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Any long-term residents who emigrated as a child?

Any long-term residents who emigrated as a child?

Old Apr 3rd 2008, 1:30 am
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Default Any long-term residents who emigrated as a child?

I moved to California as a young child with my parents way back in the early 1960s. My Mother hated being here and it was extremely apparent how unhappy she was. My Father really didn't miss England much. So, I was sort of brought up in the middle, never really feeling quite "English enough" but not fully American either. Odd way to grow up. I still have a sort-of English accent that they think is Australian in the States (Americans think everyone is Australian, don't they). In Britain, I am assumed to be Canadian - guess I'm homeless!

Seriously though, I'm curious to know if anyone else experienced anything like this growing up here. I've met several British children whose parents were quite happy to be here, but they never seem to have experienced anything like I did.

I always thought I might end up in Canada, since it was a good compromise. I like Canada very much, but I did the next best thing and am now an Alaska resident and love it up here. (I'm still not a U.S. citizen, though!)

Thanks for any replies. Oh, and if there's any Scots reading this, you might be interested to know that Anchorage Alaska has four bagpipe bands! Bit of trivia for you.
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Old Apr 3rd 2008, 1:37 am
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Default Re: Any long-term residents who emigrated as a child?

Originally Posted by Arctic Gal View Post
I moved to California as a young child with my parents way back in the early 1960s. My Mother hated being here and it was extremely apparent how unhappy she was. My Father really didn't miss England much. So, I was sort of brought up in the middle, never really feeling quite "English enough" but not fully American either. Odd way to grow up. I still have a sort-of English accent that they think is Australian in the States (Americans think everyone is Australian, don't they). In Britain, I am assumed to be Canadian - guess I'm homeless!

Seriously though, I'm curious to know if anyone else experienced anything like this growing up here. I've met several British children whose parents were quite happy to be here, but they never seem to have experienced anything like I did.

I always thought I might end up in Canada, since it was a good compromise. I like Canada very much, but I did the next best thing and am now an Alaska resident and love it up here. (I'm still not a U.S. citizen, though!)

Thanks for any replies. Oh, and if there's any Scots reading this, you might be interested to know that Anchorage Alaska has four bagpipe bands! Bit of trivia for you.
We came to the US 12 years ago...our daughter was 11. When she reached 18 she went to uni in Toronto. With her course coming to an end later in the year she's considering moving back to the UK. She said if she's doesn't go back now and see what it's like...while she is young with no ties...she will always regret it.

Last edited by Jerseygirl; Apr 3rd 2008 at 1:45 am.
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Old Apr 3rd 2008, 1:43 am
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Default Re: Any long-term residents who emigrated as a child?

Originally Posted by Arctic Gal View Post
I moved to California as a young child with my parents way back in the early 1960s. My Mother hated being here and it was extremely apparent how unhappy she was. My Father really didn't miss England much. So, I was sort of brought up in the middle, never really feeling quite "English enough" but not fully American either. Odd way to grow up. I still have a sort-of English accent that they think is Australian in the States (Americans think everyone is Australian, don't they). In Britain, I am assumed to be Canadian - guess I'm homeless!

Seriously though, I'm curious to know if anyone else experienced anything like this growing up here. I've met several British children whose parents were quite happy to be here, but they never seem to have experienced anything like I did.

I always thought I might end up in Canada, since it was a good compromise. I like Canada very much, but I did the next best thing and am now an Alaska resident and love it up here. (I'm still not a U.S. citizen, though!)

Thanks for any replies. Oh, and if there's any Scots reading this, you might be interested to know that Anchorage Alaska has four bagpipe bands! Bit of trivia for you.
We emigrated here when I was 8 and I know exactly what you mean. I never felt 'American' and, in fact, from about the age of 15, was determined to return to the UK. I never took up US citizenship (stupid, stupid, stupid), and, when I was 21, returned to the UK and got married. After the 'romance' of being back in England disappeared, I realized I'd goofed, big time, especially as my parents and sister remained in the US. I realized that, having been brought up in the US, I thought more like an American than a Brit. I finally made it back to the US and, although I'm proud to be British, and always will be, this is my home.
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Old Apr 3rd 2008, 1:50 am
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Default Re: Any long-term residents who emigrated as a child?

Originally Posted by Jerseygirl View Post
We came to the US 12 years ago...our daughter was 11. When she reached 18 she went to uni in Toronto. With her course coming to an end later in the year she's considering moving back to the UK. She said if she's doesn't go back now and see what it's like while she is young with no ties...she will always regret it.
But your daughter has US citizenship..... right?

Would be risky otherwise!

I wonder how my lads will feel in a few years time (the 2 who are still here). ATM they are still very English and determined to return.... but who knows what can happen in the next few years.

My oldest who threw in the towel feels kind of lost........ neither here nor there.
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Old Apr 3rd 2008, 1:55 am
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Default Re: Any long-term residents who emigrated as a child?

Originally Posted by Elvira View Post
But your daughter has US citizenship..... right?

Would be risky otherwise!

I wonder how my lads will feel in a few years time (the 2 who are still here). ATM they are still very English and determined to return.... but who knows what can happen in the next few years.

My oldest who threw in the towel feels kind of lost........ neither here nor there.
Yes she does. The problem is she likes living in Toronto and has a good life there...once she leaves she won't be able to go back so easily.

We don't realise the effects of immigrating on our children do we? On one hand they become more rounded individuals and experience more than most. On the other...they feel they don't belong anywhere.
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Old Apr 3rd 2008, 2:02 am
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Default Re: Any long-term residents who emigrated as a child?

Originally Posted by Jerseygirl View Post
...We don't realise the effects of immigrating on our children do we? On one hand they become more rounded individuals and experience more than most. On the other...they feel they don't belong anywhere.
Very true.

So very true.
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Old Apr 3rd 2008, 2:20 am
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Default Re: Any long-term residents who emigrated as a child?

Originally Posted by Elvira View Post
Very true.

So very true.
In 10 yrs our daughter has only been back to the UK once. That was two years ago...we spent a week there over Christmas.

One thing I am pleased about is the fact that we always kept her bank and building accounts open...despite my husband moaning about them when tax time comes around.

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Old Apr 3rd 2008, 2:22 am
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Default Re: Any long-term residents who emigrated as a child?

Originally Posted by Arctic Gal View Post
I always thought I might end up in Canada, since it was a good compromise. I like Canada very much, but I did the next best thing and am now an Alaska resident and love it up here. (I'm still not a U.S. citizen, though!)

It would probably be a good idea to become a U.S. citizen, for a variety of reasons.
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Old Apr 3rd 2008, 2:36 am
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Default Re: Any long-term residents who emigrated as a child?

Originally Posted by Jerseygirl View Post
In 10 yrs our daughter has only been back to the UK once. That was two years ago...we spent a week there over Christmas.
Only once??? My.........

How come?
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Old Apr 3rd 2008, 2:40 am
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Default Re: Any long-term residents who emigrated as a child?

Originally Posted by Elvira View Post
Only once??? My.........

How come?
Once our house was sold I didn't go back for almost 7 yrs. Felt it best that way...it was so unsettling and I was so depressed every time I came back. That's why I wanted to sell the house...to try to close one door and open another.

Since I've been going back more regularly...she's at uni getting on with her life.
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Old Apr 3rd 2008, 11:55 am
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Default Re: Any long-term residents who emigrated as a child?

I feel the same about the UK really....I was born in the UK, moved to Jamaica when I was 7, moved back to the UK at 19....Never felt like I was either truly Jamaican or English. Now I'm here, gathering yet another identity....
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Old Apr 3rd 2008, 12:27 pm
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Default Re: Any long-term residents who emigrated as a child?

Originally Posted by Jerseygirl View Post
We don't realise the effects of immigrating on our children do we? On one hand they become more rounded individuals and experience more than most. On the other...they feel they don't belong anywhere.
I think that's very true, too.

Even though I have thrown myself into life here, I have still been very, very homesick...my US friends here would never guess.
I have tried not to let it show in front of my daughters but it has and my youngest is the one who has picked up on it most.

She is the one now who will criticize the US and say she prefers the UK. I will say that she is the one who has been picked on and bullied at school for being British so that hasn't helped.

My two older daughters feel a bit displaced because they don't have "growing up" memories here , the youngest will have more. But as you say, they have experienced a new country and I do think it has made them more independent.
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Old Apr 3rd 2008, 5:16 pm
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Post Re: Any long-term residents who emigrated as a child?

We are in a pickle. We went on an expat posting (supposedly for 12-18 months) to Singapore just a few weeks after our son's sixth birthday. We ended up staying there for 51/2 years and moved directly to the States a few months before his twelfth birthday.

My husband is transferring back to London (permanently) in late Summer.....and our son, now aged 19 has absolutely no intention of moving to the UK. I haven't even managed to persuade him to go there for holidays for the last couple of years, he's just not interested in going there. As far as he is concerned he has no friends there and his car and girlfriend (of two years) are here...

He has a greencard, so he's going to stay in the US.

I can just envisage seeing myself living on two continents....spending a few weeks in the UK and then a few weeks back here....

On the other hand our daughter just did not want to live in the States and after doing her IGCSE's in Singapore chose to go to boarding school in England. She loves to travel and spent part of her Gap Year trekking in India and the Himalayas. She prefers to be in London (more cosmopolitan than the New Jersey suburbs LOL) and then goes on cheap trips to mainland Europe. However, she says that she feels 'international'....
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Old Apr 3rd 2008, 6:00 pm
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Default Re: Any long-term residents who emigrated as a child?

Originally Posted by Englishmum View Post
We are in a pickle. We went on an expat posting (supposedly for 12-18 months) to Singapore just a few weeks after our son's sixth birthday. We ended up staying there for 51/2 years and moved directly to the States a few months before his twelfth birthday.

My husband is transferring back to London (permanently) in late Summer.....and our son, now aged 19 has absolutely no intention of moving to the UK. I haven't even managed to persuade him to go there for holidays for the last couple of years, he's just not interested in going there. As far as he is concerned he has no friends there and his car and girlfriend (of two years) are here...

He has a greencard, so he's going to stay in the US.

I can just envisage seeing myself living on two continents....spending a few weeks in the UK and then a few weeks back here....

On the other hand our daughter just did not want to live in the States and after doing her IGCSE's in Singapore chose to go to boarding school in England. She loves to travel and spent part of her Gap Year trekking in India and the Himalayas. She prefers to be in London (more cosmopolitan than the New Jersey suburbs LOL) and then goes on cheap trips to mainland Europe. However, she says that she feels 'international'....
Join the club... one here, one there, and parents all over the place...

However, YOU are returning to London......... you lucky devil! (Do you need a housekeeper/concierge/dogsbody... )

Last edited by Elvira; Apr 3rd 2008 at 6:07 pm.
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Old Apr 3rd 2008, 6:05 pm
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Default Re: Any long-term residents who emigrated as a child?

Originally Posted by Englishmum View Post
I can just envisage seeing myself living on two continents....spending a few weeks in the UK and then a few weeks back here....
Recently I've started to think seriously of at least maintaining a home in the US if we retire to the UK, and spending some time in each country, so that my daughter won't feel like she's just been left here on her own.
My children, now in their mid-twenties, were aged 8 and 6 when we moved to America. Looking back on it, I think it was very good for them that we lived for the first five years in an inner suburb where they were (in a way) less "foreign" than some of the other children, new arrivals from China or Russia who were also struggling with a new language, for instance.
My son applied to a couple of colleges in Canada, but chose to go to school here, but now he's in England for postgraduate studies and he's making plans to make the move permanent. His sister, meanwhile, is settled in a job here.
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