Hedydd Jamieson was desperate to make Australia home, but her husband Steven wasn't keen. Was a trial week enough to make her dream come true?
Browse content similar to Jamieson Family. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
Hedydd Jamieson was desperate to make Australia her home...
I'd live in a shed if it was here.
..but husband Steven wasn't so keen.
I don't want to make a wrong move and then think,
"Oh, what have we done?"
A trial week revealed what their life could be like...
It's been a lot nicer having time
to be with Mum and Dad.
..but was it enough to make Hedydd's dream come true?
I have got a battle on my hands. I've got a big battle.
So, the big question is,
where are the Jamiesons living now?
UK or down under?
Straddling the Pacific, Indian and Southern oceans,
Australia's known the world over for its spectacular coastline.
Boasting more than 10,000 beaches,
over 85% of the population live within 30 miles of the sea.
So, it's no surprise the country remains the number one destination
for British families seeking a new life in the sunshine.
Hedydd Jamieson had harboured dreams of living in Australia
for well over a decade.
She and her husband, Steven, were desperate
to cast off the shackles of running a restaurant
and to carve out more family time with their children.
She believed that a life in Australia
would restore equilibrium to their work-life balance.
But she had just one week to convince Steven
and eldest son Leon that a better life could await them down under.
To reach Brisbane, the Wales-based family spend over 22 hours
in the sky, flying from Birmingham to Australia,
with stopovers in Dubai and Sydney.
After that long flight,
it was little wonder husband Steven had yet to come on board
with Hedydd's plan.
It's going to take quite a bit to persuade me
to come out to Australia. I've got to be able to get a good job,
that's my main worry.
As they headed out into Brisbane,
Hedydd knew the next seven days would be her best chance
at getting the life she wants.
Back in 2016, the Jamiesons lived in Cardigan in Wales.
They were mum Hedydd, dad Steven,
nine-year-old Leon, Eli, aged six, and three-year-old Seth.
Good evening, Jamieson Steak House.
Hedydd and Steven were joint owners of a busy restaurant,
meaning they spent more time together than most couples.
It's less of a marriage and it's more of a business partnership...
All booked in for you.
..and you are way too bossy as well.
The couple first met when Hedydd began waitressing
in a restaurant where Steven was a chef 16 years ago.
But everything changed when, aged 21,
she decided to swap her apron for an adventure in Australia.
Pretty much two weeks before going, that's it,
declared his undying love for me,
said he couldn't live without me, "Please don't go."
The idea of going to Australia
was kind of put on hold for a while then.
They opened the Steak House seven years ago,
but juggling 70-hour weeks with looking after the three children
was proving a recipe for disaster.
We'd miss sort of Christmas and birthdays,
and if there's any occasion on summer holidays,
we work right through. It's quite hard going.
Hedydd was concerned about the effect their workload
was having on her relationship with the boys.
Even if the kids have been really ill,
I am not at home to look after them.
It's happened before.
Eli's had asthma attacks, I've been in work.
Ambulances have had to be called and, you know, I'm not there.
Steven shared her anxiety, too.
They've got a great baby-sitter who looks after them,
but it's not the same as Mum and Dad
looking after them every night.
-Am I a person?
Oldest son Leon agreed.
I'd love to spend more time with my parents.
Desperate for change, Hedydd had whipped up a solution,
moving the family to the country she'd dreamt of over a decade ago.
It's got to be Australia, that's it.
I've decided. It's just gone like that now.
I can't see anything else.
For me, it's changing the lifestyle
and being a little bit more relaxed.
Hedydd had set her sights on the Gold Coast,
but first she needed to get Steven on board.
Hedydd has planned it and she's literally written it
on one little bit of paper. It's like, "Pack, plane, Australia,"
whereas I'm thinking, how are we going to afford this?
How are we going to find a house, how are we going to find a job?
I've thought about all of the important stuff,
but I'm trying to put a positive spin on everything.
And Mum's enthusiasm had affected both of the younger boys.
I am really excited to go to Australia.
There's 'enguins there.
There's penguins there.
But despite craving more time with his parents,
Leon was firmly on his dad's side.
I'd miss my grandparents. Like, 100%.
Knowing the boys were her parents' only grandchildren
was the only thing making Hedydd question the move.
I'm very torn. I can't decide whether I'm being really selfish
by making this move to Australia
or whether I am actually putting us as a family first.
However, she was determined to address their situation,
and hoped the opportunity to show them what life in Australia was like
would help her seal the deal.
Leon needs to see what he can get if we go there.
And so does Steven.
We've all got to be wanting to go,
so, it's going to take a little bit more convincing.
The Jamiesons stayed in Australia's Gold Coast
in the state of Queensland.
Their base for the week was in Mermaid Beach,
a coastal area just one hour south of Brisbane.
But did this five-bedroom house live up to Hedydd's high expectations?
-This looks nice, doesn't it?
-It's really cute. This is my style, isn't it?
Off to a promising start
and then the boys had spotted something they like.
-What have you seen?
-Oh, my God!
This is the dream.
Couldn't get closer if you tried.
Watching the children play
gave Hedydd hope that Leon could be persuaded to move.
When we'd talked about it before, he was like, "No, I don't want
"to leave my friends and I don't want to leave my school."
All the stuff I've been talking about,
he needs to be able to see it for himself.
But despite a positive start, Steven was still on the fence.
She's got to be able to afford a lifestyle like this.
Steven, I'd live in a shed if it was here.
-On this side.
-On this side.
What if we don't agree at the end of the week?
One of us has got to change our minds about what we're going to do.
This is nice.
This is nice, isn't it?
Back in the UK, the Jamiesons lived in a converted schoolhouse
in the west Wales coastal town of Cardigan.
What we're sitting in now is one of the old classrooms
but then this bit on the side is the headmaster's house.
So, there's only two bedrooms upstairs
and then we've converted one room downstairs into our bedroom.
They'd worked hard to make it a home
but Hedydd knew exactly what she was looking for down under.
I just would like a small, cutie beach house.
I've got it all in my head.
On the other hand, Steven was harder to please.
Four bedrooms, large living room, lots of outside space
and, hopefully, a swimming pool.
The family's property budget was £350,000.
To see what their money could buy in Australia,
we showed the Jamiesons three properties,
two based on budget, and a third which could be their dream home.
Only after they've viewed each one did they find out its value.
House-hunting began in Currumbin Waters,
a southern suburb close to some of the best beaches on the Gold Coast.
With schools and amenities nearby,
this family-friendly area offered the Jamiesons
the beach lifestyle Hedydd craved.
But was this four-bedroom home to their liking?
-It's quite cute.
-Check out all of that over there.
All the trees. What do you reckon, Seth?
-It looks nice, does it?
Let's go and check it out and see what it looks like.
The location was a winner but what about the inside?
I didn't really know what to expect, really.
Yeah, I quite like it.
It's nice. It's done out nice and it looks nice.
It's not that big, though, is it?
But I don't like big houses, not too big.
Think of all the cleaning.
Perhaps the spacious kitchen helped.
Not so small now.
No. I didn't realise it was going to open out.
I think I could manage with this sized kitchen.
It's not massive but it's enough.
Where do you want to go, Seth?
With her husband sorted, Hedydd turned her attention to Leon.
Definitely a boy's room.
Yours, is it?
-Your room. That's good.
Are we starting to convince you, or what?
It was an easier sell for little Seth.
That's my toy.
They're your toys? I don't think they're yours!
This is my bedroom.
-This is your bedroom?
-The toys might have swung it for Seth.
The main bedroom got a big thumbs up.
This would be mum and dad's room.
Do you reckon I'd get all my clothes in there, Steven?
I don't know where you'd put yours.
And it was a room with a view.
-What's that in the garden?
-There's a view of the swimming pool,
that's really nice.
Outside, they got a better look.
That is quite a nice pool. It's huge.
Steven was beginning to see real potential.
It would be a nice area, cooking out here, having friends over, barbecue.
You would be cooking me my dinner whilst I'm relaxing in the pool.
It sounded perfect, and an outhouse gave Hedydd even more ideas.
Oh, my God! What's this?
This could be like our little bar area by the pool.
And added fuel to her fight for life down under.
Is it big enough for three boys now?
-It's quite big inside.
Hedydd might have had Steven on board for now,
but the couple needed to find out if their £350,000 budget
could buy a place like this.
Eli... Do you want to turn it over?
Ooh, it's under my guess!
That was £24,000 under budget.
-Well, I was hoping...
-The cheaper the better, isn't it?
I was hoping it was going to be less.
It might have been affordable,
but Steven clearly wanted to see more for his money.
Hopefully property two could deliver what he was after.
Staying in Currumbin Waters,
the family didn't have to go far to find out.
Did this four-bedroom home, with its own secluded grounds,
get Steven excited about emigrating?
This is different, isn't it?
This is really different.
It's like being in the jungle, isn't it?
Hedydd sounded unsure,
but it didn't stop them going in for a closer inspection.
It's amazing. It's more like it.
The boys liked what they saw.
-Can I go on that?
-Oh! There's a slide there, yeah.
While the younger boys played, Hedydd tested the water with Leon.
Check out this pool.
I don't know who'd have more fun on that, you or me.
That looks cool.
Feels a bit more like a family home, doesn't it?
From the outside, geared up for kids.
-They'd be happy. They'd be out here all the time, wouldn't they?
Heading inside, Mum and Dad explored what else the house had to offer.
It's got big windows, big doors going outside.
Nice and open.
And the kitchen...
I think it needs a bit of updating maybe.
We'd change it around a little bit.
A lick of paint and a clean up, because you know what I'm like.
Upstairs, Steven was unimpressed with the family bathroom.
A bit of modernisation in there, I think.
Mind you, we can't really comment.
-Our bathroom at home needs a new bathroom, doesn't it?
Hedydd sidesteps Steven's negativity
until she spotted an issue with the main bedroom.
-Look at the dust!
Oh, my God!
Maybe, maybe these people are too busy to be loving life
-to be worrying about their house.
Things looked better from the balcony.
It's definitely like a proper family home, isn't it?
The outside area's great.
-The kids are really happy, aren't they?
The house had evoked mixed reactions
but the couple were still keen to find out how much it cost.
-Shall I turn it over?
-Who's going to be the winner?
That was almost £20,000 over budget.
That's a lot. That's not going to sway me to move to Australia.
Maybe the next house will be more our taste.
With Hedydd staying upbeat,
the family swapped coastal living for the rural suburb of Maudsland.
With nearby schools, parks and access to major road links,
it was a popular location
for families seeking more bang for their buck.
Oh, this is the house, here!
-This is all right, isn't it?
-Yeah. It's a nice street.
But did this three-bedroom property have enough scope
to be the Jamiesons' dream home?
Yeah. Nice, big entrance.
Open and airy. Feels really nice.
It was off to a good start.
Bedroom here. This is nice.
Oh, check that out.
-That's nice, isn't it?
-What's behind this door?
The best walk-in wardrobe we've seen.
There's enough room in this walk-in wardrobe for you to play toys.
I don't want to be stuck in this wardrobe.
Quite right, Seth.
-Do you want to go outside and have a look?
-See what's out there.
Go on, then. You boys go outside.
-Mum and Dad are going to carry on looking at the house.
Do you like this living area?
Yeah. It all kind of just flows into one and it's got nice...
From here, all you can see is like a little water fountain
running into the pool. It's quite relaxing.
This house had the chilled-out vibe Hedydd was looking for.
-I love it.
-Check out this kitchen a bit more.
-The kitchen's nice.
-That's really nice, isn't it? Look at all that!
Nice?! Better than nice.
This house had ticked a lot of boxes but could they afford it
with their £350,000 budget?
Shall we have a look and see what it is?
Seth, are you going to turn it over.
-Wow, that's a shock.
-That is a shock.
It was well within budget.
I was thinking it was going to be a lot more than that.
It's because we're away from the coast, it's got to be, hasn't it?
-How do you feel now?
-Well, if we can get a house...
You're the one who needs convincing, not me.
If we can get a house like that for that kind of price,
then that's going to make a difference.
All in all, house-hunting had given the family
plenty of food for thought.
Property one was below budget, but even with a pool,
Steven wasn't convinced it offered value for money.
Coming in over budget,
the grounds of property two wowed, but it bit the dust for Hedydd
when the interior failed to impress.
Although more inland,
the final house of the day was a hit with both Steven and Hedydd.
And discovering it was affordable was a real bonus.
So, how did the family vote when it came to choosing between property
in Australia and the UK?
We've had a fab day looking at houses today,
all three different properties.
Based on that, we are going to vote for...
You turned to Australia.
Well, the houses are a lot bigger out here and, well,
-there's swimming pools.
-How come you chose Australia?
I've been here a couple of days now.
Seen a few of the houses - all seem really nice.
I could have lived in any of those houses.
OK, maybe not the middle one.
A clean sweep of votes for Australia meant Hedydd's dream
of a new life on the other side of the world
hadn't been washed out to sea, but that could have all changed
if Steven couldn't be convinced he could find work down under.
Back in the UK, the couple ran a steakhouse in their hometown.
Our restaurant does take over our life.
Everything's got to fit around work, and that's how it goes.
Hedydd was the restaurant manager,
while chef Steven headed up a busy kitchen, putting in long hours.
Anything from nine, ten o'clock in the morning,
and work till midnight most nights.
In the busy times, that's seven days a week.
Hedydd knew that securing the future she wanted was dependent on
convincing her husband he'd be able to find work down under.
We've got to find Steven the right job.
If we can't find him the right job,
I don't think he's going to be willing to go.
While the boys were looked after by a childminder,
the couple set about exploring work options on the Gold Coast.
Steven was fearful about the day ahead.
I'm a bit worried about my age.
They might be looking for younger candidates for jobs.
We arranged for Steven to meet up with expat and manager,
Nick Owens, at a surf club in Burleigh Heads,
around nine miles from the Gold Coast central business area.
-Nice to meet you, mate. I'm Nick.
-Welcome to the Burleigh Surf Club.
Steven cut straight to the chase.
What do you think, then? Obviously, my age now, because I'm 47 now.
Seriously, I'd probably favour that myself.
Probably got a family, you know.
You get a bit of a commitment for it.
Mate, I reckon, you're in the prime of your life, mate.
Reassured, Steven asked about shift patterns.
It is a lot of nights and the weekends are mainly where,
you know, the place is busy.
Doing evenings and weekends is what Steven hoped to avoid
but he was still keen to find out
how many hours he'd work in a typical week.
40 hours - you get your four weeks annual leave and holiday pay
and sick pay and all that, so it's not too bad.
A busy night here, you're still done and dusted by, the chefs, 9.30pm.
Even working evenings, Steven's hours would drop substantially.
Meanwhile, further on the coast,
Hedydd was meeting chef and business owner Luke Turner,
at his deli and restaurant in Southport.
-Hi, Hedydd, how are you?
-Pleased to meet you.
-Are you OK?
-Yeah. Good to see you. Good.
Used to being her own boss,
Hedydd wanted to know what a role there would entail.
We're looking for leaders, and we're looking for people
that can organise a group and be organised themselves.
It sounded good, but the deal breaker for Hedydd was her hours.
It's normally 6-4, or you might do nine till close.
What time do you close?
We're open six till six.
It was the kind of work-life balance Hedydd dreamed of.
All she needed to know was how much she could earn.
We'd look at an average salary for a restaurant manager around 65 to 70.
OK. Yeah. Sounds pretty good.
That was up to £37,000 annually and, even better news,
there was plenty of work available.
At the moment, it's very much a skills shortage area.
The way that we overcome that is by looking for sponsorship.
We have about...
I think we have nine sponsored staff on the books
between chefs and restaurant managers.
People with your sort of experience don't come along every day.
Hedydd was delighted, but it wasn't cause for celebration just yet.
I'm just nervous of how Steven gets on now, really.
It doesn't matter how good a day I've had.
If he isn't happy later on, that's it.
Back at the surf club, Steven asked the all-important question.
What kind of salary do you think I could get?
Around 65, 70 grand.
That's the kind of figure I think I'd be expecting to pay.
That's good. That sounds good. Yeah. That's sounds really good.
Steven would be guaranteed £37,000 per year and wouldn't face
seasonal changes to his income as a restaurant owner.
If you were thinking of making a move, being a chef,
I think, you know, you're coming to the right place, you really are.
-You won't look back, mate.
-Looks good, doesn't it?
It had been a great day work-wise for the couple.
And when they were reunited on the beach,
they were delighted at each other's news.
My old job was like part time.
They were like 38, 40 hours.
Again, 65,000 to 70,000.
-See, I told you.
So, when it came to choosing between jobs at home or away,
which way did the couple go?
We've had our work day now, which we both enjoyed
and we've both learned a lot of things.
With that in mind, we're now going to vote.
The family decided to make the most of a rare day out
and spent some quality time at one of the Gold Coast's landmark spots,
Burleigh National Park, just four miles from their base
in Mermaid Beach, where they explored the park
and the beautiful Tallebudgera Creek.
That looks cool, doesn't it?
It had been a welcome opportunity
to spend some time together as a family,
but Steven also used the day to reflect on the potentially
life-changing decision he would be faced with at the end of the week.
Hedydd seems to think, yes,
we can move and it will just all fall into place.
I think what can go wrong.
We are going slightly different directions with that.
Despite his earlier votes for Australia,
Hedydd knew he was wavering.
Every time I think I've got somewhere with him,
he'll turn around and he's got something else to say
and suddenly he doesn't seem so keen.
I have got a battle on my hands.
I've got a big battle.
Fortunately, for her, the chance to hang out as a family
seems like it had won over Leon.
It's been a lot nicer having time
to be with Mum and Dad
than them just working all the time.
I don't really get to see them much.
It makes me feel a bit sad. But...
So, had the day done enough to convince everyone
of the benefits the lifestyle Australia could offer?
We've had a lovely day today on the beach and in the National Park.
Based on that, we've decided to vote for...
The week so far had gone Hedydd's way, but the couple needed
to consider the costs involved in making a move
and whether it would be financially viable.
Let's do it then, shall we?
I really hope this is going to work in my favour.
To help, we had provided a breakdown of living expenses,
starting with the weekly grocery shop.
Totting up the sums revealed
their groceries would be just over £3 more down under.
-It's literally the same.
Next, they looked at the bigger bills,
starting with mortgage repayments
and basing figures on the third property they viewed.
A quick calculation of the figures revealed what they'd pay
on monthly bills.
It costs us to live in Australia
£509.59 more a month.
More a month.
The biggest one there's the mortgage.
You're getting something out of that, so that's fine.
Next, they looked at income and discovered they'd bring home
almost £1,700 more each month.
-Less hours and you're making more money.
-Making more money.
So, it's a win-win really.
-If we know we're secure financially,
that's something we never have to worry about any more.
Well, it's a big thing to actually come out to Australia,
so I'm still worried about that a little bit.
First priority, keep your wife happy,
and everything else will fall into place.
Yeah, can we start something a bit easier, then?
It had been a great result for Hedydd,
but when it came to the vote,
had it been enough to keep her and Steven on the same page?
We've looked at all the costs and figures of moving out to Australia
and, with that in mind, we've now decided to vote for...
Whoo! A clean run so far.
Yeah. It was a bit of a shock for me to see some of those figures.
-Were you that shocked, were you?
-I was really shocked.
Confident that they'd thrive financially in Australia,
Hedydd was now one step closer
to the life she'd dreamt of for her family.
But, for husband Steven to go the distance,
the emotional cost of a move had to be considered.
The whole family sat down to watch messages from loved ones.
-Boys, are you going to watch the friends and family videos now?
-Shall we watch it?
Hi, Steven. Hi, boys.
Hedydd and Steven and the boys.
We're hoping you're enjoying... Sorry.
Oh, she's started already.
Hedydd's always up to something.
Always has to be, sort of, shall we say, centre of attention?
The boys are just lovely.
Leon in particular is very caring and looks after Eli and Seth.
I think, because he thinks he's responsible when Mum's not there.
So, he's very good.
I don't think Mum and Dad would cope if they moved away.
Initially, I'd probably have to be here cos I think she'd be,
particularly Mam, would be inconsolable.
Because we do see them every weekend,
whilst you can Skype and FaceTime and all this,
it's not the same as having a cuddle,
and a kiss, and having them sit in your lap and read to them.
And seeing them just grow up.
I think it would be difficult if they went.
-I can't even think about saying goodbye to them.
Yeah. No, it would be too hard.
They'll have an amazing life out there.
Well, if I've learned one thing, it's you've got one life,
so just grasp it whilst you can.
Just go for it. Go for it.
We'll miss you loads, but it will be great.
It's an amazing opportunity.
We know you'll come up with the right decision and, um,
we'll see you when you come back.
You know, my mum and dad there, obviously don't want us to go.
It wouldn't change my mind though.
I can't really just stay home just for them.
You know, I feel selfish in a way, but at the same time,
I'm thinking about what's best for us.
-Like you say, we just have to work out what's more important in the end, isn't it?
The trial week with her family in Australia had surpassed
Australia's been everything I dreamed of and hoped of
and a little bit more.
And she wasn't the only one who had enjoyed it.
Even Leon, who's been dead set against it, has loved all of it.
Spending time with Mum and Dad was really nice.
Having nice work there for once.
The more every day goes on,
there's more and more pluses for coming out here.
Just seeing the kids happy and being able to do things outside.
But, for all his positivity, Steven found it hard to come to a decision.
I don't want to make a wrong move and then think,
"Oh, what have we done?"
And the distance from home was on everyone's mind.
I suppose I have to decide what's more important to our children,
..me and Steven having a better work-life balance,
or my family are nearby.
It's the only thing holding me back.
This is the biggest thing we've ever had to decide as a family.
One question loomed large.
Would the family decide their destiny lay at home or away?
We had a lovely week in Australia and we are going to vote for...
You're such a copycat, Eli.
I thought you loved it.
I chose UK because I'll miss friends and family.
-I changed my mind.
-You changed your mind.
You've chosen Australia now.
-Yeah. Australia then it is.
Well, I had to choose it.
Now we've actually been here and seen what there is here...
By the end of the week,
nearly the entire family seemed to be won over
by the possibility of a life down under.
So, 12 months later,
it's time to find out if the Jamiesons are living
at home or abroad.
It's April 2017, and the Jamiesons are living...
in Wollongong, New South Wales.
Our trial week in the Gold Coast was amazing.
I loved it.
I was almost crying at the airport when we had to go home.
So, when we went back to Wales,
all I remember is driving back in the car.
It was hammering it down with rain, it was grey, it was gloomy,
it was freezing cold, and I thought, urgh!
Although the family had been won over to the idea of life in Australia,
the difficulties of running their own restaurant
immediately took the Jamiesons' focus and attention.
It was literally a case of reopening our restaurant straightaway.
It was like that took over
and we kind of got snowed under with work very quickly.
it was temporarily forgotten about.
What it is, is like if you go on any normal holiday,
you go and have your two-week break and you think, wow, this is amazing,
sunshine, and, um...
I think we kind of did that.
Once we got back to the UK, we kind of thought, yeah,
we had a nice holiday, we had a nice trip,
and let's just get back on with our normal life now.
Probably two months later,
after we'd been back working and everything,
Steven sort of turns around and goes,
"What's happening with this Australia thing then? I thought you were sorting it out."
I was like, "Well, we hadn't even discussed it. We've been working.
"I didn't think you wanted to go."
And he was like, "Yeah, I want to go."
I think, once we'd done our trial over here,
it sort of made us think,
when we got back to the UK that we really need to get the ball rolling
and...and do it.
-Yeah, but you forgot to tell me.
Hedydd didn't need to be told twice though and quickly threw herself
headfirst into the visa application process.
So I had a look into it and realised that probably the best way forward
was to get a sponsorship visa.
And then I made friends with a lady online
who was already living out in Melbourne.
And her and her husband were in hospitality and she said,
"You need to use this recruitment agency.
"This is what they specialise in."
Gave me their number, rang them up, and literally,
probably within a month of being in touch with this recruitment agency,
we were getting interviews.
Job-hunting itself nearly became a 24-hour-a-day occupation.
We were trying to...
We had interviews at one o'clock in the morning
and we'd be in the restaurant and we were saying to customers,
"Come on, guys, you've got to go.
"We've got to go home. We've got interviews to do."
Do you remember like trying to pack everyone out of the restaurant
-so we could get home in time for interviews?
We were just walking through the door as the Skype was ringing.
There was months of, like, being up till 4am, wasn't there?
Thankfully, we got offered jobs pretty quickly,
which meant that our visa would be accepted a lot quicker.
So, when it did start to happen, it started to happen quite quickly
but at the same time, felt like it was dragging out at the same time
because we were slow making our decision on jobs
and then, obviously, yeah, a lot of people wanted to come then.
Saying goodbye to Wales meant not just saying goodbye
to friends and family, it meant closing a business
the two had spent years building up.
Closing down our restaurant after, sort of, over 20 years
of running that kind of business was...I found it quite hard.
It was sad for me.
Hedydd, on the other hand, just sort of walked out, you know,
smiling, and jumping for joy, saying, "That's the end of that."
From the time we actually got back from Australia till the time
we left and moved permanently, that time was seven months.
Probably the first five months felt like ages.
Everything felt like it was taking for ever.
Honestly felt like we might not even get there at all.
But, the last two months,
we just felt like we were running out of time because we were actually
getting ready to go then. Once the approval came through,
it was like, we have got to get ready to go.
With their business sold and an offer accepted on their house,
the family set off on New Year's Eve
for the epic journey to start their new life.
But things got off to a rocky start.
Before we pull into the airport,
I had a little notification on my phone to say that the plane
was delayed by sort of four hours.
I was so annoyed.
I thought, "Oh, we could have slept for a bit longer."
We get there to discover that actually what we've got ahead of us
is an 11-hour delay and we'd be stuck in Gatwick for that long,
and then we're told we're going to get a 17-hour delay
once we get to Dubai.
And I thought, "That's it. This is an omen."
Something, somewhere telling us we're not supposed to leave.
And I was like, "What are we going to do?"
Arriving in Australia two days behind schedule,
the exhausted family took their first steps in their new life
on the other side of the world.
The first two weeks in Australia were a bit of a whirlwind really.
I was sort of jumping up and down once we got to Sydney Airport,
going, "Yeah, we're here!" so excited.
But then, actually, from there on, we had a lot of stuff to organise.
Sort of trying to kit out our house, trying to buy cars.
There was a lot of stuff but I'd prepared myself for that.
I knew there was going to be a lot of stuff to organise.
But there was one crucial detail that had been overlooked.
Getting the kids into school, how was it, Steven?
-It was quite tricky.
-It was a nightmare.
On our 457 visa, which is like the temporary work visa,
when you come to New South Wales,
you actually get charged for the schooling fees.
So, originally, if we'd have gone to Queensland, it would have been free,
but most states charge for schooling,
and New South Wales is one of the most expensive.
School fees were a massive bill that had not been factored in.
I would have paid 10,000 for this year
and 15,000 for next year.
I quickly realised I couldn't send them to a government school.
I was getting to the point where I thought,
"I am not going to get these kids into a school."
Then it was like, we need to try and get them into private school
and actually that wasn't that easy either.
And then, when you get into another one, we had several interviews.
They'd have school reports.
I had to translate all the school reports
from Welsh to English for them, so that they could see, you know,
what kind of kids they were.
So, they're now in a Catholic private school.
With the school now sorted,
Mum and Dad were concerned about eldest boy Leon,
who had always harboured doubts about the move.
I think the first few weeks we were trying to make sure that the boys
would settle in as quickly as possible.
Obviously, Leon was the one we were worried about
because he wasn't 100% sure about coming to Australia.
But I think he kind of settled in really quick and,
once he saw where we were going to be living, and the area,
and once he sort of, erm,
went around and went to the beaches
and did some swimming and everything,
I think he kind of switched straightaway.
He has probably been the one out of all the boys
that has settled in the quickest.
Before I started my new school here in Australia,
I was quite scared and worried.
But then, once we started going in the car, then I was OK.
Then, when we arrived, I was scared again
because there were so many kids.
Then I started to talk to them and then I was fine.
Having only been in the country a few short months,
the Jamiesons are still renting.
We got real lucky with the house.
Our relocation agent did a really good job.
It is in a lovely area, it's safe.
It's a big house.
It's got a better layout than the house we had before.
It's not my dream house.
We can't have it all straightaway, can we?
My dream house would have a bigger garden and maybe a pool,
maybe air conditioning for, like, the summer.
The main thing I like about this house is my lovely, big, large,
walk-in wardrobe and my fabulous en suite
that I felt like I've been deserving of for quite a while,
having to share a bathroom with three boys, or four boys.
With the house and boys settled,
it turns out Steven is finding it a bit tricky adjusting to life
where he is no longer his own boss.
Steven, I think, is taking longer to settle into his job.
It's just taking him time because he really is used to being the boss
and has been his own boss for so many years.
It's just taking him a little bit longer.
I was still a bit anxious about it because, obviously,
I haven't worked for anybody else for donkeys' years, so it's like,
you know, knowing that I was going to have to turn up and, you know,
work for somebody else was a bit nerve-racking.
We actually get days off from work.
We get, sort of...
Last week we had three days off in a row.
It's like you can plan things, you can do things.
And there's no stresses or worry about running your own business
that you've got to worry about anything.
It's sort of, finish work, jump in the car, go home, and switch off,
and have your days off and enjoy yourself.
So, when we were back in Wales, we were sort of working
70, 80 hours a week, just constant.
There was never any end to it. It was just constant.
Now we've got normal jobs.
I work 38 hours a week.
It's almost like a part-time job for me now.
So, one year on, are the couple happy with their decision?
I don't THINK I've made the right decision to move,
I KNOW I've made the right decision to move.
The difference is huge.
..in the feeling within the family, is so completely different.
I mean, Steven and I aren't stressing any more about work
or discussing work every single moment that we have that's spare.
Everything feels completely different.
It's like we can switch off, we can go out for the day.
We haven't got to worry about anything.
Everything just feels so much better.
Hedydd has settled in straightaway.
I think day one, she was like, "I'm here, I'm home, that's it."
The boys, you know,
they settled in really quick but I'm trying to sort of
unwind still really.
It's just taken me such a long time, to sort of,
from going from such a stressful life to being able to sit down
and relax and switch off has just taken me a bit longer
but I'm getting there, I'm getting there.
I still actually can't believe that we're here.
I still actually can't believe that we left that little,
tiny town in west Wales and had the courage to actually make the move
and just do it.
I'm, like, proud of ourselves for actually having the courage
to just go for it and follow our dream.
Actually I'm quite proud of Steven, actually, for going along with it
and not being too scared to back down
because, I mean, where we are now, it is absolutely gorgeous.
I think we have made the right move to do this.
There was a lot of hard work in getting us all to agree
on coming to Australia and it's taken a lot of money
to get over here, but I think it's settling down
and everything is all working out OK now.
We're both enjoying it.
The kids are loving it.
So I think we have made the right choice.
Hedydd Jamieson had always felt
like her family's destiny lay in Australia.
Having been there a few short months,
their biggest challenge appears to be
adjusting to the more balanced work-life priorities down under.
Having too much free time on their hands,
surrounded by beautiful beaches and gorgeous rainforests
sounds like a problem most of us can only dream of.
Hedydd Jamieson had harboured dreams of living in Australia for well over a decade. She and her husband Steven were desperate to cast off the shackles of running a restaurant to carve out more family time with their children. She believed that a life in Australia would restore equilibrium to their work-life balance, but she had just one week to convince Steven and eldest son Leon that a better life could await them down under.
Back in 2016 the Jamiesons - made up of mum Hedydd, dad Steven, nine-year-old Leon, six-year-old Eli and three-year-old Seth - lived in Cardigan in Wales. Hedydd and Steven were joint owners of a busy restaurant, meaning they spent more time together than most couples, but more as business partners than married ones. It was beginning to get to Hedydd.
They had met when Hedydd got a waitressing job where Steven was a chef 16 years ago. But everything changed when, aged 21, she decided to swap her apron for an adventure in Australia. Steven, scared of losing her for ever, declared his undying love and begged her to stay. She did, and Australia was put on the back-burner.
They opened their restaurant seven years ago, but juggling 70-hour weeks while bringing up three young children was proving a recipe for disaster. Hedydd, worried about what effect this was having on her young boys, was desperate for change. She came up with what she thought was the right solution - to move the family to the country she'd dreamt of going to well over a decade ago. She had become driven about the notion, but her husband and eldest son urged caution. It was too big a risk, and they had too much to give up. But Hedydd was determined they should at least sample a trial week in the Gold Coast to see for themselves what sort of weather, lifestyle and jobs they might enjoy.
So was the family won over by the possibility of life in Australia? 12 months later it's time to find out where the Jamiesons are living.