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Is Returning Home All That Bad

Is Returning Home All That Bad

Returning home after having travelled or lived abroad is often looked upon as a horrible thing by many a would be expat. After all you’ve seen the world, tasted new foods and possibly grown as an individual. How can returning home ever work with your new attitude to life?

In a way this post answers one I wrote back in late 2009 before I’d left to travel about Casterton, my home town. To quote that post:

As a future traveler where I will be roaming the world I know home will always be in Casterton. Where the memories flow like a raging river and there will always be a friendly face to say g’day too.

While my return home to the land down under is only but a pit stop in my travels I still stand by that statement if I was to return for good. Perhaps I’m just lucky to be gifted with a home that I’ve very fond memories of but surely I couldn’t be the only one who feels that way. So as I sit here writing this post by an open fire watching as the sun finally pushes the clouds away I’m wondering.

I’m wondering if perhaps it’s the new life abroad and not the return to the life at home that is the most upsetting for an expat?

Returning Home Reflection

I loved my life in London. I made amazing friends who I both travelled with and enjoyed many a pint with (sometime at the same time) that I’ll surely be friends with them for the rest of my life. Explored both the United Kingdom and Europe among other destinations and even met a special someone to round out the greatest two and a bit years of my life so far.

As a normal traveller who’s returning home to hang up their travel shoes or stop for an extended length of time you have to close the book on potentially the most exciting time of your life. So even though home is filled with family and friends it may never compare to the joys of your travels.

In a way you could potentially be doing a 360 degree turn in your life where you once dreamt of partying all day at Oktoberfest to now reminiscing of all the fun you had of attending it. Needless to say I’d prefer to continue the journey and not settle down with a desk job again.

Which do you fear the most, leaving your new life abroad or returning to one at home? Let me know in the comments below as I’d love to know how everyone feels.

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44 Responses to Is Returning Home All That Bad

  1. BRANDY BELL July 19, 2012 at 8:14 AM #

    hey chris! great question. for me, returning home is something akin to trying to put on an old clothing item that used to fit nicely, and is now pulling in the wrong areas, and a little too restrictive in ways it didn’t used to be.
    like you, i love my hometown- think it’s gorgeous- and have wonderful memories, however i find that i’ve simply outgrown it in a sense…

    since you’re just visiting this time, maybe it’s too soon to tell, but i found it near impossible to bring my worldly self back home. i put it a little more nicely here: http://livevicuriously.wordpress.com/2010/09/22/walking-the-tightrope-of-travel-life-at-home/
    let me know if that sentiment sounds the same for you after a bit of time back home 😉
    keep postin- i’m still reading!

    • THE AUSSIE NOMAD July 19, 2012 at 8:47 AM #

      Brandy it could very well be that I’m just visiting home at the moment and the thought of having to stay put forever isn’t an issue as yet. Will have to checkout your post to see if its in line with my thinking.

  2. MONICA July 19, 2012 at 8:26 AM #

    I was the same when I returned home 18 months ago. I had the opposite problem to you and wanted to stay in Australia. It took me a long time to get used to being back in the UK, mainly because of the weather and the feeling that my adventure had ended. It was tough not having a group of like-minded friends who loved to travel too; I couldn’t even talk to me travels to anyone! But once I started blogging and met this huge community it made it much easier.

    Enjoy your time in Oz, there are so many people who are very jealous right now 😉

    • THE AUSSIE NOMAD July 19, 2012 at 8:49 AM #

      Oh Monica don’t get me wrong I am desperate to get back to the UK and Europe I just find that the atmosphere at home is also one that I enjoy as well.

      I am also lucky that I’ve a great bunch of friends (including yourself) already that I can talk travel with so maybe that helps a lot too.

  3. ERIN DE SANTIAGO July 19, 2012 at 9:09 AM #

    Interesting post and certainly an interesting question. I just finished up 3 years as an expat in Taiwan and now I find myself terribly sad and missing it already (I’ve only been gone 2 weeks), but the ironic thing is I didn’t go home to the US and my “old life”. I am now an expat in the Netherlands, but I’d rather be back in Taiwan — I was not ready to leave that as my home base. And it’s not like this was a huge culture shock/change for me…I’ve known for 3 years I would be moving here, have a ton of friends, have stayed here for months at a time, etc., yet I am terrified of this new life. I have to believe that, at least in my case, it’s the fear of leaving your new life abroad.

  4. RUNAWAY BRIT July 19, 2012 at 11:21 AM #

    I lived in Tokyo for a year 10 years ago. When I returned back to the UK I could not shake off a constant feeling of depression. Of course, I loved seeing friends and family again, but our friendships had changed during my year away and it was not quite the same. I stayed in the UK for 4 more years but continued to struggle, although it did get slightly better.

    When I moved to Vietnam, I felt alive again and had three great years there but always dreaded what would happen if I had to go home again. Instead I went to Sweden. It is much closer to home so I can visit whenever I like but I am much happier than if I returned to the UK. I think the weather in the UK is my biggest issue – my friends back home still have their heating on right now and it is July!

    • THE AUSSIE NOMAD July 24, 2012 at 1:30 PM #

      Funny you say that about friends Runaway Brit. Most of the friends I had made after leaving high school seem to have gone on and done different things but the ones I know from school that still live around where I grew up feel as if I’d never left. Where I grew up certainly has a way of just making me feel good I think.

  5. CLAIRE July 19, 2012 at 6:11 PM #

    I may be the voice of dissent here – I am actually very much looking forward to going home in a year. I’ve spent 18 months in Canada and in many ways it has been amazing. I’ve been to places that otherwise would have been difficult to get to. I’ve learned to ice-skate. I know what -30C feels like. I’ve been to places in Canada that many tourists just don’t get to. But the realisation came when I realised that the things I like best about my life here are things that I can do in many places, including home in Sydney. I am fearful as well. I know friendships have changed while I’m here. I’ve grown apart from some people and it won’t be the same. But with the most important people to me, my family and close friends, my relationship either hasn’t changed, on in a couple of cases, has actually become stronger. It’s not going to be the smoothest transition back – I have changed as well. Travelling is not going to be as easy from Australia, but I don’t know that the expat life is the way I want to live the rest of my life. I know I will continue to travel but perhaps in a different way.

    • THE AUSSIE NOMAD July 24, 2012 at 1:32 PM #

      Claire I agree about the family stuff. I feel like perhaps the time away helped me really appreciate how amazing my family is so being home to help them out has been great for me.

    • MUMBLES October 10, 2012 at 9:18 PM #

      Claire im in the same boat as you kind of, been away for 5 years now,travelled and lived in europe, asia and the caribbean and spent this last 10 months in canada, its been amazing to see the place,and live this life, but logically the good things here are the same as good things in oz. And there are a few more good things in oz, like the fact that my cheekbones dont ache from the cold in winter!

      I know oz wont be as golden as i have it in my memory but i feel like logically its good enough across the board to make me happy. my only concern is feeling like i won’t connect, that maybe my experiences have changed me too much. Im 31 now so that means many of my friends have gotten on with the business of making babies and becoming “grown-ups” while i have been jaunting around.

      But overall I am more than ready to return home, have my own place,a little herb garden and buy heavy objects and books without thinking about my 20kg bag limit for a little while. but i know once you get that travel bug you are infected for life!

  6. JARMO July 20, 2012 at 1:10 AM #

    I’ve now been living five years as an expat in London (well minus one year I spent traveling), but I don’t see returning to my home country as on option. I visit my home town once or twice a year, but going back there to live? No way. Returning home is not by default such a bad thing, I know many expats who’ve moved back, for some people that is the right choice.

    I doubt I’ll live in London forever,but I haven’t quite decided where to go next.

    • THE AUSSIE NOMAD July 24, 2012 at 1:33 PM #

      Jarmo I’d never live where I grew up fulltime its just to small a town for my qualifications and to far from an airport 🙂

  7. SABINA July 20, 2012 at 1:33 AM #

    Noooo, Chris, returning home is not a bad thing at all! I came home about a month ago after 2 years overseas, and I am happy to be here. I’m leaving again in January, but I’ve got 7 full months to sleep in my own bed in my own house in my own part of the world, and it feels really good. There are people and ways of life (and food) I love here that I of course can’t get anywhere else, and it’s wonderful to be able to get all of this back, simply by returning home! Interesting that you left your home at approximately the same time I did and are returning at approximately the same time. Home will always be home, no doubt, but I’ve become comfortable in other parts of the world, which is a good feeling. Might I move away from here permanently some day? I doubt it, but it could happen. How about you?

    • THE AUSSIE NOMAD July 24, 2012 at 1:35 PM #

      Sabina how good is having your own bed and the familiarities of a house you know. I left my town of birth over 10 years ago to study and work but have always come and gone between stages for short periods. I know I’ll never live here fulltime its just to small a town for my job knowledge but it will always be my home, it just feels right here.

  8. MATT PRESTON July 20, 2012 at 3:48 AM #

    Good timing on your post mate as we too are about to head “home” after 11 months living the location independent life in South East Asia. It seemed so long away even just a few months ago. Now our flight back to the UK is just days away and it puts a surreal edge to the whole experience. Thankfully like you we’re not returning to an old life but continuing a new one so it’ll be very different I’m sure.

    One important aspect for us this time was to not feel we were resetting back to zero, that our new life would stop and we’d have to slip back in to the old way of life we had before we left. While there are some aspects we’re looking forward to, especially European living as Asia can wear you down after a while, we’re doing a lot of things to make our time back in the UK adventurous and still travel packed.

    Hopefully we’ll get to catch up with you again somewhere! Safe travels!

  9. ESTRELLA July 20, 2012 at 3:20 PM #

    I lived abroad in South Korea for a year and thought I would be able to re-immerse myself back into life in Toronto without any problems. Ever since I arrived home last September, I feel as though I have been not fully alive. I know it has to do with having to move back in with my parents, which resulted in the loss of freedom I felt abroad. But more than that, I feel there is so much more to see in the world and none of my friends here share my love of travel. Luckily I was able to get a position teaching in Madrid, so I’ll be abroad soon enough!

    • SEEMA January 16, 2013 at 3:10 PM #

      hey there! i could relate to your post so much, i’m also moving back in with my parents and am, simply put, rather terrified. it’s been a huge dream of mine to teach in Madrid though, how did you find the position?? i’m flying there March 2, i’d appreciate your input very much 🙂

      • BRANDY BELL January 17, 2013 at 6:49 AM #

        Hi Seema,

        I’ve been working here as an English teacher in madrid for over two years. If you’re a native english speaker, you wont have any problems finding lots of work 🙂 Please ask more questions if I can help answer them!!

  10. ALEXANDRA July 24, 2012 at 8:14 AM #

    I’ve been home now for almost a month and well I MISS THE ROAD!!! Yes, even with home being the paradise that is Maui I still crave the unknown bumpy ride that long term travel and expat life is. I know this is only a slight pause of that life as I have plans to be back in Europe in the fall but not a day goes by here that I don’t dream of spicy Som Tam, squat toilets, cheap beer, endless bus or train rides and most importantly all those friends I’ve made out there that are diseased with the same wanderlust!

  11. BOBBI LEE HITCHON July 24, 2012 at 10:03 AM #

    Great post Chris. I’m still struggling with the fact that your home. God it seems like yesterday we were tweeting each other about our upcoming trips and an hour ago we were at the MCG. I think you are pretty spot on with the feeling. I’ve thought about going home a lot lately. Part of me never wants to, another part is finally okay with the idea of it. I think more than anything this trip has made me realize not who I am but what I want in life and it’s the travelers lifestyle. You spoke about not wanting to go back to a desk job. I don’t want that for myself if I ever go home either and traveling has made me realize that I don’t have too. It’s taught me to do what makes me happy. In reality I could bounce around the USA just as I did Australia and you could live in Oz just as you did around Europe (though much warmer most of the time). I think it’s always hard and a bit weird to go home. It’s a bit depressing to think that you’re not technically traveling anymore. But the thing is…while you may not be traveling, you’re still a traveler and you always will be! I don’t see you sitting still for too long and you live in a great country to move about. Can’t wait to hear what adventures await you. All the best!

  12. MARISA July 25, 2012 at 6:06 AM #

    I moved home from Europe a year ago after teaching there for a year and ever since I have felt like the U.S. is not for me. I find myself feeling as if I have so much desire to keep traveling and living here is stifling. I have lived in Australia as well. There is a pull inside to go back to Australia (it’s been there for years) but I fear not being able to earn a decent living as a teacher as well as my mother’s strong urging of me to stay in my home country and settle down. Does anyone have any advice for a twenty seven year old girl who dreams of living in Australia, working, traveling and reconnecting with old friends?

  13. FROUKJE July 27, 2012 at 6:14 AM #

    Hey Chris!
    Great question.. and mine was easily answered. Although I am happy to see my fam. and great friends again back home, it’s only because of them I want to be here. But there hasn’t a day been that I want to go back to England, and, thanks to your travelling stories as well, I want to go around the world and that’s the only thing I really want.
    Life’s changed competely, and it’s a good thing you’ve got your travel mates to talk to, cos here I’m really the only one who wants to go and do something else, instead of settling down and stay at the same boring job forever to live out your life paying your mortgage and watching soaps on the telly… 😉
    So if you’re around next year April in Oz, I might see you around somewhere.
    But the thought of staying in Holland for the rest of my life… it makes my heart race and want to take the first flight out of here!

  14. KELLY August 2, 2012 at 2:45 AM #

    Returning home is always filled with mixed emotions. They say home is where the heart is and as much as I love my country (home). The life experiences I have learnt from my travels will always leave me wanting more. Home is wonderful until you get itchy feet and want to wander off on your next adventure. I am currently in Australia and this to me also feels like home, so I think home is where you are and where you want to be at any given time:)

  15. ANTHEA WHITLEY August 4, 2012 at 8:31 PM #

    HI Chris,
    l pondered this question for 12 months before l left Oz in May 2010…. and the answer always came back that l would live and work in England – my birth home.
    But after visiting there 3 times now in 3 years – as a previous Melbournite, l would find it hard to live with the snow, rain and deariness on a daily basis.
    So l know that l probably won’t return to Oz to live permanently, cos l sold my house and have no home to go back to……
    Thus lm going to keep traveling the world – right now its in a camper around europe.
    Next year maybe a 4×4 to Africa or the Middle East…
    But whatever its in, or where ever l am; l am essentially Australian and l take that with me everyday.
    Nice article!

  16. TOMMY CAR August 7, 2012 at 10:33 AM #

    I think it isn’t really all that bad returning home. I makes you appreciate what you have. Although after a few months you are ready to travel away again. It’s all about balance.

  17. PATRICK FITZ-GIBBON August 8, 2012 at 2:14 AM #

    Having been stuck in one job and one town for far to long I now have plans to move overseas, Wyoming to be exact ( I am Australian by the way) and I can only say that I am jealous that you had your problem in the first place. I will worry about everything else when the time comes but enjoy the planning and moving as I do it 🙂

  18. CHARLIE August 12, 2012 at 7:02 AM #

    Left my home town, London, in Sept last year. Went around South America for 8 months and now in Australia on my first year visa.

    Gonna work hard until May, when it runs out, and then I’ll be heading home. Almost 2 years since I would have seen family and friends. A lot will have changed, for sure. I’m already looking forward to it though – seeing my parents, brothers and close friends again. We have kept in touch over Facebook, but it’s not the same as real life obviously.

    I’m only going to stop by for a few weeks though before I go off on another adventure. I keep changing my mind – one day I think I’ll be going back to South America but there’s so much to see and I think I will travel around Eastern Europe (good time of year to go as well). Then back to Australia for my second year visa.

    Future looks bright. Just gotta work hard this year and make some good money!

  19. FRANKIE (BIRD) August 20, 2012 at 4:49 PM #

    After a whirlwind five month trip to SE Asia, Oz and NZ I landed back at Gatwick and got a 20 minute taxi to my parental home. In those 20 minutes and before I’d had the best Mum hug in the world, I’d already decided to leave again. As soon as I possibly could. Something just didn’t feel right, it felt like there’d been a bit of a mix up in the skies over the Middle East or somewhere and my spirit was still out there, only my body was in the wrong place and needed to catch up with it…

    My point is, I think, is that timing is as much a part of travel as places are. When you’re in that frame of mind, the one that makes your feet itch and your heart swell with wanderlust – that’s when you should keep going – if you can, of course. Home is never, ever bad, ever. But sometimes it just doesn’t feel right…

    I’m so happy you’re happy back home. Aussie is home from home for me too now I’ve shacked up with one just lucky for me he is also suffering from those pesky itchy feet too.

  20. ANDREW T. August 27, 2012 at 8:10 PM #

    I would have to say the return home is most frightening. Going away from home is a call to excitement and adventure. But a return home can sound almost scary. Abroad you are bound to meet new people and begin good new relationships, but home it is the same baggage and sometimes pain that comes with home.

  21. JAIME September 25, 2012 at 9:00 AM #

    I follow you on twitter:) I’m not home for a month, I’ve been travelling the states, a bit of Sth America and Canada for 6 months. Im excited to go home except that I’m flat broke and owe everybody I know money for bailing me out while I’ve been away! I just need you to tell me you’ve been in this situation!!?! I’m freaking out that I’ll be miserable! I have never owed so much money!! AND I am moving to London in may! How on earth will I pull that off?!

  22. MAGDA November 16, 2012 at 4:44 PM #

    I have moved to Holland from Adelaide only few months ago and all I want to do now is to go back. ! I did not come alone, my son came with me too and he is having good time. It was meant to be a permanent move so I got everything I had in Australia and now I am pretty at loss what to do.
    Finding job without Dutch is harder than I thought and I just wished I did not get rid off everything in Australia.

  23. GINELLE December 21, 2012 at 4:39 AM #

    Hey Chris. For me, the fear extends both ways. I’m due back in Oz in just over two weeks, and the thought of returning home is enough to make me physically sick! And although I know Melbourne’s an awesome city, it no longer feels like home. Like Brandy said earlier, I feel as though I’ve outgrown it. I also fear leaving this life abroad. I’ve come to love the life I have here in DC, and knowing that I will be leaving is breaking my heart.

  24. HANNAH January 9, 2013 at 3:33 PM #

    I returned 4 months ago from spending a year in canada, and realy loved Canada, but when I returned home I had a renewed love of my home town Hull. Im a big history geek and spending a year somewere that was built only 200yrs ago made me crave history.

    I got back to Hull and first thing I did was take a walk around the old town which is beautiful, and visited the numerous pubs from 1500ad we have. I have alsways been a Hull lover and defended it against ignorant slander from media and people who have never been… But I feel more connected to my home town now than I did before..

    absence makes the heart grow fonder !

    Saying that.. I am planning on traveling much more in the future.

    • THE AUSSIE NOMAD January 10, 2013 at 8:11 PM #

      Hannah I’m jealous you have such a historic town to return too. I found myself a lot more interested in my little towns history and that of Australians to be honest. I’m heading home again soon so hope to explore a bit more.

  25. FOREVER_AUSSIE_KATE January 12, 2013 at 12:40 PM #

    I’m finding myself on a roller coaster in terms of feelings with this one if I’m honest. The only thing I’m not going to miss about the UK is the weather. Being that it is crappy 95% of the time (unfortunately).

    Am going back to study when I return for a career change and as much as there is excitement there, I feel it’s slightly daunting…how much am I going to miss the travel opportunities at my doorstep. I know there are travel ops in Aussie, but it’s not the same as going to a completely new country in less than 2 hours.

    The packing up and relocation process of my life has started again…after 3 years away, it’s less than 10 weeks and I’ll be home!!! Soon to be gone again on some somewhat shorter adventures (time wise). Cannot and will not give up the travel though…it’s a big part of what keeps my soul happy and content 😉

  26. BEN L May 26, 2014 at 5:49 PM #

    Hey There Chris,
    My parents live in Casterton! I actually grew up in Portland but have visited them there many times. My wife and I have been in Canada for 5 years now, we have a 2 year old son and know that at some stage we will have to consider heading back to Aus. We have no plans though of living anywhere either of us lived before. So if it does happen I think we will pick a place that is not familiar, hoping that it will bring that “new place” excitement.

    Canada has been a great place, I am completely over the winters though. Once the temp drops below -10 and hits the -30 range, wow that is cold… It chills you to the bone. It also means lots of time spent inside.

    • THE AUSSIE NOMAD May 27, 2014 at 8:43 AM #

      Hi Ben, good old Casterton such a small place yet I keep meeting people who know of it for some reason or another. I didn’t mind the cold in Europe but it very rarely got below -2 so can only imagine just how bad -30 is.

  27. GIRLRAMBLER November 3, 2014 at 4:33 PM #

    Loved stumbling upon your post! I returned home to Western Australia a week ago after two years of exploring South America, living and working in Vancouver, and road tripping around the US.
    I went over with a vague plan, and kinda let things unfold on their own – I’d initially envisioned settling down in Vancouver, but wasn’t really happy with my situation there, which was largely influenced by my homesickness. I made friends and did weekly groceries and fostered a cat blah blah blah, but became extremely introspective and nostalgic and was left constantly feeling unsatisfied.
    I ended up connecting with a couchsurfer, dropping everything in Vancouver after nearly a year there, and commenced a 7-month roadtrip around the US, spending a few months between Austin and Boston as my base. Funny how things work out that you could never have foreseen.

    I was really nervous about coming home but felt like I’d got to the point where I was just putting it off for no good reason other than being afraid. I was scared about seeing my old friends for fear of not having the same easiness in our relationships. People I didn’t stay in touch with, but know I will be seeing in the same social circle, I feel like I’m going to be meeting for the first time all over again. Fortunately I know a lot of my concerns are just anxiety messin’ with me, and the comforting thing about returning home is that most things remain the same. Especially during the mid-20s, not everyone is running off and making babies and getting hitched quite yet.

    Regardless, I know it’s going to take some time to get entirely comfortable with being back home . There is a little feeling of disconnection, since I’ve come back with these experiences unique to me, while friends here have continued to make memories together.

    Lots of intangible feelings around it all. Still undecided whether I will stay put here, but for now I’m enjoying the familiar comforts, am feeling more grounded for returning to my family home and getting to sleep in my own bed again – with my cat at my feet! I missed that a lot. Leaving pets behind really makes staying away for extended lengths extremely difficult.

    • THE AUSSIE NOMAD November 9, 2014 at 3:56 PM #

      Hi Girl Rambler, thats a great tale and what must have be an amazing adventure for you while abroad. Being in your 20’s and returning home I think would be far easier than myself now in my 30’s knowing my friends are buying houses, getting married and so on. The fact I decided to also live on the other side of the country in WA as well never made it easier but I think it helped with the moving home problem. Everything is new and different over here in the “west” and I’ve enjoyed the experience.

  28. FOREVER LONDON February 13, 2015 at 10:28 AM #

    I see this thread started a while ago but it’s relevant for so many people. I just returned to Australia after many years in the UK and have found it tough. After getting used to being “part of the world” it’s a challenge to be stuck so far away from so many other things, and with the cost/time of travel being somewhat prohibitive. I’ve heard some people say it takes years to feel better about being home. All the things I originally wanted to escape from in Australia haven’t changed – I thought that with the internet/Skype etc the world had become a smaller place but it hasn’t really. Geography and time differences still matter. I know time is a great healer but I think the feeling of wanting to escape will always be with me.

    • THE AUSSIE NOMAD February 19, 2015 at 9:19 PM #

      Geography and time differences still do have a big impact indeed, its something I still struggle with as my life in London was so enjoyable and exciting. I’m back in Australia for the time being but with a belgian wife I’m still linked to a part of the world I adore so can see myself returning there at some point to live again.

  29. CORRINNA July 25, 2015 at 11:36 PM #

    I’m so glad I stumbled across your blog, I have been living in Singapore for 3 years and a week from now I’ll be on a plane returning to Australia (Melbourne) permanently.

    Everyone asks if I’m excited to return home and the answer is a mixed one, yes I’m looking forward to seeing family and friends but I’m also sad to be leaving this little life I’ve had for the past 3 years

    I always said I wouldn’t return until I was done however I think you can never be done.. So now my current job beckons me to transfer back to Australia I find myself in a whirlwind of emotions, fears and anticipation

    Does anyone know of a group back in a melbourne for returning expats? My biggest fear is that no one at home will understand what I’ve been doing for the last few years and how I feel returning

    • THE AUSSIE NOMAD August 5, 2015 at 12:21 AM #

      Hi Corrinna, its a mixed bag of emotions isn’t it. I’ve been home some 12-18 months now and I do love being here but also long to live abroad still. Its all the more difficult as I now have a 4 month old son too. Don’t know of any returning expat groups I’m afraid but am sure a google search might help you with that.

      • GEOFF December 5, 2016 at 11:14 AM #

        Hi Chris
        We’ve just returned back to Perth after three years in London, the main driving force being the birth of our daughter towards the tail end of our trip and the opportunity to be closer to family. I must say that our experience has been incredibly underwhelming. We weren’t expecting a red carpet and ticker tape parade, but the response to our return has almost been intentionally offensive – almost as if to say “we got on fine without you, and will continue to do so”. At this stage we feel we might as well have stayed in London but realise the practicality of it (failing NHS, house prices, brexit etc) made that almost impossible. Couldn’t feel more isolated or disappointed than we are right now, ready to just deal with the issues the UK has and just move back, or try a new city altogether!!

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