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Please help (expatting, repatting, back and forth again and again...)

Please help (expatting, repatting, back and forth again and again...)

Old Feb 27th 2011, 7:50 pm
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Default Please help (expatting, repatting, back and forth again and again...)

Hi there,

I've just signed up on the forum though I have been reading bits and bobs of it for years. I'm hoping there may be some people who can offer some advice.

I am a USC who has recently moved back to the US after spending 7 years in the UK. The whole time I was in the UK, I really missed the US and always wanted to move back, but at the same time I did try to make the most of my time there but taking advantage of all the country and my city had to offer. I made new friends, I had a good job that I loved, but I always wanted to move "home".

Well, here I am, and I really miss the UK! I've been back for six months, and I do love it here but I am really missing certain things about the UK that I had really grown to love there, including my friends. I think my attempts to integrate over there really affected me more deeply than I thought they did and Liverpool did become my home.

Now I am at a total loss on what to do. My UKC husband is still in the UK and the plan was for him to follow me over once I had a job and was established. I've been here six months and can't find a job and I've signed up with a temp agency and am looking at probably taking a low level call centre job, which I know I should be grateful for in this economy, but I'm just bitter after having spent many years working hard to get qualifications in my field which are excellent in the UK. I didn't really expect to be jobless this long and between that and the cost of the move back I am in huge, scary debt. I just want to throw the towel in and move back to the UK, where I know I can get a decent job with my qualifications, pay off my debt and settle back into my lifestyle - this time being more appreciative of it. There is a small possibility (which I don't know if I would consider, but it may be a possibility) that I would even be able to get my old job back.

My head is just spinning - I am missing my husband, my friends and lifestyle there, the continental lifestyle in general, plus I have mounting debts which show no sign of getting better and no sign of a job on the horizon (though I've been sending out my resume like mad and interviewing), I am hoping that there are people out there who have been through the whole repatting experience who can offer some advice.

I know that as an expat I will always miss the place that I am not and I've come to the conclusion that I just need to pick one of the places and consciously make it my home. How did you decide where to settle? I am 35 years old and I didn't expect to be at this point in my life with no job, no savings and loads of debt and it's really depressing me. I'm scared of going back only to think that I should have stayed here in the US and wanting to be back here. I can't be perpetually moving from one country to another. I know 35 is not that old in the grand scheme of things but I just feel like I just can't keep starting over or I will never get anywhere in life. Anyway, this has turned into kind of a ramble so I'll stop but I would be very grateful to hear the thoughts of other people.
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Old Feb 27th 2011, 9:23 pm
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Default Re: Please help (expatting, repatting, back and forth again and again...)

Welcome to BE and good luck with things!

It's not easy, most people get caught up in a weird ping pong feeling of homesickness for both countries after a while to some degree at least.

Can't really help you in what you should do as that's a personal thing, though I hope you got your UK citizenship before moving over, that certainly would have made things much easier for you
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Old Feb 27th 2011, 9:57 pm
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Default Re: Please help (expatting, repatting, back and forth again and again...)

Originally Posted by natashac View Post
I think my attempts to integrate over there really affected me more deeply than I thought they did and Liverpool did become my home.
I think this is the telling statement. FWIW, you should live where you're happy... and not where you only think you'll be happy!

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Old Feb 27th 2011, 10:11 pm
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Default Re: Please help (expatting, repatting, back and forth again and again...)

Reading between the lines, I think you are saying you can be happy in either and wherever you settle you will miss the other - is that right? If so, if it were me, I'd be on a plane back to the UK asap to get the family back together, get a job in your field, and get the debt sorted out. Just my 2 cents.

Good luck wherever you decide to stay - I don't envy you the decision, but I guess in one way you're lucky to be in a position where you have 2 realistic and possible alternatives, and so actually have a decision to make!
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Old Feb 28th 2011, 1:17 am
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Default Re: Please help (expatting, repatting, back and forth again and again...)

Originally Posted by natashac View Post
Hi there,

I've just signed up on the forum though I have been reading bits and bobs of it for years. I'm hoping there may be some people who can offer some advice.

I am a USC who has recently moved back to the US after spending 7 years in the UK.
Did you become a British citizen when you lived in the UK, or do you have Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR)? If you only have ILR you should be aware that this is at risk once you no longer live in the UK.
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Old Feb 28th 2011, 1:28 am
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Default Re: Please help (expatting, repatting, back and forth again and again...)

I'd wing it back to UK be with my Dh and get my old job back if possible. Pay off the debt and wait for the economy to improve (and US job prospects) before thinking about attempting it again.
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Old Feb 28th 2011, 3:26 am
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Default Re: Please help (expatting, repatting, back and forth again and again...)

and its not just you to consider - if your DH does follow you over in due course - will he be the one feeling homesick after a while? Does he have a strong desire to live in the US or is it just a situation hes living through?
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Old Feb 28th 2011, 5:27 am
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Default Re: Please help (expatting, repatting, back and forth again and again...)

Originally Posted by natashac View Post
Hi there,

I've just signed up on the forum though I have been reading bits and bobs of it for years. I'm hoping there may be some people who can offer some advice.

I am a USC who has recently moved back to the US after spending 7 years in the UK. The whole time I was in the UK, I really missed the US and always wanted to move back, but at the same time I did try to make the most of my time there but taking advantage of all the country and my city had to offer. I made new friends, I had a good job that I loved, but I always wanted to move "home".

Well, here I am, and I really miss the UK! I've been back for six months, and I do love it here but I am really missing certain things about the UK that I had really grown to love there,
This sounds pretty familiar. I lived in the UK for 5+ years with my husband and our daughter. We've been back in the States for 7 years and there are still times that I miss it. It was worse when we first moved over here, we came to no jobs, and found our savings depleting quite fast. But things have settled down over the years, we've both found jobs, bought a house and have made a life here. However, I can truthfully say that its not fantastic here, not fantastic there and sometimes I feel like a nomad.

6 months may very well not be long enough to give it a go. Or you may just need to go back and be happy with your life over there.... Good luck and best wishes.
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Old Feb 28th 2011, 4:01 pm
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Default Re: Please help (expatting, repatting, back and forth again and again...)

Hi you guys, thank you so much for the responses.

I do not have citizenship unfortunately, I have ILR, which allows me to be out of the country for two years before it expires.

I know six months is not long yet and I think that I would eventually settle here and be happy, just like I was there. I'm just in anguish because I don't know where to settle and am really worried I'll make a big and costly mistake. When I lived there, I thought I didn't like it, but in reality I didn't like it because it wasn't Minneapolis. I did like some aspects of it and I had some genuinely happy times. I just wonder if I'm fooling myself again and worry that I'll get over there and go - what was I thinking??

My husband has always said he'd move here but he has kind of cold feet. He's really worried about things he'd miss there and of being unhappy here. And I don't want him to move unless he's completely sure of it because I don't want him to go through the anguish.

I know it's kind of the curse of the expats that we'll never be totally happy we are because we'll always miss the other place but is there any hope of settling down and being pretty happy? How do people make the decision on where to settle? We don't have kids or own a house so at least it's not super complicated in that regard.

Thanks again for your help, I am so relieved to be able to talk this through with people who understand.
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Old Feb 28th 2011, 6:56 pm
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Default Re: Please help (expatting, repatting, back and forth again and again...)

Originally Posted by natashac View Post
How do people make the decision on where to settle? (
I'm a big believer in there being no one-size-fits-all answer -- only you can make the final determination of what is right for you. However, you said that you had a job that you enjoyed in the UK. Having a job -- and especially one that you like -- can be a big factor in being happy or not. Would you be able to return to that job? One like it? Temp work in the US may bring in a paycheck, but if my memories of temp work are accurate, that is only going to make you more miserable in the long run.
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