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Should I go back to the UK

Should I go back to the UK

Old Apr 13th 2020, 9:41 pm
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Default Should I go back to the UK

Me & my husband are a British couple that came to NZ for a bit of an adventure after our wedding before we planned on returning to UK to buy a house & settle down & start a family.

We really enjoyed it out here and decided to stay longer, it’s now been 7 years. We have been successful with jobs & now manage a large dairy farm with a good income, more than I think we would make in the UK & have 2 young daughters, aged 5 & 2.

I have epilepsy & can’t drive & we live on a dairy farm outside of town, so I can’t go anywhere without help & I feel trapped. I really miss the public transport we once had in the UK.

To be honest I have no interest in dairy farming, my husband has a true passion for it & is amazing, I just spend my time at home & feel like I’m wasting my life away.

I envy those in normal lives back in the UK, living in estates, closer to family, children spending time with their grandparents, buses around, freedom. Better education for the girls. I’m conscious that our parents are constantly growing older too & feel we’re missing out on those final years.

I have told my husband how I feel, he isn’t as close to his parents & doesn’t like mine. We never agreed this would be forever but we have achieved residency and he has no plan on ever going back. It really upsets him when I mention it & he came to me in tears telling me I could go if I really wanted & take the girls too - but they love their dad a lot, he’s a good dad & I’d feel awful to ruin it all.

I think if we didn’t have the girls I’d already be there but it breaks my heart to see him cry, I don’t want to ruin his life when he works so hard, and I don’t want to upset them when they love their dad so much. But surely I’m allowed a life too, I just don’t know what to do.
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Old Apr 14th 2020, 5:48 pm
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Default Re: Should I go back to the UK

OliviaRose, your situation actually sounds pretty fantastic to me.
I would look very long and hard at ways to pep up your life before throwing all that away.
You say you have epilepsy and can’t drive. Has it been confirmed by a doctor that your condition is so severe that it permanently precludes driving?
My best friend has epilepsy but his condition can be controlled with medication which would allow him to drive if he wanted to. He’s just chosen not to.
If your epilepsy stops you learning to drive, could you use Uber to get you into town? Or a contract with a local taxi firm?
Are there any employment opportunities or courses of study you could pursue online? A business you could start from home?
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Old Apr 14th 2020, 11:19 pm
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Default Re: Should I go back to the UK

I don't know much (anything) about dairy farming but would it be possible for him to manage a farm without living on site? If he could do that, you could move into a town where'd you have more options to move around/socialise and he'd still be able to work his job. It sounds like a fair compromise to me!
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Old Apr 15th 2020, 2:09 am
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Default Re: Should I go back to the UK

This is part of the curse of being an expat - family relationships can cause situations that there is no easy answer for. When one half of a couple has a career that is unlikely to be repeatable if you move to another country, something has to give and it is going to a huge wrench for at least one of you.

FWIW I don't any realistic prospect of your husband finding work on a dairy farm in the UK anywhere where there is any useful amount of public transport service.

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Old Apr 15th 2020, 3:50 am
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Default Re: Should I go back to the UK

Originally Posted by Helen1964 View Post
OliviaRose, your situation actually sounds pretty fantastic to me.
I would look very long and hard at ways to pep up your life before throwing all that away.
You say you have epilepsy and can’t drive. Has it been confirmed by a doctor that your condition is so severe that it permanently precludes driving?
My best friend has epilepsy but his condition can be controlled with medication which would allow him to drive if he wanted to. He’s just chosen not to.
If your epilepsy stops you learning to drive, could you use Uber to get you into town? Or a contract with a local taxi firm?
Are there any employment opportunities or courses of study you could pursue online? A business you could start from home?
Taxis are very expensive. Uber may well not operate in whichever rural area this person is & the nearest small town - and think small here, very small - will be miles away.

I know NZ & NZ South Island as I live there which is maybe where this dairy farm is situated . What the OP writes sounds isolating and lonely. It isn't something or somewhere I would wish to be if I could not drive.

Often a house of some sort comes with these dairy farm management jobs so living away from the farm will come at a cost, either house purchase or rental.

One would need to know a bit more as to where the farm is to know what might be possible.
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Old Apr 15th 2020, 4:10 am
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Default Re: Should I go back to the UK

Originally Posted by OliviaRose View Post
Me & my husband are a British couple that came to NZ for a bit of an adventure after our wedding before we planned on returning to UK to buy a house & settle down & start a family.

We really enjoyed it out here and decided to stay longer, it’s now been 7 years. We have been successful with jobs & now manage a large dairy farm with a good income, more than I think we would make in the UK & have 2 young daughters, aged 5 & 2.

I have epilepsy & can’t drive & we live on a dairy farm outside of town, so I can’t go anywhere without help & I feel trapped. I really miss the public transport we once had in the UK.

To be honest I have no interest in dairy farming, my husband has a true passion for it & is amazing, I just spend my time at home & feel like I’m wasting my life away.

I envy those in normal lives back in the UK, living in estates, closer to family, children spending time with their grandparents, buses around, freedom. Better education for the girls. I’m conscious that our parents are constantly growing older too & feel we’re missing out on those final years.

I have told my husband how I feel, he isn’t as close to his parents & doesn’t like mine. We never agreed this would be forever but we have achieved residency and he has no plan on ever going back. It really upsets him when I mention it & he came to me in tears telling me I could go if I really wanted & take the girls too - but they love their dad a lot, he’s a good dad & I’d feel awful to ruin it all.

I think if we didn’t have the girls I’d already be there but it breaks my heart to see him cry, I don’t want to ruin his life when he works so hard, and I don’t want to upset them when they love their dad so much. But surely I’m allowed a life too, I just don’t know what to do.
Hi OliviaRose.
I live in a village situated at the top of the South Island. Not so much dairy up here. More vineyards and pip fruit growers , although we do see the sheep at certain times of the year .
Well done on gaining the NZ residency via the farming route. That is a slow and steady approach which has won the day for that. I do know of another couple that did this . They left dairy farm management a while ago and now live in Oamaru.

This is a really tough one for you. Would you feel OK if you could get yourself about more. There is no public transport here either & any taxi fare is prohibitive. If I couldn't drive myself to at least the nearest township supermarket I'd go stir crazy.

I'm not sure a UK return is the answer for you and your young family & you clearly care hugely for your man. Something needs to change though as you cannot be spending your young life as though you've already been set out to pasture. Even at my age I find small semi-rural village life rather dull .

Noting your eldest daughter's age, will she be catching a school bus ? If so would you be able to catch a lift at all. Are you pals with any of the farmhands wives at all? Maybe someone you could team up with somehow.

Trouble with farm life is that it ties . Not easy to slip away for a few days for that change of scene .

Come back and chat. Also pop on down to the NZ forum. You'll find folks that understand your feelings very well - and also some that don't of course.

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Old Apr 15th 2020, 5:21 am
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Default Re: Should I go back to the UK

My heart goes out to you. It's extremely difficult to feel 'stuck' in a place, especially with the lack of transportation in your case.

It's incredibly hard when one of you wants to stay and other doesn't feel the same. Have you managed to have a long chat with your husband to plan the future? Find out what you really both want from your lives. Does he understand exactly how you feel with no transportation? Are there other things you can look at to remedy this? You say you feel like you're wasting your life away - what can you take up to keep you occupied? Have you fully explored this? You'll need to look into exactly what you think will change by moving - many things we 'think' are wonderful turn out to be nothing like. Rose coloured glasses or after the initial fanfare dies down we're left thinking 'what just happened'.

Communication and give and take is key. Perhaps you could sit down with your husband and try to have a (non-emotive) chat about how you understand his side but perhaps in "X" amount of time you could have a pre-planned break from the farm in NZ to try 3, 6, 9 months in the UK. Although this will NOT be like moving lock stock you could use this time to see if it is really what you want. Families and friends will be happy to see you when you first arrive, probably, but that dies off after the initial excitement usually. If your husband agreed this you could both investigate farm opportunities in the UK with better transport links. Perhaps if he knew that there was similar roles available he might be more happy to consider this.

The biggest thing for now is to find happiness in where you are and what you're doing. Your husband is employed with a good income, in a job he loves. Your have your children, you're not stuck in a tiny bedsit with nowhere to go. Nothing will happen for the short term anyway - with everything going on in the world. Sure, plan, communicate and perhaps put something into place.

At the moment however in today's climate, take each day at a time and find out what little things make you happy today.
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Old Apr 15th 2020, 6:43 am
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Default Re: Should I go back to the UK

Stuck out in the verdant countryside of what is widely considered one of the most beautiful countries in the world with the (successful and solvent) man you love and two healthy children. Some people really have it rough.
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Old Apr 15th 2020, 2:50 pm
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Default Re: Should I go back to the UK

Originally Posted by Helen1964 View Post
Stuck out in the verdant countryside of what is widely considered one of the most beautiful countries in the world with the (successful and solvent) man you love and two healthy children. Some people really have it rough.
Blimey, empathetic much? Your first post was helpful, not sure why you feel the need to then follow it up with such an unsympathetic response to somebody that is clearly homesick, lonely and isolated.

Last edited by christmasoompa; Apr 15th 2020 at 2:55 pm.
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Old Apr 15th 2020, 2:53 pm
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Default Re: Should I go back to the UK

Originally Posted by OliviaRose View Post
Me & my husband are a British couple that came to NZ for a bit of an adventure after our wedding before we planned on returning to UK to buy a house & settle down & start a family.

We really enjoyed it out here and decided to stay longer, it’s now been 7 years. We have been successful with jobs & now manage a large dairy farm with a good income, more than I think we would make in the UK & have 2 young daughters, aged 5 & 2.

I have epilepsy & can’t drive & we live on a dairy farm outside of town, so I can’t go anywhere without help & I feel trapped. I really miss the public transport we once had in the UK.

To be honest I have no interest in dairy farming, my husband has a true passion for it & is amazing, I just spend my time at home & feel like I’m wasting my life away.

I envy those in normal lives back in the UK, living in estates, closer to family, children spending time with their grandparents, buses around, freedom. Better education for the girls. I’m conscious that our parents are constantly growing older too & feel we’re missing out on those final years.

I have told my husband how I feel, he isn’t as close to his parents & doesn’t like mine. We never agreed this would be forever but we have achieved residency and he has no plan on ever going back. It really upsets him when I mention it & he came to me in tears telling me I could go if I really wanted & take the girls too - but they love their dad a lot, he’s a good dad & I’d feel awful to ruin it all.

I think if we didn’t have the girls I’d already be there but it breaks my heart to see him cry, I don’t want to ruin his life when he works so hard, and I don’t want to upset them when they love their dad so much. But surely I’m allowed a life too, I just don’t know what to do.
So sorry to hear you're so unhappy.

Would your husband move back if he could work on a dairy farm maybe? There are so many in the UK, we have two just in our little village, and we're only half an hour from London on the train! It might be that you could have access to the public transport you need, and the support network you miss, if you moved back, but he could still do the work he enjoys?

Or would he consider moving elsewhere in NZ and commuting to the farm so that you at least have some community and transport around you?

Best of luck to you.
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Old Apr 15th 2020, 7:17 pm
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Default Re: Should I go back to the UK

Originally Posted by christmasoompa View Post
Blimey, empathetic much? Your first post was helpful, not sure why you feel the need to then follow it up with such an unsympathetic response to somebody that is clearly homesick, lonely and isolated.
She’s not isolated. She has two kids and a husband who clearly loves her dearly.

Where does this notion that we’re somehow missing out on the perfect life come from? Instagram?

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Old Apr 15th 2020, 8:37 pm
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Default Re: Should I go back to the UK

Originally Posted by Helen1964 View Post
She’s not isolated. She has two kids and a husband who clearly loves her dearly.

Where does this notion that we’re somehow missing out on the perfect life come from? Instagram?
Life will always bring challenges. As you say, the first step should be to look at what you have first and see if simple things can make a difference. We live in the Irish countryside and I wouldn't even know if there are buses, but surely there must be some people or groups in the area who could help. We have loads of dairy farmers in the area but this is becoming a problem for the environment just like New Zealand and after more droughts and the extreme drought in 2018, it's questionable if dairy farming will see more growth. Then again moving to the UK might open new opportunities and bringing skills and ideas from NZ could be another option but both sides have to agree. Reality is that we will never have everything.

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Old Apr 16th 2020, 2:07 am
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Default Re: Should I go back to the UK

Originally Posted by Helen1964 View Post
Stuck out in the verdant countryside of what is widely considered one of the most beautiful countries in the world with the (successful and solvent) man you love and two healthy children. Some people really have it rough.
My gosh, what a comment to make. I had a beautiful friend who said people said to her 'just be happy, get over it, look at your beautiful husband and daughter, you're so lucky, you have a beautiful house and live in the gorgeous countryside....' and she took her life due to depression.

It doesn't matter that the OP is in, in your words, one of the most beautiful countries in the world.... depression and feelings of isolation (due to her medical condition) don't just go away because she can look out the window and think gosh I'm in a beautiful country.

I'm sure you were trying to say 'country your blessings'. Absolutely fine to have any opinion you wish but please be more careful with your words.

Last edited by Still Game; Apr 16th 2020 at 3:14 am.
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Old Apr 16th 2020, 5:31 am
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Default Re: Should I go back to the UK

Re. the OP’s condition. Epilepsy is not an automatic bar to driving. If she hasn’t had a seizure for a certain length of time and is willing to undergo a medical assessment, there’s nothing to stop her learning to drive.

Re my lack of sympathy. There’s a fine line between showing sympathy and indulging selfishness, isn’t there?
This lady made a choice to go and live on a dairy farm in NZ and to have two children there, in the full knowledge that she was unable/unwilling to drive.
Plain speaking is deeply unfashionable these days however so in future perhaps I should indeed stick to helpful comments about how of course living in a beautiful environment, having secure employment, an “amazing” partner who is a “good dad” to two healthy children is not enough and of course one’s entitled “to a life too”.
Obviously the ideal solution is going to be if the husband agrees - and is able - to continue pursuing the profession he has “a true passion for” on a farm in the UK that has excellent public transport links with a big city.
But what if he refuses? Or is unable to find such a job?
What then? Is the OP going to split up a perfectly good family unit? For what? Life on an estate in Milton Keynes?


Re your friend. The poor husband and daughter.
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Old Apr 16th 2020, 5:54 am
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Default Re: Should I go back to the UK

Originally Posted by Helen1964 View Post
Re. the OP’s condition. Epilepsy is not an automatic bar to driving. If she hasn’t had a seizure for a certain length of time and is willing to undergo a medical assessment, there’s nothing to stop her learning to drive.

Re my lack of sympathy. There’s a fine line between showing sympathy and indulging selfishness, isn’t there?
This lady made a choice to go and live on a dairy farm in NZ and to have two children there, in the full knowledge that she was unable/unwilling to drive.
Plain speaking is deeply unfashionable these days however so in future perhaps I should indeed stick to helpful comments about how of course living in a beautiful environment, having secure employment, an “amazing” partner who is a “good dad” to two healthy children is not enough and of course one’s entitled “to a life too”.
Obviously the ideal solution is going to be if the husband agrees - and is able - to continue pursuing the profession he has “a true passion for” on a farm in the UK that has excellent public transport links with a big city.
But what if he refuses? Or is unable to find such a job?
What then? Is the OP going to split up a perfectly good family unit? For what? Life on an estate in Milton Keynes?


Re your friend. The poor husband and daughter.
And the poor friend too.

You don't have to make helpful comments, but you don't have to make unhelpful, hurtful ones either. Maybe just don't say anything.
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