Emigrated to Netherlands in 1998. Son got medical problems and needed home schooling which was illegal in Netherlands but legal in Belgium.
So we planned to move to Belgium and just pop over the border to work in the Netherlands.
However, then my Mother in Law got cancer and my wife wanted to come back. So my son and I came back not wanting too.
My wife was always 50-50. Sometimes wanted to come back and missed family especially if they go on how nice braai they had and wished we were here etc.
So we came back and within a month or two my wife wanted to go back to the Netherlands.
But we stayed with intentions to stay for a year or two but 11 years on now actively packing up and can't wait to go including the wife.
The waiting was due to waiting for son to finish studying (which he didn't) and to see what happens to the M-I-L who passed away in the beginning of the year making it so much easier for my wife to pack up and go.
So came back for personal reasons and not because of where we were or not coping or....or...or...
I think most people come back for family commitments or missing the family (especially the women do...)
Then there is a bit of the reason why you emigrated fading away and not realising what is happening in SA and what you are leaving behind by coming back.
I've seen many people (smallish percentage of those who emigrated) who came back to SA and most of those regretted it but not all.
Some then packed up again and left again and some I know now in the process of packing up to emigrate for the second time.
Some stayed and happy to be here. (A very very small percentage from those I know(n) who returned and happy to be here.)
My one brother emigrated to the Netherlands, returned to SA and moved back to the Netherlands. His wife came back ahead while he was still packing and while packing container phoned and said "nope, lets stay in Holland" But it was too late. But later they did return.
My other brother also emigrated to the Netherlands and came back to SA and claim to be happy here. I know he was thinking of going back to the Netherlands at one point though. His wife want to go back.
Statistics I saw once long time ago showed that most people who returned or thinking of returning were from Scandinavia and UK mostly due to weather and depression due to long and grey winters.
Those living in USA and Australia were less likely to return.