Sanders Wanted Down Under Revisited


Sanders

In 2008 a mother and son from Northampton were faced with a decision to move to Australia to help with the mother's health issues. Two years on, have their dreams become reality?


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Transcript


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Most single parents rely on the support of close friends and family,

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so to move just about as far away as possible from that support

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is a huge decision.

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This is exactly the dilemma faced by Becci Sanders back in 2008.

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We gave her and her 11-year-old son Keelan the chance to test-drive life in Australia.

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Today we're meeting up with the Sanders to find out if Becci was

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brave enough to turn her and Keelan's world quite literally upside down.

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Single mum Becci Sanders and her 11-year-old son Keelan

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wanted to swap the daily grind in England for a new life in Australia.

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Keelan hoped that a move would mean more quality time with his mum.

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We'll be doing a lot more, I reckon, in Australia which we wouldn't do here.

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But the realities of moving so far from friends and family hit them hard.

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It's going to be really hard here without you.

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Do you want a hug?

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So did they have the courage to make the move? Where are they now?

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In 2008, Becci Sanders, from Northampton,

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was facing a life-changing decision,

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whether to stay in the UK or to uproot and move with her son Keelan

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thousands of miles away from her friends and family to Australia?

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We gave them a week to experience every aspect of life down under, but what happened next?

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Becci and Keelan lived with their dog Munchie in Northampton.

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Becci trained as an occupational therapist

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but was working as a mental health advocate.

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She'd hoped finding the right job in Australia would be their ticket out of the UK.

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I want to make a difference to people's lives and I would think

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that everyone who does nursing and OT and social work

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would probably say the same thing.

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I don't feel as if I'm able to

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put that into practice here because of the restraints with

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funding and budgets and stuff and I just feel that there'll be more opportunities and I'll be able to

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really make a difference to people's lives somewhere else.

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Aside from work, Becci had her own personal reasons for wanting a new life in Australia.

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For four or five months of the year, I suffer quite badly from depression.

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My life is pretty much governed by seasonal affective disorder.

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It means that during the winter months I do very little.

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I get up in the morning and sort Keelan out for school, and I go to work and I come home and sleep.

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It obviously has an effect on Keelan as well.

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Well, it affects me because even the slightest thing could make her really angry at me...

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..which I don't like.

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He has to do a lot more during the winter

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to help me out around the house. A lot more housework,

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so yeah, I do feel very, very guilty that I need to rely on him sometimes.

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I've got a very, very strong relationship with my mum.

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I look after her when she's ill and she looks after me when I'm ill.

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Becci and Keelan have a strong support network

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and moving so far away would plunge them into a life without friends or family to fall back on.

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'Is this what they really wanted?'

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'My mum will miss her best friend Heather a lot

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'because if one of them's had a bad day they'll go and see the other and cheer them up.'

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So that's what my mum will miss most. She'll miss her friends.

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There isn't a day that goes by that we don't talk to each other.

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That is going to be the weirdest thing.

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I don't think you realise how much you rely on someone until they're not around.

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I don't even want to think about it cos I'll get all upset.

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Becci had a huge decision ahead

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so to make the process a little easier,

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we arranged for her and son Keelan to try out life for one week

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in the capital of the northern territory, Darwin.

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Becci and Keelan travelled 9,000 miles to Australia, giving them plenty of time

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to consider what lay ahead and how they would cope on their own.

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They landed at Darwin Airport after a 22-hour journey.

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Slightly apprehensive cos we don't really know what will happen,

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-but we're very much looking forward to it, and prepared to throw ourselves in completely.

-Yeah.

-Yep.

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Their base for the week was a flat in the heart of Darwin.

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Wow.

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The size of the kitchen, I'll get lost.

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-It's a huge room.

-It is, actually.

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-It's really big.

-Wow.

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Oh, wow. Balcony's big.

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It was a positive start to a soul-searching week that potentially was to change their lives for ever.

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In 2008, Becci and Keelan were living in a rented two-bedroom house in Northampton.

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As a single mum, Becci's finances were limited

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so she wasn't looking to buy a house in Australia straightaway.

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She had a budget of up to £750 a month to spend on rent.

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Would the three properties we showed her in Darwin convince her she would get more for her money in Australia?

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The first was a two-bedroom flat in Coconut Grove

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and would cost Becci around £750 a month,

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the same as she was paying in the UK.

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Would this property meet her expectations?

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Yeah. More brick walls.

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It's too built up. There's no garden.

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It could be a property absolutely anywhere in the world and I want to feel as if I'm in Australia.

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It doesn't feel good.

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It just feels like it's anywhere.

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No, not us, is it?

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No.

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There is a garden area, look.

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-Yeah.

-But obviously you'd have to share that with everybody else.

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They don't feel like it's somewhere that you could live.

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And I'm sure people do live in them and quite happily, but it's not what we're looking for.

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One of the reasons we want to get out of the UK is because everybody is living on top of everybody else

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and it feels quite claustrophobic and this has exactly the same feeling,

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although the weather's nice and the apartments are lovely,

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it still feels as though you're all scrunched into a very small space.

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-That's not really what we're looking for, is it?

-No.

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Affordable property in the centre of Darwin certainly failed to hit the right buttons.

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The second property was in the suburb of Nightcliff.

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This two-bedroom house was £50 under their monthly budget.

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But would they get more for their money living in the outskirts?

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Oh, wow.

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It is gorgeous.

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That's really nice.

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Oh, wow. It's beautiful.

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Yeah, that'll do!

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So this would be your room.

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-It's nice.

-Without the extra bed there'd be a lot more room.

-There would, yeah.

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-I like that.

-It is nice.

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This is my ideal garden with all the tropical plants.

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-It's already got the plants there. It's got all this space.

-Yeah.

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Patio area.

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It's beautiful.

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The inside is possibly slightly smaller than I thought it would be

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but then the outside space is just so fantastic.

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We wouldn't spend that much time inside anyway.

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This house seemed to be more what they expected from an Australian home

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but what would they make of property three?

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This flat at Myilly Point had two bedrooms, two bathrooms and was a stone's throw from the sea.

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At just over £840 per month, it was more than Becci was hoping to spend.

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But if Becci's dreams were going to be fulfilled she needed to explore all the options.

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-Lovely.

-Yeah. So much room.

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This is quite a big room. Completely different style of apartment, isn't it?

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-It's 100% different, yeah.

-Really, really nice.

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That's stunning.

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-I can see the sea.

-Oh, wow.

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-How close is that?!

-That's very close.

-The sand's just there.

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I might have to cut a hole in the trees, just so you can see right through.

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-We should have brought our swimming costumes, shouldn't we?

-Yeah.

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It's lovely.

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Although over budget, this flat changed their minds about apartment living.

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But was it good enough to make them decide to move halfway across the world?

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Would the Sanders vote for rental property at home in the UK or in Australia?

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So on the basis of the three properties we've seen today

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and compared to the property we've got at home, our vote has to be...

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BOTH: Australia!

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It was a thumbs up for property, but it was not the most important thing on Becci's list.

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Right at the top was the weather and the huge improvement she hoped this would make to her health.

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The SAD has a huge effect in the UK.

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There's only sort of three or four months of the year where we actually go out and do outside activities,

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and the rest of the time we're cocooned in the house and it has an effect on Keelan as well

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because we do things together.

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If I don't feel like going out, then he doesn't get to go out either.

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I can't see it being a problem out here at all.

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It's pretty much always sunny.

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I feel like a different person.

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I've only been here a few days and I feel completely different already.

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It was becoming clear how much they needed to make this move.

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Everything hinged on Becci's work prospects in Australia.

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In the UK, Becci was a mental health advocate and hoped to develop her career in Australia.

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I want to make a difference to people's lives.

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I don't feel as if I'm able to put that into practice here because of the restraints with

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funding and budgets and stuff and I just feel that there'll be more opportunities and I'll be able to

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really make a different to people's lives somewhere else.

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It was her qualifications in occupational therapy which would get her a visa to live in Australia.

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But would spending a day at Darwin private hospital

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persuade her that working down under was right for her?

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So, I gather you're out here to find out a little bit about the occupational therapy opportunities?

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Yeah, definitely.

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It's amazing the sorts of things that people will do to their hands,

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unfortunately, sometimes in the line of work,

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and sometimes sporting accidents, motor vehicle accidents.

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We've even had injuries from crocodile bites, which aren't

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very nice injuries because of the risk of infection. Things like dingo bites as well.

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-Not something we get in the UK.

-Yeah. Yeah!

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The chances for Becci for finding employment are pretty good,

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though I would say she would have to be prepared to probably go to more remote areas of Australia,

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certainly in the Northern Territory,

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Alice Springs and Katherine are always looking for OTs.

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So I'm sure Becci would find work if she chose to come out here, yeah.

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The only work opportunities might be in the more remote parts of Australia

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so would Becci still think the move was worthwhile?

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Having spent some time with Katrina today and getting a better idea of what OTs do in Australia,

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and although I'm aware there isn't a specific job available at the moment,

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I am prepared to walk the streets and find something,

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and compared to the type of OT work in the UK,

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I think my vote would have to be...

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..Australia.

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Becci seems sure about her decision,

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but if she couldn't find a job, the move to Australia would be impossible.

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In the UK, Becci and Keelan didn't spend enough quality together,

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but they hoped Australia would change this.

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We'd do a lot more in Australia, which we wouldn't do here.

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My mum will take me swimming far more

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and probably cinema less because it's hot outside!

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They took the opportunity to do just that and spent the day

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at a crocodile park and wildlife centre to meet some of the locals.

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-There's one, there's one, look.

-Look, there, there.

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I like crocodiles.

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I like pretty much anything that's got big sharp teeth, that's my sort of animal interest, really.

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On the surface, they were having a good time,

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but Becci wrestled with

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the life-changing decision she would have to make at the end of the week.

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The drive out here this morning was actually quite emotional.

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Every day I'm seeing things that make me want to go home less and less

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and the realisation that we are actually going to have to go home has really hit me and I don't want to.

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For Becci, the trip was all about trying new things and this was

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definitely something she wouldn't get a chance to do at home.

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Yeah, go on, Mum!

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Hold it steady. Hold it up. They're really fast.

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You ready? Hold it up...

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Well done. He didn't bite!

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Well done. Well done!

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'I wouldn't have believed in a million years that I would ever have fed a humungous crocodile.

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'It was just incredible.'

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-Thank you. That was great.

-Cheers, mate.

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It has also made me realise that we both need to learn about the dangers,

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and not just the crocodiles but other wildlife as well.

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A new life in Australia would have been so different to their life in the UK so Becci was determined that

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Keelan should get the most out of their week to help him decide.

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Park curator Dyon was keen to introduce Keelan to one of his friends.

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I hear you want to meet some locals.

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-Oh, yeah, that'd be great.

-All right. I hope you're not scared of snakes.

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This is a local carpet python. It's an albino.

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Cute, or what?

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She's a lovely snake.

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They're very muscular and he's very quiet

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and if you sort of put your hands round like this

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and just support her a little bit, and she'll tend to climb and become comfortable.

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Not venomous at all. They kill their prey by constricting.

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It's definitely wrapping you up there!

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It really pays not to pick snakes up unless you know what you're looking at.

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-Yeah.

-Any snake could be a venomous snake so it's best to leave it.

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So if you've got some Brits over here that knew nothing whatsoever about poisonous snakes,

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we could come here and you could teach us what to look out for and what to do if we did get bitten.

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-Yeah.

-And there's people you can call to come and get rid of them.

-Snake busters.

-Yeah!

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Becci and Keelan had a great day together but would their vote for lifestyle reflect

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the positive effect Australia could have on their relationship?

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It's been very educational.

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I've learnt that we need to do more research.

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If we were to move out here I would definitely want to know

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what type of snake I've got in my garage or my laundry.

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I was looking forward to seeing crocodiles and other sort of wildlife. I enjoyed it.

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It's one of the best things that I've ever done and I definitely

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prefer the animals here to England and of course, you get a lot more.

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I think our vote would have to be...

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Australia!

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Keelan was enjoying Australia, but Becci worried about him fitting in at a new school and making friends.

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She hoped a day with children his own age would focus his mind.

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'I think Keelan was a bit worried about going to school and spending time there.'

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I've been surprised at how much he's thrown himself into it.

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I am a little bit worried about taking him away from his friends and stuff in the UK,

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but he can fit in pretty much anywhere and make new friends.

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Becci wanted to make sure Keelan really thought hard about the move and its implications.

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If he couldn't see himself becoming a young Aussie, then her dream would be over.

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Whoa!

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Careful of his leg.

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All right, by now,

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you should have your first ten words down and you should now be handling the animal.

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Put words down that relate to what you feel, what you see when you're up close to him, OK?

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-Spiky? Scaly?

-Scaly, I'd say.

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He's the longest living dinosaur.

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'Everyone seems really friendly,

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'whereas in England, if you met someone they might'

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seem a little bit hostile at first

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and it would take a while for them to start being friendly to you.

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Keelan loved the science lesson, but deep down how did he feel about starting at a new school

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thousands of miles away from his friends at home?

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I had a good day at school.

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I made a lot of friends and work is a lot easier than it is in England. Australia.

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THEY CHEER

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Well, he loved school here, but helping his mum out at home during her winter depression

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meant Keelan didn't always have this much time to be a child.

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Keelan's happiness was always at the forefront of Becci's thoughts.

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If we don't manage to come out here,

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I guess we'll just go back to the routine that we were in before

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where he has to be more helpful to me during the winter months

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and we go back to sort of just the usual routine back in the UK,

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me being on medication, him doing the things that he has to do.

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Becci realised if they were to stay in the UK, their future would be tough.

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She had a massive decision to make if she was to turn her and Keelan's lives around.

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However positive they both felt about Australia, a new life would have a massive emotional cost.

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In 2008, before making their difficult decision, we showed Becci and Keelan

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some heartfelt messages from their nearest and dearest back home.

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Hey, Becci, hey, Kee, how are you?

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Hope everything's going really well out there.

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I'd just like to say that I'm going to miss you very much,

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especially when you used to come round for your dinners on Sundays.

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Generally, she's usually thinking about other people and obviously,

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Keelan and her really get on really well and they've got quite a good relationship.

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and it spills over onto other people, really.

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You can't imagine one without the other, if you know what I mean.

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It's just a nice relationship.

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It's nice to see them together.

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It's, like, funny, I'm sure it will all be fine,

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but at the moment it's like,

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feeling quite sad, sort of thing.

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For a lad of his age he's, you know, he's really clever

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and I think he's got the maturity and the responsibility

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to really make something out of this experience.

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I know that Becci and Keelan are together

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and they'll always have each other but you can still be lonely for

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your sister who's just around the corner and the rest of the family who aren't too far away,

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and I know that from my point of view I would

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probably feel a bit lonely from time to time, and that's a scary thought.

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I'm almost angry at her for leaving

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but at the same time you can't be

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because it's achieving the main thing she's ever wanted.

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She deserves a better life and I won't hold her back although I will be sad and I shall miss her.

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I can't wait to see you when you come back from the trip

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and I'll have some chicken tatoes waiting for you when you come round.

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I'm going to miss you guys so much.

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You have been absolutely fabulous to me since the day I met you.

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Kee, I'm so proud of everything you've done.

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You've worked so hard to help your mum and support her and make her proud every single day.

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And just cos you're going to Australia, don't think that has to stop.

0:22:220:22:26

And Becci,

0:22:260:22:28

it's going to be really hard here without you

0:22:280:22:32

but I know that every time I come to see you

0:22:320:22:36

you're going to be happier every time.

0:22:360:22:39

And you deserve it.

0:22:390:22:41

Look after each other and we will see you real soon.

0:22:410:22:46

-That was hard, watching that, wasn't it?

-Yeah.

0:22:520:22:56

Yeah, that was really hard.

0:22:570:22:59

Um...I knew that I'd get emotional with Heather's bit.

0:22:590:23:03

-Yeah. It was almost as if she was in the room with us.

-Yeah.

0:23:060:23:11

It doesn't change our potential plans, no.

0:23:120:23:16

Erm, I think what it does do is makes me realise that we need to be

0:23:160:23:21

-somewhere that friends and family can come out and visit us and stay.

-Yeah.

0:23:210:23:26

And that we need to keep lines of communication open, definitely,

0:23:260:23:32

whether that be phone or internet or whatever.

0:23:320:23:35

OK?

0:23:360:23:37

It had been a challenging week for the Sanders, with a lot to consider and a heart-wrenching choice ahead.

0:23:540:24:00

'I didn't think it'd be that bad, I didn't think I'd get emotional or anything,'

0:24:000:24:04

I thought I'd just...keep cool, but...

0:24:040:24:08

mm...I struggled a little bit.

0:24:080:24:10

If I thought that he was going to be horribly miserable out here

0:24:100:24:16

then I would have to think again about what we were doing and why.

0:24:160:24:21

'Seeing Heather, it was very emotional.'

0:24:220:24:24

It's almost going to be like losing a limb and probably we'll never have a friendship like that again.

0:24:240:24:30

So it was crunch time. Becci and Keelan had to make their final vote.

0:24:300:24:34

Would they choose a life in Australia with potentially better health for Becci

0:24:340:24:39

but without their friends and family for support, or would they decide to stay in the UK?

0:24:390:24:45

After what seems like a very long week here, erm...

0:24:470:24:52

I've decided that I really like it here.

0:24:520:24:55

I've enjoyed everything that I've done so far

0:24:550:24:59

and, even though the friends and family bit was sad, they still want to be happy for us.

0:24:590:25:05

Having spent the week here, I think it's made me realise

0:25:050:25:10

that there's more to moving to Australia than I originally thought.

0:25:100:25:14

Darwin has really got under my skin

0:25:140:25:16

and I think we've both fallen in love with Darwin completely.

0:25:160:25:20

If we had to choose between the UK and Australia, it would have to be...

0:25:200:25:24

-BOTH:

-Australia.

0:25:270:25:30

In 2008, the Sanders voted to move to Australia,

0:25:370:25:42

but, when we met them again two years on,

0:25:420:25:44

had they been brave to make the biggest decision of their lives?

0:25:440:25:48

It would be a huge emotional wrench and leaving behind loved ones

0:25:480:25:53

that single mum Becci relied on so much would take a lot of courage.

0:25:530:25:57

So, where are they now?

0:25:570:26:00

The Sanders are in Australia.

0:26:000:26:03

Becci and son Keelan made the move and are living

0:26:030:26:06

in rented accommodation in Varsity Lakes on the Gold Coast.

0:26:060:26:10

They loved their trial week in Darwin but it was Becci's job that led them here.

0:26:100:26:14

So has Australia lived up to their dream?

0:26:140:26:18

Hi. Come on in. Let me show you the house.

0:26:200:26:24

This is the living room, and, as you can see, it's a work in progress.

0:26:240:26:27

We haven't got much furniture yet, but it's only been a couple of months

0:26:270:26:31

and we're waiting for our boxes to come over from the UK,

0:26:310:26:34

so when they get here we'll have a lot more junk to spread around.

0:26:340:26:37

This is Stevie. He is three. We got him from the pound.

0:26:370:26:42

That's Ozzy. He's five months old.

0:26:420:26:46

We got the cat the day before we actually moved into the house and he's settled in very well.

0:26:460:26:51

So this is the kitchen. It's bigger than the kitchen in the UK.

0:26:530:26:57

Still not huge but it's big enough.

0:26:570:26:59

We've got the dining room over there.

0:26:590:27:01

Still waiting for some furniture for that.

0:27:010:27:04

So this is my room. It's a bit smaller than the one in the UK

0:27:040:27:08

but I'm still adding some furniture.

0:27:080:27:11

Got a nice TV, games consoles

0:27:110:27:13

and other things to make up for it not being as big.

0:27:130:27:17

It's definitely starting to feel like my room.

0:27:170:27:21

This is a spare room.

0:27:220:27:24

As you can see, there's nothing in here at the moment, no furniture,

0:27:240:27:27

but we are expecting our first guests in a couple of months and there will be at least a bed in here by then.

0:27:270:27:32

This room is slightly smaller than my room in the UK.

0:27:320:27:35

However, I've got a huge built-in wardrobe and I've got

0:27:350:27:38

a lovely little en-suite bathroom

0:27:380:27:40

with a shower and a sink and a toilet.

0:27:400:27:43

Never thought I'd have an en-suite in my life, so that's fantastic,

0:27:430:27:47

and not having to fight for the bathroom with Keelan in the mornings is brilliant. It's great.

0:27:470:27:52

Having only been in Australia for a few months, it already looks

0:27:520:27:55

as though they have started to make a home for themselves.

0:27:550:27:58

But what prompted them to finally take the plunge?

0:27:580:28:03

The move over here happened very, very quickly.

0:28:030:28:05

I was offered a job and within a couple of months we were here.

0:28:050:28:09

It was fairly straightforward for us because we were renting in the UK

0:28:090:28:12

so it was just a case of giving four weeks' notice, packing the boxes up and jumping on a plane.

0:28:120:28:17

The move happened very quickly but was it straightforward?

0:28:170:28:22

It's quite expensive to do.

0:28:220:28:25

Whatever you think you're going to need, triple it.

0:28:250:28:29

'We came out here just before Christmas, didn't bring any Christmas presents so had to buy them here.

0:28:290:28:34

'We were staying in a resort for the first four weeks and that was very expensive,

0:28:340:28:38

'buying Keelan's school uniform, his books and his stationery for school,

0:28:380:28:42

'which is a cost that I wasn't expecting to incur.

0:28:420:28:45

'Also Scouts, I've had to pay for him to join Scouts and a new uniform for that as well.

0:28:450:28:50

'So, yeah, the costs are mounting up.

0:28:500:28:52

'But, settling in, we were so ready to come that it's been quite easy.'

0:28:520:28:56

'There's no one best thing about Australia.

0:28:560:28:59

'There's a lot of things. The weather's obviously always great,'

0:28:590:29:03

the people are nice and friendly and...I don't know, there's no one thing that you can choose.

0:29:030:29:08

I think the only downside really is not having my old friends and family here.

0:29:080:29:15

I think the hardest things have been obviously missing friends and family,

0:29:150:29:22

the desire to share this experience with someone who's close to you is quite strong,

0:29:220:29:27

so, yeah, that has been difficult,

0:29:270:29:29

and coming home in the evenings and wanting to chat with Heather, for example, or Mum,

0:29:290:29:33

just say, "This is what we've done today and this is what we've seen and it's all fantastic and exciting."

0:29:330:29:39

So, yeah, that's been quite tough.

0:29:390:29:41

Becci and Keelan are clearly missing the closeness of friends and family

0:29:410:29:45

but are forging a new life for themselves.

0:29:450:29:47

There is no room for second thoughts.

0:29:470:29:50

I'm not planning on moving back to the UK.

0:29:510:29:54

Keelan seems sure they have made the right decision.

0:29:540:29:58

In the UK, Becci was working as a mental-health advocate

0:30:020:30:06

but wanted her job to be more fulfilling.

0:30:060:30:09

I want to make a difference to people's lives

0:30:090:30:12

and I would think everyone that does nursing and OT and social work would probably say the same thing.

0:30:120:30:17

I don't feel as if I'm able to put that into practice here

0:30:170:30:21

because of the restraints with funding and budgets and stuff.

0:30:210:30:24

And I just feel that there'll be more opportunities and I'll be able to

0:30:240:30:27

really make a difference to people's lives somewhere else.

0:30:270:30:30

In Queensland, she's gone back to her original training

0:30:300:30:34

and has a position as an occupational therapist.

0:30:340:30:38

I've got my own caseload so I case-manage the client group.

0:30:380:30:44

The team try to give me clients who would benefit from OT input.

0:30:460:30:51

I also work with some of my colleagues' clients as well, providing specific OT assessments.

0:30:510:30:57

It's quite different to the job I was doing in the UK but there is an overlap as well.

0:30:570:31:01

I interviewed for this job in January 2009 and somebody else actually got the job

0:31:010:31:08

and then towards the end of 2009 I actually got an e-mail saying that that person had left

0:31:080:31:14

and was I still interested?

0:31:140:31:15

To which I said yes, very much so, and it all sort of went from there really.

0:31:150:31:20

All that hard work that I put in in the UK has come to fruition and we're here.

0:31:200:31:25

Changing jobs is hard enough but moving to a new job

0:31:250:31:28

in a new country with no friends is a massive undertaking.

0:31:280:31:32

'The team are just fantastic. They've been so welcoming and friendly and helpful.

0:31:320:31:38

'We've been going out for meals, meeting up after work as well, so, yeah, the team are just brilliant.'

0:31:380:31:45

I'm still settling in. I mean, I've been in this job for a couple of months now

0:31:450:31:49

and I think it will probably take me a good year to settle in properly.

0:31:490:31:53

There are a lot of things that I still don't know and, speaking to colleagues who have come from

0:31:530:31:59

various parts of the world, there are still things they don't know as well.

0:31:590:32:03

'So I think that's an ongoing process and it's something that just comes with time.'

0:32:030:32:08

My future, I intend to stay within the team for quite some time

0:32:080:32:13

and learn as much as I possibly can,

0:32:130:32:16

and then, I don't know, maybe four or five years' time, move on somewhere else and learn some more stuff.

0:32:160:32:23

When Keelan visited an Aussie school during his trial week, he found it easy to make friends.

0:32:270:32:34

Everyone seems really friendly, whereas in England, if you met someone, they might

0:32:340:32:41

seem a little bit hostile at first and it would take a while for them to start being friendly to you.

0:32:410:32:48

Visiting a school for a day is entirely different to a permanent move.

0:32:480:32:52

For a positive future in Australia, it's vital Keelan fits in.

0:32:520:32:56

Keelan seems to be settling in brilliantly. I couldn't have asked for a better reaction.

0:32:560:33:00

He's made loads of friends at school.

0:33:000:33:02

He's making friends through Scouts as well. And, yeah, he's doing absolutely fantastic.

0:33:020:33:08

I get on with Keelan really well. We're really good friends.

0:33:080:33:11

The best thing about Keelan is probably his character.

0:33:110:33:13

He's just really funny.

0:33:130:33:15

It's been really easy to make friends here.

0:33:150:33:18

Everyone's helpful.

0:33:180:33:20

I don't know if it's because of my strange accent to them

0:33:200:33:23

or something like that but at school, mostly, I've made a lot of new friends.

0:33:230:33:28

Everyone wants to become friends with him. He's got so many at school.

0:33:280:33:32

Keelan will settle really well into Australian life

0:33:320:33:34

and he's just going to make friends so fast and I can already tell that he likes it here.

0:33:340:33:40

I'm really happy that we moved over here.

0:33:400:33:43

The only thing I miss from England is my friends and family.

0:33:430:33:47

For Becci, leaving her best friend Heather behind

0:33:470:33:50

was one of the hardest decisions she ever had to make.

0:33:500:33:53

There certainly isn't a day that goes by when we don't talk to each other in some way.

0:33:530:33:57

That is going to be the weirdest thing.

0:33:570:34:00

I don't think you realise how much you rely on someone until they're not around

0:34:000:34:04

so, yeah, I don't even want to think about it cos I'll get all upset.

0:34:040:34:07

It's early days, but already Becci is forming some close friendships.

0:34:070:34:12

People here are so friendly. They'll do anything to help you.

0:34:120:34:16

I met Becci through work.

0:34:160:34:18

We both work for Queensland Health and our supervisor introduced us to one another cos she thought

0:34:180:34:23

it might be nice that we both know each other, both coming from England

0:34:230:34:27

and both having to do the same registration process to get our OT registration in Australia.

0:34:270:34:31

'She's very friendly and she'll do anything for you,

0:34:310:34:34

'if you need, you know...even just an ear to have a bit of a whinge to, which we all do sometimes!

0:34:340:34:39

'I think Becci loves it here. I can't see her going back to the UK. She's settled in really well.'

0:34:390:34:44

She's making some friends and, yeah, she just loves the whole way of life here so I can't see her going home.

0:34:440:34:50

It's the people, the weather, the lifestyle.

0:34:500:34:53

I can't say one thing that's the best.

0:34:530:34:56

It's just the best decision I've ever made.

0:34:560:34:59

Back in the UK, Becci suffered from seasonal affective disorder.

0:35:030:35:08

During the winter months, I do very little.

0:35:080:35:11

I get up in the morning and sort Keelan out for school and I go to work and I come home and sleep.

0:35:110:35:19

Obviously has an effect on Keelan as well.

0:35:190:35:22

It affects me because even the slightest thing could make her really angry at me...

0:35:220:35:28

..which I don't like.

0:35:300:35:32

This was the main reason Becci wanted to emigrate, hoping that sunnier climes

0:35:320:35:37

would mean a radical improvement in her health and more opportunities to spend quality time with Keelan.

0:35:370:35:43

We are spending more time together, definitely, although I'm working more hours here than I was in the UK.

0:35:430:35:49

The weekends, you go out and do things, you don't just sit in the house because of the bad weather.

0:35:490:35:54

There's just a lot more things to do, out and about, and we're going off and doing them together.

0:35:540:35:59

We've been able to go out a lot more, go to the Currumbin rock pools

0:35:590:36:02

or to the beach, and do a lot more family activities.

0:36:020:36:07

Spending more time with her, it's great. You know, I feel,

0:36:070:36:11

I don't know...I can't explain it.

0:36:110:36:15

Keelan's doing fantastically. He seems really happy and relaxed. We're working as a team.

0:36:150:36:19

We've always worked as a team anyway but we're still very much

0:36:190:36:22

working as a team and I think it's strengthened our relationship.

0:36:220:36:26

So they're definitely spending more time together.

0:36:260:36:29

Does this mean the move to Australia has had the life-changing impact

0:36:290:36:33

Becci hoped for and that she's at last getting better?

0:36:330:36:37

The seasonal affective disorder, it was quite disabling actually in the UK and was getting worse each year,

0:36:370:36:43

was having a huge effect on Keelan, to the point where

0:36:430:36:46

he was having to care for me, almost, during the winter months.

0:36:460:36:50

Here it just doesn't seem to be an issue at all.

0:36:500:36:54

My mum's done really well.

0:36:540:36:56

She hasn't got stressed and she's found a job which is even better than the one in England.

0:36:560:37:02

She's found a house, which is great.

0:37:020:37:04

I really think that she's settling in well to this new life.

0:37:040:37:09

I feel that I've wasted some time, spending time in the UK when I could have been here.

0:37:090:37:13

I've had a couple of wobbly days here but I think that's to be expected.

0:37:130:37:17

When you move halfway round the world and leave friends and family behind

0:37:170:37:21

you're bound to have a couple of days like that.

0:37:210:37:23

She's definitely happy with the decision to move over here.

0:37:230:37:27

I think I'm like a different person.

0:37:270:37:29

I think I've got more life, more spirit,

0:37:290:37:32

more energy.

0:37:320:37:34

I think I'm easier to get along with for Keelan.

0:37:340:37:36

He doesn't have to do so much looking after me.

0:37:360:37:39

Erm...yeah.

0:37:390:37:42

The move to Australia has turned Becci's life around

0:37:420:37:45

and has had a massive positive effect on both her and Keelan

0:37:450:37:49

but how will they react seeing poignant messages from home?

0:37:490:37:53

Hi, Becci, Keelan.

0:37:550:37:57

Hi, Becci. Hi, Keelan.

0:37:570:37:58

Hey, Becs. Hey, Kee.

0:37:580:38:01

When I first met Becci at university, it was when I was having a really hard time when I was there

0:38:010:38:06

and the first thing she did was run up to me and gave me a big hug when I was having just the most awful day.

0:38:060:38:12

Whenever I needed a hug, whenever I needed somebody to be there,

0:38:120:38:15

she's always the one that comes round and always has been.

0:38:150:38:19

I miss Keelan a lot,

0:38:190:38:22

cos he used to tease me about being small, cos he's quite tall,

0:38:220:38:27

and cos I've got little feet he used to call me Little Feet.

0:38:270:38:30

When we spent time together, what we'd normally do is...

0:38:300:38:33

..we'd normally just sit and drink tea and put the world to rights, and...

0:38:350:38:41

Keelan would normally take the mickey out of me.

0:38:410:38:44

Everybody's picking on me now!

0:38:440:38:47

We knew for a long time that Becci's always wanted to go abroad to the sun because of her SAD,

0:38:470:38:55

because she really did get depressed in the winter and it was quite bad,

0:38:550:39:01

it was quite upsetting for her and for Kee,

0:39:010:39:04

and for us really, but we always knew that she wanted to go to the sun so it wasn't a shock really.

0:39:040:39:12

She's proved that with a... so much effort you can get there and be so happy.

0:39:120:39:19

I was really happy for her to go because I knew that's what she wanted to do

0:39:190:39:24

but, for me, I knew that I would be sort of missing her,

0:39:240:39:31

and that was quite hard,

0:39:310:39:34

and...but I just sort of thought to myself, "Well, it's what she wants,

0:39:340:39:40

"and I can't stand in the way for my feelings," so I just supported her as much as I possibly could.

0:39:400:39:48

I think going out there's definitely everything that she dreamed of.

0:39:480:39:52

I really don't think there's a single thing that she'd change,

0:39:520:39:56

apart from to attach a lead to us all and bring us all over there with her.

0:39:560:40:00

I think that's the only thing that would complete the picture for her.

0:40:000:40:03

She doesn't come for dinner any more. I find that quite hard

0:40:030:40:06

and I'm sort of looking round and thinking, "She'll be here..."

0:40:060:40:10

When I forget, I think, "She'll be here soon, I'll put the dinner on and they'll be arriving,"

0:40:100:40:15

but obviously she doesn't.

0:40:150:40:17

But I think that's the hard bit, because it was always a regular thing.

0:40:170:40:23

Most days when I'm at work I'll check to see what the local time is

0:40:230:40:27

and see if I can phone them or think about what they might be up to at that particular time of day.

0:40:270:40:32

Yeah, it's definitely hit home that they've gone.

0:40:340:40:37

Just want to let you know that I'm still thinking about you every day

0:40:370:40:40

and I'm so proud of you for making the move, and I know that you're really enjoying yourselves out there

0:40:400:40:45

and obviously we miss you and we love you, so big hug.

0:40:450:40:50

I've missed you both so much.

0:40:500:40:54

It's so hard when I want to be able to see you and you're not there.

0:40:540:40:59

Please, you two, just keep looking after each other.

0:40:590:41:02

Keep loving each other.

0:41:020:41:04

I'm so happy for you and I love you both very much.

0:41:040:41:08

I really, really miss you but I'm really glad everything's going really well for you.

0:41:100:41:16

I miss you really, really loads and loads and loads

0:41:160:41:19

and when I get out to you we're going to have a really big hug,

0:41:190:41:24

so have a lovely life and goodbye.

0:41:240:41:26

That last little bit, where Nana just like...

0:41:320:41:36

It's easier than the first one.

0:41:380:41:41

-Yeah, possibly.

-I don't get why.

-No.

0:41:410:41:44

Thought it would be harder because...

0:41:440:41:47

last time we knew we were going to see them again.

0:41:470:41:51

I think I maybe found it harder this time,

0:41:510:41:54

watching that.

0:41:540:41:57

Although Keelan took that well, for Becci, seeing her loved ones was very difficult.

0:41:570:42:02

Now they're in Australia, have they definitely made the right decision?

0:42:020:42:06

It's time for one last vote.

0:42:060:42:09

So this has been the best thing we've ever done, it's a huge adventure,

0:42:090:42:13

so based on that our vote is going to be...

0:42:130:42:16

-BOTH:

-Australia.

0:42:160:42:19

Although it's clearly been a heart-wrenching decision for Becci and Keelan

0:42:210:42:26

to pack up their lives and move halfway around the world, it looks as though it was the right choice

0:42:260:42:32

and the sun is now definitely shining for both of them.

0:42:320:42:36

Join us again, when we catch up with another family on Wanted Down Under Revisited.

0:42:360:42:43

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:42:590:43:01

In 2008 Becky Sanders and her son Keelan from Northampton were faced with a life-changing decision - whether to stay in the UK or to move thousands of miles to Australia to help with Becky's health issues. Two years on, have their dreams of a better life down under become reality?