any expats?

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Is the UK scummy compared to the rest of the developed world?

Yes
13
50%
No
13
50%
 
Total votes: 26

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tobeconfirmed
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any expats?

Post by tobeconfirmed » Fri Mar 04, 2005 5:50 pm

I was just wondering if any expats are missing the UK a lot; or loving it in their new home; or both? There are many people (including myself) who don't particularly like the UK (well, I'd rather live here than on the 3 poorer continents, but most developed countries are better), and would love to permanently emmigrate later on.
What are the feelings of people who had this opinion, and have achieved that aim? Do you regret it or will you never come back?

matthew
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Post by matthew » Fri Mar 04, 2005 8:03 pm

It's interesting that you say you 'don't particularly like the UK'. Is that in comparison to somewhere else you've lived, or are there things about the UK that you *imagine* would be better elsewhere? Do you have a particular place in mind, and what do you expect from it?

I think something to avoid is leaving the UK for negative reasons. Go live somewhere else for a while because you're excited by the opportunity, or just to say you've done it. Don't imagine that the UK is home to everything that's wrong in the (developed) world, as you'll be disappointed when you find that's not the case. A new country will bring you new challenges. Some things will be better and others not so much, but for the most part it's just different.

As for me, I'm happy where I am for now, but I once said that about the UK.

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tobeconfirmed
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Post by tobeconfirmed » Fri Mar 04, 2005 11:21 pm

It's interesting that you say you 'don't particularly like the UK'. Is that in comparison to somewhere else you've lived, or are there things about the UK that you *imagine* would be better elsewhere? Do you have a particular place in mind, and what do you expect from it?
Interesting you said that. I lived in Geneva until I was 8, and compared to Switzerland, nowhere else I've been to is as nice, particularly the UK. I'm always aware of how lucky I am to be British, and not Iraqi or Afghan or North Korean or something, and I always remind myself and others of that, when I/they moan about life. But I strongly believe that continental western Europe just has a better way of doing pretty much everything than we do.

Lamma looker
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Post by Lamma looker » Sat Mar 05, 2005 3:42 am

First, let me say that I'm happy to be English and to carry a British passport - though currently somewhat embarrassed by the activities of Mr Bliar (not a typo) & co.

I have lived in Asia since 1989; prior to that I spent 2 years in Oman in the mid 80s and, during my RAF service, 3 years in Germany(though that was more like a little bit of Britain) plus seeing a fair amount of the developed and un-developed world.

In my current stint, I have mostly lived in Hong Kong but had 2 years in Singapore, 6 months in Chiang Mai, Thailand and travelled fairly extensively throughout the region and elsewhere. I also had 3 months in Oxford in spring/summer 2003. I have not been on "expat terms" (aprt from Singapore) and it could be said I have "gone native" in that I am married to a HK Chinese woman.

There are things I miss about UK, certain foods, the countryside, the sense of history and it will always be home, where my roots are. BUT, I don't want to live there and every time I go back, I feel like a foreigner.

What really concerns me is the political situation and the way the country is rapidly degenerating into a police state - I mean, security cameras on school buses, for heaven's sake, as I've just seen in a report on the BBC website as being introduced in Lincolnshire. That, of course is a minor thing, but it is symptomatic of the ethos of Orwell's 1984, unlimited detention without trial and the antics of the likes of Alistair Campbell. Plus it is too bl**dy cold, though HK is not exactly warm just now and nothing is designed for cold weather.

Yes, most Asian countries are more or less police states (Singapore, curiously, being one of the worst). Corruption is rampant, but everybody knows it and doesn't pretend it's all down to "rogue elements" to use the current OK phrase for pretending to be holier than thou. Real poverty is also a major problem, overcrowding and lack of personal space cna be frustrating to a Westerner, but somehow, there is a vitality that seems to be lacking in UK.

I admit, it does usually help to be white - the colonial/imperial legacy still lingers.

To come back to the original question, no, I don't regret leaving England, there are things I miss but I don't intend to go back except to be buried or my ashes strewn.
A healthy mind is a sign of a mis-spent youth

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Post by lvesey » Mon Mar 07, 2005 1:59 am

I have found since emigrating to Australia just over a year ago, that it is far better not to compare places, but to appreciate what each of them have.

At this stage, I can't see myself returning to live in the UK. But I maintain that it is a great country, with so much to be proud of - there aren't many countries that have an institution such as Christ's Hospital.

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jhopgood
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Living Abroad

Post by jhopgood » Mon Mar 07, 2005 9:41 pm

I left CH in 1966 and at that time made my first trip abroad, to Paris. After university I did voluntary service overseas with CIIR, based in Central America. Back in the UK I married my Latin girlfriend and joined an international bank. Up to that moment I had given no thoughts to living permanently abroad. My family was in the UK, the way of life I was used to was British and I felt at home there.
I left the UK in 1974 and have worked in Latin America, (5 countries) and Europe (2 countries), and have now taken early retirement in Southern Europe.
I am still British, but apart from family ties and a respect for certain institutions, I would find it extremely difficult to go back and live in the UK. I make fairly frequent visits and nearly always come away with a sense of disappointment.
The place is riddled with petty rules which everyone either abides by or hides behind. Every other country has petty rules but we all realise they are petty and get on with life. Brits appear to be frightened of their own shadows.
The transport system is a farce, has been for a long time and nothing has happened. It takes longer to get from Gatwick to South East London on the public transport than it does to get from my flat to Gatwick, including the flight. Driving on the M25 is a boring nightmare.
The food is unimaginative and restaurant food is horrendously expensive. There is very little service mentality, which given the price, is disappointing.
And yet there are some great people in the UK, very professional and hard working, probably working longer hours than in many parts of the world. This could be because they are grossly inefficient or spend far too long complying with all the petty rules. So where does all there effort go?
Why do brits always seem to be happier abroad, even those not on holiday?
Overseas has lots of problems, many of them cultural, which can take a lot of getting used to, but for many, in the final equation, life is better abroad than in the UK.
This is the fault of the government, whether it be the self perpetuating civil servants or the politicians.
Until the UK starts to enjoy life, then most of us abroad will stay where we are.

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Great Plum
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Post by Great Plum » Tue Mar 08, 2005 10:36 am

I couldn't live abroad - every time I go away I long for the UK - maybe its my friends and family maybe it's some sad notion of home...
Maine B - 1992-95 Maine A 1995-99

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graham
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Post by graham » Tue Mar 08, 2005 6:27 pm

couldn't live abroad - every time I go away I long for the UK - maybe its my friends and family maybe it's some sad notion of home...

You say that now but if you gave it a try you would feel quite differently, I assure you. You always miss friends and family but the UK seems so much better when you're not there! 8)

It took me long enough to get around to doing it, but I think this is one of the best decisions I ever made!

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Post by rebel » Wed Mar 09, 2005 12:31 am

Emigrated to Canada 30 years ago - never looked back But I have BEEN back from time to time - still have family there- and feel claustrophobic geographically, would be unable to cope economically - unless I worked the system - and don't fit in socially with the changes in demographics, mores and ethnocentricity so evident compared with the 'old days' - i.e. my old days. Canada is big enough that one can function more or less in whatever mode one likes without feeling crowded or pressured. And there's always the big white north if one really wants to get away from it all. I've lived in other countries too but Canada seems to have the best of everything -although the government isn't that good right now- and we still get lots of british tv which is one thing I missed when I first came. I do miss some things from Britain, but I don't know if I'd find them in present day Britain even if I did go back. I think I can be more British here than in England.And the passport's still valid.Best just to visit.

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tobeconfirmed
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Post by tobeconfirmed » Wed Mar 09, 2005 10:48 am

and we still get lots of british tv which is one thing I missed when I first came.
That's actually one thing that's really good about the UK, it has very good television. Look at French or American TV, absolutely laughably dreadful. The beeb seems to have a good worldwide reputation as far as I know.

Mark
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Portugal is warm and close to home

Post by Mark » Tue Mar 15, 2005 5:22 pm

I have no regrets about moving to Portugal, where I've lived since 1991. My life in Lisbon is busy and never boring. It's a small city and I enjoy being close to long sandy beaches when I'm in the mood to go surfing or take a long stroll. The summers start in May and are often still going strong through October/November. The Portuguese are happy-go-lucky people and very much at ease with foreigners.
The flight time of just over 2 hours means I'm very close to home (God bless the low-cost carriers) when I need to see the family or simply satisfy my craving for rock salmon and chips!
And being an established travel editor means that I've had the chance to visit most of Portugal and the Atlantic islands of Madeira and the Azores, often completely free of charge.
For anyone planning a trip, take a look at my website, the Portugal Travel Guide (http://www.portugaltravelguide.com), which has news of special offers, lots of photos and an online hotel booking engine.
Boa viagem (have a good trip)!
Mark Harding, Old Blue (LHB + TA 73-80)

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tobeconfirmed
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Post by tobeconfirmed » Tue Mar 15, 2005 9:06 pm

It sounds like a nice life you seem to be leading Mark, one I'm sure many people would aim for; or be happy to end up with!
What degree did you do (if any of course!)? Geography related? Línguas modernas? Or something that one would consider pretty unrelated?

Mark
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Post by Mark » Tue Mar 22, 2005 12:44 pm

I did one of the first BTEC HND travel & tourism courses in the mid-80s, which triggered an unforgettable year in Greece as a holiday rep, followed by stints at the London Tourist Board, a Malta specialist tour operator and then Travel Trade Gazette (for that all-important trade publishing experience). I suppose I've just been lucky really!
Mark Harding, Old Blue (LHB + TA 73-80)

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Great Plum
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Post by Great Plum » Tue Mar 22, 2005 1:22 pm

Having returned back to Switzerland for a long weekend with work - I can say it's the only country in Europe I would think of moving too...
Maine B - 1992-95 Maine A 1995-99

Rod Stuart
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Living Abroad

Post by Rod Stuart » Mon Mar 28, 2005 8:20 pm

I have made Portugal my home, and have been in Lisbon for the last 20 years. I go back to the UK less and less often. Yes, British TV is great, but you can get most of it for free on Satelite. Believe me, the better weather makes an enormous difference, and life in general so much better. I don't see myself ever moving back.

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