Yummy - Welcome Back to the UK

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Dottie May

Yummy - Welcome Back to the UK

Hope your move from Brittany to the UK went ok and many thanks for giving me your new address. Unfortunately, I've misplaced it, not lost it but in the meantime until I find it, just want to say "hello".

Sue G

Back in the UK

Hi Yummy,

Lucky you to be able to move back.

5 other brits i know have moved back since christmas.
Hope you are well
take care


Back in the UK

Hi Yummy - just read this post and see you've moved back to the UK. And according to Sue G you're not the only one to move back!

What's caused the change in heart? I thought Brits. who moved to France were very happy with the move. Maybe I got that wrong.
Sue G - Sounds like you'd like to return as well.

Just curious to know what's changed people's minds recently.
Hope you had a good move, Yummy, and you're settling back OK.

Sue G

Back in the UK

What's caused the change in heart? I thought Brits. who moved to France were very happy with the move. Maybe I got that wrong.
Sue G - Sounds like you'd like to return as well.

Just curious to know what's changed people's minds recently.

Hi Sonya,
maybe it is because it is getting closer to christmas & christmas is never the same if you are not at home. I have not been back for 10 years.
This is not a recent thing with the Brits moving back. People come over after spending their holidays here thinking life is so easy, the people are nice, shopping is cheap.
They then sell up and move only to find,only to find life is not easy.

If you can't speak french then you are in a bit of trouble as you need to find someone to translate everything for you all the time, french love their paper work.
Brits can't find work even if they do speak french.Wages are much lower than the UK, plus the 35 hr a week.
Shopping is more expensive, more if you live off a pension and by time it is converted into euros not much left.
To many taxes to pay.

Health care is not free, you have to pay for a top up insurance and have to work for a while to get a Carte Vita. If you have neither of these then you are in trouble if you ever need to go to hospital, You can only claim back off the NHS in the first year living here.

Most brits started to go back a few years ago when they stopped giving the carte vita out for free. Ok you can get a portion of your money back but you have to pay in before you can get back.

It is also the case for the older group that they miss their family , grandchildren back home.

Some go back due to illness & would rather be treated in the UK

Some refuse to change when they move over, don't want to except the french way of living.

I would say 90% of brits only watch english tv.
Some even get their shopping from tesco and get it sent over (these are sad people).
If you are young & live for example in Paris or another large city then there is plenty to do day & night.
Young and buy a large house with a large garden in the middle of the french countryside( which you would never have the money to do in the uk) and you are bored, french don't have a night life, you can join the local groups in the village during the day time but this is mostly over 60's. No pubs for those who like to drink, no where for the 16's & upwards to go, so they hang around getting drunk or ride their scooters up and down the road.
Young with small children, no mother & toddlers not unless you can find one set up by another brit, no coffee mornings, the french don't really do this.

As for the french, they are a strange bunch, they live in their own little world. They like you when you come for holidays but move into their little village and it could take years before you are excepted, & that goes for a french person to. My husband is french & in our village he is still classed as an outsider.

Would i go back to the UK, NO.
Husband gave me the option after 3 months of living here, " live like the french & except how they do things, or we move back"

Sorry didn't realise how much i wrote, but you get the drift of why it is not a bed of roses over here.
Off ot help with school work as unlike the UK, kids don't have school on a wednesday. They have the shortest of school hours.



Very interesting to read about France - as a UK ex-pat living in Ireland, I've experienced much of the same - it's not easy adapting to a foreign culture, even when that culture appears to be very similar to home - on the surface. Although we've not had a language issue, there are things we've had to adapt to - eg in the UK we used to go out in the evening at about 7.30 onwards - in Ireland it's more usual to go out at 10.30 pm onwards. We're still on our way home when everyone else is on their way out!

Healthcare is free with a 'Medical Card' when your income is below a certain level, but above that it's a bit like the US - you take out health insurance. I can't say I've ever been one to go to the Doctor for frivolous reasons, but you do tend to assess minor illnesses against the cost of a Dr's visit!

The area we live in has quite a large UK ex-pat community, but we integrate with the rest of the community pretty well. As in France, some people come for a holiday, think it's great (when the sun's shining!), move over and then find themselves unable to cope with the rotten weather that we get for most of the year, or the somewhat laid back approach to time keeping, or the smaller variety of foods available in the supermarkets, or even attitudes to drinking! I've seen them come and go, the average stay being around 2 years, perhaps. Some others stick - we find we tend to have a lot in common with them :) They're often (and I class myself this way) 'old hippies' looking for a simpler way of life, a bit of land to keep animals/grow food on, people who are photographers, artists, writers - or even free spirit surfer-types - we have great, if chilly, beaches!

Having said all that - and finding myself back in the UK for the next couple of months at least (looking after Dad after his fall) - we have no desire to move back - yes, it's great to be able to pop into Waitrose and pick up something exotic, it's brilliant to be able to get Tesco home deliveries - but I miss the privacy we have over there (no close neighbours), the space (couldn't afford half an acre over here), the views (mountains and ocean), and above all the Irish people, who have been nothing but welcoming and friendly to us for the past 13 years, although we are, and always will be 'blowins'. My friend, originally from Dublin, has lived in our village for almost 40 years, and he's still a 'blowin' too!

So, we're not planning on coming 'home' at all - Ireland IS home now, and I really love it there. I'm enjoying the shops in Brighton though, it has to be said!

Noreen, Board Moderator


This is a brilliant thread, I hope some more expats will tell us their stories...

Dottie May


I've also thoroughly enjoyed reading this thread....hope it continues with other input. By the way, have found Yummy's new address so will be dropping her a few lines soon.

Expat Badger


very interesting indeed!

i think we found it quite easy to fit in in Canada - though i suspect that is a lot to do with how welcoming they are.

this whole country is new and full of immigrants (needs them to keep the population up) so we always felt welcomed and never any resentment that i know some newbies feel in other countries

We have surprising difficulty with language sometimes and have to use a lot less slang than you would usually between brits...we definitely speak to each other differently to everyone else

the only thing we really miss is family, the pub and the radio!



Thanks for the long reply, Sue G. It has made it into an interesting thread! Good to hear you don't want to return - I must have misunderstood your previous post.

Good to hear from Expat Badger again - I thought you'd disappeared!!

As another Expat I really couldn't imagine returning after living in Oz for 38 years!! Even longer than I thought before I worked it out.
When I first arrived I'd travelled overland through the Middle East, India, and SE Asia for 6 months, so Australia seemed very familiar and easy to be in!!
I only intended staying a few years to earn the money to travel back via S America (maybe a bit of an 'old hippie' too). Then I met an Aussie guy and I'm still here!
I can't imagine being able to afford 4 acres of lovely land close to a town with good facilities if I was in UK.
We've finally retired to our new house - very energy efficient, well insulated, solar panels and lots of space.
We're also quite near the sea - some lovely beaches not too far away.
Like EB in Canada there are lots of immigrants here and especially Brits. There have been 'waves' of immigrants who have found it much harder to be accepted - Greeks & Italians after WW2, Vietnamese after that war, now refugees from Africa, Afghanistan etc. Each group gets resented for a time, but eventually settles in - hopefully.
I guess being white and English speaking does help!! And yes, there is quite a bit of race prejudice here, unfortunately.
One downside to Oz is the huge distance to visit UK and I don't like the long-haul flights!! France and Ireland definitely have the advantage there, but I think we have the better weather!!

Noreen, Board Moderator


I wanted to bump this back up in the hope that some more expat members will add to it...


Expats - question for Sue G

this is indeed a really interesting thread. Sue your reply gave many reasons why the the Brits are returning to the UK but you didn't give a reason why you are so sure that you don't want to move back yourself. Let us know about the good bits!


Love this post

I so enjoyed the reply from Sue G, it really did make good reading. Lots of facts that I did not know about.
I arrived in London on my 16th birthday , came here from a little village where everybody spoke to everybody , in fact the Irish way of life then meant it was totally essential to know everyone's buisness .
One of the first things that struck me was nobody really showed either interest or concern for their neighbour. People to me seemed aloof , & were nasty even when my accent was recognised as Irish.
Windows of boarding houses displayed signs saying "No blacks , no dogs , no Irish"
Well folks we have come a long way since those days.I arrived in 1963.
I suppose it was what I now see as a culture shock.

In my almost 50 years here , I have grown to love this Country , it has given me so much , but of course I am & always will be Irish , but my allegiance is to England.
I would not want to live in Ireland again, yet I love the country , I go there at least twice a year.
I detest the way they still drink & drive , tho the laws are getting stricter on that.
We have our good old NHS, & even though we moan about the state of the country , we are streets ahead of most.
I am not a fan of the Irish supermarkets , much prefer the selection we get here.
Love the Irish sense of humour , no stiff upper lip over there , everyone will stop to have a chat.
I am still very Irish in the sense that I really can laugh at myself , my hubby comes from London , he is very straight laced almost all the time, what I call stiff upper lip.
Irealnd is beautiful , I was born In Wexford , mostly a warm & sunny county, but as I said I would not want to live in Ireland again , England is where I belong.
I do think also that having been out of the land of my birth for so long , I really am more English in my ways than Irish.
My Sons call me an import, said in the nicest way possible , but it is true.


Lving in Sardinia

We came to live in Sardinia about 10 years ago after holidaying here for a number of years. We understood that living here would be totally different than being on holiday.

We bought a little house with 10000 sq mt of land of which 4000 is vines.

I've met with super-bureaucracy and inefficiency but also with super-efficiency like having a fridge delivered the next day and husband after seeing the doctor went to the hospital the next day for his X-ray.

I love being able to go to one of the lovely beaches in the summer and walking on those same beaches in the winter when there's nobody about. I love being able to walk around the town late at night feeling safe with all the locals doing the same thing with their families walking round with ice-creams.

I think some of the food is dearer such as Kelloggs but then I can buy tomatoes for 2 euro/kilo so it all balances out.

We would return to the UK if one of us became terminally ill, not because of the lack of care (I've been an inpatient and the care was superb) but for the support of the family.

I would do it all again in a heartbeat but differently. I live in the country and my neighbours speak a local dialect first and Italian second which makes conversation difficult (and funny!) my Italian is not good at al despite loads of lessons, so I would move somewhere nearer a town. We brought out a kitchen and I wish I hadn't as there are some reasonable ones around but then there weren't the DIY shops that then.

It has changed quite a lot and although I said I feel safe on the streets at night, I wouldn't go down the side streets as a lot of them are unlit and there are one or two people you wouldn't want to meet.

Throughout the good times and the not so good times I do not regret it for a moment.



 Yummy - Welcome Back to the UK

We live in the Highland of Scotland having moved up from London 20 years ago and found to fit is to leave London ways behind and embrace scotland. And that's how to succeed in moving to one country to another.

The Cat's Mother


There are numerous reasons for and against leaving your home country to live in another one. I have been living in SW France for 9 years now. Basically we wanted to move from the city to the country, but house prices were horrendous at the time, we were able to get much more for our money in France than in the UK. We find life here quieter - less traffic in our rural area - virtually no crime and friendly neighbours. I still long for shops such as M & S, John Lewis and Waitrose - but make the most of online shopping for most things.

One of the downsides is missing family and friends, but things like Skype and e mails make up for the distance between us.

You have to be determined to make a success of living abroad, it is not easy at first - a sense of humour helps - I have to confess that my French is not good, but I try!!!

I expect I shall return to the UK eventually, but have no plans at the moment. People say we are "lucky" to live in France - it wasn't "luck" just a brave decision at the time, which we have made work.

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