Lost and Confused

Old Feb 13th 2020, 1:00 am
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Unhappy Lost and Confused

Hi all, I am so glad to have stumbled upon this site, wish I had found it much sooner!
I moved to NZ almost 7 years ago, lived with my husband's parents, (also UK expats), for almost 5 years before finally buying a house in the Western Bay of Plenty around 18 months ago. I have struggled for years with homesickness, but hoped that buying our own place and laying down roots would help me to feel like NZ was finally my home. Unfortunately I feel more homesick than ever now, and really don't know what to do. We have 2 children, 9 and 5, who are both doing well in school, have great friends etc, but my 9 year old struggles with missing our UK family too, so much so, that it really affects her mood and behaviour. She has attended the 'Seasons for Growth' programme at school twice to help her deal with her emotions but this has only had very temporary effects.
My hubby has a great job here as an electrician in his family business and I have been a stay at home mum since my youngest was born. We live in a great community, and I have met some lovely people, but not made any deep connections like my friends back in the UK. We are very lucky that we have been able to return to the UK on extended visits every 2 years since our move thanks to my parents, but the prospect of one day not being able to visit terrifies me, as there's absolutely no way we could afford to visit often based on our income alone, even if I did return to work.
I think the harsh reality of being so far away from my ageing parents and my other close family has finally 'set in' and I really have no idea where our future lies. If we were to return to the UK we would initially find ourselves in a very different state financially to here in NZ due to issues since we left, but that is just something we will have to deal with, and our overall well being comes first.
My hubby is very happy here but he says he will support me if I ultimately decide to return, but I think the prospect of moving back terrifies him. He finds it hard to understand how I feel as in his mind we have everything we could ever want, a nice house near the sea, safe street for the kids to play in etc. but still I feel lost and alien.
I love NZ, even though it frustrates me at times but I worry that I will always feel like this and never feel truly settled no matter how long I am here
Is anyone in a similar situation?
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Old Feb 14th 2020, 9:02 am
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Default Re: Lost and Confused

Originally Posted by aerosarah View Post
My hubby is very happy here but he says he will support me if I ultimately decide to return, but I think the prospect of moving back terrifies him. He finds it hard to understand how I feel as in his mind we have everything we could ever want, a nice house near the sea, safe street for the kids to play in etc. but still I feel lost and alien.
I love NZ, even though it frustrates me at times but I worry that I will always feel like this and never feel truly settled no matter how long I am here
Is anyone in a similar situation?
I think we're all in the same boat at times and there is no real answer to the conundrum, the homesickness and missing family comes and goes in waves depending on what's going on in yours and their lives. After so many years we would all like to think that we will finally be 100% settled but it seldom seems to be the way; so many people like yourself still feel the pull back after numerous years of giving it a bloody good go.

It sounds like your hubby has the best of both worlds with his parents being here, so he won't be feeling the same level of loss as you.

It is tough at times - I am so on the fence these days and often think I should leave NZ before too much longer (now 15 years in) but like your OH the very thought of going through all that seems to be in the too hard basket and I'm not sure 'my' version of the UK exists any longer. So much has changed in both us as people and the UK as a place to live in those years. Apart from being closer to family, who no doubt would soon start to get on my nerves, I don't know that I would be any happier in the UK and certainly would have to consider whether a return would make sense financially.
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Old Feb 14th 2020, 2:44 pm
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Think of your children and put their future at the forefront.
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Old Feb 14th 2020, 2:46 pm
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Default Re: Lost and Confused

I fully understand the feeling of wanting to return home. As a Brit living in Australia for 8 years my husband and I returned mainly because I wanted to. Missing family and wanting to start a family in England.
We have now been back for 3 years and unfortunately it isn’t the England I remember. Lots has changed, but I can’t quite put my finger on what exactly.
We are now considering a move with our young daughter to New Zealand. I have some family there which does help the decision. But we crave the nicer weather, the beautiful scenery and laid back way of life.
I don’t really know what I’m trying to say. Just that when we were in Oz waiting to come home, it was all I could think about. Now, I’m dreaming of a life in New Zealand because England hasn’t lived up to my expectations. What I dreamt of in Oz is not the reality we came back to. 🤷🏼‍♀️
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Old Feb 14th 2020, 3:49 pm
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Default Re: Lost and Confused

Originally Posted by HFordy View Post
I fully understand the feeling of wanting to return home. As a Brit living in Australia for 8 years my husband and I returned mainly because I wanted to. Missing family and wanting to start a family in England.
We have now been back for 3 years and unfortunately it isn’t the England I remember. Lots has changed, but I can’t quite put my finger on what exactly.
We are now considering a move with our young daughter to New Zealand. I have some family there which does help the decision. But we crave the nicer weather, the beautiful scenery and laid back way of life.
I don’t really know what I’m trying to say. Just that when we were in Oz waiting to come home, it was all I could think about. Now, I’m dreaming of a life in New Zealand because England hasn’t lived up to my expectations. What I dreamt of in Oz is not the reality we came back to. 🤷🏼‍♀️
Just depends really and NZ doesn't necessarily have better weather either and really depends on your personal outlook, where you go and where you are from. People are people and some will never be happy and some might find happiness. I know some people in Dunedin or Auckland who now crave coming back to Europe too and they say it isn't the laid back way of life they thought it would be. I can understand why you would want to leave England again but for me personally NZ would also be too far away these days, especially with parents getting older and unfortunately not as cheap as it used to be. If we want beautiful scenery we have it on our doorstep in Ireland (never planned to live here) and can at least afford a small holiday home in Spain where the sun shines most of the year. This picture below is actually in Spain, so not really further from you than Auckland from Christchurch. Sometimes you just have to open up a bit and look at the options you have now rather than the past. Of course the same for people wanting to return to UK again.

Last edited by Moses2013; Feb 14th 2020 at 4:08 pm.
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Old Feb 14th 2020, 7:20 pm
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Default Re: Lost and Confused

Originally Posted by Moses2013 View Post
If we want beautiful scenery we have it on our doorstep in Ireland (never planned to live here) and can at least afford a small holiday home in Spain where the sun shines most of the year. This picture below is actually in Spain, so not really further from you than Auckland from Christchurch. Sometimes you just have to open up a bit and look at the options you have now rather than the past.
I think there is way more opportunity in Europe to settle for a happy medium with the best of both worlds type of set up. Notwithstanding changes that my / may not occur because of Brexit there certainly are more opportunities to have a bolt hole or place in the sun somewhere or to travel on whim very cheaply. NZ is so far away from anywhere and it's super expensive and near on impossible to grab just a few days away from the humdrum of being at home. You're looking at spending $1,000 or more for a long weekend away with flights and accommodation and absolutely no options for any impromtu cheapy getaways that we used to enjoy in UK. If there's an event (rugby match, netball, concert or opening of an envelope) on anywhere then flights and accommodation are booked out and costs are prohibitive. Besides which the traffic into and out of Auckland and other popular hotspots around summer holiday times is enough to put me off travelling very far from home.
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Old Feb 14th 2020, 8:37 pm
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Default Re: Lost and Confused

Originally Posted by Bo-Jangles View Post
I think there is way more opportunity in Europe to settle for a happy medium with the best of both worlds type of set up. Notwithstanding changes that my / may not occur because of Brexit there certainly are more opportunities to have a bolt hole or place in the sun somewhere or to travel on whim very cheaply. NZ is so far away from anywhere and it's super expensive and near on impossible to grab just a few days away from the humdrum of being at home. You're looking at spending $1,000 or more for a long weekend away with flights and accommodation and absolutely no options for any impromtu cheapy getaways that we used to enjoy in UK. If there's an event (rugby match, netball, concert or opening of an envelope) on anywhere then flights and accommodation are booked out and costs are prohibitive. Besides which the traffic into and out of Auckland and other popular hotspots around summer holiday times is enough to put me off travelling very far from home.
As you say, it really is far away and for those who already miss family it can be very hard. Unless you really love the country, it will be small things that make the difference and people also change. If it's not the weather, it's tradesmen who don't do things like back home. Then it's the lack of choice or bad driving. At the end of the day life is life and nowhere is perfect. The advantage in Europe is that you moan but at least have choices on your doorstep.
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