Good Thread. I moved to NZ with my wife and 2 kids 18 months ago, i stay at home and look after them which brings it's own issues as i'm used to being in work and providing for my family rather than taking the eldest to kindi or changing napies.
we talk of going back to the UK (not that we would for quite a long time) or trying out another country like Austrailia, Canada, US etc. I feel sometimes that i miss the UK, the countryside (specifically cornwall: wales just looks like parts of NZ)the trails in UK, and sometimes family. The family issue is more important to the wife as she is closer to hers, but i do feel quite uneasy when mine are not well, and would prefer to be closer sometimes. Also i have nieces than i'd like my kids to meet someday.
What prevents us returning is what we have here and what we could never have in the UK is:
1) a 4 bedroom detached house in a 'good' part of Auckland 2km from a nice white sand beach.
2) walking distance to very good schools and kindi's and parks without heroin needle on the slides (yes we had them in Somerset).
3) only one of us having to work to afford a resonable life style. So therefore the kids knowing both their parents (as the wife teaches and so basically doesn't do a full days work, but don't dare tell her that!)Also you can spend more time together as a family here.
4) lack of people, even in Auckland it's easy to get away from people for a walk, ride or surf in relative peace and quiet.
5) being able to see the stars.
6) oh and about 400 UK a years for council tax - where they actually do stuff too!
Things i don't much care about in NZ and make me want to leave!
1) being away from family and freinds from UK
2) Idiots - not so much chavs as just morons that hoon round in jap cars throwing beer bottles out the window - i think it's an NZ and Oz thing - hard to go for a road ride without shreadding a tyre.
3) Apaling driving! i've driven all over europe (including Portugal) and i feel a lot safer there! (i was very nearly killed 2 days ago on a road ride - very scary)
4) Not the weather - it's way better here!
It's a tough decision to make, moving back - we just wouldn't do it as the reasons we left still exist; having to work your ass off just to live, poor schooling (before you lot start - the schools here (at least where we are) are a lot better, my wife's has taught in a lot of UK schools and two here so she keeps me up to date oh and cramped expensive housing that we'd be paying off for the rest of our lives. the constant feeling of being shafted by taxes just for being middle income - there is no stamp duty here, tax on most things is less.
Yes there is a lot to love about the UK, it certainly isn't all bad by any means, except Luton, that really does stink - but we left so we could be a family - it just means that we can't be physically near the rest of em.