Hello Mamas, I'm sorry , this is probably going to be a long post!
I first moved out to Canada for grad school 14 years ago. I married a Canadian and have lived in Canada ever since. We have moved all over the country and moved to a small northern town in BC 3.5 years ago and had a daughter (who is now 3 years old). We are both 38. I love it out here - it is quite a hippy, artsy, quiet little town, great wildlife, a real sense of community and we have made a lot of wonderful friends. I feel like I have made so many significant improvements to my life on a personal level since I have been out here including health, happiness and spirituality. Just so many things I have overcome and accomplished and feeling so much better I left the UK wishing never to go back because I had a lot of things I needed to work through and now that I have, I feel a strong pull to go back to live. I've always felt homesick at different times but have managed to override it and make a nice little life out here. It's taken a lot of work and effort to get to here....
and here comes the BUT....( well several actually!)
My hubby's family live in the lower mainland - it's only a short flight away . They have the money to fly out to see us but choose not to. Most of his siblings live there too ( he is from a large family). We largely get ignored by them because we live out here and we are different ( read crunchy!) and yet the expectation is for us to always visit them. We have both found this increasingly hard to accept since our daughter was born - we may as well not have any family living in Canada. ( I'm trying not to rant on this one!). I would love for her to have a close relationship with extended family but they have made it clear it is not going to happen on their end. They always 'forget' her birthday and sent nothing for her for for Christmas either ( sigh, not going to cry again).
Hubby has an okay job in that it is stable. Doesn't pay much and he has no chance of promotion or pay rise for 10 years and it has a very high stress load. He can't see himself staying in it much longer. It's a small town and very few jobs for both hubby and me ( when our daughter is in school). It is 4 hours to a city but that city doesn't have any real cultural activities that interest us. We are not city people but like to have access to one for culture.
All my family live back in the UK. Our relationship with them is radically different than the one we have with DH's family. They call, skype and email many times a week, send DD lots of bits and bobs in the mail, talk to her on the phone, and travel a long haul trip to see her* every year* for a month at a time. I have one elder sister who lives in Lincolnshire. My parents live in Lancashire. I also have cousins, aunts and uncles and one or two old friends scattered around the country.
We haven't been able to afford the time or money to travel back home for 7 years. We are going this year but won't likely be able to afford it again for a few years. My parents have visited us every year we have been here, faithfully. Last year though, I noticed how much older they were getting and it worried me. I know they will not be able to make the trip much longer ( they are 68). Their friends of similar age are getting sick and some have passed away. They have a wonderful connection with our daughter - it's amazing to see them together and is very important to us. My sister and the rest of our family are really looking forward to seeing our daughter and would be so happy if they knew we are considering moving back.
So, recently, I've been wondering what the heck I'm doing out here. It's so lovely but it can't last forever and I feel this really strong pull to go back home. No guilt or anything. Just a strong pull back to my 'home' to raise our daughter and let her develop this wonderful connection with my family. Hubby is in agreement. He often watches shows from back home and brings up the subject of moving or remarks on how accessible places are.
So where's the problem? I am going to miss what we have here and the friends we have made. I remember it feeling crowded back home. We have no jobs lined up and the thought of selling everything up and moving us all is scary ( we have two dogs).The situation in the UK is bad economy wise. We are trying to find a small village type of place that is kind of hippy or old-fashioned ( if you know what I mean), quiet countryside but close enough to a city for work and cultural activities for our family ( I miss historical castles!). We'd have to live in a cardboard box since we'd not be able to get a mortgage and will have $50k to cover everything - new car, new house, etc. we are not fussed about a big house but privacy is nice.It seems so much more expensive in the UK. It seems daunting and impossible! A move like this for us would be permanent since we have no money to ping pong and want stability for our daughter too. I don't have CDN citizenship either. I have worked so hard to find my feet and make friends out here and I am scared I won't get that back again if I move. We'll be starting over again at 38....
I know that nowhere is going to be 100% perfect for us - there will always be a trade off but right now family seems to be an important value to us....is that a good enough reason to move?
I suppose what I am trying to say is that we are still trying to make a final decision - moving back makes no financial or security sense but it does make intuitive sense....are we completely crazy?
What do you think? I'd love some advice/thoughts/suggestions....
Thank you so much,