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Should I stay or should I go???

Should I stay or should I go???

Old May 1st 2009, 6:07 am
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Default Re: Should I stay or should I go???

Originally Posted by suebrennan
Right now I am sitting outside with a stunning view of the mountains and with the bay in the distance. There is an adorable belgian shepherd called Billy at my feet (he belongs to my landlord). The weather is PERFECT. And yes of course the sun is shining. I totally love it up here in Tropical North Queensland but ----.

Financially I am not in a postition to live like this indefinitely. Remember I have blown my savings in my mad scram around Oz over the past 3 years (including an initial very expensive set up in Brisbane)!

I am running out of money. I am crap at looking for work and there really is not a lot of it up here right now. And I have constant nightmares about WTF I am doing with my life.

Nothing is ever going to be perfect but I am on my own and I have not managed to find anything here in Oz that gives me the same buzz, pay, conditions or culture/colleagues as my London job. As a singleton I think work can matter regardless of how good the intrinsics are. I made a lot of friends at work in London - the job though not perfect (it had its moments and was sometimes VERY stressful) was the best I have ever had - and I have done a lot of different jobs in my life. Add sometimes very interesting work to 6 weeks paid leave, being able to wear my jeans most of the time (I had to buy smart clothes for the stupid mind numbing stuff I done here) - it takes a beating.

But I totally hate London in winter!!!

I am so glad I wrote this post as it is helping me to sort out my very scrambled thoughts. Please keep the replies coming - it is great to get other people's takes on this.

Sue
Can you set yourself up in a better position in London? By that I mean different/better location with less commute, near a climbing wall (or whatever floats your boat) or easy access to one of the cheap airports (few long weekends away in sunnier climes) and so on.

I liked living in London, but the commute was a real drag and then trying to get out for a weekend in the sticks was also a real drag as it would often take 1 - 1.5 hrs to get to the M25.

I found the winters a bit of a downer - leave the house pre 7am, into work, not see daylight properly all day and then if I did leave at 5 (infrequent as the commute was a dog at that time) then it would be 7pm before I got home (normally nearer 9pm).

Now I look back (6 yrs later) and think I could have probably made my life a lot easier by sorting out my location (even if it costs a lot more) to make both the commute shorter and the out of work time easier to do things.

I'm impressed you got a 5 year career break.
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Old May 1st 2009, 7:11 am
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Default Re: Should I stay or should I go???

Originally Posted by Cape Blue
Can you set yourself up in a better position in London? By that I mean different/better location with less commute, near a climbing wall (or whatever floats your boat) or easy access to one of the cheap airports (few long weekends away in sunnier climes) and so on.

I liked living in London, but the commute was a real drag and then trying to get out for a weekend in the sticks was also a real drag as it would often take 1 - 1.5 hrs to get to the M25.

I found the winters a bit of a downer - leave the house pre 7am, into work, not see daylight properly all day and then if I did leave at 5 (infrequent as the commute was a dog at that time) then it would be 7pm before I got home (normally nearer 9pm).

Now I look back (6 yrs later) and think I could have probably made my life a lot easier by sorting out my location (even if it costs a lot more) to make both the commute shorter and the out of work time easier to do things.

I'm impressed you got a 5 year career break.
I was very lucky - when I got my PR visa I resigned and my then boss took me aside and said "leave it with me". I am so grateful that the door is still open there. Though I just assumed that everything would fall into place here. I really did not do my homework re work so it is totally my own fault. Interestingly I wangled 5 years off before when I went backpacking in my late 20's from a different employer but I never even thought about going back there but my London employer is different.

And you are so right about location - I used to go into work stupidly early just to avoid the crush - like leaving at 5:30am. I remember being in Victoria Tube Station on morning close to 9am and thinking "let me out of here". You know the scene - tubes packed, platforms packed and the gates locked to stop any more people from getting in!

I need to win the lotto!!!
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Old May 1st 2009, 7:21 am
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Default Re: Should I stay or should I go???

Originally Posted by suebrennan
I was very lucky - when I got my PR visa I resigned and my then boss took me aside and said "leave it with me". I am so grateful that the door is still open there. Though I just assumed that everything would fall into place here. I really did not do my homework re work so it is totally my own fault. Interestingly I wangled 5 years off before when I went backpacking in my late 20's from a different employer but I never even thought about going back there but my London employer is different.

And you are so right about location - I used to go into work stupidly early just to avoid the crush - like leaving at 5:30am. I remember being in Victoria Tube Station on morning close to 9am and thinking "let me out of here". You know the scene - tubes packed, platforms packed and the gates locked to stop any more people from getting in!

I need to win the lotto!!!
I remember that scene pretty well (also watching trains/tubes go by so full already that no one could get on), I also had to drive to work for a few years and that was a similar nightmare, just with less coughs and colds.

What part of London is the job in? What part would you live in?

I am convinced London is a great place to live, just need to get the circumstances sorted rather than making do. Obviously if you earn shed-loads it also helps
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Old May 1st 2009, 8:56 am
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Default Re: Should I stay or should I go???

Originally Posted by Cape Blue
I remember that scene pretty well (also watching trains/tubes go by so full already that no one could get on), I also had to drive to work for a few years and that was a similar nightmare, just with less coughs and colds.

What part of London is the job in? What part would you live in?

I am convinced London is a great place to live, just need to get the circumstances sorted rather than making do. Obviously if you earn shed-loads it also helps
Shedloads - I wish (a very basic salary but great perks) - I can work absolutely anywhere in London - I would hope to be based somewhere central to start with as I don't know where I want to live - but I have always opted for being near a train station - circa Zone 5/6. If I were to go back I would definitely try to live somewhere "nice" but inevitably that means way out so a long commute - Wimbledon would be cool but no way I could afford a room there let alone anything else.

I am with you on London - there is so much to do and there are some seriously cool places to walk, drink coffee, eat out, Europe is a short hop, family in Ireland so Dublin within easy reach. I used to try to go somewhere once a month - cheap flights to Paris/Barcelona etc.

I just HATE the cold and if it snows I really am fit to be tied. I would have been ready to shoot myself if I had been there this winter as it was horrendous.

Where are you currently based???
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Old May 1st 2009, 9:44 am
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Default Re: Should I stay or should I go???

Originally Posted by suebrennan
Right now I am sitting outside with a stunning view of the mountains and with the bay in the distance. There is an adorable belgian shepherd called Billy at my feet (he belongs to my landlord). The weather is PERFECT. And yes of course the sun is shining. I totally love it up here in Tropical North Queensland but ----.

Financially I am not in a postition to live like this indefinitely. Remember I have blown my savings in my mad scram around Oz over the past 3 years (including an initial very expensive set up in Brisbane)!

I am running out of money. I am crap at looking for work and there really is not a lot of it up here right now. And I have constant nightmares about WTF I am doing with my life.

Nothing is ever going to be perfect but I am on my own and I have not managed to find anything here in Oz that gives me the same buzz, pay, conditions or culture/colleagues as my London job. As a singleton I think work can matter regardless of how good the intrinsics are. I made a lot of friends at work in London - the job though not perfect (it had its moments and was sometimes VERY stressful) was the best I have ever had - and I have done a lot of different jobs in my life. Add sometimes very interesting work to 6 weeks paid leave, being able to wear my jeans most of the time (I had to buy smart clothes for the stupid mind numbing stuff I done here) - it takes a beating.

But I totally hate London in winter!!!

I am so glad I wrote this post as it is helping me to sort out my very scrambled thoughts. Please keep the replies coming - it is great to get other people's takes on this.

Sue
So with no money, you're living in a fools paradise? I know Cairns well. I can't stand the heat but the feeling of escaping the world is a good one. For the time being. Sounds like reality is knocking on your door.
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Old May 1st 2009, 9:49 am
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Default Re: Should I stay or should I go???

Originally Posted by cricket1
So with no money, you're living in a fools paradise? I know Cairns well. I can't stand the heat but the feeling of escaping the world is a good one. For the time being. Sounds like reality is knocking on your door.
Hi Cricket

Yes BIG TIME!
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Old May 1st 2009, 9:51 am
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Default Re: Should I stay or should I go???

Originally Posted by suebrennan
Hi Cricket

Yes BIG TIME!
And re the heat - I love it - the hotter the better - even the humidity does not seem to bother me.

But job/careerwise it has been a very bumpy ride - all of my own making I have to add.
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Old May 1st 2009, 10:17 am
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Default Re: Should I stay or should I go???

Originally Posted by suebrennan
And re the heat - I love it - the hotter the better - even the humidity does not seem to bother me.

But job/careerwise it has been a very bumpy ride - all of my own making I have to add.
Life sitting on a moonbeam is fun I must admit and I can understand how you forget time living in an escape tunnel in Oz. It drives me insane because I'm an ambitious, career driven person so I've found Australia both relaxing but frustrating careerwise. I'm about to head off back to the UK for business and personal reasons.
However, reality has hit hard on my door too. I was going to float back home on enough money to last a year so no pressure to work at 100 miles an hour. But my husband has just been diagnosed with very high blood pressure, won't be working, can't get life assurance, private health or all the normal insurances that give you some peace of mind.
Anyway, we renovate property very successfully alongside our business so we're lucky because all it means is that we're having to liquidate our assets here, to invest in properties in the UK so that becomes our insurance. We were going to keep property here but we need the extra capital.

I guess what I'm saying is that you too need to start thinking about your long term future and start creating your own guarantees while you can. If you've got the promise of a good job back home, I'd take it. At your age, you do have to make different priorities and choices. Not that i'm saying you're over the hill but I'm sure you know what I mean. It just means taking your rainbow somewhere else, that's all. I know the UK weather is cold but I actually prefer the cold to the overbearing heat so it's doesn't bother me. But in any case, the weather isn't the priority. My husband's health is. Hope this helps in some small way. Good luck anyway.
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Old May 1st 2009, 12:07 pm
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Default Re: Should I stay or should I go???

Originally Posted by cricket1
Life sitting on a moonbeam is fun I must admit and I can understand how you forget time living in an escape tunnel in Oz. It drives me insane because I'm an ambitious, career driven person so I've found Australia both relaxing but frustrating careerwise. I'm about to head off back to the UK for business and personal reasons.
However, reality has hit hard on my door too. I was going to float back home on enough money to last a year so no pressure to work at 100 miles an hour. But my husband has just been diagnosed with very high blood pressure, won't be working, can't get life assurance, private health or all the normal insurances that give you some peace of mind.
Anyway, we renovate property very successfully alongside our business so we're lucky because all it means is that we're having to liquidate our assets here, to invest in properties in the UK so that becomes our insurance. We were going to keep property here but we need the extra capital.

I guess what I'm saying is that you too need to start thinking about your long term future and start creating your own guarantees while you can. If you've got the promise of a good job back home, I'd take it. At your age, you do have to make different priorities and choices. Not that i'm saying you're over the hill but I'm sure you know what I mean. It just means taking your rainbow somewhere else, that's all. I know the UK weather is cold but I actually prefer the cold to the overbearing heat so it's doesn't bother me. But in any case, the weather isn't the priority. My husband's health is. Hope this helps in some small way. Good luck anyway.
Thanks Cricket

Do you know it is not even fun - it is escapism - not dealing with reality. I am not ambitious - clearly but I just like to do something interesting/challenging and useful ("purpose") hence my struggle to get it right here.

I am sorry to hear that you have had to modify your plans somewhat and hope that your husband will be okay.

Stupid question but if you have insurance here which I presume you do (as even a penniless bum like me does) is that not transferable to the UK somewhat?

Please let me know how it all goes. :-)
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Old May 1st 2009, 6:02 pm
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Default Re: Should I stay or should I go???

Originally Posted by suebrennan
Shedloads - I wish (a very basic salary but great perks) - I can work absolutely anywhere in London - I would hope to be based somewhere central to start with as I don't know where I want to live - but I have always opted for being near a train station - circa Zone 5/6. If I were to go back I would definitely try to live somewhere "nice" but inevitably that means way out so a long commute - Wimbledon would be cool but no way I could afford a room there let alone anything else.

I am with you on London - there is so much to do and there are some seriously cool places to walk, drink coffee, eat out, Europe is a short hop, family in Ireland so Dublin within easy reach. I used to try to go somewhere once a month - cheap flights to Paris/Barcelona etc.

I just HATE the cold and if it snows I really am fit to be tied. I would have been ready to shoot myself if I had been there this winter as it was horrendous.

Where are you currently based???
Currently San Francisco which is a pretty nice place to live - good vibrant city with beaches/coast you can walk to from the front door and great hiking just across the bridge (only 15 mins from my front door).

It's a bit expensive and the self-obsessed culture can be a little tedious at times, but otherwise its a good place to be.

Why work centrally? why not pick Richmond to work and live? Live near the park or near the river, nice town centre with things to do, easy access to central London, not bad for Gatwick or Heathrow. Admittedly you may have to live in a rabbit hutch though.

Re winter - I don't actually mind the cold, it was the continual drizzle that used to get to me, I lived in Spain for a couple of years (nr Cadiz) and it rained quite a bit there, but it would belt down for a few hours and then not come back for days. If you get 5 weeks vacation you could give 3 of them to winter and get away for a 4 day weekend every fortnight for 4 months - plenty of short hops to somewhere warmer in Europe.

At the end of the day, your options are still all pretty good ones - do you stay bumming around in Aus or head back to a good job in London? Its not all bad is it
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Old May 1st 2009, 9:02 pm
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Default Re: Should I stay or should I go???

I agree that if you go at it right you can probably make London work for you, especially with options as to where you work. You might want to make lists of possible places, pros and cons. I find it helps when I'm muddled.

With 6 weeks holiday, can you take a few weeks in January to get you over the worst -- hopefully! of winter doldrums? Also, do invest in a really good all spectrum light box. It really will help you get through the winter. I know someone who created a little "beach" area for herself. A corner that she kept warm and with the all spectrum lighting. A comfy chair. A wallpaper mural of a beach with palm trees. A CD of beach sounds. When she got home she'd put on shorts and T-shirt and sit there soaking up the rays.

Bev
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Old May 1st 2009, 9:31 pm
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Default Re: Should I stay or should I go???

Originally Posted by Cape Blue
Currently San Francisco which is a pretty nice place to live - good vibrant city with beaches/coast you can walk to from the front door and great hiking just across the bridge (only 15 mins from my front door).

It's a bit expensive and the self-obsessed culture can be a little tedious at times, but otherwise its a good place to be.

Why work centrally? why not pick Richmond to work and live? Live near the park or near the river, nice town centre with things to do, easy access to central London, not bad for Gatwick or Heathrow. Admittedly you may have to live in a rabbit hutch though.

Re winter - I don't actually mind the cold, it was the continual drizzle that used to get to me, I lived in Spain for a couple of years (nr Cadiz) and it rained quite a bit there, but it would belt down for a few hours and then not come back for days. If you get 5 weeks vacation you could give 3 of them to winter and get away for a 4 day weekend every fortnight for 4 months - plenty of short hops to somewhere warmer in Europe.

At the end of the day, your options are still all pretty good ones - do you stay bumming around in Aus or head back to a good job in London? Its not all bad is it
Hey Cape Blue

I love San Francisco and I really did leave my heart there many moons ago (and any functioning brain cells in London). Putting it that way you are absolutely right - thanks for the inspiration.

Sue
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Old May 1st 2009, 9:47 pm
  #28  
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Default Re: Should I stay or should I go???

Originally Posted by Bevm
I agree that if you go at it right you can probably make London work for you, especially with options as to where you work. You might want to make lists of possible places, pros and cons. I find it helps when I'm muddled.

With 6 weeks holiday, can you take a few weeks in January to get you over the worst -- hopefully! of winter doldrums? Also, do invest in a really good all spectrum light box. It really will help you get through the winter. I know someone who created a little "beach" area for herself. A corner that she kept warm and with the all spectrum lighting. A comfy chair. A wallpaper mural of a beach with palm trees. A CD of beach sounds. When she got home she'd put on shorts and T-shirt and sit there soaking up the rays.

Bev
Hi Bev

What a cool idea! I have some element of flexibility in terms of where I work but it does take some engineering. I would have to go where I am told to start with.

Re the lists - I have been doing that a lot of late. There are way more reasons to go back than to stay - yet I am struggling to make the decision - but the clock is ticking in that I have to let my employer know very soon (like now) whether I would like to apply for another year off or to come back to work in July. I am a decision making phobic!!!

Sue
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Old May 2nd 2009, 3:34 pm
  #29  
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Default Re: Should I stay or should I go???

Originally Posted by suebrennan
Hi there - I am currently in Oz (for almost 3 years). I am now in Cairns though I have zipped around a bit due to being so unsettled. I started in Brisbane and loved it apart from the work culture. Went to Broome (loved the heat) then Sydney (good work culture but hated the cold) and then to Cairns (crappy work but great place to live). Went back to Europe for a holiday late last year and felt nothing in particular being back in London. Headed back to Cairns on my return but the recession has bitten into the temp market up here big time. So work of any description is now seriously hit and miss.

I love the heat (up here in the tropics) and it was my primary reason for moving to Oz. I have stuffed up completely on the job front - have done loads of temping - stuffed up several interviews for "proper" jobs, practically jumped before I was pushed on two occasions from good companies.

I really miss my London job and I have now blown most of my savings. The biggest problem is that I did not do my homework in terms of work - I have a wierd background and I am not going to get that type of work through an agency. So I took admin - and would stop looking for a real job then get bored or the contract would finish and I would start looking again. My situation was also complicated by the fact that generally I needed to be a citizen for jobs in my area. I got that in January 2009 but ----.

I had been to Oz twice before the move - once as a backpacker where I travelled all over and loved it and I also had a great 6 week trip down here several years ago.

Now I am in my late 40's, have squandered hard earned savings, live like a backpacker (in a piece of paradise) and I am losing my skills. My saving grace is that I have a job in London to go back to as I was given a 5 year Career Break.

I have this constant mental civil war re why am I still here, can I really change anything, would I be better off in London and so on.

There are more reasons to go back than to stay - not least friends and family and a job that I enjoy with a great work culture. I also miss Europe, the variety of things to do in London and so on.

I absolutely do not miss the weather, the crowds, pollution, graffitti and commuting.

So my main reason for staying in Oz and up in the tropics is the weather and glorious scenery.

Any thoughts???

Go!
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