Finally an update

Old Nov 17th 2013, 10:22 am
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Default Re: Finally an update

Hi DG, just discovered your thread TODAY, and at the end realised you have just got back! It was very moving. I am glad you feel you have a sense of closure now and you are welcomed back into family life. I hope it all works out for you.

My Oh and I are still in the research and possibly getting a job offer for Wellington NZ. I loved all your honesty and pros and cons... really helpful.... There is always so many different things to consider.... we don't really have close family, so that would not be such a pull 'home' for us. We've both also lived abroad before...

Anyway, I am rambling... just wanted to say thank you for sharing and Best wishes for your future...I went to Uni in Swansea, and really got to love the coast there. ENJOY!!!
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Old Nov 17th 2013, 4:56 pm
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Default Re: Finally an update

I had one of the best weekends of my life on the Gower, happy days and a beautiful place to end up
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Old Jan 24th 2014, 9:54 am
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Default Re: Finally an update

Time for the next instalment.

Well, Christmas is over and we are in the January slump!

Life is progressing, we are getting "settled". Have rented a great house (modern, big, on a quiet modern estate, but definitely not one I would buy). Found a school place for my eldest daughter.

We spent some time in the Gower and West Wales over the Christmas break which was wonderful, even though most coastal areas were being battered by heavy storms.

Do I miss NZ - YES. Still felling homesick. I thought that coming back to the UK might abate that a bit, but it still feels quite strong.

Day to day life is good and we are a happy unit/family. We're beginning to build up those networks (other than family) which we knew would be hard. Weather has been horrendous and very rainy (expected that). Luckily there is plenty to do in the rain for the kids but it does drive you mad at times. Dunedin might be cold ( and housing freezing) but still not as much rain. There are plenty of clubs, sports and things for children. We are looking forward to a holiday at some point this year somewhere hot in Europe...the choice is overwhelming and amazing at the same time. Not cheap though, you have to be smart to get cheap, cheap holidays and we are confined to school holidays and don't particularly want cheap and trashy, cheap and cheerful fine, but I can't be doing trashy Brits abroad in Benidorm!

Do I want to stay in Wales forever? No, probably not. Lots of similar traits culturally but lots of differences too - big differences. It does kind of feel like a compact NZ, in that it faces some similar issues eg unemployment.

Whilst London appears to be out of the recession, there are many parts of the UK that are still affected badly. There are massive council cuts in Wales which is going to have a huge impact, Civil Service is talking about the loss of 15,000 jobs as some councils may merge. This will mean a grim future for a few years. We are lucky in that we are educated and a professional couple so able to earn decent money, we try not to take that for granted.

It was quite difficult getting a school place, we didn't have lots of options. What we didn't know before choosing the school was that it was so badly run previously that it was almost in special measures. We had a major panic and felt we had let our daughter down. The concerns were not picked up in Ofsted (Estyn report in Wales) so very disappointed. We went to see the head teacher, she is an executive head teacher and totally reassured us. She was very honest about the "failings" of the school, the weaknesses and what they were doing to address these. We feel confident that the school has a plan but we still need to monitor the situation and will move our daughter if need be. The school has a great "heart", good community, it just lacked leadership over many years. Our daughter is only in reception, so we don't feel the need to panic just yet. She is learning just fine at the moment.

The main reason I would say we moved back was family. Mmmmmm....we love them to death, we have good, positive relationships...but should we haved moved back just for that? Probably not, because it places an enormous amount of pressure on those relationships. Maybe we expect too much. Everyone is busy with their own lives which is fine, but this makes you then realise you have to be really selfish sometimes and do what is best for your own nuclear family.


I found it extremely difficult to deal with the "grief" of missing people whilst we were in NZ. Tune out now if you don't want too much psychoanalysis. I had a major bereavement (parent) in my teens which was a life changing factor for me. So to feel grief again was very hard and it was quite hard to find strategies to deal with that, so the easiest thing was to come back to the UK. Problem solved? No!

We are happy enough in our day to day lives here, as we were in NZ. It is so difficult to compare the two, you can't, as they offer completely different things.

I feel in my heart I want to live in NZ, or rather that I don't want to live in the UK forever, but can we "manage" missing people. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the UK I must add, well there is lots wrong, but there is also lots wrong about NZ. No country will offer us the "perfect" dream life.

So we'll see how we go. I have a very elderly MIL, so we are committed here for the time being. We are definitely not ready to commit to buying a house and I think that is a good barometer to how we are feeling. My husband is such a diamond putting up with me! I worry so much about the future and he puts it all in perspective. We are so happy, our little unit, us four....and at the end of the day that is so important.

Crickey, you must all think I am mad I am a bit mad!

I will, as ever, keep you all updated!

Last edited by dannigirl; Jan 24th 2014 at 9:56 am. Reason: Mistakes
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Old Jan 24th 2014, 10:19 am
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Default Re: Finally an update

dannigirl

It's always interesting..or maybe a lesson to see how old friends move on after we leave. I realised for a while that my relationships were still stuck at the day I left, whereas other people have moved on and formed new relationships and habits.

All the best in your journeys and enjoy your time back home. I know that I still miss home but fortunately I am in a position to travel back quite freely and quickly (for now)
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Old Jan 24th 2014, 12:46 pm
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Smile Re: Finally an update

Hi Dannigirl,

So interested in your journey. We are now on the cusp of making the decision whether to go to NZ or not. My OH has a job offer in Wellington, and £ toward relocation but now it is ACTUALLY going to happen he has got cold feet. His main worry is money and the cost of living and houses and the fact that the dollar is getting stronger. SO he is going out there in a couple weeks to do some research.... I am not sure how I feel anymore.... he has put doubt in MY mind too now! We don't have close family, it is friends we would miss more.... But one way or another we will be out of limbo in a months time.... I just worry that if we DONT go, we will regret it later.... aaahhhhhhhh.

Anyway, glad you are somewhat settled and making a new life. The Gower is lovely isn't it. We have friends that live there still and are well over due for a visit... Life is just so hectic especially with growing kids. All the best.
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Old Jan 24th 2014, 6:26 pm
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Default Re: Finally an update

Aw, Dannigirl, I was so hoping you were going to have skipped off happily into the sunset. But then, it's still early days and you've been through lot - it migt just take more time.

Moving back here (nz) for me has meant trying to come to terms with that grief and loss you describe. We faced a grim lifestyle in the UK with worrying future prospects for all four of us so we made the cold hard decision to leavef amily for good. It is hard. Some days it is very hard but I just hold on to that it will get a bit easier and I will get better at living with it. Hopefully you'll find some sort of acceptance living in the UK, too.
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Old Jan 24th 2014, 7:46 pm
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Default Re: Finally an update

Awwww BB, it's so hard isn't it. I have phases where it's okay, then not, then really not.

I really love the UK and all that it offers, but in my heart I am a kiwi and I feel out of place. I love the culture here, access to Europe, job prospects are probably better, varied education opportunities etc etc (I could go on all day) but at the end of the day I do love the relaxed kiwi lifestyle, that feeling of being at home and I don't mean to offend anyone but you Brits are a wee bit more uptight. No truly relaxed, beach vibe here. It's just different. I love getting lost in crowds, I really do, but sometimes I crave isolation too. It's hard to get that here. I am trying to give myself a bit of a break, as this is technically the third country we have lived in within two years

We'll keep plodding along....nothing is forever. On paper we have pretty much everything, but it's just not hitting the spot for some reason. Whether time will help who knows.
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Old Jan 25th 2014, 3:03 am
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Default Re: Finally an update

It is too early to be thinking about it - see how you feel in another year, and d on't underestimate the impact of the moves on your ability to feel content and settled at this point. Take this from someone who has defo 'been there, got the t-shirt'.
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Old Jan 25th 2014, 6:23 am
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Default Re: Finally an update

Don't worry - we're not going anywhere in a hurry!
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Old Jan 25th 2014, 7:02 pm
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Default Re: Finally an update

OO. You've posted an update Dannigirl.

I've not read it but am quickly noting that I wonder if this is a wibble wobble post.
I say that as a pal of mine just returned to the UK and is wibbling wobbling.

I'll be back laters to see if I am wildly off track.
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Old Jan 25th 2014, 8:10 pm
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Default Re: Finally an update

Originally Posted by BEVS
OO. You've posted an update Dannigirl.

I've not read it but am quickly noting that I wonder if this is a wibble wobble post.
I say that as a pal of mine just returned to the UK and is wibbling wobbling.

I'll be back laters to see if I am wildly off track.
That's it Bevs, we need a 'wibble wobble' section. We've probably all been there.
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Old Jan 27th 2014, 11:36 am
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Default Re: Finally an update

Thanks for the update Dannigirl,I guess a lot of kiwis are in your situation torn between living back home or in the UK. Hope it all works out ok for you in Wales.
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Old Jan 29th 2014, 9:54 pm
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Default Re: Finally an update

Originally Posted by britsinnz
That's it Bevs, we need a 'wibble wobble' section. We've probably all been there.
Love the idea. A place where one is free to wibble wobble away about feeling wibbly wobbly.


Great candid update as always Dannigirl. The Curse of The Expat is ever upon us with our two feet each planted in differing countries .

All the very best to you and yours DG.
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Old Jan 31st 2014, 10:22 pm
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Default Re: Finally an update

Yes to a wobble wobble section/thread. I would surely be there on a daily basis. My wibbles and wobbles mainly flit around three themed wibble wobbles.....

1. Living in Cardiff, enjoying the city and all it's amenities, being near family, earning decent money.

2. Moving to Pembrokeshire. Living on the coast, lots of nice little villages, reasonable amenities. People in the UK do not understand the word isolated, rural yes, isolated no! I have been in West Wales in the deepest, darkest months and it still feels populated, not busy, tolerable, but still populated iykwim.

3. Ping ponging back to NZ.
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Old Feb 1st 2014, 5:47 pm
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Default Re: Finally an update

I really love reading your updates. You really capture what it means to be torn between 2 countries with elderly relatives, children and bereavements thrown into the mix.

I don't pretend to have walked in your shoes, but the agony of overwhelming choices is part of our daily lives too.

All the best to you, and I hope you get joy out of enjoying life for the moment.
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