For British expats in the US: Stinking Billy wants to know - when you first came here, did you plan on putting the UK firmly behind you and never returning to live there again?It would seem to make sense that if you're going to move several thousand miles that it would be with a plan. People like Sarah, for example, emigrated quite intentionally, knowing that they were committing themselves to their new country. The long-term plan wasn't that clear for some of us though. My original plan was to stay in the US for as long as it took to get a Master's degree and then return to the UK. Other people also emigrate on a temporary basis - moving because a job posting has forced them to, but not really intending to stay in the country they've moved to any longer than the job lasts.
Admittedly my sample was small, with 20 people responding, but 75% of us said that when we first left the UK we either had no intention of leaving the UK for good, or we weren't sure that we were leaving for good.
I did actually try to return to the UK, back in 1989. I spent several months over there fruitlessly looking for work, only got one interview, and got not one but two job offers back in the US. It was a no-brainer - continue to be unemployed in the UK or accept a job with a former employer who really wanted me back and was even prepared to pay half my moving costs back to the US. Even when I moved back to the US at that point I still wasn't sure that I would be staying for good, although obviously the odds increased.
Right now it would be really hard to make the reverse trip. I have no doubt that both DH and I would have a hard time finding employment in the UK, even though work visas are not an issue. The sheer logistics and expense of moving would be overwhelming. I am sure people do it and survive, but we would really have to need to do it. A move back to the UK for us would be very deliberate, almost certainly permanent (for DH and I at least, if not the kids) and not at all accidental!
The poll results:
When you first came here, did you plan on putting the UK firmly behind you and never returning to live there again?
5 said Yes (25%)
12 said No (60%)
3 said Wasn't sure (15%)