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for all of those thinking of returning to the uk

for all of those thinking of returning to the uk

Old Feb 21st 2011, 8:36 am
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Default for all of those thinking of returning to the uk

Hi everyone,
first of all I would just like to say I am very relieved to have found like minded people on this site and reading some of the posts makes me realize many of us go through the same stuff, and its not easy leaving everything you are used to behind to start a new life in a place where you could always stand out as different.

I would like to share my experience of a recent visit back to the UK with you all after 2 years of living in Canada. I had got to the point when the novelty of being in Canada had started to wear off, I moved from SK to BC hoping for a new boost and to move towards my ideal lifestyle but even that did not help because I left all my new friends and familiarities back in SK so it felt like I was back at square one and I began to question my being in Canada.

In the two years I had been here I had only received one family visit and it actually made me homesick and quite mixed up as up until that point I had been sure of what I was doing here. A year had passed since the visit and although skype and emails helped I felt I was beginning to lose touch with my family and friends and it was clear that they would not be visiting often like I imagined when I contemplated moving here.
I was having a hard time finding work since moving to B.C and in November I decided to go back to the UK for Christmas, and use the time to decide if I wanted to continue living in Canada or if it had run its course.
I was hoping deep down that I would land on UK soil and it would feel like home and the decision would be made there and then but the reality was very different.

As soon as I got on my flight from Calgary I immediately noticed how bad the British trolley dollies were, they were rude and made it clear they did not want to be at work, OK budget airline I thought. I land at gatwick, brits pushing to get in front at Que's or trying to walk through me and I'm a big lad, airport staff mostly could not speak English, place was dirty lots of lets say foreign people, completely different to Calgary. I was tired didnt think much of it.

Next was the walk around town, I was amazed at the amount of traffic, the dirty streets, the aggressive driving, in town nobody looked me in the eye, old people were afraid to look at me at all, people looked depressed walking with stern expressions, heads down, mothers shouting at kids, hoodies, this place was awful even asda seemed dirty, floors, windows.

So I was struggling, decided to ring some mates and organize a few drinks. We went to a modern pub a mile from town center. It had bouncers on the door! The atmosphere was one were I could not fully relax, strangers eyeballing us you know the man thing, although I did notice girls eyeing us up which never happens in Canada lol. We went to a few more pubs that night and although the bear relaxed me somewhat I can say that I was on guard all night in case something kicked off, which was a shame.

Over the next few weeks my opinion didnt really change. I tried opening up to the UK and not compare everything to Canada but ultimately this was impossible because the UK had this feel to it that I did not like. It is clearly suffering financially too.

I also found that when I did catch up with the people I had missed, very little had changed in their lives and time had gone quickly for them yet I had done and seen so much that I had hours of stories to tell, some even forgotten. This made me feel slightly more distant to them and it some cases it felt a little awkward talking to even old friends. I got two bad colds in three weeks, it had rained most days and the damp was awful seems I had gotten used to the dry Canadian air, I had seen enough, even though I knew within 24hrs that I was better off in Canada I had finally accepted this and while it was nice to see my family and friends I realized that I would be better going home and this time I would save some money in the bank so if i got homesick again I would just visit for a week or two, which in my case was enough to re energise me on my return to Canada.

I am back in B.C now and although I have not found the job I want, I am giving my all to being here and realize how lucky I am....thinking of moving to Edmonton to find work.
Hope this helps some of you who are wobbling on your move here, please take my advise, get a cheap flight and visit the UK before doing anything drastic.
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Old Feb 21st 2011, 9:13 am
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Default Re: for all of those thinking of returning to the uk

Sorry to hear you've had a tough time, I hope things pick up for you soon.
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Old Feb 21st 2011, 9:56 am
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Default Re: for all of those thinking of returning to the uk

Originally Posted by billybones View Post
As soon as I got on my flight from Calgary I immediately noticed how bad the British trolley dollies were, they were rude and made it clear they did not want to be at work, OK budget airline I thought. I land at gatwick, brits pushing to get in front at Que's or trying to walk through me and I'm a big lad, airport staff mostly could not speak English, place was dirty lots of lets say foreign people, completely different to Calgary. I was tired didnt think much of it.
Excellent, both sexism and racism in one post. Quite an achievement even for BE.
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Old Feb 21st 2011, 11:20 am
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Default Re: for all of those thinking of returning to the uk

Originally Posted by billybones View Post
lots of lets say foreign people, completely different to Calgary.
Jobless immigrant in Canada moans about immigrants in England?

:0)
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Old Feb 21st 2011, 12:19 pm
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Default Re: for all of those thinking of returning to the uk

Thanks billybones for sharing your thoughts. Everyone is free to view their opinions on the forum and I enjoyed reading it. Obviously some of your points are quite specific and may only relate to the areas you've encountered, howeve I'm sure a lot will ring true with quite a few people on here who are perhaps not prepared to share them in such an open and frank manner.
Emigrating isn't ever going to be easy .... and neither is returning 'home'. It's all about personal circumstance and expected lifestyle which can determine how we feel. Good luck to you though.
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Old Feb 21st 2011, 1:11 pm
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Default Re: for all of those thinking of returning to the uk

Originally Posted by lmartin999 View Post
Excellent, both sexism and racism in one post. Quite an achievement even for BE.
I giggled at that bit. Plainly the poster hasn't experienced the "world's most improved airport".
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Old Feb 21st 2011, 1:28 pm
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Default Re: for all of those thinking of returning to the uk

I am back in the UK now on a visit. I have been here 10 days, and I feel like I have come home. Yes there are bouncers on some of the pubs, and some of the streets have litter, but so what! There is plenty wrong with Canada. I dont find that people are depressed, they are just going to work and getting on with life. Of course friends will be different you have been away for 2 years, you just need to renew the realtionships. I went down to Kent to meet all my old work mates, it was just like I had never been away. I have loved walking round the different towns I have visited, walking into shops, the streets are viberant and full of life, instead of the faceless strip plaza's that we get in Canada. The pubs are fantastic, I have been to moderen pubs, village pubs, and family pubs, they all bet anything you get in Canada.

I guess what I am trying to say is Canada and The UK are very different, its all down to personal choice.
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Old Feb 21st 2011, 1:55 pm
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Default Re: for all of those thinking of returning to the uk

Perhaps if you're not fully satisfied in Canada then how about moving on to a different country altogether? What about Australia? It would give you the sense of 'moving forward' with your life, rather than moving back to the old country. I've often thought about the possibility of moving back to the UK but I think I would be bored with it quite soon and would be itching to go somewhere else.
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Old Feb 21st 2011, 2:04 pm
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Default Re: for all of those thinking of returning to the uk

Many underestimate the culture shock involved when moving back to the UK, as with any move abroad, it can take time to find one's feet. There is a great article about this, Reverse Culture Shock, in the BE article section.

Just one little comment to the OP, be mindful, that in reference to the people you encountered when you first arrived, you noted that many of them were "foreign" people, but now you are the foreigner. Just seems a little like an oxymoron to me Anyway the best of luck to you. I hope things settle down for you soon.
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Old Feb 21st 2011, 2:20 pm
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Default Re: for all of those thinking of returning to the uk

I went back to the UK for two and a half weeks last summer. Have to say that rural Norfolk, the suffolk coast, rural staffordshire and stockbroker country around Farnham were perfectly idyllic. Absence of hoodies, urban decay, social blight etc etc. Presence of beautiful countryside and real ale very much appreciated. Everyone's experiences are different of course, but the places I grew up in and where friends and family live still look good.

The place does feel crowded though & the M25 is still a horror. One could overcome those things though & of course if I lived in the GTA they would seem normal. I seriously considered moving back last year but a change in employment for both me and the Mrs, not to mention the likelyhood of divorce had I tried to get wife and daughter off the Rock made it un-neccessary.
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Old Feb 21st 2011, 3:41 pm
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Default Re: for all of those thinking of returning to the uk

What you have described is typical of parts of many major cities in the World rather than just the UK.

Once you get out of the big cities things are very different.

There are many parts of Canada just as smelly, dirty with women just as "forward" as you can find in London.

I used to work evenings in downtown Montreal and many of the Clubs had bouncers and I felt pretty unsafe going home at night. I usually knew when I was in an unsafe area.

In London there are many safe areas where the people are friendly, and the streets are clean and safe.

I have found the big cities of Canada just as multicultural as any in the UK, and some of them even more so.
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Old Feb 21st 2011, 4:37 pm
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Default Re: for all of those thinking of returning to the uk

Originally Posted by billybones View Post

I also found that when I did catch up with the people I had missed, very little had changed in their lives and time had gone quickly for them yet I had done and seen so much that I had hours of stories to tell, some even forgotten. This made me feel slightly more distant to them and it some cases it felt a little awkward talking to even old friends. I got two bad colds in three weeks, it had rained most days and the damp was awful seems I had gotten used to the dry Canadian air, I had seen enough, even though I knew within 24hrs that I was better off in Canada I had finally accepted this and while it was nice to see my family and friends I realized that I would be better going home and this time I would save some money in the bank so if i got homesick again I would just visit for a week or two, which in my case was enough to re energise me on my return to Canada.
Exactly what happened to us on our first trip back also at Christmas 2 years ago now. Couldn't agree more.

Ignore all the ones bleating about how wonderful UK is with its idylic villages and architecture and pubs and quaint twisty roads and rolling hillsides and friendly non offensive people blah blah they obviously should stay there or go back there if its so bloody great.
Some of us like strip malls and crap bacon and crap TV and overpriced cheese.
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Old Feb 21st 2011, 5:18 pm
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Default Re: for all of those thinking of returning to the uk

I often say to people that once they have lived away from the UK for over a year they think they want to go back because they feel they are missing it, but when they get there that all fades away.

I've lived outside the UK since 1991 and rarely do I visit, other than to transit though. It's nice for a few days or so but that's enough for me, so I can see why someone returning to the UK from Canada would have preconceived ideas (based on past experience) as to why they are returning, until reality hits.

You only ever remember the good things you miss, never the bad. I guess it's the old grass in greener effect.
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Old Feb 21st 2011, 5:21 pm
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Default Re: for all of those thinking of returning to the uk

Originally Posted by lmartin999 View Post
Excellent, both sexism and racism in one post. Quite an achievement even for BE.
get a life by trolley dollies I mean both men and women who prefer to talk and giggle at the back of the plane, racism?
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Old Feb 21st 2011, 5:24 pm
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Default Re: for all of those thinking of returning to the uk

Originally Posted by billybones View Post
get a life by trolley dollies I mean both men and women who prefer to talk and giggle at the back of the plane, racism?
I wonder how you could easily identify so many 'lets say foreign people'.
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