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Update after 14+ years, UK Trip

Update after 14+ years, UK Trip

Old Jan 8th 2020, 8:51 pm
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Default Update after 14+ years, UK Trip

Bit of an update for the new decade. Things have changed rather a lot for me in the last year.
November 2018 marked 13 years in New Zealand, and the end of my marriage of nearly 15 years. 2019 has been a year of big changes, new discoveries, losses and gains.
I'm in the UK at the moment at my mum and dad's place in Bridlington. I booked this trip early in 2019 and, it's a quite different trip to what I would have booked now. I've mostly spent time with friends and relatives in Leeds, Bradford and Bridlington. It's weird being here, in the UK. It's winter and it gets light at 8, dark at 4 and some days has been twilight all day. To me it feels busy, dark, cold, cramped, dirty, quite a few places feel like no-one cares about them very much. Shops with dirty signs and windows, filthy cars, rubbish and gum and dog poo on the paths.
People don't say hello so much or have random little friendly conversations like I'm used to in Wellington. There seem to be cars parked everywhere on the roads, making already narrow streets harder to negotiate.
The supermarkets feel huge to me now, but are very cheap for most things. There's Costa Coffee, Gregg's and Starbucks signs everywhere. And those companies need to be taken to task for crimes against coffee. Because what they serve isn't good! And every road, everywhere seems to have signs advertising speed cameras every few hundred metres. Like there's a constant threat of being caught doing something wrong. People seem to have a lot less trust and more suspicion, really careful to lock everything, never turn your back on your things. I know New Zealanders can be trusting and naive but it's something I like, a reassuringly positive trait. There seem to be a lot of signs around in cafes and town centres basically saying various things that add up to "Don't be a dick", as though they're used to people being idiots and need to legislate against it somehow.
Partly these feelings are because I don't fit here any more. I am very settled and happy in New Zealand, it's home, and apart from a small group of friends and relatives everything and everyone I love is there.
My ex is also over here, flying in and out on different dates, and she brought our daughter (she's 9), so I've had holiday custody for a week. That was great, being able to do some simple things with her, visit playgrounds, wildlife parks, climbing walls etc. Show her seaside amusements like I visited as a kid. It was really cool to be able to look at old buildings with her, she's fascinated by the old churches and stone buildings. Her mum's taking her to London and Paris, which will be wonderful experiences for her I hope.
I've done a lot of thinking, reflection and self-discovery over the last year and am getting better at understanding myself. This leads to some thinking on how I feel coming back to my parents' home, and to some of the reasons I ended up in New Zealand. My older sister still lives with them. She has learning difficulties and needs 24 hour care. They are retired now and mum isn't that mobile some days. They're also very much set in their habits and routines, so it has been quite difficult to fit in with that as well as trying to have some holiday, as this is my year's annual leave.
I know I'm not the sort of person who can do the traditional Yorkshire thing of buying a house around the corner from my parents, and once I caught the travel bug that was it. But also I've realised a part of what made the decision to emigrate was running away from the presumed responsibility for my sister, and some other reasons that I may not have consciously realised at the time but now realise were part of what was wrong with my marriage. But what I found in New Zealand was a home, a place that I love and feel comfortable and happy.
Amazing how much more obvious some things seem to you in hindsight.
I hired a car for the duration, spent the first few days staying with old friends, exploring Bradford and Leeds, seeing a few other mates. Then to mum and dad's, dragged dad to the pub Popped back to Leeds for a night to see other friends and collect my daughter. Explored with her over a few days, with and without my parents. She was a bit overwhelmed by all the people she was meeting and new places but had a good time. Dropped her back to her mum and then got out for a clifftop walk one day (12.5km) on my own, which was great for some head space and thinking time.
Overall I've found my time here to be a bit sad, not really a holiday but I promised to come and to see people, and I've loved seeing them and spending time with them, but I'm finding it hard being here. I just don't like it, can't feel comfortable.
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Old Jan 18th 2020, 5:25 am
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Default Re: Update after 14+ years, UK Trip

Sorry to hear about the end of your marriage and also that you are finding UK so dismal. And as you say it has confirmed that you obviously made the right decision to move on from UK.
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Old Jan 18th 2020, 6:13 am
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Default Re: Update after 14+ years, UK Trip

Rob, that's one of the most moving and enlightening personal stories I've ever read on BE. So much wisdom, reflection, courage and honesty. Thank you, I wish you a wonderful future.
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Old Jan 18th 2020, 7:03 pm
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Default Re: Update after 14+ years, UK Trip

Thank you for sharing your thoughts. That sounds like a lot of things to have to deal with all at the same time.
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Old Jan 20th 2020, 4:24 am
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Default Re: Update after 14+ years, UK Trip

Thanks for the update Rob. Sounds like you had helluva year in 2019, here's to a great 2020.

I resonate with some of your thoughts/experiences. Like the feeling of wanting to see family and friends in the UK but having to go to a place that I find hard to spend a long time in. Some of the places where my family and friends live are lovely, so it's not like they live in rough areas, but there's still something that doesn't feel right or sit right about the place whilst I'm there. It makes me feel sort of ungrateful that I should want to enjoy this place with the people in it, but I just don't like being there. The last time we were back, we went on holiday with some of my partners family to Croatia and it was fantastic! People are so different outside of the normal hum drum of life (us included). As you say, it sort of feels like we are imposing on peoples' routines when we go back for a visit and all we seem to do is sit around and drink tea. So, our plan for our next visit is to try and drag people away from home for a family holiday some where, maybe a gite in France surrounded by wine and cheese

Anyway, I'm rambling a bit! Hope you enjoy the rest of your trip. If anything the time you spent with your daughter making memories will be what's made it all worthwhile.
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Old Jan 20th 2020, 8:37 pm
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Default Re: Update after 14+ years, UK Trip

Thanks all for your comments. It's interesting how going back brings a lot of old memories and thoughts to the fore and makes you contemplate.
Finally made it home to Wellington last night.
The rest of the UK trip went well and I did start to feel a bit happier as I settled into enjoying the experiences and people more.
I stopped to visit friends in Malaysia for 4 nights and my new partner flew over to meet me there in Kuala Lumpur. We had a nice little break followed by 2 days in Auckland, one in Rotorua and then an unexpected trip to Blenheim and ferry back because of fog at Wellington airport.
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Old Jan 20th 2020, 11:35 pm
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Default Re: Update after 14+ years, UK Trip

Originally Posted by RobClubley View Post
Thanks all for your comments. It's interesting how going back brings a lot of old memories and thoughts to the fore and makes you contemplate.
Finally made it home to Wellington last night.
The rest of the UK trip went well and I did start to feel a bit happier as I settled into enjoying the experiences and people more.
I stopped to visit friends in Malaysia for 4 nights and my new partner flew over to meet me there in Kuala Lumpur. We had a nice little break followed by 2 days in Auckland, one in Rotorua and then an unexpected trip to Blenheim and ferry back because of fog at Wellington airport.
Home Sweet Home
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Old Jan 28th 2020, 4:19 am
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Default Re: Update after 14+ years, UK Trip

Originally Posted by RobClubley View Post
Thanks all for your comments. It's interesting how going back brings a lot of old memories and thoughts to the fore and makes you contemplate.
Finally made it home to Wellington last night.
The rest of the UK trip went well and I did start to feel a bit happier as I settled into enjoying the experiences and people more.
I stopped to visit friends in Malaysia for 4 nights and my new partner flew over to meet me there in Kuala Lumpur. We had a nice little break followed by 2 days in Auckland, one in Rotorua and then an unexpected trip to Blenheim and ferry back because of fog at Wellington airport.
Hello Rob,

A wonderfully written first post up there! Very sorry to hear about your divorce. We came over at similar times, I recall your RS getting damaged when a fork lift moved it and I remember your first NZ tattoo. I am writing because I so understand your comments about ‘finding yourself’ after your divorce. It took me a bit longer, she walked out back in 2013 and I was in no fit state to do anything for about a year, but things started falling into place. I can honestly say that 7 years on I am such a different and I like to think more content chap than I ever was. I am more grateful for everything and I appreciate the ‘little things’ more now. And I live in ‘the now’ more too. I wish you all the very best Rob. Warm regards, Dom.
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Old Jan 28th 2020, 10:03 pm
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Default Re: Update after 14+ years, UK Trip

Originally Posted by Genesis View Post
Hello Rob,

A wonderfully written first post up there! Very sorry to hear about your divorce. We came over at similar times, I recall your RS getting damaged when a fork lift moved it and I remember your first NZ tattoo. I am writing because I so understand your comments about ‘finding yourself’ after your divorce. It took me a bit longer, she walked out back in 2013 and I was in no fit state to do anything for about a year, but things started falling into place. I can honestly say that 7 years on I am such a different and I like to think more content chap than I ever was. I am more grateful for everything and I appreciate the ‘little things’ more now. And I live in ‘the now’ more too. I wish you all the very best Rob. Warm regards, Dom.
Thanks mate and the same to you.

It really does make you re-assess everything, the unexpected end of your marriage. For me over time I've realised it really wasn't so unexpected.
But it does take time, work, self-discovery and self-awareness to be able to reconcile these things and realise you're actually okay.

I'm very happy to have found a new partner who makes me so much happier. In fact she has given me the opportunity for the next chapter in my adventures, she's going to support us for a year so that I can spend more time with my daughter and improve that relationship, as well as being able to work on our house and garden to prepare for sale. I'm really excited about it!
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Old Jan 29th 2020, 12:13 am
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Default Re: Update after 14+ years, UK Trip

Nice one! I have yet to find ‘the one’. I have had a few relationships since she left, but nothing for the last three years. I have actually become quite content single. I have dated some very recalcitrant women, which I think has put me off dating to a degree.

It is wonderful being in a meaningful, loving and supportive partnership. If y’all can’t find that...being a singleton is a good second place to be!! Mediocrity is just not on in the relationship world!!

All the best Rob and thank you for your riposte.

Dominic.

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