Go Back  British Expats > Living & Moving Abroad > Moving back or to the UK
Reload this Page >

Wanting to move back - sounds like I'm not alone

Wanting to move back - sounds like I'm not alone

Old Jul 8th 2020, 6:29 pm
  #1  
Just Joined
Thread Starter
 
Joined: Jul 2020
Posts: 7
Rythmik is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Wanting to move back - sounds like I'm not alone

Hi All,

Nice to 'meet' you!

I've been reading threads going back years, and my story is not dissimilar to many. This is more of a 'get it off my chest' than asking for advice, but I'd love to hear from you if you've experienced something like my story.

I have been living in the USA (apart from a few stints of travel) since the early 90s when I was a young guy.

In 2003, I met and settled down an English girl who was living Stateside. She had moved here with her family in the 80s when she was a tween.
In 2006 (the year we married), we agreed that we would move back to the UK for three years to spend some time with my Dad, who was getting old.

Our first child was born in the UK in 2008. It was at this point that she started to receive pressure from her family (who were still living in the USA) to move back to the States. Her parents said they would help with grandparent duties and after she visited the sunny SE of the USA where they lived, and returned to gloomy England in November, she told me she wasn't happy in the UK anymore.

Much of that was down to the awful rainy summers England had in the previous few years. I'd also made the mistake of living near my job as opposed to living near friends and family - meaning while I was at work, she was quite isolated as a stay at home mum with an infant.

The promise of help with the baby from her family never materialized, and we decided Florida wasn't for us, so we moved to Colorado in 2010.
We've been here in Colorado for a decade now., but despite having a nice life here (now we have two kids, two dogs, a lovely house, etc.), the USA just never feels like home to me. The pull of moving back to England never goes away, and I miss living there. In hindsight, she said that she too misses 'some' things about the UK.

I regularly bring up that I wish we could move back to be closer to my extended family (my Dad passed away about five years ago) and our friends. We both prefer the UK culture, but as I previously mentioned, she struggled with the gloomy rainy days. The good news is she said she'd be open to considering a move back in a few years. This is because there might be a possibility of her being able to get a transfer with her company in 2-5 years.

In the meantime, I'll just have to make do with the odd trip back home (hopefully post COVID), UK TV (which I'm able to view), and radio. My kids are all American boys. Our nine year old said he'd be open to moving to England England; our 11 year old, not so much (although that might change once puberty kicks in and he realizes an accent in a foreign land can be beneficial!.
All bridges we will have to cross in a few years, but at least there's a possibility of a move back home.

I do often find that you get a few kinds of ex-pats. Some, assimilate and are able to completely put their past life behind them, never looking back. Then there are those who hate their overseas experience, feel it was a huge mistake and will do anything to get back home. Others are more like me. Liking some things about their adopted country, but always have the pull of their homeland tugging at their heartstrings. I hope I can persuade my family to move back....it might happen, but won't be for a few years yet.









Rythmik is offline  
Old Jul 8th 2020, 10:38 pm
  #2  
Forum Regular
 
Joined: Jun 2020
Posts: 30
Streetlegal is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: Wanting to move back - sounds like I'm not alone

The US gave me a chance to expand my horizons, to do the kind of college teaching I would never had had the chance to do in the UK. I need to remember that, since I have been very critical of the US over recent times. I am lucky, too, that my health care here is excellent (it comes with the job) and leaves the NHS in the dust--I have multiple chronic conditions and I am able to message any of my consultants and have an answer with 48 hours; I can also arrange a phone or online appointment, again, with consultants, within a matter of days. The other thing I've grown to love is the weather, here in the Bay Area.

It is only right that I acknowledge the good things I have had.

And, it's true, when I last returned to the UK in December, the bleak weather hit me like a shock.

But, I don't really connect here. I have endured terrible stress related mainly to work. And I miss the UK cultural and social life. For good and bad, it is in my blood.
I find British more grounded, less of a veneer. Life is mellower. It's my home.
Streetlegal is offline  
Old Jul 9th 2020, 12:33 am
  #3  
Just Joined
 
Joined: Jul 2020
Location: Toronto
Posts: 8
Admiral Byng is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: Wanting to move back - sounds like I'm not alone

May I join your club? I'm seriously considering a return to the UK after nearly 30 years in Canada. I, too, find that I have not assimilated as well as I thought that I would. I have one or two good friends, but don't see them that often. Recently retired, it wasn't an issue when I was working, but with Covid and too much time on my hands, I realize that I'm pretty isolated here. That was reinforced by an announcement from my daughter that she intends leaving for the UK next year to look for work. (She is Canadian, but has UK citizenship.) My surviving family are in the UK. If I go, next question is where. I have links to Scotland and to Suffolk. (Try moving to somewhere in the middle?) I have had some wonderful opportunities here, and I live in a very diverse community that I enjoy tremendously. Suffolk and the parts of Scotland about which I am thinking are not known for their diversity. I'm not seeking an answer in this thread, just musing on my situation and somewhat comforted in the knowledge that I'm not alone in my indecision.
Admiral Byng is offline  
Old Jul 9th 2020, 12:52 am
  #4  
Forum Regular
 
Joined: Jun 2020
Posts: 30
Streetlegal is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: Wanting to move back - sounds like I'm not alone

Live somewhere near your surviving family?

In regard to friendships, I have some acquaintances, mainly work colleagues, who are mainly deeply wonderful people. But real friendship? Nah.

I'm fairly introverted, but also people are working all hours or, quite naturally, with their families. The Bay Area is standoffish. I find people very hard to judge. I not sure if the US is as friendly as its reputation suggests, or as it used to be. Or perhaps its just California . . .
Streetlegal is offline  
Old Jul 9th 2020, 1:46 am
  #5  
Just Joined
Thread Starter
 
Joined: Jul 2020
Posts: 7
Rythmik is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: Wanting to move back - sounds like I'm not alone

The assimilation point is interesting and something I’ve often thought about.

The Brits I know here that really assimilated well (including my Mum and my in-laws), seem to extroverts and ones that never looked back. Yes, some of them enjoy the occasional visit to the U.K., but none of them try to hold on to the links back to the U.K. very tightly.

They moved and embraced everything ‘Americana’, warts n’ all.





Rythmik is offline  
Old Jul 9th 2020, 1:49 am
  #6  
Forum Regular
 
Joined: Jun 2020
Posts: 30
Streetlegal is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: Wanting to move back - sounds like I'm not alone

Yes, that makes sense, Rythmilk. Good for them. I confess to having never done that. I'm not particularly material (don't get me wrong, a villa in France would be a dream but not a priority)--I'm more into community, history, culture, countryside. Therein lies the rub, I suspect.
Streetlegal is offline  
Old Jul 9th 2020, 7:55 am
  #7  
BE Forum Addict
 
Joined: Aug 2013
Location: Eee Bah Gum
Posts: 2,577
durham_lad has a reputation beyond reputedurham_lad has a reputation beyond reputedurham_lad has a reputation beyond reputedurham_lad has a reputation beyond reputedurham_lad has a reputation beyond reputedurham_lad has a reputation beyond reputedurham_lad has a reputation beyond reputedurham_lad has a reputation beyond reputedurham_lad has a reputation beyond reputedurham_lad has a reputation beyond reputedurham_lad has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Wanting to move back - sounds like I'm not alone

We also returned after retiring. 29 years in the USA was a great adventure and after retiring we spent 6 years where we traveled 5 to 7 months a year. All great fun but with lots of close relatives and friends we did a trial run and then moved back to a place we had lived before, and done a trial run staying there. That was 4 years ago and we love being back. We now complain about different aspects of the weather than we did living in SE Texas and South Louisiana
durham_lad is offline  
Old Jul 9th 2020, 10:35 am
  #8  
Forum Regular
 
Joined: Mar 2016
Posts: 32
GOALFIRE is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: Wanting to move back - sounds like I'm not alone

Lot of comments here resonate with me too. Funnily enough Colorado is on our short list of places to move to once we retire if we decide to stay here in the US. Moving back to the UK is another option along with possibly moving to Spain. Got a couple of years to weigh everything up so plenty of time. Seems like a lot of the responders have spouses with some connection to the UK and that is where I differ, aside from a few trips over and studying in the UK for 9 months back in the late 1990's my wife has no connection to the UK. So a few things that I do worry about:

Driving - as I age and the longer I've lived in the US the more nervous I get driving in the UK when I go back, even though I'd driven for years when I lived there (moved at 30). Roads are more narrow, lots of traffic, I worry my wife won't be able to drive and that will make her feel isolated and dependent on me.
Weather - I don't mind the rain, but those gray winters can get anyone down but give me a nice sunny day in the UK and I don't think you can beat it.
People - I worry people might give my wife a hard time being American, she's liberal but when we've been back in the past people (who have no experience of living here) haven't been shy about letting her (and I) know how messed up the US is. We just smiled and tried to change the subject (the US has given me a lot of opportunities and it's my wife's home so though not perfect I'm not into bashing it). It wasn't a big deal on our occasional visits but if she (or I) were subjected to it on a regular basis I'm sure it would get old.

That being said there is a huge draw to the UK, lots of pluses with only a few (maybe) negatives. We may even try a few extended trips over and 'try to live like a local' in selected locations before making the jump to see if it is really what we want to do. Once we retire we'll have plenty of opportunity to travel slowly as opposed to a rushed vacation type trip and get a better feel for how it would be like to live in our shortlist of destinations.

It's quite exciting!
GOALFIRE is offline  
Old Jul 9th 2020, 3:04 pm
  #9  
Just Joined
Thread Starter
 
Joined: Jul 2020
Posts: 7
Rythmik is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: Wanting to move back - sounds like I'm not alone

durham_lad I love the idea of traveling for half of the year (the gloomy half if we lived back in the U.K.). As a typical Brit, I had a few long term backpacking spells in my youth, so it's in the blood.

GOALFIRE Don't get me wrong, Colorado is a great spot, and the winters are not as bad as you'd imagine because there are so many sunny days. The snow is usually like powder, not the damp, heavy stuff you get in the NE USA or the U.K. Low humidity too and lots of outdoor options. Worth spending a little time here to check it out if you've not done that yet.

What you're saying about your wife having no connection makes a lot of sense. It's different when you've both got a connection. Then again, I know a few American friends that moved to the U.K. and settled in. Driving - I just read that Tesla says they're not too far away from Level 5 Automation in their vehicles - i.e., completely hands off the wheel....car does it all ;-)
Weather - no getting away from it. It doesn't bother me, and I guess the ideal scenario would be to have a small winter home (VRBO/Air B&B etc.) somewhere sunny that you can spend some of those winter months in.

If you can find a way to spend a little longer in a place/new country before you make a permanent move, it helps for sure. I thought I would love FL but spent a year there but realised pretty quickly that it wasn't for me.



Rythmik is offline  
Old Jul 9th 2020, 3:15 pm
  #10  
BE Forum Addict
 
Joined: Aug 2013
Location: Eee Bah Gum
Posts: 2,577
durham_lad has a reputation beyond reputedurham_lad has a reputation beyond reputedurham_lad has a reputation beyond reputedurham_lad has a reputation beyond reputedurham_lad has a reputation beyond reputedurham_lad has a reputation beyond reputedurham_lad has a reputation beyond reputedurham_lad has a reputation beyond reputedurham_lad has a reputation beyond reputedurham_lad has a reputation beyond reputedurham_lad has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Wanting to move back - sounds like I'm not alone

Originally Posted by Rythmik View Post
durham_lad I love the idea of traveling for half of the year (the gloomy half if we lived back in the U.K.). As a typical Brit, I had a few long term backpacking spells in my youth, so it's in the blood.
What we did was sell our house and moved into a good apartment complex before retiring, and set up inside security cameras. We also set up everything on automatic payments etc, then we were able to "lock and leave". We'd tell them at the front desk we were leaving for "x" months and they would keep an eye on the place. Our son would come by every week or 2, empty our mailbox, take the car for a run and if any mail seemed important he would photograph it and send me the images. It worked great.
durham_lad is offline  
Old Jul 9th 2020, 3:31 pm
  #11  
BE Forum Addict
 
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 1,748
UkWinds5353 has a reputation beyond reputeUkWinds5353 has a reputation beyond reputeUkWinds5353 has a reputation beyond reputeUkWinds5353 has a reputation beyond reputeUkWinds5353 has a reputation beyond reputeUkWinds5353 has a reputation beyond reputeUkWinds5353 has a reputation beyond reputeUkWinds5353 has a reputation beyond reputeUkWinds5353 has a reputation beyond reputeUkWinds5353 has a reputation beyond reputeUkWinds5353 has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Wanting to move back - sounds like I'm not alone

Originally Posted by Rythmik View Post
durham_lad I love the idea of traveling for half of the year (the gloomy half if we lived back in the U.K.). As a typical Brit, I had a few long term backpacking spells in my youth, so it's in the blood.

GOALFIRE Don't get me wrong, Colorado is a great spot, and the winters are not as bad as you'd imagine because there are so many sunny days. The snow is usually like powder, not the damp, heavy stuff you get in the NE USA or the U.K. Low humidity too and lots of outdoor options. Worth spending a little time here to check it out if you've not done that yet.

What you're saying about your wife having no connection makes a lot of sense. It's different when you've both got a connection. Then again, I know a few American friends that moved to the U.K. and settled in. Driving - I just read that Tesla says they're not too far away from Level 5 Automation in their vehicles - i.e., completely hands off the wheel....car does it all ;-)
Weather - no getting away from it. It doesn't bother me, and I guess the ideal scenario would be to have a small winter home (VRBO/Air B&B etc.) somewhere sunny that you can spend some of those winter months in.

If you can find a way to spend a little longer in a place/new country before you make a permanent move, it helps for sure. I thought I would love FL but spent a year there but realised pretty quickly that it wasn't for me.
Hi and thanks for sharing your journey. It will help others with decisions of their own to consider. And all the best moving forward.

May I ask what about Florida made that state a bad fit?
And may I ask what area of the UK you are looking at for a possible move?

Last edited by UkWinds5353; Jul 9th 2020 at 3:42 pm.
UkWinds5353 is offline  
Old Jul 9th 2020, 6:35 pm
  #12  
Forum Regular
 
Joined: Jul 2007
Location: London > NJ > PA > London > NJ.. whew.
Posts: 243
Rusty Chainsaw is a name known to allRusty Chainsaw is a name known to allRusty Chainsaw is a name known to allRusty Chainsaw is a name known to allRusty Chainsaw is a name known to allRusty Chainsaw is a name known to allRusty Chainsaw is a name known to allRusty Chainsaw is a name known to allRusty Chainsaw is a name known to allRusty Chainsaw is a name known to allRusty Chainsaw is a name known to all
Default Re: Wanting to move back - sounds like I'm not alone

Join the club. The US is getting increasingly dystopian and isn't an environment where I want my three kids to grow up. The current COVID situation has just exacerbated this further. The UK might also be a bit of a basket case right now. I despise the miasma the UK is in because of Brexit and Boris Johnson, but, warts and all, I'll take ten of him over T***p.

The only thing keeping us here is that this is where my kids' only living grandparents are. We have some big decisions to make over the next few months.
Rusty Chainsaw is offline  
Old Jul 9th 2020, 10:08 pm
  #13  
Just Joined
Thread Starter
 
Joined: Jul 2020
Posts: 7
Rythmik is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: Wanting to move back - sounds like I'm not alone

Originally Posted by UkWinds5353 View Post
Hi and thanks for sharing your journey. It will help others with decisions of their own to consider. And all the best moving forward.

May I ask what about Florida made that state a bad fit?
And may I ask what area of the UK you are looking at for a possible move?
I found Florida a nice place to visit, but I found it quite transient and where we were living (St. Pete) at the time felt really devoid of life after having just spent three years back in London. I didn't really like such high humidity either. For me, it was just the general vibe of the state - just not my cup of tea I guess.

As for a future move back to the U.K., it would likely be somewhere in the SE near London, but not in London. I really like parts of Hertfordshire and know that county quite well.

UkWinds5353 What about you and your story? Are you in the USA or in the UK now?


Rythmik is offline  
Old Jul 9th 2020, 10:18 pm
  #14  
Forum Regular
 
Joined: Mar 2016
Posts: 32
GOALFIRE is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: Wanting to move back - sounds like I'm not alone

Originally Posted by durham_lad View Post
What we did was sell our house and moved into a good apartment complex before retiring, and set up inside security cameras. We also set up everything on automatic payments etc, then we were able to "lock and leave". We'd tell them at the front desk we were leaving for "x" months and they would keep an eye on the place. Our son would come by every week or 2, empty our mailbox, take the car for a run and if any mail seemed important he would photograph it and send me the images. It worked great.
This is probably something we'd do before setting down anywhere too, though I think we'd use my wife's family location(s) for our permanent addresses for our mail (though we don't really get any useful mail any more, everything is online and automated payment). I think we should be able to see a lot in a couple years, including future permanent location destinations.
GOALFIRE is offline  
Old Jul 9th 2020, 10:45 pm
  #15  
Forum Regular
 
Joined: May 2020
Posts: 69
Brightongirl is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: Wanting to move back - sounds like I'm not alone

I too am longing to move back. I have been wanting to move back for about 10 years but my partner has a small business which provides our income and I'm unable to work. But finally she's willing to move and I'm thrilled! Our goal is a year and a half from now. I feel lucky that I've assimilated well (I moved here when I was 21 and am now 53.) I've made several close friendships but have moved around a bit so that's made keeping friends difficult. Luckily my partner is an extrovert and has made good friends out of business acquaintances so this introvert doesn't have to do the work!
I'm lucky that I like the cooler weather and don't really mind the overcast days. (I live in S. Florida now and hate it.) There are a few things I'm hesitant about though. Each time I go back home I'm shocked by the amount of rubbish on the streets, the graffiti (in Brighton) and the rowdy pubs. (I guess that as smoking isn't allowed inside a lot more people seem to hang out on the streets and, being the child of an alcoholic, I associate drunkenness with violence so I'm really uncomfortable with pub culture.) But other than those things I look forward to the sense of community and a more unified people working towards a common good (I hope it's better in the UK and not just something my mind has created!) I also look forward to cheaper food bills, and a pedestrian lifestyle (I too am worried about driving in the UK - I couldn't parallel mark if my life depended on it and massive roundabouts, forget about it! I also want to escape the political climate in this country; it's gotten out of hand. People can't discuss their differences, too many accusations and people are getting vicious. Two people were shot a few days ago over a dog-related dispute in the neighboring town. It's becoming too overwhelming.
So I want my roast dinner, football, national health, walking the South Downs and having family around!
Brightongirl is offline  

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.