|Tower Bridge, London. My wife and I were married there.|
Photo by Tanya Hart
Having lived in the UK for years, I have to say it's absolutely a nice place to live. Apparently, though, the British disagree with me. A recent poll found that two in three middle-class British families would like to move abroad.
When you talk about the reasons for emigration, there are "pull" factors — adventure, a new love, a new job, and so on — and "push" factors — no work locally, escaping war, fleeing oppression, and so on. The research about why British families wanted to leave was definitely push factors: avoiding the weather, rude people, and poor values.
I can actually understand some of this. The UK has a drinking culture which absolutely floored me when I first encountered it. It's quite normal to see people stumbling around drunk on the street and vomit-strewn sidewalks near pubs. More than once I would walk into a Wetherspoons for breakfast and find people having a Full English and a pint.The weather is, admittedly, rubbish and the British economy has been stumbling. Despite this, I don't think the situation is nearly as dire as many Brits think. Part of this is the "grass is always greener" syndrome, though I confess that British people, unlike their American counterparts, have probably seen that other grass firsthand.
Of course, my "grass is always greener" theory is kind of shot to hell when I find out that 80% of British expats have no intention of returning to the UK.