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Time spent travelling on the other side of the world
when you're footloose and fancy free
can often leave you longing for more,
but when your bachelor days are behind you
and you've a wife that's happy at home,
is it a move you can realistically make?
In 2015, Greg and Jenni Wallen
spent a week in New Zealand to find out.
Today we'll discover where they are now.
Ever since backpacking in New Zealand,
Greg Wallen had been bent on making a permanent return.
I want to make a home in New Zealand more than anything in the world.
In 2015, his wife was willing to be convinced.
It's always been his dream,
it's been what he wants to do and he put all of that on hold for me.
I owe him to try.
However, when a trial week in the country didn't quite go to plan...
It's cold, the floor feels damp.
It's not the image that I had in my head of moving to New Zealand.
I'm worried, Jen, really, really worried.
One year on, is there a happy ending for both of them?
I'm not convinced that we are on the same page.
Lying nearly 1,000 miles from its neighbour Australia,
New Zealand's home to the southernmost capital in the world.
A third of the country is designated as national parks and reserves and
inhabitants are never more than 80 miles from the sea,
so it's easy to see why every year
7,000 adventure-loving Brits
choose to make the country home.
Greg Wallen was all set to return to the land he loved as a backpacker
when a dabble in online dating
bought his plans to an abrupt halt.
Fast forward to 2015,
and Greg still believed New Zealand was where he should be living,
but to make the move,
first he needed to convince wife Jenni it was a realistic option.
The Wallens' trial week began with more than 22 hours in the air,
flying to Auckland via Hong Kong.
It can be a tough journey for anyone,
but it's only made worse when, like Jenni, you're three months pregnant.
My morning sickness, which lasted...
was not great!
Three-year-old Evie struggled, too.
-You didn't sleep, did you, madam?
-Evie didn't sleep at all...
..from Hong Kong to here, but she was good, she was good.
The long trip's given Jenni plenty of time to think about the distance
she's put between family.
I had a few tears on the plane already!
I kept thinking about how often my mum would likely come over,
and it all just got a little bit overwhelming, didn't it?
And for Greg, touching down on Kiwi soil was moving, too.
I got a bit emotional when I landed, actually.
It was kind of like, almost like an "I'm home" feeling.
It's weird. It's good.
I feel completely comfortable, completely at ease here.
Whether New Zealand would become his home would depend on Greg persuading
Jenni over the next seven days.
Meet the Wallens.
They are Greg, Jenni and three-year-old Evie, from Sheffield.
In 2010, as a young carefree bachelor, Greg spent a year
backpacking in New Zealand, and the country captured his heart.
The thing I liked most about New Zealand was the people,
the culture of the country.
Everything was really, really clean.
Within about six weeks of being in New Zealand,
I felt completely at ease with life.
When his travel visa expired, Greg reluctantly returned to the UK,
but smitten with everything New Zealand had to offer,
he immediately began planning to move there for good.
I came back to the UK, had a job lined up here in Sheffield.
I had about a six months, tops, target in my head and then go back.
But fate intervened in his New Zealand plans
when he dipped his toe in the waters of online dating.
I wasn't looking for anything serious, wasn't looking for love,
wasn't looking for marriage, I was just looking for someone to spend
time with because I didn't really know anyone in Sheffield, really.
I'd gone on it, being a single parent, not having much opportunity
to meet anyone, and we talked online and met up for a date.
Greg and Jenni hit it off straight away,
but Greg was upfront from the start he was on his way back down under.
I don't think either of us really went into it thinking,
"This is going to be a long-term relationship."
Then as it got more serious and as I started to feel more for him
I started to get a bit more worried he was going to up and leave me.
I was like, "OK."
Within two weeks of meeting,
Greg was begging Jenni to join him for a new life in New Zealand.
As their relationship blossomed,
she was clear her heart lay in the UK.
I fell in love with Jen, and the more I was falling in love with Jen,
the more the dream was slipping away at the same time.
And then Jen was going, "Stay, don't go back. We can have a good life here."
And I was just obviously torn.
And then obviously I decided to stay with Jen.
Choosing love over the Kiwi lifestyle,
Greg settled into home life with his new-formed family.
The couple married in 2013,
but Greg's dream of a life in New Zealand hasn't disappeared.
I think at the point where Jen wasn't as keen as I was,
it was a blow, but it never really went away for me.
I want to make a home in New Zealand more than anything in the world.
While he fell in love with the country as a single man,
he believes it's the ideal place for his new family to settle.
When I lived in New Zealand I felt it was perfect for me.
I remember walking through towns, parks, beaches - kids everywhere,
and they were all incredibly happy, and I remember just thinking
to myself all the time, "This is a brilliant place to raise a family."
With Jenni expecting, the family will soon outgrow their current home.
And Greg believes it's the ideal opportunity
to kick-start his dream once again.
It's only two bedrooms.
If we have another child it would be very difficult.
The living space is just not big enough.
It's not big enough as it is, to be fair.
-We are already overflowing, aren't we?
Instead of using the money we have got to move to a bigger house,
we could potentially use that money to emigrate to New Zealand.
Knowing how passionate her husband is about making a home
on the other side of the world, Jenni's prepared to give it a shot.
If we can make it work, finance, job-wise, quality-of-life-wise,
now would be a good time.
But she's already losing sleep thinking about leaving her family behind.
I wake up in the middle of the night, or I'll be talking to one
of my family or friends who are saying, "Oh, we're going to miss you."
And I crumble and go, "Oh, I don't know if I can do this."
And taking Evie away from her parents is also causing concern.
It's one of the things that holds me back,
thinking that Evie is not going to have that relationship
with her grandparents that I really want her to have.
Leaving loved ones could be hard for Greg too.
He's only recently reconciled with his mum.
The hardest person for me to leave behind would probably be...
It's probably going to be my mum.
I didn't talk to my mum for a number of years,
and since meeting Jen we've kind of got our relationship back,
so I'm kind of nervous about chucking that away again.
That's tough for me.
For four years, Greg's been desperate
to make a permanent return to New Zealand.
Now he has a week to see if the country he fell for as a backpacker
is as good as he remembers,
and convince his wife to start again on the other side of the world.
To move to New Zealand is a risk, it's a massive risk, it's a gamble.
I'm not going to lie about it.
This will definitely prove to us whether I was kind of looking at it
from 12,000 miles away through rose-tinted spectacles.
For me and Greg, it's about whether or not we put our roots down
and really commit to our life here,
or whether we commit to a life in New Zealand.
So the rest of our life feels on hold until we've made that decision.
Greg, Jenni and Evie are spending their trial week in Auckland,
home to a third of all New Zealanders.
Their base for the week is situated in Milford,
on the city's north shore.
Will her first taste of Kiwi living work its charms on Jenni?
Wow. It looks lovely.
Upstairs, the open-plan kitchen
and living area make a good first impression.
Wow, that's amazing.
Look at the view from here, Jen.
As they settle in, Greg's overjoyed to have finally got Jenni to New Zealand.
It's took four years to get Jen to this point.
I can't believe it's all boiled down to this.
But she's anxious about the week ahead.
Deciding on the rest of my life at the end of this week
is quite a scary prospect.
Greg feels he's in prime position to convince her to make the move.
I think this is the best chance of persuading Jen to move out here
because, for me, walking upstairs here
and looking at this view of the city from, you know,
the most beautiful country in the world, it sold me.
I've just got to try and get Jen over the line.
But while Jenni accepts how much this all means to her husband...
It's always been his dream, it's been what he wants to do,
and he put all of that on hold for me, so I owe it to him to try.
She's in no mood to bow to pressure.
He's going to have to allow me time to think,
and not just keep saying to me, "Look at this, isn't this great?
"Look at this, isn't that great?"
He needs to not try and force his viewpoint on to me.
Greg's got an uphill struggle on his hands if he is to finally make his dream come true.
This is it. This is, like, you know, make or break for me.
The next week will decide where the family will spend the rest of their lives.
Back in the UK, the Wallens live in a two-bedroom house in Sheffield.
We do like living here, and we do like the area,
but it's just not big enough for our needs any more.
-We've outgrown it, haven't we?
Jenni's fond of an aspect of their current home
that Greg feels could help his cause.
I like the open-plan living, I like the fact we've got two toilets.
-You'd like New Zealand, then, that's very open-plan living.
-Yeah, that's good.
But there might be a difference of opinion in what a Kiwi home has to have.
At least three bedrooms, two bathrooms,
preferably one of those is en-suite.
-A wood burner. We can put the wood burner in!
-It's a must for me.
-You say it's not a deal-breaker, but it could be.
-We can put one in!
We can't change sizes of rooms!
The Wallens have £250,000 to spend on a Kiwi house.
Today we'll show them three properties -
two on budget and a third which could be their dream home.
Only after they've seen each one will they find out its value.
For the first viewing, the family drive about an hour south of Auckland to Waiuku.
Close to a park and the local primary school,
will this four-bedroom property be a good fit for the Wallens?
The house's kerb appeal gets the viewing off on the right foot.
What do you reckon, love?
That looks very nice.
And Evie quickly makes a friend.
-A cat, is that a winner for you now, then, Evie?
Everything is going swimmingly until they step into the first bedroom.
-I don't like it.
-What don't you like about it?
Right. It's cold, the floor feels damp,
I reckon the place has got rising damp, it needs a rewire.
And I don't know... I just don't like it, full stop.
Straight away, this house is falling
far short of what Greg had been hoping for.
Wow, that's... Oh-h-h!
And the next bedroom doesn't help.
I don't like the feel of it, Jen.
We've got to come 12,000 miles,
both our new jobs, with two children,
integrate into life and then we've got to sort the house out as well.
Do you know what I mean? I just think it's a bit of a tall order.
Oh, dear. It's not looking good.
So you don't want a renovation project?
-It's going to be too much for me, Jen.
Let's go to see what else this place has got to offer,
because I'm not really happy at the minute.
The next two bedrooms are downstairs.
Oh, this is nice!
This is lovely. I like this exposed brick.
-Do you prefer this bedroom to the ones upstairs?
It's an improvement, but Greg's expectations just aren't being met.
It's just it's not the image I had in my head of moving to New Zealand.
It's far from it.
I can't, I'm not going to raise my kids in a place like this. I just...
I'm shellshocked, to say the least, to be honest with you.
And disappointment quickly turns to despair.
I'm worried, Jen. Really, really worried.
This is... I've got...
I'm actually really scared this is not going to work.
Really scared it's not going to work.
I don't know. Where are we going, left?
Upstairs, the living room does show more promise.
Boy, this is much better.
Yeah. I didn't expect this! It's got the log burner.
That's one of your requirements, a log burner.
I don't think we're going to need a log burner.
-Was it a long burner you wanted?
-Yes, it was, dear.
-Was it? Oh.
Wasn't quite sure. You'd not said it enough.
And the kitchen comes up trumps.
-Nice big kitchen.
-Nice, isn't it?
Until electrical engineer Greg spots some dubious wiring.
Oh, my God!
Look at it. Look at that!
Back home, that would be uninsurable.
This house clearly isn't the one for the Wallens,
so just how close does it come to the family's £250,000 budget?
Right, the moment of truth.
How much do you think?
160? I'll go a bit higher, £170,000.
-Probably be on for about 200,000 in Sheffield.
-Come on, think positive.
Go on, do it.
That's £11,000 over budget.
It's like a bleeding lease, isn't it?
-Looking like we're not moving for the house!
-261 grand for this.
This has made me feel sick with worry about the rest of this week, to be honest.
I knew we were going to be in for an emotional few days.
The price of Auckland property is hitting home for Greg.
Will property two be more up his street?
Just a 20-minute drive to the east is Pukekohe,
a town offering a relaxed way of life,
yet within an hour's commute of Auckland's city centre.
Wow, look at this front garden.
From the outside, this three-bedroom home makes a much better impression.
I definitely like this area more.
It's got a much better view, much better feel about it.
Yeah, this is good.
Oh, this is a nice little hall, this feels more modern.
..Greg's mood continues to lift.
Oh, this is a nice bedroom, isn't it? Yeah, this is nice.
Positive first sign. Doesn't feel damp, doesn't feel cold.
Yeah, it's quite a good start.
And Evie's happy too.
-Really, really, really good!
Next door, bedroom two also pleases.
Oh, another bedroom. This is a nice-sized child's room, isn't it?
Yeah, it's good. I'm happy.
This house is winning Greg's approval,
but the floor plan could be a stumbling block for Jenni.
I'm glad there is a third bedroom,
but I'm not sure how I feel about it being off the dining room.
And she's no happier in the kitchen.
I'd redo it.
Outside, the garden doesn't impress either.
It's a bit pokey, isn't it?
So, basically, then, the garden for kids is at the front.
-It's not enough, is it?
This house has won praise and criticism in equal measure,
but could Greg and Jenni afford it with their budget of £250,000?
For us to flip that card over and keep the dream alive,
it's got to be under 200, I'm thinking 180-ish.
So, what do you think it's worth?
Based on the last property, I'm going to say about 250.
Go for it.
That's £1,000 over budget.
No, absolutely not.
Maybe I was looking at it with rose-tinted spectacles.
Maybe I was thinking the grass was definitely greener on the other side.
Now I'm kind of like, to be brutally honest, "Oh, my God, what have I done?"
The possibility his dream could be slipping away
proves too much for an emotional Greg.
So far the property hunt has brought doubt and disappointment,
but there is still one more property to view.
Also in Pukekohe, we found what could be Greg and Jenni's dream home.
Will it be the one to turn around their property fortunes,
and get Greg's dream back on track?
-This is much better, isn't it?
This much more like what I would like.
Inside, Greg's expectations are at last being met.
This is the image I had in my head. This is what I wanted you to see.
The spacious kitchen with its granite worktops
has both Greg and Jenni excited.
Oh, this is amazing, isn't it?
-This is such a nice finish.
-Nicely laid out.
-Nicely laid out.
And a second living room hits the spot.
-This is a lovely family lounge. This is huge.
I have noticed the one thing it doesn't have that you wanted.
-I'm willing to sack the log burner off.
That's a fair compromise, Greg!
This is the New Zealand house that I had in my head.
-It's revived the dream, hasn't it?
The first three bedrooms continue to impress.
-It's a nice...
-This is nice.
-I would say I'm sold on it.
Well, yeah, it's a lovely sized room.
Nice window looking out over the back garden.
It ticks every box and more.
-Look at this for Evie.
-This is perfect for Evie.
-She'd absolutely love it.
-The dream could be alive.
But Greg's beginning to worry if they could afford to call this house home.
I've got a feeling we're going to get absolutely smashed on price.
Money worries seem a distant memory, though,
as the master bedroom seals the deal.
Oh, this is perfect.
You can't tell me this does not beat hands down every house
-we looked at in Sheffield over the last two years.
-Yeah, it does.
It's a room that just keeps on giving.
-A walk-in wardrobe.
-A walk-in, not just a built-in! Oh, wow!
Oh, en-suite! Oh, this is nice.
I'm still speechless!
And outside, the garden's picture-perfect.
That view is stunning.
-Couldn't ask for more, really, could you?
This really could be Greg and Jenni's dream home.
Time to find out if it's within reach of their £250,000 budget.
This is my dream New Zealand house.
If we flip this card over now, it comes in 350, 400,000...
Basically, if it works out financially,
-and the lifestyle is good...
Even if, even if this costs us so much that we couldn't really afford,
at least in the short term, to be saving up to go home,
I like this house so much
that I'm thinking we'll deal with it for the time being.
Right. This is it, darling.
-I think someone should look at this card.
Oh, my God!
-That is cheap, really!
That's £81,000 over budget.
It's looking positive at that, isn't it?
If we can get a decent wage, that is all my dreams and more,
and anything I could have hoped for, come true.
That's how much it means to me.
Greg's delighted. if he can secure the job to pay for this property,
his dream really could be back on track.
It's been a day that taken Greg on a journey from desperation to hope.
Property one caused concern with potential damp issues
and outdated wiring.
Property two failed to impress, with the garden deemed far too small.
But property three raised the bar with wow factor living areas
and scenic views.
So when it comes to property, will the family vote home or away?
Based on all the properties we've seen today, our vote goes to...
Three, two, one.
Where do you want to go?
Why were you undecided?
That last house we saw was just ideal, and in England,
we would never be able to afford that, but if the finances
over here mean that we could afford that, then I would be New Zealand.
We'll find out tomorrow whether we can afford it or not.
And if we can, it'll flip straight to New Zealand, but at the moment,
I need to put my thinking, logical head on,
and my logical head at the moment says to stay in the UK.
Greg may have found the perfect pad,
but if the couple are to afford it, finding well-paid jobs will be vital.
Back in the UK, Greg's an electrical engineer
and runs his own business fitting and testing electrical safety equipment.
Absolutely love it.
Used to work for a company, which I enjoyed, but I thought I could
do better on my own, and business at the moment's really, really busy.
Currently booked out for the next sort of three months solid.
In New Zealand, he'd be keen to become an employee again,
hoping that would improve his work-life balance.
I hope kind of to work around the 40 to 50 hours a week
in New Zealand for a company.
Weekends and evenings off, ideally, so I can get some more time
with my family, which I currently don't have always.
Jenni, meanwhile, is a social worker dealing with child protection.
I love, in my job, the thought of helping people.
I'm helping children to make sure that they have the greatest start in life they can.
To sign off on a move, she'd need to be sure her career prospects weren't hindered.
The next step forward, if I was to remain in the UK, would be
looking at a management role,
and that's what I would be looking for maybe in New Zealand.
Hard on the heels of discovering how expensive property can be
in Auckland, today's job search comes with added pressure.
-Don't come back with less than 100,000.
While Evie's looked after by a childminder,
the couple set off to investigate their work prospects.
It's a big day for Greg's dream, and he is feeling the strain.
The paramount thing is money.
If we've got enough money to look at buying something like
house three that we saw yesterday,
I'm pretty sure we'd all vote yes at the end of the week.
Greg's meeting Dave Bird who runs an electrical company currently fitting out a new housing complex.
This here is a block of probably the first 15 apartments
that we've just started pre-wiring.
Straight away, he's keen to hear if his qualifications would be recognised in New Zealand.
When you come out here, you're going to have to
-submit all your qualifications to the Electrical Wiring Regulation Board.
Which they'll probably accept if you've done your City & Guilds, I assume you have.
Yeah. Is that transferable out here or...?
It is, but then you still have to sit your regulations exam.
But how likely would Greg be to find work?
I would say that a qualified electrician is normally never
-out of work, a good one is never out of work.
That sounds encouraging.
Meanwhile across town,
Jenni is visiting a charity which provides social work services.
She is met by practice leader Sinnett,
a South African who recently migrated from the UK.
How easy did you find it to find a social worker job?
It depends on what you want to do.
What I found is, you have much more choice here
around the kind of social worker you want to be.
In the UK, it's a lot of child-protection focus.
Here, it's a lot more focus on early intervention.
Sinnett tells Jenni settling into Kiwi life isn't difficult.
Yeah, it's been a good experience.
I think people in New Zealand are very welcoming.
My husband had some friends here and they were just very welcoming
and I've made some really great friends at work.
That should be reassuring.
Back at the building site, Greg is getting down to the nitty-gritty
and asks about Dave's employees' working week.
-Generally, it's a 40-hour week.
But because most of the guys work a nine to ten hour day,
you can easily knock in 50 hours a week.
The hours are what he hoped for but what about the bottom line,
Greg's potential earnings?
Between the 60s and you could easily go up to the 80 plus.
That's around £35,000, significantly more than the £25,000
-he currently earns at home.
That's a bit more like what I was hoping for.
Greg is delighted with what he has discovered today,
but he knows everything now rests on how Jenni fares.
We need her to be up around the 100,000 mark to make it work for us.
With the overtime here, we're nestled nicely for myself,
so if Jen gets what we think she's going to get
in a managerial position, I think we're on to a winner.
It's crunch time for Jenni as she meet senior manager Elizabeth Walker.
So you would come in at a senior practitioner level.
-Are you interested in the salary range?
It's quite a broad range.
It starts at 53 and moves up to around 63, the mid-60s.
-Is that New Zealand dollars?
Even at the top of the bracket,
Jenni would see her income fall from around £31,000 to £27,000.
How sought-after are social work roles?
It has become extremely competitive.
My last recruitment effort, we had one social work vacancy.
We had 72 applicants, so it wouldn't be easy,
but you could secure employment.
Jenni breaks the bad news when she catches up with Greg later on.
I wouldn't be earning as much as we thought, basically,
so that was the kick in the teeth.
If you came...
Greg shares what he learned.
I'd be looking at about 60, 65,000.
If I did overtime, I'd be looking at around 80,000.
So actually, in one respect, it's not as good news for me
but it's much better news for you in terms of finances?
So, after a day of mixed fortunes, how will the couple vote
when it comes to work in New Zealand versus the UK?
So, based on the jobs we've seen today, our vote is...
-New Zealand. Why did you do that?
Well, I know why you've done it,
because it was really good news for you.
Your news actually makes me think, maybe I can be the one
who works part-time and you can be the one to work full-time.
I'd have to do a few more hours than I was hoping to
but we've always done what we have to do to make it work.
After a shaky start to the week,
a vote for New Zealand from Jenni, despite a drop in salary,
meant Greg's dream could have been back on track.
New Zealand's famed for its family-friendly lifestyle
so would a day sampling some Auckland activities
land another vote in his favour?
The family kick off the day with a visit to a French market
in Parnell, just east of the city centre.
It has been voted one of Auckland's best food markets
and they're soon tucking in.
Mozzarella? That's nice.
It's the kind of family day out
Greg's hoping will be a regular occurrence.
Today is going absolutely swimmingly.
Seeing Evie here in New Zealand
and how she's been the last couple of days, wow!
It's just... It's tears of happiness, not sadness,
but seeing your children happy makes me happy.
The market is a place Jenni can imagine making a regular haunt.
Come here, have breakfast, get some fresh produce,
some wine and champagne to go in our hot tub
that we're going to have out the back of our house.
Why am I trying to convince you?
Are you beginning to change your mind a little bit?
This is good, it's progress.
I got my pain au chocolat!
Next, a trip to Auckland Zoo...
# We're going to the zoo, zoo, zoo, how about you, you, you? #
where Evie soon displays her wildlife knowledge.
Oh, dear me.
Thinking of Evie's future, Jenni's view
on moving to New Zealand could be softening.
Evie is loving New Zealand and I think I am starting
to feel very much that this would be ideal
for her and for our other child.
And Greg's beginning to feel confident his wife's coming around.
As the week's gone on, she's become more and more
and more sort of towards New Zealand.
I reckon the dream's still alive.
I kind of feel it's job almost done, but not quite there.
I've still got a little bit of apprehension.
Leaving loved ones, though, could still be an issue for both Jenni and Greg.
Mum's kind of been really, really supportive about the whole thing.
She keeps saying, you know,
"We're only a day away, worst-case scenario." Wow...
Um, you know, I need to do what's best for my family
and ultimately, that's what I need to do.
It's very easy to get caught up in the whole lifestyle and,
"Wouldn't this be great, wouldn't this be brilliant for us
"and for Evie," and, um...
But I've not yet really started to think about the impact
of leaving family and friends.
Thoughts of friends and family aside, it has been a fun day out.
So has the lifestyle in New Zealand proved a winner for Greg and Jenni?
Cast your vote!
I voted New Zealand cos look at the day we've had.
It's been relaxing and peaceful.
We've not been constantly worrying about the weather,
even though we're in autumn, nearly winter over here.
-And it's not been too costly.
-It's a good feeling
but I was kind of 99.99% sure we were all going to...
-Enjoy the lifestyle.
-We can't fault this, can we?
-Can't fault it.
With two votes from Jenni for New Zealand, Greg's dream could be
within his reach.
But if it's to stand any chance of becoming a reality,
it's vital the finances stack up.
The couple feel their house in the UK is worth around £110,000.
To find out if they're right, we've sent round two estate agents.
Nice open plan living space. Neutrally decorated.
And nice windows that overlook the garden.
So, the kitchen looks well looked after
and also nice and modern as well.
So, it's a nice low-maintenance garden
with the access out to rear parking.
Good-size bathroom and again, another contemporary look.
I've fixed the bath now!
And this is a great-size second bedroom.
-That's your bedroom, isn't it?
-Another good-size double bedroom.
-That's yours and Daddy's!
And a cat. Hello!
In today's market,
I would value this property at a guide price of 110-120,000.
For a quick sale, I'd value the property at 105,000.
In today's market, I would value this house at around about 110,000.
If the owners wanted a quick sale,
then I would suggest a price between 100 and 105.
-That's exactly what I kind of anticipated.
-I'm not shocked at all.
-I'm quite happy with that.
I'm quite happy with that as well.
With their valuations on target, the couple to move on to examine
how their finances would fare in New Zealand.
Do you want to do the honours, or shall I?
We've provided a comparison of costs, starting with the weekly food shop.
-We knew that was dear the other day.
-I nearly fell over in the supermarket.
She's not going to be having them any more.
Which means it's £57.27 dearer.
£250 more per month would double what the family currently spend on food.
But Greg's not daunted.
It's more, but it's not terrible, is it?
Well, we need to put it into context with wages.
So, what about the bigger bills?
Greg and Jenni based their sums on the dream house they saw.
That's just jumped straight out at me,
the cost of the mortgage, compared to at home.
-That's a biggie.
-Phone/internet, £20 at home...
£40 here, so that's minus 20.
-What's the difference? £1,796.
In total, the couple discover they'd be spending
around £1,800 per month more in New Zealand.
It's going to go down to wage, because if that was our UK wage,
we couldn't afford to live here, could we?
-We've not got £1,796 a month spare.
The figures don't look good,
and taking their potential wages into account only improves them slightly.
-So we're £654...
The couple would be almost £8,000 a year worse off if they made the move.
But whilst Jenni isn't impressed, Greg's not giving up.
I don't think that's bad.
-That's on what we call our dream home mortgage.
we would have to go for a house which was like property one or two.
Yeah, but it wouldn't be forever, would it?
Making sacrifices on a home in the short term would undoubtedly help.
But as the couple take their vote on finances in New Zealand versus
the UK, is the compromise one they'd both be happy to make?
Based on today's reality check, our vote goes to...
-Are you a bit gutted about that?
We probably could still make it work financially,
but I think it would be more of a struggle.
I'm not going to lie, after seeing that, I am questioning myself.
That's massive for me.
While New Zealand's lifestyle has been everything Greg remembered,
achieving the life he dreams of would require significant compromises.
But it's perhaps the emotional cost of emigrating
which could prove the biggest barrier to a move.
As Evie is looked after by a childminder,
the couple sit down to watch messages from home.
Hi, Jenni, hi, Greg.
I hope you're having a wonderful time in New Zealand.
-Hi, Jenni, Greg.
-Hello, Auntie Jenni and Uncle Greg.
Hiya, guys. I hope you've had a good week.
On the whole, they seem to be a match made in heaven.
Hilarious is the word to me that sums Jenni up.
She's got a lot of friends, she's sociable, she's popular.
Independent, principled, loyal.
He is very much a family man.
Family is really important.
Evie's a really bubbly little girl.
Um... She's really good friends with my daughter.
-And they work together well.
-Evie is my granddaughter.
I do spoil her.
But if they go, I'll miss her.
If they left, I think it would leave
a big hole in everybody's life, not just in mine.
Obviously, yeah, it would be a massive wrench,
because you've got my mum and dad, then you've got me and Jenni.
The family, essentially, would be halved,
because my sister's gone, so it would just be me and my kids.
You make a decision based on
what you think is best for you and your family.
We'll always love you and we will always be here for you.
We'll all really miss you
and we'll miss the times that we spend together,
we'll miss seeing Evie grow up
and we know that all your other friends will feel the same.
But you've got to do what's right for you.
I hope that you make the right decisions that suit you
and don't worry too much about us here,
because we'll be on the next plane if there's anything wrong.
You know that I love you, you know that I support you.
I'll come visit!
But please, make the decision which is right for you.
It's really making me question whether I've got the guts to, er,
to go through with it.
We have to make what decision we think's best for our family,
and that means that we are going to have to be very selfish
when we make that decision and not think about others,
because I think if we thought about others,
the answer would very clearly be, no, we're not going.
Greg's long-held dream is hanging in the balance,
as the couple face the biggest decision of their lives.
Touching down again in New Zealand, Greg was hoping the country
would live up to his bachelor-day memories, and it hasn't let him down.
I knew it was going to be good, but I think it's far better,
from a lifestyle and living perspective.
It's infinitely better,
in my opinion, than what we would have back in the UK.
And despite her initial reluctance,
a taste of what New Zealand could offer has also appealed to Jenni.
The experience I've had this week that has won me over the most is...
is the lifestyle.
But the couple's week has also shown the reality of life
in New Zealand wasn't everything Greg had envisaged.
I'm not going to lie, I thought we would fare a lot better than we did.
Then you get here on the first day and obviously, hence why
I got a bit upset, you're looking at your first house and thinking...
it's going to come in over your budget,
and it's not at all what you want or would expect from our house.
He is having to come to terms with the fact that things
aren't as picture-perfect as he initially thought out here.
And he's struggling to come to terms with leaving family behind.
The most emotional part of the week, for me, was seeing my family.
I know that...
I know that I need to make the decision for my family.
But, you know...
..I kind of care about everyone else as well.
With their final vote inching closer,
the couple are wrestling with conflicting emotions.
It has been difficult, because I'm arguing with myself,
I can feel an internal conflict of arguing with myself over it.
I'm playing with the rest of my family's life, you know,
I'm not going to dance around it, it's...
..harder than the decision I took to ask Jen to marry me.
It's harder than the decision I took to take on Evie as my own child.
It's time to decide where the family's future lies.
Will Jenni greenlight Greg's dream?
And will he decide breaking bonds at home is a price worth paying
to achieve the lifestyle he wants?
We've had a fabulous week here in New Zealand and our vote goes to...
What made you do that?
There's some negatives, but there's also a lot of positives.
I think that we've got to give it a try,
because I think otherwise, we'll always be wondering, what if?
So, I think we need to come and give it a try.
This is all my birthdays, all my Christmases,
everything I've wanted, since I came back.
The week had given Greg the result he was hoping for,
and with Jenni signed up to the move,
it looked like he could be on his way back to New Zealand soon.
We visited them one year later,
to find out where in the world they are now.
It's September, 2016,
and the Wallen family are living in...
Sheffield in the UK,
and after Jenni's terrible sickness en route to New Zealand
for the trial week, the latest addition to their family has happily arrived.
Ethan was born on the 15th of September, 2015.
It was a very quick birth.
Which I was very pleased about!
Fortunately, for everyone,
the baby slotted into family life pretty swiftly, too.
He's such an easy-going child, he's so happy.
He's an absolute joy.
What would you like, baby? Do you want chocolate spread on bread?
Big sister Evie couldn't agree more.
I love my baby brother, cos he's cuddly,
and very funny.
He really has completed our family, hasn't he?
Yeah, yeah. He was definitely the missing...missing piece.
With the new addition, it's been a busy few months.
In a lot of respects, life's gone on as normal.
But in other respects, it's completely changed.
Obviously, the birth of Ethan's kind of...
You know, that's a massive change for anyone.
Be my baby.
What are you going to do your baby for breakfast?
Now I'm going to feed you some food while I change your nappy.
But the subject of emigrating
to New Zealand has been an ongoing conversation.
And the pair can still vividly recall their trial week down under.
Definitely lived up to my expectations, in the fact of
how clean it was, how nice the people were, and...
You know, what a genuinely great place it was to live.
Despite its ups and downs,
the week had opened Jenni's eyes to the possibilities of a move.
It really did help me to
envisage whether we could actually live out there,
and have a good life.
Her vote for New Zealand, in the end,
felt like a dream come true for Greg.
All my Christmases come at once, all my birthdays come at once.
I was like, "Right, we've cracked it."
After a brief stay with some friends,
Greg and Jenni left New Zealand convinced
it was only a matter of time before they returned to make it their home.
We got back, told all our friends we all voted yes,
we're going to do it, we're going to start getting plans in place.
The couple agreed they would stay in the UK
until after the baby was born,
which turned out to be the right move,
as Jenni's pregnancy wasn't all plain sailing.
I started to feel increasingly unwell.
She had the most terrible morning sick...
Well, I say morning sickness,
it was just all-day-all-night sickness,
she really, really struggled.
You slept a little bit?
-Great. What time?
-About 20 minutes.
'Fortunately, friends and family rallied round.'
With childcare, coming to see me,
keeping things stable and secure for Evie.
Greg was grateful for the support,
and the experience left him contemplating
the reality of leaving loved ones
if they moved to the other side of the world.
He whole thing was made massively easier
with the support that we had from friends and family at that point.
You're going to mess up the carpet.
'And without having that,
'we would have struggled a lot more.'
As the weeks went by,
Greg also began to have more practical doubts
about the cost of making his dream move.
When you started working out the finances of moving
and the money you'd be earning out there,
it just wasn't really a viable option.
We started talking about pushing it back further and further,
until finally Greg kind of admitted
that actually he wasn't so committed
to the idea of going any more.
After all his efforts to get Jenni on board,
Greg had lost faith in his own dream.
My heart was saying this is a perfect place to raise my family,
and then my head's kind of pulling me in the other direction, saying,
well, is it really going to work?
No, you need at least one of you
to be really positive and focused and want to do it.
But if you're both sat there, saying, "Oh, I'm not sure,"
then it's probably not the best decision.
Letting go of the dream wasn't easy.
It was quite a heart-wrench.
It was tough, it was actually really tough to sort of...
Sort of digest that.
From a quality-of-life perspective,
New Zealand would be infinitely better than we have here in the UK.
However, unfortunately, as with life, you need money to back this.
Despite their plans not working out as hoped,
it's fair to say the Wallens' time down under
has inspired Greg and Jenni to make some really positive changes
to their lives in the UK.
The trial week has really, really helped us
to adjust and to start focusing
on what's important in life.
Greg has started to realise
that he doesn't need to work all the hours,
that it is just as important to have family time.
What colour would you like to be, Daddy?
-I go first.
It's made me think the grass isn't always greener on the other side.
There's things here that I think, as a family,
we can adapt to make things better here
to what I thought it would have been like in New Zealand.
-That's rubbish again.
I'm back on it.
-One, two, three.
-Oh, Daddy got a ladder.
I'm not playing!
Since spending more time together in New Zealand,
and then since we've got back,
we've started to set up a few routines for ourselves.
So, we'll have Evie and Greg will go out for an afternoon once a month,
myself and Evie will go out for an afternoon once a month,
and then once a month we'll all go out together as a family.
I feel better in myself as a father, as a husband, than I did before,
and I think that was also maybe
another missing piece to the family puzzle.
Having moved from Devon to be with Jenni,
Greg had found himself often feeling lonely and isolated in Sheffield.
But taking up a new hobby
has proven a positive step in the right direction.
I've taken up boxing now,
so that plays quite a large role in my life and I really enjoy it.
All the guys at the gym that I've met have been so welcoming
and I've made some really good friends.
Keep it nice and long.
Greg's feeling a lot more settled.
He's really started to forge some links and relationships here.
He looked almost gaunt, like his cheeks were, like, dead.
-Yeah, you could see it, couldn't you? Now...
-Looks natural, yeah.
I kind of feel more cemented here in the UK.
Having my outlet in boxing,
I have my life as me
as well as my life as a husband,
my life as a business owner and my life as a father.
You're a scaredy cat. Alfie!
And there are some more changes on the horizon.
Now a family of four,
life's proving a bit of a squeeze in their two-bedroom home.
When it was just me, Jen and Evie,
it was kind of just-about-doable,
but kind of my work, office space, is now kind of in our bedroom,
so it's all a little bit cramped and I get annoyed at Jen
cos she chucks clothes on my desk when I'm trying to work
and stuff like that.
So it's a bit tight, so we decided we need to move.
We are now just about in a position
in the next few months or so
to be moving, buying a house together,
our family home.
As far as the right house in the UK goes,
Jen would be able to list a million and one things
in what she wants from a house.
More space, more rooms,
children can have a room that we can shut the door on them,
adults can have a lovely lounge
which isn't constantly full of toys.
I don't really get a lot of choice in the matter, to be honest,
I'll just be the one that's probably paying for it.
But I'm sure it's going to be a hell of a lot easier
to make that move as a family in the UK
than it is, to a certain extent, go it alone in New Zealand.
So, I think, once again, 100% right decision.
Deciding to stay in the UK
has been welcome news for loved ones.
We're very happy to see them stay.
I mean, we've got a beautiful new grandson
who we're just getting to know.
Say, "Hi, Grandad." Hi, Grandad.
I welcome it, and it gives us extra time with the two children.
'They are very happy,
and they will say, "Oh, well, you know, we're really glad.'
You know, "We wouldn't have wanted you to go -
"we would have supported it, but we wouldn't wanted you to have."
And now they just ignore it like it's never actually happened.
However, the door's not completely shut on the down under dream.
Having had a taste of what New Zealand can offer,
Jenni's keen to keep the option open for the future.
In my head, it is only a postponement.
If I think about us never going to New Zealand...
I do get quite sad.
Jenni's hoping they might revisit the idea in five years' time,
but with their full and busy life in the UK,
Greg's more than happy to stay settled in Sheffield
for the foreseeable future.
Going to get her shoes.
I get the occasional moment where I think,
"Oh, have I made the right decision, have I not?"
And then I quite often sort of set my mind back
to when we did the reality check out there in New Zealand
and we had the prices of everything, what it would cost to eat,
what it would cost to live,
and my mind sort of skipped straight back to that
and I think, yeah, I have made the right decision.
I'm not convinced that we are on the same page.
I do feel we might regret the decision in the future
if we don't even give it a try.
I think New Zealand would have been a good place,
but I don't think the UK's a bad thing for us either.
I'm happy with where we are,
and I'm happy with where we're at as a family.
It's been an eventful year for the Wallens,
but it looks like it could be a while longer
before Greg and Jenni are in total agreement.
Wherever their final destination may be,
we wish the whole family a very happy future.