Homeward bound

Old Jul 20th 2012, 10:48 pm
  #1  
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Default Homeward bound

Hello again,

After 2.5 years in beautiful Sydney we have decided to call it a day and move back to the UK.

A number of reasons contributed to our decision : the removal of LAFHA and the general expensiveness of the place, my son needing to start school (necessitating a long term commitment to a place) and the difficulties of raising 2 small children without family to hand. It'll also be easier for me to return to work in the UK with more flexible and affordable day care and employers.

It's a 'sensible' move at a sensible time for us but we will all be leaving with heavy hearts. As seasoned expats (we've lived in various Asian countries, the Middle East and Italy) I was never excited by the idea of Australia. It just seemed like a sunny Britain with little to offer culturally, but it has blown me away with its natural beauty and the open, kind nature of its people (not to mention the food!) The ferry ride across the harbour (which my 5 year old says is "filled with diamonds") gets me every time.

Many things have irritated me about the place though. The supermarkets are dire, internet shopping and the general online revolution seems to have passed it by, the fashion is at least 6 months behind the rest of the world, the TV is awful (I haven't even switched it on for the past year), public transport is woefully lacking for a major world city, the lack of heated and insulated homes, despite some pretty cold winter temperatures seems stubborn and martyr-ish.

But it's a beautiful, wild and happy place, despite its 'backwardness' and I will miss it for the rest of my life.
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Old Jul 22nd 2012, 4:51 am
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Default Re: Homeward bound

Originally Posted by Crystaltipps View Post
Hello again,

After 2.5 years in beautiful Sydney we have decided to call it a day and move back to the UK.

A number of reasons contributed to our decision : the removal of LAFHA and the general expensiveness of the place, my son needing to start school (necessitating a long term commitment to a place) and the difficulties of raising 2 small children without family to hand. It'll also be easier for me to return to work in the UK with more flexible and affordable day care and employers.

It's a 'sensible' move at a sensible time for us but we will all be leaving with heavy hearts. As seasoned expats (we've lived in various Asian countries, the Middle East and Italy) I was never excited by the idea of Australia. It just seemed like a sunny Britain with little to offer culturally, but it has blown me away with its natural beauty and the open, kind nature of its people (not to mention the food!) The ferry ride across the harbour (which my 5 year old says is "filled with diamonds") gets me every time.

Many things have irritated me about the place though. The supermarkets are dire, internet shopping and the general online revolution seems to have passed it by, the fashion is at least 6 months behind the rest of the world, the TV is awful (I haven't even switched it on for the past year), public transport is woefully lacking for a major world city, the lack of heated and insulated homes, despite some pretty cold winter temperatures seems stubborn and martyr-ish.

But it's a beautiful, wild and happy place, despite its 'backwardness' and I will miss it for the rest of my life.
Thanks for the update - best of luck back home
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Old Jul 23rd 2012, 7:08 am
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Default Re: Homeward bound

Best of luck
An accurate description of OZ life there.
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Old Aug 3rd 2012, 2:15 am
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Unhappy Re: Homeward bound

Agree with all your comments. We are retirees and came over to be close to the grandchildren. With the dire exchange rate it looks like we will have to head home as it's just too expensive for us. We payed lots of money for the contributory parents visa, which I'm afraid will now be wasted.
So if anyone knows of good shipping agents for the return trip please let us know - we used Pickfords on the way out.
Thanks
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Old Aug 5th 2012, 1:14 pm
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Default Re: Homeward bound

Originally Posted by Crystaltipps View Post
Hello again,

After 2.5 years in beautiful Sydney we have decided to call it a day and move back to the UK.

A number of reasons contributed to our decision : the removal of LAFHA and the general expensiveness of the place, my son needing to start school (necessitating a long term commitment to a place) and the difficulties of raising 2 small children without family to hand. It'll also be easier for me to return to work in the UK with more flexible and affordable day care and employers.

It's a 'sensible' move at a sensible time for us but we will all be leaving with heavy hearts. As seasoned expats (we've lived in various Asian countries, the Middle East and Italy) I was never excited by the idea of Australia. It just seemed like a sunny Britain with little to offer culturally, but it has blown me away with its natural beauty and the open, kind nature of its people (not to mention the food!) The ferry ride across the harbour (which my 5 year old says is "filled with diamonds") gets me every time.

Many things have irritated me about the place though. The supermarkets are dire, internet shopping and the general online revolution seems to have passed it by, the fashion is at least 6 months behind the rest of the world, the TV is awful (I haven't even switched it on for the past year), public transport is woefully lacking for a major world city, the lack of heated and insulated homes, despite some pretty cold winter temperatures seems stubborn and martyr-ish.

But it's a beautiful, wild and happy place, despite its 'backwardness' and I will miss it for the rest of my life.
Brill post and bloody spot on.

Good luck in all you do x
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Old Aug 5th 2012, 1:59 pm
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Default Re: Homeward bound

Originally Posted by Crystaltipps View Post
Hello again,

After 2.5 years in beautiful Sydney we have decided to call it a day and move back to the UK.

A number of reasons contributed to our decision : the removal of LAFHA and the general expensiveness of the place, my son needing to start school (necessitating a long term commitment to a place) and the difficulties of raising 2 small children without family to hand. It'll also be easier for me to return to work in the UK with more flexible and affordable day care and employers.

It's a 'sensible' move at a sensible time for us but we will all be leaving with heavy hearts. As seasoned expats (we've lived in various Asian countries, the Middle East and Italy) I was never excited by the idea of Australia. It just seemed like a sunny Britain with little to offer culturally, but it has blown me away with its natural beauty and the open, kind nature of its people (not to mention the food!) The ferry ride across the harbour (which my 5 year old says is "filled with diamonds") gets me every time.

Many things have irritated me about the place though. The supermarkets are dire, internet shopping and the general online revolution seems to have passed it by, the fashion is at least 6 months behind the rest of the world, the TV is awful (I haven't even switched it on for the past year), public transport is woefully lacking for a major world city, the lack of heated and insulated homes, despite some pretty cold winter temperatures seems stubborn and martyr-ish.

But it's a beautiful, wild and happy place, despite its 'backwardness' and I will miss it for the rest of my life.
That's an accurate assessment of this country.

I hope everything works out for you, best of luck!
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Old Aug 5th 2012, 11:47 pm
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Default Re: Homeward bound

Originally Posted by Crystaltipps View Post
Hello again,

After 2.5 years in beautiful Sydney we have decided to call it a day and move back to the UK.

A number of reasons contributed to our decision : the removal of LAFHA and the general expensiveness of the place, my son needing to start school (necessitating a long term commitment to a place) and the difficulties of raising 2 small children without family to hand. It'll also be easier for me to return to work in the UK with more flexible and affordable day care and employers.

It's a 'sensible' move at a sensible time for us but we will all be leaving with heavy hearts. As seasoned expats (we've lived in various Asian countries, the Middle East and Italy) I was never excited by the idea of Australia. It just seemed like a sunny Britain with little to offer culturally, but it has blown me away with its natural beauty and the open, kind nature of its people (not to mention the food!) The ferry ride across the harbour (which my 5 year old says is "filled with diamonds") gets me every time.

Many things have irritated me about the place though. The supermarkets are dire, internet shopping and the general online revolution seems to have passed it by, the fashion is at least 6 months behind the rest of the world, the TV is awful (I haven't even switched it on for the past year), public transport is woefully lacking for a major world city, the lack of heated and insulated homes, despite some pretty cold winter temperatures seems stubborn and martyr-ish.

But it's a beautiful, wild and happy place, despite its 'backwardness' and I will miss it for the rest of my life.
I agree with a lot of your criticisms of Australia actually - I think broadly they are fair observations, although there really isn't a lot of difference between the supermarkets in my opinion apart from the vegetables are not as good in Australia and my sister in law pays a hell of a lot more for day care than we do. We too think one day we might return to the UK because we want kids to know grandparents, but we both know we will return to Australia at some point as for us it offers a better environment to grow old in.
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Old Aug 5th 2012, 11:49 pm
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Default Re: Homeward bound

Originally Posted by Meretooz View Post
Agree with all your comments. We are retirees and came over to be close to the grandchildren. With the dire exchange rate it looks like we will have to head home as it's just too expensive for us. We payed lots of money for the contributory parents visa, which I'm afraid will now be wasted.
So if anyone knows of good shipping agents for the return trip please let us know - we used Pickfords on the way out.
Thanks
The collapse of sterling is hurting a hell of a lot of people at the moment - that's fore sure.
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Old Aug 6th 2012, 7:52 am
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Default Re: Homeward bound

Speaking as a man even can see the supermarkets here are in a different league, bigger aisles, better laid out and a variety we could only dream of when we were in Oz.

Originally Posted by Zen10 View Post
I agree with a lot of your criticisms of Australia actually - I think broadly they are fair observations, although there really isn't a lot of difference between the supermarkets in my opinion apart from the vegetables are not as good in Australia and my sister in law pays a hell of a lot more for day care than we do. We too think one day we might return to the UK because we want kids to know grandparents, but we both know we will return to Australia at some point as for us it offers a better environment to grow old in.
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Old Aug 6th 2012, 10:32 am
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Default Re: Homeward bound

Originally Posted by chris955 View Post
Speaking as a man even can see the supermarkets here are in a different league, bigger aisles, better laid out and a variety we could only dream of when we were in Oz.
I would agree as far as Woolworths is concerned but our Coles had a massive refurb in 2010 and is as good as the Sainsbury's I use to use every week without a doubt, except on the issue of veggies which really are lower quality, especially leafy stuff like spinach. Other than that the same - but the fruit and veggies are set out with a bit more class at Coles than the Sainsbury's ones because those used to be in black plastic trays and the ones at Coles are on ice in little wicker baskets.
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Old Aug 6th 2012, 10:44 am
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Default Re: Homeward bound

I must admit we dont have a Sainsburys near us so can only compare to Tesco, Asda and Morrisons. The thing that strikes us is the incredible variety and choice we see here and as you say the quality, although we were told that UK fruit and veg was barely edible.
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Old Aug 10th 2012, 11:47 pm
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Default Re: Homeward bound

I genuinely love posts like this....and my response is in no way sarcastic or belittling to any of your 'for' or 'against' Oz responses....just my own (maybe somewhat deliberately limited) opinions...and I do seriously love these posts as it's great to realise what makes an 'experience' for some and not for others.

I'm an expat from the UK living in Canada (for the past 8 years), and hopefully on my way to Oz soon! Yes, living anywhere other than where you grew up is always going to be different, better, worse, confusing, challenging, refreshingly different, exciting etc etc....but isn't that the whole point

While supermarkets in the UK are great, modern, large, have a vast selection etc...in Canada I find they still provide me with all the things I need and quite frankly isn't the location I want to spend enjoying my spare time I guess generation after generation we're all becoming a little too connected to brands and materialistic items (to an extent).

Banking in Canada is about 5+ years behind the European system and can be frustrating at times...but I don't bank everyday or even every week...Internet and TV have their own challenges, but I also don't want to live my life relying on needing TV etc... and it certainly doesn't interfere with enjoying the far superior lifestyle opportunities (at least for me personally). Public transit is only as effective as what you're use to after spending time in one place...you make it work as you need. For example I working in the centre of London for over 5 years all I would hear was how ineffective public transit was (never on time, not enough frequency, packed carriages, bad infrastructure, dirty, expensive, non-scalable due to archaic building structures and so on....but it got me from A to B, and more importantly didn't really have that bad of an effect on my life. Same in Canada...public transit is great until you miss a bus or a train gets delayed and then it becomes the worst place to live due to crappy transit options . Vehicles in North America (and maybe Oz) don't appeal to me as much as European models....and European vehicles therefore cost a lot more here, but I deal with it and find myself something that I'm ultimately happy with and eventually realise that is perfectly fine because it becomes 'known' to me. When I first landed in Canada to live 'everything' was obviously foreign and many things irritated me because I felt I needed to relearn the basics....it certainly didn't make me want to turn and run. I guess I enjoy the challenge of the unknow, or the fact that life can still throw up new scenarios. I appreciate this isn't the case for everyone though.

I'm super excited to move to Oz, and while Canada is beautiful with amazingly friendly family orientated people, safe, has awesome landscapes and lots of lifestyle options to take advantage of...then why am I leaving? Quite simply because it rains too much (especially on the west coast) and that is something I personally can't deal with, it's also been a dream to give Oz a go at living after travelling and meeting my Canadian wife there 12 years ago....plus I love the beach! I absolutely expect to get there and both love and hate things, as well as miss things about Canada in the way I do miss lots about the UK.....but it's not prison, and I can leave whenever I want (just like the OP has done, and it sounds like she made some personal and sensible life choices). I guess my point is, that all the things that people dislike about one location over another is mainly because they are 'different' than what you're typically use to....but in the bigger scheme of things these really are unimportant and you deal with that as that's life! The big and more important challenges in my eyes are....can you handle being away from friends and family! Everyone is different and have varying levels of ability to deal with the distance....some make it work and realise that this is the life they want and keep family in their lives as much as realistically possible, as well as make the effort to put new friends in their lives. Others just can't get past being so far away from their family and lifelong friends....and sometimes don't realise this till they make the move. I totally understand this, and to me these are the truly defining challenges of the expat experience that should really matter

Like I say I miss the UK...the humour of the people, closeness to Europe for travel, the culture, the music, some shops, certain food and restaurants, nightlife etc.....but I don't miss the lack of family values and community (in many places...not all!), disrespectful youth, crime and violence, crowdedness, lack of respect for authority, generally crappy weather, limited lifestyle and outdoor pursuit options (especially if living in or around major cities), hectic self-absorbed lifestyle, massive drinking culture, materialism etc. These are just my opinions nothing more nothing less. I also appreciate that a nice quaint town set in an idyllic English countryside doesn't fit the cons I just outlined....but I don't and never lived in a place like that....and it also isn't a typical lifestyle of most who populate the UK.

Home is where you make it and should never be defined as needing to be in one place forever My comment to people who tell me the 'grass isn't always greener'... "Absolutely...but it's certainly a different shade of green, and that's what life is about right? Otherwise our short time here would be pretty limited and boring!"

I suppose the fact that I'm a Brit and my wife is Canadian means that we naturally expect to always be far from one or both families...because that's just how it is. We don't dwell on that though, but instead make the most of it....as hard as it can be at times, it's always worth finding a life that we are 99% happy with rather than being close to family and hating 99% about the country and city we live in.

Hope you all find that place to call home...at least until the next place you call home
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Old Aug 11th 2012, 12:05 am
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Default Re: Homeward bound

Originally Posted by mnicona View Post
I genuinely love posts like this....and my response is in no way sarcastic or belittling to any of your 'for' or 'against' Oz responses....just my own (maybe somewhat deliberately limited) opinions...and I do seriously love these posts as it's great to realise what makes an 'experience' for some and not for others.
From your post I would say you should enjoy Australia really. Australia is much closer to UK than North America, culturally-speaking (not landscape!) so that will be easier. Good luck!
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Old Aug 11th 2012, 12:25 am
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Default Re: Homeward bound

Cheers....I hope so!

Originally Posted by Zen10 View Post
From your post I would say you should enjoy Australia really. Australia is much closer to UK than North America, culturally-speaking (not landscape!) so that will be easier. Good luck!
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Old Aug 11th 2012, 4:14 am
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Default Re: Homeward bound

Originally Posted by mnicona View Post

but I don't miss the lack of family values and community (in many places...not all!), disrespectful youth, crime and violence, crowdedness, lack of respect for authority, generally crappy weather, limited lifestyle and outdoor pursuit options (especially if living in or around major cities), hectic self-absorbed lifestyle, massive drinking culture, materialism etc.
Perhaps you should give Sydney a miss than (unless you like it HOT & WET)

Having said that, a great post!
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