Two of the most popular overseas destinations for UK nationals heading abroad are Australia and France. It is estimated that there are over a million British-born people living in Australia, and over a quarter of a million in France. But what are the factors which keep them from coming home?
Many people who move overseas permanently do so to escape the cold and wet of a British summer, and the fact that we have just had one of the wettest years on record does nothing to encourage them to return home. The outdoor lifestyle is something which most emigrants to warmer climes wish to experience, and once you have had a taste of being able to eat outdoors most of the year it’s hard to imagine returning home.
The world economy has gone through turbulent times in recent years, and the value of properties, salaries and other assets have fallen or risen in value. Many expats take the view of “better the devil you know” and don’t want to risk losing out by moving back home and then being unable to find a job or afford a property in their preferred location. Australia in particular has weathered the economic storm far better than other parts of the world, and staying put may well be the sensible option.
Gone are the days when getting to Australia meant 6 weeks on a boat. Now we think nothing of hopping on a plane, and the simplicity of travel means that moving abroad is no longer the wrench it used to be. Flights are competitively priced, and as more of us start to travel by air, increased competition means the service is getting better too.
Inventions such as Skype and internet mean that keeping in touch with loved ones in the UK is far easier, wherever you are in the world. Homesickness is far less of a factor when you can email pictures every day, or have a Skype call whenever you feel a bit lonely. The cost of this technology is coming down all of the time, and makes being overseas far more affordable.