Nine years ago a road crash left Paul Nicholls fighting for survival. Given a second chance at life, he wanted to make the most of it - by moving his family to New Zealand.
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Nine years ago, a near-fatal road accident left Paul Nicholls fighting for survival.
We didn't really know whether I was going to get better or not, did we?
Given a second chance at life, he was determined to make the most of it.
It made me want to start a new chapter in our life.
While a trial week down under saw wife Tracey almost on board...
-Something like this would make me seriously consider being able to make the move.
..granting her husband his dream had the potential to break her heart.
Just where are the Nicholls family now? In the UK or New Zealand?
Voted one of the best places in the world to bring up a family,
it's not hard to understand why almost 9,000 UK residents
make the move to New Zealand every year.
Add to that its outstanding natural beauty and temperate climate
and it's no wonder it is such a desirable
destination for those seeking a better life.
Despite never having been, Paul Nicholls was convinced New Zealand
would offer his family the time together they desperately needed.
But while wife Tracey could see the appeal, the prospect
of leaving loved ones in the UK was too difficult to comprehend.
The following week
would give the family a chance to sample everything New Zealand had to
offer before making a decision that would change their lives for ever.
It took almost 23 hours in the air to get from Birmingham to
New Zealand but as they touched down in Auckland,
the Nicholls were in relatively fine form.
But these three were gold and taking it in their stride, really.
I didn't think it was boring at all.
We haven't had that much sleep but feel pretty...
-Still feel OK.
-Feel pretty good, don't we?
-Tracey looks OK, as well.
Flattery doesn't necessarily get you what you want, Paul!
It's a long flight for people to kind of...
You know, they can't just pop over and visit. It is a long way to go.
Overall, first impressions appeared good.
-Everything seems nice and chilled, laid-back.
-And really friendly.
Everyone seems really friendly, so far.
But did their enthusiasm continue as the family set
out on a journey that may have changed their lives for ever?
Meet the Nicholls.
They were mum Tracey, dad Paul, Roman,
aged 10, Zeraphina who was seven and three-year-old Cassian.
They lived in Halesowen in the West Midlands.
Life in the UK was a daily juggling act for Mum and Dad.
We are like ships passing in the night constantly.
Running three fitness businesses with a young family in tow
was no easy task.
It's nonstop and we have got to the point almost where we think it's
normal and people are constantly saying, don't know how you do it.
I don't know how you do it.
The relentless routine was wearing them down.
Instead of living in the British rat race,
I want to get out of that and spend more quality time with the family.
Desperate for a new beginning,
Paul was convinced a move to New Zealand would benefit the children.
I feel the way this country is moving is that
the kids are growing up too quick.
I want to give them manners, respect,
treat other people as you want to be treated yourself.
My understanding is that the New Zealand way of life is very much like that.
But getting Tracey to buy into the dream move was proving tricky.
I would say I'm probably 50-50.
The idea of it appeals, but then I sit and think practically
that's when I kind of get emotional or a little bit scared of it all.
I would say I'm a lot more passionate about it than Tracey.
Paul is a very optimistic person
and always sees the best in every situation.
Especially when he was recovering from a near-fatal motorbike
accident nine years ago.
His brother rang me and he just said to me, "He's had an accident.
"And you need to be there.
"He is speaking, but he's in a bad way."
Having suffered multiple injuries, Paul spent months in recovery.
We didn't really know whether I was going to get better or not, did we?
Come on, chin up.
It's hard, hard times.
It's been years, and I still...get upset about it.
His personality was affected by his injuries.
Paul has always been a joker and suddenly all that was gone.
There was no emotion. You couldn't have a laugh with him.
-You can't remember stuff with the children, can you?
That first year of Zeraphina's life, I can't recall any of it.
I wasn't Dad for me children.
I wasn't husband for me wife.
It took a long time to overcome it.
Well, I've overcome it now, and I'm here to tell the story.
Time to do something about it.
That experience was a huge part of his drive for a fresh
start down under.
In New Zealand, were we to start again,
say a new chapter in our life to move on,
maybe slow things down a little bit, step back and enjoy life.
After everything they had been through,
Tracey was willing to give New Zealand serious consideration.
But the prospect of leaving her parents in the UK was a real
They play a massive role in the children's lives.
I just see how the kids are with them.
They are just always there.
You know, for me.
And I do think we would break their hearts by going.
The week ahead was crucial in deciding where the family
would spend the rest of their lives.
It needs to be massively for the better of the family
for me to make the move in all honesty.
The whole idea of it all just sounds amazing and it all sounds fantastic,
but it is the other side of the world.
The Nicholls were spending their trial week
on the Hibiscus Coast, north of Auckland.
Home for their stay was a beachfront property
but was their first taste of Kiwi living to their liking?
-Wowee! Look at that.
-What a view.
-That's made me really fill up, that has. Oh, my God.
Paul couldn't have wished for a better start to the week
and quickly began to feel settled.
Imagine coming home to that every day.
-Coming home from school, straight out onto the beach.
Everything has been fantastic.
It's living up to what I wanted it to be already. And more.
But the distance from home started to sink in for Tracey...
It's so beautiful, but then I've also got this thought that
thousands of miles away are the family.
..though she couldn't fail to be impressed by what she had seen so far.
When I think about the life for the children,
I mean, that's priceless, really.
We'll see what the rest of the week brings, really.
Back in the UK in 2016, the Nicholls lived in a three-bedroom semi.
It's a nice house, nice area, nice and quiet and tranquil.
Obviously, it's only three bedrooms,
-we've got three children, we need a four-bedroom home now, really, don't we?
They had a budget of £300,000 for a house down under
and knew just what they wanted.
Nice large living space, open-plan, nice big kitchen,
cos we revolve, our family, in the kitchen, don't we?
-Yeah. That's really important.
A few acres of land would be nice.
So we can have a little motocross track.
Finding the ideal home was a must for Paul to get Tracey
onside for a move.
We showed the family three properties.
Two close to budget and one which could be their ideal family home.
First stop was in Millwater, a new development close to the
motorway meaning easy access for the 11-mile commute to Auckland.
But what did the Nicholls think of this modern three-bedroom
-Oh, that's lovely, isn't it?
-Look at that!
Oh, that kitchen is beautiful.
Things were off to a positive start.
That's a nice living space, isn't it?
Or were they?
Not quite as big as I would like.
-And is that the only space, just a little courtyard?
-Looks like it.
Because we would need a garden, wouldn't we, for you guys?
That's not enough.
Upstairs fell short on space as well.
This is a nursery room, isn't it?
-Looks a small room.
And with just three bedrooms on offer,
the dreaded word "sharing" was suggested.
The only thing is, the two of you would still be sharing a room.
-I want it to be in my room.
-ROMAN: I don't really fancy that.
But Mum and Dad's room had plenty of space with an en suite to match.
-Oh, wow! This is lovely.
-This is cool.
We could move in here.
-And not have to do anything.
-Oh, gosh, no.
But if they did fancy doing some renovations,
the large garage created options.
You could have like a little... almost like the studio type thing.
-Bedroom, play area.
-Not Zeraphina had her way!
I think it should be, like, for us lot to play in!
Good plan, Zeraphina.
But was this somewhere the family could afford to
make their own on a £300,000 budget?
I'm thinking probably about £320,000.
I'll go with 340.
-In between us.
That was £30,000 over budget, but they were not put off.
-This is somewhere that we could live.
-Come straight to.
With things off to a flying start, the next property was in Stillwater,
a coastal suburb some 25 miles north of Auckland -
an ideal home for those who enjoy the outdoors.
But was this modern four-bedroom house what the family was looking for?
-Oh, wow! Oh, that looks beautiful.
-It's nice and muddy.
This has got to be a dream house.
And the inside...
Oh, wow! Oh, my God!
-Oh, my word.
And the gushing continued to flow with the open-plan design.
This is like, perfect.
Beyond perfect, isn't it, this?
The property was intended to capture the best of the magnificent landscape.
That's what you call a view.
Look at that, guys!
And Paul could already see himself living there.
-Having your breakfast out here in the morning.
You would just feel like you were on holiday every day, wouldn't you?
Back indoors, the positivity continued.
-Nice sized bedroom.
-This is a lovely room.
The master en suite
and walk-in wardrobe had Tracey like a child in a sweet shop.
Just what Mummy wants.
And bedrooms for the real children also went down a treat.
What's in there, Zeraphina?
A place to hide and something to put your...
-Gosh, this is...
Didn't expect this.
-Look at this space we've got out here.
-Oh, look at this.
Another room with a view.
What more could you ask for? Perfect, isn't it?
It was a property that had the power to sway minds.
Somewhere like this would make me seriously,
-seriously consider being able to make the move.
That's all I want to hear.
Music to Paul's ears.
But was it within reach of their £300,000 budget?
OK, then, guys.
-How much are we thinking this one is?
-I'm thinking 550,000.
All right. I think is going to be around 450.
-Are you ready?
-Let's have a look.
-Oh, my gosh!
It was 80,000 over budget, but a lot less than they expected.
That is unbelievable.
Pleased with the price and property,
the Nicholls still had one more house to see.
Situated in Orewa, one of Auckland's largest suburbs,
would this quirky 1960s-style house also wow the family?
Here we go.
It's quite spacious.
And that's modern, obviously.
Kitchen is a good size.
Paul was still upbeat, but Tracey, not so much.
-The smell, the wood.
-You can smell the wood.
Outdoors, though, the wooden patio didn't seem to bother her at all.
-Well, this is a nice, big area, isn't it?
-Catches the sun.
-There's a lot of land...
-..actually, with this.
-I mean, it's very private, isn't it?
-Yeah, it's nice.
Back indoors and Tracey's nostrils were twitching again.
Is that damp I can smell? That's damp.
It's just the old... the old wood smell.
-Do you think?
-Yeah, it's all old wood.
But Tracey knew better.
No, it isn't, it's damp.
-OK, it's damp.
Did you get that? It's damp.
And Tracey's reaction to the bedroom was a bit soggy, too.
-That's a bit unusual!
Double bed, but there's no storage, is there? So this is...
That's a bit nicer, isn't it?
For a big house, though, there's not a lot of storage, is there?
But did the family bathroom lift their spirits?
Oh. Bathroom... OK.
It was far from the perfect property after all.
But if the price fell on the right side of their £300,000 budget,
could it bring them round?
I'm thinking about 260.
I'll go with...
Shall we find out, then, how much it is?
Turn it over, Zeraphina.
-Oh, my gosh!
-Oh, my gosh!
It was almost 50% over budget.
£440,000 and then the amount of money that we would have to spend...
-..would just be phenomenal, so...
-It would be about 500,000.
Phew, then, that's a relief that we're all not really bothered about it,
because we certainly couldn't afford it anyway.
The Nicholls' house-hunting day delivered mixed results.
Despite being a bedroom short of ideal,
the first property's modern interior appealed.
And it was somewhere the family felt they could call home.
The second house was the dream home and although over budget,
Tracey felt she could be tempted.
The final property's outdoor space impressed
but indoors was a let-down and left Tracey with a bad smell.
So, did they vote for the UK or New Zealand?
Based on the properties that we have seen today, our vote goes to...
Hold it up, hold it up.
-You all like the New Zealand houses?
I think they are more posher.
-You feel like you're on holiday all the time, which is awesome.
Everything that we wanted, that we said we wanted in a property, we've seen.
A unanimous vote for New Zealand was a step in the right
direction for Paul's dream of a better life.
But if it were to become a reality,
the couple would need secure employment.
Back in the UK, they both worked in the fitness industry,
with three businesses between them.
The dream was to pool their resources down under.
If we had one business that we could run between ourselves,
life would be so much, so much easier.
Leaving behind what they had built up in the UK would have been
a wrench, but Paul was convinced it was worth it.
If I want to go there, I'll do whatever it takes to get there.
To find out how they would go about starting their own
business down under, we arranged for them
to meet an expat couple who had done just that.
Mike, also known as Gladiator Wolf, and wife Paula moved to New Zealand 12 years ago.
Tracey was keen to know how their fitness business was getting on.
Three or four big chains here, all across New Zealand.
They're so cheap, and they're undercutting everybody.
It is a hard, competitive market.
But if you have got a good product, you will do well.
But an income was needed whilst researching the business
so what kind of money could they earn as personal trainers?
Personal trainers and anywhere between 60 to 100 bucks an hour.
At the time, that was between £35 and £65 an hour,
doubling their current income.
But would their work-life balance improve?
We have three businesses back home
and it's just so busy, the quality of life we have,
we're like headless chickens just kind of passing ships.
-How do you guys get along, do you have the same?
-Exactly the same!
I think that's the nature of the business, though, isn't it?
If you've got a business and you got three children, it's busy!
On the upside, though, Paula was quick to point out that they had no regrets moving.
The best thing, I would say we have probably done.
It's an amazing country.
It's just so beautiful and laid-back here.
It was an encouraging visit.
But when it came to the vote, was it enough to convince
Tracey Paul's dream of life down under was workable?
OK, after our experiences today, we choose...
I knew you would vote New Zealand
-and I've just got a few little concerns that...
..I need to just find out more information before I can
definitely say I could make a move based on the job.
May be hard, won't be easy, but we could do it if we wanted to.
Tracey's undecided vote left Paul's dream much less certain.
But a move was all about improving the family's lifestyle.
So we sent the Nicholls off to explore one of New Zealand's famous cycleways.
Their route took them along a five mile track around the
Orewa tidal estuary.
-Come on, Mum, budge up a bit.
-Yeah, I'm right here.
Go, Phina, go, Phina!
OK, that's a nice spot.
The day was a reminder of what they were missing back home.
They're loving it.
Yes, I could see us doing this.
Yeah, it has been a lovely day.
Just doing this kind of every weekend, yeah,
-I have to admit, it is pretty awesome, really.
And it put Tracey in a reflective mood.
With your accident and everything we have been through
and we always said life is there to be lived.
And I know back home actually, it's...
-A rat race.
-..a rat race, yeah.
And we take so much for granted.
We really do, whereas, like, today is making me really appreciate everything and...
Live life to the full.
..appreciate you being here and they could have been without a dad
and it's just great, the five of us together, and enjoying it.
The simple act of being together was enough to give Tracey
pause for thought.
But when it came to the vote for lifestyle,
did the family go for home or away?
Based on the New Zealand lifestyle we vote...
ALL: New Zealand!
-Well, that's a bit of a full house.
-That's a unanimous vote.
What has made you choose New Zealand?
First of all, it's been nice and sunny and second of all,
the parks are like, really good.
Going on the beach.
And is just been lovely to spend some lovely time all together.
We had a fantastic day,
could see us doing this for the rest of our lives.
It's hitting me that, yeah, it's got that to offer us.
It was clear that the Kiwi lifestyle had prompted a soul search
for Tracey but if Paul's aspirations were to become
a reality, the family's finances would have to stack up.
This is when it all becomes a little bit more real.
See if we can afford it.
We provided a comparison of costs between the UK and New Zealand.
First up, the weekly food bill.
-Interesting that chicken is a staple...
-Our staple diet!
-So that's cheaper.
-That's working out cheaper.
-Same with the fish.
Yes, milk's more expensive, isn't it? So...
It's a difference of £48.56 more expensive here.
It was a significant weekly increase of nearly £50.
And basing their sums on the first property they saw,
their mortgage would have almost doubled down under.
We're looking at 506.
Yeah, that's massive, isn't it?
It was a huge increase in monthly outgoings but basing their
income on being personal trainers
and taking away the UK business overheads, the couple discovered
they could be almost £2,000 better off every month in New Zealand.
And actually, that was based on the house we liked,
the house we really, really liked.
-That makes that look absolutely...
-That's probably slightly achievable.
No prizes for weighing up how this vote went.
OK, looking at the numbers
and figures based on New Zealand's earnings, we shall be voting for...
BOTH: New Zealand!
-I knew you would do it.
Well, it's a no-brainer, isn't it?
-We would have a slightly easier lifestyle without the business.
-More family time for the children.
-And we can just help and support each other, can't we, really?
Paul's dream of a fresh start in New Zealand survived another day.
But there was still the final obstacle.
Struggling with the idea of taking the children away from their grandparents.
With Cassian still sleeping, Roman and Zeraphina had
assured Mum and Dad they would like to watch the messages from home.
I am dreading this bit.
Hi, Paul, Tracey and the kids.
-Hope you are really enjoying yourself.
Paul is very caring, he's very strong minded as well.
If you ever need anything, he's always there.
He always wants you to help him out quite a lot, as well!
Can't say anything bad about him,
-because he's always been such a good lad.
-Yeah, really good lad.
Phones us up regular, to make sure we're all right.
-Checking to see if we are still alive!
Tracey is a lovely daughter.
-We love her to bits, both of us.
-If ever I need her, I just give her
a call and she's there for me.
-Well, for both of us, isn't she?
We've supported each other through hard times, good times.
Just a proper friendship, really.
Don't know where he got the idea from, New Zealand.
I didn't want to think about it, that they would go over there.
He's done extremely well to get back to where he is now
and I think that was also a turning point in Paul as well, where you
understand that life is so delicate that it can be taken away from you.
That to go to New Zealand, it's only pushed him on to want it even more.
I'd be gutted to lose her.
I shall miss my lovely hugs.
And that's what you miss most.
I think it'll be, like, times for birthdays,
Christmases when we usually open presents together and...
..there's just be none of that any more.
I'll really, really miss you.
I'd never hold you back.
I think it's amazing, what you want to do for your family.
Whatever you decide to do, we wish you all the best in the world.
We will miss you loads, you know that.
And you know we love you.
It's a big decision.
Think very, very hard about it before you make the final decision.
Weigh it all up, weigh everything up.
Love you, bye.
-That was emotional, wasn't it?
I'd just miss them and that, if we actually came.
So a big decision you've got to make.
If I'm not there, who's going to help them?
That's what's hard.
Watching messages from loved ones was difficult for everyone
but for Tracey in particular, the impact was crushing.
And with a change of weather as the final vote loomed,
was there a change of heart, too?
It's just seeing friends and family messages now that has just,
as I knew, would just throw a massive, massive spanner in the works.
We just spend so much time together as a family.
And then we will lose that, the children will lose that
and they will lose that and that's something massive to consider.
I love my parents equally as much as she does hers.
However, I... You know, my life is now about my children.
I really want to do what's best for them.
He can switch off more than I can.
He just looks at the final outcome and it's a new chapter
and the kids have got the rest of their lives here.
He looks at that, and the bigger picture.
Family, in all senses, was both the primary inspiration for Paul's dream
and also its principal stumbling block.
No matter how rich the life in New Zealand,
could they really leave their family behind?
I've got rose-tinted glasses on.
Do I need to look and spend more time here to make that solid
decision? That there is definitely enough here to...
..to...to break up the family?
There's been so many plus points.
But the one negative one is, like, the really big negative.
So, it's going to be hard to say.
The family's future hinged on one, final turn of the cards.
Based on all our experiences in New Zealand,
Well... I'm surprised by your vote.
It was really hard to make the decision.
I think I'm optimistic that grandparents will visit.
I'm hanging on to that hope but I think...
..I also have to accept that you're my priority,
and the children are my priority,
and if the five of us can have a better quality of life here, then...
..then that's really important.
Well, for me, it's everything and more than we've ever hoped for.
Now I think we've just got a lot of work ahead of us, really.
So many decisions to be made, and so much to look at.
What do you think, then? Back to the UK?
Start...thinking about the future, what we can do?
The Nicholls' first trip Down Under was an emotional roller coaster
but with Tracey ultimately convinced that New Zealand could give
her family everything they wanted,
it looked liked Paul's dream would soon be their reality.
But, 12 months on from that momentous decision,
are the Nicholls living at home or away?
It's April 2017, and the Nicholls are living in...
..Halesowen in the UK.
But, if Paul has his way, not for much longer.
They're currently working on selling the businesses,
ready for making the move.
The big push for Paul is fuelled by the memory of their time
spent in New Zealand right after the trial week.
After the filming, we chose to stop on for another three weeks.
We hired a six-berth RV, travelled around the country.
We did do just a tremendous amount
and had an absolutely amazing further three weeks
as a family. It was awesome.
We went to Cathedral Cove. Absolutely beautiful.
Went to the hot water lakes.
Seven o'clock at night, pitch-black under the stars...
..like, in a Jacuzzi on the beach. Absolutely fantastic.
On returning to the UK, there was only one thing on Paul's mind -
how do they get back out there?
Since we've been back,
we've had to have a look at selling the businesses.
I've started with my business first,
that's the one that's been going for 20 years.
We had that valued, put it out on the market.
Got people interested.
All being well, they potentially have got a buyer for it. So...
It's, like, within weeks we should...
If it's going to go through, it will all be within the next few weeks.
As soon as that's sorted, then we can move on to Tracey's gym.
-And consider what we're going to do with that one.
Paul is powerhousing for this move to gain traction
and he even has a timetable in mind.
In 12 months, I'd like to think everything's been consolidated
everything's together, ready, and... we will be ready for the move.
But there's a problem because although Tracey voted for
New Zealand, her decision was much more complicated.
Paul, before we'd even went, he was 100% that he wanted to go.
And I, obviously, have got my...
But seeing the children's reaction to Kiwi life,
Tracey felt she had to let those reservations go.
Watching the children and how much they enjoyed it, and listening
to them, that's what made me vote, finally, to New Zealand.
I'd like to go back.
I'd like to go back because it's really sunny, hot,
and there's all nice people there.
My favourite bit about New Zealand was, like, going on the beach
and the sun and everything. And going out places, and that.
But, on the other hand, there was a little tweak of the butterflies,
and that little bit of fear, little bit of sadness, of, OK, we are...
..we're going to do this, and it's exciting but...
..you know, I am going to have to leave people and things behind that,
you know, I love and cherish.
When they returned to the UK, despite Paul's boundless
energy for the move, Tracey was reticent to the point of silence.
When we got back, I kind of took the easy option, in a way,
not to speak about it because I know so many people
would be really upset, and I would get upset,
so we kind of took the easy option and told everybody
they had to watch the programme.
I think it was probably easier for me
not to have the conversations with people
because then it was almost a little bit kind of, like, surreal
and keeping it all in a bit of a bubble.
But with Paul having all but sold his business,
Tracey is under pressure to commit to the move.
But, for her, it's not that easy.
So, selling my business...
..it will...it will be pretty hard, actually. And...
..it's very much a community, so, you know, everybody always calls it
the Gym Family, the Workout Family, because everybody's so close.
It is just like extended family.
So, for me to sell that, it's...
..it's my baby.
But, whilst Tracey appears to be weighed down with her dilemma,
she's still looking for a change that would enable the family
to spend more time together.
And, in her deliberations, she may have found an answer.
If we do want to pursue the dream life in New Zealand, it is
about the quality of life.
And, yeah, making some changes, so I think the reality is probably
a change of career would enable us to do that a little bit more anyway.
And if I could maybe secure employment, then my husband
could follow the...follow the path of setting up a business out there.
Sounds like a good plan.
And with Paul eager to find ways to make the move work for everyone,
there is encouraging news.
..got two possible job opportunities already
from the friends that we know who live out there.
One works in a bank, one works in the estate agent's.
They get in touch with us on...
..regular occasions, asking when we're coming,
the jobs are waiting, ready for her.
So, we know we've got that kind of security.
But there are still misgivings for Tracey and,
according to the walls that have ears, the discussions are constant.
They do talk about it lots. And then, like...
"Shall we move out there? What do you want to do?"
And, like, all that stuff.
I think Tracey's sold. However...
..she's the worrier out of the two of us. I'm the...
..let's just go and do it. She thinks a lot more about things.
I'm just a bit blase. Let's go and get on with it,
and we'll do... Whatever it takes, we'll do it.
Dad definitely wants to go out and Mum's, like,
changes her mind all the time and everything.
But Dad definitely wants to do it.
That's all he talks about, really.
Yeah... I think we'll go.
I think if I don't go, you'll probably hold it against me
-forever, wouldn't you?
-No, I wouldn't.
I think you would. I think it would be difficult.
I think if I didn't go, knowing how much you want it,
and how strong you feel, for me to hold...
Me be the reason why we don't go...
Like you say, we don't know what if.
If we go, it don't work, we come back. It's that simple.
But it's not that simple for Tracey.
And with the other stumbling block of all the emotional
attachments in the UK, she's not alone in her uncertainty.
I'm not quite sure because I'll miss all my friends and family.
Like, I'd love to go live out there but it's like the same as her.
I'd miss all my family and friends.
But it'd be sick to live out there, though.
The same as Phina and Roman.
I have a really close relationship with my parents.
My parents are divorced and remarried.
So, really, I have two mums and two dads.
They're just always there for us. The children have...
..a fantastic relationship with them.
And they just support us so much, so...
They're just always there.
This decision is not for the faint of heart.
The choice is between a life half lived by the crushing
demands of work, but being close to loved ones, or living abroad,
where the possibilities appear endless,
but the family are not there.
Even Paul is not unaffected by this dilemma.
The persons toughest to leave, obviously, is going
to be my parents. My mum and dad.
They've accepted that I'm leaving.
They obviously don't want me to leave
but they're more accepting that we're going to go.
They can see the life we can offer the children there. So...
..they're more accommodating, they'll accept that we're going.
Obviously, don't want us to go but...they're accepting it.
You know, he's got a huge family, so his mum and dad,
there's three other sons, they've got 27 grandchildren,
and great-grandchildren, so they are surrounded by people.
He knows they'll be OK and they'll be looked after.
So, I think he's got, although he'll miss them,
he's got that comfort that I don't have, actually, cos...
..if we go, then I'm, you know, all they have.
Which is crushing for Tracey and her parents, making the very
idea of the family moving to New Zealand almost unbearable.
-I was OK to begin with
but it's now with all the filming again,
it's brought it all back to me.
-That I don't really want you to go.
..I can understand why you do.
I'm just really close to them...
There is, however, one possible answer,
and though Tracey didn't know, her parents had been discussing
the idea of a move to New Zealand themselves.
We've thought about it a lot.
We have thought about it, even though
we haven't mentioned it, we've thought about it a lot.
-We haven't said. It ain't 100%, though, is it?
And where there's a will, there's a way.
It's only a flight away.
-We're not there yet.
And Tracey's family are not the only ones who've been
talking behind the scenes. Her best friend has plans of her own.
I think it's an amazing opportunity. You'd be mad not to do it.
And have you thought about any more whether, if we went,
-you might consider?
-You and Gaz spoke?
-We really, really do want to do it.
Gary's family are really encouraging us to go.
I can honestly picture us there with you.
I'm not doing it for me, I'll do it for the kids.
Oh, my gosh, that would be amazing. Oh, my God.
She's never been to New Zealand, and, yet, we came back and they...
-..they want to go. I think if we go, they'll follow us out there.
-I think they will, I think that's kind of a...
So, with this reassurance from friends and family,
is the dream back on track?
It's kind of some days, I'm like, "Oh, gosh, I can't wait.
"I can't wait to get out there! We've got to do it,
"we've got to go!" And I think I know in my heart
the type of person I am...
If we didn't do it, I'd probably regret it for ever.
It's something we've got to go and try and do, otherwise...
..if we stay, I think we'll probably always regret not going
and giving it a try.
The best thing about living in New Zealand is that there's
a lot of friendly people,
it's hot and sunny, and we can just go out when we want to.
And the walk down the beach.
We will be living in New Zealand at some stage.
I can see it happening.
The way I look at this, we've got to go and do it.
I don't want to be 10 years from now, going, "What if?"
I don't want to be a what-iffer.
You only have to go, like, a couple of hours, to get to, like,
Paradise Island for holidays,
and you've got all the nice people and everything.
And it's, like, really chilled, and that, so... It would be fun.
So, this time next year, I think...
..we'll be there.
Quite possibly, yeah.
The massive dilemma of whether to leave the UK or not
appeared almost insurmountable.
But the desire to live a life where the family can thrive
together proved stronger.
And with the reassuring help from family and friends,
the future looks bright for the Nicholls.
We wish them all the very best.
Despite having never been, Paul Nicholls was convinced New Zealand would offer his family the time together they desperately needed. But while his wife Tracey could see the appeal, the prospect of leaving behind loved ones in the UK was too difficult to comprehend.
The family consisted of mum Tracey, dad Paul, ten-year-old Roman, seven-year-old Zeraphina and three-year-old Cassian. They hailed from Halesowen in the West Midlands, where they owned three fitness businesses. Running them while raising a young family was a daily juggling act, and the relentless routine was wearing them down. Desperate for a new beginning, Paul was convinced a move to New Zealand would benefit the children - but getting Tracey to buy into his dream was proving tricky.
She remembered too vividly the near-fatal motorcycle accident nine years ago that left Paul fighting for his life. The thought of leaving those who helped the family through those dark months scared her, but unexpectedly his accident was the very reason Paul wanted to go. Having been given what he saw as a second chance, he was determined to live every moment. He believed New Zealand would give him a fresh start while allowing him to slow things down a little bit, take a step back and most importantly enjoy life more.
The week in Auckland was crucial in deciding where the family would spend the rest of their lives. The seven days were something of an emotional roller coaster as they explored all their options, before the decision was put to a family vote. Twelve months on, it's time to find out where the family call home.