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Can you build roots in a new country?

Can you build roots in a new country?

Old Aug 25th 2014, 1:34 am
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Default Can you build roots in a new country?

Hi everyone.

I have lived in Australia for 6 years now but my roots are in NZ and UK. I have children and the older one is starting high school next year and we have just moved to a new city so I don't want to move again mostly for the kids but also because I'm sick of moving and I would really like to make a go of the extra opportunities here in Australia which is a big reason we came to this country. I want to settle somewhere but I just have not felt settled in Australia and I realise it might be because I do not have any roots here. I like living here too, but I don't love this country. However, the option to live where my family is (UK) is not possible and I don't think I want to go back to NZ because of a number of personal and practical reasons but I can't help but wonder if years from now I might end up back in one of those 2 places where I have family and background (roots).

Do you think over time I can build roots here in Australia? Has anyone else found it happened quickly for them or did it take a long time to feel settled and establish those roots? Or do you just enjoy where you live but always miss where you come from? Perhaps some places are just not suited to some of us?

Its hard to live with this constant feeling of not being fully settled. Perhaps its been a slower process for me because I am at home with small kids and one is special needs and we have no family around?

ETA: I know you can build roots in a new country as I have migrated between UK and NZ twice before but I had connections in both those places and I was younger. I want to know from people who have no ties to their new country and perhaps are older too (35+).

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Old Aug 25th 2014, 1:44 am
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Default Re: Can you build roots in a new country?

Originally Posted by TheD4 View Post
Hi everyone.

I have lived in Australia for 6 years now but my roots are in NZ and UK. I have children and the older one is starting high school next year and we have just moved to a new city so I don't want to move again mostly for the kids but also because I'm sick of moving and I would really like to make a go of the extra opportunities here in Australia which is a big reason we came to this country. I want to settle somewhere but I just have not felt settled in Australia and I realise it might be because I do not have any roots here. I like living here too, but I don't love this country. However, the option to live where my family is (UK) is not possible and I don't think I want to go back to NZ because of a number of personal and practical reasons but I can't help but wonder if years from now I might end up back in one of those 2 places where I have family and background (roots).

Do you think over time I can build roots here in Australia? Has anyone else found it happened quickly for them or did it take a long time to feel settled and establish those roots? Or do you just enjoy where you live but always miss where you come from? Perhaps some places are just not suited to some of us?

Its hard to live with this constant feeling of not being fully settled. Perhaps its been a slower process for me because I am at home with small kids and one is special needs and we have no family around?
Yes

It is all down to the individual

Good luck
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Old Aug 25th 2014, 3:51 am
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Default Re: Can you build roots in a new country?

Indeed. After 7 years I have considerably more roots here than anywhere else. (this thread is in danger of becoming inappropriate )


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Old Aug 25th 2014, 4:29 am
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Default Re: Can you build roots in a new country?

I feel like I have 'stuff' here but not roots.

Roots seems to come to people who 'love' it.

Watch it as your kids get older. I have always been very aware of people we met who had kids and grandkids in OZ but still didn't felt settled. That was my dark fear.

My kids have left school now and luckily all 3 are single, UNI or travelling none have firm commitments to Australia. Each time One of their friends marries or has a baby I have the 'nail in my coffin'!! fear, - If that was my kid, it would mean one commited to OZ, and the whole torn/split family thing would start again.

Luckily now in a situation where I can spend half the year in Melb and half overseas, as long as I can get the hell out out of Australia during the nightmare summer months, dec jan and feb I no longer feel trapped which I often did in the school years.
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Old Aug 25th 2014, 4:34 am
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Smile Re: Can you build roots in a new country?

Originally Posted by jad n rich View Post
Roots seems to come to people who 'love' it..
Or maybe, some people "love" it because they feel they are settled and have put down roots!

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Old Aug 25th 2014, 5:28 am
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Default Re: Can you build roots in a new country?

Originally Posted by Buzzy--Bee View Post
Or maybe, some people "love" it because they feel they are settled and have put down roots!

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Roots become concrete boots, if you don't love it. That heavy 'stuck' feeling many expats know so well.
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Old Aug 25th 2014, 5:44 am
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Default Re: Can you build roots in a new country?

Yes and no. Roots may appear quite firm for 10, 20 even 30 yrs but they're easily sundered IMHO. I never managed to put down that deep tap root that saw me unwilling to ever leave but the peripheral roots which did very well at the beginning withered and died after 3 decades and I was desperate to leave. No logic or rational thinking behind it just that I never really "belonged" despite all positive self talk to the contrary! Got kids and grand kids on both sides of the world now as the UK born one has also returned to his roots and has no inclination to return to Aus. If you don't "belong" now, chances are you won't "belong" in 20 yrs. if you can live with being in an alien land you should be able to stick it.

Love the Roots=Concrete Boots analogy! That's it exactly!
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Old Aug 25th 2014, 5:59 am
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Default Re: Can you build roots in a new country?

Yep. Its easy from my point of view. Great roots in both UK and Oz. If you don't have a work, hobby, club, etc enviromment you may have to make an effort though.
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Old Aug 25th 2014, 6:07 am
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Default Re: Can you build roots in a new country?

Originally Posted by quoll View Post
Yes and no. Roots may appear quite firm for 10, 20 even 30 yrs but they're easily sundered IMHO. I never managed to put down that deep tap root that saw me unwilling to ever leave but the peripheral roots which did very well at the beginning withered and died after 3 decades and I was desperate to leave. No logic or rational thinking behind it just that I never really "belonged" despite all positive self talk to the contrary! Got kids and grand kids on both sides of the world now as the UK born one has also returned to his roots and has no inclination to return to Aus. If you don't "belong" now, chances are you won't "belong" in 20 yrs. if you can live with being in an alien land you should be able to stick it.
I wonder about returning to UK when my kids are grown (obviously that fills me with dread as they may not wish to live there and as it currently stands they may not even be able to), but I think perhaps that ship has sailed? It must be hard to return to a land when you are much older in life and have been away for decades? Or does it just feel right? I regret so much that if I do return later in life then it will be lacking much of the things I miss now - for example my parent will have passed and my brothers and friends children will have grown up. Wish I had this understanding of how it can set up heartache and distance for generations to come earlier in my life! It maybe not fair or easy on my kids who will have some connections to UK and OZ and NZ. Or perhaps it won't bother them? We all respond different don't we?

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Old Aug 25th 2014, 6:44 am
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Default Re: Can you build roots in a new country?

(I was just browsing the forum and came across this, so maybe this will help considering it’s more of a general question)

Many expats where I live (Bangkok, Thailand) despite loving the quality of life here, sunshine and friendly people start decide to go back because they miss having those deep connections with people, because I guess, it’s not an exotic destination that makes whatever lifestyle, it’s friends, family and happy moments with other people

This is not much, I just noticed many people saying that home is where the heart is. I think it’s possible to have roots in a new country if there’s community and people (one’s peers, whatever peers may fit the ill for that person) that make the place.
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Old Aug 25th 2014, 8:32 am
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Default Re: Can you build roots in a new country?

I am older and with no family in Aus apart from OH and DD who moved over with me. We have been here 6 years, and OH and DD are settled here. For me, life is only different from the UK in that I have no social life here, due to being unable to drive at night and developing MS. I used to be in musicals, but all that has gone now. It is just the same old washing, cleaning, cooking, shopping.

However, in the UK I would feel even more trapped and get a recurrence of PTSD and SAD. I have little desire to go back and see the remaining part of my family: the only one I would have gone back for was my dad, but he died 2 years ago. We go back from time to time to see MIL, with whom I get on better than my mother, but she lives in a dreary council house in west Wales, and there is nothing to do if the weather is bad.

Australia is now my home. DD won't stay here though, she has plans to either work in Asia, or France, making use of her language skills. The nest is half empty already, as she is planning to go on exchange to Seoul or Tokyo universities for most of next year.
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Old Aug 25th 2014, 8:51 am
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Default Re: Can you build roots in a new country?

Originally Posted by TheD4 View Post
I wonder about returning to UK when my kids are grown (obviously that fills me with dread as they may not wish to live there and as it currently stands they may not even be able to), but I think perhaps that ship has sailed? It must be hard to return to a land when you are much older in life and have been away for decades? Or does it just feel right? I regret so much that if I do return later in life then it will be lacking much of the things I miss now - for example my parent will have passed and my brothers and friends children will have grown up. Wish I had this understanding of how it can set up heartache and distance for generations to come earlier in my life! It maybe not fair or easy on my kids who will have some connections to UK and OZ and NZ. Or perhaps it won't bother them? We all respond different don't we?
I grew up in Australia and spent the majority of my life there BUT never truly felt my roots were there so as a family we returned to the UK just over 2 years ago and it was thebest thing we could have done. Our now teenage boys love it here and rarely mention Australia even though they were born and bred there. We live in a wonderful area and there is plenty to do. You cant create roots in a country I feel, they are either there or they arent. Both countries are great to live in its just that this one is greater
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Old Aug 25th 2014, 9:17 am
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Originally Posted by TheD4 View Post
Hi everyone.

I have lived in Australia for 6 years now but my roots are in NZ and UK.
Just a thought to the OP: Do you have PR? Because I know a number of New Zealanders in Australia who don't and this does mean they feel less settled and, naturally, more "temporary".

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Old Aug 25th 2014, 9:52 am
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Default Re: Can you build roots in a new country?

Originally Posted by Buzzy--Bee View Post
Just a thought to the OP: Do you have PR? Because I know a number of New Zealanders in Australia who don't and this does mean they feel less settled and, naturally, more "temporary".

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Ha! Very good question. I did get it last summer and will be able to apply for citizenship next year, but I am the only one. 2 of my children born here will need to wait till they turn 10 (AU govt considers them NZ citizens until then as we were not permanent residents at their births, when they turn 10 they will skip PR and be citizens) and my older child and OH need to be sponsored by me if they have any hope of getting it - and yes, this does play on my mind as we have not applied yet and the process is about 2 yrs.
It certainly helps knowing I got mine finally but it doesn't help living in a country knowing that there is an unfair disadvantage to the SCV for NZers. This affects my special needs child too who is unable to access the extra services and disability and carers etc allowances that would other wise be given to him otherwise. Also, knowing that the government would not ever allow him PR/citizenship if he had been born outside of Australia adds to those feelings which are basically anger and resentment.

Maybe this plays on my mind and how unsettled I feel more than I thought it did?
I do regularly question what we will do if long term PR sponsorship didn't work or something else happened to our residency statuses.

But I also feel I haven't made the connections I would have liked to. Its been 6 years and I don't think anyone would miss me much if I left tomorrow. I know I am missed and I miss others in NZ and UK. Its only since living in Australia that I have realised just how important close family and friends are. Its been 20 years since I lived in UK though. But I miss it.

wow buzzy—bee, answering your question was like being in a therapy session !
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Old Aug 25th 2014, 10:03 am
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Originally Posted by TheD4 View Post
wow buzzy—bee, answering your question was like being in a therapy session !
....I aim to please...!

Don't get hung up on the "unfairness" of the SCV - instead think about it positively that you were able to come and live and work in Australia without having the massive process and expense that most immigrants have.

It sounds like you will all be able to get PR and citizenship eventually, you are a lot better off than many SCV holders who will be temporary for ever under current legislation.

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