We arrived back in the UK a year ago on last Friday after almost 11 years abroad. Our return home was marred by 10 nights hotel quarantine due to covid and the restrictions that halted our plans to celebrate my 50th, Peter's retirement and our move. We also had huge delays with our container due to the back log and shortage of containers after the Evergreen ran aground, add to that the shortage of lorry drivers due to Brexit, it wasn't the best move we've had, but it was our last.
Here's my Tiktok video during quarantine
We spent the first few months of our return deciding if we wanted to stay in our family home or move, but the rise in house prices and the costs to move are ridiculous so we've opted to stay put. We've since had a new kitchen, Peter is building a base for a new shed/summer house and if we can find a reliable builder, we'll be getting an extension done. There is also a lot of other home improvement plans in the making. I'll be sorting the garden out properly once the outdoor work is completed.
I'm now working full time, term time only in a local secondary school. I go in for 8.30am and leave at 3pm and I have all the school holidays off. I'm loving it. I also signed with an agency and worked in a covid vaccination site and I've been offered more work on the European Golf Tour, although I've had to turn a lot down, due to location and working in the school where I can't have annual leave in term time. I'm, loving being back in work, everyone is really nice, but I don't feel I've particularly gelled with anyone, so I just do my job and go home, which is ok with me.
Our family has grown with the introduction of our grandson in November last year, they're a ferry crossing or a flight away. Our eldest grandchild is an hour away so lots of visits there.
Old and new, near and far. Lots of effort made by everyone to maintain these friendships now we're back.
Dog walks, pub visits, cooking, holidays in the UK.
Apart from the building work our plans include Australia this summer, buying a camper van, exploring more of the UK and hopefully a trip to Vegas in October half term for our 20th wedding anniversary. We got engaged out there and haven't been back since October 2010 when we saw Cher at Caesars Palace. We don't have anything planned after that.
Life after expat life ends:
For Peter it's the change from working full time to retiring he's adjusting to. I'm not missing anything. I'm glad we had the experience, it's certainly been a fun packed 11 years in South Africa and Dubai, but I do like being home, in one place, family near(ish) by (apart from son in Australia) I'm back working, reconnected with old friends (missing the friends made abroad) but generally much happier just managing one life in one house, in one country.
Have you had to make any big adjustments to your life for whatever reason?