Expat Forum For People Moving Overseas And Living Abroad banner

Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
54 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
More often than not, a trip back to the UK involves one of the following comments:

- So, when are you coming home?

- I wish I could do what you're doing? You're so lucky.

The first group take it as an affront that we aren't living in the same country as them; that we have chosen to live away from them. They have a good life, and sometimes when I'm back I wonder how life would be if we lived nearer to them. Nonetheless, they are all over the country, so moving back wouldn't necessarily move us closer or increase the visits we have.

The latter group, over the last few years, I have seen balloon. Their week consists of going to work, coming home, eating, going to the pub, going to sleep and repeating x5.Their weekend treat is a lie-in, fry-up, pub. When talking to us they see what we're doing as courageous, different and exciting. Granted, we tend to do more with our time and have a less work-focussed life, but that because the lifestyle of the country is as such.

Are your visits back home guilt-trips or splattered with envy?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
664 Posts
Hi Lu C - not worried about the first group - we are not particularly close with remaining family members - phone calls seem to suffice and occasional visits - just 2 times per year at most. Biggest worry is getting left out of wills.


Second group - many friends have said that they would love to have the courage to do what we do but they have grandchildren and/or elderly parents they can't leave, or they just would find it too difficult to up sticks and leave.

I suppose that I am guilty of stoking up envy on the part of friends and family - constantly comparing weather conditions, and saying how hard I have to work sometimes (up to 20 hours a week - don't know how I manage).
 
G

·
Neither, Lu. I never go back :) Ten years since a two day trip, sixteen since I was there for any length of time.

But comments from family and friends by phone or email aren't really either/or these days. After more than twenty years as an expat I get more acceptance... or is it indifference... in the way of reactions, as the years pass. I think it's a generation thing too. Most people I knew when I first set off to live abroad as a teenager were admiring, or cheerfully envious. It's not the same a few decades on. People are more, if not cynical, at least a little sceptical. We've mostly learned, whether expat or stay-at-home, that the grass is rarely much greener on the other side.

I do think though that attitudes change when times are tough, for example in the current recession. There is more aggression and defensiveness. People who do things differently are more subject to the type of negative reactions that you suggest - and not just from people back home, also from one's neighbours in one's adopted homeland.
 
G

·
<<< Neither, Lu. I never go back :) Ten years since a two day trip, sixteen since I was there for any length of time. >>>

Im with you on this Pete. The UK is now such an unattractive society to me that my three trips in 4 years have been for just 32 hours, 36 hours and (exceptionally) three days (this last one for an old-boys reunion, so was a real pleasure, not a chore)

<<< We've mostly learned, whether expat or stay-at-home, that the grass is rarely much greener on the other side.>>>

Grass grows the way you tend it, and I rather like the way it grows here...

<<<There is more aggression and defensiveness. People who do things differently are more subject to the type of negative reactions that you suggest - and not just from people back home, also from one's neighbours in one's adopted homeland.>>

My mileage has varied - I now know for sure who in our village doesn't like the thought of having a furriner amongst them, and do my best to avoid him. For the rest, their attitudes have not changed during the crise, we're just making the best of it as normal.
 
G

·
<<< Neither, Lu. I never go back :) Ten years since a two day trip, sixteen since I was there for any length of time. >>>

Im with you on this Pete. The UK is now such an unattractive society to me that my three trips in 4 years have been for just 32 hours, 36 hours and (exceptionally) three days (this last one for an old-boys reunion, so was a real pleasure, not a chore)

<<< We've mostly learned, whether expat or stay-at-home, that the grass is rarely much greener on the other side.>>>

Grass grows the way you tend it, and I rather like the way it grows here...

<<<There is more aggression and defensiveness. People who do things differently are more subject to the type of negative reactions that you suggest - and not just from people back home, also from one's neighbours in one's adopted homeland.>>

My mileage has varied - I now know for sure who in our village doesn't like the thought of having a furriner amongst them, and do my best to avoid him. For the rest, their attitudes have not changed during the crise, we're just making the best of it as normal.
As for the crisis, when times are tough, the look after number one approach makes itself felt at times in the local community. A fair number of the local artisans seem to have calculated that as business is slow, they have to quote stupid prices. Wonder how long it'll be before they realise that just doesn't work...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
69 Posts
More often than not, a trip back to the UK involves one of the following comments:

- So, when are you coming home?

- I wish I could do what you're doing? You're so lucky.



Hi everyone,

I think you missed a third group - certainly one we had experience of :

QUOTE: 'You're a F****** Idiot, you'll never make it out there, there's no earning potential, you'll never speak the language and you'll never make friends'

And that was said with venom.
Needless to say we have no further contact with those people because we have wonderful friends, French and English here in France. We live very comfortably here and suffer stress levels close to zero.

I wonder if Jealousness would best describe that third group - envy doesn't do it justice.

Bruce.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
54 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
QUOTE: 'You're a F****** Idiot, you'll never make it out there, there's no earning potential, you'll never speak the language and you'll never make friends'
What the hell is wrong with people? I wonder if living 'at home' would open our eyes and help us understand their issues. On second thoughts: stuff that!

As you say, I'd far rather spend time with friends who accept us and love us for who we are, no matter where we are. I'm very lucky to have a great group of friends in the UK; many of them have lived abroard for a time, but all have gone 'back home' to settle. Nonetheless, for the most part they are not just accepting, but encouraging of our choices - and often come to visit, as an added bonus!
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top