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Staying When You Knew It Wasn't Right

Staying When You Knew It Wasn't Right

Old Oct 15th 2007, 12:56 am
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Default Re: Staying When You Knew It Wasn't Right

Originally Posted by JAJ
I really am curious as to how so many people can go to the effort of emigrating and then seem to be utterly miserable after doing so.

A lot of anguish would be saved by perhaps a little more self-awareness and contemplation at the outset.
Very judgemental and insesitive comments

No matter how much research you do or how much thought you put into emigrating, nothing can prepare you for how you will feel when it becomes reality. Do you really think that people do this to themselves just for the sheer hell of it? Do you honestly believe that people don't put months/years of thought into emigrating. Do you actually think that when they are going through the hell of being miserable in their new country that they don't try their best to like it, to make it work after all the time and trouble of getting there

Emigrating makes you see what kind of a person you actually are, not what you think you are. It makes you realise what is important in life, not what you think is important. It makes you understand what you really do want from life, not what you thought you wanted.

Sometimes in life you have to experience being unhappy to appreciate what makes you happy. Sometimes people don't appreciate what good lives they have until they give it up for something different.

Unfortunately people make mistakes in all walks of life. How many people have spent years studying for a degree only to realise at the end of it that they don't want to go into that profession at all? How many people think they are marrying the love of their life only to end up in the divorce courts?

We are people JAJ - we make mistakes. Sometimes they are big huge fat enormous mistakes. And if people didn't make mistakes, they would never do anything in life.
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Old Oct 15th 2007, 1:02 am
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Default Re: Staying When You Knew It Wasn't Right

Originally Posted by LouiseD
Very judgemental and insesitive comments

No matter how much research you do or how much thought you put into emigrating, nothing can prepare you for how you will feel when it becomes reality. Do you really think that people do this to themselves just for the sheer hell of it? Do you honestly believe that people don't put months/years of thought into emigrating. Do you actually think that when they are going through the hell of being miserable in their new country that they don't try their best to like it, to make it work after all the time and trouble of getting there

Emigrating makes you see what kind of a person you actually are, not what you think you are. It makes you realise what is important in life, not what you think is important. It makes you understand what you really do want from life, not what you thought you wanted.

Sometimes in life you have to experience being unhappy to appreciate what makes you happy. Sometimes people don't appreciate what good lives they have until they give it up for something different.

Unfortunately people make mistakes in all walks of life. How many people have spent years studying for a degree only to realise at the end of it that they don't want to go into that profession at all? How many people think they are marrying the love of their life only to end up in the divorce courts?

We are people JAJ - we make mistakes. Sometimes they are big huge fat enormous mistakes. And if people didn't make mistakes, they would never do anything in life.
WELL SAID!
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Old Oct 15th 2007, 3:17 am
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Default Re: Staying When You Knew It Wasn't Right

Originally Posted by JAJ
I really am curious as to how so many people can go to the effort of emigrating and then seem to be utterly miserable after doing so.

A lot of anguish would be saved by perhaps a little more self-awareness and contemplation at the outset.
A person can only contemplate by who they are today and not by who they might be tomorrow surely? Immigration will inevitably bring out a side of anyones personality that they wouldn't know they had until it was challenged. We have certainly re-evaluated a lot of things since immigrating.
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Old Oct 15th 2007, 4:17 am
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Default Re: Staying When You Knew It Wasn't Right

Originally Posted by USAGypsies
A person can only contemplate by who they are today and not by who they might be tomorrow surely? Immigration will inevitably bring out a side of anyones personality that they wouldn't know they had until it was challenged. We have certainly re-evaluated a lot of things since immigrating.
Of course it does. It is one thing to grow and develop as an individual through migration, and realise that different countries have their plus and minus points, any maybe even come home after x number of years.

But hating your new country on arrival and/or being miserable is really not something anyone should go out of their way to experience. A lot of the advice on forums like this is along the lines of "go for it, you'll never know otherwise" but that is not good advice for everybody.
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Old Oct 15th 2007, 4:49 am
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Default Re: Staying When You Knew It Wasn't Right

Excellent comment louiseD, my sentiments exactly.

I have been in this boat twice, once when I was married to a yank, I stayed here (US) 5 years when I knew in my heart it was wrong, we finally split and I moved home to the UK (Best thing I ever did).

I'm now back here 15 years later with my second husband, and we have discovered that we have made a mistake and this isn't for us. We hope to return to the UK in the new year and we can't wait.
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Old Oct 15th 2007, 4:58 am
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Default Re: Staying When You Knew It Wasn't Right

Originally Posted by LouiseD
Very judgemental and insesitive comments

No matter how much research you do or how much thought you put into emigrating, nothing can prepare you for how you will feel when it becomes reality. Do you really think that people do this to themselves just for the sheer hell of it? Do you honestly believe that people don't put months/years of thought into emigrating. Do you actually think that when they are going through the hell of being miserable in their new country that they don't try their best to like it, to make it work after all the time and trouble of getting there

Emigrating makes you see what kind of a person you actually are, not what you think you are. It makes you realise what is important in life, not what you think is important. It makes you understand what you really do want from life, not what you thought you wanted.

Sometimes in life you have to experience being unhappy to appreciate what makes you happy. Sometimes people don't appreciate what good lives they have until they give it up for something different.

Unfortunately people make mistakes in all walks of life. How many people have spent years studying for a degree only to realise at the end of it that they don't want to go into that profession at all? How many people think they are marrying the love of their life only to end up in the divorce courts?

We are people JAJ - we make mistakes. Sometimes they are big huge fat enormous mistakes. And if people didn't make mistakes, they would never do anything in life.
I agree with this post apart from the bit about 'mistakes'. I do not think you are wrong to say people make mistakes, it's just my personal opinion that there are no mistakes, just experiences.
I am a firm believer in 'it's all about perspective'. When we immigrated out to the US in 2004 it was our perspective that we would never return to the UK.

Having lived here and experienced this new way of life our priorities have changed and so have family/job opportunities/daily life circumstances for us back in the UK. These changes have given us a new perspective and now we wish to go home to live once again in the UK. We never gave a lot of thought to what would change 'back at home' apart from the obvious things (people getting older and dying, getting priced out of the housing market once we had adjusted to $'s, not being able to go to Europe for holidays anymore etc..), we thought mostly about the changes we would be directly faced with in the US. A couple of examples, I had no idea my sister would divorce after 30 years of marriage and be made homeless (she would have stayed with us if we had been there). I did not realise I would have another child after years of not being able to.

The priority changes have come from within us. The family/job opportunities/daily life circumstances changes were nothing to do with us whatsoever and there is no way we could have 'contemplated' these life changes without a reliable crystal ball.
But here's the difference... when we left the UK we said we would NEVER return and truly believed that the USA would be our forever home until the day we died. This time when we immigrate back to the UK we will not be making such a bold statement as we have learnt that life changes and perspective automatically follows suit and one has to go with the flow because what we want today may not be suitable in the future. We have told our family that we are coming home much to their delight BUT we have been careful to tell them that we may stay forever or just a few years.. crossing bridges when we come to them etc..., and we have deliberately done this so that no-one has a nasty shock if we were to up sticks again, as they did the first time round. My OH and I intend to make it work and remain in the UK for good but we are wiser for the experience this time.... things change, nothing is forever - that's life. I hope threads like this offer pre-immigrants some useful insight.

Last edited by USAGypsies; Oct 15th 2007 at 5:05 am.
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Old Oct 15th 2007, 5:06 am
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Default Re: Staying When You Knew It Wasn't Right

there have been the odd time when i have thought about going back to the UK, when things have been going bad i.e. work/relationships etc or problems in my family back in the UK.

then i go back to the UK and see how miserable and wet it can be, and how people i knew have moved on and changed, and how society his changed.

who is to say that the things you do not like about the US aren't the same back in the UK ?

perhaps draw up a list of pro's and con's to both places, score each one with a weighting on how important it is for you. look with your head and your heart.

good luck.

Last edited by BristleLad; Oct 15th 2007 at 5:07 am. Reason: <edited for typos>
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Old Oct 15th 2007, 5:28 am
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Default Re: Staying When You Knew It Wasn't Right

Originally Posted by northernbird
17 months is a long time to be miserable and it if was me I would go sooner rather than later.
That me me giggle because I had just thought that 17 months wasn't very long and I'd wait. Unless perhaps there are specific things that make everyday life absolutely unbearable (eg neighbours from hell etc).

Is it possible to make a plan to return in 18 months time after gaining citizenship, being open about it as a family and thus making plans to do specific things, visit specific places etc in the meantime?
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Old Oct 15th 2007, 5:36 am
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Default Re: Staying When You Knew It Wasn't Right

Originally Posted by BristleLad
there have been the odd time when i have thought about going back to the UK, when things have been going bad i.e. work/relationships etc or problems in my family back in the UK.

then i go back to the UK and see how miserable and wet it can be, and how people i knew have moved on and changed, and how society his changed.

who is to say that the things you do not like about the US aren't the same back in the UK ?

perhaps draw up a list of pro's and con's to both places, score each one with a weighting on how important it is for you. look with your head and your heart.

good luck.

This is something we did and I would recommend. Write a list of pro's and con's and not just 'think a list'. I made myself do it after my head cold take no more ha ha LOL It makes a big difference reading through a list.
One thing will be certain from your list. There is going to be some sort of s*** to deal with in the US/OZ/Canada and there is going to be some sort of s*** to deal with in the UK. My s*** was about equal I found, neither country offered me more misery or more joy really, it all boiled down to where we preferred to be but here's something for your list... 'What's in it for other people?' Your family, friends, associates back in the UK and those you have met/made since immigrating... how will your decision affect them? We only added this to our list as an after thought but it seemed to solidify our decision.

Last edited by USAGypsies; Oct 15th 2007 at 6:02 am.
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Old Oct 15th 2007, 5:43 am
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Default Re: Staying When You Knew It Wasn't Right

Originally Posted by LouiseD
Very judgemental and insesitive comments
Fantastic post. Agree wholeheartedly.

However, I would like to say that I can also see what JAJ is trying to say. Whilst no-one knows whether emigrating if for them until they've done it, there is a huge variation in research done AND more importantly given what people go through to move, the effort and expectations subsequently put in to give it the best chance of success.

It takes years to settle anywhere, so expecting life to be rosy in just a few weeks/months is unrealistic. To put this in perspective, my last move was within the UK and even within the same county, but because I knew no-one, had lost a great support network (I had 2 pre-school children) and didn't know the area at all, it was actually really hard going between 6 and about 18 months. Something I had not given a seconds thought really.

Other examples would be those that find living costs vs wages unviable. Now bad luck aside, this is thoroughly avoidable via sufficient research for most people.
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Old Oct 15th 2007, 6:01 am
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Default Re: Staying When You Knew It Wasn't Right

Originally Posted by uk+kiwi
.....

Other examples would be those that find living costs vs wages unviable. Now bad luck aside, this is thoroughly avoidable via sufficient research for most people.
True to an extent, but the way economies can go in the space of 12 months, you can still get caught out. Take the way UK house prices shot up in no time, and the US dollar shot down. Not a great situation for those who decided to return from the US any time in the past 36 months. The internet makes it a lot easier to keep track of this stuff, but it doesn't alter that fact that between the time it takes to make the decision to move and actually moving, things can go pear-shaped.

I think JAJ has a point, regardless of whether you think it was made in the right way. I think there are some people who emigrate with a cavalier attitude and don't do enough research, but if there's one thing I've learned in life it's that things can change and you never know what life has in store for you. So even with a lot of careful thought you can still end up being miserable.
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Old Oct 15th 2007, 6:24 am
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Default Re: Staying When You Knew It Wasn't Right

For me I moved out to the US a couple of years back, solely because my field back in the UK had taken a downturn and a really good job was offered to me in the US. Also I was planning to get married to my Indian fiance and so wanted to be in a reasonable job so that I could focus on the first couple of years of being married, without the stress of finding work.

A couple of years down the line I have got married and am enjoying that tremendously. Work I have found is pretty much the same when I was working in the UK or in the US. Money is better and the cost of living lower. On a day to day basis with my wife and work things are really good.

However, recently I have begun to realise that I want/need my family a lot closer to me than just a two week holiday and phone calls at the weekend. My parents are getting older and I am beginning to see how difficult me and my wife's being so far away from them is making them feel. My neice and nephew are now not as close to me as they once were due to them not seeing me more than a couple of days a year. Now that my wife and I would like to have kids in the next couple of years, I am beginning to see that I would want them to have a close relationship to my family and that may not happen with them being in the US and the family in the UK. Also for my wife's mother it's a lot easier to visit the UK than the US.

Now, you could say that I should have realised that I was a family person and known about the relationship I wanted my kids to have with my family. To be honest I have only really realised that, after some of my close friends have started having kids. Also I feel I have changed as a person. I'm a lot less career minded, in the sense of trying to clamber up the ladder, and now feel I'm in a position that I would be happy in for a long while careerwise. I have managed to save a little and so though would not be independantly wealthy in the UK, I should be able to have a relatively reasonable lifestyle, i.e. wouldn't have to have a stupidly big mortgage.

So why haven't I jumped on the plane and gone back to the UK. Well I would still want to make sure that I had a relatively decent job in the field that I'm in and do worry if that company had to lay off people, what I would do. In the UK my field of work isn't as large as it once was. Where I am in the US, there are five or six companies within driving distance of my apartment.

Also I have just received approval for my wife and my greencards, though we haven't received the cards just yet. I need to work for my company for another couple of months and then we would, if we wanted to, be able to try out the UK for up to two years without an impact on the Green cards.

The long and short of it is that I have moved out to the US and now want to move back to the UK, but I don't want to move to the UK and then want to move back to the US. Though when I have the green cards it would be easier for us to move back.

My feeling is that moving to the US was/is an amazing life experience. One that I don't regret but that doesn't help with the homsickness.

Sorry for the long rambling post.
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Old Oct 15th 2007, 7:02 am
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Default Re: Staying When You Knew It Wasn't Right

Originally Posted by JAJ
I really am curious as to how so many people can go to the effort of emigrating and then seem to be utterly miserable after doing so.

A lot of anguish would be saved by perhaps a little more self-awareness and contemplation at the outset.
My husband did it. He moved to the States to be with me knowing full well he would probably hate it........but he thought he could 'stick it out' for 5 years until we moved to the UK. It turned out he couldn't take it any longer than 2 years. When I saw how miserable he was I said "well hell.........let's move sooner then"...........and then my kind company got bought and I got made redundant and we jumped at the chance.

Not everyone moves countries for the adventure. Many of us have spouses from another country...........we can't always choose the nationality of those we fall in love with and when we fall in love with someone from another country............you are almost always going to be dragged in two different geographical directions.
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Old Oct 15th 2007, 7:06 am
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Default Re: Staying When You Knew It Wasn't Right

Originally Posted by Dave_Was
For me I moved out to the US a couple of years back, solely because my field back in the UK had taken a downturn and a really good job was offered to me in the US. Also I was planning to get married to my Indian fiance and so wanted to be in a reasonable job so that I could focus on the first couple of years of being married, without the stress of finding work.

A couple of years down the line I have got married and am enjoying that tremendously. Work I have found is pretty much the same when I was working in the UK or in the US. Money is better and the cost of living lower. On a day to day basis with my wife and work things are really good.

However, recently I have begun to realise that I want/need my family a lot closer to me than just a two week holiday and phone calls at the weekend. My parents are getting older and I am beginning to see how difficult me and my wife's being so far away from them is making them feel. My neice and nephew are now not as close to me as they once were due to them not seeing me more than a couple of days a year. Now that my wife and I would like to have kids in the next couple of years, I am beginning to see that I would want them to have a close relationship to my family and that may not happen with them being in the US and the family in the UK. Also for my wife's mother it's a lot easier to visit the UK than the US.

Now, you could say that I should have realised that I was a family person and known about the relationship I wanted my kids to have with my family. To be honest I have only really realised that, after some of my close friends have started having kids. Also I feel I have changed as a person. I'm a lot less career minded, in the sense of trying to clamber up the ladder, and now feel I'm in a position that I would be happy in for a long while careerwise. I have managed to save a little and so though would not be independantly wealthy in the UK, I should be able to have a relatively reasonable lifestyle, i.e. wouldn't have to have a stupidly big mortgage.

So why haven't I jumped on the plane and gone back to the UK. Well I would still want to make sure that I had a relatively decent job in the field that I'm in and do worry if that company had to lay off people, what I would do. In the UK my field of work isn't as large as it once was. Where I am in the US, there are five or six companies within driving distance of my apartment.

Also I have just received approval for my wife and my greencards, though we haven't received the cards just yet. I need to work for my company for another couple of months and then we would, if we wanted to, be able to try out the UK for up to two years without an impact on the Green cards.

The long and short of it is that I have moved out to the US and now want to move back to the UK, but I don't want to move to the UK and then want to move back to the US. Though when I have the green cards it would be easier for us to move back.

My feeling is that moving to the US was/is an amazing life experience. One that I don't regret but that doesn't help with the homsickness.

Sorry for the long rambling post.

You know what I think is one of the biggest "problems" that expats have in modern times? Choice

In the not-so-old days, moving to Australia or the US was almost always a permanent move. Returning was just not an option. For one thing, it cost too much (I know, it's not cheap these days, but most of us at least have enough cash to have the option). And although I'm sure people missed relatives and friends (yes, and Marmite, fish and chips and the pub), I bet they didn't torture themselves about their decision half as much as we do these days.

I watched a DVD last weekend called The Namesake, about an Indian couple who emigrated to the US for a better life (in the 70's). Great movie for an expat to watch, really shows the consequences and heartache that emigrating can cause, but also shows that just 30 or 40 years ago, that kind of move really was pretty much a permanent decision.

If some of us (myself included) weren't so fortunate as to have options, we would probably spend a lot less time grizzling about our decision to emigrate (or in my case, return) and just get on with our lives where we are.

Last edited by dunroving; Oct 15th 2007 at 7:10 am.
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Old Oct 15th 2007, 7:51 am
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Default Re: Staying When You Knew It Wasn't Right

We have been here in the US for 4 years and I am so on the brink of booking a flight home. Everyday I check the fares !!
Emigration is a hard thing to do. When the idea comes to you it is exciting and you probably look around in the UK and think hah won't miss that.. Then comes the emotional rollercoaster of methods of entry visa's etc. Then comes the packing, selling of home telling friends and family about your new and exciting life. Then you arrive......and find you are on your own. No-one you know to pop in on. Have to look at the clock before you phone home. It isn't something anyone can explain to you the loneliness, the red tape they forget to tell you about. The minor objection of being a foreigner in 'their' country. After 4 years I am at a point where I really do not know what to do. Hubby says wherever you decide (meaning he wants to stay) 15yr old who would have her school life disrupted so much because in the UK she would be in year 11 with GCSE's early next year. I do have the offer of a very well paid job back in the UK (pays to keep in touch ) Should I go and leave them here for 6 mths until she is out of school next May then she could go to 6th form or tech college for BTEC's Have a dog in the midst of all this, a daughter who aged out and has gone back to the UK and joined the RAF. I am battling constantly with myself as everyone says its my decision they will go with whatever I want to do BUT I cannot be selfish and just do it. HELP
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