View Full Version : ExPat to Pat

19th Aug 2008, 10:24
Has anyone been a UK expat and then returned back there, for whatever reason. If so, can you please provide some feedback along the lines of but not restricted to, the following:

Where were you before you moved back to the UK
What reason/s made you want to move back
What do you really enjoy about being back in the UK
What do you really dislike about being back there
What do you really miss about the country where you were living before you returned

If there are also other expats who would never move back to the UK, please feel free to join in



19th Aug 2008, 10:43






Go for a two week visit then LEAVE!

19th Aug 2008, 11:01
Having lived in HKG (born), OZ, E Africa, USA, and a few others in between, i went to school in the UK, hold a british passport (amongst others), and plan NEVER to return to live. The country has gone down the tubes. Youf culture (crime) is rampant, public services are overworked and under funded, the public has lost faith in its leaders (who seem lost anyway), and the very thing that made the UK a pre-eminent power in the world , British Pride, has gone. I'm not saying any of the other places were any better or worse, but they all had good points. Now living in the Emerald isle, which has its problems, but at least the irish are more practical about alot of things that make me cringe about the UK. Sure i will get stick for this post, but thats expected on this forum.
But i have to ask, Where will you be when the revolution comes
P.s. Farrell love the pics, so true!

19th Aug 2008, 11:20
It was intended to be a general question from people who have done the expat thing, as 3 of us Brits were talking about it this morning. All of us were of the opinion that we would go back to the UK only if we had no other choice, otherwise forget it.
I wondered if a broader audience from other parts of the expat world would have the same opinion, as I think we are sometimes spoiled in Switzerland. The Swiss seem to have some very strict rules and can be a bit rigid as a nation but hey it works for them. I can walk the streets at night without problem, leave my car where I want, within reason, and feel comfortable where my children grow up.

To answer your question about the revolution, either Switzerland, Canada, Australia or New Zealand, plus multiple other choices before I am forced back to the UK.

19th Aug 2008, 11:37
Ah, yes, Farrell; but thus was the Empire forged. Bless those jolly old intemperate British thugs, who conquered a quarter of the globe...what's with those funny chequered hats, BTW?

19th Aug 2008, 13:25

One can only imagine where the Great Britain of old has gone.
Last time I was there was for a brief stint in London which to be honest was not all that bad.
People in the city tend to just go about their business and I never had any hassle on the tube travelling around - same goes for coming home late after a few scoops.

Oxford was a completely different story. Constant hassle from people - usual "what are you looking at" types of sh!te talk. Made friends with a few local cops and got invited out in a patrol car to observe a Saturday night shift.
Unreal. Some of these chavs are absolute scum - and not too far behind were the football jersey brigade and the "rude boys" - all quoting their civil rights while the poor white collar sod coming home from work is getting stitched up by the paramedic at the back of the ambulance.

I have lived all around the world: France, the US, Thailand, Japan and now the Middle East and it would be only in absolutely dire circumstances that I would go to the UK to live.

I love to visit, love catching up with mates in London - but to live there? No.

19th Aug 2008, 14:07
I could never go back and live in Blighty. It's become a dump with feral teens and chavs ruining society and the government taxing the skin off folks. Don't even get me started on Brussells...


19th Aug 2008, 15:56
One has lived in, I think 12 countries. By 'lived' I mean for periods of more than 1 year.

I have to admit I enjoy my 2 weeks a year in the UK. I find the traffic/driving sensible (don't understand why you lot moan about it) the weather pleasant and the people, generally, courteous.

Could not live there though and have decided not to.


Feckin govinment tries to run the show; chavs, Big Issue sellers outside my local shop, (mostly) crap newspapers, taxes and having to work 6 months of the year for a bunnch of wXXXXXX who think they should be running the county etc etc etc.

Instead I prefer to live in a third world country ( sorry, 'developing nation'; just to pleae the PC crowd). Corrupt gov but at leat they know about it and essentially admit it, violence and crime, a war 100 km away.

Must be crazy!

19th Aug 2008, 16:01
Very true it's well and truly lost it's footing thanks to the liberal consensus that has swept the country in the last 15 or so years with disastrous effects. I agree that the country is being run by idiots with their student union style mindsets and the accompanying Saddam Hussain level of luxuries unafforded to the rest of us. Where the once respected police force is nothing more than a bunch of social workers with their respective police constables towing the politcal line in fear of their pensions. The public sector is awash with non-jobbers galore and costing those of us who still work a fortune. The chavs have been hoisted out of the social archives of yesteryear thanks to reality TV with indirect sponsorship from our political leaders. Teachers are busy promoting their school/college/university position in league tables at the prime expense of education and that golden word ... discipline.

Wanting to work hard is penalised and anything you have is almost observed by the government as theirs (potentially) and if you get assaulted it could be your fault :p Drug dealers get a caution and decent law abiding folk who have fallen on hard times as pensioners get locked up for non payment of increasingly bizarre levels of taxation.

Stroppy left wing idealists are paraded throughout the media as the new priesthood against whom a word cannot be said nor theirs questioned.

Just felt like a light hearted rant .... :p

19th Aug 2008, 16:21
Farell has summed it up perfectly. I was born in UK and lived there for 20-odd years. Moved to Hong Kong then OZ. Now living in an obscure Sultanate where it's cheaper to eat out than cook at home, petrol is very cheap, it's warm all year, the shops are open til 10.00 pm every night and I feel perfectly safe walking around the streets at night. OK - so I can't buy a beer here, but look what liberalised alcohol sales has done to UK. And it's only a 20minute drive over the border to the bar:-)
The UK provided the education that I used to establish my career elsewhere and I think it's very sad that almost everyone in my year at university is working overseas. I do go back now and then to visit family, but could never live there again.

19th Aug 2008, 16:47
Having been born, brought up, educated and spent the first 19 years of my working life in the UK, I found myself redundant and 40 years old. I was also bored with my old industry (publishing). I had the chance to move to a new industry in Italy and took the opportunity. I spent about six months each year travelling abroad (just like I did when I worked in the UK). I spent ten years there and loved it. For the last year or so I was working as a freelance consultant. For family reasons I moved back to the UK for just over a year. It was the biggest mistake I ever made. I really did not understand what the UK had become. It was dirty, the majority of people that I saw on the streets were the scruffiest and worst mannered people I had ever encountered. As soon as the opportunity arrived to return to Italy I jumped at it. After a few year back in Italy I moved here to Bavaria.

I do go back to the UK a few times each year, but only to see my sister and nieces and their families. If it were not for the family I would probably settle for a visit to the UK every couple of years or so. there is no was that I would want to live there again.

19th Aug 2008, 16:52
So the score so far is:

Never go backs (not including me): 7
Not sure of what advice they offer: 1
Get back home for some fish and chips: 0

Sad, but so far its Man Utd v Accy Stanley

19th Aug 2008, 17:00
All these posts have an element of truth in them re the chavs, crap government, etc. and wasn't it ever thus?
In my teenage years teddy boys were the scourge of the towns and then it was mods n rockers and so on. Young girls got pregnant then too!

We, like all other countries have never had a G'ment that can wave a magic wand that satisfies all the people, and we have the same problems that beset the western world in general. I do believe that even Switzerland has a drug problem.
In my experience many ex-pats live somewhat isolated from the indigenous people anyway and tend to congregate with other ex-pats, a perfectly natural thing to do.
But, millions of people in the U.K. live a decent life that many other people envy.
I live in a pleasant town with a good infrastructure that satisfies my needs. Most towns are the same. Having travelled the world and lived in some countries, there is no place I would rather be. It's my home!
O.K. so I'm accentuating the positive side but I believe the positives are in the majority.

19th Aug 2008, 17:09

Strangely enough I'm glad to see a positive reply to the thread. Although I dont live there and dont want to go back, I do not want to see my "home" (for over 30 years anyway) go to crap. Its also nice to see someone outline the positive side to any life as well.

I also know what you mean about UK expats sticking together and this is especially prevalent in countries where English is not the native language. As a Brit, the first German phrase you are taught in Switzerland is "Sprechen Sie Englische bitte".

On the flip side, have you ever lived abroad, say for more than 12 months, in order to compare UK life against?

19th Aug 2008, 17:16
Farell has summed it up perfectly.

..and combined with the rant from boogie-nicey, covers much of the truth. I do go a little further in that I feel most of the carnage is due to an actually deliberate dissembly and re-mapping of the society, as opposed to incompetence or being "out of touch". I just don't buy that.

A hugely inordinate amount of surveillance, and overt obsession with databases and controlling laws just doesn't happen as a statistical anomaly. Nor does the ethos that allows the intrinsic common sense established over centuries in life and legal issues to be torn and trampled upon in a way that 95% of the population DO NOT WANT. There is more afoot IMO.

I've had two stints in the US, one in South Africa (way back in the 80s), and worked in several other places. There is good and bad everywhere. When I returned here in the past, it always felt like home, it is home.

It's not so much about how it is now though, it's about how it is going to be in a decade. Who is in government matters not, the stage is set. I love my country, but increasingly, I love what it was. I'm out of here in the not-too-distant. Half of my very closest friends are already elsewhere. I doubt I'll return this time.

Metro man
19th Aug 2008, 17:17
Left in 1980 and hardly go back at all these days, last visit about five years ago. Would not consider living there unless I absolutely had to. Pleasant in parts, summer in the countryside etc , but as a place to live, work and raise a family forget it.

Drugs, chavs, political correctness, sky high taxes, failing public services, crime, uncontrolled immigration, miserable winters, high cost of living, incompetent government, trendy new age police "service". The lunatics are definately running the asylum.

There is a whole world out there, find a bit that suits you.

19th Aug 2008, 17:27
O.K. so I'm accentuating the positive side but I believe the positives are in the majority.

I nonetheless agree with much of what you say goudie. However, the creeping rot is gradually and inexorably finding its way into everyone's castle I believe. What's the phrase in the road tax info-mercials (sic)? "You can't escape the database".

Portentious I think, and indicative of the way society at large is viewed. The place has gone bananas.

19th Aug 2008, 17:29
Never! The country I grew up in does not exist anymore. Everything I enjoyed about English life has been crushed by successive governments demanding more and more ludicrous taxation - (the congestion charge, are they kidding, now we're taxing people to go to work!); rising crime, and by a main stream media hell bent on promoting the PC idea that it's perfectly feasible to pick up a turd by the clean end!

I now live in a great city, fully integrated into the local community - my oldest kids have a mid-Atlantic accent, my youngest a local one, even I am occasionally known to pronounce "zed" as "zee". My neighbors and work colleagues are all decent hard working folk who aren't being taxed to death because of it. The City Council just dropped our rate of council tax and sales tax. We're in a recession so I have to tighten my belt and only take the family out to dinner a couple of times a week!

England - Born Free, Taxed to death.

19th Aug 2008, 18:20
We lived in Brussels for 17 years. Our son went out with his friends at night - until four in the morning. There was never ever any problem re Chav behaviour. Certainly it has changed there with the immigrant population from N. Africa.
Retired back to the UK and living remote where the knife and Chav problem is not really visible. Fortunately we have a private health insurance and every year go back to Belgium for my wife's check up as the standard there is way ahead of the NHS. Our Doctor here is under the order to advise us of anything more than a sore throat which will trigger the journey to our Doctors in Brussels.
So to answer the good - well the country pub, the gentle folk in the rural areas.

As for the bad - it has all been said by the previous posts. Labour Nouveau has encouraged the underclass to be beholden for largesse from the State. Education is rubbish except where you can afford private tutoring with decent curricula providing a sound and broad foundation. The NHS is a disaster area. Taxed to Bu$$ery. PC and 'elf 'n safety Bah:ugh:

We miss the ability to go out to decent and good value restaurants, German Oompah bands on TV. The parks, but not the beggers. It was a good life there but the UK is possibly ahead - just.

19th Aug 2008, 18:38
On the flip side, have you ever lived abroad, say for more than 12 months, in order to compare UK life against?

Yes, otherwise I would not have posted.

I also have a daughter who is an American citizen and one who lives in the south of France. They wouldn't change their way of life, which is good.
So I have seen both sides of the coin but still I prefer England.
In the end it's down to personal values, expectations and choice.

19th Aug 2008, 18:56
but the UK is possibly ahead - just.
That is my point CUNIM, the general run of life in the U.K. is better................. if you want it to be.

But another way of looking at it is this... when I was based in Germany (before and after reunification - but that's a different story), it was a standard joke that there were three things Belgium was good for - driving through to get to somewhere else, some rather decent beers and fighting a European war in so it didn't mess up the nicer parts of the Continent. CUNIM is now saying that the UK is just ahead of that!

Without doubt there are elements of the UK that I miss - green rolling hills, B&B's in country pubs, and decent bacon. However the whole community spirit that made the UK such a great place to grow up in seems to have disappeared into the ether and has been replaced with a self serving dog eat dog mentality and TV that seems to cater mainly for the LCD (Lowest Common Denominator not Liquid Crystal Display).

19th Aug 2008, 19:06
May I add another category please?

The category is "please don't come backs."

I've plenty of time for ex-pats (of whom I was one).

I've no time for ex-pats who slate Blighty - you need your own blogsite so you can cross-whinge your self-justifications.

The treasonous Brit-slagging Brits must feel awfully uncomfortable looking at the Olympics medals board. It doesn't fit with your "Britain is finished, going downhill, doomed, it was better in my day etc etc etc etc yawn".

It doubly pleases me that most of the cycling medal winners are working class.

So - stay away Brit slaggers. You're not wanted here and your opinions are not relevant to those of us who are still here and trying.


This is my home - and I love it - warts and all.

There has always been scum in Britain since the written word was brought here. Chavs aren't new. Vandals aren't new. Drunks aren't new. Bede, Dickens, Erasmus et al. They all observed Britain was going to the dogs.

We've been going to the Dogs for 2,000 years.

Long may it continue.

19th Aug 2008, 19:19
The treasonous Brit-slagging Brits must feel awfully uncomfortable looking at the Olympics medals board.

Actually I don't, neither did I feel awfully uncomfortable when at the behest of my Monarch and Her Government, I used to gladly put myself in harms way to defend the rights of people less fortunate than the average British Citizen. However, to paraphrase Orwell: because rough men like me stand ready to do violence to others etc. you get to sleep soundly in your bed. So not only do I not feel uncomfortable looking at the medals table, I also don't feel in the least bit treasonous either.

19th Aug 2008, 19:20
Yes Strelnikov and your photo is just about the same as I see every morning from my bathroom:ok:

Maybe it is just getting apparently worse because we are getting older :sad::sad::{

19th Aug 2008, 19:20
How damned depressing the majority of you make it sound. I note though, that most of the depression is coming from those who've already left. I understand the main concerns and tend to agree, although I'm not sure they're really as bad as portrayed. I love my country. I can however see myself becoming split between wanting to stay in order to help affect some redress, and following some of you here, overseas.

Scooby Don't
19th Aug 2008, 19:42
So one Briton wishes to deny other Britons their right to express an opinion, simply because it doesn't accord with his own??? Hmmmmm.....

Britain HAS changed. Chavs and single mothers may not be entirely new, but things ARE different. I sure as hell see no reason why I can't be proud of what's good about Britain, including the Olympic medal haul, while still being realistic about its shortcomings as a place to live.

I was damn proud of Britain's armed forces, and largely speaking I still am. Of course, in my day you wouldn't have had a bunch of sailors selling their story to the tabloids after being captured by a supposedly less able force with which we aren't even at war.

I was damn proud of our higher education. Just a pity that every institution teaching metalwork and flower arranging became a "university" in the early 90s, devaluing my degree and those of my contemporaries.

I was proud of our freedoms, which went far beyond those set out in a document such as the US constitution. That was before 28 days detention, video surveillance everywhere and prosecution without the right to face your accuser.

I was proud of our civility, until it became dangerous to walk down the street or through a park on the way home from the pub, even in a small town.

I was proud of the high standard of conversation you could find in just about any gathering, whether in the pub or at work or just while visiting friends. Then everyone started talking about Big Brother and Survivor instead.

I was proud of our restraint in public, and proud of the fact that our heroes were not mere celebrities but true heroes who forged and protected a kingdom and an empire. Then Diana, Princess of Wales died, and the whole country turned into a bad episode of Oprah.

I was proud of our traditions. Then "New Labour" decreed that they, along with our freedoms and anything that smacked of a liking for green Wellington boots, were no longer consistent with the ideals of "New Britain."

I was proud of the whole land for standing vigil against the tide of political correctness which swept across American academia in the late 1980s. And then we took it much further than the Americans ever dreamed of.

So, in answer to the original post, no, I'm not coming back.

19th Aug 2008, 19:46
Hey CUNIM - thats Swaledale in Yorkshire my friend - though I confess your patch west of Offa's Dyke is pretty damn good too:ok: - I'll give you that.


Squeegee Longtail
19th Aug 2008, 19:58
Put me in the - "I would rather chew off my testicles than go back there" category please.

Rose coloured glasses can make you want to go back now and again, but once you are there and you take them off, OH. MY. GOD. GET. ME. OUT. OF. HERE.

Let's face it, you don't need to live there to get HP sauce thesedays.

19th Aug 2008, 20:19
I'd never go back unless there was no alternative.

I've done a lot of Europe and other bits of the world too, and I must say everywhere has its good and bad, but the UK has too many minus points to drag me back for longer than a few days.

It's a beautiful place(I lived in the west country and lived in the Welsh borders for years) but the negative bits outweigh the positive bits.

Expensive, dirty, dangerous and with the risk of being robbed too...hmm, no ta...plus of course the weather- especially in my profession:hmm:

I'm currently 'doing' Switzerland for a few months, until heading back home to Germany in october, then off to Myanmar for 4 months...

I get flak for going to Myanmar, but I know where I feel safer:=

I go back for a few days every year(medical, courses etc) to the UK, but every time I breathe a sigh of relief when I get on the ferry/aircraft to go back to mainland Europe.


19th Aug 2008, 23:04
In an earlier post I said that I had lived in Italy for ten years and then gone back to the UK for a while before returning to Italy.What I should have added is that when I returned to Italy after a period away I was not as comfortable as on the first stay. Italy had changed while I had been away. This was an important factor when I decided to move to Germany.

I firmly believe that if I had stayed in the UK, instead of moving to Italy the first time, I would not have felt so uncomfortable as I did do now. When you live in a country you do not notice all of the changes that take place a sthey happen over a period of time . When you return they hit you all at once.

I think that there are many good things about the UK, but I usually end up visiting towns and cities when I visit relatives, so only see the worst that the UK has to offer. Perhaps if I spent more time in the countryside I would not feel so unhappy about the situation.

19th Aug 2008, 23:30
Born and bred in Oz. Moved to the UK (Luton!!) in 2002 - forced really due to the Sep 11 thing.

Once had two rapes and four murders in a four month period on our street in Luton. Car fire bombed opposite our house.

Still here, and you guys are not helping! :sad:

20th Aug 2008, 01:07

Let's stick together mate! Ready, steady....

"We will not, be overcomed..... We will not........:ok:

20th Aug 2008, 01:22
Any consolation its all going down the toilet here as well :ok:

Metro man
20th Aug 2008, 02:09
It was a great country which contributed much to the world. Britain had a lot to be proud of in the past, WW2 fighting spirit, Frank Whittles jet engine, an empire spanning the world.

Now it's gone to the dogs. Great scientists and inventors aren't role models anymore, David Beckham and teenage pop groups are. Why get a job when you can have it all "on the social" anyway. Be looked up to by your mates, get an ASBO. Be "right hard", get blind drunk and brawl in the town centre on Friday night. Want a nicer car ? deal drugs to get it. Bored ? go out and "happy slap" someone in a suit.

Decent, law abiding, hard working people are milked dry to pay for lunatic government policies and a feather bed welfare system which discourages effort and initiative.

You can't even have races on school sports days because there will be winners and losers.

Christian ? Keep quiet and be ashamed, you might offend muslims.

White ? Don't bother applying for certain jobs, police, local council etc Minorities only

Hetrosexual ? Don't hold hands in public, might offend the poofs.

Victim of a crime ? Don't try and defend yourself or your property, you will be prosecuted, and probably sued by your attacker (who gets legal aid - paid by your taxes to do it)

Sick ? Get behind all the illegal immigrants in the queue for the crumbling NHS

Be honest, most of you left behind envy those that got out and would do the same if you could.

20th Aug 2008, 03:09
Personally speaking I was born in the UK and spent my first 42 years there. I joined the RAF when I left school, and travelled around the country quite with postings. Left the RAF and found myself a nice little job in a much maligned part of the country. Several year ago we decided that partly for us, but mainly for the future of our offspring, we would up sticks and emigrate to Australia.
The differences to me are quite pronounced. for starters I feel safer walking down the city streets here than I did in a couple of UK cities I could mention! There were some places I would lock the car doors before driving through, but I have yet to find that here. The standard of life over here is more relaxed, with more thought to the community in general rather than the little bit of it that's mine or that I see out of my window. Because of the multicultural mix over here people are more tolerant of other races/creeds/religeons, but don't try to force your views on anyone else.
Don't get me wrong, it's not all milk and honey over here. House prices and the economy are on the cusp at the moment for one thing, and there is crime and poverty like everywhere else in the world. However if I was to be given a free ticket back to the UK I would decline, because for me this is a better prospect at the moment for my family.


20th Aug 2008, 07:35
Might help if some of todays youth went to this lecture:

Bill Gates recently gave a speech at a High School about 11 things they did not and will not learn in school.

He talks about how feel-good,politically correct teachings created a generation of kids with no concept of reality and how this concept set them up for failure in the real world.

Rule 1: Life is not fair - get used to it!

Rule 2: The world won't care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.

Rule 3: You will NOT make $60,000 a year right out of high school. You won't be a vice-president with a car phone until you earn both.

Rule 4: If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss.

Rule 5: Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your Grandparents had a different word for burger flipping: they called it opportunity .

Rule 6: If you mess up,it's not your parents' fault, so don't whine about your mistakes, learn from them.

Rule 7: Before you were born, your parents weren't as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you thought you were. So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parent's generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.

Rule 8: Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life HAS NOT. In some schools, they have abolished failing grades and they'll give you as MANY TIMES as you want to get the right answer. This doesn't bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.

Rule 9: Life is not divided into semesters. You don't get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you FIND YOURSELF. Do that on your own time.

Rule 10: Television is NOT real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.

Rule 11: Be nice to nerds. Chances are you'll end up working with one.

Alloa Akbar
20th Aug 2008, 07:48
Speaking as one in the transition phase of leaving our "Green and Pleasant" land, I feel perhaps that those left behind in the UK are missing the point..

We are not treasonous wretches, nor are we mercenary gits chasing the $$$'s no, for those of you who hadn't noticed, we are a small, but growing band of patriots, spreading ourselves covertly back through the colonies.. the day of the revolution is coming brothers.. The Empire Strikes Back! :E

OK thats total Bollocks.. I'm as sick of all thats dysfunctional in the UK as anyone else.:uhoh:

20th Aug 2008, 07:48
Be honest, most of you left behind envy those that got out and would do the same if you could.

Sorry to dissapoint you Metro but 50 million people would probably not agree with you.
Why are many ex-pats so smug?
O.K. so you made a decision to live elsewhere. Your choice but don't knock the country that, in numerous ways, made that possible, simply to justify your decision.
BTW how many ex-pats hang on to their British passport?

20th Aug 2008, 07:52
BTW how many ex-pats hang on to their British passport?

Probably the same number that continue to pay UK taxes and are still liable for IHT!!!!

20th Aug 2008, 08:39
A fair exchange!

Metro man
20th Aug 2008, 09:19
How many people stay simply because of family ties ? A lot of that 50 million either wouldn't be accepted or couldn't hack it anywhere else. Talk about productive people who could leave and choose to stay and the numbers come down pretty quickly.

Surprisingly, unemployed, unskilled chavs with criminal records aren't exactly in worldwide demand. :E

20th Aug 2008, 10:03
I emigrated to N.Z. stayed for 2 years, but due to family reasons came back, Mrs Simmbob and the kids couldn't settle. This was ten years ago.

Since returning I've set up a succesful business both kids have been to university and have good jobs.

I would never go back to N.Z. not because I didn't like the place, but because I would want to stay:uhoh:

20th Aug 2008, 10:20
12 years away and would never contemplate going back. Some friends back in UK ask what I miss about the place:
1. Real ale
2. M&S foodhall
3. er, see above.

Obviously you miss family and friends but in my case I had to go where the job went and now I have friends here, my mrs is here, our lives are here. I always tell them that they know where I live, they are always welcome, all they have to do is stump up for the flights and stay as long as you like in the spare room.

If I went back it would be a very sub optimal decision, for all the reasons already cited.

Hagbard the Amateur
20th Aug 2008, 10:54
Born and spent the first 24 years of my life in the North West of England. The last 14 years have been spent happily married in Switzerland whilst doing a fair bit of travelling all over Europe. I really value my roots and I carry a bit of that culture wherever I go - the northern fire in me helps me to do my creative job and sometimes helps to keep me sane in an environment of occasionally over ordered soullessness. I love my country of birth and grateful/proud to be British but I hate the government and sorry folks, the monarchy and the fact that these days, they are running out of space to put up prohibition signs of various kinds. At least out here, you are pretty much free to do what you like without someone in a hi-viz vest telling you how to behave - no one gets mugged - there is trouble but you really have to go looking for it. I return for various freelance jobs and for pies, bacon, sausages and banter. And I do miss the place sometimes. Still, under no circumstances could I be persuaded to move back at the moment - I've been a citizen of planet Earth for too long now.

Edited to let you know I was listening to "Hour Of Bewilderbeest" by Badly Drawn Boy when I wrote this - he comes from just up the road from my old neighbourhood. God - I need a pie and a pint...

20th Aug 2008, 11:11
We have countries like New Zealand, and Australia, and America, and Canada, and South Africa, because Poms left Pomgolia, and went forth into the world, and established colonies, and beat up the locals, in the new places they found, and arrived at, and took over.

And they didn't do it by being sweet and nice and diplomatic. They did it by being like the people on the beach in Farrell's pic.

I wouldn't want to live in Britain with people who behave like those in that pic set either, but I did live there in the late eighties, and who knows, maybe there were plenty of them there then as well, except with less photographic evidence, or maybe I was just more pissed more of the time, or it didn't bother me because I was younger and more like them.

Personally I think you lot are just overcrowded, and bored, and suffering cabin fever, and in need of a decent war, and the only real things which have changed are visual recording technologies and fashions.

Just a thought.

Squeegee Longtail
20th Aug 2008, 11:58
... most of the poms who first went to Australia didn't have a choice, and in NZ the poms may have "beaten up the locals" to take over, but the "locals" had EATEN the previous inhabitants when they arrived!!
As for the other countries you mentioned I will let someone else enlighten you as I am not familiar!!

20th Aug 2008, 13:40
Fred says to Joe, in Pub.
'I'm fed up living in England. 'I'm seriously thinking of emigrating'.
Why's that then'? asked Joe.
Replied Fred............. 'I can't stand all these bloody foreigners around here'!

20th Aug 2008, 13:52
Sorry to dissapoint you Metro but 50 million people would probably not agree with you.

The 10,000 people who apply for Canadian permanent residency in London every month would probably disagree with that.

20th Aug 2008, 14:22
Another vote for not going back... in many ways I still love good old blighty and there definitely are things I miss. But I really don't think I could stand it on a daily basis... too crowded, too many constraints, too much just stupid stuff happening. And the erosion of good old British common sense in the last couple of decades has just been astounding. I read with total disbelief all the bs about local councils and their rubbish regulations (in both senses) for example, and ask myself, why do the Brits put up with this? It's hardly the blitz spirit, is it? Ditto for CCTV in every doorway.

I'm lucky enough to get back to England pretty often, mostly London, and I love visiting. But last time I went to meet some friends in Reading (where I lived and worked for 20 years). I couldn't believe how awful it was, especially the people I saw on the streets. Talk about chav central. London really is a cocoon.

The thing I do miss is the people (sounds odd given the above)... luckily I have a few good British friends here, but I get all nostalgic watching BBC dramas. Of course nostalgia isn't what it used to be, but still.

But the old saying that you can never go back is true (well, mostly). All the expats I know comment on the "nowhere is really my home now" sensation - not complaining but just that's kind of how it is. We wonder quite a bit where we'll end up - stay in California? Great place and lots of good things, but just not quite home... back to France (lived there for 10 years)? Seems like a good choice, but what would we actually do all day? In our profession (IT) there's pretty much two places in the world, the Bay Area (aka Silicon Valley) and the rest of it, with about 98% of interesting stuff happening here.

And as for flying (privately)... it's ruinously expensive here, just unimaginable anywhere else. I've pretty much resigned myself that moving back to Europe, if we ever do, will mean hanging up the headset for good.