As part of our Migrant Tales series we have a section dedicated to tales from expats returning home after living in New Zealand: See Life After New Zealand

A surprisingly high number of immigrants from western countries move on from New Zealand after a few years and it isn’t as easy pulling up sticks and going home as  you’d  think it is. But, despite the recession it is possible to get re-established in the UK and enjoy being back.

This is the story of one family’s return to Cumbria in the UK and is collated from posts made on a NZ expat forum.

June 2010

well, it’s been a while (5 weeks ackshully) – we’re home!

flights from Akl to Man were fine, though frankly, I’m never EVER undertaking such a thing with a 3 year old and an 11 week old again

upon reflection, unemigrating is a hell of a lot harder than emigrating in the first place!

no regrets, but jeez it’s been tough… improving now – we got the keys for somewhere to live at the weekend, and our container turned up yesterday – only 5 (yes FIVE) weeks after leaving Auckland!!

still no jobs for either of us, but it looks like I’ve picked up some contract work from next week… i’ve got an application in for a proper job too, so keeping fingers crossed for that! We’ve done our sums, and it looks likely that OH will be staying at home looking after the little ones for a year or two as I’ve more chance of getting a half-decent job here than he has – he prob needs to retrain, or we need to head to Manchester or London for his work, which we don’t really want to do…

we’ve been staying with various family and friends since we got back – it’s been lovely catching up with everyone, and in many ways like we never left.

The weather has been stunning (specially for cumbria ) and has mostly been sunny and warm. We’ve been out walking most days – a few days after we got back we headed out at half-past stupid (thanks to the jetlag and baby!) and walked round one of the local tarns – it’s surrounded by beech woodland and the colour of the leaves was stunning – we were back in time for the bluebells too, and the smell wafted gently on the breeze…

We really have been wondering why on earth we ever thought we might be able to improve on life somewhere else!

We had a week of euphoria on getting back, then the inevitable crash happened… what have we done? no jobs, no home, two kids aaaargh….

It will get better though – we’ve got a roof over our heads now, and hopefully soon we’ll be able to pay for it too

right, enough rambling! hope you’re all well, and it’s not too chilly down there!

will hopefully have broadband some time next week, so maybe see you again then!

January 2011

well, happy new year!

this is my goodbye – i’ve not had chance to post for such a long time – missed you, but i think i need to delete my expats bookmark now!

we’ve been home for 8 months… it really has been tough, but we’ve made absolutely the right decision… i’ve been working full time on a weekly contract since july, and this week have managed to land a full time, well paid job which will pay enough to keep us all, and we can finally stop dipping into our savings to get by on the basics (good job really, there’s barely anything left!)

our little Kiwi will turn one at the end of Feb – can’t believe that a year ago, i was the size of a house and pottering my way through a hot kiwi summer…

his big sister is now broad cumbrian, with an occasional kiwi twang, which makes us all chuckle… she’s a happy little girl again who is loving nursery and enjoying spending time with her extended family and friends, and quite often says how happy she is now we’re not in nz any more (though she does miss our best mates, and wanted to go for a bbq last weekend!!)

OH still hasn’t got work, but hopefully with my new job, he’ll be able to work out what he can retrain in… after i messed my interview up on tuesday, we really thought we were going to have to head to manchester for work for us both, so it was a HUUUUUGE relief when they called to offer me the job! (not that there’s anything wrong with manchester of course – it’s just it’s not where we want to be!)

just need to find somewhere to live, buy a car and sort out a school for september now!


hope everyone’s well