Why we moved out of the UK (Twice!)

After the Brexit shock, more and more Brits are looking to move away from the UK. I don’t blame them. There are a lot of pros and cons when it comes to living in the UK and for the sake of objectivity, I would like to tackle all points in this article. Is the UK a good place to live? I don’t know anymore. There are too many issues which make the UK a depressing place to be.

I’m going to start by saying that it wasn’t always like this. There was a time when we loved the UK, were pleased by the level of comfort this country offered. There is a lot of incentive for young entrepreneurs to start a new business here, and we took full advantage of this. We created a digital company which became the pillar of our careers. We enjoyed the crazy number of products, the fantastic range of online shopping and the quality customer service. You see, all these were just normal things in the UK.

About 12 years ago, when I came to study in Manchester, Britain was a different place. I think the part which shocked me the most was how friendly everyone seemed, how customer-oriented the service was tailored, and the sheer amount of prospects anyone could benefit from.

But this was short-lived because I arrived in the UK during a dark time for Romanians and Bulgarians who just joined the EU. It wasn’t all bells and whistles because it took me jumping through many hoops to be able to obtain what back then was called a Yellow Card. I needed to work as a student, as I didn’t have rich parents to support me. But that’s ok, I was never afraid of hard work and long hours of study. So here you had, a student willing to work and pay taxes, and nobody wanted to help her get a NI number, a Yellow Card or a job.

Cory London Big Ben Night

This didn’t stop me, though, I persevered until I got accepted. I went above and beyond to integrate myself. I even learned the slang, so I feel like one of “them”. And everything was perfect. What might come as a shock is that I even loved the weather! As a writer, I thrived during rainy days as melancholia hit. It created the perfect environment for me to work, write and create.

As time went by, things started to change a little. The more I integrated, the more I saw, understood and acknowledged. Oblivious as I was at the beginning, I soon realised that I was somehow treated differently than my fellow British friends. For a while, it didn’t bother me, until one day, I got rejected after a two-week job trial. They told me they didn’t want me because I couldn’t spell. I still remember the distress and shame I felt that day. I apologised and ran out crying, feeling desperate and marginalised. Why? As a Law student, language proficiency was of utmost importance to me. Of course, as a foreigner, I understood my limitations, yet spelling was never a major issue.

I asked for proof to see what I spelt wrong and on how many occasions. They showed me a name. Apparently, I wrote, “Stacy” instead of “Stacey” on a reminder post-it which has nothing to do with official documentation, appointment book or customer-facing paperwork. I told my British friend about this, and her reaction was: “Were there any foreigners working for the company?” And this got me thinking… in fact, no! There weren’t any. To further reassure myself that my English level was adequate for me to get a job, I went to University and took a language exam. My results were A for reading, writing, and spelling.

Cory London Fortnum Mason

It wasn’t until the last year of University that I landed my first full-time job with Apple. That changed everything. My peers were cool, the work environment was multicultural, everyone was smart, funny, different, and awesome. I loved them and loved my job. Throughout the years, I lived a relatively calm and happy life. I had my ups, my downs, no money whatsoever, but good friends and great prospects. In the end, I left my job at Apple, moved to Bristol, got a new job with a digital startup, met my future husband, and formed our own company. We started travelling the world, became British citizens, got married and here we are.

But something, somewhere, went wrong… thus, we decided to leave the UK. Could it be because England is not a good place to live? Or is there more to the story?

Table of Contents

Moving out of the UK

So, what went wrong? Why did we decide to move out of the UK? I think after a decade of living in the UK, certain things started changing a bit too much and got to us. We are a married couple with no children, heavily focused on work. When we got married, we decided to live some place else and experience different cultures. We called it our long honeymoon.

Below, I will explain some of the factors we took into account when we made our decision. This does not imply that England (or the rest of the UK) is not a good place to live. It’s just that we wanted to experience something a little different for a while.

The Weather

There are many benefits to having so much rain in the UK. Rain makes this country green heaven, which is ideal for keeping those beautiful rolling hills everyone loves. This, in turn, is fantastic for livestock, fantastic for photography and brilliant for people who love walks in nature. There is just one catch. It always rains. This means an average British person has a wardrobe full of Autumn clothing and about 10 different types of wellies. As much as you might like the rain (and I already said that I vehemently love the rain), it eventually gets to you.

It gets to you when you need to ride your bike home whilst getting wet to the bones. It gets to you when you can’t enjoy the pub’s beer garden during summer. It gets to you when you realise you can’t buy t-shirts because, in reality, you need sweaters, thermals, and raincoats. It sucks that you can’t wear a dress unless you go on holiday. It’s not cool that you can only wear a skirt for 5 days of sunshine throughout the year (we call that the elusive British heatwave).


Travelling doesn’t come cheap in the UK. There are pros and cons to this. The good news is that the infrastructure is relatively good in the UK. Although we need more motorways, there are well-maintained roads in the country. This means that if you have a car, you can get to pretty much anywhere around the UK. That’s not to say you will get anywhere fast. Apart from a handful usually far too busy motorways, expect tiny dual and single carriageways. Don’t even get me started on country roads. As beautiful as they are, they are a menace to drive on, especially at night.

Owning a car doesn’t come cheap in the UK, either. But buying a great second car in the UK will cost you much (LIKE MUCH!) less than in any other country in Europe. In fact, I am in the market for a new European car (which allows me to drive on the right-hand side) and the equivalent of the car I am selling here, is 5 times the price in any other European country. Mad!

If you don’t own a car in the UK, I am very sad to tell you that train prices are ridiculous. I still remember wanting to go from Bristol to London and prices being close to £150 for a return ticket. So, travelling by public transport around the UK doesn’t come cheap.

Having said all this, it’s worth mentioning that the UK is a beautiful country. So many people prefer going abroad when there are so many wonderful places to see within the country. Think beautiful places in Scotland, stunning beaches in Cornwall and romantic places in England. It’s a hiker’s paradise, there’s so much green, with ancient woodlands, rocky formations and medieval villages. Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and lots of National Trust locations for incredible days out.

But, before you get too excited, note that accommodation is also incredibly expensive. Hotels in general are not great either. Even the most expensive ones are in terrible need of update. The beds are usually soft and uncomfortable, and even 4 or 5-star hotels in London have grime around the corners. Not a good look.

Things to do in London Sunday Subway


When I first came to the country, I said to my British friend. “I love the British culture”. His reply was: “What British culture?”

This got me thinking. What British culture was I referring to? Here I am, 12 years later, puzzled by the same question. I’m still searching for the answer but got lost somewhere along the way.

The great things about Britain, are the sheer amount of bright minds this country had during its history. There are a myriad of inventors, writers, musicians, bands, rock stars, scientists… All British! I can probably tell you something fantastic about a lot of them. And it was because of these bright minds that I chose to become British, too. It took me years of hard work before I could even begin my application as a British citizen. But I wanted to show this country that I respect its traditions, its cultures and its laws. Furthermore, I respect the people who, in my mind, made Britain awesome (Like Mick Jagger, David Attenborough or Maggie Smith).

But the more you integrate, the more you see the issues too. What country is perfect, aye? The governments have decided to further cut budgets for education, science, and academics. Outside brilliant minds are no longer welcome to contribute to the Great British society and money is being invested in privatisation and corporations rather than a stable economy, and an educated, informed and healthy population. And this truly shows!

The culture in Britain has moved from brilliant to that of hate, racism, and ignorance. The great educated gentleman is obsolete, and the fine lady is on a verge of collapse.

There are two sides to the British culture. The one you get to see as an outsider and the one you experience once you are on the inside. Britain is the best example of what it’s like to have a split personality.

But there’s always hope. And that’s something we continue to experience in this country. For every ignorant comment, there is a kind person who welcomes foreigners. There are new ideas on the market all the time, and inventors are trying hard to come up with ideas on how to push the UK further. We need to stand together and show the world that love prevails. Vote for the party that helps people, understands and values human rights. Try to help your community and form connections because it’s the only way to fight the bad.

Things to do in London Busy Road


Since we are talking about culture, I must touch base on the food. The core of the British kitchen is the oven, as you might already know from the Great British Bake Off. Let me tell you about the art of British food. We have pies (a variety of them), we have the mighty Sunday dinner, the toad in the hole, the stew, sausages and mash, fish and chips.

In recent years, however, many restaurants focused on British products, and new ways to innovate by using locally sourced, seasonal products. But sadly, it doesn’t do it any favours. The food, while varied and on paper, exciting, it’s anything but. Even the most innovative restaurants are dull and expensive. When it comes to International Cuisine, even foreign chefs seem to butcher their own dishes to appeal to the local (tasteless) palette. Our local Indian started strong with epic flavours and creamy dishes. It was sensational. Fast forward 1 year and it’s not dull, watery and absolutely tasteless. They adapted to what people want and like, they say.

“Nobody cares for quality here. So why pay more for quality ingredients when the locals seem to prefer tasteless carrots.” This is what the owner said to us when confronted about his horrible changes in his dishes. The man is not lying, thought, as you can hardly get a table in his restaurant, it’s that popular and packed.

When it comes to the supermarket, it’s fair to talk about the ingredients. You can purchase anything your heart desires from the supermarket in the UK. This results in you learning to cook a variety of world dishes. I can cook Cantonese, Japanese (my favourite), Thai, Indian, French, Italian, Spanish and what not! So, although Britain has a limited number of dishes, it comes with a great variety of ingredients. But do any of the ingredients taste good? Not unless you can afford Waitrose and even that is a hit-and-miss.

As you know, I am a foodie, as I wrote about magical street food in Tokyo or the French cuisine in Nice. Can the food anywhere in the world compare to the UK? Sadly no, but not in a good way. I would say that Swedish and Norwegian food are the only ones in the same tasteless category as the UK.

Meat Pie British Bake


As you might have gathered thus far, the prices in the UK are rather high. In fact it’s so high, that it’s cheaper for us to live in Tokyo! And no, I’m not joking.

There are cheap things too, but expect to get what you pay for. Rent prices are VERY high, and when you add utilities, the internet, council tax and all the rest, you end up with most of your salary gone. And it’s not that you get a wonderful apartment or house for your money. Nope, you’ll mostly get a badly insulted brick house that can’t retain its heat in the winter.

If you are not careful, it can be a cruel existence whereby you work to live and you live to work. The economy is still a favourite for young entrepreneurs, hungry consumerists and investors. Or at least it was before the Brexit idea, but more on this a later in this article.

According to CWJobs the average salary for Professional jobs in London is £50,000. That’s a lot, isn’t it? Well, let’s look closer. This is before any deductions.

According to Expatistan here are some things you have to take into account:

Monthly rent for 85 m2 (900 Sqft) furnished accommodation in an EXPENSIVE area £2,391
Monthly rent for 85 m2 (900 Sqft) furnished accommodation in the NORMAL area £1.696
Utilities 1 month (heating, electricity, gas…) for 2 people in 85m2 flat £154

Unless you share your accommodation, you are extremely rich or live in a partnership with someone, you can’t essentially live in London. Please bear in mind that these prices are without internet, food, transportation, clothes, personal care or any sort of entertainment.

The good news is that we live in a time when remote working is becoming more and more accessible. There are so many digital nomad jobs so you don’t need to live in London any more. You can live in a place like Bristol, for example, where the cost of living is a little more affordable, thus enabling you to have a decent life in the UK.

London Ealing Neighbourhood


The internet was flooded with articles about where should the Brits move now that the Brexit happened. I was in Madeira when I saw the results of Brexit. I still remember talking to my husband the previous night, saying that the world is not that stupid. Nobody is going to vote “leave” and nobody is going to vote for “Trump”. I guess Einstein was right after all. Only two things are infinite… you know the saying.

As we were already British citizens, we too participated in the vote and yes, we voted “stay” in case you were wondering. Unlike many others, we understand the importance of being part of the EU. And since the article is not about this, I’m going to refrain from further comments. However, there are few things which surfaced with this whole Brexit situation. We learned that a large percentage of people in this country are racist. Politicians are liars (we’ve been promised more money for academia and the NHS…). Politicians are trying to get rid of the Human Rights (read about it if you dont believe me). Without a flinch, the Great British government passed the most extreme surveillance law in the history of western democracy (to quote Snowden)).

After the Brexit vote, people started attacking immigrants, and even immigrant looking Brits. Sadly, the internet is full of these instances, so there isn’t much point me going through them. What is even sadder is that we (although both British) felt the effects of this.

And finally, let me make something perfectly clear. I am what you call a naturalised British citizen. This means that I was born abroad, came here and worked very hard to integrate myself to the point I would be accepted and deemed to be called a British citizen. I don’t complain about the process, due to the fact that I understand why any country would only want skilled migrants and high-quality citizens. However, it is shocking to still hear people moaning about immigrants coming to Britain for the sake of benefits, whereby it is the vast majority of immigrants who pay the most taxes. It is the immigrants who maintain Britain afloat, and it is because of the immigrants that we have good doctors, dedicated teachers and hard-working baristas in the local cafés. Nobody is claiming anybody’s job. If you are willing to do it, you are better than the rest and are happy with the salary, then the job is yours. Getting a job is a competition, and may the best one win!

Big Ben Night London


Throughout my university years, I inevitably made friends with a lot of politics students. We loved exchanging views on politics, and weekly debates were something I looked forward to. Perhaps, the main reason I loved these, was because we were all like-minded young individuals, who dreamt of a true democratic UK which had the Labour Party at the core. This was mainly because we loved and believed in Tony Benn. He was an inspiration to us all.

What I always find hard to believe is how humans fail to learn from previous mistakes. People always blame it on individuals and never on parties, politic beliefs or societies. It’s always one to take the blame. And so, nobody ever remembered the severe damage the conservative party did to this country throughout the years. And before you jump to my neck, I am a young professional with a business, whereby I, in theory at least, should benefit from conservative promises the most. Yet, I fail to agree with the current leadership on issues such as Brexit, potential lack of Human Rights, surveillance laws, lack of funding for the NHS and academics…

Central London Evening

Attitude towards immigrants

The most heartbreaking part is the attitude towards immigrants which Britain seems to have adopted. Despite the handful of people who try hard to make xenophobia go away, there are so many who still claim immigrants are bad for this country.

I get it, nobody likes foreigners. Nobody likes the idea of having someone around who is entirely different from what we are used to. But let me tell you, you shouldn’t see immigrants as a problem, but as a solution. Immigrants are the people who are willing to give up their rights, liberties and cultures, to work for the sake of your government, your country, your society, and your benefit. These are the people who, if we invite here, and we teach them how to adapt, are going to work hard to pay taxes, and maintain the lifestyle which every born and bred British citizen believes they deserve.

If you still believe this is not possible, take me and my husband as examples. We were both European expats who came here to study. We adapted, changed and integrated into British society. Furthermore, we both naturalised to become British citizens. We both worked hard to build a decent life for ourselves and formed a company. We are both honest people, law-abiding citizens who pay taxes as individuals and as a company. We contribute more to the country than many others. Do you see? If allowed to succeed, immigrants will go above and beyond to prove themselves worthy of your acceptance.

Cory Bristol Forest


This brings me to the last point, which is safety. I used to feel safe in the UK, but for a while now, I am afraid to go around at night. From Downton Abbey, the UK became more of a Harry Brown.

But don’t just take my word for it. According to the Global Peace Index, the UK is the 37th safest country in the world, well below Romania, Hungary, Germany, and Malaysia. Portugal is the 3th safest country in Europe.

England used to be a nice place, and I really wish we could do something to increase the safety rankings. I don’t find it acceptable through that I can go around at night in Tokyo (the most populated city in the world) and have no problems, whereas I walk in fear around in England.

UK at night safety

Where did we live?

So far, since we left the UK, we have lived in Japan, Portugal, Spain, Hungary and Germany. We settled in the Germany for a long period of time before leaving it to return to the UK.

The decision was partly driven by financial considerations, as we were keen to purchase a house, and partly because we wished to explore whether residing in a smaller town might be more beneficial for us. We held the belief that there may have been improvements in such areas. It hasn’t.

While we did succeed in buying a house, we are currently in the midst of departing the UK for good. We truly gave it a fair attempt, exerting our utmost efforts, but have come to the conclusion that it’s simply not the right country for us; it’s not our place. Upon reflection, we realise there is little about the UK that appeals to us. That’s not entirely true, though. We do appreciate the convenience of handling much of the bureaucracy online.

But overall, we don’t like the food, the weather, the politics, the direction in which the country is going. And this might sound like a dig, especially if you do like the UK. It’s not. We’re just different people with different priorities.

We realised that living in the UK wasn’t making us happy. It seemed to bring out the worst in us, causing unhappiness and irritation over things that wouldn’t usually bother us. Life’s too short to keep struggling in a place that doesn’t suit us, so we decided that leaving was the right move. Ever since we made that decision, we’ve felt much happier.

Algarve Natural Wonders

Where would you like to live? Would you come and live in the UK or would you rather take the road to somewhere warmer? Leave a comment and tell me all about your experiences.

This article was first published on the 13th of January 2017 and updated many times since. We first moved to Japan, then Portugal, then Spain. We then lived in Hungary before moving to Germany. After the pandemic, we returned to the UK and lived in Harrogate.

Our last update reflects that we are leaving the UK yet again (in 2024) and this time for good.

We are proud first-generation EU immigrants and British naturalised citizens.

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Cory from You Could Travel entering Senso-ji in Tokyo, Japan

Cory Varga – Cory Varga is a licensed travel agent and published travel writer. Her main expertise is writing about Japan, where she happily lives with her husband.
Cory published her first book on Japanese customs and manners because she’s obsessed with everything Japan and wants to share more about the local customs with the rest of the world.
While Cory has visited hundreds of destinations and has lived in 7 different countries, Japan remains her favorite place to live and write about. Cory is multilingual.


209 responses to “Why we moved out of the UK (Twice!)”

  1. Katie at Study Hard Travel Smart Avatar
    Katie at Study Hard Travel Smart

    I definitely feel you on this, although maybe not to the extent that you do as I am an American who lives in Prague and has lived in Wales and France. I always turn up to a new place eager to learn about the culture, and with romantic views about the entire city/country. In my case in Prague, some of these romantic ideas just never materialized the way I thought they would, or my perception has changed. I’m not quite at the point where I’m ready to leave yet, but I do know I don’t want to “settle” there, and I can definitely understand your urge to leave. I’m sure you will find your (almost) perfect city/country!

    1. Cory Avatar

      Hi Katie, thank you for your comment. I would love to visit Prague and although I know many digital nomads pick this city to live in, I believe it’s not exactly what I have in mind. I would probably live there for a few years, but ultimately, would need a bit more sunshine. I guess, home is what you make of it.

  2. Rhiannon Avatar

    It makes me sad to read this. Not because you’re leaving because HELLO ADVENTURE, but because of all the reasons you listed. Except the rain; everyone hates the rain haha. But seriously, I’m sad that you don’t feel safe anymore. I’m sad that 52% of our fellow countrymen make you feel that you’re not welcome. Because I promise you are! It seems like a majority but if you look at the facts behind the polls, it was mostly the older generation who voted leave, the people who were blind-sided by promises of more money for the NHS and better help for the elderly and infirm. It was also the uneducated, the “lower class” if you will (I can say that because on paper that’s me haha). Again, they were blind-sided by empty promises of a better NHS, “more jobs” and “less immigrants”. Because they read too much of the Daily Mail and have come to believe that Mohammad who owns the corner shop and Sunita who works in the local Indian aren’t law-abiding, hard-working citizens but terrorists, despite having lived here longer than some of us have been alive! I’ve held 3 stable jobs since I was 16, and in each on I was the minority. There were very few British born citizens working those jobs, and it’s because very few British born citizens can go beyond the thinking that working in a fast food chain or as a cleaner or in a call centre for minimum wage is below them. But people who come to the country? The “immigrants who are here to steal the jobs”? They’re some of the most hard-working, dedicated people I’ve ever worked with who will do ANYTHING to earn a decent, honest living. Sure there are a few who give a bad name to people coming here to live, a few who are just in it for the benefits. But there are a damnsight more British born citizens abusing the system in the same way.
    This has turned into a really long political rant now – sorry haha. To cut it short, I’m sad you’re leaving for those reasons. But please know that you and your husband are welcome, you are safe, and if our government ever decides to sort themselves out and stop being absolute tools, I hope you come back some day 🙂 But in the meantime have an absolute blast in Portugal, Hungary and wherever else the wind takes you!

    1. Cory Avatar

      Dear Rhiannon, thank you for your comment. I want to thank you from all my heart that you took the time to tell us we are welcome. We need more people such as yourself, who realise that indeed, the UK needs immigrants to keep certain parts of the country afloat.
      We are excited to have started our adventure, and we don’t regret leaving the UK. Although, sometimes, we do miss having a good old pint with our mates 🙂

      1. Anita Sandall Avatar
        Anita Sandall

        I am so ashamed you went through the rejection that ultimately shows you how insecure and colonial the Brits are: you are clearly a clever educated and self aware being. Far far far more than can be said of the UK if we were to look at it as a sole
        The ‘PM’ ( in brackets because he elected himself ~ NONE of us did ) also promulgates this sense of smashing humans j to the ground unless they have £ ~ note signs in their eyes.
        He is absolutely the worst thing this country has seen and he is already in UK history as the worst ever specimen for UK politics.

        If we had half the collective consciousness you do ~ we would be vaguely palatable but alas ~ the shame most of us British passport holders feel when we read words such as yours is a real true genuine shame and I don’t as a rule ~ so shame.

        The UK is busted and going so exponentially quickly backwards it beggars belief.

        Piketty became a world wide acclaimed ‘rock ‘n’ roll economist because he predicted the demise of capitalism echoing Marx and others. The true heart felt travesty is that this sad depleted miserable island ( with yes – some rolling green hills thanks to the endless rain and grey ) has such a brutal bizarre arcane form of capitalism that it has totally wrecked risked through corporate greed and the chasing of that ethos by the most ghastly of humans that has ever walked the earth ~ Sunak.

        Thank you for writing your words with such truth and clarity: both qualities this country lacks. It also lacks a moral compass which is why most of us want to leave .

  3. Jordan Avatar

    What an interesting perspective and thanks for sharing! As an American who used to live in Scotland, I 100% agree with you about the weather and prices (ouch with the pound/dollar!). I now live full-time in Germany and just enjoy the lifestyle better. I wish you and your husband the best of luck on your travels and next adventure in life!!!

    1. Cory Avatar

      Thank you Jordan! I am glad to hear you settled in Germany. Scotland is a wonderful place, but ultimately, it is still part of the UK….for now at least 🙂

  4. Faith Avatar

    A very powerful piece and interesting from my perspective as a Canadian who left Canada to travel for many of the same reasons. I am not a young person but to find work in Canada is miserably difficult unless you live in a major City. In particular if you get over 50 and are jobless you are totally screwed and even if you have a pension you simply cannot afford to live there. I say keep traveling and find places that you can afford to have a decent life and by that I don’t mean buying ‘stuff’ settle for much less but a good lifestyle.

    1. Cory Avatar

      Hello Faith, thank you for your comment. I find this so interesting because I would have never expected to learn these things about Canada. Buying less, eating better and having good weather is far more valuable. I wish more countries will adopt this!

  5. Miranda - The Common Wanderer Avatar
    Miranda – The Common Wanderer

    Wow Cory! Such an interesting perspective. We’ve just moved to the UK and we’re loving it so far, though we are probably still doe-eyed and innocent about it all. We actually find it so much cheaper living here than back home in Melbourne, Australia though…. How crazy is that!
    We’ve also found that while Mark (who has a british passport) breezes through various application processes for banks etc, I (with a Latvian passport) struggle much, much harder to get approved. Even if it is just a coincidence, I definitely get you when you say you feel as though you’re treated differently.
    Good luck finding your new base guys 🙂 Can’t wait to see where you travel to!

    1. Cory Avatar

      Hi Miranda, thank you for your comment. I really hope I didn’t put you off living in the UK. We are all different and I hope that what didn’t work for me, will be excellent for you. I know Australia is very expensive, and I am glad to hear the UK has better prices. I hope you getting differential treatment than your British man is just a silly coincidence! I want to take this opportunity to wish you well, wherever you two decide to settle.

    2. Carla Avatar

      It’s to do with money laundering regulations. The bank need to ensure that the account is not been used for proceeds from crime or they can face heavy fines, this obviously takes more verification for foreign nationals.

      Source: I work for a bank.

      1. Cory Avatar

        Make sense, Carla! Thank you for letting us know.

  6. Lena Avatar

    That’s a really nice and honest article.
    I must admit, being a foreigner here in Denmark I often ask myself the same questions and face the same challenges. Countries in Europe are becoming less and less accepting and open.
    But good for you for taking on a new path, that’s always exciting!

    1. Cory Avatar

      Hi Lena, it took a lot of courage to say all these things. I know some will agree, whilst others won’t. Nevertheless, I wanted to tell the world what is going on and why we honestly wanted to leave the country.

  7. Morgan Avatar

    Very brave and I can’t wait to see what comes next! It takes a lot of courage to recognize when it’s time to move on. xx Morgan

    1. Cory Avatar

      Hi Morgan. It all started a few years back when we were walking through the rain on those British rolling hills. We were fantasising about walking on a beach somewhere and eating fresh fruits. It took us a long time to really make the move. Alas, we did it!

  8. Alaine Avatar

    What an informative post! Its sad what is happening with the world today. I’m beginning to feel incredibly out of place and more at home when I’m on my own whether I’ve locked myself up in a room at my parents, or traveling solo around the world. The rising sentiment of racism is felt the world over. I grew up as an expat kid and global citizen so I don’t really understand the veil of staunch patriotism to one country. How people can be close-minded in their views of the world. I will always be a foreigner to the world and a slave to the number of days/weeks/years I can stay according to visas. A passport country that doesn’t accept me the way I am due to my ethnic heritage, global upbringing, and different cultural views. A birth country that doesn’t fully accept me because I speak different, act different, live differently than the majority. Adopted countries I’ve lived in were always a ticking reminder that I don’t belong and that I’m just a temporary alien working or studying there for a limited time. Visiting countries to escape reality and feel comfortable in my own skin but is always a slap in the face to reality going through immigration. Sigh. To be a global citizen shouldn’t be a bane of existence.

    1. Cory Avatar

      Dear Alaine, thank you for your comment. I can’t help but share your sentiment. I wish the world would be more open, patient, loving. I do feel that we have so much potential and we could learn so much from one another. We have a long way to go before we can live in a borderless world, where are all welcome anywhere and everywhere. I wish we would have governments who encourage peace and education, as opposed to war.

  9. Ella Avatar

    You’ve written an incredible and brilliant post here, Cory! A very interesting and substantial read. I’m also a British citizen but I was born there and left around the same time that you came. Your thoughts and feelings on Brexit and on many of the other aspects affecting living in the UK, are the same ones that I share. I’m always asked whether or not I would move back and honestly, especially as a result of recent events and where things seem to be headed, I wouldn’t. Not likely to anyway. There are many wonderful things that I love about the British culture and I am glad that I spent a chunk of my childhood there, but there are also many aspects that repel me and that I even find quite appalling. No country or culture is perfect of course, but we always have to ask ourselves what we’re willing to put up with and sometimes it’s not worth it. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Cory Avatar

      Hi Ella, thank you for your warm comment. There are so many wonderful things about Britain! I am glad you had the courage to leave it all behind and become the fulfilled and happy person you are today. We need to infuse more people with love and courage, for everyone to truly follow their dreams and live life to the full potential.

  10. Wendy Avatar

    I can imagine you want to escape the rain. Same problem in Belgium! If I would move, it would be to Barcelona. It has good food, great climate, culture, sea,….. and it’s nog too far from “Home”

    1. Cory Avatar

      Hi Wendy, thank you for your comment. The weather can be a bit much and I heard Belgium doesn’t come with much sunshine either. I do hope you move to Barcelona soon!

  11. Cristina Avatar

    A very deep and interesting reflection… It’s very hard to leave! But I guess you took the right decision :/

    1. Cory Avatar

      Hi Cristina, it is very hard to leave the known and take a leap of faith into the unknown. Nonetheless, the dark side usually has cookies 🙂

  12. Kaylene Avatar

    I loved reading this post. I’m moving away from my home in the US next year and have some similar reasons why. I’m excited for something new and a place that’s easier to travel solo in.

    1. Cory Avatar

      Hi Kaylene, I can’t wait to read more about your solo adventures. I hope you find a new place you will call home.

  13. Suzanne (PhilaTravelGirl) Avatar
    Suzanne (PhilaTravelGirl)

    Excellent post with a logical argument and pros/cons clearly explained. I’ve been trying to move to the UK for years but as an “immigrant” from the US, the Tier2 visa rules have prevented me from doing so. I was stunned by Brexit and very sad as well, it foreshadowed the US elections. For me, moving to the UK where I’ve traveled a few times a year for over 20 years for work and fun – is about spending time with friends and loved ones there and the opportunity to travel Europe much easier. I guess it’s a “grass is always greener” situation for all of us lately.
    Good luck on your move and finding the sun

  14. Kathi Avatar

    I live in the UK right now (Scotland), but I’m not a citizen. My partner is though. We’re thinking of moving away as soon as I’ve finished my studies for many of the same reasons as the ones you mentioned. Even though I think the political climate in Scotland is slightly different than in England – especially in Glasgow, where we live – there is no denying that the overall situation sucks. A practical question – do you have to have an address in the UK in order to keep your business based there?

    1. Cory Avatar

      Dear Kathi,

      Sorry for the delay in getting back to you. You do not need an address in the UK for yourself. However, you do need an address in the UK for your business. You can rent a PO box for your business and move it there. This way you can still get letters, keep on banking etc It costs a few hundred pounds per year but well worth it.

  15. Melissa Avatar

    Excellent read! I’m currently temporarily living in the UK (my boyfriend is English) and I feel you! His family is super conservative (they voted leave) and it’s quite surprising to see how people are close-minded and so patriotic. I’m telling him constantly how much I’d rather live somewhere else in Europe (somewhere cheaper, because yahh, it’s way too expensive here) and somewhere where we could simply have a better quality of life.

    I thought this was also quite funny! I wrote an article about a similar topic a month ago. It was about all the things I don’t understand about England. Lol. I think you got it all right!

    1. Cory Avatar

      Hi Melissa,
      Thank you for your comment. Getting used to life in the UK takes some time for sure. I do hope you get to leave and start living the dream in a cheaper country in Europe. I can understand that it must be a bit difficult to reason with your boyfriend’s parents. I will certainly find it challenging, especially because I voted stay. 🙂

  16. Melissa Avatar

    Wow, this was an incredibly interesting read. The weather part had me laughing with how much I identified with it. Happy you brought in some of the more sensitive economic and political reasons, as well

    1. Cory Avatar

      Thank you, Melissa. The weather can be a bit daunting, right? 🙂

  17. Karin Avatar

    I love how this article is so well structured. Bravo to your writing skills! Anyone who would kick you out for “bad spelling” must be crazy.

    1. Cory Avatar

      Thank you, Karin. That is very sweet of you. I know I am not perfect, but I am trying hard to become better at it.

  18. Elise Avatar

    Totally agree with so much of this! We actually left two days before the Brexit vote. We also didn’t think it would happen but were pleased that we had left after the results were announced!

    The newspapers and the Tory party conjure up this idea that immigrants and immigration are the cause of so many of our problems (strain on social welfare, NHS, not enough housing, not enough jobs etc) to hide the true cause of those problems, which is cuts to funding and their government! It’s proven that immigration is a totally positive thing for a country, and historically immigrants have contributed FAR more than they have received. You could also argue that for an aging population, a young, able bodied workforce coming here wanting to work is exactly what the country needs. The UK hasn’t had to pay for their education and they are not responsible for them until they become Brits.

    You are so right about costs! While supermarket prices are very low, rent, utilities, council tax and eating out is astronomical compared to other countries. Lots of things cost the same in Canadian dollars here that they do in pounds in the UK! Why live like that if you don’t have to!

    And everything about th weather…yes, yes, a thousand times yes haha. Great article 🙂

    1. Cory Avatar

      Dear Elise, thank you for your comment. Every time mum came to visit, she always said how much she loves shopping for food in the UK. It’s amazing really. We are now in Portugal and we miss the prices for groceries in the UK BUT with everything, life is still such much cheaper here. And the weather, sadly, it’s true 🙁

      1. Si Avatar

        It’s not true about the weather at all! You chose to live in Manchester one of the wettest and coldest parts of the UK – and yet most of Europe is colder than Manchester for most of the year.
        Paris is wetter than London…..south of England gets more sunshine than the Low Countries…..what were you expecting when you moved here wall to wall sunshine?!

        1. Cory Avatar

          I chose to live in Manchester for University but lived for 6 years in Bristol. Bristol is in the South and theoretically doesn’t get as much as rain as Manchester. May is freezing! The British summer is terribly wet and cold. I don’t like the sunshine so no, I didn’t expect wall to wall sunshine.
          I expected common decency, nice people, reasonable food , good housing, trustworthy politics and decent weather. However, what I got was the complete opposite 🙂

  19. Jen Morrow Avatar
    Jen Morrow

    As a former UK resident, I understand your position. I was always welcomed as an American, many years ago. Best wishes for your move.

    1. Cory Avatar

      Thank you so much, Jen x

  20. Ryazan Avatar

    What an awesome post! As an adopted child of Britain,I can totally relate to you. My husband and I are also heading to that same direction, I’m keeping everything cross. All the best to your travels and keep us posted.x

    1. Cory Avatar

      Thank you, Ryazan. I hope you both find a better home. x

  21. Sarah Avatar

    Yes, yes, yes and yes! I’m lucky as I have both a New Zealand and UK passport so doors are always open to me. But the weather, transport, lack of culture and food contribute to why I’ve spent the majority of my adult live in New Zealand.

    1. Cory Avatar

      Dear Sarah, New Zealand truly is a wonderful place. People are kind and welcoming. And your seasons kick ass 🙂 You can ski, swim, tan, walk. You can enjoy all four seasons!

  22. Renee Avatar

    Really interesting read and I wish you both the best of luck in your new nomadic adventure! My husband and I made the big move from Australia to the US in 2015. Lots of people thought we were crazy but it’s by far the best thing we have ever done.

    1. Cory Avatar

      Dear Renee, you can’t please everyone. I am glad you did what is best for you. I heard the US is a wonderful country and despite its issues, if it makes you feel like home, then it is home.

  23. James Avatar

    It was really interesting to read this from another perspective. As a Brit who has lived abroad for 10 years (in Germany), I always said that I could not really see myself going back to live there permanently for similar reasons. The weather and the cost of housing compared to net salary are also the 2 biggies for me. Also, the “nicest” areas of the UK are not where the jobs are (Cornwall, Lake District, North Wales etc), whereas in Germany within 1 hour of Munich you’re in the Alps, or 1 hour of Frankfurt you’re in the middle of wine country.

    However, now I want to start my own business and freelance, and I definitely see the benefits of the UK in this regard. Margaret Thatcher’s legacy lives on. As Napoleon said, the British are a nation of shopkeepers. It’s the only country in Europe, except maybe Ireland, which has a great entrepreneurial spirit instead of paper-pushing bureaucrats sucking the lifeblood out of the economy.

    Maybe surprising to you but I voted for Brexit….let me explain why because I promise you, 17 million of us are not uneducated racists who believe everything The Sun and the Daily Express writes. I’m really sorry as a Brit that you had negative experiences of racism, especially as someone who clearly learnt the language and integrated into the country. It’s not as simple though that everyone voting leave agrees with Farage and Boris. In Germany I have never felt discriminated against as a foreigner. I learnt the language and am well integrated (except for German TV, which is truly awful so I have Freesat!) but maybe if I was Turkish it would be different.

    The main reason is that I see the EU as being an impossible project, led by weak consensus politicians with no grand vision for economic growth. America has visionaries like Elon Musk and Peter Thiel advising Trump. Europe has Merkel, Tusk and Juncker. God help us. The Euro was a huge mistake. Ask any American, and apart from skinny women, castles and nice beer, the thing they love about Europe is its diversity. Italians and Greeks will never “tick” the same as the Germans, Austrians and Dutch. Brexit will force the country to develop the regions and become less dependent on London, which in turn will reduce the pressure on housing in the South-East. Finally, to address the point on immigration….I actually blame previous governments to a large extent. We have a shitty secondary education system and a generation of younger people who think that the world owes them something. When employers can hire Eastern Europeans who will turn up on time, not call in sick with hangovers and work hard then who can blame them? The problem is that it’s a numbers game. Net migration of 300,000 per year on an island with 64 million inhabitants is unsustainable, especially when most of the population lives in a corridor between Leeds / Manchester and London. Build more houses they say but where?

    Anyway, I hope I have explained rationally that it’s not as simple as how a lot of the press talks about Brexit 🙂

    1. Cory Avatar

      Hi James,

      I want to thank you very much for taking the time to explain your point of view. As a Labour supporter with some Lib Dem views, I cannot reason with the Brexit idea no matter what. I really appreciate your explanation and I am truly glad to hear an argument from the other side of the debate. There are so many rolling hills, empty, kept for a handful of sheep. I say we build houses there. I say we keep the Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and reintroduce forests and wild animals. I say we bring fibre internet across the country and we create better infrastructure. This way people can live everywhere and not depend on the city which is too expensive.
      I say we invest more into the NHS and social welfare. Education is in a terrible state in the UK. No conservative party will help us in this regard. A socialist government will. We need visionaries such as Tony Benn.
      Brexit will cost the UK so much money and create a huge division. I mean let’s spend millions on exiting. Then millions on new passports. Then millions on renegotiating deals with countries who don’t need the UK. Because why would they?!
      Countries lived as part of the EU for so many years, yet each country remains entirely different but united. Italy will still have pizza, Portugal will still have pastel de nata and the UK will continue to have its pies. People speak various languages. Cultures are preserved. And you know what? It’s beautiful that you can live in Germany without a visa. It’s beautiful that your kids can go to Hungary and learn the language, or visit Romania and learn how to cook traditional meals. It’s fab that you can learn so much because we have open borders. And it’s great that we can drive from A to B without being stopped at the borders for passport controls. It feels to me that you voted Brexit because you don’t want more British nationals to come to Europe and not because you had the UK’s interest at heart. Am I wrong?

      They say immigration is an issue but so is emigration. There are so many Brits in Spain and Portugal. SO MANY of them. These people come here and claim free medical care. They enjoy free movement and actually, the vast majority don’t have full-time jobs in the country of residency. They live off of their UK pension. How is that fair? How is it fairer for a British national to claim free education, free social care, free medical from Spain but is not ok to offer the same to another who wants to make a life for themselves in the UK? I think it’s hypocritical. It’s a quid pro quo, no? We should all be free to live a happy life everywhere. In fact, it should be illegal to pay for medical care in ANY country in the world.

      The Brits also call themselves “expats” and not immigrants. Can you see what they did there? That would be denigrating for a Brit, wouldn’t it, to be an immigrant? Can you imagine that? What about equality between all European nations who wanted to live in a great union?

      Brexit was and will continue to be a mistake. Generations to come will read history books and laugh at how what was once “the Greatest Empire” has become a rainy, lonely island, with no power and no influence. Those are the people who will wonder how come that people voted Brexit?

      My 2 cents 🙂

      I love a political debate. Great fun.

      1. British Immigrant Avatar
        British Immigrant

        British people call themselves Expat as they intend to eventually return home, if not on a temporary visa anyway. Yes, also immigrants but expats are self-financing and short stay. Immigrants are permanent migrants. The largest group of expats now globally are probably professional Indians, to the UK or other countries. Nothing to do with skin colour or ethnicity (as once was), it’s about money and yes, class.

        I’ve been an expat but tbh happy to call myself immigrant too (as I once was to Britain as a 2yr old!).

    2. Joris Avatar

      Hi James and Cory,
      First I want to express my appreciation. Cory, this was a brave and honest article, and it’s good that there are brave people willing to stand up for human rights while many hide and do nothing.
      James, I’m sure you never heard of Carl Schmitt even though you’re living in Germany who was a political philosopher. One of Schmitt’s rules of nation building was to always create an enemy OUTSIDE your country if you want to make your country better and stronger.
      Germany had low morale and wanted a change in 1940’s which allowed Hitler to come to power who blamed, you guessed it, Jews for all of Deutschland’s problems.
      This is one of the oldest political strategies.
      Of course it’s not right to blame violent, chavs in Birmingham who are 13 and 14 but bully their whole cities, and people who’re ready to live off dole, or Saudi’s (who, in fact, funded the SHARD in London) or Russian mobsters who get in the UK because of weapons trade and have a lot of money which the UK needs. The UK blames, as you said, hard-working Poles, Romanians, and now the whole EU.
      James, how much did university education cost before 2010? Wasn’t uni education free at one point? James, why don’t you blame your country’s class system and people like Tom Hiddleston and Clara DeLavigne who get jobs, and fame in Hollywood, and volunteering opportunities instead of immigration? How can a Dutch doctor steal Englishman’s jobs if said Englishman simply isn’t qualified (because of said class system) to even get to that level of education?
      I find it comic you mention Elon Musk aiding Trump because Musk is an immigrant who IS born in Pretoria, South Africa who grew up in Canada (again, not America) and THEN came to America.
      Bay Area of AMERICA itself THRIVES off of diversity and people all over the world (whether they are black, Latino, Asian or EU) — what you’re stating as facts about the USA seem like half-baked observations, because clearly you don’t know how diverse US is in opinion, culture and tolerance.
      Brexit will force the country not to depend on London, but doesn’t UK import a lot of their produce from Spain to start with? How is that even logically possible when the UK simply doesn’t GROW resources needed for their population to sustain itself? Can you even have produce GROWING without sunshine? That’s not scenically possible.
      You saying Italians and Greeks will never ‘tick’ the same as Germans, Austrians, and Dutch but do you even have a friend from Italy and Greece?
      Do you want to know what the Dutch think about your country? Enjoy:
      Rome and Athens were once places where civilizations THRIVED. I know of Socrates, Plato, Epicurus, Cicero but what do I know of English history? Stories of betrayal.
      When you’re in trouble, first people who are able to help you are your neighbors. What happens when you publicly turn your back on your neighbors and put them down?
      James, why are you in Germany if you hate the EU so much? Why don’t YOU pack your bags and go home? I know the English think they are similar to Australians but how many people (pom ping-pongs, they’re called) come back from Australia because they are UNWANTED?
      James, you’re saying that it’s not as simple as a lot of the press talks about Brexit but I find your opinion full of hypocrisy because you LIVE in Germany, promote your business in Germany, and have the nerve to talk about how the UK is better yet
      If the UK was so good, they would allow you to live there and not run away from your problems.
      What you are supporting is an idea that the UK needs to stand alone economically, which is a cute idea yet impossible (because not even you support yourself and need help earning money) — and you also support vile, and viscous ideas of THE OTHER, of xenophobia, and of racism, and hatred, and UKIP, all of which started talks of Brexit.
      I hope to God, James, that you get the taste of your own medicine. I do agree that Brexit is a good thing because it will force Europe to grow and be better in business and improve their own cities and cooperation without a tick such as England.
      Also, if Brexit is such a good idea, why not let Northern Ireland secede and let Scotland have its independence?

      1. Siroj Avatar

        You sound like a horrible bitter person. You start with faux politeness and then end with a vile rant against James who actually left a decent comment. YOU are the problem in Europe, not people like James. We don’t care what the Dutch think, we know we saved them in the war and same with the rest of Europe but we get no thanks for it. And now we are saving them from the threat of Russia and get no thanks for it I’m sure. And you also judge James implying he doesn’t have foreign friends, how the hell do you know??? As for Scotland and N Ireland, most of us couldn’t care if they get independence, it’s the government holding on to them. They actually COST US money. You try to take the noble higher ground but comments like this show your true colours, I also hope to God you also get a taste of your own bitter medicine :”I hope to God, James, that you get the taste of your own medicine”. Vile person.

        You act like you really understand supply chains and economics but state no sources, and like most comments online it’s all hearsay and learned from similar bitter people like yourself, hence I’ll thought out sentences and judgements.

    3. Alex Avatar

      Perfect response. I was getting a little agitated reading the political part of this post as it puts anyone who voted brexit into one racist/moronic box. There are idiots on both sides, but probably many more thoughtful and intelligent people on both sides as well.
      Great post other than the politics!

  24. Camila Avatar

    Great post. I’m an immigrant to the UK – welll technically not right now as I’m yet in the midst of another visa application – mostly due to Brexit delays. But usually I live in Scotland with my British partner and we’ve discussed leaving the UK in a few years for all the reasons you mentioned. I think he’d be interested in staying if Scotland becomes independent. But personally I just don’t think I really want to stay long term in a country without a summer lol also the drinking culture is so unhealthy. It’s weird, I love Scotland, but it’s difficult sometimes to truly envision a life there.

    1. Cory Avatar

      Hi Camila, I too, love Scotland. I do believe it should have its own independence and continue to be part of the EU as its citizens want. I wish you all the luck.

      1. Adrian Thomas Avatar
        Adrian Thomas

        Independence of what exactly?

        1. Cory Avatar

          UK, of course

  25. Rachel Avatar

    Thank you for posting this. You’ve explained very honestly what I’ve been feeling for some time now – I’m now in a position where I feel that the values of my birthplace no longer align with my own. That’s a pretty sad position to be in. After Brexit, I really didn’t want to be here any more. I know that’s not the most mature position to take, and I wish I were big enough to stay and work on it for the greater good, but I just don’t think I can.
    I’m so sorry you’ve felt victimised by negative attitudes, it’s never acceptable to be anti ‘other’. I wish I could say something positive like I think things will change, or at least it’s just a minority, but unfortunately I don’t think those things are true. Plus I wouldn’t want to negate your experience anyway.
    So to sum up I’m 100% with you and wish you the very best of luck in your move. I explain a bit more about why I want to move away here: http://www.anestingnomad.com/2016/07/i-want-to-emigrate-to-australia.html/ and the good news that I am (visa willing) about to move is here: http://www.anestingnomad.com/2016/12/my-big-news-is.html/

    1. Cory Avatar

      Hi Rachel, I hope your move will go well. Wishing you all the luck in the world.

  26. Sandra Avatar

    I tried to live in London, it lasted a few months. I hated the weather, the lack of sunshine (sunsets at 3 PM?????), and the always fast pace. Always. Someone is always in a hurry. I also felt a lack of sense of community and I witnessed the “foreigner stares” a few times, especially when they talked too fast and I couldn’t understand them (and I am fluent in English since I was 10!) I still love visiting friends and family in London, do some sight seeing but that’s it. I don’t want to have that life when they work 7 days a week and never get to enjoy the city. I’d rather stay here in Lisbon. Nicer weather, a little more affordable than London, and here I feel home (although I’m not from here originally).

    1. Cory Avatar

      Hi Sandra, I know it’s not easy to live in London. You see, I actually love the pace in London. I like the rush, the culture there, the weirdness of it. I could live in London, if prices would be reasonable, food would be nice and the weather would be sunnier. 🙂 I did like Lisbon, but I, for example, found it too noisy for my liking. I need a bit more peace and quiet. The Algarve, however, excellent place in Portugal.

  27. Sarah - Exploring Kiwis Avatar
    Sarah – Exploring Kiwis

    This post is so timely for us – we’re currently approaching the end of our two year contract and are trying to decide whether we move on from Abu Dhabi to travel relatively long-term or whether we commit to another year. Are you feeling excited about moving around a bit more?

    1. Cory Avatar

      Hi Sarah, we are super excited about our move. In fact, we think it was the best decision ever. We would love to try and live in the UAE. It sounds like a fascinating place!

  28. Maria Avatar

    I know the feeling of no sunshine. Here, in Estonia, the winter is 6 months – cold, sometimes snowing, dark, wet, depressing weather. Going south helps, but the salaries are way too low to afford it too often. I’m already considering buying an apartment in Tenerife – a true paradise of sunshine (good climate, great food, low cost of living). Good luck to you!

    1. Cory Avatar

      Hi Maria, I’ve been to Tenerife before and indeed, the weather and the food: awesome! I hope you do make the move. Good luck x

  29. Itinera Magica Avatar
    Itinera Magica

    Thank you for your honesty, for this long and extremely interesting post. This was a great read and it made me think a lot.

    1. Cory Avatar

      Glad I could help.

  30. LC of Birdgehls Avatar
    LC of Birdgehls

    I moved away from the UK last year too, for similar reasons. Brexit was a big factor, as was the general expense and weather. I was bummed I didn’t get to see as much of the UK as I had hoped! Travel in my native country of Australia isn’t cheap, but you can get from my city (Newcastle) to Sydney on the train for five bucks… the same distance in the UK would cost around 60 quid on the day. I miss it a lot… particularly the food, which I think is severely underrated (particularly the cheese and sausages… yum!). Maybe we’ll move back one day, but for now, I’m happier to watch what happens from the sidelines. Good luck with your move.

    1. Cory Avatar

      I am sorry you didn’t get to see as much of the UK. You can always visit though. Sometimes it’s nice to come back and see it all through the eyes of a spectator. Australia is pretty great, I am not surprised you miss it!

  31. Emma Pamley-Liddell Avatar
    Emma Pamley-Liddell

    We are English, but we left the UK just after the Tories were voted in. I could see where things were headed and at the time I was a social worker. Budget cuts were making work difficult and I didn’t want to live under a right wing gov. We left for 6 years, living in Australia and France but recently returned for 6 weeks. We’ve left again. The cold, the racism, the bigotry, the expense, the American attitudes of greed and money over morality, the awful changes to education, the privatisation of everything. It’s just crap and I don’t want to live under those conditions. We’re spending 2017 living out of bags – currently in Portugal, soon heading to Morocco and Albania, the maybe Italy before SE Asia. I wish you good luck. Romania is a beautiful country. 🙂

    P.S Stacy/Stacey… could be both spellings. I have seen both. Plus with the stupid spellings now some parents choose, who knows how they’re spelled!!!

    1. Cory Avatar

      Dear Emma, I am glad you found your way in the world. Portugal is fantastic, and Morocco and Albania? Dream! I would like to live in Thailand for a while. It sounds like a great option for digital nomads, so why not? I am super excited to learn that you liked Romania.

  32. Maartje Avatar

    Great read, I stayed for a year in the UK and like reading your honest perspective on things after 10 years. Good luck with exploring the new options, looks like you have some stunning countries in mind 🙂

    1. Cory Avatar

      Thank you Maartje! I hope we will find our way soon.

  33. Nuraini Avatar

    Once I would have thought you were exaggerating. But, my ex-husband recounts exactly all of this (or at least the economic bits – he’s on board with the xenophobia) so I believe it.

    “The great educated gentleman is obsolete and the fine lady is on a verge of collapse. ” This is sad. They live, btw, in the diaspora English – older expats, or some of those raised abroad. Perhaps because they carry England as it is remembered, not as it is.

    1. Cory Avatar

      In all honesty, once upon a time, I would have laughed at such article. I would have thought it’s exaggerated, bitter and mean. But it is true, that unfortunately, this is the sad reality today. I look forward to meeting some older people living abroad who maybe, indeed, kept their wits.

  34. Julie Cao Avatar
    Julie Cao

    I have never lived in UK. I only visited once in September and the whole trip was very depressing. The weather was so humid and I barely see the sunshine. I remember went to a restaurant asking for water(with an American accent) and the guy at work corrected me with British accent. I got lost several times and people don’t even bother to help after I asked for directions. I was not sure what happened with people there, as if everyone is busy and mind about their own business. Not to say travel in the UK was so expensive, not to mention living there.

    UK is my dream after watching Harry Potter movies (call me silly or what), and then this trip just ruined it. Then with what happened in UK last summer, it saddens me that those who come and fight the hardest to work and stay in the country are the ones to leave. I might be back to UK to visit Stratford but not sure when, and I hope the situation will get much better during my return trip.

    If you come to Canada, feel free to get in touch with me. I live in Toronto and it is always great to meet fellow travel bloggers.

    All the best and happy travels. – Julie

    1. Cory Avatar

      Dear Julie,

      Can you believe that it was because of Harry Potter that I wanted to move to the UK? I still remember, I was in the exam rooms in University and would imagine that I am in a special exam room in Hogwarts. I would imagine that I am like Hermione and have studied and can do it all! You see, books and stories can have a wonderful influence on us all. If only life in the UK would be a magical world. I do hope you visit the UK. I mentioned in one of the previous comments that sometimes, the UK can be beautiful through the eye of a spectator. Canada is so high on our bucket list. We would love to visit Toronto and Vancouver. We would love to rent a car and drive for hours.
      All the best and happy travels to you too.

      P.S. if you ever come to the UK, go to Scotland, you will love it up there.

      1. Julie Cao Avatar
        Julie Cao

        I went to Scotland once and the highlands is very beautiful, but also rained a lot. I think the only city I like during my entire UK trip is Edinburgh, the architecture there is just so stunning and it is completely different culture from England. I thought I am alone on the Harry Potter thing, and I remember looking for Hogwarts during my Scottish highland tours. It was a dream but reality is so different.

        Both Toronto and Vancouver are my favorite Canadian cities, and the road trip from Alberta to BC is very beautiful. Hope you will make it to Canada someday.

  35. Lucy Avatar

    As an ex-Londoner now living in Sydney, I can definitely relate to a lot of this – particularly rental prices in London. Good luck with your new adventure – it sounds like you’ve got a lot to look forward to!

  36. Ylva Avatar

    Thank you so much for writing this. I think I have officially reached the point of depression due to the rain and I am absolutely desperate to leave. This helped me feel not so alone <3

  37. Anne Avatar

    I got in Uk 17 years ago , a child 20 at that time ,didn’t know what the future holds .Moving on , two children now, a house in mortgages, and a difficult financial situation.
    I believe moving back to Romania will be beneficial but also is not a easy decision to face . Both children born here , is so hard , really hard ….
    if I will not have children was really easy but now ??!!
    I am getting to the point that I will miss Uk if I move back, will hard to get back to square 1 as life in Romania is still hard ….
    my heart is there , my heart is here ..
    British values…
    we enjoyed our Jobs…
    we miss home … but home is empty..
    brother and sister are also in Uk .,,
    How can I decide???
    Will be beneficial to sell my home here and move back ?? Life is getting so tagged here also ….:(
    Any advice is really welcomed …

    1. Cory Avatar

      Hi Anne,

      Sorry for the belated reply. I know exactly how you feel. Once you move from home and truly settle somewhere else, there is no real home anymore. Home is where your heart is.
      You say your family is with you, if nothing else, I hope that offers you the comfort you need to have a decent life.
      I also hope you don’t feel any issues as a result of Brexit. I cannot tell you if Romania is better, or the UK, or any other country for that matter. For more than a year we are still trying to find our home. It’s hard, but also very exiting if you keep an open mind. The best advice I can offer: follow your heart, because home is where your heart is truly happy surrounded by best friends and family you love.

  38. Szilvia Kelemen Avatar
    Szilvia Kelemen

    Dear Cory,
    You hit the nail on the head for me.
    I agree what you said 90%.
    I am from Hungary and been living in the UK for 13 years.
    I am struggling in this last year or so.
    I was a covard and I even lied to myself for a good 3 years before that. I love nature and feel now that I am always inside wasting my life away. My partner whom I love much doesn’t seem to understand this.
    Anyway I wish you guys all the best for your future wherever it may be.

    1. Cory Avatar

      Szilvi, I hope you find your corner of nature and love. I also hope your partner will learn to agree with you and understand you, if nothing else. As you might have gathered, my husband is Hungarian. We just moved to Budapest for a bit to try and mix things up a bit. As I said before, once you leave home, settle, then leave home again, the word “home” becomes so relative, elusive almost.
      We’re yet to find ours, and I hope you will find yours, wherever that may be. I wish you happiness 🙂

  39. Mark Phillips Avatar
    Mark Phillips

    Something that I should add – if you visit Yorkshire namely Leeds, Bradford, Halifax, Huddersfield, Wakefield, Sheffield, Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham, Goole, Hull and Scarborough. Then pop over to Lincolnshire to Scunthorpe, Barton on Humber, Grimsby and Cleethorpes. You’ll find that these places are a run down, uncared for mess many thanks to previous govenments who actually ignore the North and instead focus only on London.

    The 52% of those who voted to leave the EU, did so as the EU is a dictatorship that hates free enterprise and anyone who wants to individually succeed – the EU wants total control of everyone inculding those who run small to medium sized businesses. They’re not uneducated, racist or anything else that the left or the pro EU lot think which is very closed mided (In my view) if they’ve come to that conclusion.

    Yorkshire was home to countless pits (coal mines) and factories, no matter what it was highly likely that it’ll have been made in Yorkshire and most of the 52% live there because they know that supporting yourself is important – work hard and reap the rewards. Nowerdays Yorkshire basks under its former glory as a manufacturing giant where closed mills are abandoned and left to rot or have been converted to high end luxury flats, some have even been pulled down and I find that sad because when these mills and mines are a fine example of being self sufficant – something that this country can do on a massive scale.

  40. Ex-migrant & resident of London who still loves Britain Avatar
    Ex-migrant & resident of London who still loves Britain

    An interesting article, but you lost my respect as soon as you wrote this:
    I still remember talking to my husband the previous night, saying that the world is not that stupid. Nobody is going to vote “leave” and nobody is going to vote for “Trump”. I guess Einstein was right after all..only two things are infinite…you know the saying…
    Typical patronising, sneering, condescending arrogant attitude of a leftie remainer voter. You’re so much better than those who dared to vote Leave or god forbid for Trump, aren’t you?
    People like you make me all the more happier that Leave and Trump won, and you know, those liberal leftie tears are so very sweet!

  41. Sarah Avatar

    Enjoy your sovereignty, Mark. Perhaps you can tie a flag to it and wave it around for the amusement of your ‘patriotic’ peers.

    Your remark about the EU being a dictatorship shows a bizarre disconnect from the ugly reality of the current world. Half the British population has been gamed into voting against the interests of the country by an alliance of convenience between ultra-right wing fringe elements and Putin’s ‘interesting’ approach to geopolitics.

    This isn’t really a new thing. Thatcher, back in the 80s, spearheaded the trend of heavy reliance on spin and marketing to bolster her politics aims. What we’re seeing now is a massive difference in the scale and effectiveness of these campaigns thanks to the pervasive nature of internet data mining and the use of techniques in machine learning to spot trends and correlations, coupled with lessons from the field of behaviourism, to weaponise the information. We’re also seeing increasing radicalisation in right wing politics because this process is a feedback loop.

    Perhaps, instead of crying into your beer over a past that only ever existed between the pages of the Daily Mail, you might instead seek to learn a little something about current technology. It’s interesting. And frightening.

    The current North/South divide was very much a product of Thatcher’s efforts to limit worker rights. In waging this campaign she weakened British industry to the point that it never really recovered and turned the UK into the one-horse (and one town – London) financial market centre it has been ever since. The irony of this situation is that in your misguided attempt to Make England Great Again, you’ve torpedoed much of the foundation of the UK’s current wealth. You’ve knackered the only horse in town.

    Well done.

    Britain was once very much once of the shining stars of the Enlightenment. Our place as a locus of brilliance during the Industrial Revolution was unquestioned. As a people, we valued science and education and over time made the education of our children a major priority which further consolidated our industrial power.

    Since Thatcher, we’ve moved away from this, making education a major financial burden in a marked departure from the policies of other, more far-sighted Northern countries.

    Can’t have uppity proles, now, can we?

    A mark of this growing idiocy is the fact that a circus clown like Jacob Rees-Mogg can play a part in politics. He’s Britain’s Trump. He’s the Mrs Bucket candidate; and yet his shiny top hat and molecule-thin veneer of civilisation somehow hypnotises his target demographic into forgetting his divisive and dangerous extremism.

    He’s the triumph of ‘style’ (if you’re shallow enough to consider him stylish) over function. Ring any bells?

    Oh, and I don’t know what ‘self-sufficant’ is – perhaps you were trying to say ‘self-sufficient’?

    Cory, I apologise on behalf of my generation of useless entitled fossils, for our collective stupidity and gullibility. Senility is an ugly condition.

    I am deeply ashamed.

    1. Cory Avatar

      Sarah, you are my hero! Your comment deserved a huge round of applause. x

    2. Si Avatar

      Omg what a nasty angry post…..you really do hate yourself don’t you?

      1. Cory Avatar

        Neah, I think both Sarah and I just hate the wet island. We love ourselves enough to leave the place and never look back 😉

  42. britanzy Avatar

    Hello Cory
    i am Ghanaian immigrant haven grown in England this is an amazing piece you have written here,truly summing up the hush reality of living in England,the prices of housing,paying unnecessary bills just for fun, which literally takes all your salary,not that the salary is enough. All the best… I am searching for my sunny home… You should visit Ghana if you can hot and amazing

  43. Mitesh Avatar

    I’m of Indian origin butI was born in the UK and I am thinking of moving to India. Ive lived here all my life, 40 years. Things have changed so much here. I cannot afford to stay here. No life. No school for my kids.. All too expensive. No culture and social life.

  44. harry s Avatar
    harry s

    Well, England has gotten less safe because of the mass invasion of fighting age males from overpopulated Muslim countries. That is what Brexit is all about: fighting back against this invasion. And what about the human rights of Tommy Robinson, jailed in media secrecy without due process. And the people that think this is OK: well they are next, eventually; when they figure out what is going on and decide to fight back themselves. History is clear on how this works.

  45. Suzie30 Avatar

    My hubby and I left the UK in 2013 for the same reasons. You know growing up in a former colony of Britain and having an English education made me idealize London. I always felt like if I moved there I would be able to achieve ultimate happiness in my life. I visited once when I was twenty and finally made the move after marrying my EU husband in my late twenties. However it was one of the most dissapointing moves in my life. After the novelty of the tourist attractions wore off I always felt that at some point it would feel like home but it never did. I actually ended up being extremely depressed. I could not understand how you could be surrounded by millions of people yet feel so lonely. I found it very difficult to make friends in London. I tried all sorts of clubs and activities but the sense of community that I longed for was just never there. I just could not understand why the land of my dreams was not working for me. I thought it had to do with me but the more I got to know more locals and foreigners like myself, the more I realised that was just the way life in London was. I think most people in London are quite lonely but they are so convinced London is the best city in the world that they choose to ignore it..I could not understand why in such a city use of the internet was so popular for both dating and making friends. It was kind of sad, even more so when I look back in it. The realisation that my expectations of London were all wrong led me into severe depression. Here I was living this dream, envied by friends and family yet felt the most unhappy in my life.I was more than happy to give everything up including my great city job when my husband was offered a job oversees close to my home country. It took me a couple years to psychologically recover from my idealistic perception of the UK.It took me a decade of living abroad to realise that it is true when people say the grass seems greener on the other side. Family and good friends are what make life worthwhile. I used to think most of my life that happiness was found in places and thought that running to a foreign country would help me deal with my feelings of unfulfillment but it never did. My living abroad was more a lesson for personal growth than it was for achieving happiness. I am so glad I left that world. Where we live now I have a greater connection to the people around me and a closer relationship with my family. I have even found happiness in giving up my life as the career city girl for a stay at home mom and have never been happier. Yes i still travel as it is my passion but I no longer see it as the fix for life’s problems.Goodluck to you all in this journey of life. I hope you find true peace and happiness.

  46. Julie Avatar

    I i moved to U.K. from Italy in 2016 to 2017 and life there was too expensive and bad weather. However I found people to be so friendly. Now back to Italy and relaxed.

  47. Prajwal Kashyap Avatar
    Prajwal Kashyap

    Hi Cory, Many Thanks for this amazing post, it is the most realistic picture of UK currently. Uncertainty in things!!. I am an Indian national who came here 3 years ago (came on Tier-1 visa) and supported a media company with investments and expanded to clients across in USA & EU. my visa expires in few weeks (and will get 2 years extension) and i have decided to make a move to EU country on long term residency visa (probably Portugal or Germany), i absolutely felt gutted to see the direction of things going on, wondering what would be the outcome of this Brexit uncertainty.

    Loved my time in London (finished my law studies in Univ too), but i guess i have to depart and start looking to bigger gateway.

    Hope you guys are doing great in Portugal.


  48. Mike Adams Avatar
    Mike Adams

    I disagree when you say that most people in the U.K. are racists. It is the uneducated and those who do not travel and learn about other cultures that may harbour racism. It is dangerous to assume that all British people are racists.

  49. Lauren Avatar

    I really enjoyed reading this article, you really nailed all the points!
    I’m from England but I moved to Iceland a year ago. I really hate how the UK has become, especially over the last few years, and Brexit was the final straw for me.
    And thank you for mentioning how expensive it is to live in the UK! No one here believes me when I tell them! I lived alone in a small flat in Birmingham, my wages covered my rent and bills and nothing else. I had to work lots of overtime to buy food and pay for my transport to work, I was working 65+ hours a week just to survive. Iceland is meant to be a very expensive place to live but in Reykjavik I worked 30 hours a week in a minimum wage job, payed my rent, bills, transport and food and still had more than half of my wages left over!
    I don’t blame you at all for wanting to leave. I’ve witnessed how the foreigners were treated after the Brexit vote and on behalf of my country, I’m sorry. No one should be treated the way that the foreigners in Britain are currently being treated, it’s horrendous! And thank you for contributing to British society and taxes 🙂

  50. Stary Avatar

    I am now 51 and after 19 years as a teacher have the last few years become fed up of the British and my way of life. Too much traffic, too much alcohol and too much rain. So last year bought a house in a mountain town in the Sierra Nevada mountains. So I now have around eight more months and just one more English winter to endure then its mountain guiding and airbnb for me. Cant wait, although I do appreciate that this country and working here has allowed me to be able to afford this move I dont want to continue into old age here! Best of luck with your venture

  51. David Avatar

    I didn’t read the whole thing – but as someone who was born here 42 years ago, and regularly goes abroad to escape when everything gets ‘too british’, I have just returned from a 2 month stint in New York, and I’m finding it really difficult to adjust to the country again.

    It feels like the majority of the population hate being alive, and the infamous make-do and stiff-upper-lip attitude gets to me. I have a chance to go to NY again, and I’m going to go for it.

  52. Liliana Avatar

    Hi!! I went to uk last month and fell in love with portsmouth seaview and brighton, and my boyfriend told after the trip we wants to go to UK! we loved what we saw but the thing is that i feel Its not safe for us right know and Its messy with all this brexit thing.

  53. Glenn Service Avatar
    Glenn Service

    I really enjoyed reading your blog. I understand totally.

    I moved back to the U.K. after living and working in Australia, as well as travelling as well.

    I do not recognise this country anymore. Something has happened here, and it’s not a good thing.

    I put the blame on the U.K. government and to some extent the EU. Politics aside, I hope it gets better here, but I don’t see it happening anytime soon.

    I came back due to family, but I’m itching to get the hell out of here and go travelling again, and head back to Australia.

    Australia has its problems but at least its normal there.

    Anyways, I wish you both well.



  54. peter Avatar

    TAIWAN is great if you can make living there.

  55. Minja Avatar

    Dear Cory, I think this is the most precious article on living in a country on the entire Internet. The honesty, authenticity and intelligence with which you wrote about your personal experience of England and becoming English as a foreigner, sounds like a universal truth, and answered my every question. I planned to stay and study there with my family for six months before moving somewhere more sunny and exotic, (precisely for that injection of British ‘culture’ and ‘opportunity’ ), but was worried about the current Brexit climate. (I am from Serbia). Thank you for addressing that question bravely, truthfully and directly and may you and your partner have lots of luck and joy in finding your place in this world.


  56. AC Avatar

    Hi Cory,
    I think your article raises some very good points, however, I would add the following. Being born in Europe and now a British national, I also chose to move away from the UK. I have lived all over the UK and when I first arrived, years ago, it was a different, more open place. To be honest, the Brexit vote is hardly surprising, knowing the British people as I know now. I knew from day one, that a vote for out was going to win. The society in Britain has grown to become more hostile to immigrants and foreigners, nevertheless, wouldn’t say it is racist, but I would say that there is a significant proportion of the population that are bigots (and I don’t intend to offend anyone). In addition, I think there are other significant and perhaps more substantial factors that are playing into this hostility, namely, the rise of religious fanaticism, fundamentalism and its debate in Britain. Consequently, Europeans are being bundled up in this debate immigration debate, in my view unfairly – we all work very hard! I also witnessed a significant rise in social tension, not to mention all the things you refer to, such as, very poor housing, extortionate prices and a general lowering living standards across the board.
    Will I ever go back to the UK? Perhaps! I would love to study in Britain, especially in Bristol ! I worked hard, I had some great opportunities and despite being born in another country, I am very grateful for all the opportunities the UK has given me.
    I now live in the United States with my brother and while there are also problems, there are ample opportunities for professional growth and learning and I generally feel America places more value in your experience. I believe not only the UK, but the European continent is suffering from a shortage of work and opportunities and this is increasing people’s negative attitudes towards immigrants, which are arriving seeking opportunities that simply aren’t there.
    As for Portugal and being Portuguese born, I can see that is now a fashionable place to go. It is terrorism free, it has lower cost of living and phenomenal weather. The people there are immensely proud of their long history and are well aware of what is going on in Europe. Like many new and unexplored places, it needs to be protected from abuse (rise in properly prices, too much tourism and so forth). I am a proud patriot in the sense that I am profoundly grateful of being born there and having the opportunities I am having! I hope you enjoy it and I hope we have better days in Europe!

  57. Dwayne Avatar

    Have you considered leaving Europe and heading to places like Australia and New Zealand?
    Better climates and more outdoor life.

    1. Meres Avatar

      I’ve lived in both. The weather is better but their governments are destroying both.

  58. Jon Avatar

    Sorry to hear they treated you like shit for being a foreigner in the U.K, yet sadly, it doesnt surprise me. Those racists that bully immigrants in the Uk should remember what many of their ancestors did around the world in the past, that is, exploit people, countries, resources, etc. Without even asking for permission to stay and do that. Or notice that Spain anaisd other places are full of Brit expats.Should people bully them too?

  59. MJ Avatar

    Hi Cory. I live in Argentina, and as an EU citizen, I’m planning on moving to the UK before March 29, Brexit tentative date, looking for new opportunities for me. I’m a bit shocked with all I’ve read so far from your article… I had the idea that the UK would be a paradise for me, and I would be able to continue my professional career over there, in London, to be specific. I’m now really worried that I may not be making the right decision by moving to the UK, and I’m really confused and even a bit afraid now. I’m glad you had the chance to go for a brighter future abroad. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Cory Avatar

      Hi MJ,

      Thank you for your message. Argentina sounds amazing. Please don’t be afraid of the UK!
      This was not the intention of this article, to make people afraid or to deter them from moving to the UK.
      The above are the results of my experience and my experience alone. I know many foreigners who are happy in the UK and live well. I also know many foreigners who, like me, decided to move away.
      I propose that you go and visit the UK for 1-2 weeks before you decide to commit and move there. See how you feel, see if you like it or not. London is a fantastic place full of opportunities, it just needs to match your own requirements. Since we are freelancers and we are location independent, we realised there are better places more suitable for our current lifestyle.
      I wish you all the best, MJ.
      Kind Regards,


  60. FrustratedBrit Avatar

    As a Brit, I can say that most of what you say is true. However, the vast majority of Brits are not racist, just a small majority (around 52%), you know, those who voted to leave. Weirdly, a small percentage of those were not born British… so the picture is complex ! Let’s hope things improve for us who are staying, and good luck with your future !

  61. N/A Avatar

    “The culture in Britain has moved from brilliant to that of hate, racism and ignorance.” Britain was built on pure evil and racism.

    1. Simon Avatar

      Moderators – are we allowing hate and misinformation like this on the site. The truth about Britain is a lot more varied and complex than just stating it was built on pure evil and racism. To believe this is to take away from the great minds of our time, all based in Britain. There are still great things happening in the UK but hatred from the left always clouds that. We allow xenophobia like this against Britain but people are so quick to point it out the other way?

  62. Alex Carr Avatar
    Alex Carr

    I really like your article. I understand and appreciate your opinions. I lived in the UK for 37 years until 2015 and moved back to Egypt. I went through the whole British educational system. I also lived and worked in Greater London. Because I am white I could pass for being British or European but I am not. I changed my first name in order to integrate and find work. This worked up to a point! But spending all your life covering up your origins because of racism at school means you are living a lie.
    Now living in Egypt is not without its problems but look at these prices: Cinema: £2, Restaurant: £5, Cultural Events: many are free, Internal travel: very cheap along with accommodation, gas and electricity being much cheaper than the UK or the EU and don’t forget the Red Sea for a holiday. In all my years in the UK I never paid for a taxi in London because I could not afford it yet in Cairo I can go for a half an hour taxi ride and pay under £3. The question is why is the UK so expensive including the impossibility for a young graduate to get a mortgage for a flat in London? Maybe capitalism has encouraged too much greed?
    One other thing I learnt is where can you go in the world where you will not be the victim of racism because of your name or your origins? Where can you be yourself? These are very difficult questions and there are very few genuinely enlightened people because of the whitewashing of Hollywood and the fact that over the years most successful actors had to change their names in order to succeed. In an ideal world none of these things should matter.
    In any case the more I travel the more I learn and I have met so many great people over the years who are prepared to look beyond where one comes from.

  63. Richard Avatar

    I’m British born and I’m leaving the UK because of Brexit. I quit my job 2 years ago and became fully location independent about 7 months ago. Just waiting for the contract on my house to run out in July.

    My thoughts on growing up here and where we are now I’ve seen the UK become more and more racist since the 00’s I guess.

    The cool Britannia era and the political discourse around equal opportunities, positive discrimination and multiculturalism gradually over a long period of time became completely replaced with an anti immigration narrative which reached a crescendo with Brexit and ripped a massive great hole through the country and I honestly don’t believe we can ever be the same again.

    I was taught in school that Britain was a multicultural society and we we’re taught that multiculturalism was a positive thing. It makes me so sad to see where we have ended up. Really it is a daily sadness that I experience when I wake up and I think I don’t recognise my country any more.

    The thing is all the time that was just beneath the surface. In the 80’s people used to get beaten up for being black. In the 90’s we managed to claw that back from the fascists and say as a society this is not who we are. Then throughout the 00’s until present day the fascist tabloids managed take away what we had gained. Now foreigners or people of colour get beaten up again and regularly so for being who they are. To think that we have regressed so much as a society is an eternal sadness. But as I say it never really went away it was always there. We just made positive gains as a society in how we viewed foreigners role within our society and gradually people became less extreme. But now that has been reversed through the mainstream political narrative embracing populist views.

    As an example of how the problem was always there yet less visible I worked in a digital agency for a while where it was only British people who worked there and all of the women were de facto secretaries for the men, even though their roles were much more complex than this. I got approached by a Greek man who had a PHD and wanted to try and find ways to use it in a commercial context and he wanted to work for us for free to get some experience. I gave it to my manager and he just read his name at the top. it was a very long sounding Greek name, and the expression on his face just changed as if to say “ohh no can’t really do that” you know kind of wincing and shrugging sort of expression. At the time I just thought he was thinking ahh we don’t really have capacity thats annoying because this person looks good. But in hindsight, when the Brexit vote came up, practically the whole company was for leave. No one worked there who wasn’t English. They were all British born northern lads from the small towns around the city. Suddenly this opened up my world to the whole other side of the UK that I had been ignoring for my whole life. The side that I only read about in the tabloids. it was real and people felt this way en masse. So much so that it’s perfectly acceptable to them to decline someone who is educated to the highest possible standard in the UK, who wants to work for free, purely on the basis of his name.

    I had been living in my liberal bubble my entire life and had surrounded my self with educated people who feel passionate about gender issues, race issues and really believe in the importance of creating a society which is fair for everyone, regardless of where they or their family are from.

    To give an idea of the divide on the Brexit vote night my Italian neighbours who I had never met before invited me around for a party so I was getting drunk with about 15 Italians before we found out the result. My god the atmosphere was one of the strangest I had ever felt after that. Then in work I’m working with a bunch of northern white guys who all wanted that to happen. Once the violence started to happen I could see the shame in their faces though. Some of these guys were around in the 80’s and were punks back then (the non racist kind). See the look on their faces when they realised what that vote actually meant. Look back in on them selves and see how their views have been twisted and shaped over time. It was a strange experience. But its like I’ve always maintained since the vote happened is that lots of people voted Brexit for many complex reasons. But at least I can say that I chose the ticket that the racist people didn’t choose! So anyone who voted leave has to live with the consequences of their actions and they have to ask them selves some pretty serious questions about the nature of their views and what they are rooted in.

    Anyway long story short because I could reference many examples of me seeing racism and ignorance, openly and behind closed doors from other people and my self included too and learning from my own mistakes and developing as a person because we don’t always have positive influences in our lives and at times I have held points of view that I would be ashamed to think about now.

    But the point is I don’t feel British any more and I know a lot of people who feel the same. So the big thing I’m thinking about is with the meteoric rise or location independent working opportunities over the last 5 to 10 years and the growing unattractiveness of British society what kind of impact is this going to have on the skills based economy of Britain over the next 10 to 20 years? Because I think its going to be quite a negative one and to be honest that we have had our time in the premiere league and unfortunately we relegated out selves with an own goal, in classic British style!

  64. Madeleine Avatar

    Well, if you are going to Japan things won’t be easy there is much more difficult to integrate in Japan than UK, you are really targeting difficult countries, but is your choice. UK is a wonderful country and the best country in the world for people looking for a better life, I live in usa and is not easy here is a tough country but because we are British things are easier for us that is the honest truth but is tough country. You will not find a better country to live ( if you are a foreigner ) than UK…. I lived in so many countries and I tend to very sociable, open and tolerant. Think carefully

    1. Ian Sexton Avatar
      Ian Sexton

      The truth was written here. ↑

      Reread if you didn’t get it the first time.

  65. Deepika Avatar

    Hi Cory,

    I know exactly how you feel as me & my husband are going through the same. I was curious to know where have you shifted to and how has your experience been so far. The funny thing is we have recently moved to London (it’s been 6 months) and we don’t seem to be happy at all. We weren’t happy in our home country either. It would be good if we could connect and talk. Take care!

  66. Jarmila Avatar

    Fantastic article. With my partner we feel the same and are struggling with hate/ underestimation and xenophobia in London for a long time. After 7 years we would like to move somewhere else. Thank you so much for your honesty and strength. You made us see clearer and feel empowered on our next move. Good luck, Cory.

  67. Sophia Avatar

    Found your blog googling “the UK sucks” :’)
    I moved to London 6 months ago from another wealthy Western European country, in search of better work opportunities, to further my career and basically to build a life.
    I had lived in New York and Sydney before, so I know big cities – but I have NEVER in my life felt so unwelcome, unsafe, treated badly, alone, and unhappy as I have been in the UK. Every single part of British culture, from the horrible alcoholism, the extreme prices, the CLASSIST caste system, the xenophobia, the crime, the sexual harassment on the streets, the weather, the crazily competitive job market to the dating scene, has been HORRID and I am extremely glad that I left that hellhole 2 weeks ago.

    Like yourself I came to Britain with the desire to live in a culture of educated gentlemen and a refined society but that is most definitely in the past and the current UK is a world’s difference from it. I agree with every sentiment you expressed and I wish you all the best outside of Britain. 🙂

  68. Sean Davey Avatar
    Sean Davey

    I am a born and bret brit and I totally agree with you, it is a cold and depressing shit hole. Good luck and raise your children somewhere away from violent xenophobic thugs ( and thats just the tory party).

  69. Maja Avatar

    Hi Cory, I found your blog after the comment you left on my post about the struggles of living in England… this post sums up so many of my feelings about the UK and how difficult it can be to live here as an immigrant. The appalling racism, the hateful attitudes to foreigners, how difficult it is to find a (permanent, full-time) job, the unjust visa system – all of it is so difficult.

    Take into account the low standard of living, an economy that’s in a downward spiral, a currency is rapidly losing its value, the high taxes that must be paid and the poor service that’s provided in return by local councils, a government that seems laughably inept… I’m not surprised at all that you’re leaving the UK! I love how you touched on just how expensive it is to travel in the UK too, especially by train (not that they ever run on schedule anyways!). Rail fares have seen a huge increase since I studied in the UK from 2013-2014 to now, and it’s just so prohibitively expensive to get anywhere unless you have a car or are willing to fly from the north to the south or vice versa.

    Thank you for being so honest, sharing your feelings, and writing this post. Good luck to you in the future, wherever life takes you! 🙂

  70. Inez Avatar


    Thank you very much for being brave and courageous, and for writing this article. Many people don’t have a voice but you gave them a voice.

    Yes, it’s possible to “get on with it” but what’s the point living if you’re surrounded with unkind and cruel people? What kind of life is that?

    If everyone (irrespective of their country, race, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, profession) treated each other with cruelty, then we’ve pretty much lost our humanity.

    Remembering that quote by Edmond Burke: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men and women to do nothing.”

    Thank you for doing the right thing when it’s easier to stay quiet.

  71. Alicia Avatar

    Reading this gave me a peace of mind. I’m born and bread British and I hate it! I’ve been living/travelling & working abroad for the last five years. I am now back in the UK as a 24 year old business undergrad, sacrificing the next 3+ years of my life in order to obtain a degree and hopefully get sponsored and immigrate to Aus/Nz.
    In the 9 months I’ve been back, I have been diagnosed with depression. I went from happy to lucky travel blog writer that loved adventure and spontaneity to not wanting to get up in the morning. I don’t feel like I’m at home here. I can’t have a conversation with anyone, I don’t feel like they get me. I have a partner and we’re happy but other than that relationship I have no fulfilment. I miss who I was when I was abroad. I miss how it made me feel. The freedom, no constraints, no obligations and no stress. I still had responsibilities, I still had bad days but it was all worth it. I didn’t complain, I didn’t dwell, I always gave out positive energy.

    The thought of having to stay here for the next three years of my degree, then however long after that until I find an opportunity abroad and hopefully get sponsored – is killing me. Every other day I’m in a ball on my bathroom floor wishing I didn’t have to do it all again tomorrow.

    Your post told me that there were people out there that felt the same. You’ve shown me that there is hope. I’m not alone. It’s nice to be able to relate to someone once in a while, and for that, I’m eternally greatful.

    All the best! Xxx

  72. Chidi Avatar

    Love this article … all my feelings about relocating out of the UK are well articulated in this piece and as someone who lived in Scotland for 9 years and had all my kids in Aberdeen the “ I love Scotland part “ just feels like I finally met someone who completely gets me.


  73. Emerald Stott Avatar
    Emerald Stott

    I am half Spanish but raised and born in the uk. It’s beautiful countryside and there’s good aspects to living here .. but the country sucks the life out of you eventually and you end up feeling grey and worn out just like the weather. I prefer many countries abroad – and hope to relocate – good luck with your travels .

  74. Edward Avatar

    Cory, thanks for your article. I think it needs more historical perspective though.

    I was alive when Tony Benn was in government and the UK had a 3-day week power shortage and no rubbish collection. This makes your comment about separating rubbish as a frustration a little lacking in historical context. No offence, but millennials tend to romanticise the far left. Healthcare and education were much worse under the left. Imagine not having power for your computer…

    We were the sick man of Europe in the Benn days, but now we continue to have the lowest unemployment levels in Europe, even after Brexit.

    The UK has more international communities than any other country in the world. Trust me, live as a black person in Italy or Greece, or a Muslim in Colombia or Argentina for a while and you will really understand racism. We have plenty of black and Muslim politicians in the UK, and other EU countries have none that I know of. The level of racism in Continental European football matches for example is shocking.

    Yes, I disagree with Brexit, but that is the nature of democracy. Macron says the French would vote to leave the EU if they had the chance and Italy is more anti-EU than the UK. They just don’t get to vote. So which country is the worst then? The one that had the vote or the ones that didn’t get the chance?

    Also it does rain here a lot, but given water shortages will be one of the biggest threats to world peace, I would take a bit more rain over a dry country any day of the week.

    Britain is a small island and we value our green space, which has been eroded over the years through over development. Politicians haven’t listened to the people on this issue and Brexit was a cry for help.

    No country is perfect, but if you consider our history, museums, NHS, free education, the honesty of our police force and courts, business opportunities, freedom of speech, music, religious diversity, food safety (a huge problem in Asia by the way), lack of corruption, the countryside, quality of regulation, its military, animal rights, gender equality, gay rights, time zone, infrastructure, I still content the UK is one of the best countries to live in the world.

    Ps, I have been to over 85 countries, so I have some context. New Zealand is a close second, but the earthquakes and parochialism relegate it for me I’m afraid. Foreigners can’t even buy a house in New Zealand anymore.

    Switzerland recently voted to restrict Islamic mosques. If that happened in the UK, there would be an international outcry. But somehow people consider Switzerland as a safe and decent country. Not for Muslims it isn’t. The UK gets judged to a higher standard than other countries because of our history.

    The food is good here if you know where to eat. London is the 6th Most Michelin Starred city in the world, higher than Hong Kong or Barcelona.

    As a small island, the UK has and always will be expensive, but this is the same as all other developed small islands, Iceland, Bahamas, Singapore, New Zealand etc. I believe it is a feature of geography.

    Countries like Japan are very friendly to tourists, but they would never let foreigners rise to a high level in politics or business. They are more racist I’m afraid, albeit in a passive way. They still believe in the purity of Japanese blood and parents discourage mixed marriage. Don’t confuse friendliness with openness.

    Anyway, I hope you come back. From my experience the world has a habit of reminding people about the best things in the UK.

    1. British Immigrant Avatar
      British Immigrant

      This is a great comment which brings a lot more perspective.

      I will go further and suggest there is a lot of naivety amongst younger generations around the world. They see Instagram and they think can walk in and out of any country as they please. They don’t respect or understand that to settle, build a future and integrate into a country takes a lot of hard work and humility.

      No one rolled out a red carpet when my parents came to this country to work in the beloved NHS. The Windrush generation certainly did not receive welcome open arms. Britain has come a long way, and whilst not perfect, is one of the most welcoming nations culturally-curious in the world.

  75. Edward Avatar

    Cory, thanks for your article. I think it needs more historical perspective though.

    I was alive when Tony Benn was in government and the UK had a 3-day week power shortage and no rubbish collection. This makes your comment about separating rubbish as a frustration a little lacking in historical context. No offence, but millennials tend to romanticise the far left. Healthcare and education were much worse under the left. Imagine not having power for your computer…

    We were the sick man of Europe in the Benn days, but now we continue to have the lowest unemployment levels in Europe, even after Brexit.

    The UK has more international communities than any other country in the world. London has more recognised international communities than New York.

    Trust me, live as a black person in Italy or Greece, a Muslim in Colombia or Argentina, or a Jew in the Middle East for a while and you will really understand racism. We have plenty of black and Muslim politicians in the UK, and other EU countries have hardly any. The level of racism in Continental European football matches for example is shocking.

    The UK welcomed 625,000 immigrants to the last year, even after Brexit, and more than any other EU nation. That’s a huge number for a small country. Nearly 1% of the population were new immigrants every year !!!

    We gave more money in international aid to poor countries than the all the EU combined and only second in the world after the US, and yet people still complain we are mean spirited and vote us at the lowest in Eurovision… Britain is a beacon for generosity and immigrants. We should celebrate that and so should other countries.

    Yes, I disagree with Brexit, but that is the nature of democracy. You can’t have all the decisions go your way. Macron says the French would vote to leave the EU if they had the chance and Italy is more anti-EU than the UK. They just don’t get to vote. So which country is the worst then? The one that had the vote or the ones that didn’t get the chance?

    No democratic decision is bad, only a lack of democracy is bad. I voted to Remain but even I know the EU has undermined democracy.

    Yes, it does rain here a lot, but given water shortages will be one of the biggest threats to world peace, I would take a bit more rain over a dry country any day of the week. In general, the climate here is very mild and comfortable, no hurricanes, droughts or deep freezes.

    Britain is a small island and we value our green space, which has been eroded over the years through over development. Politicians haven’t listened to the people on this issue and Brexit was a cry for help.

    No country is perfect, but if you consider our history, museums, NHS, free education and world-class universities, the honesty of our police force and courts, business opportunities, freedom of speech, music, religious diversity, food safety (a huge problem in Asia by the way), countryside, regulation, animal rights, gender equality, gay rights, time zone, infrastructure, I still contend the UK is one of the best countries to live in the world.

    By the way, the United States is 121 on the Global Peace Index, below El Salvador. It’s not credible to suggest El Salvador is safer than the US.

    We have some of the best sports in the world, Wimbledon and the Premiership for example. We came third in the Olympics.

    Over half the world’s patented inventions are British. The internet you are using… that’s a British invention too ! The jet engine you use to travel the world… yes, British too.. When you get ill on your travels, take a British penicillin…

    We have some of the best humour in the world. You won’t find any other country that can joke about itself like the Brits.

    We were the first country to be industrialised, like most of the world now, and our parliamentary system is followed the free world over. We saved Europe from Nazis and agreed to defend Europe unconditionally after Brexit. We are the first of the G7 countries to require zero CO2 emission by law.

    I have been to over 85 countries, so I have some context. New Zealand is a close second best, but the earthquakes and parochialism relegate it for me I’m afraid. Foreigners can’t even buy a house in New Zealand anymore.

    Switzerland recently voted to restrict Islamic mosques. If that happened in the UK, there would be an international outcry. But somehow people consider Switzerland as a safe and liberal country. Not for Muslims it isn’t.

    The UK gets judged to a higher standard than other countries because of our history. I think people come to the UK and expect a paradise. It’s a hard working and ambitious country, which is not for everyone.

    You said in an earlier post Abu Dhabi was fascinating. You should point out it is illegal for Muslims to convert to another religion in the UAE. The actual government policy is discriminatory. You need to call this out. This is not the case in the UK.

    The food is good in places if you know where to eat. London is the 6th Most Michelin Starred city in the world, higher than Hong Kong or Barcelona. Sure, the in the average pub food isn’t so amazing here. But we live to achieve in the UK, not to enjoy good food and wine. I personally think that is more noble.

    As a small island, the UK has and will always be expensive, but this is the same as all other developed small islands, Iceland, Bahamas, Singapore, New Zealand etc. I believe it is a feature of geography.

    Of course, Portugal is cheaper than the UK, but so are salaries. Young people find it just as hard to get onto the property ladder there, and by the way, they don’t appreciate digital nomads with UK salaries pushing up the prices of accommodation.

    Public transport is expensive in the UK, but it is because our planning laws are tough and protect the delicate environment here and people’s wishes. The cost of HS2 is mainly in legal fees ! I don’t always like this, but I prefer this to the Chinese system of steamrolling over people’s rights, which would be much cheaper.

    Countries like Japan are very friendly to tourists of course, but they would never let foreigners rise to a high level in politics or business. They are more racist I’m afraid, albeit in a passive way. They still believe in the purity of Japanese blood and parents discourage mixed marriage. Don’t confuse friendliness with openness.

    If Britain has one problem is that it strives to be so much more than it should. Its over ambitious maybe. This puts us into conflict with other countries that want to keep us in our place and some people find this a shock to the system compared to their home country.

    Its why we work so hard and sometimes come across as stressed and cold. My Portuguese friend said the Portuguese just want to live in the beach, but the Brits try to be something more than they are. That sums it up. Sometimes foreigners don’t understand this and confuse our ambition and drive with anger.

    Anyway, I hope you come back. From my experience the world has a habit of reminding people about the best things in the UK.

  76. bob Avatar

    The UK blows fat d*ck in all aspects. Name something, chances are its better in any different European country.

  77. far_wide Avatar

    Sorry I’m late to the party, but I’ll post anyway. I was born/raised in the UK (with brief spells in Germany), and wanted to thank you for your nuanced, albeit slightly depressing post.

    I have a Polish wife, and we’ve been increasingly travelling full-time. I think we’d agree with just about every point you’ve raised about the UK. It does have it’s strengths, mostly about work, but leisure is not one of them. Meanwhile, Brexit 2 years on from your article and as you know, is just soul destroying for so many reasons. 🙁

    I don’t know where I’m going with this, so will leave it there. Thanks again!

  78. Bob Avatar

    What a load of rubbish. It doesn’t rain disproportionately at all. You chose to live in the North, where it is colder and wetter.

    1. Cory Avatar

      We lived in Bristol, Bob. Please read again… ?

    2. Si Avatar

      So true Bob….it’s much wetter in Europe and not nearly as cold as people think it is in Britain….

      1. Cory Avatar

        I don’t know, Si. Ever since I lived in mainland Europe (and you know, happy EU countries) we bought seasonal clothes and enjoyed 4 seasons. I know it’s unusual for you to grasp that. But really…REALLY…unless you compare Britain to Scandinavian countries, I hope you do realise you live on a cold, wet island.

  79. Frank Avatar

    Loved it!!

  80. Josh Avatar

    Thank you for writing this article, it is absolutely spot on and details my feelings on living in the UK to a tee. “What British culture?” indeed. It is interesting hearing these thoughts coming from someone that has immigrated to the UK, tried to integrate to your best ability and come to terms with the fundamental problems this country faces – even down to the petty and subjective nature of these things, like how you spell “Stacy”. I was born in the UK and have never been made to feel alienated, but even I find this country ignorant and hateful at the best of times. The nationalistic movement in the western world is unacceptable and it is far too easy for politicians to get away with pointing the finger at easy scapegoats while they fuel their own selfish agenda with taxpayer money. How can you call that democracy? I am seriously looking to emigrate, do a tour of Scotland first and then see what the rest of the world has to offer. Best of luck to you.

    1. Alex Avatar

      Hi, I can see what you mean in your article. My wife and I can’t wait to leave London next year. We’re fed up with the extortionate rents for crappy flats, awful food (although the British think they have the best cuisine in the world now, but then, they think they’re the best at everything), Brexit animosity towards foreigners, holier than thou, superior attitude, poor social rights for citizens (British retirees get the worst pension in Europe), expensive schools, expensive everything, really stupid TV, bad weather and the list goes on.

      I’ve lived in 6 different countries, and in my opinion, the UK offer the worst quality of life.

  81. Laura Avatar

    Very interesting! Certainly food for thought as I often find myself wondering if we should move to the UK as a family (I have lived and worked there before), but I think I will stick to St Helena Island (which you should visit one day)!

    1. Cory Avatar

      Hi Laura, We would absolutely love to visit St Helena Island one day. I checked some pictures and it looks sooo beautiful!

  82. Lu Avatar

    Dear Cory,

    great article, summarises all I ended up thinking about the UK four years after moving here. I came from Italy to do my bachelor and master degree, not because of lack of an excellent (albeit very bureaucracy reliant) university system in my country. I came to the UK because I wanted to experience life as it is depicted in most cultural products about this island (the cosy cottages, the misty hills and the pub folklore) ; that’s how the UK is depicted abroad. Plus, all the great writers and scientists coming from here made me think the educational system would be wonderful. So disappointed was I, and I tried to make myself fit in, but I couldn’t. Compared to Italy, Germany and most other EU countries schools and universities are really easy, not in depth and way too expensive for the quality they offer. I felt I was just paying for a handed off degree (and I was in supposedly one of the top unis). The food quality both in restaurants and in supermarkets is awful, but a Brit friend explained me that’s because most people eat to survive not to actually enjoy the meal. I cannot find decent veggies and fruit that do not cost a fortune most times. Rent is ridiculously expensive and housing quality is despicable, I was shocked! The enchanting cottage, you’re right, is not cosy at all when humidity and rain are constant. People are lovely, but the drinking culture is a bit over the top for me. The living quality and standards are just so much better in most other countries I have lived in (Ireland included) that I lost my willingness to try and live here. On the contrary, the positive is that now I value Italy so so much more and I understand how brainwashed I was about British culture (my English friends were laughing about my naivety as well). I am sad because I honestly thought a country based on colonialism and multiculturalism had lots to offer, but I found a rancid class system still very much alive. Despite looking great on a Downton Abbey episode, this is not the place I see myself living (and many British friends are moving as well). I am glad you found a country to call home, and hope you’ll enjoy there!

  83. Dave Johnson Avatar
    Dave Johnson

    move to New Zealand ,great place to live Dave from Hull

  84. Dave Avatar

    Really fantastic article, very important to share different perspectives on the state of the UK at the moment. I’m from the UK and my wife is Romanian, we travel internationally a fair amount both for work and pleasure and so I’d like to think I have a fairly broad perspective. I must say, I don’t think your assertion that ‘most people in the UK are racist’ is fair. A small number of people are racist, the rest are stupid and selfish. This is true of humanity as a whole and I wouldn’t say is specific to the UK. The difference here is that a small number of bigoted people are using racist rhetoric to manipulate the masses. Once again, thanks for this post, I will be recommending it to my friends.

  85. Josefa Ubilla Avatar
    Josefa Ubilla

    Hi! My name is Josefa Ubilla, i`m fourteen years old, and i live in Chile. Last year i went to London and y find it very interesting, because there are many differences with Chile. One of the biggest differens that i saw are the streets, in England they are very clean, and in Chile you can finde a lot of garbage. Also the people respect all the transit rules, in England the streets are very neater, on the contrary in Chile they`re full of traffic and disorder. On the other hand education and public health work much better than in Chile, this is very good because people can access good services regardless of their economic situation.

    The typical food in England is something that is also consumed in Chile, and is one of the things that I liked more of the country, both its sweet and salty food has very good flavor and is something that could eat every day without problem. Another of my favorite things of England are the diversity that you can see on in the people who lives her. The difference in skin color, the way of dressing or religion is something that attract a lot of atenttion, there are very very different people living in the same country.
    As i said before the cleaning in the streets and order let it be maintained, makes the city more beautiful and also helps the environment. Finally my favorite thing in all England are the landscapes, in all the country you can see a lot of turistic atraccions, architectural as well as natural. For example from london eye to Stonehenge, are very different places but both beautiful.
    I’d really like to visite England again, because i think i lacked many things to know and experience in this place, i like England very much and i hope to be back soon.
    Many greetings, Josefa!

  86. louisa Avatar

    Whilst I agree with 90% of this article I dont believe that the.majority of people in Britain are racist. I was born in the uk to italian parents who came over in the 50s. People today in Britain are upset at the uncontrolled immigration. Whilst change is always hard and my parents went through a lot to.come to the uk at least in the 50s it was controlled immigration. It has been the sheer scale of.people that have come and changed the original culture and landscape of the working world in the uk.

    In saying all the above and I agree with what I’ve written my family and I chose to.leave the uk to give our children a better life. Schools are over crowded NHS at breaking point, road traffic down south mostly at a stand still and violent crime on the rise. We are much happier out of the uk as it is now over populated in general. It.has been sad to see the decline of the uk. We lived there 40+ years. This could be why many voted for Brexit. Who knows. However I’m not sure if the uk will ever be the same. One thing I am sure of though from all the faults of living in italy we are so much happier as a family.

    1. Mihaela Avatar

      I have noticed a trend of Italian immigrants on this thread but I wanted to clarify that of course you had no bad experiences because it is not Italians that British people have an issue with. Their main issue are Eastern Europeans and Balkan people, as well as non-white migrants and Muslim people.
      British people love Italy.
      Not all immigrants and migrants are equal in their eyes. They say they hate the French, but it’s not French immigrants they have an issue with.

  87. Christianne Sheppard Avatar
    Christianne Sheppard

    Following the results of the 2019 election I’ve found myself looking at how to leave the UK. I’ve come across your blog and found it heartbreaking that you’ve been made to feel this way in “great” Britain. As a “lower class” Brit I can honestly say that I too am starting to feel unsafe here. It’s not what I remember as a child. I’m scared for the future of my children and have never been so ashamed to be british! The only thing stopping me getting a one way ticket to literally anywhere is that I can’t afford it. I’m working class under a Tory government. I can’t afford anything! I guess the point of my comment is that I just wanted to tell you that you should have NEVER been treated the way you were here and I know that there is a massive percentage of brits that would agree. Britain is awful for people born British too x

  88. Nishy Avatar

    I love your articles, thank you 🙂

  89. Ben Avatar

    Hi Cory,

    Firstly may I compliment a well written and fascinating article!

    I had a really interesting reaction reading this. At first I got a bit touchy and defensive around some of the elements but then stopping to think about it, I’ve actually seen many of my own observations in what you have written.

    I grew up in the countryside and fell more and more in love with my country with every passing year. Before the big crash in 2008 I felt a sort of charm about the UK that was such a huge part of my identity. I too admired the great minds that had achieved many great (and terrible) things around the world in our history and wanted to emulate the elements of the “British Gentleman”.

    Following university and moving into our careers, my wife and I have both enjoyed the fruits of our labour with work. Having moved into a city I realise reading your article that I have started to be ground down by the same things that have bothered you and your husband. I’ve found people angry and bitter, jealous of our “success” so shunning us, mad at the whole world and blaming the new family down the street rather than reflecting on how their own attitudes drive down the areas we live in.

    You’ve actually encapsulated so much of what I have been thinking without realising it. But thinking back to recent trips abroad I’ve just brushed it off as “holiday syndrome” when I’ve thought about how much happier other places seemed to be!

    May I wish you both all the very best with your trip. I truly do hope you come back, just as much as I hope the UK I fell in love with as a boy returns with time.

    Kindest regards,

    1. Cory Avatar

      Dear Ben,

      Thank you for your message and thank you for taking the time to write back to me. I’m grateful for your honesty, I sure know it’s not easy to find the courage to admit when things are not peachy. Whether you decided to stay home in the UK or embark on an adventure in some distant land, I wish you health, wealth and happiness.

      Best regards to both you and your wife!


    2. BrokenRecordPlayer Avatar

      Dear Ben

      thankyou for making me laugh ; that 5minutes of laughter was more valuable than 1000 holidays in the sun. There is more hope for a limpet sucking the tits off the sun than the UK you fell in love with as a boy returns .

  90. Iain Avatar

    This, sadly, has to be the most ludicrous, ill informed, nonsensical piece of writing I have ever had the misfortune to read. Ten mins of my life I’ll never get back I am sorry to say. There is so much wrong with it I wouldn’t know where to begin in pointing out the almost endless flaws. By the sound of things, we have improved immeasurably as a country if you’ve left. I hope you find your reality somewhere and leave us racist, poor, thick bits to struggle on without you. I have a feeling we’ll do OK. Whether you do OK or not, in the long run, is very much open to debate.

    1. Cory Avatar

      Hi Iain,
      Thank you so much for your heartfelt message. Your candour proves me wrong about you racist, poor, thick bits. I must also take a moment to express my gratitude towards your concern for my wellbeing. Rest assured, we are doing wonderful. We live in a gorgeous house with good insulation, stunning views, great friends, good food fit for human consumption and are surrounded by lovely people who accept and appreciate other cultures. I strongly suggest that you may sometimes take the time to travel a little and open your horizons.
      Until next time, I do hope you find it within yourself to open up and really point out what was ill-informed about the article. I always strive to do better.

      Yours sincerely,


  91. Anke Avatar

    Hi Cory,

    I only just came across your article. Thank you for writing a well-structured article. I live in Norfolk, so I cannot agree with the rain problem (we occasionally have drought issues here) but otherwise I think you have touched upon all the issue that I cannot come to terms with. I am very sorry to hear about your experience in the UK, but it has become all too common these days.

    As you can imagine, there are probably many EU nationals rethinking their options after Brexit and scanning the internet for input and answers. Sadly, I am one of them. We have been in the UK for almost 3 years now and even bought a house, but we never truly felt welcome. We left our home in Germany on the border to Switzerland because we had had enough of the discriminatory behaviour of many Swiss towards ‘outsiders’ (many German professionals are cross-border commuters for work) and now we find ourselves in the same situation, again. I have been unable to find work in my field because they don’t know what to do with my qualifications (‘You need a UK qualification’), and the algorithm über-usage in this country is insane. My husband has been fortunate enough to find work in a multi-cultural company (French, Romanians, English and Swiss, all working harmoniously with one-another).

    I think the major reason I want to leave (and I think my husband is feeling it, too)) is the amount of work you have to do to earn a normal living, even with professional skills, and the animosity that is spreading throughout the country. The government is doing nothing to keep this in check, and it has become “salonfähig” to be openly racist. We had been coming to England very regularly since 2011 (my Mom lives here, too) and it has changed so much! Economically and socially, I’m afraid to say. So, I can fully understand your decision to move away. We are at the stage of “Where to now?” Wish us luck.

    I am glad you have found a place in Germany where you feel welcomed and integrated. I hope we find a place with the values we cherish, too.

    Thank you once again for your article.

  92. Mario Avatar

    Thanks for this article, but I’d like to add my experience to counterbalance a bit.

    I’m a foreigner myself, living in the UK and have not encountered ANY racism at all yet. If anything, people are genuinely interested where I’m from and then proceed to tell me my home country is better than Britain as that’s the British way – complaining 😀

    To add to a couple of your points:

    Weather: Especially the South East and London actually have less rain than most places in Europe and much less rain than New York or Seattle for instance (according to statistics). I cycle to work and yes it does rain at times, but much less than elsewhere and often times it only rains a little bit, so you don’t actually get really wet.

    Travelling: £150 for a return ticket halfway across England is expensive? Why? If you have good infrastructure, it costs money to build and maintain it. The prices are similar across all high-income countries across North Europe. £30 for petrol is not accounting for car insurance, depreciation on the car, your time spent driving rather than working/reading/sleeping on the train etc. I’ve contemplated getting a car dozens of times but it always turns out more expensive than not owning one.

    Accommodation: yeah, pretty expensive to be fair 🙂

    Food: obviously subjective. The quality of food in the store here is really really good and it’s also very cheap compared to North Europe. You can’t compare Lisbon to London of course.

    Prices in London: “Unless you share your accommodation, you are extremely rich or live in a partnership with someone, you can’t essentially live in London”. Yet, almost 9 Million (!) people do it. You can’t compare the average salary with the average rent in a normal or even expensive area. A person making an average salary probably doesn’t work in an expensive area and the other way around.

    We’re able to save a lot of money every month and are homeowners. Something that would not be possible in my home country (Germany) to that extend.

    Safety: the UK has one of the lowest homicide rates in the entire world The global peace index is NOT a good representation of safety, it takes a lot of other factors into account, for instance, the fact that the UK has atomic bombs and most other countries don’t.

    Looking at the OECD date, Britain ranks as the 11th safest country and #1 with amongst countries with a population bigger than 50 Million. AHEAD of Sweden, Germany or Japan.

    There are lots of things that could be better in the UK, like the NHS funding, but overall it’s a fantastic country to live in and even though I’m a foreigner, I felt obliged to step in and add my 2 cents 🙂

  93. Philip de Bose Avatar
    Philip de Bose

    The English are well known cowards, always having someone else fight their wars. The people are very filthy, rarely bathe nor brush their teeth.

  94. Hector Avatar

    Complete and utter rubbish. The weather of the UK is the best of anywhere in the world. We have such moderate weather that it poses the least threat to life of anywhere in the world. Comfortable in winter AND summer. London has less rain per annum than Bucharest, look it up. Bristol is actually just as wet as Manchester because it is in the west – so actually you did live in a relatively “rainy” part of England, yes. The Midlands, SE, and even parts of the NE have less rain.
    As for the food, we have a huge mashup of all world culture based cuisine, as well as excellent cuisine of our own. If you think the only “British” dishes are the Sunday roast, fish and chips, pies and bleedin toad in the hole then you’re a bit of a divvy. There’s a lot more than that. What about delicious sherry trifle, a British invention? And dozens of other things if you bothered to look it up, which you aren’t. Let’s see what food Bucharest is known for – hmmm, stuffed cabbage, Ciorba de burta (tripe soup) and roasted eggplant salad. YUM YUM. Anyone who moans about food options in the modern UK must be very, very insular and live in a little bubble or is a spoiled idiot with myopia. Politically, we are also one of the best countries in the world. We have no problem with immigrants who a) arrive legally and contribute by working and b) the UK has a very strong economy that rewards creative, hard working and intelligent people. We have less of a poverty divide than such likes as the good old USA, and better transportion than the vast majority of Europe (which I have travelled all over). We have a better technological infrastructure than most of Europe as well. As to Philip de Boses’ pathetic comment about the British being cowards – are you French by the way? If so, hilarious coming from you. And, the Americans assisted in WWII yes, however even you can’t say if that was the ultimate reason why we ended up victorious in that war. But most of all your pathetic comment is the type of bitter weasly crap typical of someone who is a real coward, and a disgusting affront to those who lost their lives in WWI and WWII, in the former many being just 16-18 years old, barely knowing what they were going into, before being torn to shreds for their country. You, Philip de Bose, are a piece of sh*t. Ah, yeah and we probably have more teeth than you, you snivelling little turd.

    1. Cory Avatar

      Hector, the only reason why I decided to allow your comment on this page is to prove to my readers why some British people are in the state they are and why all immigrants are better off away from the UK.

      Seriously, who compared the UK with Romania? Did I? I mean I left Romania because I didn’t like it and wanted a better life for myself. Same for Britain…I left the UK because I wanted a better life for myself. And guess what? I found it.

      You feel that just because you have “spotted dick” you have better cuisine than Eastern Europeans? Nations that have been under oppression for so many years thanks to communism? Pftiuu, you’re funny. Or is that British humour too?

      Oh, oh, did you travel the British style too? Chilling by the pool exploring the hotel’s cultural hotspots? It sounds like it, my friend. Because you don’t seem to have widen your horizons much…

      We truly hope you stay in the UK because Europe is so much better off without people like you. Have fun singing in the rain on your island. Bye.

      P.S. why assume Philip de Bose is French? Dude, seriously, you’re really shooting yourself in the foot here.

      Dear awesome British people out there. We love you! We think you are awesome. We are all ashamed of people like Hector and we wish they would become obsolete. We know their views, arguments are thoughts are expired. But there’s no garden without weeds, right? Stay safe!

    2. Mihaela Avatar

      Hahaha I know this is an older comment but I just wanted to address the food thing for the benefit of more recent readers. In case you don’t know much about Balkan food (clearly you don’t), we have kebabs (mici in Romania, cevapi in ex-Yugoslavia countries), spicy vegetable spreads and dips, apple, cherry and pumpkin pies and strudels, sour noodle soups, SEASONINGS (so shocking for British palates I know) such as paprika, chilli sauces, garlic dips, shawarmas (that’s another kebab for you), cheesy or jam filled doughnuts, the cabbage rolls you mentioned are filled with meat, rice and spices! We have numerous pastries with fillings going from cheese to spinach (like the Greeks, yes!) to fruit to chocolate. We have massive mixed grills, meat and cold platters. Vine leaf rolls with rice. We have something called tigaie picanta or spicy stir-fry and piperchi which is a spicy red pepper stew. Garlicky paprika chicken stews and bakes. Stuffed peppers and aubergines with meat and rice. Hearty breakfasts with omelettes, sausages (not bread filled sausages like British ones, as I’m sure you heard of Polish kielbasa), egg, sour cream and white cheese. In the Balkans we also have pljeskavica or pleșcavița which is a kebab burger. Walnut honey cakes.

      Honestly it’s all in how you phrase it, lovely. I don’t think British food even begins to compare, and I actually like some British food. Romanian and other Balkan foods are perfect mixes of Turkish, Greek, German and other Eastern European countries such as Russia, Poland, and so on.

      Try again next time however!

  95. Brian Kinsey Avatar
    Brian Kinsey

    Bigoted and biased review based on the views of an immigrant who has disgracefully described most British people as being racist simply because they do not like the organisation called the EU. Eu membership is brilliant for immigrants like her who get immediate access to all the UK facilities, including the NHS and benefits. However, the same entitlement is NOT true for Brits going to EU countries who are in many countries, treated like second class citizens with no rights and slave labour if they can find a job.
    I think people like this author who want to attack the UK and the British people should LEAVE PERMANENTLY as their self centred bigotry will never change.
    Just read her response to Hector to read what a superior and condescending attitude she has.

    1. Cory Avatar

      Hi Brian, thank you for your insightful message.

      Bigot “a person who is intolerant towards those holding different opinions”. Definitely not a bigot, my friend. I am not intolerant towards your opinions. I respect your opinion. My article is too polite if you ask me.

      Biased review – well yeah, I mean it is my site. It’s my subjective narrative based on my life story ?! Obviously!

      I don’t think the British people who don’t like the EU are racists. I gracefully think they are blinded by some terrible political campaign and inability to see the bigger picture.

      You cannot blame the EU for UK’s mistakes. Just because the UK was unable to tighten the system in regards to NHS and benefits access. How’s that the EU’s fault. Germany thought about it. France thought about it. Everyone did something about it. The UK didn’t. That’s not on the membership, it’s on the UK’s political priorities and mistakes, which are then, in turn, blamed on the EU. How’s that logical? It’s not.

      My dude, seriously? I’m British. I live in an EU country. I have rights. Many of them, in fact. I am treated like a stellar class citizen. I don’t know where you’ve seen Brits treated like slaves. I mean come on…

      Brian, what do you mean by “people like the author”. Do you mean British people with British passports who write articles about the UK? Or?

      Just read Hector’s racists comments towards another reader and if you still think my attitude should change, Brian, you are much like Hector. But hey, thanks for stopping by to say hi.

      P.S. I hope the weather’s nice 😉

  96. Luke Avatar

    Such an insightful piece of writing! As a British Citizen, I found myself sadly agreeing with so much of what you addressed. So many Britons get worked up & lash out at any/all criticism of the U.K. but I think that’s part of the problem – no one is brave enough to address the problems. My Mum is a immigrant from the EU & has shared all the experiences you have pointed out, which too makes me rethink the perception of the country I’ve always lived in. Food for thought! I hope you have a wonderful life in your new home! Best Wishes!

  97. Susan Avatar

    Such an interesting and sadly true article. Being British born myself I have seen how Britain has changed for the worst over the last decade or so and am now trying to convince my husband for us to move abroad somewhere where we can have hotter weather, more reasonable housing and public transport costs, a salary which accurately reflects the amount of work and education that goes into your job and an overall better lifestyle. Unfortunately despite all the UKs flaws he’s reluctant to leave the UK and I myself am finding it hard to pin point the perfect location to move to. Any suggestions, we love the beach/city life but don’t want to be too remote, so I think somewhere like Australia would be out as its hours of driving to get to another town or hours on a plane to get to another country.

  98. Paul Stump Avatar
    Paul Stump

    Lovely. The responses are more illuminating, reminding me, a Brit, of how and why I want out.good luck with what comes your way

  99. Dr Shahin Avatar
    Dr Shahin

    As an educated immigrant with a PhD in Engineering who has lived in the UK for 10 years and contributed immensely from every aspect, I cannot agree more with your well written article. Well done!! It’s like someone has brought all my thought and captured it in a well written text!

    Something to add to education side of your view is that… I have witnessed educated and talented individuals struggling to find work in this country while poorly educated locals get high up in management due to their connections! The average British student doesn’t study anything but marketing, business administration, management! You know why? Because they expect Engineering to be taken care of bu foreign workforce! All the nurse and doctors to be imported. This country is still driven by their colonial mindset where the Brits are the managers and the foreign will take care of getting everything done for them. You find people studying geography, english literature, philosophy and human sciences way more than any other country! Well, maths and sciences requires thinking and bright individuals. It’s not all political jibber jabber lies, it’s equations and facts! Tough!

    The other problem is that this country has relied too much on purely service industry and literally no manufacturing. Look at the last 50 years of Britain and name a single big talented innovator in this market! You will struggle to find even 5, because this country purely relies on selling services rather than impacting products and innovative results. Of course when no one studies or shows interest in Engineering or medicine, they country will be deprived of innovative, intelligent workforce.

  100. Joni Tuson Avatar
    Joni Tuson

    This is a wonderful piece. I couldn’t agree more. There was a culture years ago and no denying that there are some very creative people that have come from England. People now are insular and small minded, dogmatic and unfriendly. The entitlement culture that pervades is really shocking. Culture, craft, innovative ideas are bought from elsewhere in the world because the UK can afford it, but cannot create it itself. It has changed from a land of invention and innovation to that of bloated consumer. What I find interesting is how xenophobic the North of England is when a high proportion of very intelligent immigrants work for the NHS and treat them in hospitals, and yet there is a very tangible dislike for foreigners.

  101. Jahmai Jones Avatar
    Jahmai Jones

    This article is everything! The UK is such a trash country, the only reason people used to speak highly of it was because of how powerful the GBP is. I’m a british born and bred caribbean, I left this country around the age of 19 ad travelled to many places during my youth, portugal, spain, France, Greece, USA…alot of places. I could NEVER find work here. I studied computer games design, music production and technology, IT infrastructure and now Cloud Computing with Amazon and guess what….still no JOB. HR Recruiters in this country care more that you still got GCSE qualifications than the vast amount of knowledge and experience you’ve picked up after fucking primary school. All the talent and creativity has been sucked dry out of this place…its so dead and will continue to be dead and fall behind so many other wonderful countries in the world. All thanks to the naive and ignorant older generation

    1. Trevor Avatar

      It was interesting to read your comment because me and my friends were also wondering why are there barely any specific jobs like in software development or electronics engineering. Literally all jobs in UK are just hospitality and retail but good luck finding something like tech industry as there isn’t any apart from few foreign contractors like MBDA. Honestly no wonder all youth is escaping UK there is simply no future or any hope’s of a career here. Its ridiculous that universities let you study for a skill that later will require you to move out of Britain to find relevant work.

  102. Brandon Raid Avatar
    Brandon Raid

    This article is a good article, and basically expresses many truths of English society, I am glad that even you as an immigrant have noticed. In the UK there was always immigration but it was controlled and little, only the best and most suitable immigrants can enter. The former was better and now everything is different, I am glad to hear the position of an immigrant who has realised how society has changed. But I very much defend the English when they say that they do not want to have more immigrants, no one likes to have mass immigration, no country wants it, and that must be respected. Of course, many people want to be English, that’s why they come here. Being English is a privilege, the UK is a good country and one of the best in the world. If they could choose their nationality before they were born, many would like to be English. But that does not justify mass immigration, and I say mass immigration because I am in favour of short immigration of few people and more controlled. You can’t have a first worldly state and have open borders. Any economist will tell you that. But obviously you’re biased because you’re an immigrant so you’re never gonna understand me. Mass immigration destroys societies, creates division and problems, immigration of few people and more controlled, where only the best can become English is what UK has to do. Make it like in the past, the author says that the past was better. A controlled immigration Program

    1. Vinz Avatar

      Absolutely nobody wants to be english. No immigrant wants to be here… let that sink in

    2. Kapil Avatar

      Brandon, you are a delusional idi*t. I am an Indian immigrant and I would rather eat my own excrement than be English. Like Vinz said below, let THIS sink in too mate.

    3. BrokenRecordPlayer Avatar

      Sorry Brandon but I think you are missing the point because Cory is talking about how immigrants are treated . Mass immigration or controlled immigration will not change the way a Briton chooses whether to invite a foreigner for a cup of tea or shepherd’s pie.

  103. Jorge Avatar

    My two cents on this.

    I came to the UK probably at the same time when you came and I mostly agree with the change that has happened to this country. You could say that it was a change of the country or it was us that have understood more of the society where we live.

    Me and my wife have lived in many places around the UK, going up the property ladder, creating a small property portfolio, opening businesses and going up also the corporate ladder. For all these things we really really really love the UK: low taxation, laissez faire and flexibility/open-mindness of the British (especially the English ) people in business and life is refreshing. Try to set up the equivalent of a Ltd. company in Spain, Portugal, Italy, France and you are getting into a storm of bureucracy and taxes. Try to own more than one property in many countries and you will really feel the heat from the taxman.

    However, as you said, with Brexit/Windrush/hostile environment etc. something changed.

    To be honest, I do not think that people here have become “racister” than other countries, actually on the contrary I think that the UK is still one of the most tolerant countries in the world.

    Would you see a non-ethnic Chinese being the Chancellor of the Exchequer in the CCP in China? Can you imagine a black minister for equality in Bulgaria? Would you conceive a white being in the government in Pakistan? And so on….

    So, the tribalism, is everywhere in the world and the UK is still one of the most open and tolerant countries in the world.

    For me, however, there have been two really important breaking points between me and England.

    Point 1 – Alfie Evans Case

    It might be because, even not being religious, I come from a Catholic country, but the way the “Alfie Evans Case” was handled by the hospital, media, judges etc. just told me that I will never be English (nor I would like to be). That level of institutionalised class violence and prejudice is not something I want to be associated with. I can accept Brexit and people being bored of foreginers, it’s understandeable. I cannot accept hundreds of people commenting that “the best interest” of someone’s kid is to die, without letting the parents try a lost battle, basically to protect the bottom line of the country coffers.

    Point 2 – Land management

    Somehow strongly connected with the point above, there is the problem of the land management in the UK. There are no real national parks, all the land is fenced off, houses are built to occupy the most possible space, 1/3 of the land is in the hands of the aristocracy and the other 2/3 mainly belongs to corporations. This means that you pay for parking everywhere, house prices goes up and MORE IMPORTANTLY, access to nature is RESTRICTED. This obviously all falls in line with the class society and with the fact that this is a tresure island for rentiers. This also means that, in order to actually enjoy real life (not some kind of manufacturt-pre-organised and structured activity), you have to either walk on the coasts or on the morland (a bit of a sad alternative) or go abroad on holidays.

    In the UK people say: “Not bad”, which is true, it’s not bad here, but it’s certainly not “awesome” or “great” and we live once, and we are clever international people.

    So, since citizens of the world, are citizens of nowhere my advice is:

    1) Keep your UK investments and properties and join the rentiers class
    2) Generate positive cash flows
    3) Live somewhere else where you can actually LIVE and not simply EXIST

    These problems in the UK will change perhaps in 300 years, we cannot wait.

    1. Mihaela Avatar

      1) There are many non-ethnic/non-Han Chinese people in high up positions in the CPC (not CCP…)
      2) Not sure about Bulgaria but in Romania we have many famous Black Romanian celebrities and even have a Palestinian MP
      So what the fuck are you on about?
      The non-whites you do have in YOUR government are actively working against their own people’s interests (Patel and Sunak come to mind) and they are highly xenophobic.
      Tolerant… please don’t make me laugh. I am bisexual and growing up in Romania vs UK are two different worlds – yes, Romanians were way more tolerant than British kids who physically abused and bullied me. For Eastern Europeans, the UK is the worst place in the world after Italy and maybe also France and Spain

  104. Jim Avatar

    After having lived in Canada (citizen), USA (Green Card) worked across the world including Australia, Middle East, most countries in the EU visited many other countries, it is my opinion that the UK is crap. The class system, the monopoly that the Royals hold and their ongoing theft of taxpayer funds while supported by the House of Frauds and their PR machine have destroyed the soul of the UK. Most working Brits are counting the days to retirement and escape from this violent slum. However, most countries do not want Brits and their drunken, loutish behaviour coupled with a very misplaced sense of importance. Even the EU will effectively stop migration from the UK, we are becoming the equivalent of India and Africa with illegal migrants from the UK trying to slip into far better countries. Pity really, the UK used to be OK.

  105. Kapil Avatar

    Cory, are you a mind reader? You have NO IDEA that you have written exactly what I feel.
    I am an Indian immigrant living in the UK for 15 odd years. Lets forget the Europeans for a minute , delusional Brits think as an Indian I must find the UK to be a paradise but I absolutely HATE it. I have faced racism almost everyday including in my jobs. I have degrees in Business and Cyber Security. I have a diploma in counter terrorism policy. I have worked with high ranking government officials in the UK and I have SERVED IN THE BRITISH ARMY. I have no hesitation in saying most brits ARE racists but live in denial.‘English’ people progress quickly everywhere despite only being half as qualified as a person of colour. I contributed to this country well more than an average Brit who still believes is superior to me despite his qualifications being 4 GCSE’s ?

    -Weather- No comments needed here.
    -Culture- WHAT EXACTLY ?
    -Cuisine- LOL.
    -Safety- it’s NOT safe here, my 2 year old son was attacked by teenagers but the great British police is HELPLESS. I was robbed in broad daylight too on another occasion.
    – Houses- I have seen bigger matchboxes.
    -Tv – Crap and, you need A PAID LICENSE to tolerate that crap. ?
    -Privacy rights- Non existent in reality. I worked in a high level cyber security position after leaving military so I KNOW.

    Brits live in the illusion that it’s great here but in reality it’s a shithole. I had to give up my Indian nationality due to my job with Ministry of Defence which I regret now. I am stuck with sole British citizenship now and trying hard to get out of here. I absolutely agree that the only good thing about the UK is Scotland.

    1. Holly Avatar

      What a load of crap. There is no way you had to give up Indian citizenship. Also your whole comment is actually quite racist. Do you honestly think ALlL Brits think Britain is great and we are living in some utopia? Have actually watched any of the TV? To say it’s all crap is just completely idiotic. Maybe not your cup of tea. I’ve been to India, and well to be honest it’s also a ‘shithole’ to quote you! To be honest honest there is no credibility in your post, as all you’ve done is made a great realised, narrow minded view of a nation of 60 million people! You honestly think Scotland is the best thing about the UK? Why don’t you go and live there then?

  106. Madison Avatar

    Cory, I am a trans Woman in my 20s and I voted to remain in the referendum back in 2016. What do you describe in terms of the hate towards foreigners and outright xenophobia you have faced it’s home to me now in a way I fully understand. This country in terms of its media and even statesman speed by the government have made it very hostile place towards people like myself.

    The trans-community, is (Like for a better word) under attack from the press, people, and the government. It is quite a harrowing existence at times where I sit and contemplate how screwed I am living in this country. I love the UK, it is my home and it is all I have known. Are used to see my country as a liberal looking and pleasant place. The referendum changed everything for me. And now since coming out as a trans-woman and trying to live my life the best way I can, I have face nothing but hurdles and hatred since doing so.

    there are times I just break down in tears thinking about how screwed I really am and I am not a dual national so I cannot leave the United Kingdom any time soon even though I desperately want to leave.

    My degree is in law and I have little experience in any commercial field. Thanks to the withdrawal agreement my degree is worth less in the EU compare to what it used to be. I’m so worried and upset that I’m stuck here and it feels like hell nearly every day.

    i’m sorry you and your husband had to go through what you did and now I see it (albeit from a different angle) how bad this country can be to people who are deemed “different”. I hope things get better here but I don’t think they will any time soon. I’m delighted you have got out and I hope I can do the same one day.

  107. Audrey Avatar

    Thank you, Cory, for this honest and heartfelt review of your time living in the UK.

    I was born and bred in England, and have travelled extensively but never lived outside of the UK, and I absolutely hate it here now.

    I grew up in the 80s and 90s, with my formative years being surrounded by garage and house music, multiculturalism, brilliant Saturday night TV, and the Notting Hill carnival. I was perfectly happy in my bubble, only stepping out for things like college, uni and work.

    Adulthood showed me the REAL England. Sadly, children and teens are already seeing England and the English for what they really are, and so to the rest of the world.

    I’m out of here in a few months, heading back home to the sun, soca music, and lovely people, but I’m truly sad for those who have to stay here for whatever reason, being told daily they have faces that don’t “fit”, and living in fear, and festering in anger over daily dealings with racists.

    It’s also quite scary how a lot of those people, like myself, who were born and bred in the UK, due to racism and mistreatment, clasp their hands in glee as the UK makes wrong decision after wrong decision. I wouldn’t want that much disdain on my doorstep.

    Englanders are sad, fragile little people who hate to see foreigners or people who look different to them, thrive. History has shown us this. But this is expected seeing how it’s in their blood. The racists will swear up and down that they’re not racist while being so completely racist. But I’m not shocked. Surprise surprise, a racist in a racist country, what was I expecting?!

    1. John Kelly Avatar
      John Kelly

      You are a disgusting racist and a bigot. If you published that about any other people and country, you would have the police at your door for inciting racial hatred.

      1. Mihaela Avatar

        Racist and a bigot for stating that YOUR COUNTRY has a massive issue with foreigners and xenophobia (and especially Eastern European ones). You are laughable, John! Get a grip! Also in case you can’t read Audrey is British like you are presumably…

  108. Andreas Avatar

    The mess that UK is today is due to the failed policies of successive governments. Look at the buffoon in power now. UK for years has failed to create policies to protect its border, its benefits and health system to be abused by anyone and everyone. The termites have eaten the soul of a beautiful country.

    Saying that, UK has a huge potential to rebound when it breaks away from the limpets in power sucking its tits off.

    Having lived and worked in many places, from the US to India, the liberal (not liberalism that is being forced upon us now) mindset of this land has always accepted that “different” person to practice their life with respect. Where else will you find so much freedom of choice.

    The Indian gentleman who gave up his citizenship to serve the Queen and the country forgets the hatred and racism in his own land of origin, where color of skin is a passport to success. He also forgets the violence in India against minorities, abuse of women and so forth. The opportunity to be free and to express freedom of thought is still prevalent in this country that he now lives in, albeit in his matchbox house.

    English culture is a thing, it has been for centuries, changing with time, adapting to new ways of life. It is an adaptive culture. That is a fantastic thing, is it not?

    Nevertheless, UK like other places needs a new vision. Agreed! I am thankful to experience the green landscape, the beauty of rain, a cuppa and simple things in life. If you can, and open your eyes and hearts, there are some truly beautiful in heart brits around you. So just try a little bit harder. Those who are racist can be found anywhere, even in your own country. I can bet on that!

  109. James Medhurst Avatar
    James Medhurst

    This article totally baffles me. The person states,,with no doubt ,, that the “vast majority of the people in the UK are racist “ ! Then she moves back because “There’s no place like Home “ !! What !!!!???
    And she hates the Rain (by the way the weather in the UK is as she would know if she had paid attention unpredictable ,,that means it may rain for periods and then suddenly be sunny for long stretches too ) . It doesn’t “ Always rain” !
    To sum up “England used to be a nice place “ ,,,,so I moved back !!

    1. BrokenRecordPlayer Avatar

      If this article baffles you then install some baffle plates mate!

  110. BrokenRecordPlayer Avatar

    Thank you Cory for expressing your experience in the UK. It seems like you’re a fighter and I get that because you will still fight for a better life ; even if it means moving back to the UK ! I do believe though that what is happening in the Uk is happening all over the world (in terms of the standard or quality of life ). I think everyone tries to make the best out of their situation , while yearning for the differences that are experienced by others , this sadly doesn’t illustrate the hardship or difficulties that come with moving abroad or staying abroad. Wherever we go we will have to endure some sort of hardship , for example look at the foreigners leaving China – its all very well moving there when things seemed good. They married Chinese wives or Chinese husbands and now they have to take them out of their very reserved culture and environment to adapt to something new all because the foreigner doesn’t like living in China anymore? The hardship will still be there just in a slightly different way (ie:through the spouse that will need to adapt to change and the support needed with it). Some of the comments are impressively candid behind a computer screen.

  111. PW Avatar

    I Really enjoyed the article, it was well written and So Much of what the writer wrote about British people including the racism, Brexit, political views is Very True. The negatives are playing out on the world stage. It’s refreshing to see the honesty of the article. Thank you

  112. Bobguide Avatar

    I want to thank You for sharing this post as it contains a lot of details and it has been very useful, thanks a lot for sharing

  113. Abhishek Avatar

    Very nice post! I moved back from the UK to India (which is where I am from) 6 years ago after living there for over 10 years.
    I have come to realise that home is where the heart is, and it really does not matter where one lives if they are happy there. It was a difficult decision for us to move back from the UK , and I would be lying if I said we do not have second thoughts about moving back again! Its all about perspective I guess.

  114. Raymond Avatar

    Returning to the UK after you had the chance to escape! To my mind, Britain is the biggest dump in Europe. Violent, dirty cities. Imported American culture. Celebrity fixated zombie population. Overcrowded and filling rapidly with alien cultures hostile to their host. I was born there and had to put up with the place for forty years. Britain is unrecognizable from its former glory. I wouldn’t return if you paid me to.

  115. No chance Avatar
    No chance

    It is people like you, with no allegiance or true connection with the UK, in other words pure economic migrants, nothing more, that are bring this country to its knees and have made it an awful place to live.

    1. S Avatar

      What a disgusting attitude. What has made this country an awful place to live is intolerant arseholes like you who are too uneducated to embrace what different nationalities and viewpoints have to offer. The UK would benefit from taking in 10 million hard working immigrants and sending morons like you to Rwanda to spread your vitriol. Dickhead.

      1. British Immigrant Avatar
        British Immigrant

        No, they make a very fair point. The blogger writes the country is nation of racists….then goes country hopping in Europe….only to return.

        Is there an article of apology that I have missed?

        1. Me Avatar

          Who should she apologise to? Are you such a snowflake you can’t take an honest opinion about the UK? A country you yourself left?

          Grow up.

  116. Alex from Carlisle Avatar
    Alex from Carlisle

    You write an entire article telling folk about the benefits of open borders and ‘cultural enrichment’, and yet you admit that your worst experiences were in the far left and immigrant-infested cities of London and Bristol, and you’re happyin the conservative and very English North Yorkshire.

    The irony.

    Honestly though, what do we have to do and who do we have to vote for to get these unwanted immigrants and their allies the hell out of our land?

  117. will stone Avatar
    will stone

    How on earth can you say the roads in the Uk are well maintained?????

    1. Cory Avatar

      Oooh believe me! This country has ace roads in comparison to other places we’ve lived in. Furthermore, fun fact, but did you know the UK is the third-safest country to drive? Right after Norway and Switzerland. 🙂

  118. Alex Avatar


    Please do not come back. You insult our country and our people.

    Good riddance.

    1. Cory Avatar

      With comments like this, you know,I wonder. Why were you searching for topics related to moving away from the UK? Is it because you’re desperately trying to get away, and you can’t? Or? Anyway, good luck…

  119. Christine A Avatar
    Christine A

    I agree with Cory 100% im English myself but i really hate living near London the people are violent , too many are on very serious drugs or are junkies and again i agree you cant walk the streets at night safely , In my situation im a transgender woman and too many men in the UK have very homophobic views towards people like me , ive been abused and beaten up in my past and i really just want out of this country now as i am a hard working woman i dont sponge or claim benefits and can live independently in any country as long as im accepted by the local community , I think i will move to Denmark as there people are civilised unlike the UK where they seem to be stuck in the 1950s

  120. Katherine Avatar

    This was an interesting read, I really enjoyed this article.

    I am originally from the UK, but have been living in Australia for the past 4 years and have been debating whether to make the move back to the UK due to wanting to be near family.

    However, every time I turn on the news it makes me question whether it is the right choice. Watching my home country fall apart from afar is so embarrassing and upsetting. Are we finally getting karma for all the horrific things we’ve done to other countries?

    Unfortunately there are a lot of uncultured and racist people in the UK, it’s so disappointing. We’re not all like that though! Our education system definitely needs an upgrade so British people stop being so ignorant about our history.

    Another reason I’m wanting to leave Australia is because of the racism here and the serious lack of culture. It’s good to hear that you are happy now you have moved back to the UK. It is nice to hear some positive stories.

    Cory, just out of interest, have you experienced much racism where you are living now? I’m glad you are happy in North Yorkshire, it’s a lovely part of the country. In my own experience though I have found the North to be a lot more racist than the South. (Not saying that everyone in the North is racist, nor am I saying no Southerners are racist – just a generalisation)

    1. Cory Avatar

      Hi Katherine,

      Thank you for your message. No, I haven’t experienced any racism here in North Yorkshire. Our neighbours have been fantastic and really welcoming. If there has been racist attempts, they were not obvious. People in general seem pretty chilled.

    2. Sonia Avatar

      Hi Katherine, its a shame that you are experiencing racism in Australia. Instead of moving to the UK you should consider New Zealand is a lot more tolerant in this respect.

  121. British Immigrant Avatar
    British Immigrant

    I identify as immigrant as I’m British Naturalised and recently returned home from spending most of the last decade living overseas in Asia-Pac (Australia and Singapore). I’m privileged and lucky to have lived and have connections with 4 developed and attractive countries. My birth country is a tropical island paradise in the Indian Ocean. I am Indian (ethnically) but not from the subcontinent (haha British Colonialism made immigration in my DNA!). I grew up in ‘Middle England’ Home Counties and have lived in the Midlands and Yorks so have a fair view of Britain, England (vs London) and consider myself (and family) thoroughly British (I open my mouth and you will agree too!). So I feel fair to comment on this.

    First, the British are NOT RACIST. I grew up in the 1980s and had real racist abuse (P*** word etc).However, for every racist, there was *always* 4-5 kids, adults etc berating them and defending me. I never felt 2nd class at school and teachers pushed me to excel. My immigrant NHS Nurse parents were proudly British, enjoyed good Grammar education for their daughter, good universities for both kids, homeowners in nice well to do market town etc. Ie. The ‘British dream’ (without the country cottage bit). Reflecting back, much of the racism I experienced and felt was in the media: TV and especially Press.

    My eyes *roll* when White EU Nationals scream racism when British people call them out for treating their country like a hotel (with many paying hostel rates). White Europeans cannot understand racism, and ought to go figure on their home countries.

    The British are tolerant. Ridiculously so in comparison to other countries, and that is the problem. There is still pretty much an ‘open door’ on immigration and there are no/low standards. Frankly, nowadays the UK attracts the immigrants who cannot get into Australia, Canada, NZ, Singapore, and of course, the US. (Regardless of inequality, private health, everyone inc. Brits, dreams of the US).

    In comparison to it’s New World ex-colonies, the UK’s living standards is worse and declining. Yes, Australia is far higher cost of living, but the living standards and quality of life is also much higher. British people *know* their country is in decline. I have watched it decline as I grow older. For all of the previous eras’ racism, the opportunities and quality of life were much higher for the fewer immigrants that came here. Mainly in connection with Public Service jobs and the Commonwealth. Even the communities which have not integrated over 40-50yrs (lessons learnt?), they ran taxi firms and corner shops etc. (Has the author been to ‘Bradistan’ in West Yorks?).

    In the 25 yrs since we started University, my cousin who came from tropical island, studied here – and shocked the family by returning home, visited recently (on business). She tutted and was saddened by the crappy state of London. I heard the same often from Singaporeans (and Australians) who had lived, studied, worked and felt great connection to Britain (language, culture and yes, Queen etc). In that 25yrs, my tropical island birth nation has gone from developing to now High Income status. They have Netflix, the internet, consumerism, vacations abroad etc just as we do. Their standards are on the up. The UK just gets grubbier, crapper and more overcrowded.

    Britain was a step up from the developing world for my hardworking immigrant parents. For me, the ‘First World’ is now Singapore, Australia (yes I rate the UK as ‘Second world’ in comparison to these countries). My cousin is laughing that she has a better lifestyle, travels the world as much (for work and play) and is not trapped in a miserable terminally depressed island. Her parents are aging much better than their UK siblings too, and are cheerier. Lol, they have direct access to private healthcare through their kids’ corporate jobs. Their son is married to an expat German met at work, so globalising at a very fast rate.

    The problem with Britain is that it bends over backwards too much, and does not do enough – paradoxically, at the same time. The perception is Britain ‘easy’ – do what you want, whatevers. British culture is now ‘whatevers’ and to even have any expectations or respect is ‘right wing’ or some sort of phobia or ism. Say anything uncomfortable, let’s scream ‘racist.’ (eye roll as a Brown person).

    Other countries set a higher standard in who they let in and they *make it clear what is expected of them*. Eg. No visa to Australia without the qualifications, sponsorship, medical insurance etc. If you are in need of health treatment or ill, forget it. They want working age people who can contribute to their economy and integrate into their society. Same elsewhere. The UK has become a dumping ground for people from EU economies in a worse state and anyone from ‘University of Nowhere’ in India (Indians who don’t make the cut for Singapore or Australia fall back on Britain). Many Hong Kongers went to Australia or Canada because both are seen as more economically and socially advanced – and yes, multicultural (the UK is a bore on diversity, go to South East Asia for that).

    Britain’s infrastructure cannot cope with the population. Like everywhere else, it already has pressures from an ageing longer living population. But it’s problem is it deals with that with ‘abacus economics’ of just letting anyone in, mostly unskilled and low-paid. Hence, the low growth and high house prices in London and SE. The South East of England is *bursting*. It makes me laugh that immigrants come over and then complain about high cost of housing and transport. In London, a global city! London is unaffordable because everyone and their dog wants to be here. The social services cannot cope with a high population of low-paid people, British and immigrant. Too many people taking out, not enough putting in enough. Yes, Nicola Sturgeon’s Scotland wants more immigrants. But no one wants to live in Scotland! It’s merely a route to (SE) England.

    It is no wonder people feel miserable. The quality of public and everyday services (telecoms and banking customer services) is poor and overloaded. The continuous media obsession of crisis after crisis perpetuates the problem. Since 2008, Britain has culturally been in a self-inflicted spiral decline of crisis. The best years were probably (economically and socially) from mid 1990’s, 1993 until 2008 (esp the boom Blair years). Now it’s obsessed with ‘poverty’ (can’t afford food but can fags and false nails) and banal debates about identity. In a few years, it will probably be legal to self-identify as as a cat or dog. If you question that, you will be ‘animalist.’

    Most ordinary British people outside of the chattering classes in liberal metropolitan London know they are the Jones who can no longer keep up with their richer Aussie Jones cousins or the Singaporean and Hong Kong Tans. They don’t care for the virtuous and preachy nonsense that London obsesses with whilst the roads get more clogged, economy tanks etc. No government has a magic money tree that can deal with a ‘climate emergency’ (in a country with very mild weather patterns), literal cradle to grave housing and social care, free healthcare to everyone and anyone who shows up etc, human rights for cats etc Britain’s problems are of it’s own making. A Labour Government faces the same problems – and honestly will be no different as there is no money to splurge like the Noughties!

    I’ve been back 18 months and I can see these issues, without any dogma of ideology. Yes, Britain is home. Though it’s not where my heart is. I left a big piece of my heart in Australia. Not just weather, lifestyle or even landscape. It’s about the people and the attitude. The culture of ‘fair go,’ work hard and play hard, and mostly, gratitude. High standards, high expectations, high quality living. (In fact in broke my marriage that my ex husband could not understand how good our life was in Australia, hence I’m here).

    That so many immigrants come to the UK…complain about it…go country hopping and then come back, says a lot about Britain, British culture….. and those people. I want Britain to get better, because it is my home and I am and love being British. My parents came here to give, not just take – as my ex-husband and I did in Australia and Singapore. This is what British society has lost.

    Finally to the author, you praise Tony Benn who was a staunch socialist. You are from Romania but you don’t want to live there? Why would you think the UK ought to be like Communist Hungry or Caucesescu Romania? As others have pointed out, you are very much enjoying North Yorks, of the more wealthy and most socially and politically Conservative parts of the North and Britain. Think why that is.

  122. Louisa Avatar

    I find it sad to read through these comments and hear my country described as a hellhole and I and my fellow countrymen as horrible racists. In the last 30 years, We have seen our own lives turned upside down, our cities transformed into places where we are sometimes the minority, where few people speak English. In all of this, I have tried to be fair and welcoming and treat people with respect. I learnt Pubjabi to chat to my new neighbours and Mandarin to talk to the Chinese students living nearby. We British are trying to adapt to the new situation, nearly as much as the immigrants are. Most UK people are welcoming so please don’t group us all together. There are a lot of good things about this island. Stop running it down, we didn’t ask you to come here and complain about everything.

  123. Ann Avatar

    I disagree with you when you say that it rains all the time. No it doesn’t. It doesn’t feel disheartening. Grow up I wear dresses all year around. If you want skin cancer because of vile sunshine all the time then you’d say this. In fact I wish it was cold and rainy all year round

    1. Ken Avatar

      Please don’t speak for the rest of us you silly ***. If the council is paying your heating it’s one thing but the rest of us simply cannot afford it, if you like the cold so much move to the arctic…

  124. Ivan Avatar

    “Immigrants are the people who are willing to give up their rights, liberties and cultures, to work for the sake of your government, your country, your society, and your benefit.”
    The problem with what you say here is clearly that you are describing an Utopic concept of immigration, which is literally the opposite of what happens a large portion of times in practice. As you said, a nation will understandably welcome people who is willing to contribute and respect the local culture and values, a “high quality” citizen. But the more immigrants you receive from countries with completely opposite realities, like Britain has been doing for decades, the more you realize this is simply not going to happen. So, as a non British-citizen, I find this “racist, hateful” description unfair and misleading for a society who was been consistently trying to adapt to years of massive influxes of different people, from which many (let’s be honest now) are *ONLY* interested in the individual gains and benefits of life there, as you previously put. The effects of this are being seen daily, and thereby it is understandable that people slowly changed their notions towards these policies.

  125. Jeff Allister (Hertfordshire) Avatar
    Jeff Allister (Hertfordshire)

    Why on earth if given a chance to move out of here would anyone in the right spec of mind decide to come back when entire country is falling to pieces with rubbish government, greedy landlords and out of control cost of living. Literally everyone in my university is openly discussing where to escape from this sinking ship.

    With most youth escaping abroad, more and more businesses closing up, lack of council housing, broken medical system, reckless government, insultingly low wages why would anyone decide to stay here past graduation?

    Even people who have been paying mortgages for years and years are now hit with new interest rates because Boris Johnson and his goons wants to stuff their pockets as much as possible before making a runner when the country will full through.

    Honestly use your head to think rather than give yourself false promises that things will be fine. We’re not in Alice The Wonderland story if that was the case we’d all click our heels by now and wish to be anywhere else but there!

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