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The Local _ Miscellaneous _ Anyone moved back to the UK after a few years?

Posted by: stevegreen 10.Dec.2017, 09:23 PM

Hi All

Well I'm sure I'm not the only Brit, considering packing the family up and moving back to Blighty.

Not due to lack of work or anything like that, life generally been pretty good to me over here for almost 10 years. Just never really feeling at home and the old longing for home soil. Anyone done it, willing to share their thoughts and experiences...

Cheers

Posted by: Ivor stephé 10.Dec.2017, 10:40 PM

I left Sweden, best thing I ever did.
Yes its scary, but the payoff is so much more worth it.

Life may be less sensible now, but I went from safely existing in suspended animation to living and enjoying life with all the ups and downs. In every sense of the word.

On another expat forum I occasionally visit, there has been a huge amount of people who are leaving Sweden.

Posted by: Bsmith 10.Dec.2017, 10:47 PM

I (and my family) moved back to the US after a short stay in Sweden. While I liked many things about Sweden, I missed family, familiarity and good work opportunities. It was a good move and I am glad I did it. Now I can visit Sweden when I feel like it but am not trapped there.

Posted by: stevegreen 10.Dec.2017, 10:53 PM

which other forum just out of interest...?

Posted by: Gjeebes 11.Dec.2017, 07:23 AM

We are also leaving, very soon, and although it hasn't happened quite yet, I can already feel myself peeling off the 2D existence as I completely jump out of the page and back into 3D.

You only live once and if you are finally tired of the sanitised mediocrity of Sweden, just get on with it! GO!

And ya, what is this "other" forum you speak of? I would also be interested to learn why Swedes would be leaving their "goodest" country!

Posted by: Cheeseroller 11.Dec.2017, 08:01 AM

You are not concerned about the Brexit situation?

5 years ago we were trying to decide if we moved to the UK or Germany. Wife and son (both from a 3rd country who are also fluent in English) preferred the UK, while I (a Brit) preferred Germany for economic and life style reasons (I know the country well through business). At the end we all agreed to try Germany for 2 years with the option of the UK if it didn't work out.

The first two years were horrible. Our son hated the German school and became depressed, which triggered depression in my wife. We tried to find all kinds of solutions, medical help, expensive international school. At the end he, just 16, returned to Sweden where fortunately we still owned an apartment. Both he and my wife made a rapid recovery, he is now in gymnasium and thriving. He became an adult almost overnight. This of course means we are paying to run two homes. Had I not owned a business but been employed and tied to a fixed income, this would have been impossible and would probably have led us all to move back - which would have given me depression.

But had we moved to the UK, and given the "progress" on Brexit, I would be highly stressed right now. I would also be highly concerned about our son's long term employment potential and if he would ultimately be able to buy a house.

If we had to move now to the UK now, I would definitely rent and avoid buying a house there - I remember too well when the UK was forced out of the ERM and negative equity. But maybe it is better if you can delay this until it's clear what deal is made with the EU?

I didn't anticipate the problems our son would have, he moved to Sweden when he was 7 and learned both Swedish and English within the first two years (English was mostly self taught living with me) - he is a bright kid with his mothers gift for languages. I also didn't anticipate a run of bad luck - every month one crazy problem after the other, all beyond anticipation, that also lasted two years. Several times I thought we would divorce. Now life is calm, both son and wife are happy and we all have the life style that we all wanted, albeit our son lives away from us. But had we stayed in Sweden, he may have chosen to leave by himself later, and then we could have been too old to move.

You don't mention if your wife is from the UK or Sweden, or if you have kids. In hindsight, I would not move a child after they are 7 years old if they need to learn a new language or preferably before they start school. If your wife is Swedish, it is quite possible she will miss home and can come to resent this. As parents become old and have health problems, this is also a draw to return home. This is one of those situations in life where you can't know the outcome until you do it, and however hard you plan (we spent two years doing our research, visiting different possible areas to live etc), shit can happen.

Posted by: Svedallas 11.Dec.2017, 11:47 AM

QUOTE (stevegreen @ 10.Dec.2017, 09:23 PM) *
Hi All

Well I'm sure I'm not the only Brit, considering packing the family up and moving back to Blighty.

Not due to lack of work or anything like that, life generally been pretty good to me over here for almost 10 years. Just never really feeling at home and the old longing for home soil. Anyone done it, willing to share their thoughts and experiences...

Cheers


It is not just Expats leaving but Swedes too, opting for a second home...
The most opting for Spain, Malta and Portugal.

There are a lots of Swedes living in Marbella.

Posted by: Essingen55 11.Dec.2017, 12:43 PM

Moving back to the UK is a tricky one I would say. Much depends on your individual circumstances. Financially there are good times and bad times for this. About a year ago was a very good time from an exchange rate and housing prices viewpoint. However, these factors are now moving against such a move...and the difference can represent a lot of money.

On balance...the result of discussions in our own household is that such a move would involve too many risks. However I share the original posters reasons for wanting to consider it...Sweden never does completely feel to be home and parts of the UK are very beautiful.

Try reading the Dailymail online. That usually helps me to appreciate what I have in Sweden.

Posted by: Cheeseroller 11.Dec.2017, 01:31 PM

QUOTE (Essingen55 @ 11.Dec.2017, 12:43 PM) *
Try reading the Dailymail online. That usually helps me to appreciate what I have in Sweden.


LOL. I am not sure that this or the Express/Mirror/Star/Sun are really representative. Otherwise you can come away with the idea that the country is full of racist bigots. Knife carrying and attacks, open robberies seem to be a problem in London, but not sure if this is a trend throughout the UK. Everything seemed pretty normal when I visited in August. On the other hand, 7 grenade attacks in Goteborg the past few weeks and continued car arsons in Malmö. A German friend of mine visited Malmö a few months ago, all he car windows were smashed while it was parked in the underground hotel car park!

Posted by: stevegreen 11.Dec.2017, 03:40 PM

Yes the wife is Swedish (although with UK university degree which helps) and kids are dagis age. Yeah the British press helps with homesickness lol, however I work at a major Swedish newspaper and that has the opposite effect...the amount of bad news and serious crime here recently is shocking!

Posted by: Bsmith 11.Dec.2017, 03:58 PM

QUOTE (stevegreen @ 11.Dec.2017, 02:40 PM) *
...the amount of bad news and serious crime here recently is shocking!


Compared to what it was, yes. Compared to a lot of other places, no.

Posted by: Svedallas 11.Dec.2017, 04:16 PM

QUOTE (stevegreen @ 11.Dec.2017, 03:40 PM) *
Yes the wife is Swedish (although with UK university degree which helps) and kids are dagis age. Yeah the British press helps with homesickness lol, however I work at a major Swedish newspaper and that has the opposite effect...the amount of bad news and serious crime here recently is shocking!


Sweden today, to what it was say, 10 years ago, a complete 180.
I have personally not heard of so much crime in my life!

It is shocking, and the fact that little is being done, politically.

The blame is on the politicians. There are too many desperate illegal people on the streets, desperate. It is now normal to hear about a burglary, in any area now. Way back when it would have been headline news. Now it is a regular occurence.

Posted by: Essingen55 11.Dec.2017, 04:19 PM

Going back when the kids would normally start school in the UK might be an option. What opinion does the Swedish wife have? One tends to forget basic things like who would pick up the children from school at 15:30 when they are no free after school activities.

Posted by: intrepidfox 11.Dec.2017, 06:13 PM

QUOTE (Savage @ 11.Dec.2017, 04:44 PM) *
Now I see Sweden as a Mafia run monastery.


Obviously you are not getting anything? tongue.gif

Posted by: Svedallas 11.Dec.2017, 06:42 PM

QUOTE (intrepidfox @ 11.Dec.2017, 06:13 PM) *
Obviously you are not getting anything? tongue.gif


+1

Everything was going well in this thread, until Savage came along...

Posted by: intrepidfox 11.Dec.2017, 06:48 PM

Stevegreen.

I have often wondered how i could move back to London but i just can´t afford it. I live better here when it comes to housing.

Ivé been here since 1990 and a few years before that and i admit, i love my homeland. I´m English nothing else.

What i really laugh about are the fools that became Swedish citizens because of Brexit. If they had permanent residency there was never any worry.

Posted by: GamlaSkogHisingHope 12.Dec.2017, 02:11 PM

Yes, went back to the UK after several years in Sweden.

A little daunting at first and our daughter being 5 would go straight into the UK school system, but this hurdle was overcome (we waited a few weeks for a school place) and I have to say the UK schools system is far better than anything Sweden has to offer.

Although we were in Sweden for several years, I never found a job and calculate that I applied for circa 2,500 positions. I'm actually probably still active in a few recruitment processes as they take so long in Sweden.

I just find the cost of living and quality of life to be better in every respect in the UK, generally with better life opportunities.

We still come back to Sweden to see relatives a couple of times of year. It's a nice place for a holiday.

Posted by: stevegreen 13.Dec.2017, 10:21 PM

A nice place for a holiday indeed, yes those were the days smile.gif Great to hear your experience of moving back was a positive one!

Posted by: SmokerT69 9.Jul.2018, 03:54 PM

I went back to visit family in march for 2 weeks and got multiple job offers just by visiting old friends and saying hi to my old co-workers and bosses.

I was very tempted to take them up on the offer and just cancel my return ticket lol. I can see myself moving back pretty soon if there's no improvement here with my situation. I've been keeping in touch with my colour sergeant as well, I really enjoyed the last 6 years I spent in the army and only left because we moved here. Not sure if I can re enlist with my previous rank or pay grade though...

Posted by: Mib 11.Jul.2018, 12:38 AM

As someone who came to Sweden pre credit crunch, I've had many doubts along the road to survival in Sweden. It's not a utopia as people will present Sweden as. Unfortunately, I'm a stubborn bitch and have managed to hit an equilibrium that works for me now. However, that could change. My young children have good quality education, are very happy and it feels safe. My feeling is based on experience and intuition and that I believe rightly or wrongly, that my children would find it more challenging to adjust to a UK culture, which in my opinion is more aggressive and challenging. That's an opinion I've had since I left England.

In terms of safety and security, the UK is in a difficult situation with austerity leading to burglaries and car theft being treated as admin issues. Massive issues with gang rapes of girls in certain parts of the country. London has seen a massive upsurge in moped gangs, stabbings and shootings as this is replicated in other partsof the UK, but on a smaller scale. A BBC documentary has highlighted this where police have admitted big issues due to austerity. The NHS is in crisis, as well as social services, which I have seen first hand. It's a lottery as to the level of treatment you get. Add in the expansion of zero hour contracts, 4 million regular users of food banks and you get a picture of what is currently happening in the UK.

Brexit is another big issue in that the uncertainty and incompetence of the current amateurs, the immediate term after March 19th, looks quite scary. Brexit imho, will work in the medium to long term, but with no help from the politicians. If you go back to the UK, you may find that it's not working and it will become much more difficult to get a job and live in the EU post Brexit should you want to return.

Sweden is also experiencing a hidden austerity within the police force, hence the increase in crime. Living where I do in Stockholm, I haven't experienced any issues, but I'm lucky to live in a so called 'good area'. The medical system here seems to perform okay, but again it has big issues, despite the country spending a bigger % of GDP than the UK. This is a mixture of incompetence at a political level and privatisation of services, run by private equity firms that then bag the profits offshore.

The one thing that I have noticed when it comes to jobs, is that the prevalence of English has increased, driven a lot by startups (Stockholm is a big hub) and international firms). Walking around Stockholm, I hear it more and more every year.

Property prices are near their highest levels in relation to earnings. It just seems to go up every month. A typical 3 bed terrace where I lived outside London was about 225K, now it's 400K! Add in stamp duty and I just don't understand how those price levels are maintained. It's not sustainable. The currency was 14kr to 1 pound, now its's much stronger. So, for me, that's an advantage, but if you came over just a few years ago, then it might not, especially as the pound dipped below 10kr for a short while.

However, saying all this, you have to trust your instincts and define your priorities in the right order. Only you know what is acceptable for you. If you're really unhappy and you've tried to make it work, then after 2 years, you should seriously consider your options. Draw up a list of positives/negatives for both countries and try to go from there. My friends are doing okay in the UK and are happy. So, despite the issues in the UK, many people are living well. But of course, you have to calculate a lot of parameters due to the big upheaval and costs involved.

Anyway, I wish you luck and hope you find the best route for you and your family.

Posted by: GamlaSkogHisingHope 11.Jul.2018, 09:56 AM

QUOTE (Mib @ 11.Jul.2018, 12:38 AM) *
In terms of safety and security, the UK is in a difficult situation with austerity leading to burglaries and car theft being treated as admin issues. Massive issues with gang rapes of girls in certain parts of the country. London has seen a massive upsurge in moped gangs, stabbings and shootings as this is replicated in other partsof the UK, but on a smaller scale. A BBC documentary has highlighted this where police have admitted big issues due to austerity. The NHS is in crisis, as well as social services, which I have seen first hand. It's a lottery as to the level of treatment you get. Add in the expansion of zero hour contracts, 4 million regular users of food banks and you get a picture of what is currently happening in the UK.



Whilst these are genuine issues they are given undue prominence and over-reported by the [UK] media. I work in central London and have never seen or heard of anyone who has been targeted by moped gangs. Similarly in relation to stabbings and shooting these are gang and drug related crimes, with few innocent victims - small crumbs of comfort I know.

I'm also not convinced that NHS is in crisis and based on my experince I believe that healthcare and education is better in the UK than Sweden, but it can be a postcode lottery for sure. Economically, the country is approaching another boom and one of the reasons for the Brexit vote was mass immigration - immigration needed to supply businesses in all sectors with skilled and unskilled labour.

Posted by: Bsmith 11.Jul.2018, 11:24 AM

Like many posters on this thread, we also struggled with the question of which country was the best place for our family. Eventually, we moved back to the US despite that it also has a higher crime rate (and much of the other problems mentioned above in MIB's post) than Sweden...but it all depends on where you live n the US. We relocated to a rural area with good schools and low crime. Our kids have grown up safely and successfully. It was the right move for our family.

So what country is best for raising a family? I don't think there is a universal answer. Each case will be different.

Posted by: robbie1985 11.Jul.2018, 01:26 PM

QUOTE (Bsmith @ 11.Jul.2018, 12:24 PM) *
I don't think there is a universal answer. Each case will be different.

Finally we agree on something. Even if you know EXACTLY what your priorities are, and carry out a complete and comprehensive review of every possible nation, there is no perfect answer, just a best fit. Every country has its downsides, you have to find the one in which the upsides outweigh them for your situation.

Posted by: Mib 11.Jul.2018, 01:50 PM

QUOTE (GamlaSkogHisingHope @ 11.Jul.2018, 10:56 AM) *
Whilst these are genuine issues they are given undue prominence and over-reported by the [UK] media. I work in central London and have never seen or heard of anyone who has been targeted by moped gangs. Similarly in relation to stabbings and shooting these are gang and drug related crimes, with few innocent victims - small crumbs of comfort I know.

I'm also not convinced that NHS is in crisis and based on my experince I believe that healthcare and education is better in the UK than Sweden, but it can be a postcode lottery for sure. Economically, the country is approaching another boom and one of the reasons for the Brexit vote was mass immigration - immigration needed to supply businesses in all sectors with skilled and unskilled labour.


Like you, I have NEVER experienced any crime in the UK, other than my car was once broken into. My friends and family also have thankfully lived without any big incidents. When I go back to my home town or into London, I've never felt unsafe. Even here in Stockholm, when there were riots, people asked us if we were okay. I never noticed the riots. Stockholm apparently has high gun crime and again, I've not been a victim. Burglaries have increased and as a result, our building has improved security as well as the individual apartments. But the statistics are real and growing as police are unable to cope in the UK and over here. It doesn't mean London or the UK has become unsafe.

But I guess if you lived in say Rinkeby or Brixton in London, then our realities would probably be different. All I can say, is that people come across more stressed in say London and in its suburbs. I noticed that over 10 years ago. The main reason, I believe is partly cultural, but because of everyday stresses like too much traffic on the roads, more people in a smaller area, an expensive public transport system that would always let me down on a Friday afternoon when I wanted to go home.

My family have had great difficulties with the NHS and social services. The hospital staff are amazing, but overworked with less resources. My Father was kept in hospital unnecessarily because they couldn't get social services in place in time. They sent him back when he wasn't ready. GPs are resigning or working part time, so harder to get appointments. That's why my Wife is always getting requests to go back. A good friend of ours resigned as a specialist nurse. When she returned from maternity leave, her female Manager said she didn't want to hear about childcare issues on the 1st day! She's now resigned and working in the private sector. This is happening all over. On the flip side in Sweden, our local hospital didn't have enough knowledge experience with an issue with my daughter. We had to pay a consultant in England to help us. It was the best decision we made. Again, GPs in Stockholm are resigning or on sick leave due to stress. Mainly due to private companies getting paid to see as many patients as possible although I believe that may have changed.

The more I've been in Stockholm, the more I've appreciated the less crowded it is and less traffic. The transport system is fantastic and cheap. It's not perfect, but it's more integrated. It means I don't have to pay for a car, which as an addict in England, I could never have imagined. The 4 weeks summer holidays, parental leave is also a big bonus for me.

But when all is said and done, you have to make a decision that's personal to yours and your family's happiness. That's what matters at the end of the day. But take your time and evaluate all the issues before coming to that final decision. Be aware of the challenges that could be coming due to Brexit. Maybe even apply for a Swedish passport if you qualify, so you can avoid all the post Brexit issues in the future. The worst situation would be to return to the UK and still feel the same unhappiness. Then what do you do? Just give yourself as many options as possible so you're not forced into a corner

Posted by: Bsmith 11.Jul.2018, 03:08 PM

[quote name='robbie1985' date='11.Jul.2018, 01:26 PM' post='932614']
Finally we agree on something.

Well, there you go...

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