Why I’m Moving Back to the UK – Q and A

Four UK flags flying across a street

At the end of the last year, I let it slip that we were planning to move back to the UK. After fourteen years of living down under, I know it was a bit of a bombshell.

I’ve had lots of questions about the why, where and what of the move so I thought I’d spill the beans and answer all the questions in one tidy blog post.

Was this a sudden decision?

I’ve always had a penchant for people and things from ‘home’ and the pull to the motherland has been getting stronger with every passing year. It’s true what they say, there really is no place like home.

Last time I saw my mum in early 2020, I talked to her about my English retirement fantasy and about how jolly it would be. I was so serious about it that upon my return down under, I made enquiries about pet transport for Teddy because if he couldn’t go, we wouldn’t go.

So what’s changed?

Clearly, I wasn’t going to move across the world with Teddy on my tod so I was waiting for David to get on board with the idea.

We wanted to retire in the UK but the pandemic has put lots of things in perspective. Why wait until we retire?

We decided if we wanted to move back, we might as well do it while we’re young enough to enjoy it!

But you left England for a reason, why would you go back?

For many years, if someone had asked me if I would ever return to live in the UK, I would say “not unless Australia goes underwater,” and I meant it.

The thing is, Australia has changed a lot in the 20 years since I first stepped foot down under, especially in the 14 years that we have lived here and I feel, it hasn’t been for the better.

That’s not to say the UK doesn’t have it’s problems. I left because it was crowded, crime was high and the weather was terrible. All these things are still true but these problems are outweighed by being (relatively) close to friends and family and you can’t put a price on that.

Is the move a reaction to losing your mum?

I grieve the loss of my mum every single day. In many ways, I have come to terms with losing her. She suffered so much with poor health in recent years and it’s a relief to know that she’s no longer suffering and in pain.

What I will never be able to come to terms with is that I was prevented from being with her in her final hours and days and that even after she’d passed, I had to beg a faceless bureaucrat for permission to leave the country and attend to her affairs.

The truth is that if someone had told me before I came to Australia that one day, I’d be a prisoner in my own country and forbidden to leave, even when my mum was on her deathbed, I would never have come.

Moving back to the UK and being close to friends and family means that me or David will never be in that position again and that brings me great comfort. It’s not the only factor in our move by any means but it is an important one.

What does the timeline look like?

Everything has been moving so fast! We sold our flat in 5 days and a week later secured a rental around the corner! We’ll move in later this week, ship our stuff to the UK and then settle on the flat before camping out for six months while David wraps up at work, we find a safe route home for Teddy and we work through our Australian bucket list. Our plans are very fluid but we’re hoping to be back in the UK in October.

What about Teddy Roosevelt?

Transporting Teddy is the most stressful part of the move – at least for us, humans because Ted will fly pet cargo. Although some airlines allow small dogs in the cabin, pets flying into and out of both Australia and the UK have to fly as cargo.

The pandemic has made pet transport really limited, really expensive and really difficult to plan. To make things more complicated, as Teddy is a cavapoo (part poodle, part Cavalier King Charles,) he’s considered brachycephalic – or snub nosed – and many airlines won’t let him travel.

We’re hoping that more options will open up later in the year and in the meantime his crate training is coming along a treat.

Where will you move to in the UK?

David and I are from opposite ends of the country, London (me) and Newcastle (David.) We figure we’ll settle somewhere in the middle in Lincolnshire because a) it’s beautiful b) house prices are reasonable and c) we’ll be half way between all of our friends and family!

Will you still blog?

I jolly well hope so! Like Gisele Bundchen, “I’m constantly learning and evolving. I’m fascinated with life.” I think or at least hope, my blog reflects that. I’m anticipating it will be business as usual here on the interwebs albeit with a bit of a British twist!

What will you miss about Australia?

Friends who are like family, blue skies, dog furiends, my awesome GP and psychologist, great beaches and jubes.

What are you looking forward to in the UK?

Being close to friends and family, four seasons, English pubs, European travel, dog friendly adventures and fish and chips.

So there you go, I’ve spilled all the beans! Got more questions? Pop them in the comments!

Linking up with Denyse for Life This Week