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moving back from USA to UK - any regrets?

moving back from USA to UK - any regrets?

Old Nov 28th 2023, 9:03 am
  #91  
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Default Re: moving back from USA to UK - any regrets?

Originally Posted by Helen1964
Wonderful post.
To pick up on your mention of cycling, did you manage to adapt to the climate and continue cycling anyway?
My husband and I are both very keen cyclists so I'm wondering whether you've come across any parts of England that are particularly well suited to cyclists - in terms not just of weather but also access to quiet roads. Robin has already told me that Norfolk is good but we wouldn't mind a few hills. I love Devon but those deepset lanes would be lethal for traffic. Somerset, maybe?

Have just been watching Sex Education on Netflix and it's probably a sign of my age that I was far more excited by the glimpses of people cycling in the Wye Valley and the Forest of Dean than by anything else that was happening on screen.
No, Helen, I'm still very much a fair weather cyclist. I was lucky where I lived overseas - similar annual rainfall to the UK, but (a) very predictable, and (b) came in huge, often brief, downpours with days and days of dry sunny weather in between. I do cycle in the rain when I have no choice (see below), but I don't really enjoy it - partly because of all the faff cleaning and drying the bike afterwards, but also the unpleasant feeling of moving forwards at speed into the rain. I'm much happier hiking in the rain, and that's what I did a LOT, largely, for the first 10+ years after I moved back. I was very lucky to live in a nice part of Scotland, 10 miles north of Glasgow, with trails and hills not far from my doorstep. I spent hours at the weekend traipsing the hills with Suzy (my labrador, who also crossed the Atlantic 3 times, as I ping-ponged back and forth; poor girl coped with it all admirably).

Since retiring 6 years ago, I've taken up cycling again. Two things have made it easier. First is that being retired, I can pick and choose when I ride, which helps me to avoid unpleasant weather - plus, having retired, I can afford to go on cycling holidays, which allows me to see lots of interesting places, and forces me to ride if it's raining (or I'd be left behind at the previous day's hotel!). The other factor is that I've discovered Zwift (indoor riding programme), which helps me to maintain my fitness during periods when outdoor riding isn't feasible - I really enjoy Zwift, which is reassuring as I look towards the day when I may not be able to do long outdoor rides (age-wise).

In terms of good places to ride ... I've ridden in a lot of places in the UK, on those cycling holidays (mainly with Saddle Skedaddle, but also Pedal Britain and MTB Wales, all of which I can recommend). I rode C2C, Way of the Roses, Sandstone Way, Trans Cambrian Way, Miz-Mal (bottom to top of Ireland), mountain biking around the Lake District, and last September I rode Land's End to John O'Groats. In 2024, I'm going to cycle the Hebridean Way, do a week of road cycling in the Lake District, and I'll be driving with some pals to Germany/Switzerland, to ride the Gravel Rallye Black Forest. I really rate the whole of Yorkshire for its wonderful scenery and friendly people. I didn't really think Somerset and Devon were that great - scenic, maybe, if you like looking at hedgerows all day and don't mind having to retrace your steps to let massive camper vans through. I wouldn't go back there, I don't think. Scotland was beautiful during LEJOG, especially the Flow Country and Speyside area. West coast of Ireland had some breathtaking scenery, definitely worth a trip. I remember a watershed moment during LEJOG, when we started off cycling through some scenic but not breathtaking landscape (LE to Bristol), then a fair bit of in and out between rural and suburban, then the day we went through the Warrington/Manchester/Leigh area, after lunch (memorable for eating food in a pub, with the Queen's funeral on TV), in the afternoon, the scenery just "opened up" from there until JOG. It was like night and day. So, generally, I think once you get to the Yorkshire/Lakes type border and beyond, cycling becomes much, much more interesting. I now live in south Birmingham, and can ride on pleasant country roads and canal towpaths, which is ... pleasant, and interesting, but not amazing.

My cycling since MBTTUK provides an analogy to my life since returning. In the US, In the US, I did loads of long-distance road riding on my vintage Colnago Mexico, with a couple of great cycling clubs, on perfect roads (even out in the middle of nowhere). Very quickly upon returning to the UK, I decided that kind of riding simply wouldn't work - the roads were rubbish (poor condition, and too narrow for bikes and cars to easily co-exist), the drivers were rubbish, and the weather was rubbish. My road bike was sold long ago, but luckily I brought my vintage hard tail mountain bike back with me, and since then I have also bought my first hand-made "adventure bike" - a flat bar, fully rigid steel frame, with wider tyres. It is great for off-road riding that's not full-on technical mountain biking, and also road riding (with a tyre switch). I was one of only two people (out of 14) who completed LEJOG, because we encountered some horrendous weather in Scotland (60 mph winds, driving rain, 20% climbs), and their fancy light carbon, drop-bar road bikes couldn't handle it. I've just purchased a Brompton folding bike, and I see my cycling transitioning to utilitarian and opportunistic - shopping by bike, commuting by bike, taking my folding bike on other trips, so I can cycle while I visit friends. The moral of the story (that life after MBTTUK is like cycling after MBTTUK) is that if you can't change the situation, change your behaviour and your attitude towards the situation instead of festering about it, or expecting it to change.

Happy to reply to a PM, if you have further questions about my experiences cycling in the UK - I think I've taken the conversation far off topic enough!
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Old Nov 28th 2023, 9:22 am
  #92  
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Default Re: moving back from USA to UK - any regrets?

Originally Posted by Helen1964
That’s good to hear you were able to get treated so quickly.
Do you mind me asking in roughly which part of the UK you’ve settled?
We are in Norfolk. Oh and husband is a cyclist.
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Old Nov 28th 2023, 5:43 pm
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Default Re: moving back from USA to UK - any regrets?

Many thanks Dunroving and Bats.
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Old Dec 3rd 2023, 3:02 pm
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Default Re: moving back from USA to UK - any regrets?

[QUOTE=randyglover;13120388]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.

I moved back to the UK 6 months ago with my US husband and he's actually more settled than I am! I'm still grieving for my old life in the US but I have to remind myself of some of the reasons why I decided to leave there. You have stated 2 good reasons to move back and I'm assuming you're fairly young. I have to admit that the move wasn't as easy as I thought it would be but I think that's mainly because I lived over there for so long and I'm now 64. The UK is obviously much different now than when I left in my 30's and the culture is very different to that of Louisiana. Having said that, Louisiana (and the US in general) has also changed over the years. I don't feel as though I fit in at the moment but I think that's mainly because we've moved to a different area and live in a small village. The Brits are still friendly but more reserved than Americans (I can only speak for the South). It's just a matter of getting used to the difference in cultures again. The main regret I have is leaving my friends over there but at least there's Zoom. One thing I would say is that you need to remember that the houses are smaller here so if you're planning on bringing furniture I would check on the sizes first. We literally left all ours in the US and started again! I think if I had children of school age I would personally want them to be brought up here in the UK. I wish you the best whichever decision you make.
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