Leaving UK: My Reflections and Experiences

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Leaving the UK: Why I Chose to Move Away from Western Countries


Today, I’m going to discuss the reasons for leaving the UK, Australia, and other Western countries where I used to live. It wasn’t a single reason that prompted my departure; there were actually six main reasons that influenced my decision.

1. Financial Struggles

One of the primary reasons was money. My first job in the UK after earning my degree paid around £12,500 a year, which was incredibly low. Even as I changed jobs, my salary increased only marginally, and I never reached £30,000 per year. When I left, I was earning about £28,000 annually.

Living expenses were high. I had a flat in Leeds costing £550 per month, and my monthly income was around £1,500. After paying for rent, council tax, utility bills, food, and going out, I had very little left to save. Most months, I could save about £300 if I was lucky. Saving enough money to leave the country took a long time, and I managed to save only about £5,000 before I left. The high cost of living made it difficult to enjoy life and save for the future. This financial strain was a major factor in my decision to leave the UK and explore other opportunities.

20 British pounds bills lies in stack on background of big semi-transparent banknote. Abstract business background with copy space

2. Job Dissatisfaction

Work was another significant factor. After studying for years, I found that building up experience and getting decent projects took a long time. Despite working for five years, I didn’t get much responsibility or exciting projects. Most of the work involved boring health centers and houses. The work environment was often pretentious, especially in large corporate architecture firms. There was a lot of competition and a sense of superiority among colleagues, which I found off-putting. This dissatisfaction with my job made me rethink my career path and ultimately contributed to my decision to leave the UK.

Architect Work

3. Boredom

Living in one country all my life led to boredom. I believe that experiencing different countries is essential for personal growth. Staying in the same place for 30-35 years can get monotonous. I wanted to experience life in other countries, not just as a tourist, but by living and working there. The excitement of exploring new cultures and environments was a strong motivator for me to leave. This desire to escape boredom and seek new experiences played a significant role in my decision to leave the UK.

4. Beach

In the UK, I rarely went to the beach. When I did, the weather was usually cold and unpleasant, and the beaches were often crowded during the summer. The idea of living somewhere warm and near the beach was appealing to me, as I wanted to enjoy better weather and beach access throughout the year. This longing for a better beach lifestyle was another reason why I left the UK.

Sunrise over the beach at Selsey on the West Sussex coastline

5. Chores and Convenience

In Western countries, you often have to do everything yourself. Simple tasks like sending a letter or buying groceries require personal effort. In places like Dar es Salaam, you can pay someone to do these tasks for you at a low cost. Housekeeping services are also much more affordable. In the UK, I spent a lot of time doing chores, which took up a significant portion of my weekends. Leaving the UK, in contrast, in Tanzania, I have a housekeeper who handles cleaning, laundry, and other tasks, allowing me to focus on more important things. This convenience and reduction in chores made living outside the UK much more appealing.


6. Everyday Food Options

The food in the UK isn’t necessarily bad, but it’s difficult to find affordable, everyday meals. In places like Thailand and Tanzania, you can easily find cheap and healthy meals at local eateries. In the UK, eating out is expensive, and the everyday food options are often limited to sandwiches and fast food, which aren’t the healthiest choices. This lack of accessible, healthy everyday food was a significant factor in my decision to leave the UK.

Close up of person holding tray with freshly baked cinnamon buns in an artisan bakery.


Overall, leaving the UK and other Western countries wasn’t an easy decision, but it was driven by a desire for a better quality of life. The high cost of living, job dissatisfaction, lack of beach access, endless chores, and limited food options were all factors that contributed to my decision to leave and seek a different life abroad. Living in a new country has provided me with the opportunity to experience new cultures, enjoy better weather, and find a more satisfying and convenient lifestyle.


📐Russell M. Henderson is a practicing RIBA Chartered Architect based in Tanzania, East Africa.

🎥Russell (Architect Russell) also makes videos on YouTube , TikTok Instagram & Skillshare  sharing thoughtful, honest and pragmatic knowledge while working and living abroad.

Architect Russell Uncensored is podcast also available on YouTube, talking about an architect’s life unfiltered. The education of 7 years to controversial topics such as RIBA and ARB, to unusual architect experience abroad like in Bangkok and Tanzania. This is content never before released on any platform and you can only get it here first. The truth through the eyes of Architect Russell, unfiltered and uncensored.


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