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moving back from USA to UK - any regrets?

moving back from USA to UK - any regrets?

Old Jun 7th 2022, 12:33 am
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Default moving back from USA to UK - any regrets?

Hi there

We moved out to California 9 yeras ago (family of 4) but for various reasons we are thinking of moving back to the UK in the next couple of years. Kids getting to decent school age and insane cost of Cali living are the two major factors in our thoughts to move back. We are UK citizens on our final year of a green card.

I wanted to know if anyone has done the move back??

Was the move hard, did you fit back in, any regrets, things seem different etc etc

My head still all over the place so any thoughts appreciated.

Last edited by randyglover; Jun 7th 2022 at 12:44 am.
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Old Jun 7th 2022, 12:42 am
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Default Re: moving back from USA to UK - any regrets?

Are you US citizens? If not, US that an option, giving you an option to return if the UK doesn't work out for you?
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Old Jun 7th 2022, 4:51 am
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Default Re: moving back from USA to UK - any regrets?

We returned from Australia after 8 years and no regrets at all
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Old Jun 7th 2022, 5:27 am
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Default Re: moving back from USA to UK - any regrets?

Originally Posted by verystormy View Post
We returned from Australia after 8 years and no regrets at all
Just to illustrate to the OP that everyone's experiences are different (so probably not that useful to them), my Brit husband moved back (and I moved to) the UK in 2015. Our plan was to live the rest of our lives there, but we moved back to Australia in 2018.

I wouldn't say that he had regrets about moving back, he spent a lot of time with family and we had a good life. He just decided, with my blessing, that Australia was a better fit for him. He'd lived in Oz for 25 years.
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Old Jun 7th 2022, 7:01 am
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Default Re: moving back from USA to UK - any regrets?

Our situation was very different from the OP. We had lived in the USA for almost 30 years when we decided to move back, leaving our 2 adult children in the USA. We had retired early at age 55 and spent 6 years traveling and were back in England for a 5 month stay but after 6 weeks decided to make it permanent. So at the end of the 5 month stay we moved back to the USA for a few weeks to sell up.

No regrets whatsoever, it has been wonderful being back, 6 years and counting.
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Old Jun 8th 2022, 8:50 am
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Default Re: moving back from USA to UK - any regrets?

Originally Posted by randyglover View Post
Hi there

We moved out to California 9 yeras ago (family of 4) but for various reasons we are thinking of moving back to the UK in the next couple of years. Kids getting to decent school age and insane cost of Cali living are the two major factors in our thoughts to move back. We are UK citizens on our final year of a green card.

I wanted to know if anyone has done the move back??

Was the move hard, did you fit back in, any regrets, things seem different etc etc

My head still all over the place so any thoughts appreciated.

Hi there. We are in the exact same situation apart from timings. Husband’s British, I’m born American but also British after living there 10 years. We moved to Arizona in 2019 with primary school aged kids and are considering moving back to the Uk now. Schooling plays a huge part in that, but there are so many variable to consider. My family is here which was our main reason for moving here, but overall we feel like life experiences and education for the kids are of higher quality in the Uk. We dread going back to the hustle because life is so convenient here. It’s a constant conversation in our house because it’s such a huge decision. We’re spending a month there this summer to help us decide, so fingers crossed we’ll gain more insight by the end of that trip and begin to settle in either place. Do you have a place in the Uk? You mentioned the expense of ca but Uk can be equally expensive or more depending on where you want to move to.
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Old Jun 8th 2022, 9:04 am
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Default Re: moving back from USA to UK - any regrets?

Originally Posted by randyglover View Post
Hi there

We moved out to California 9 yeras ago (family of 4) but for various reasons we are thinking of moving back to the UK in the next couple of years. Kids getting to decent school age and insane cost of Cali living are the two major factors in our thoughts to move back. We are UK citizens on our final year of a green card.

I wanted to know if anyone has done the move back??

Was the move hard, did you fit back in, any regrets, things seem different etc etc

My head still all over the place so any thoughts appreciated.
It probably depends on if you move back to Blackburn or the Sussex coast.
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Old Jun 8th 2022, 3:54 pm
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Default Re: moving back from USA to UK - any regrets?

Exactly, I think we have well and truly been spoilt here, especially by the weather. I just have this sinking feeling and currently sleepless nights that when I get back to the Uk and take a breath after the initial excitement that I'm going to wish I hadn't done it. None of my old friends will understand and just call it first world problems etc. Then the 10 month cloud cover will set in.....

California has SO much to offer but I know deep down the cost of living is unsustainable. I don't want to move anywhere else in America so naturally moving back to the UK near ageing parents , good schooling, grounded people and old friends is the easy solution but selfishly, I dont think it's ever going to feel like home again. Arggghhhh, the eternal dilemma of the world traveller expat!! Ramble over.

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Old Jun 8th 2022, 4:21 pm
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Default Re: moving back from USA to UK - any regrets?

Originally Posted by randyglover View Post
..... None of my old friends will understand and just call it first world problems etc. Then the 10 month cloud cover will set in.....

California has SO much to offer but I know deep down the cost of living is unsustainable. I don't want to move anywhere else in America so naturally moving back to the UK near ageing parents , good schooling, grounded people and old friends is the easy solution but selfishly, I dont think it's ever going to feel like home again. Arggghhhh, the eternal dilemma of the world traveller expat!! Ramble over.
I think you are already concerned about the only pattern I recall noticing among people who returned to the UK and expressed regrets at having done so (which may, or may not had led to them leaving the UK a second time), specifically that on returning to the UK to "spend more time with family and friends" they find that the family and friends have moved on with their lives (moved, got married, changed their hobbies/ interests, etc.) and that it just isn't possible to pick up with personal relationships where you left off when you left the UK years earlier.

Before anyone replies to say otherwise, this isn't true for everyone, but a significant proportion of people who expressed regrets here on BE after returning to the UK mentioned this disconnect with family and previous friends as a factor.
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Old Jun 9th 2022, 7:17 am
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Default Re: moving back from USA to UK - any regrets?

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
I think you are already concerned about the only pattern I recall noticing among people who returned to the UK and expressed regrets at having done so (which may, or may not had led to them leaving the UK a second time), specifically that on returning to the UK to "spend more time with family and friends" they find that the family and friends have moved on with their lives (moved, got married, changed their hobbies/ interests, etc.) and that it just isn't possible to pick up with personal relationships where you left off when you left the UK years earlier.

Before anyone replies to say otherwise, this isn't true for everyone, but a significant proportion of people who expressed regrets here on BE after returning to the UK mentioned this disconnect with family and previous friends as a factor.
Yo are probably right and those who are already negative about the weather will have a 90% failure rate and then head for the Spanish Hollywood Hills.
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Old Jun 9th 2022, 2:45 pm
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Default Re: moving back from USA to UK - any regrets?

Originally Posted by randyglover View Post
I dont think it's ever going to feel like home again.
I know I've said this before, but when you have been away for a while you don't go back to the UK at all. You go on, to something new and different even though some things may be familiar from your past. You can't put the genie back in the bottle. You are different, the country is different and there's no getting away from that. So it all depends if this new but vaguely familiar place you are going to next is a place that you like, that suits you, and where you can learn how things are done. It will require having eyes and ears open, the willingness to learn and adapt, just like anywhere else. Don't ever return to live in the UK for the sake of the past - because the past really is a foreign country and they do things differently there. If you do it, do it for the future.
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Old Jun 10th 2022, 12:51 pm
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Default Re: moving back from USA to UK - any regrets?

We are looking to move back, but significantly far from family and friends, lol. I've done fine managing alone for 20+ years and feel like moving back near family will just bring expectations I can't meet, or that will disappoint me (don't get me started on how upsetting it can be just on holidays home when people make it clear they're willing to give no more than 30 mins of attention to the children you were so excited to bring to meet them.... ). While I'm happy to be nearer so I can cover care for my parents/grandparent when other people go on holiday, I won't be there 24/7, nor will I expect them to feed my pets, look after my kids like they do for my sibling. I'm hoping it will be a relief all round.

Our plan right now is for myself and the children to go ahead and rent somewhere first, while my husband stays here (in his nice job). If the three of us can hack it with daily life/school/new job then that's a good sign and he will follow us after selling the house. If we hate it, plan B/C/D. It's not foolproof, but it's the best we can manage.

CA is super expensive, but the UK isn't exactly cheap now either - some of my friends have had their energy costs go up from £80 to £230, that's mad. Meanwhile salaries still scarily low and petrol $9.50 a gallon. Neither country is ideal at this point I imagine.
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Old Jun 11th 2022, 4:59 am
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Default Re: moving back from USA to UK - any regrets?

Originally Posted by Lion in Winter View Post
I know I've said this before, but when you have been away for a while you don't go back to the UK at all. You go on, to something new and different even though some things may be familiar from your past. You can't put the genie back in the bottle. You are different, the country is different and there's no getting away from that. So it all depends if this new but vaguely familiar place you are going to next is a place that you like, that suits you, and where you can learn how things are done. It will require having eyes and ears open, the willingness to learn and adapt, just like anywhere else. Don't ever return to live in the UK for the sake of the past - because the past really is a foreign country and they do things differently there. If you do it, do it for the future.
I agree with this

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Old Jun 11th 2022, 6:22 am
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Default Re: moving back from USA to UK - any regrets?

Originally Posted by Stelly View Post
......CA is super expensive, but the UK isn't exactly cheap now either - some of my friends have had their energy costs go up from £80 to £230, that's mad. Meanwhile salaries still scarily low and petrol $9.50 a gallon. Neither country is ideal at this point I imagine.
It is not just what you earn but how much of your income you keep. In the UK you have a £12,300 personal tax allowance compared to Portugal where it is around 4,400 Euros. In Turkey, you will pay 40% tax on anything over £8,500 plus they have 62% inflation. These countries are supposed to be cheap but in reality, there is nowhere worth living that is cheap any more. Salaries everywhere fall mostly in line with the cost of living but be careful when looking at 'averages'. There are some very good paying jobs in the UK especially in the contract fields and many of these jobs are not advertised so you have to source them through agencies.
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Old Jun 17th 2022, 5:53 pm
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Default Re: moving back from USA to UK - any regrets?

Originally Posted by Americish View Post
Hi there. We are in the exact same situation apart from timings. Husband’s British, I’m born American but also British after living there 10 years. We moved to Arizona in 2019 with primary school aged kids and are considering moving back to the Uk now. Schooling plays a huge part in that, but there are so many variable to consider. My family is here which was our main reason for moving here, but overall we feel like life experiences and education for the kids are of higher quality in the Uk. We dread going back to the hustle because life is so convenient here. It’s a constant conversation in our house because it’s such a huge decision. We’re spending a month there this summer to help us decide, so fingers crossed we’ll gain more insight by the end of that trip and begin to settle in either place. Do you have a place in the Uk? You mentioned the expense of ca but Uk can be equally expensive or more depending on where you want to move to.
We are in the same boat...moved to Arizona in 2014, have primary school kids, I'm American, he's British. We are now spending six months in the UK and loving it. Interesting to find someone else in a similar situation. We probably cannot move to the UK because of my husband's career but gosh, it is really nice here.
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