Why we Decided to Move Abroad…Again!

As you may know, we moved abroad in August 2020 to live in Dubai. Lloyd was going to work as a Primary School Music Teacher and I was starting my PhD in German Studies via distance learning with Birmingham University. Well, that lasted all of five weeks before we jumped on the next flight home praying that we never had to endure that city again!

So you might be wondering; “Why on earth are they now moving to China less than a year after returning from Dubai?”

Believe it or not, the decision to move to China was one of the easiest decisions we’ve ever made.


Here’s the story…
It was new years eve 2020, we’d had a couple of drinks and were discussing our plans for the year ahead. We’d succumbed to the idea of buying a house and had already started to save for a deposit and begun gathering bits and pieces for our new home.

We both come from very loving and traditional families, our parents have been married for years and years and we both grew up with the view one day we would get great careers and buy our own homes.

We were talking about how much of a deposit to put down in order to figure out our savings plan for 2021. We were discussing thousands of pounds and hundreds of hours of hard work (we’d need second, if not third jobs) to secure a decent place to live. We looked at the figures…it was doable.

We looked at them again…a bit closer this time.

What do these figures mean? Well, we’d have to go without the date nights, we’d have to cut down on our tutoring (I learn German and Lloyd has guitar lessons), we’d have to do our weekly shop on a tighter budget, we wouldn’t really afford a holiday this year…but it was doable, and that was the main thing, right?

This is what people do in order to buy a house…right?!

Well it just didn’t feel right.

It wasn’t that we weren’t ready to ‘commit’ …I mean, we are the couple who got married within 9 months of meeting each other. We just constantly felt that buying a house was more what was expected of us now rather than what we actually wanted.

We desperately tried to avoid this feeling by looking at alternative (but also socially acceptable) options, such as renting, instead. Those figures turned out to be even more off-putting than saving for a mortgage.

Sure, it would allow us to move around if we needed to for work but the costs were so much higher that we would literally be working in order to get by. There was no margin for actual living and enjoyment of life.

We simply did not want to pour all of our money into a house which felt more of a constraint than an achievement, but we really didn’t know what else to do. We’d constantly ask each other…”Why is buying a house so exciting and rewarding to everyone but us? Why do we want such different things from life than those around us? Why can’t we just want a normal life?”

We’d already failed at moving abroad, we had both finished our education and had no desire to re-train but, during the COVID pandemic in the UK, jobs were slim and options even slimmer.

Eventually, we found jobs in schools in our local town. In fact we found jobs that we absolutely love and it will be heartbreaking to leave them when we move. But this didn’t change the fact that we either had to suck it up and save for two years whilst still living with Lloyd’s parents or move out into a rental that was in the middle of nowhere and would cost us most of our monthly wages combined.

And honestly, things were right on the edge of working out like that. We were saving for this ‘dream’ which, really, we had no business in ever having. Neither of us felt right about it but we kind of dragged on for a few months thinking it was best to settle down now. What else was there to do?

So, we ended up falling asleep on NYE at like, 8pm. Testament to just how riveting the budget planning was!

We woke up around 11pm, surrounded by pages and pages of notes covered in numbers and questions marks and I realised that I had started to wake up every day feeling this sense of dread. I’d wake up and not care about anything outside of my job because we were forcing our round ambitions into a square hole and they just did. not. fit. No matter how hard we tried!

I looked at Lloyd and said ‘I’m not done seeing the world with you- do you want to move to Asia instead?’ Without a second thought he said ‘yes!’ immediately.

And so, the decision was made just before the new year that we would try again.




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