/ Travel & Leisure

Would you consider moving abroad?

Lots of people in front of world map

Cold, wet and windy – three words that pretty much sum up British winter. But is a bit of rain really enough to send you house hunting on the other side of the world? It is for the many Brits who dream of moving abroad.

For me, home really is where the heart is, but I might be in the minority. According to research by flight comparison website Skyscanner, 88% of Brits are dissatisfied with life in Britain and would consider moving abroad within the next five years.

One of the biggest factors is the weather, with nearly a fifth of respondents looking to head to sunnier climes.

‘Ain’t no sunshine’

Now, I’m not pretending that the good old British weather can’t be frustrating at times, but it’s certainty not enough to make me want to leave forever. Like many holidaymakers, I love a bit of sunshine on my holiday, but isn’t the novelty of being able to wear a t-shirt and shorts for more than two days in a row part of the appeal of going away?

Whilst I would definitely like to take advantage of living more of an outdoor lifestyle in milder climes, the thought of trying to function in searing heat has just as little appeal as walking to work in the freezing cold back home. And the idea of having a Christmas dinner on the beach – well, it just doesn’t seem right!

And it’s not only the weather that has people wanting to head abroad. One in five respondents were tempted by a perceived better lifestyle, while almost a third cited the appeal of cheaper property, better job opportunities and rising living costs as their motivation for wanting to quit the UK.

Heading down under

When it came to the countries us Brits would like to move to, I can’t say I was too surprised to see the long-term favourite Australia topping the list (15%). A life down under is a dream held by many in the UK, while Spain – another popular destination with Brits – wasn’t far behind (14%).

Moving stateside was the third most popular choice (13%), with Canada (8%) and New Zealand (7%) making up the top five. Personally, if I had to choose out of these five, I’d have to go with the USA, following my trip to New York last year. It’s not quite as far as Australia!

So what do you think? Am I missing something – is the grass really greener on the other side of the world? Or like me, are you quite happy staying right where you are?


I couldn’t possibly leave Britain. I have an uneaten sausage roll in the fridge.

So many people are keen to live in Britain that it must be worth staying here.

Mikhail says:
7 November 2011

Stereotyping is a very dangerous thing.

Mikhail says:
7 November 2011

The grass is greener where you make it greener. We live on a planet, this is our planet and our home, maybe it is very naive to say that, but if you remove politics and religions, we are all the same.

You might misspelled ‘Skyscanner’, would you please publish a link to the research?

The weather is not, in my opinion, the reason for folks wanting away: better pay and opportunities and (sometimes?) lower overall taxation are more likely to fit the bill. You have also got to ask why so many expatriates long for their UK leave breaks? These days especially the chance of a job is a more likely reason for leaving the UK. Finally, the UK may appear bad to those aspiring UK-bred expatriates but as “wavechange” states above, there are probably more overseas folks just waiting to fill their places.

Depends on where you go to. Germany and Holland for example = much MORE taxation to pay for things like the Reunification bill (solidaritaetszuschlag) and the constant draining and maintenance of the land.

Chris says:
9 November 2011

It depends where you compare it to really. There are lots of good things about Britain – sadly, one of the bad things is how little we actually know about what we do well, and what we don’t. Our obsession with money, old fashioned attitudes, and wealth divide are some of the bad things. They are the main ones that make me want to move somewhere more progressive and enlightened. But there are still plenty of good people here. And who wants to be stuck in a place with bad tea, no yorkshire puddings, and no chance of rain?

I would have to come back sometimes, even if I moved abroad. That still doesn’t stop the urge though, with each Daily Mail headline, and government policy leading us further towards hatred and unhappiness.

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I’m more than happy to stay put in London and being Norwegian I’m used to extreme weather. I think our summer over here begins in March and ends in October. As for rain – what rain? We hardly had any this year or at least not in London and I’m still waiting for an opportunity to buy a flash Orla Kiely brolly, but it has to start raining first.

It depends entirely on your personality.

I’m from Rugby, after my 18th birthday, I lived in Cambridge and then Leeds. I then moved to live in Haarlem (Holland) and then Duesseldorf (Germany), now St Albans and then before the end of the year, Bedford.

My opinion is that I am a frontiers man, trapped in suburban England 🙂

I certainly don’t move for something as superficial as the weather. The very reason that England is a green and pleasant land is that we have lots of rain. Living in Haarlem and Duesseldorf, the climate is exactly the same (save a little more extremes of highs and lows in the Rhineland).

I don’t like monotonous drudgery and moving out of my comfort zone challenges me to make the best of what I have, broadens my horizons and teaches me new languages. I am now back in England for good as I love my family and friends and the beautiful countryside that we all take for granted.

So in conclusion, I would say that if you are an exploring type of person, do it, it gives you so much more than just sitting in England just to exist. Saying yes to everything and seeing where it takes you is just so enriching and empowering. If you are not an adventurist, don’t bother, you will just end up even more bitter than before.

I could make many more observations on this but I think I’ve gone on for long enough 🙂

I emigrated to Norfolk. It has fabulous weather, unique scenery, takes ages to get here from anywhere else, they speak a different language, the shops and customs are old-fashioned, they drive on the right or the left – whichever takes their fancy, everyone is related to everyone else, there are eight children in the reception class [including three sets of twins], wood-smoke scents the evening air, the night sky is crystal clear with no light-pollution, folk are all in bed by 10:30, the doctor drives an old Rover, Rover drives the doctor mad, the capital is one of the most fantastic cities on earth, the policeman takes all day to cover his rural beat [I used to have a car like that], and the food takes your breath away.

Tricia says:
13 November 2011

I am considering retiring to Australia where my daughter and her family live but cannot make up my mind. Will be going over again this month for a couple of months for birth of her fourth child – another boy for the rugby team. Life is certainly wonderful there for children and schools still have control of pupils. My concern is that my pension will be frozen from the date I go and I shall have to pay a health insurance premium each month. Will also have to pay around £4,600 to Oz government for a visa to live there. Would be a waste of money if it did not work out. Very undecided