English Expats in Australia: Would You Holiday in the UK?

It was around the middle of March this year when Mrs BobinOz said she wanted to have a little chat with me about something. She wanted me to sit down for it, never a good sign. I was expecting the worst.

How do you fancy a holiday abroad?” She said.

Ah, this isn’t so bad, I like holidays. Mind you, we’d only just got back from Thailand about four months earlier, so I wondered where she wanted to go.

China? Japan? Vietnam? Maybe India or the Philippines? What about Madagascar?” I asked.

No” she said “I want to go to England!

England! ENGLAND!! We lived in England for almost half a century!!

And therein began the debate, which more locally we referred to as an argument or, as Australians would say, “a blue”.

The argument did get quite heated at times, but it was all sorted out amicably in the end.

Mrs BobinOz won!

Home alone

The upshot of it all is that yesterday I drove Mrs BobinOz and Elizabeth to Brisbane International Airport and about four hours ago they touched down at Heathrow to start their 17 day holiday in England.

DeparturesMe, I’m staying put in Brisbane.

In the end, I could see and understand the reasons why my wife wanted to go back to England, and she could see and understand all the reasons why I didn’t want to go.

I can’t precisely tell you why Karen felt the need to go back, because she couldn’t exactly put it into words herself. There were a few people she missed who she wanted to see again, and there were a few places she wanted Elizabeth to see as well.

Oh, and a couple of new babies had been born in to our family; both my sisters son and daughter had become father and mother within the space of about a month, (one boy and one girl) making my sister a granny twice over.

So Karen and Elizabeth will be meeting my niece and nephew’s new children.

Why did I not go?

Frankly, and I hope I’m not insulting to many of my old friends and family, going back to England would represent the holiday from hell for me. Imagine…

Day one

Arrive at sister’s house where we would be staying for one week. Spend this first day recovering from the ridiculously long flight. Have dinner. Answer questions about what it’s like living in Australia. What’s your house like? Is it really very hot in Australia? Have you settled in? Have you made new friends? Do you live near the beach? What do you do for work now? What’s Elizabeth school like? Has she made lots of new friends? Does she like it in Australia? Would you ever consider returning to England? Have you seen any snakes?

Day two

Go and visit my other sister. Have dinner. Answer questions about what it’s like living in Australia. What’s your house like? Is it really very hot in Australia? Have you settled in? Have you made new friends? Do you live near the beach? What do you do for work now? What’s Elizabeth school like? Has she made lots of new friends? Does she like it in Australia? Would you ever consider returning to England? Have you seen any snakes?

Day three

Visit Aunt Mabel and Uncle Eric. Have dinner. Answer questions about what it’s like living in Australia. What’s your house like? Is it really very hot in Australia? Have you settled in? Have you made new friends? Do you live near the beach? What do you do for work now? What’s Elizabeth school like? Has she made lots of new friends? Does she like it in Australia? Would you ever consider returning to England? Have you seen any snakes?

Day four

I think you get the idea, as sure as eggs are eggs we do both have enough family and friends between us to fill in every single one of those 17 days eating meals round friends and relatives houses answering the same questions, day in, day out.

In fact, we have more than enough family and friends to fill the 17 days, which will result in fielding telephone calls at a later date “You were in England and you didn’t come round for dinner?”

“We would have loved to have seen you; we had so many questions we wanted to ask about what it’s like living in Australia. What’s your house like? Is it really very hot in Australia? Have you settled in? Have you made new friends? Do you live near the beach? What do you do for work now? What’s Elizabeth school like? Has she made lots of new friends? Does she like it in Australia? Would you ever consider returning to England? Have you seen any snakes?

Add to that the not insignificant fact that we have already spent a considerable amount of our time living in England, so we have already seen the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, Madame Tussaud’s, the Tower of London, Whipsnade zoo, Chessington Park, Stonehenge…

Stonehenge… and, for some strange reason, I no longer find the beaches of Southend as attractive as I did when I was a kid.

So I would have rather gone to China, Japan, Vietnam, India, the Philippines, Madagascar or just about anywhere else except England.

Is my behaviour strange?

Apparently not, quite a few people I know who have been here for some time have not the slightest interest in going back to the UK for a holiday. It does seem to be more of a bloke thing though and it’s interesting that one of my close friends is also staying here in Brisbane when his wife goes back to England for a two-week holiday next month. He is the same as me; he can see no reason to go back.

So, I have to ask, what is your experience? Have you moved here from another country and been here a while? If so, have you been back to visit your old stomping ground yet? Or are you like me, no interest in returning?

What’s your view? Am I being a Mr Grumpy?

Dang! Got to go and cook my own dinner now.

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{ 22 comments… add one }
  • djmcbell September 25, 2015, 7:42 pm | Link

    Just a quick one – my parents, who live in Australia, come back to the UK from time to time to visit family. However, I think that the rest of the family (her sisters) think that, with me moving over there, they’re not going to be coming much any more. They’ve got a large Europe visit planned next year though, including the UK.

    Though we’ll probably be out by then.

    To be honest, I don’t think I’d be bothered to come back to the UK once I’m out in Australia. I’ll see how it goes. Probably the only thing that would appeal to me personally is visiting the UK theme parks (Blackpool Pleasure Beach is a yearly tradition) and my wife’s family (who she’ll be wanting to come back to visit).

    • BobinOz September 27, 2015, 8:35 pm | Link

      Eight years in and I still don’t have, and don’t think I will have anytime soon, the urge to return to England for anything whatsoever. My wife has been back, once, apparently she missed some family and friends????

      I didn’t understand 🙂

      My view is why holiday in a place you’ve lived most of your life in? Too many other places in the world to see before that can happen.

  • Lynn January 12, 2013, 9:59 am | Link

    Haha, your post really made me chuckle and I do believe it is a ‘bloke thing’. I recently went back to UK to visit friends and family, just wanted a catch up after 3 years to see people that I have history with. We have great new friends out here but there’s nothing like catching up and chatting about old times with mates you’ve known for years and years. My husband couldn’t think of anything worse than going back, which is why most of our holidays now centre around South East Asia.
    Interestingly though, when I went back in 2012 it was in June when they had 10 days of sunshine – can you imagine?? I thought I’d landed back in Oz. However on the eleventh day the heavens opened and Manchester did not look as great as it did in the sunshine lol. I couldn’t wait to get back to Oz. Holidays maybe every 2 years back in UK for a friend fix is a great idea – 2 weeks max!

    • BobinOz January 12, 2013, 8:41 pm | Link

      10 days of sunshine in a row in the UK? My oh my, the place has changed since I was last there 🙂

      I can just about believe it though, but 10 days of sunshine in a row in Manchester! You are kidding me, surely?

      I’m 100% with your husband on this, imagine having to tell all your friends you’re going on holiday to Manchester? South East Asia is a much better idea 🙂

      Cheers

      Bob

      PS. I’ve got nothing against Manchester, actually have a lot to be grateful for from that city, it’s the centre of the universe for music.

  • Patrick December 15, 2012, 6:47 am | Link

    Hi Bob,
    I don’t want to come back once I’m in Oz. I might be one a working holiday visa, but I intend to extend my stay to permanent resident.
    People say, because the visa is good for one year, “when you’ll come back…” I always reply “I’m not coming back!” They are welcome to visit, but I’m not going 😛

    • BobinOz December 16, 2012, 9:02 pm | Link

      Exactly the way I look at it Patrick, it’s much more fun for them to visit me than it would be for me to go back to England to see them. Win-win!

  • Ian Still October 24, 2012, 10:49 pm | Link

    ….so have you seen any snakes Bob?

  • Anne October 10, 2012, 4:28 pm | Link

    I’ve just got back from my 4th visit to the UK in 2 years! Daughter’s wedding, a bereavement, new baby and baby’s first birthday . My husband went back on the first 2 occasions…and has no intention of going back again. He is firmly in your camp: he sees no reason to go back even for a few weeks. I, however, will continue to do so yearly to maintain family relationships and to keep my promise. It’s not a holiday – I do more washing, cleaning and cooking there than I do at home! – but relationships need more than skype to keep them alive.

    • BobinOz October 10, 2012, 5:00 pm | Link

      Yes, it’s true, it’s nice to stay in touch with some family and friends. That’s why they are all invited to come over to visit me here in Australia 🙂 Obviously though, some occasions as you have mentioned do require a visit to the UK.

  • jo t October 10, 2012, 8:49 am | Link

    Just come back from our first visit back to the UK – enjoyed it very much but made sure it was a hoiday too, away from all of the questions!

  • jen brown October 10, 2012, 5:50 am | Link

    I dont think your grumpy lol, you spend half your life trying to get away from this country, y would you wanna come back and visit lol! im so jealous, i wish i could be there living it up, oh well sunny scotland it is haha.

    • BobinOz October 10, 2012, 4:38 pm | Link

      Thank you Jen, just clear one thing up for me though; I’ve heard of Scotland, I’ve just never heard of sunny Scotland. Where is it?

      lol!

      • jen brown October 11, 2012, 6:54 am | Link

        Haha sunny scotland is when we see 5 mins of sunshine and we can show our legs off for the first time in years lol 😉

  • Lorraine October 10, 2012, 5:19 am | Link

    I have told my husband that as soon as we get to Oz, I am not coming back to the UK ever! I don’t think he believes me but he will soon find out that I mean it!

    • BobinOz October 10, 2012, 4:33 pm | Link

      I’ll go along with that too. I can’t really think of any good reason why I would want to go back either.

  • Hoda October 9, 2012, 9:04 am | Link

    I’ve been here for more than 3 years and I do not like to go back to my country …. from experience, it’s not holiday at all, in fact I will really need a holiday after that 🙂 … my husband likes to go back and catch up with friends and family though , he’s going next month and I’m staying here

    • BobinOz October 9, 2012, 7:05 pm | Link

      My thoughts precisely, but interesting that you are staying whilst your husband is going, maybe it’s not such a bloke thing after all?

  • Ivan Jaros October 9, 2012, 3:18 am | Link

    So, is it really very hot in Australia? 😀 …(I couldn’t resit)

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