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Is Anyone Else Conflicted?

Is Anyone Else Conflicted?

Old Apr 18th 2008, 12:53 pm
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Default Is Anyone Else Conflicted?

Hi all,

This is my first post as I just discovered this wonderful forum.

Husband and I left the UK 19 years ago - lived in Toronto for 6 years and loved it. Got Canadian citizenship then moved to New York where we have been for the last 13 years. We have a beautiful house, we've started our own business and we have a decent standard of living (although it's declining rapidly thanks to the awful economy and government policies I won't get into).

When I first came here, I loved it. I'm from a little village outside Leeds and yet NYC felt like home to me. I loved traveling the US. I loved (and still love) the positive outlook and optimism here. I love the sunshine. I love that people encourage you to try anything. I love that they hug openly. There is almost no crime where we live. There are no gangs of drunk kids roaming the streets late at night. Sexism is almost non-existent, or has been in my life anyway. I love so many things about this place and we have a lifestyle we couldn't have dreamed of in England.

BUT ... OTOH, we miss our families and friends increasingly. We feel alienated in what the US culture has become. We don't see much hope of things changing. We are in our mid-forties and like most US citizens we are one major illness away from losing everything because our health care system sucks. Our parents are aging and we're not there to help them. We don't have kids, so we have each other and the few friends we've made since we moved here. Those friends are not like our old friends in the UK - the ones we've had since college and who know everything about us.

But the conflict comes because I can't say I have ever missed the UK. Ideally I'd blend the best of both places and live in Utopia

But I can't and so I'm torn. I see so many posts by people who hate where they are now and just can't wait to get back to the UK. I envy you the certainty!

I'm just wondering if there's anyone else who is more conflicted like me ... and if so, how are you making (or how did you make) your decision about what to do?
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Old Apr 18th 2008, 1:22 pm
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Default Re: Is Anyone Else Conflicted?

You are conflicted aren't you!. I was about to say that your reasons for wanting to leve were not rational but in fact they don't need to be - and indeed may not be. You have proven adaptable so far and so returning to a UK which will have changed a lot and to friends who will have done so too might not be a problem to you. But do not assume that having covered the health base - and it is good in the UK - that everything else is unimportant or lower priority may be wrong. You are both young and not so young and I guess your financial circumstances are resiliant. I think you should assess not what you are going to do now because the reasons you have expressed are good ones - that actually does not matter so much as the step after that when parental circumstances will have changed and you have been settled here for better or worse for some years.

If you see what I mean.
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Old Apr 18th 2008, 1:26 pm
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Default Re: Is Anyone Else Conflicted?

I'm not conflicted but I do worry about the future with aging parents and what I'll do when they need me over in the UK...especially as my kids are likely to stay over here as for all intents and purposes they call the US "home".
Maybe a trip to the UK will help you decide what's right for you ? I know it helped me realise, a couple of years ago, that what I had in my head as "life in the UK" was a rose tinted version !
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Old Apr 18th 2008, 2:27 pm
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Default Re: Is Anyone Else Conflicted?

My husband had a similiar problem a few years ago and then he realised that in order to live back in the UK and maintain a lifestyle that we would want would still involve us living a few hours away from his family, added to the fact that although he is still in touch with a lot of his old friends, their lives have all moved on and they are not the same people they were. He misses his old life but accepts he can't get it back. Going back would not make magically put things back where they were.
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Old Apr 18th 2008, 4:32 pm
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Default Re: Is Anyone Else Conflicted?

Hi there:

we're pretty much in the same situation as you. We moved over to California from the UK about 15 years ago and our in our fourties. We own a lovely home on the hills and have a pool etc. Our jobs are good, flexible and enable us to spend lots of time with our children. Our standard of life is much better than that which we would have had if we had stayed in the UK, and we are able to afford to send both our children to private schools.

However, like you, we have aging parents in the UK and often think we should consider moving back.

Then I think..... if we moved back, it would be going "back". From day to day, we would be reminded of what he had left behind. No way would we be abe to afford the size of house we have now, so we would physically feel confined. In the UK, we would be unlikely to get jobs that allow us to pick our children up from school at the end of they day yet still work full-time. If we were to lose our jobs, we'd have no network to assist us in finding new jobs. Our children would attend public school, so be in larger classes. They would not do the many very educational after-school activities that they do now, merely due to cost (I have siblings in the UK who have kids, so know what things cost there). The difference in the cost of eating out etc. would mean we would eat out less, go out less in general, and definitely vacation less. All very material things, I know, but things that we do on a day to basis here that affect our lives in general. Yes, it sounds materialistic, but we are all human and these things do affect how you live day by day. Yes, we would be able to visit family easier, but I am not sure that is enough. At the moment our parents visit us for weeks at a time (as they are retired) and in the future we'll be sending our kids over to the UK for summer etc. We get good quality time with our parents for extended periods of time (not just dropping round for dinner) and will continue to do that.

With the economy being what it is, we believe that life is hard enough. We deal with things as they are now, who knows what the future holds.

In the summer, as I watch our kids in the pool everyday, I think, if I moved back to the UK, they would not have this experience, the weekends in the summer just hanging out together with friends and playing in the pool - just being kids - something that in this day and age is being lost everywhere. Here, my kids can be kids.

As you can see we are conflicted but feel that the standard of our lifes would suffer considerably if we moved.

Last edited by Confused1; Apr 18th 2008 at 4:35 pm.
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Old Apr 19th 2008, 1:16 pm
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Default Re: Is Anyone Else Conflicted?

Thanks all.

I definitely don't have a rose-colored view of the UK or its health care system, but if you haven't lived in the US, you probably can't imagine paying $1,000 a month for health care insurance (with a 20% increase ever year) and to know that if you get very sick, your insurance may well still deny you the treatment you need.

I've lived in Canada too, and the UK health care system is still the best of the 3 I've experienced, even with all its issues.

I was just in the UK and back with my old friends. I disliked it much less than I have on prior visits, but I can't say I loved it. My friends and I remain as close as ever though, and I miss them terribly as I get older.

OTOH, I definitely understand confused1's point about standard of living. We have our own business and work from home. We can run it from anywhere in the world - but right now we have a lovely spacious detached house that allows us plenty of space to work together without going nuts. We could never afford something like this in the UK - especially not 25 minutes from a huge city!

This is me right now.

I'd love to hear from more conflicted people. Surely there are more!
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Old Apr 20th 2008, 4:16 pm
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Default Re: Is Anyone Else Conflicted?

I lived in South Carolina for 12 years (hubby is from USA), very homesick for the first few years, finally felt more at home in the USA, but always wondered about going back to the UK, missed my parents and worried about them getting ill etc.. Dad's not in the best health, anyway finally we decided that it was now or never and we rented the house out and moved back to the UK. Our kids were 2 and 3 so no schools to worry about. But we have been here a year now and the weather is awful, its overcrowded, we can't afford to buy a house, the cost of everything is so high, there is a lack of respect in alot of the kids you see and the goverment has to meddle in everything. On the good side, the NHS is nice to have (not worrying about costs coming around the corner), 5 weeks holiday and the proximity to europe and beautiful countryside etc.. I love being near my parents, but to be honest I hardly see them, they are retired but you would never know it. So I am still conflicted, love this country but can't afford to live the life I would like to here. Still worry about my parents, but my husband has family too that are getting older... I think it'll come down to were we have the best standard of living and the best place to bring up our children, but the jury is still out..
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Old Apr 21st 2008, 5:31 am
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Default Re: Is Anyone Else Conflicted?

Yes, I understand the conflict.

I live in Australia and like living here, the climate, the standard of living, the easy going nature of the place, the slower pace of life, what Australia can offer my child. Also the Australian environment and so many other innumerable things.

I am conflicted because I miss my family and close friends, things that can never be replaced.

I constantly weigh up the pros and cons of home versus Australia.

I guess there is no clear winner. Someone said it is a real test of what you value.

I think that we will probably have a temporary sabbatical in the UK for a while but will prob end up back here. I don't know if there is a right answer to this one.
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Old Apr 21st 2008, 6:08 am
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Default Re: Is Anyone Else Conflicted?

Originally Posted by beatle View Post
Yes, I understand the conflict.

I live in Australia and like living here, the climate, the standard of living, the easy going nature of the place, the slower pace of life, what Australia can offer my child. Also the Australian environment and so many other innumerable things.

I am conflicted because I miss my family and close friends, things that can never be replaced.

I constantly weigh up the pros and cons of home versus Australia.

I guess there is no clear winner. Someone said it is a real test of what you value.

I think that we will probably have a temporary sabbatical in the UK for a while but will prob end up back here. I don't know if there is a right answer to this one.
So true, that's exactly how I feel (not that I can leave anyway but if i could )
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Old Apr 22nd 2008, 9:39 am
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Default Re: Is Anyone Else Conflicted?

Originally Posted by snarkypsice View Post
Thanks all.

I definitely don't have a rose-colored view of the UK or its health care system, but if you haven't lived in the US, you probably can't imagine paying $1,000 a month for health care insurance (with a 20% increase ever year) and to know that if you get very sick, your insurance may well still deny you the treatment you need.

I've lived in Canada too, and the UK health care system is still the best of the 3 I've experienced, even with all its issues.

I was just in the UK and back with my old friends. I disliked it much less than I have on prior visits, but I can't say I loved it. My friends and I remain as close as ever though, and I miss them terribly as I get older.

OTOH, I definitely understand confused1's point about standard of living. We have our own business and work from home. We can run it from anywhere in the world - but right now we have a lovely spacious detached house that allows us plenty of space to work together without going nuts. We could never afford something like this in the UK - especially not 25 minutes from a huge city!

This is me right now.

I'd love to hear from more conflicted people. Surely there are more!
Hi There

We were in Oz - came back as I missed family and friends - we used to email alot and telephone once every month. I got so homesick came home. To begin with it was great - my close group of friends came to my parents on our first night home and it was great catching up. Over time things have changed. You dont anticipate the change in peoples lives, one of my friends had started working after having young children and was busy with her work/family balance, so we hardly see each other, my other friends are still the same - all lovely - but we are all busy working etc and finding time to catch up is hard. We still email alot, like we did when I was in Oz, but this is mainly done from work when we are all sat at a machine and able to send emails during coffee/lunch!!!

My parents are great but have their own lives, my dad has always been a golf fanatic and my mum has started, so their weekends are filled with golf and they are always going off on holidays to play. They loved the golf in Oz and mum now says if we do return they will buy an aprtment near a golf resprt and spend a few months there!!!!!!

All I am saying is that I definately looked at things through rose coloured glasses and saw my life as it was before we left and now - though things are ok - I miss my old life for my boys. The kdis hang around the corners and outside shops - not what I want for them. I also live in a village not far from Leeds, husband works in Leeds. It is very pretty but the reality is that we work alot and the weekends go in a flash and are cold!!!!!

Everyone is different and I hope things work out for you - I know alot of people who have returned to the UK and returned back to Oz. Also know people who knew it just wasnt for them and have returned happily.

Good luck!
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Old Apr 25th 2008, 4:02 am
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Default Re: Is Anyone Else Conflicted?

lots of other people are just as conflicted. It comes down to personal choice. We moved to the States with high hopes. Hubby is American and was really homesick. I'm British but always wanted to live in the States. Well, there are a lot of personal issues involved that I don't want to get into in a public forum but we are moving back to the UK. My kids are totally happy about moving back, to put it in the words of my 9 year old: I'll miss the sun and the swimming pools, but I want to be back in what's familiar with my friends and old school more.
So yes, we have more time with the kids, they have more play time outside, the whole life style is more laid back, but sometimes there are things that are more important. We're torn with one mother in the UK getting too old to travel, and one in the US in the same age group and state of health, if not worse. So we get one or the other. It's hard to be taking the grandchildren so far away, but we need to be in a place that's best for the whole family, even if it's more cramped little houses, even if it rains lots (wear raincoats and wellies!), even if we have to work like dogs. But we can be happy thru' all of that (I'm hoping and praying)!!! and make the best of our decision.
Ultimately I think it's about making a decision and then deciding to make the best of the situation you're in. If grey skies make you miserable buy a UV lamp (my plan before next winter!), if you don't like being cramped go live in a village, or if you must be in a city, find a corner house or a dead end street where you'll feel more space. I'll stop rambling, good luck with your dilema, it's a hard one but I'm sure what ever decision you make will be the best one.
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Old Apr 25th 2008, 10:12 am
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Default Re: Is Anyone Else Conflicted?

its overcrowded, we can't afford to buy a house
My thoughts about the UK as well. A decent house and I mean decdnt nothing great is £300,000 or $600,000

Population what 60M and rising..on this litle Island.

Drive to shop: Sit in traffic.
Drive to frineds have to pick the right time so as not to sit in traffic.
Pick up kids form Nursery takes me 1 hour to do a 6 mile round trip.

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Old Apr 25th 2008, 1:48 pm
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Default Re: Is Anyone Else Conflicted?

Originally Posted by crusheduk View Post
My thoughts about the UK as well. A decent house and I mean decdnt nothing great is £300,000 or $600,000

Population what 60M and rising..on this litle Island.

Drive to shop: Sit in traffic.
Drive to frineds have to pick the right time so as not to sit in traffic.
Pick up kids form Nursery takes me 1 hour to do a 6 mile round trip.

where do you live?

sounds like you;re in the wrong place if you arent happy with anything.
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Old Apr 25th 2008, 5:28 pm
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Default Re: Is Anyone Else Conflicted?

I can definitley hold my hand up and say I am conflicted. I moved back to the UK almost 4 years ago and as with other posters found at first everyone rallied around myself and my 2 children however, after the initial weeks/months friends and family fell off and now we see them every few months. I don't want to say that I moved back for other people but family and friends were a factor in my decision making.
I can now see that I should only make decisions for myself and my children. If this means that we will have a higher standard of living and be able to afford a home back in the States then this is what I beleive I need to do and if friends and family want to come and visit us then they are more than welcome to do so.
I know I will miss the UK and there are times when I do feel torn but I know I won't miss the rain, wind and gales! I have though finally made the choice to move back to the States and am at peace with my decision.
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Old Apr 25th 2008, 6:23 pm
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Default Re: Is Anyone Else Conflicted?

Originally Posted by bromleygirl View Post
I can definitley hold my hand up and say I am conflicted. I moved back to the UK almost 4 years ago and as with other posters found at first everyone rallied around myself and my 2 children however, after the initial weeks/months friends and family fell off and now we see them every few months. I don't want to say that I moved back for other people but family and friends were a factor in my decision making.
I can now see that I should only make decisions for myself and my children. If this means that we will have a higher standard of living and be able to afford a home back in the States then this is what I beleive I need to do and if friends and family want to come and visit us then they are more than welcome to do so.
I know I will miss the UK and there are times when I do feel torn but I know I won't miss the rain, wind and gales! I have though finally made the choice to move back to the States and am at peace with my decision.
I completely agree with all of the above , I think I saw my family more when I was in the states! I am pretty sure we'll be moving back too..
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