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Returning to the UK from EU

Returning to the UK from EU

Old Oct 15th 2020, 1:10 pm
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Default Returning to the UK from EU

Hi everyone

I'm hoping some people might be able to share with me their thoughts/experiences on returning to the UK after spending time on the continent! I've been living abroad for almost five years now. I originally moved as part of an erasmus programme and ended up staying, completing my master's and working. Five years later I'm still here but having thoughts about returning to the UK. I'm coming up to 30 and starting to have the feeling of putting some roots down. Plus, I'm at a stage now where I feel like I have been missing out on a lot with friends and family and would like to feel a bit more connected. I'm just in two minds about the whole thing - part of it is Brexit related and fear of leaving the EU and returning to the UK, as well as having trouble readjusting to a life back in the UK after time away. It's a complete lifestyle change (currently based in the Med!) and know that it is going to be a challenge. I just wondered if anyone else had made a similar move? How did you find life back in the UK after living abroad? Has Brexit put you off moving to the UK for now? I'd love to hear any stories/advice! Thanks.
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Old Oct 15th 2020, 3:44 pm
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Default Re: Returning to the UK from EU

Welcome to the site

We did the opposite of what you are doing. At age 32 we moved to the USA, with our 2 young children, and 29 years later moved back. Just in time to vote in the Brexit referendum in 2016. For us it has been absolutely great being back, but we are retired with a secure income from pensions and able to choose where we want to live.

Hopefully some folks of a similar age to yourself will come along with some advice.
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Old Oct 15th 2020, 4:00 pm
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Default Re: Returning to the UK from EU

You have been living in the EU for less than 5 years...... the UK has not changed that much in that amount of time.

How can you be missing out on friends and family? You could pop over in a couple of hours relatively cheaply.

Not sure how you can be thinking a move back would be a 'challenge'



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Old Oct 16th 2020, 5:32 am
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Default Re: Returning to the UK from EU

We moved from Australia in 2016 after eight years there. No regrets, though Australia isn't part of the EU either.
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Old Oct 16th 2020, 1:38 pm
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Default Re: Returning to the UK from EU

Originally Posted by SanDiegogirl View Post
You have been living in the EU for less than 5 years...... the UK has not changed that much in that amount of time.

How can you be missing out on friends and family? You could pop over in a couple of hours relatively cheaply.

Not sure how you can be thinking a move back would be a 'challenge'
Yep, I've lived in the US for 8 years but go 'home' a couple times a year (except this year). Sure I've missed events, and being able to lunch and shop with my daughter, and can see that everyone is getting along fine without me but I easily slip into the old ways within a few days. But I'm much older... it might be a millennial thing
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Old Oct 16th 2020, 3:33 pm
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Default Re: Returning to the UK from EU

Originally Posted by SanDiegogirl View Post
You have been living in the EU for less than 5 years...... How can you be missing out on friends and family? You could pop over in a couple of hours relatively cheaply.

Not sure how you can be thinking a move back would be a 'challenge'
Originally Posted by Shezi59 View Post
Yep, I've lived in the US for 8 years...But I'm much older...
The OP says he's 29. If he's been away 5 years that would have been at 24. That's quite a significant period, much more so than 34-39 or even a longer period but older like 40-50.

They may be feeling they are losing touch with friends who may have started their own families and such.

Of course that might also be a reason to stay put
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Old Oct 16th 2020, 3:38 pm
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Default Re: Returning to the UK from EU

Originally Posted by BristolUK View Post
The OP says he's 29. If he's been away 5 years that would have been at 24. That's quite a significant period, much more so than 34-39 or even a longer period but older like 40-50.

They may be feeling they are losing touch with friends who may have started their own families and such.

Of course that might also be a reason to stay put
That's a very fair point.

However, at that age, when friends start moving on/up/away, getting married, starting families etc. you could live up the road and still feel left behind. Sometimes it's real circumstances and sometimes it's just a state of mind.
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Old Oct 16th 2020, 4:03 pm
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Default Re: Returning to the UK from EU

Originally Posted by Shezi59 View Post
However, at that age, when friends start moving on/up/away, getting married, starting families etc. you could live up the road and still feel left behind.
Or want to move further away
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Old Oct 16th 2020, 4:24 pm
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Default Re: Returning to the UK from EU

Originally Posted by Jixx View Post
..... I feel like I have been missing out on a lot with friends and family and would like to feel a bit more connected. ....
Originally Posted by BristolUK View Post
..... They may be feeling they are losing touch with friends who may have started their own families and such. ....
Originally Posted by Shezi59 View Post
.... However, at that age, when friends start moving on/up/away, getting married, starting families etc. you could live up the road and still feel left behind. Sometimes it's real circumstances and sometimes it's just a state of mind.
Beware of moving home and expecting to pick up relationships with your family and friends where you left off. While you were gone everyone carried on with their lives, and it is a common theme of those who return to the UK, that "I'm back, but things just aren't the same". Moving back works well for some, others not so much.

Last edited by Pulaski; Oct 16th 2020 at 4:27 pm.
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Old Oct 16th 2020, 6:29 pm
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Default Re: Returning to the UK from EU

At the end of the day you can't force things and those trying to put down roots often fail, as these things come naturally. Unless you are such a family person or are moving for a better job, you already know the answer. We moved to Ireland instead of moving back to UK but the main thing for us was work/life balance and of course the financial side. It depends on your mindset too and lifestyle is different for all. Because of move we can at least afford a small home near the med and can go there anytime (When Covid is over) + enjoy our lifestyle here. Every case is different and if you have a good job where you are now, aren't struggling financially and enjoy your lifestyle, that is worth a lot. In reality nowhere is that far in Europe but the couple with kids will have different needs than the single person etc.
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Old Oct 17th 2020, 7:54 am
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Default Re: Returning to the UK from EU

Originally Posted by SanDiegogirl View Post
You have been living in the EU for less than 5 years...... the UK has not changed that much in that amount of time.

How can you be missing out on friends and family? You could pop over in a couple of hours relatively cheaply.

Not sure how you can be thinking a move back would be a 'challenge'
As I said, it is adapting to the lifestyle change which I was thinking may be a challenge. Whilst I understand 5 years may not be a long time compared to people who have been expats for 30 years, I still have some reservations or concerns
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Old Oct 17th 2020, 7:56 am
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Default Re: Returning to the UK from EU

Originally Posted by Shezi59 View Post
That's a very fair point.

However, at that age, when friends start moving on/up/away, getting married, starting families etc. you could live up the road and still feel left behind. Sometimes it's real circumstances and sometimes it's just a state of mind.
Thanks - that may well be a part of it!
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Old Oct 17th 2020, 7:58 am
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Default Re: Returning to the UK from EU

Originally Posted by Moses2013 View Post
At the end of the day you can't force things and those trying to put down roots often fail, as these things come naturally. Unless you are such a family person or are moving for a better job, you already know the answer. We moved to Ireland instead of moving back to UK but the main thing for us was work/life balance and of course the financial side. It depends on your mindset too and lifestyle is different for all. Because of move we can at least afford a small home near the med and can go there anytime (When Covid is over) + enjoy our lifestyle here. Every case is different and if you have a good job where you are now, aren't struggling financially and enjoy your lifestyle, that is worth a lot. In reality nowhere is that far in Europe but the couple with kids will have different needs than the single person etc.
Thanks - I appreciate your input and thoughts
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