Rutland Family Wanted Down Under Revisited


Rutland Family

Julie was longing to make Australia her home. A trial week in Perth helped to win over her husband Dan, so one year on, have they made the move?


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Transcript


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Travelling in your teens often leaves you with a sense

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of wanderlust, longing for a life in the sun.

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But is it really possible to make the dream your reality years later,

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when you've three children in tow and a husband who's far from convinced?

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That was the question Julie Rutland needed answered in 2015.

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One year on, we'll find out where the family are now.

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In 2015, Julie Rutland longed to move her family to Australia.

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I just want to try, I want to follow my dream.

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With a visa already in place, she had just one obstacle to clear.

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The only thing that is stopping us is me.

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A trial week opened Dan's eyes to the possibilities.

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If we could afford this house, you've got me in Australia.

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So one year on, have the family made it to the other side of the world?

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Making plans and then sticking to them religiously is, I think,

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heading for disaster, because life isn't like that.

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Covering a landmass of almost three million square miles,

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Australia's been hailed a land of opportunity ever since the first

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European settlers arrived back in the 1700s.

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Promising sunshine, beaches and a strong economy,

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the attraction shows little sign of easing up,

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with latest figures showing over 28% of the country's population

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is born overseas.

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Julie Rutland was on a mission to convince husband Dan

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Australia was where their family belonged.

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However, never having stepped foot in the country,

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he worried his wife's vision of life down under was based entirely

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on rose-tinted memories.

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Julie had just one week to persuade him once and for all

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her dream was one worth chasing.

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A year ago, the Rutlands' journey began with over 17 hours in the sky,

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flying from London to Australia via Dubai.

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As they landed in Perth, Julie was thrilled to be back down under.

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I just can't wait to show them all the beach, the weather,

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the lifestyle and the houses.

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But there was only one word to sum up how Dan was feeling.

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Tired. I'm feeling very, very tired.

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It was a long journey.

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It wasn't that bad.

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Julie had a hard road ahead to convince Dan to start a new life

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on the other side of the world.

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In 2015, dad Dan, mum Julie, Zac,

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who was then nine, Willow, who was six, and Faye, then aged five,

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were living in Bicester in Oxfordshire.

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Julie had been dreaming of Australia ever since visiting

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15 years earlier.

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It's got so many wonderful memories.

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I was travelling with two of my best friends, we were young.

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We bought a camper van in Darwin and we travelled all round Australia.

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After reluctantly returning to the UK, Julie met Dan soon after.

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I swerved into a nightclub,

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swooped Julie off of her feet and that was the end of the story.

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The couple settled down together.

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Julie secured a job in Formula One, and Dan worked as a carpenter.

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But when the children came along,

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Julie parked her career and thoughts turned once again to Australia.

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It's just about the lifestyle, really.

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Be careful there, Willow.

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I would just love to live by a beach,

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and I love the sporty lifestyle.

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We're such an outdoors family.

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But moving to the other side of the world wasn't something Dan

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had ever considered.

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The only thing that is stopping us is me.

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I am the brick wall.

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Determined to make the move,

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Julie secured a visa for the family and began applying for jobs

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for Dan online. Knowing how much he loved fishing,

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she even tried to reel him in with the promise of a boat.

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It was just a splash.

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Yeah, I might have hinted that he could have a little boat,

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just a little boat, if he moved near the sea.

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But Dan didn't rise to the bait.

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Can we afford to move to Australia?

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The jobs... There's a lot of questions that need answering.

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Dan also worried about the emotional cost of moving.

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Close to his dad, he was torn at the thought of leaving him.

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If something happened to my dad while I was the other side, I'd...

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I'd never forgive myself.

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Yeah.

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Julie was aware of the impact saying goodbye

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would have on her family too.

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I know it will break my mum's heart, I know it will.

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And I know it will break both my sisters' hearts as well.

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But, determined to show Dan and the children the lifestyle she believed

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would benefit them, Julie was desperate for the chance to make her

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vision their reality and she had just seven days to do it.

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I can almost feel it, and I really want it for the children,

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and I really want it for us.

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I just want to try, I want to follow my dream.

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The family spent their week in Western Australia's capital city, Perth.

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Their temporary base was in Halls Head,

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a coastal suburb just over an hour's drive from the city centre.

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-Wow, look at that.

-That looks very grand, doesn't it?

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Look at the sea, wow!

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That's a proper sea view.

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Despite the dull day, Julie was delighted

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with the beachfront location.

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Wow.

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Now this is the type of place I would love to live.

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Then you should have married a millionaire!

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Fuelled by excitement, the family headed straight to the beach.

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That looks all right, doesn't it? Do you think they like it?

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They'd only arrived, but the children were already sold.

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Australia's epic.

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It's fun.

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I think Australia's good.

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Dan, though, had his feet firmly on the ground.

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This house is fantastic,

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but it's whether we could afford something like this.

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There's just lots of things to find out.

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The week ahead would determine whether or not Dan could buy into

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Julie's dream, but she was feeling confident things would go her way.

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This is us finding out if this is what we actually want to do

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for the rest of our lives, so it's got to be, it's got to be amazing,

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and I think it will be.

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In 2015,

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the Rutlands were living in a three-bedroom semidetached house

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in Bicester in Oxfordshire.

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I would quite like to transport our house

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and Danny's worked really hard.

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-Yeah.

-I tell him what we're going to do, and he works really hard to do it.

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Knowing she couldn't take it with her,

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Julie had a clear idea of what she'd like for a home in Australia.

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Four bedrooms, plus a granny annexe, so people could come and stay.

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An open-plan kitchen-dining area, plus a swimming pool,

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and literally practically on the beach.

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Dan had slightly different ideas.

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For me it would be more a harbour.

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So that I could have somewhere to put my boat.

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But there again, you know, I could have a boat here.

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But I can't afford that either.

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With around £250,000 to spend on a house in Australia,

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we showed the family three properties - two based on budget

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and one which could have been their dream home.

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The search began in Secret Harbour,

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an established suburb 45 minutes' drive from central Perth.

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Just a stone's throw from the beach,

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did this four-bedroom home get things off to a flying start?

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Come in, kids.

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-That's quite nice.

-Ooh, wow.

-Yeah, I like it.

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It is a bit dark, isn't it?

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I don't know if it's kind of what I had in mind.

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It is, it is open-plan living...

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-Yes.

-But perhaps not as open-plan as I was hoping.

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She was the one pushing for the move,

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but first impressions weren't quite what Julie expected.

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-The main bedroom off of a lounge area...

-It's en-suite.

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It is a nice en-suite, isn't it? It's a really big one.

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It didn't take long for her to come round, though.

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It's a good double bedroom for one of the kids.

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Yeah, it is good, it's a good size.

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Yes, it's actually growing on me, this house.

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The inside may have won Julie over,

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but was the outside what they wanted?

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It is nice, I do like the outdoor area, I do like it.

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Dan, on the other hand, wasn't happy with the fake grass.

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It sounds like it's plastic bags underneath it, doesn't it?

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The house had evoked mixed reactions,

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but the question was, would Julie and Dan's £250,000 budget

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-be enough to buy it?

-I think it's going to be over budget.

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I think maybe about 275.

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If this is over budget, I mean, I'm going to feel, I think,

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quite disappointed by it.

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Let's see what it is.

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£254,600, so it's pretty much bang on our budget, and that's OK.

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Yeah, yeah.

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Are you a bit disappointed?

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Yeah, yeah, I was hoping it was going to be less than that.

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Their first taste of Perth's property prices was bittersweet.

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For Dan, the next house would need to be more on the money if Julie

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was to persuade him to make the move.

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To find out, the family headed to Baldivis,

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a rapidly expanding suburb just under 30 miles south of the city.

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Would this place be up to spec for the Rutlands?

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I like the look of this house.

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Things were off to a good start.

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-Straight into a bedroom.

-See, I just like this more.

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-This furnishing is a lot more like we would have in the house, isn't it?

-Yeah.

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The open-plan kitchen-living area was more in line

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with Julie's expectations.

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Oh, I love it!

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-So do I.

-Yeah, it's much nicer.

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-Yeah.

-The house also had a separate playroom for the children.

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Wow, this is amazing!

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And when they spotted a pool in the garden,

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Julie couldn't believe her luck.

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This house just got even better.

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Yeah, this house just got more expensive.

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Oh, my God, I love it.

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Despite concerns about cost, even Dan was bowled over.

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If we could afford this house, you've got me in Australia.

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-How exciting!

-This is awesome.

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But, with £250,000 to spend,

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was it somewhere the family could afford to live?

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Let's have a look.

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-JULIE GASPS

-Oh! See, I was right.

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£262,800.

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-I was right.

-That's amazing.

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-That's doable.

-Yeah, it is doable.

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-That's just made my day.

-Yeah.

-It's really made my day.

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Yeah, it certainly hasn't ruined mine.

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£12,000 over budget hadn't dented Julie's enthusiasm,

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and even Dan seemed content with the cost,

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and there was still one property to go.

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The final stop of the day was the coastal suburb of Waikiki.

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Just one street back from the sea,

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we'd found what could be the family's dream home,

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but would Julie and Dan agree?

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Oh, let's have a look.

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-Wow, it looks huge.

-It's massive.

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-Wow.

-First impressions looked good, but...

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This is a bit different.

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Yeah...

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I don't like the kitchen. It's not really a really big area,

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and I don't like all the bricks.

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No.

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With four bedrooms, on paper,

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the house met many of Julie's requirements but the reality

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didn't match up.

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So it looks disappointing again.

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And the dated en-suite did little to lift spirits.

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There's just so much work that you'd need to do, that I would want to do.

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It'd be quicker, honestly, it'd be quicker to knock it down.

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The interiors of the property had failed to wow,

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but outdoors was a different matter.

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-Nice, under cover.

-I do really like this.

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-Yeah.

-There's a Jacuzzi.

-I'm liking it a little bit more.

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It had the pool Julie wanted too, but was it enough?

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Whoa, that's a big swimming pool.

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That's a really lovely size swimming pool,

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but I still don't know whether I'd want to spend thousands doing it up.

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The jury was still out,

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but was it somewhere they could afford on their £250,000 budget?

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-Turn it over.

-Turn it over.

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-Whoa.

-£318,900.

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-625.

-That's less than what I thought it would be, actually.

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Yeah, it is, it's less than I thought it would be, but this house

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just, for me, it just doesn't flow.

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At almost £70,000 over budget, this house was out of reach,

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unless Julie and Dan's earnings increased substantially down under.

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Overall, it had been an eye-opening property search for the Rutlands.

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Property one failed to deliver the large and bright living space Julie

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dreamed of, and almost £5,000 over budget, left Dan disappointed.

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With the open-plan living Julie loved, and a pool in the garden,

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property two was a real hit with the whole family.

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But even close to the beach and with a pool,

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the final property of the day didn't meet Julie's expectations

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and at nearly £70,000 over budget, proved unaffordable.

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So how did the day influence their decision when it came to picking

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between property in the UK and Australia?

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Based on the houses that we've seen today, we're now going to vote.

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ALL: Australia!

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Yay! We love Australia.

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You voted for Australia? I'm really pleased.

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Yeah, yeah, yeah, I liked some of the houses we saw.

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The weather's not brilliant, but I can see, yeah,

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what it offers out here, it's on par with what I've got at home.

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Oh, I'm so excited. This is a really good start.

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This is a really good start to the week, yeah.

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-It's a good start for me as well.

-Yeah.

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Five votes for Australia had got the week off to a great start,

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but Julie knew if Dan couldn't be convinced he could find a job

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to pay for the house he wanted, they wouldn't be moving anywhere.

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Back in the UK, Dan had been working as a carpenter for 16 years.

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Happy in his work and with the lifestyle it afforded,

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he'd huge reservations about packing it in.

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Everything I've heard over there is saying that things are more expensive,

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so it is whether the salary is achievable with the job that I want as well.

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As a former Formula One engineer,

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Julie had plans to retrain as a teacher in Australia,

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but she knew it was Dan's work prospects that could make or break

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her dream to emigrate.

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It's really important that Dan gets the right job and salary in Australia,

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because I think that will be absolutely key to him making a decision.

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To find out about their work options in Perth,

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we had arranged for Dan to meet Robert Shaw,

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a director at one of the city's well-established building companies.

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I had a look at your resume,

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obviously you've been in the industry a while, so yes,

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I would say all your skills are definitely transferable.

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If you've got the skill set that you've got,

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which is an ideal base for a supervisor, you'd certainly get a crack here.

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Julie was visiting the Edith Cowan University,

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to meet student recruitment coordinator Sarah Bowley,

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to find out about becoming a maths or science teacher.

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We offer a graduate diploma of education,

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which is a one-year conversion course, pretty much.

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-Yeah.

-For people that have a completed bachelor degree already.

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If, for example, you're going to become a maths teacher and a science teacher,

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we need to see that you've specialised that in your bachelor degree.

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With an engineering degree under her belt,

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that wasn't a problem for Julie,

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but she still needed to find out how much the course would cost.

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Approximately 6,200 Australian dollars.

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-OK.

-For the year, for the full course.

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Around £3,000 was comparable with what she would pay back home.

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-That's really great, thank you very much.

-No worries.

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Back at the building firm,

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Dan was finding out about his potential earnings.

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As a supervisor, you might look at somewhere around 70,000-80,000 Oz dollars,

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up to 125,000.

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Between £39,000 and £60,000 was very promising,

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and Dan was taken aback when Robert made him an offer.

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If you're lucky enough to come over here, and I said,

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and we had a position available and we wanted to sort of train you up

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as a supervisor straight off the bat...

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-Yeah.

-..would you be prepared to look at something like that?

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Yeah, obviously, coming over here with the proposition of getting

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a job would obviously make it even easier.

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It was great news for Dan.

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Meanwhile, Julie was meeting Alison Ramm,

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director of school staffing services at Western Australia's

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-Department of Education.

-Hello.

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You'd be a perfect candidate to move into maths or science teaching,

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because not only would you have that qualification,

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you'd also have that great industry experience.

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That was encouraging, and there was more good news to come.

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We actually currently have a shortage of secondary teachers,

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and in fact I looked this morning and there's two science

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and two maths jobs currently advertised.

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With jobs looking plentiful, all Julie needed to know

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was whether the salary would justify her retraining.

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What sort of wages could I expect once I qualify?

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You'd start, at the moment, on about £35,000 a year.

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-Wow.

-It was a positive day for the couple,

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but had it been enough to make them both choose work in Australia

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over the UK?

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After a great day looking at job prospects, it's time to vote.

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BOTH: Australia!

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Wow!

0:18:440:18:46

Ah, I'm so pleased.

0:18:460:18:48

It looked like Julie was on a winning streak,

0:18:520:18:55

so did a day sampling Australia's lifestyle see her vision

0:18:550:19:00

for a new life down under brought one step closer?

0:19:000:19:03

The family's day began with a walk around the historic city

0:19:030:19:06

of Fremantle, just 30 minutes from central Perth.

0:19:060:19:09

First stop, the famous markets,

0:19:090:19:12

where Dan wasted no time getting to grips with traditional

0:19:120:19:15

Australian culture.

0:19:150:19:16

You're practically a native.

0:19:220:19:24

-I don't think so.

-Nice try, Julie!

0:19:240:19:27

A fishing trip on the Swan River rounded off the day.

0:19:270:19:32

Well, this is the boat, guys. Come onboard.

0:19:320:19:35

Can we get something like that, Dad?

0:19:370:19:38

Probably not, mate. Unless I nick it!

0:19:380:19:41

He might not have been able to afford the biggest boat on the river,

0:19:420:19:45

but was the lifestyle one Dan could imagine living?

0:19:450:19:49

Yeah, I could definitely see myself taking one of these out.

0:19:490:19:52

Zac was hooked, too.

0:19:520:19:54

I caught a fish!

0:19:540:19:56

The day had panned out well for everyone.

0:19:560:19:58

The sun's come out for us, yeah, it's just brilliant,

0:19:580:20:01

I'm loving seeing them all really happy.

0:20:010:20:03

It might be a bit too small for your head!

0:20:030:20:07

But the realisation that days like this would mean sacrificing

0:20:070:20:11

relationships with everyone they love back home

0:20:110:20:14

was also beginning to surface.

0:20:140:20:16

Yeah, it's all good, it's just that one thing about family.

0:20:160:20:20

I know I'm going to miss them.

0:20:200:20:22

It is such a long way.

0:20:220:20:24

The family faced a tough decision come the end of the week,

0:20:300:20:33

but for now it was time to see if the day had done enough to make them

0:20:330:20:37

choose Australia's lifestyle ahead of the UK's.

0:20:370:20:41

It's time to vote.

0:20:410:20:42

ALL: Australia!

0:20:540:20:57

Yay!

0:20:570:20:59

Yeah, we've all voted the same! Dan?

0:20:590:21:02

Yeah, no, it was really good, it's been a really good day.

0:21:020:21:05

When the sun's out, brilliant, you said I can have a boat.

0:21:050:21:08

It's our third vote and the whole family so far has voted

0:21:090:21:13

for Australia, which is just amazing.

0:21:130:21:15

With another clean sweep of votes for Australia,

0:21:240:21:26

Julie's dream was gathering pace.

0:21:260:21:29

But could they afford the lifestyle they wanted?

0:21:290:21:31

The couple sat down to compare costs in Australia and the UK,

0:21:310:21:35

starting with the weekly shopping bill.

0:21:350:21:38

-Bananas.

-Yeah.

0:21:380:21:39

£1.20 in the UK for ten bananas,

0:21:400:21:44

£4.49 in Australia!

0:21:440:21:46

Biscuits - for three packs it's £1.20 in the UK,

0:21:480:21:52

the equivalent is nearly £4 in Australia.

0:21:520:21:55

An increase of almost £12 more every week for food didn't faze them.

0:21:550:22:00

-That's pretty good, that's a really positive start.

-Yes, that's OK.

0:22:000:22:03

The couple moved on to look at the bigger monthly

0:22:030:22:05

outgoings, basing their figures on the second property they'd viewed.

0:22:050:22:09

So in Australia, the cost of the mortgage would be £840.

0:22:100:22:15

-In Australia, yeah.

-In the UK, the cost is £570.

0:22:150:22:18

A quick check of the figures revealed they would also spend more

0:22:180:22:21

on gas, electricity and water, but fortunately fuel costs

0:22:210:22:25

were a bit more palatable.

0:22:250:22:27

-We pay £400 in the UK.

-£400.

0:22:280:22:30

238.

0:22:300:22:32

-That's just amazing, isn't it?

-That's massive.

0:22:320:22:34

Overall, the couple's monthly bills would rise to £2,677.

0:22:340:22:40

Every month, we would be £241...

0:22:400:22:44

Worse off, yeah.

0:22:440:22:45

It's a lot of money.

0:22:470:22:49

But with the promise of a substantial hike in salary

0:22:490:22:52

for Julie once qualified down under,

0:22:520:22:54

when they added everything up, the result wasn't too bad.

0:22:540:22:58

So we're left with £733 every month.

0:22:580:23:02

£94 better off.

0:23:020:23:04

It wasn't a fortune, but Julie was relieved

0:23:040:23:07

they were still in the black.

0:23:070:23:09

I'm just, I'm just delighted.

0:23:090:23:11

I'm slightly losing this battle!

0:23:110:23:14

That's brilliant, it's made my day.

0:23:140:23:15

The figures had shown the move to be affordable,

0:23:150:23:18

but were they good enough to keep Dan and Julie on the same page

0:23:180:23:21

when it came to choosing between finances in Australia and the UK?

0:23:210:23:25

It's time to vote.

0:23:250:23:27

BOTH: Australia!

0:23:360:23:38

Yay!

0:23:380:23:40

-Well done!

-Four out of four, yeah?

0:23:400:23:42

That was a bit of a no-brainer, wasn't it?

0:23:420:23:44

Yeah, yeah, we would've been better off in this country, so...

0:23:440:23:48

Yeah. Which is amazing.

0:23:480:23:50

Yeah. I think I'm surprising myself!

0:23:500:23:52

Realising the move was financially feasible had put Dan even further on

0:23:580:24:03

Julie's side, but the greatest hurdle of all was still to come.

0:24:030:24:07

While the children played outside,

0:24:070:24:09

the couple sat down to watch heartfelt messages from home.

0:24:090:24:12

Hello, Danny, Julie.

0:24:140:24:16

I love you all. Hope you're having a good time.

0:24:170:24:21

ALL: Hi, guys!

0:24:210:24:23

Really hope you're having a terrible time in Australia.

0:24:230:24:26

Hope the weather's awful.

0:24:260:24:27

Yeah, and there's loads of spiders.

0:24:270:24:29

Julie and Dan are very well suited, aren't they?

0:24:290:24:31

Oh, very well. Make a good pair, and a very good family for the children.

0:24:310:24:35

She's very domineering, I feel sorry for him at times.

0:24:350:24:38

He's like a little dog isn't he, pants?

0:24:380:24:40

I thought she was really brave when she left her job that she loved,

0:24:400:24:43

because she knew that staying at home looking after the children

0:24:430:24:46

was really important to her.

0:24:460:24:47

Yeah, I just think there'll be a hole in family get-togethers.

0:24:470:24:50

There'll be...

0:24:500:24:52

people missing.

0:24:520:24:53

I do wonder what will happen if and when something goes wrong

0:24:530:24:59

and she has nobody there to support her.

0:24:590:25:02

And, yes, she is, she is my best friend,

0:25:030:25:06

and I shall miss her terribly when she's gone.

0:25:060:25:08

I'm dreading it.

0:25:080:25:10

We're a really close family, and...

0:25:180:25:21

I didn't think she'd

0:25:220:25:25

want to move away from us.

0:25:250:25:26

I love him dearly.

0:25:300:25:32

If they do...

0:25:330:25:35

decide to go to Australia,

0:25:350:25:39

erm...

0:25:390:25:40

I may get upset.

0:25:400:25:42

If you really think Australia will give you a better quality of life,

0:25:430:25:47

then you need to do it.

0:25:470:25:48

But I don't want you to go, I'd be really gutted if you did.

0:25:510:25:54

That was just as hard as I thought it was going to be.

0:26:030:26:07

It's like, I don't want to leave them.

0:26:080:26:09

If I could bring them all with me, I would.

0:26:090:26:12

Yeah, that was really tough.

0:26:120:26:14

It was always going to be.

0:26:140:26:16

With not a dry eye between them,

0:26:180:26:20

the couple were left contemplating the enormity of putting thousands of

0:26:200:26:24

miles between them and their loved ones.

0:26:240:26:27

After such a positive week for the family,

0:26:270:26:30

would the emotional pull back to the UK prove too strong to overcome?

0:26:300:26:34

Julie's circumstances had changed since her last visit,

0:26:360:26:39

but Australia had more than met her expectations.

0:26:390:26:42

In a way, I feel's it's even better,

0:26:420:26:44

because when you become a mum you get so much enjoyment

0:26:440:26:47

from watching your children and seeing them in an environment

0:26:470:26:50

where you know that they're going to thrive.

0:26:500:26:53

But messages from loved ones in the UK had been a stark

0:26:530:26:57

reminder for both Julie and Dan of how much they'd be giving up.

0:26:570:27:01

That was really hard on Jules, it was hard on me as well, but, yeah,

0:27:010:27:06

it was really hard on Jules and it upset me watching her cry.

0:27:060:27:09

With emotions running high,

0:27:090:27:11

the family prepared to decide once and for all

0:27:110:27:14

where they wanted to call home.

0:27:140:27:16

Now it's time to make our final vote on where we would like to live.

0:27:180:27:21

-ALL:

-Australia!

0:27:350:27:38

Zac, you have it the wrong way.

0:27:380:27:40

-You chose England?

-Yeah.

0:27:400:27:42

-Did you choose England?

-Yeah.

0:27:420:27:44

Why would you prefer to live in England?

0:27:440:27:46

Because I miss my friends.

0:27:460:27:48

Do you? That's OK, it's OK to miss your friends.

0:27:480:27:51

That's OK.

0:27:510:27:53

Girls, why did you choose to live in Australia?

0:27:530:27:55

Because it's nice and sunny.

0:27:550:27:57

And you can come in the water with us.

0:27:570:28:00

Dan... Australia?

0:28:000:28:02

It's been a brilliant week, everything I had doubts about

0:28:020:28:06

has been allayed.

0:28:060:28:08

Yeah, I think it could work, I think it's worth giving it a go.

0:28:080:28:11

The Rutland family down under, hey?

0:28:110:28:13

Yeah, yeah, I think so.

0:28:130:28:15

Zac still needed some gentle persuasion,

0:28:200:28:24

but with the majority vote for Australia,

0:28:240:28:26

Julie's hard work and determination had finally paid off.

0:28:260:28:31

So, 12 months later,

0:28:310:28:33

it's time to find out if the family are now living at home, or away.

0:28:330:28:38

It's April 2016 and the Rutlands are living in...

0:28:400:28:44

..Perth, Australia.

0:28:450:28:46

When the trial week won Dan round,

0:28:480:28:50

Julie couldn't believe the dream she'd had for so long was on the verge of coming true.

0:28:500:28:54

The fact that he said yes and he wanted to move out here was obviously amazing.

0:28:540:28:59

It answered all the questions that I had, all the fears that I had.

0:28:590:29:02

The Rutlands flew home on a high, but then came the difficult bit.

0:29:020:29:07

I think literally as the wheels touched down back in England,

0:29:070:29:10

her sisters were on the phone to her, "How did it go, how did it go?

0:29:100:29:14

"Are you still going?"

0:29:140:29:15

Especially my sister, Kirsten, out of everybody,

0:29:150:29:18

had probably hoped the most that we would change our minds.

0:29:180:29:22

Even though my dad had given the blessing,

0:29:220:29:25

my sisters and stuff like that,

0:29:250:29:26

it all...

0:29:260:29:29

It all then became a lot realer that we really were going to do it.

0:29:290:29:33

Decision made, they then began the process of packing up their lives in the UK.

0:29:330:29:37

It just felt huge.

0:29:380:29:42

I was just really scared, actually, and very daunted,

0:29:420:29:44

because as much as I really love Dan,

0:29:440:29:47

you can tell by talking to him he doesn't, he's not a sorter,

0:29:470:29:50

so I knew I'd got a really big task ahead of me.

0:29:500:29:54

Julie found the experience particularly difficult.

0:29:540:29:57

Sorry.

0:30:000:30:01

It's all right! It was, it was hard.

0:30:010:30:04

It was hard, it was really hard on you.

0:30:040:30:06

Selling their house in Oxfordshire was the first step.

0:30:060:30:09

That was the big thing. Up until that point none of it's real,

0:30:090:30:13

but actually putting your house on the market,

0:30:130:30:15

and that "for sale" sign made it real.

0:30:150:30:18

It made it a lot realer for the people back home, didn't it?

0:30:180:30:21

They realised that we were actually going.

0:30:210:30:23

Less than six months after their trial week down under,

0:30:240:30:27

the Rutlands prepared to say farewell to family and friends.

0:30:270:30:31

You're just dreading the final goodbye,

0:30:310:30:34

and that just seemed to come round so quickly.

0:30:340:30:37

We had a fantastic goodbye party,

0:30:370:30:40

it was one of the best parties I've ever had, all our friends came.

0:30:400:30:43

It was a memory to take with us to Australia of happy times,

0:30:430:30:47

not of tears and sadness that we were leaving,

0:30:470:30:50

of happiness that we were going.

0:30:500:30:52

The family touched down in Perth in September 2015,

0:30:520:30:56

but starting again on the other side of the world wasn't without its challenges.

0:30:560:31:01

We were very tired, it was dark, it was really cold.

0:31:010:31:05

Their first home was a short-term rental property.

0:31:050:31:08

It wasn't the nicest of houses, it wasn't very well equipped.

0:31:100:31:13

Yeah, everything was a little bit of a let down.

0:31:130:31:16

Their first few weeks down under fell short of the dream lifestyle

0:31:160:31:19

they'd moved half a world for.

0:31:190:31:21

You come here, you have nothing.

0:31:220:31:24

Simple things like bank accounts, you haven't got a doctor's,

0:31:240:31:27

you don't know where you're going to live.

0:31:270:31:29

Car shopping, house shopping, buying insurances, everything.

0:31:290:31:33

It was manic, wasn't it?

0:31:330:31:35

Yeah, when you're tired everything is so much harder.

0:31:350:31:37

When you've got three tired children, that's even harder.

0:31:370:31:41

And every time we got into the car to look at another house

0:31:410:31:44

or go to another bank, they were, "Mummy, Daddy, no, not again!"

0:31:440:31:50

You feel bad for them,

0:31:500:31:52

and it's literally the easiest way to describe it is

0:31:520:31:55

what takes you most your adult life to accumulate,

0:31:550:31:58

you have to fit into three weeks.

0:31:580:32:00

Desperate to establish some kind of normality,

0:32:010:32:04

having a place to call their own was high on the list of priorities.

0:32:040:32:08

My criteria was a house with a pool right next to a beach

0:32:080:32:12

that allowed a dog.

0:32:120:32:14

It soon became plain that that was not available,

0:32:140:32:17

so we knew we were going to have to compromise on something,

0:32:170:32:21

and our compromise was a pool.

0:32:210:32:23

The Rutlands are currently renting in Mullaloo,

0:32:230:32:26

35 minutes' drive north of Perth centre.

0:32:260:32:29

One evening Jules was looking through the internet and found this place,

0:32:290:32:32

and we rang them and they said, "Yeah, come and have a look."

0:32:320:32:34

Before we'd walked through the door we were, "Yeah, we'll try and get this one." And we did.

0:32:340:32:38

So this is our kitchen,

0:32:400:32:41

which was one of the reasons why we fell in love with this house.

0:32:410:32:45

It's just beautiful, light and airy,

0:32:450:32:47

and one of the things I always said I wanted from a house

0:32:470:32:50

was a great, big open-plan living area.

0:32:500:32:53

This just fits the bill perfectly.

0:32:530:32:55

This is our outside space.

0:32:550:32:57

This is what we wanted, one of the things we wanted.

0:32:570:33:00

We come and do homework here if we're not in the kitchen, don't we, if the weather's nice?

0:33:000:33:04

There's the barbecue, which gets used every day,

0:33:040:33:06

we hardly turn the oven on at all.

0:33:060:33:08

-It's great, isn't it?

-It is, it's lovely,

0:33:080:33:10

and especially in the evenings we just tend to sit out here

0:33:100:33:14

with our books once the kids have gone to bed

0:33:140:33:16

and just relax.

0:33:160:33:18

Indoors, the children have their own special space.

0:33:180:33:21

I've always wanted a play room,

0:33:210:33:23

so basically this is where the kids can just come

0:33:230:33:28

and it's a little bit of a mess!

0:33:280:33:30

Mum and Dad are very happy with their room, too.

0:33:300:33:33

We have the most amazing wardrobe.

0:33:330:33:35

It is definitely another one of your favourite bits of the house.

0:33:350:33:38

Let me just demonstrate my side, just a quick little peek.

0:33:380:33:40

Look at all that storage!

0:33:400:33:42

Amazing. And then we've got a really gorgeous en-suite.

0:33:420:33:48

I've never had an en-suite in my life before, so that's a real bonus.

0:33:480:33:52

To be fair, I don't think I could go back to not having an en-suite.

0:33:520:33:55

There's plenty of space for the whole family to spread themselves out.

0:33:550:33:59

Really, the kids, in this part of the house, they've almost got their own wing, haven't they?

0:33:590:34:03

It makes life a lot easier,

0:34:030:34:05

with the room that you get with Australian houses.

0:34:050:34:08

Since we've moved in,

0:34:080:34:09

these doors have been open every single day from morning till night,

0:34:090:34:12

and I love it.

0:34:120:34:14

If a house had a soul, this one's got a good one.

0:34:140:34:16

So how have the children adapted to their new life down under?

0:34:160:34:20

Zac's been the hardest to settle.

0:34:210:34:23

Being the oldest, he's definitely been more aware of what we were doing, of the distance.

0:34:230:34:29

He understands about making friends and there's an awkwardness to it.

0:34:290:34:34

To start a new school, it was really tough.

0:34:340:34:37

The work's a lot harder.

0:34:370:34:39

It was tough making friends, but at the end I made a lot of friends.

0:34:390:34:43

Joining the local surf club has been a real lifeline for Zac.

0:34:430:34:47

I have watched him in six months come a long way.

0:34:470:34:50

I like Australia, because it's fun,

0:34:510:34:54

it's not chucking it down with rain,

0:34:540:34:57

and there's lots of things to do.

0:34:570:35:00

Seriously, you take him to the beach, you can't get him out of the sea.

0:35:000:35:03

The rougher, the better.

0:35:030:35:05

He's confident, he's happy and...

0:35:050:35:08

Yeah, he'll still tell you he prefers England,

0:35:080:35:11

but I don't believe it.

0:35:110:35:13

And Willow and Faye?

0:35:130:35:15

The girls have been so unfazed by the whole process.

0:35:150:35:19

Faye...

0:35:190:35:20

Faye hated school in England, she hates school in Australia,

0:35:200:35:23

she's just Faye.

0:35:230:35:25

She's going to be my little surfer dude.

0:35:260:35:29

She absolutely is going to be an Aussie.

0:35:290:35:32

I like living in Australia because

0:35:320:35:35

it has sometimes a cool breeze,

0:35:350:35:39

because it's hot and flowers grow.

0:35:390:35:43

And then Willow, I'm so, I'm so proud of Willow.

0:35:430:35:47

After I cried just a little bit, then I stopped,

0:35:470:35:50

then I made some friends with Billy.

0:35:500:35:53

Willow found a friend straightaway.

0:35:530:35:55

Um...

0:35:550:35:56

And they are still friends now, so yeah, Willow settled in really well.

0:35:560:36:00

She's not like the others. She's not sporty.

0:36:000:36:03

She's not a big fan of the beach.

0:36:030:36:05

But she does swimming lessons, like the others.

0:36:050:36:08

She's confident, she's got some amazing friends and she's doing great.

0:36:080:36:11

Julie and Dan are convinced they made the right move for their young family.

0:36:130:36:17

As they all get older,

0:36:170:36:19

um...

0:36:190:36:20

Yeah, they will see why we moved.

0:36:200:36:23

Every heartache and every tear and I miss someone

0:36:230:36:26

is absolutely worth it,

0:36:260:36:28

because the children are so happy and the lifestyle they've got

0:36:280:36:30

is amazing.

0:36:300:36:32

And it's not just the children who have taken to life down under

0:36:320:36:35

like ducks to water.

0:36:350:36:37

She forced me into it to start off with, and now I've completely, yeah,

0:36:370:36:41

sunk my teeth into it. I love barbecuing.

0:36:410:36:43

I go out as many times as I can a week on my paddle board.

0:36:430:36:46

He's absolutely an Aussie.

0:36:460:36:49

In fact, he talks like an Aussie.

0:36:490:36:51

The other day, he said to me,

0:36:510:36:52

something about throwing a snag on the barbie, was it?

0:36:520:36:56

This lifestyle suits him down to the ground.

0:36:560:36:59

Yeah, I love it.

0:36:590:37:01

The Aussie lifestyle has meant more quality time together.

0:37:020:37:05

Perth is a really family orientated place to be.

0:37:070:37:10

Free events in the park that we take them to,

0:37:100:37:14

there's just so much on offer for families. It's a great place.

0:37:140:37:17

Being in Australia has definitely enhanced our family life.

0:37:170:37:21

The couple have developed a solid social circle in Perth too.

0:37:210:37:25

Someone that we met, who is literally a one-person welcome to Perth.

0:37:250:37:30

She literally sets up barbecues and you get to meet all these other

0:37:300:37:34

people, and we're still friends with them now.

0:37:340:37:36

Dan's meeting people through work,

0:37:360:37:38

I've met some people through the school,

0:37:380:37:40

so, yeah, certainly meeting friends has just been wonderful.

0:37:400:37:45

Unfortunately the job Dan was offered during his trial week

0:37:450:37:49

didn't pan out.

0:37:490:37:50

When I got here I made the phone calls, e-mails,

0:37:500:37:54

and just got no response to that.

0:37:540:37:56

Which did annoy me a little bit, there was some choice words said,

0:37:560:38:00

but at the end of the day just had to get on and find another job, which I did.

0:38:000:38:04

Getting used to the local way of working hasn't been plain sailing.

0:38:040:38:08

Carpenters here have a different sort of role.

0:38:080:38:10

They are very much used to do sort of like all sorts of different things.

0:38:100:38:14

Yeah, for the last week I've been digging holes and doing shuttering,

0:38:140:38:18

which isn't something I've done before,

0:38:180:38:20

but it turns out I can dig quite a good hole.

0:38:200:38:22

Working on a self-employed basis,

0:38:220:38:24

Dan currently earns around £225 a day.

0:38:240:38:30

It's pretty good, but it is for a ten-hour day.

0:38:300:38:32

I could earn the same money back home in a shorter period of time,

0:38:320:38:35

just because of the way things are done.

0:38:350:38:38

Um...

0:38:380:38:39

But it does leave my weekends free, which is the point of coming here.

0:38:390:38:44

Judith started her training to become a teacher down under,

0:38:440:38:47

but with just one wage coming in, the couple have had to dip into their savings to survive.

0:38:470:38:52

The money that we had in our bank was everything that we had,

0:38:520:38:56

and to start off with we just saw it,

0:38:560:38:58

it was like someone had drilled a hole in our bank account and it was just leaking out. To see...

0:38:580:39:03

thousands and thousands of dollars just going out of your account,

0:39:030:39:08

just to feed, just to pay your bills.

0:39:080:39:13

We've just had to accept it and think, OK, we're going to have to do that,

0:39:130:39:17

but we're just going to do it as a short-term.

0:39:170:39:19

Originally signed up for a two-year course,

0:39:190:39:22

Julie's now pushing to qualify in just one year.

0:39:220:39:24

Doing a degree full-time, with three children, in a new place,

0:39:260:39:31

is quite tough.

0:39:310:39:32

She's also worried about the extra pressure it's putting on Dan.

0:39:320:39:36

He works long hours and in the heat that takes it out of him,

0:39:360:39:39

and it does put a strain on us.

0:39:390:39:42

And I feel guilty, because of that, but, you know,

0:39:420:39:45

you just have to keep thinking, it's a short-term goal, it's only a year,

0:39:450:39:50

there is going to be an outcome at the end of it, so while it's tough,

0:39:500:39:53

it's not going to be forever.

0:39:530:39:55

But financial worries haven't been the only negative.

0:39:550:39:58

Things that I didn't expect to miss so much, I miss a lot.

0:40:000:40:03

Some days, like, although it's beautiful, some days,

0:40:040:40:07

you think all the sunshine in the world doesn't make up for a hug.

0:40:070:40:12

But I wouldn't want to go back to England.

0:40:170:40:19

I just wish they were all here with me.

0:40:190:40:22

I miss my dad, I miss my family.

0:40:220:40:24

Apart from that, I don't actually miss anything.

0:40:260:40:30

Julie's mum and stepdad have already been out to visit.

0:40:300:40:33

Picking them up from the airport was a reminder of how far from home they are.

0:40:330:40:37

I think there must have been so many people that came through the

0:40:370:40:40

airport that hadn't seen their children for so long,

0:40:400:40:42

that by the time my mum came through the airport, I'd already gone through a box of tissues.

0:40:420:40:47

Some poor woman fell to her knees at the sight of her son.

0:40:470:40:50

Oh, my God, I was clinging hold of the railings, like sobbing,

0:40:500:40:54

and I'd never met the woman before.

0:40:540:40:56

Granny's visit was a complete surprise for the children.

0:40:560:40:59

They were playing at the park when my mum arrived, and, oh,

0:40:590:41:03

it was just lovely.

0:41:030:41:05

My mum came over the hill and I was saying to the kids, like, "Who's that, who's that?"

0:41:050:41:09

They were all looking, and then all of a sudden it clicked with Zac, and he was like,

0:41:090:41:13

"It's Granny Annie."

0:41:130:41:15

It was really great to see them again, because I've missed them, missed them a lot.

0:41:150:41:19

It's lovely to have them here and also it is that bit

0:41:190:41:21

that now they can see why we've done it.

0:41:210:41:24

The lifestyle is incredible.

0:41:250:41:27

It's brilliant, brilliant for kids.

0:41:270:41:30

I envy them. I really do envy them.

0:41:310:41:35

And there's plenty of other visits in the pipeline.

0:41:360:41:39

Good friends coming out at Christmas.

0:41:390:41:41

My dad at the moment, depending on how his operation goes on his knee,

0:41:430:41:46

he intends on coming out in March.

0:41:460:41:48

They're just a year into their new life down under,

0:41:480:41:51

but Dan and Julie are convinced the move's a permanent one.

0:41:510:41:54

There's absolutely no doubt in my mind that we did the right thing.

0:41:540:41:58

-No, none in mine either.

-Money's tough.

0:41:580:42:01

It's definitely tough.

0:42:010:42:02

But it's a short-term tough.

0:42:020:42:03

There is light going to be at the end of the tunnel.

0:42:030:42:05

We're really happy. The kids are really happy and I think the longer we are here,

0:42:050:42:10

the more ingrained our lives become in Australia.

0:42:100:42:12

Just looking forward to the future in general.

0:42:120:42:15

And then obviously the main aim is to work towards that boat that you promised me.

0:42:150:42:18

Oh, yeah, the boat!

0:42:180:42:20

I know, Daddy wants to own one.

0:42:220:42:24

I certainly want to own one.

0:42:240:42:25

I can't believe I did it.

0:42:270:42:29

I can't believe I was that brave enough.

0:42:290:42:32

Because actually it's a really long road.

0:42:320:42:34

It was a very stressful road, but it was very worth it.

0:42:340:42:38

It will be, I think, the hardest thing that you've ever done,

0:42:380:42:41

but as long as you give it everything you can, it will be worthwhile.

0:42:410:42:45

Everything that I wanted a year ago when I planned this move is actually

0:42:450:42:50

here, and sometimes I have to pinch myself to think that we are

0:42:500:42:54

actually living our dream.

0:42:540:42:56

The past year has brought big changes for Dan, Julie, Zac,

0:43:040:43:08

Willow and Faye.

0:43:080:43:10

We wish them all the very best.

0:43:100:43:12

In 2015 Julie was longing to make Australia her home, having first fallen for the country in her youth. Married with three children, she believed the time to move had finally arrived - and to prove it, she had already secured the family a visa to emigrate. With husband Dan having developed a serious case of cold feet, a trial week in Perth turned out to be just what was needed to allay his fears about walking away from a career he had worked hard to establish and saying goodbye to his much-loved dad in the UK.

So one year on, have the Rutland family made it down under or decided to stay put in the UK?