the network for radical unschooling families
Hi - welcome to the group. Spending some time in the UK sounds like a great idea! (don't know if that counts as selling you on the idea, but I think it's great to spend time in another country/culture for a while if you can).
I'm not sure how the cost of living here compares to Australia, I have the sense that the difference is not as big as it used to be, but that's not based on extensive research, and I guess it depends where you live in each place. The general rules of thumb over here are that the closer you are to London, the more expensive it is to live, the north is cheaper than the south, and places like Wales and East Anglia are a bit cheaper too.
Might be worth thinking about travel links if you think you'll visit european countries a lot - there are quite a few regional airports with cheap flights to europe, so being based within reasonable distance of one of those could be a good idea. Or if you think you'd want to drive, then being close to the south coast is a good idea, for the ferries.
There are tons of hospitals, coffee shops, building sites and skateparks over here, so I wouldn't think any of those would be a restricting factor - probably something to research better once you have an idea of a general area that you're aiming for.
Hope that helps, feel free to ask any other questions, particularly if you have anything specific you want to know.
well, as I'm sitting indoors listening to the pouring rain, it would be churlish to say it's rude to accuse the UK of having a lot of rain :o). Seriously though, even though we're going through a wet spell at the moment, I don't think that it rains quite as much people outside the UK think. But it is very changeable, unreliable, and a lot cooler than Australia, so we don't have such an outdoorsy lifestyle here (as a sweeping generality) as you do over there.
My children are younger, and also we've been through a tricky patch that has meant that we've been spending a lot more time than normal at home, so I'm not the best person to talk about what 15 year old boys do when they want to go out and it's raining. This group and also I saw that you had posted on Unschooling UK - these two groups are great for connecting with other unschoolers, but they're not big groups or particularly active, so it might be worth asking on one or both of these two groups as well : AEUK and/or HE-UK. AEUK is for autonomous educators - which is the British term for unschoolers, sort of. HE-UK also has a high proportion of autonomous educators, though also has school at home types too. Both of those groups are bigger and more active, so you will probably get more of a range of views, and will most likely find some people in the Norwich area too.
I can talk a bit better about the internet. We are with Virgin Media and have fast broadband (by cable) and unlimited download/usage. I'm not entirely sure how much we pay for the internet part, as we have a package that includes TV and telephone too. I think the main suppliers in the UK are Virgin, Sky and BT, so you could check out their coverage/speed/deals online.
Hi there. I'm replying a good couple of months after you posted this, so have no idea whether your interest and questions are still relevant!
Your post was a timely read for me, though, as my brother and his Sydney-sider wife have very recently decided to relocate back to the UK (he's British) mainly because - wait for it - he feels the cost of living over here is way less than out there in Oz. ;-) In fairness, he does live in Sydney - which I realise is notorious for its sky-high cost of living - but he also spent a few years on the Sunshine Coast up until 2 years ago, and still considers the cost of living here to be less overall. (According to my parents, who've spent quite a bit of time out in Oz over the past few years, the cost of living was indeed higher here for years and years, up until 3 years or so back, when on a subsequent trip they were taken by surprise by the increase relative to the decrease here (recession). Have just also had some British friends who were living in Oz for 7 years leave and emigrate to the USA, again with cost of living in mind mainly.)
Norwich and Norfolk are lovely areas, and quite chilled out too. I have no idea whether there are many unschoolers there or not though. (I live in Hampshire, not far from the New Forest.)
I think you're right to ask yourself about the rain, though I'd agree with everything Carole said above. We tend to just get on with it, when it does rain! My hubby and my children and I have all the wet-weather gear. (My kids have the waterproof trousers and gum-boots, and we just head on out in it usually!).
But it doesn't rain all the time, like Carole said. (Though don't ask about this latest summer...). There are of course plenty of places to visit indoors if you'd rather not be out when it does rain: huge indoor sports centres, indoor ski slopes, indoor go-karting tracks, climbing walls etc, museums aplenty, aquariums, cinemas and theatre, shopping precincts, places of historic interest (plenty of castles!) and virtually any indoor course / club you could think of on offer etc, besides of course your local unschooling or home-ed groups and friends' houses. When it's not raining, you'll have the same outdoors-ey places that you're used to back home (loads of parks, skate parks, country parks, coast line / beaches, and countryside), though beaches will have quite a different feel to where you're based!
There are bound to be a few videos on Norwich and other areas of interest on the likes of youtube.
Oh - and I doubt Broadband speed would be an issue at all, though it's always wise to check an area first of course.
Hope this helps!