mandatory super!). Despite arriving with significant savings, we're now in debt. So much for buying our English home in 2020!

I thought I was coming back to be closer to family and friends (probably like lots of others). The reality is that life has moved on here and I'm not part of it. People have learnt to live without me and, once the initial novelty of me being back wore off, I barely see people. Even before Covid, my sister had only been to visit me once and my friends are having babies so their priorities are (rightfully) elsewhere. It actually feels very lonely because I put in a lot of effort to see everyone but it isn't reciprocated and I miss my Australian life, routine and friends (who had become my expat family). It's much worse for my partner, especially now during Covid and not being able to visit home and family.

The weather is exhausting. I hated it before and I hate it now. The winters are brutal - seemingly endless, dark, cold and miserable days, exacerbated by the lack of money. The summers are good when the sun shines - and a repetitive game of "when's the sun coming back" when it's raining.

Everywhere, even the countryside, seems to be crawling with people and cars. It's so overwhelming after years in WA. I'm a country girl and had hoped, romantically, before moving back, that we'd get a cottage in the countryside but now, I can't seem to even visit my family home without the sound of traffic on some nearby A road.

I'd wanted to be back here to have kids. The UK offers better maternity leave and undeniably better education. But now... I cannot imagine having kids here. The life here for a child compared to Aus are lightyears apart.

The natural review point for us would be the end of my partner's visa in March 2022. Having said all of this, I'm terrified of moving back to WA and having the resumption of guilt - especially because I'm worried I'll feel as though we didn't give it a "real go" because Covid interrupted what life could have been here.

Does anyone else feel the same? Did anyone else return to the UK just before Covid? How are you coping?

And has anyone else returned to the UK, thinking it would be permanent, but then gone back to Aus? How did it feel? Do you still have the guilt and what ifs?

Thanks for reading - I'm sorry it's such a long whinge.

I totally understand , friends and family do move on.
I felt so much guilt for leaving for a better life but coming back really destroys your spirit. It's very hard .
Covid has made things so much worse for returning but we have to keep that dream alive, to go back home .
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Old Feb 10th 2021, 11:58 am
  #12  
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Default Re: Want to move back to Aus

Hi there
We lived in Perth from 2001-2006 and came back to UK. We're all Aus/ UK citizens. And honestly been quite happy here in the UK. Our kids were toddlers when we left Perth and it's been great to be near family and we live in a nice market town with good schools and made a nice bunch of friends. I've started to miss Australia over the last few months and ultimately want to move to NZ. The main reasons I'm struggling here now are Covid, our Government and Brexit. Also my girls are now getting closer to uni age and with the way things are it looks awful here - getting into debt to the tune of £18k to sit isolated in their rooms with only online learning and no social life - which should be the key social times of their life. Such a bleak outlook for them. So we started to look at unis in NZ. All looks good but we we've hit problems that we can't take our dog (snub nosed breed) over at the moment and think we would have a hard time getting back - there are 40,000 stranded Australians trying to get home right now but can't due to the very limited quarantine places so the flights are very limited and expensive. So we've just decided to wait until mid 2022 to review it then. Also a UK winter is very hard (esp now) and it's easy to dream of blue skies and beaches overseas! If there's just two of you it may be easier to travel and uproot, as you have more freedom. I'd say give it a go - if you can get in! Also both of my kids were born in Perth and it was all great. Had great maternity care and it was great to meet other mums in the mothers groups and playgroups over there, if you're thinking of starting a family soon. I had a few friends in Perth who were ping pong poms! As it is hard to know where is the best place to live and so many variables - both places offer pros and cons. Be prepared though that it's very difficult to get a flight right now, and very expensive. I've heard Singapore airlines (business class) is less likely to have their flights cancelled. Otherwise many flights are being cancelled at the last minute and the Government repatriation ones only go to high priority and sell out in minutes. Wishing you well with what you decide
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Old Feb 14th 2021, 12:23 pm
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Default Re: Want to move back to Aus

Originally Posted by JRB View Post
Hi there
We lived in Perth from 2001-2006 and came back to UK. We're all Aus/ UK citizens. And honestly been quite happy here in the UK. Our kids were toddlers when we left Perth and it's been great to be near family and we live in a nice market town with good schools and made a nice bunch of friends. I've started to miss Australia over the last few months and ultimately want to move to NZ. The main reasons I'm struggling here now are Covid, our Government and Brexit. Also my girls are now getting closer to uni age and with the way things are it looks awful here - getting into debt to the tune of £18k to sit isolated in their rooms with only online learning and no social life - which should be the key social times of their life. Such a bleak outlook for them. So we started to look at unis in NZ. All looks good but we we've hit problems that we can't take our dog (snub nosed breed) over at the moment and think we would have a hard time getting back - there are 40,000 stranded Australians trying to get home right now but can't due to the very limited quarantine places so the flights are very limited and expensive. So we've just decided to wait until mid 2022 to review it then. Also a UK winter is very hard (esp now) and it's easy to dream of blue skies and beaches overseas! If there's just two of you it may be easier to travel and uproot, as you have more freedom. I'd say give it a go - if you can get in! Also both of my kids were born in Perth and it was all great. Had great maternity care and it was great to meet other mums in the mothers groups and playgroups over there, if you're thinking of starting a family soon. I had a few friends in Perth who were ping pong poms! As it is hard to know where is the best place to live and so many variables - both places offer pros and cons. Be prepared though that it's very difficult to get a flight right now, and very expensive. I've heard Singapore airlines (business class) is less likely to have their flights cancelled. Otherwise many flights are being cancelled at the last minute and the Government repatriation ones only go to high priority and sell out in minutes. Wishing you well with what you decide
Due to Brexit and Covid there will be a huge wave of desperate British sun seekers wanting to move to OZ in the next few years, as the visa free European options have gone. But if the outlook now is any better is questionable and even in NZ lockdowns are happening again. It's easy to see the negatives during winter and not only the UK has been hit by Covid. Young people everywhere feel the outlook is bleak, so I don't think the UK is alone there. We have friends in NZ who feel they are trapped and dream of a European road trip again, even though it's summer.
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Old Feb 14th 2021, 7:27 pm
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Default Re: Want to move back to Aus

What has Brexit got to do with people wanting to move to Australia? Really, people? We're just going to put "Brexit" down to everyone wanting to leave the UK now, huh?

As for Harri_delf (OP), a lot of us can understand what you are going through. The weather in the UK is not for everyone. It also sounds like you returned to the UK not because you wanted to, but because you felt guilty for living in Australia and enjoying your life there while members of your family were passing away in the UK.

You should do what is best for you and your fiancé and not what's best for your friends or extended family. It sounds selfish, but this is what happens when you don't: you hurt yourself and your immediate family more than anyone else.

There are many wonderful places in the UK that I absolutely love – especially the many national parks and forests the UK has to offer – and I would be lying if I said I did not enjoy returning to the UK for a few months each year during the summer period. But like many others, I left the UK because of the appalling weather conditions. As you say, even the summer can be a hit or miss.

People often don't take seriously those that need to leave the UK because of weather conditions – brushing it aside as those that just want to 'escape for the sun'. But mental health can be significantly influenced by external factors like the weather.

As other members have pointed out, you are probably seeing Western Australia under rose-tinted glasses, but what you are feeling in the UK is probably not going to change either. Only you can make the decision as to what is best for you and your fiancé, but it sounds like you need to move back to Australia.

Once Australia reopens their border, perhaps you may wish to begin sorting out your affairs in the UK so that you can return to Australia (or perhaps even start making preparations right away, in time for when you can return). Sure, your home is currently in the UK, but from everything you describe, it sounds like your real home is in Australia.

Yes, you have commitments in the UK, like your English home (which you'll need to either leave unoccupied, rent out through a lettings agent, or sell), and debt which you need to settle or continue paying off before or after you move back to Australia. You might also need some savings before you move back to Australia. Whatever the case may be, nothing is impossible.

The bottom line is, if you and your financé are truly unhappy in the UK, you already know what you need to. You may wish to discuss it with your financé and decide how to move forward.

While England certainly has that cosy English charm and some of the best national parks, to me the weather is generally crap and the cost of living is not worth what you get in return. It's great to visit for a month or two during the summer months, but what I have found is that you can get similar standard and cost of living, and better weather, in many other parts of the world.

Last edited by bs_wave; Feb 14th 2021 at 7:42 pm.
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Old Feb 14th 2021, 7:57 pm
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Default Re: Want to move back to Aus

Originally Posted by bs_wave View Post
What has Brexit got to do with people wanting to move to Australia? Really, people? We're just going to put "Brexit" down to everyone wanting to leave the UK now, huh?

As for Harri_delf (OP), a lot of us can understand what you are going through. The weather in the UK is not for everyone. It also sounds like you returned to the UK not because you wanted to, but because you felt guilty for living in Australia and enjoying your life there while members of your family were passing away in the UK.

You should do what is best for you and your fiancé and not what's best for your friends or extended family. It sounds selfish, but this is what happens when you don't: you hurt yourself and your immediate family more than anyone else.

There are many wonderful places in the UK that I absolutely love – especially the many national parks and forests the UK has to offer – and I would be lying if I said I did not enjoy returning to the UK for a few months each year during the summer period. But like many others, I left the UK because of the appalling weather conditions. As you say, even the summer can be a hit or miss.

People often don't take seriously those that need to leave the UK because of weather conditions – brushing it aside as those that just want to 'escape for the sun'. But mental health can be significantly influenced by external factors like the weather.

As other members have pointed out, you are probably seeing Western Australia under rose-tinted glasses, but what you are feeling in the UK is probably not going to change either. Only you can make the decision as to what is best for you and your fiancé, but it sounds like you need to move back to Australia.

Once Australia reopens their border, perhaps you may wish to begin sorting out your affairs in the UK so that you can return to Australia (or perhaps even start making preparations right away, in time for when you can return). Sure, your home is currently in the UK, but from everything you describe, it sounds like your real home is in Australia.

Yes, you have commitments in the UK, like your English home (which you'll need to either leave unoccupied, rent out through a lettings agent, or sell), and debt which you need to settle or continue paying off before or after you move back to Australia. You might also need some savings before you move back to Australia. Whatever the case may be, nothing is impossible.

The bottom line is, if you and your financé are truly unhappy in the UK, you already know what you need to. You may wish to discuss it with your financé and decide how to move forward.

While England certainly has that cosy English charm and some of the best national parks, to me the weather is generally crap and the cost of living is not worth what you get in return. It's great to visit for a month or two during the summer months, but what I have found is that you can get similar standard and cost of living, and better weather, in many other parts of the world.
Good post. Pretty much spot on.
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