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Why I'm leaving the UK....

Why I'm leaving the UK....

Old Dec 17th 2003, 11:39 am
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Default Why I'm leaving the UK....

as my description says, I'm a NZer planning to return to NZ. I thought it might be useful for some of you if I gave the reasons we considered when deciding to stay or return to NZ, from the perspective of someone who's lived in both countries. I'm talking about NZ, but that is incidental - it equally applies to Australia (or anywhere else).

First of all - why I left NZ.... well for three main reasons:

- boredom - I perceived NZ as a very small and boring place. Few events of international significance involve NZ, and it's small population means it's somewhat on the 'fringes' of the world - less happening basically. The rest of world seemed so exciting - and I didn't really think NZ was anything special.

- escape - I had enough of my job/career and felt somewhat trapped in the daily grind of life. Moving to a new country was the perfect way to 'escape'. But of course there is no 'escaping' the grind of daily life....

- opportunity - not really in career, as I'm not career driven, but in terms of travel. It is hard and expensive to travel from NZ. Living in the UK gives me that opportunity, and lets me expand my mind to viewpoints other a NZ one.


And my current situation:

- Permanently employed and with visa until 2007. My partner is on contract which finishes next year, and has a very good chance of getting a good job back in NZ. I will need to find something new. So our basic decision was, should we stay or should we go? (apologies to the Clash). No kids, virtually no assets, at least one of us with a job in either country. We've been here 3 years - had 6 months of homesickness, but now perfectly happy.

For us there are three main aspects to the decision which we considered.

FINANCIAL - given our professions, our cities (Oxford vs Wellington), and the wages we can earn in either place - we feel there is little in this. If anything we lean towards NZ, as we feel we will NEVER be able to afford anything more than a shoebox in Oxford, but in Wellington we at least have a shot at buying a house, with a bit of garden (if not insulation, heating, and double glazing!). In other parts of the UK we could afford something, but if we are going to uproot ourselves, it may as well be back to NZ. We also care little for expensive cars, designer clothes, or anything other than basic electronics, so we won't miss those. RESULT: NZ 1 - UK 0.

OPPORTUNITY (both career and travel)- As we're not hugely career orientated (well not shirt and tie career anyway), there is little in this also. In the UK, funding is better and opportunites more in my partner's specialised field, but not in *exactly* in her speciality - NZ is a more interesting place to work in her particular field. Being able to travel to europe etc is a major reason to stay. RESULT: DRAW.

LIFESTYLE - the largely intangible qualities of lifestyle, but this is the most important aspect for us. For us this comes down to what floats our boat; namely: the outdoors, walking & photography mostly; wide open spaces; relatively empty footpaths and motorways; less people; eating out; seeing live music; the cinema; being with friends; intellectual stimulation (intelligent media, outlook). So there is also nothing between UK and NZ when it comes to this - the Southeast doesn't provide some of these things as it is too crowded for us - but Cornwall, Wales or Scotland could provide just about all these things. We have good friends in both countries so that is of little consequence. The UK has a better range of international live music, media and intellectual expression, but we can find those in NZ too (although in smaller doses). The weather is of little consideration to me either way, although a bit of sun in winter is nice. RESULT: DRAW.

So, overall, there is little in it. Apart from one very key thing I haven't mentioned - which overrides all of the reasons above!

New Zealand is my HOME. It is where my family are (which I was never that close to, but now realise the importance of), and it's WHAT MADE ME. Despite appearances, the culture of people in NZ and people Britain are quite different. Neither is worse than the other, just different - and my culture is a New Zealander. The landscape, the people, the environment, the schooling, the (relatively short) history, the rugby heads (which I loathe), the lack of shopping, the polynesian faces and land claim squabbling, the small mindedness, the blind optimism, and the no 8 wire & she'll be right mentality - have, for better or worse, influenced the person I am today.

Many people can retain (or reject) their culture and live in another country with no problems - I cannot - as NZ is my home, and for all it's faults I love it. (This is not homesickness talking - I am perfectly happy in the UK, and I love the UK also). I didn't make a mistake leaving NZ - quite the opposite in fact - I now realise what I am missing. But I greatly admire those that can leave a country (including family, friends, and your roots) behind and whole heartedly embrace a new culture.


What is my point?? My point is that I can understand why many of you want to emigrate, and I wouldn't suggest anybody not do it. But if you are doing it for reasons other than to broaden your mind, learn about (and accept) a new country, and have a adventure, then I think you may be disappointed. Plenty of people love it no matter what - I'm just saying you should think about the things that ARE REALLY IMPORTANT TO YOU IN LIFE, and work from there. You get used to living with everything else (eg the weather, the television programming etc etc) - these are are unimportant in the whole scheme of things.

If I was brought up in Britain, I personally would find it very hard to justify leaving the UK permanently. Most things you are chasing can be found in Britain - and those that can't are offset by those things you won't find in NZ or OZ.

You should still emigrate for the experience - but ALWAYS have a back out plan if after a few months or years you decide to return to your home country.

I suspect some of you won't like hearing this, but remember it's all just IMHO!!
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Old Dec 17th 2003, 11:44 am
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Default Re: Why I'm leaving the UK....

Originally posted by jandjuk
as my description says, I'm a NZer planning to return to NZ. I thought it might be useful for some of you if I gave the reasons we considered when deciding to stay or return to NZ, from the perspective of someone who's lived in both countries. I'm talking about NZ, but that is incidental - it equally applies to Australia (or anywhere else).

First of all - why I left NZ.... well for three main reasons:

- boredom - I perceived NZ as a very small and boring place. Few events of international significance involve NZ, and it's small population means it's somewhat on the 'fringes' of the world - less happening basically. The rest of world seemed so exciting - and I didn't really think NZ was anything special.

- escape - I had enough of my job/career and felt somewhat trapped in the daily grind of life. Moving to a new country was the perfect way to 'escape'. But of course there is no 'escaping' the grind of daily life....

- opportunity - not really in career, as I'm not career driven, but in terms of travel. It is hard and expensive to travel from NZ. Living in the UK gives me that opportunity, and lets me expand my mind to viewpoints other a NZ one.


And my current situation:

- Permanently employed and with visa until 2007. My partner is on contract which finishes next year, and has a very good chance of getting a good job back in NZ. I will need to find something new. So our basic decision was, should we stay or should we go? (apologies to the Clash). No kids, virtually no assets, at least one of us with a job in either country. We've been here 3 years - had 6 months of homesickness, but now perfectly happy.

For us there are three main aspects to the decision which we considered.

FINANCIAL - given our professions, our cities (Oxford vs Wellington), and the wages we can earn in either place - we feel there is little in this. If anything we lean towards NZ, as we feel we will NEVER be able to afford anything more than a shoebox in Oxford, but in Wellington we at least have a shot at buying a house, with a bit of garden (if not insulation, heating, and double glazing!). In other parts of the UK we could afford something, but if we are going to uproot ourselves, it may as well be back to NZ. We also care little for expensive cars, designer clothes, or anything other than basic electronics, so we won't miss those. RESULT: NZ 1 - UK 0.

OPPORTUNITY (both career and travel)- As we're not hugely career orientated (well not shirt and tie career anyway), there is little in this also. In the UK, funding is better and opportunites more in my partner's specialised field, but not in *exactly* in her speciality - NZ is a more interesting place to work in her particular field. Being able to travel to europe etc is a major reason to stay. RESULT: DRAW.

LIFESTYLE - the largely intangible qualities of lifestyle, but this is the most important aspect for us. For us this comes down to what floats our boat; namely: the outdoors, walking & photography mostly; wide open spaces; relatively empty footpaths and motorways; less people; eating out; seeing live music; the cinema; being with friends; intellectual stimulation (intelligent media, outlook). So there is also nothing between UK and NZ when it comes to this - the Southeast doesn't provide some of these things as it is too crowded for us - but Cornwall, Wales or Scotland could provide just about all these things. We have good friends in both countries so that is of little consequence. The UK has a better range of international live music, media and intellectual expression, but we can find those in NZ too (although in smaller doses). The weather is of little consideration to me either way, although a bit of sun in winter is nice. RESULT: DRAW.

So, overall, there is little in it. Apart from one very key thing I haven't mentioned - which overrides all of the reasons above!

New Zealand is my HOME. It is where my family are (which I was never that close to, but now realise the importance of), and it's WHAT MADE ME. Despite appearances, the culture of people in NZ and people Britain are quite different. Neither is worse than the other, just different - and my culture is a New Zealander. The landscape, the people, the environment, the schooling, the (relatively short) history, the rugby heads (which I loathe), the lack of shopping, the polynesian faces and land claim squabbling, the small mindedness, the blind optimism, and the no 8 wire & she'll be right mentality - have, for better or worse, influenced the person I am today.

Many people can retain (or reject) their culture and live in another country with no problems - I cannot - as NZ is my home, and for all it's faults I love it. (This is not homesickness talking - I am perfectly happy in the UK, and I love the UK also). I didn't make a mistake leaving NZ - quite the opposite in fact - I now realise what I am missing. But I greatly admire those that can leave a country (including family, friends, and your roots) behind and whole heartedly embrace a new culture.


What is my point?? My point is that I can understand why many of you want to emigrate, and I wouldn't suggest anybody not do it. But if you are doing it for reasons other than to broaden your mind, learn about (and accept) a new country, and have a adventure, then I think you may be disappointed. Plenty of people love it no matter what - I'm just saying you should think about the things that ARE REALLY IMPORTANT TO YOU IN LIFE, and work from there. You get used to living with everything else (eg the weather, the television programming etc etc) - these are are unimportant in the whole scheme of things.

If I was brought up in Britain, I personally would find it very hard to justify leaving the UK permanently. Most things you are chasing can be found in Britain - and those that can't are offset by those things you won't find in NZ or OZ.

You should still emigrate for the experience - but ALWAYS have a back out plan if after a few months or years you decide to return to your home country.

I suspect some of you won't like hearing this, but remember it's all just IMHO!!



What a coincidence...my kiwi husband was working in Oxford when we fist met!
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Old Dec 17th 2003, 12:04 pm
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Default Re: Why I'm leaving the UK....

Originally posted by jandjuk
What is my point?? My point is that I can understand why many of you want to emigrate, and I wouldn't suggest anybody not do it. But if you are doing it for reasons other than to broaden your mind, learn about (and accept) a new country, and have a adventure, then I think you may be disappointed. Plenty of people love it no matter what - I'm just saying you should think about the things that ARE REALLY IMPORTANT TO YOU IN LIFE, and work from there. You get used to living with everything else (eg the weather, the television programming etc etc) - these are are unimportant in the whole scheme of things.

If I was brought up in Britain, I personally would find it very hard to justify leaving the UK permanently. Most things you are chasing can be found in Britain - and those that can't are offset by those things you won't find in NZ or OZ.

You should still emigrate for the experience - but ALWAYS have a back out plan if after a few months or years you decide to return to your home country.

I suspect some of you won't like hearing this, but remember it's all just IMHO!!
I like hearing it, cos it's what I always (try to) say. (although with me it doesn't often come out in such a clear way!)

Just to make clear: we are going for the experience, adventure, to broaden our minds.
We have a back up plan (well, sort of. We are prepared to come back anyway)
And I don't think we would be doing this if I hadn't lived in Oz before and know some people there. I'm not THAT adventurous! lol


Good post J.

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Old Dec 17th 2003, 12:05 pm
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Thanks for that post, jandjuk, very interesting.

I am hoping we will be OK as at the mo I am looking at our move as an interesting thing to do for two years - just to say we have DONE SOMETHING - and then we will see how we feel.

It also means we can break the dependence on London hubby has with his job - if we do come back we will look elsewhere in the UK to live.
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Old Dec 17th 2003, 12:05 pm
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Jon

That's a great post and I know exactly where you are coming from because I am in a similar situation. I couldn't agree more with your comments and your reasons for moving to the UK in the first place and wishing to move back to NZ now as much of that applies to us. We had the added complication of my wife being from Scotland and me from Oz!

May I wish you and your partner the very best of luck in your move but luck doesn't come into it as much when you have the right motives and outlook and contingency plans in place.

OzTennis
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Old Dec 17th 2003, 12:14 pm
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Originally posted by OzTennis
Jon

That's a great post and I know exactly where you are coming from because I am in a similar situation. I couldn't agree more with your comments and your reasons for moving to the UK in the first place and wishing to move back to NZ now as much of that applies to us. We had the added complication of my wife being from Scotland and me from Oz!

May I wish you and your partner the very best of luck in your move but luck doesn't come into it as much when you have the right motives and outlook and contingency plans in place.

OzTennis
cheers everyone, Tennis if I was living in Scotland instead of Oxford I could be easily swayed into staying. Maybe not forever, but we've bagged three munros, only a couple hundred to go! Now I will never complete them!
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Old Dec 17th 2003, 12:30 pm
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Originally posted by Pollster
Thanks for that post, jandjuk, very interesting.

I am hoping we will be OK as at the mo I am looking at our move as an interesting thing to do for two years - just to say we have DONE SOMETHING - and then we will see how we feel.
this is the best attitude to go with - and I think many people on this site already have that attitude. Nothing wrong with going for it and giving it a try - if everyone in the world did it with an open mind I think we'd all get on a lot better!

There will be newbies drifting by the website from time to time wondering what to do, and I think it's food for thought for them....

Also it strikes me that the reasons people give for leaving the UK are reasons for leaving a specific PART of the UK. Britain is a land full of many places and lifestyle options - many of which are far easier to obtain than those in Oz or NZ.

Also, it's funny that when I first arrived in the UK I thought:

- the television is rubbish (all I could see were endless reality shows, endless soaps, very very few of the best American shows on in prime time, cheesey light entertainment shows, and lots of antiques shows) - but then it grew on me, I got used to it and found plenty of things to watch that I like a lot, and even find myself appreciating Ant & Dec!

- the people are 'backward' - some of them dress funny and and funny ideas about things etc etc etc - but then I got used to them and discovered they weren't 'backwards' after all.

- there was tons of red tape and bureaucracy and it took me forever to achieve basic daily tasks. Then I figured out the systems, set my new life up and got used to it.


etc etc etc basically exactly the same thing all the new expats on this website complain of! That's why I take what they say with a pinch of salt and try to poke holes in their arguments!

Because these things are just a result of things being different... nothing to do with the particular country itself...
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Old Dec 17th 2003, 12:33 pm
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Originally posted by jandjuk
cheers everyone, Tennis if I was living in Scotland instead of Oxford I could be easily swayed into staying. Maybe not forever, but we've bagged three munros, only a couple hundred to go! Now I will never complete them!
Jon

You'll be able to do all those 'double munros' in the South Island. A work colleague has a daughter who met an Aussie in Edinburgh a few years ago. They moved to Brisbane in June and he is a very keen climber. He and a couple of mates are going over to do some climbs on Mount Cook in January or February. He says it will be his last serious climb before 'settling down'.

You are right, Scotland has some lovely areas. I'll feel privileged to have lived here and will take away stacks of fond memories but home is home as you said. Fortunately Mrs OzT will prefer the lifestyle down under and we will be able to make as frequent trips back here as we need to.

OzTennis
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Old Dec 17th 2003, 12:43 pm
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Yeah, good post Jon.

Its a complicated decision and though mine is less closer than yours, I feel, it is good to stop and think. I think its all about realistic expectations when you get there - that the most important thing.

Rob
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Old Dec 17th 2003, 1:05 pm
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I have always thought that Oxford looks at its best when viewed from long distances.
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Old Dec 17th 2003, 1:11 pm
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Default Re: Why I'm leaving the UK....

Originally posted by jandjuk
What is my point?? My point is that I can understand why many of you want to emigrate, and I wouldn't suggest anybody not do it. But if you are doing it for reasons other than to broaden your mind, learn about (and accept) a new country, and have a adventure, then I think you may be disappointed. Plenty of people love it no matter what - I'm just saying you should think about the things that ARE REALLY IMPORTANT TO YOU IN LIFE, and work from there. You get used to living with everything else (eg the weather, the television programming etc etc) - these are are unimportant in the whole scheme of things.

If I was brought up in Britain, I personally would find it very hard to justify leaving the UK permanently. Most things you are chasing can be found in Britain - and those that can't are offset by those things you won't find in NZ or OZ.

You should still emigrate for the experience - but ALWAYS have a back out plan if after a few months or years you decide to return to your home country.

I suspect some of you won't like hearing this, but remember it's all just IMHO!!
Dear Jon

This is one of the most insightful posts I have had the pleasure to read for a while on this forum. I can particularly identify with the quote I have copied above.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings, I wish you and your partner every happiness.

Donna
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Old Dec 17th 2003, 1:16 pm
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Originally posted by Modigliana
I have always thought that Oxford looks at its best when viewed from long distances.
yes, when you can't see the homeless people....

(that's unfair - but just a little true. I do like Oxford a lot though - but it is a rather surreal place to live. Posh students in the winter, endless tourists in the summer, and a bunch of normal everyday folk going about their business. for a small town it is a delicate balance!)
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Old Dec 17th 2003, 1:19 pm
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Default Re: Why I'm leaving the UK....

Originally posted by jandjuk
snip - If I was brought up in Britain, I personally would find it very hard to justify leaving the UK permanently. Most things you are chasing can be found in Britain - and those that can't are offset by those things you won't find in NZ or OZ.

You should still emigrate for the experience - but ALWAYS have a back out plan if after a few months or years you decide to return to your home country.

I suspect some of you won't like hearing this, but remember it's all just IMHO!!
Excellent post and the ones that follow - IMOP!

you have summed up lots of why I am here in Aus, after 20 months, we came for the adventure and experience...and we are getting it!

Our back out plan sort of disappeared along with the kids being settled in school, etc etc.. (oh by the way I am bursting with the fact their reports are excellent and I am very very proud of them).

No real point - Just wanted to say I enjoyed your post, hope you enjoy home...before your next adventure!

Cheers Sandra
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Old Dec 17th 2003, 1:21 pm
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Default Re: Why I'm leaving the UK....

cheers donna - i thought you'd be off across the nullabor by now.... or do you have a satellite dish on your campervan?

Thanks for your kind thoughts - same to you and yours!

(incidentally - just in case people misread my post, I'm not leaving the UK for another 6 months or so... But I thought I'd post my reasons now.... you're not getting rid of me that easily...)

Originally posted by Jirrupin
Dear Jon

This is one of the most insightful posts I have had the pleasure to read for a while on this forum. I can particularly identify with the quote I have copied above.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings, I wish you and your partner every happiness.

Donna
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Old Dec 17th 2003, 1:30 pm
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well I have enough trouble getting myself up scotland's munros, which, with the greatest of respect, are usually called 'hills' in NZ! (i jest a little....)

but that's what I prefer, walking up 'hills'! Climbing serious mountains - well I'm sure I'd love getting to the top, but too much like a serious risk to my life on some of those!

but yes, plenty of 'hills' in NZ to climb....

Originally posted by OzTennis
Jon

You'll be able to do all those 'double munros' in the South Island. A work colleague has a daughter who met an Aussie in Edinburgh a few years ago. They moved to Brisbane in June and he is a very keen climber. He and a couple of mates are going over to do some climbs on Mount Cook in January or February. He says it will be his last serious climb before 'settling down'.

You are right, Scotland has some lovely areas. I'll feel privileged to have lived here and will take away stacks of fond memories but home is home as you said. Fortunately Mrs OzT will prefer the lifestyle down under and we will be able to make as frequent trips back here as we need to.

OzTennis
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