Guest Family Wanted Down Under


Guest Family

Families consider relocating down under. During a trial week in Perth, can nurse Melissa persuade her husband Chris to leave the home town he loves?


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Transcript


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Raising your first child can be tough at the best of times,

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but it's even harder when you and your partner are like passing ships

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in the night. So how far would you go to get the time together you dream of?

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For one family it could mean moving to the other side of the world.

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Working hours are playing havoc with the Guests' family life.

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I thought I'd get married and have a child and we'd spend time together,

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but we don't do that.

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She's thinking, "Where's Mummy?

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"Where was she this weekend?"

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Melissa believes the solution lies in Australia.

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I think it would be a much better quality of life.

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But Chris isn't convinced.

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I've never lived outside of Sutton Coldfield.

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I've never wanted to.

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So when a trial week down under revealed some ups...

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Wow. This is amazing.

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..and downs...

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You start to think, "Is it all worth it?"

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..will the family sign up for a life in the sun?

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This is the hardest decision you can ever make.

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Straddling the Pacific and Indian oceans,

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Australia is the smallest continent on earth and home to just over 24 million people.

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With more than 10,000 beaches,

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a sunny climate and a great outdoor lifestyle,

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it's no surprise that every year around 30,000 Brits hope to make it their home.

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Melissa Guest is desperate for more time with husband Chris and young

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daughter Quinn. And although she's never been,

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she believes moving to Australia could be the answer.

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But will the country live up to Melissa's high expectations,

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and can she persuade Chris to leave his comfortable life in the UK?

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Ahead is a week that will enable them to decide where to call home once

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and for all.

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The journey has taken the Guest family 9,000 miles from home,

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and after 18 hours in the air,

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emotions are mixed when they finally touch down in Perth.

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We're lucky with Quinn.

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She didn't play up or anything, and she slept for a bit of it.

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It just seemed like a really long time we were on the plane for.

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Feeling really excited.

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It was quite an exhausting journey,

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but it was worth it and I'm really excited just to see Australia now.

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Despite the distance, Chris's thoughts are still close to home.

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Just the time that it's taken to actually get here,

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it does really sort of instil how far it is,

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how far away the rest of the family are.

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And now she's finally here,

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Melissa's feeling the pressure to deliver the dream.

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This is definitely my one and only chance to prove to Chris that this

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is the right move. You know, if you can't prove it when you're here showing him,

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then I don't think I'd ever prove it.

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This could change our lives from this week onwards,

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so Mel has got to convince me that it is as good as she thinks it's going to be.

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It looks like Melissa will have her work cut out in the week ahead

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if she is to persuade Chris their family's future lies down under.

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The Guest family is from Sutton Coldfield in the West Midlands.

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They're dad Chris, mum Melissa and one-year-old Quinn.

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Since meeting five years ago,

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the couple have perfected the secret to a good marriage.

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I like to keep Mel happy.

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I do try my best to keep her happy all the time.

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Chris is always lovely to me and he always goes along with whatever I

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want just to make me happy.

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You know, Chris always says yes to me.

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But since becoming parents to Quinn,

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keeping the family home joyful is proving more difficult.

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A nurse, Melissa often works 12-hour shifts at night and weekends,

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while Chris works long days as a car salesman,

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leaving little room for quality time together.

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We end up just being ships that pass in the night, taking turns to take care of Quinn.

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It's not how I pictured family life would be, you know.

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I thought I would get married, we'd have a nice house,

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we'd have a child and we'd spend time together.

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We don't do that currently.

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Time apart from Quinn is particularly upsetting for Melissa.

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If I'm doing long days or something at the weekend, you know,

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I do miss her all weekend.

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And I think she's thinking, you know, "Where's Mummy?

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"Where was she this weekend?"

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Desperate for more family time with her husband and daughter,

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Melissa's now on a mission to resurrect a long-held dream of moving to the

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other side of the world.

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Ever since my friend moved to Australia when we were 16,

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it has been a dream of mine, of something that I'd love to do.

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'However it was always on the back burner, really,

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'but since having Quinn it's definitely something that, you know,

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'I feel like I need to explore more,'

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because I think it'd be a much better quality of life for her than she can

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have here in the UK.

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But while Chris agrees with Melissa's reasons for going,

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moving 9,000 miles from home has never been on his wish list.

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I've never really lived outside of Sutton Coldfield.

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I've never wanted to.

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I did once ask him, "If you could be born again and live anywhere in the world, where would you live?"

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And he still said Sutton Coldfield.

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Needless to say, the prospect of moving to the other side of the world is

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giving cause for concern.

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Mel assures me life in Australia is better.

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And Mel hasn't been, and I haven't been,

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so I'm not exactly sure where Mel's getting that information from.

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Melissa spent hours researching Australia online, though,

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and her findings have left her convinced the country holds the key to a

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happier future.

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I just expect it to be more of a laid-back lifestyle. Hopefully my shift patterns will be different.

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'I do believe that nurses can earn a bit more money,

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'so hopefully I may not have to work as much as I do now over there.'

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And she never misses a chance to share her vision with Chris.

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I've come home slightly late from work,

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and Mel's literally going out the door the moment I get home.

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You know, she might say, "It wouldn't be like this in Australia.

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"We'd have more time together,

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"We'd be going outside to the pool or something now."

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My dream of Australia will be, you know,

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in a lovely open-plan house.

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'Just enjoy time together, even just in the garden with Quinn playing,

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'just because the weather will allow it.'

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And hopefully having more time to be able to do that.

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What's this, then?

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But Chris won't contemplate taking the plunge if he can't put his

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practical concerns to bed.

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It's got to work financially. There's no point moving all that way to be worse off.

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And it's not just money worries holding him back.

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'I've got a big family and they're all around me,

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'they all live in Sutton Coldfield.

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'We all get on well, we have lots of banter between us,

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'and we do get together whenever we can.'

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So it would have to be a really good reason to choose to leave that.

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Melissa understands it's a huge ask and,

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much as she wants to pursue the dream,

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admits leaving loved ones in the UK would be heartbreaking for everyone.

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I'm so close to my mum and to my nan, but also,

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from another point of view, you know, it's taking Quinn away from them,

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'because they love seeing her.'

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She's their granddaughter.

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Ultimately, though,

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she's prepared to pay the price and confident the country will live up

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to her expectations.

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She's hoping a trial week down under will be enough to convince Chris to

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say yes to a move.

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If after this week, you know,

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I can't persuade Chris, and it hasn't convinced him that Australia is a

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good risk to take for our family, then the dream will be over for me.

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We need to make a decision this week,

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based on what we see and experience,

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as to whether this is the right choice for us.

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-This week really determines where our future's going to be.

-Yeah.

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The Guests are spending their trial week in Perth,

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capital of Western Australia.

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With picture perfect beaches and expansive parklands,

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the city enjoys an average of eight hours of sunshine every day.

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Their base is the coastal suburb of Jindalee,

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25 miles north of Perth city centre and just a few minutes' walk from the beachfront.

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Will their first taste of Australian living meet Melissa's expectations?

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I think the house looks brilliant.

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It's exactly what we want.

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It's perfect. Yeah, can't wait to look inside.

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Happily, indoors looks good too.

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-Wow.

-That is nice, isn't it?

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Yeah. Nice big living area.

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-Yeah, it's big, isn't it?

-Yeah.

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This is the perfect house, really.

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So far.

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THEY LAUGH

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Chris isn't getting carried away,

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but the garden's just what Melissa dreams of.

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-Wow, this is brilliant, isn't it?

-This is nice.

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This is perfect, isn't it?

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This is the exact sort of thing I was hoping for.

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It's a great start, but as the couple relax over a cuppa,

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Chris isn't making any promises just yet.

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Since the moment we've got here, it is exactly how I imagined it.

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You've done a bit of convincing today, so...

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-Good.

-We'll see, we'll see.

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Still a week to go.

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Back in the UK,

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the Guest family live in a three-bedroom semidetached house in Sutton Coldfield near Birmingham.

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Our house here in the UK is sort of an old sort of cottage style house

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-which we love.

-We've spent a lot of money on it and a lot of work doing it up,

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haven't we? I've tiled the bathroom, I fitted the floors.

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If they decide to move, their budget for a home down under is £250,000.

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So what kind of house are they after?

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My kitchen here in the UK,

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I absolutely love.

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However in Australia, I'd like it sort of open-plan, onto the living room,

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so, you know, Quinn can play and I can see her playing when I'm working

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in the kitchen.

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I'd love one of them huge fridges that we can fill with all

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the barbecue food and, you know, it has the ice thing on for the lovely

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weather outside.

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Anything else to add to the wish list?

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Hopefully I can look out onto my pool, and the sun would be nice.

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Basically the opposite to our house in the UK.

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We want open-plan, modern,

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as new as possible.

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With a pool.

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Melissa really does want that pool.

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And Chris won't settle on anything less than a show stopper.

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We've got to have that...almost that wow factor.

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You know, when people come to visit, we want them to see our house

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and think, "Wow, this is why they've done it."

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To find out what kind of house they could have in Australia,

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we'll show the family three properties.

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Two on budget,

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and a third which could be their dream home.

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Only after they've seen each one will they discover its value.

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The search begins in the suburb of Butler,

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half an hour outside central Perth, and popular with young families.

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But will this four-bedroom home hit the spot?

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It looks really promising from the outside, doesn't it?

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-You know.

-I'm quite excited to get inside, now.

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I like the look of it.

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While Quinn stays with a childminder,

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the couple head in for a better look.

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-OK, this seems small.

-It's smaller than what we've got at home.

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-Yeah, I think I was expecting it to be bigger, and...

-Yeah.

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..for a front living room, compared to what we're used to at home.

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Oh, dear. It's not the best start.

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Hopefully the master bedroom will impress.

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I feel like we're on the front lawn.

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Yeah, we are very close to the road, really, aren't we?

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-Being on the front here.

-Oh, there's your wardrobe.

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But there's one important feature missing for Melissa.

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I don't like the way it hasn't got a door on it, though.

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-I like to be able to shut off the mess.

-Yeah.

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Things don't improve elsewhere.

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Kitchen is small.

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Compact, yeah, definitely.

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Feels like a caravan.

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-I think this definitely doesn't have the wow factor, Mel.

-No.

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I don't think anybody walking in here would think...

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-..it's worth moving across to the other side of the world for.

-No.

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I really love our kitchen at home,

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-and this just doesn't compare to it at all, does it?

-No.

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It's not the house of Melissa's dreams,

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and it looks like the garden could be another let-down.

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There is no pool, which is obviously,

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like, a major thing for us.

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-But there is...

-Yeah, I think I felt a bit disappointed

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when I sort of walked out. Like, it's big, but...

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Melissa's trying to stay positive, though.

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There is room for a pool,

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depending on the price of the house, obviously.

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Despite having the required four bedrooms,

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this house is falling short of the couple's expectations.

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Overall, I think the house isn't for us at all.

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No, it's not for us.

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But will it be within their £250,000 budget?

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Yeah, we do need it to be, but I don't know if it's going to be.

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I want to say it's 200 grand,

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but I think it's going to be more than that.

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Yeah, I think it's going to be more...more up to the 250 mark.

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Time to find out.

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-OK, shall we have a look?

-Yep.

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That's £7,000 under budget,

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but more than they were hoping.

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It's disappointing,

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cos it means we might not be able to afford what we actually want.

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If everything we saw was that price and we got this for it,

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I wouldn't want to move.

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Even I wouldn't move for it.

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With both Chris and Melissa disappointed by the first house,

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it's important that property two impresses

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if Melissa's dream is to get back on track.

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The next property lies in Quinns Rocks,

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the closest coastal suburb to Perth.

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Just a few minutes' drive to the beach,

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and with a children's park opposite for Quinn,

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will this home rebuild Melissa's vision?

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Not sure if I like it.

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-Are you not?

-No.

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Oh. Not a great start for Chris.

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But Melissa's feeling more positive.

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I quite like it. I like the view that it looks onto, the park.

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Yeah, I like the view, I agree with you on that.

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But it's not long before Chris' doubts make Melissa reconsider.

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I'm not sure if I like the light brick.

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Yeah, maybe, I'm not sure about the brick either,

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-now you've mentioned it.

-Doesn't look modern to me.

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And once inside, Chris' opinion cools even further.

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OK, this is a bit weird, isn't it?

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Coming into a room?

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I don't feel like it's a warm entrance.

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It feels like you walk in, and you walked into an office.

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In the master bedroom, Melissa tries to find a positive.

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Feels small, but I think they've got quite a big bed.

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It's not wowing me.

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But her enthusiasm quickly wanes.

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You know, you couldn't, like, have a dressing table in here, or...

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-No.

-I mean, you literally have your bed and your bedside table,

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and that's it.

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So I think I'd like a bit more room, really.

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It might all hang on the spacious walk-in wardrobe.

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-There's plenty of space in there.

-Loads of room in there, isn't there?

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Again, though, it's what's missing that swings it for Melissa.

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I would like a walk-in wardrobe,

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but I'd just rather it had a door on.

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And even the en suite falls short of the space they're after.

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This is really small.

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It's just like...a cupboard.

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-Yeah.

-At this point,

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I don't feel like I need to see the rest of the house.

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-Really?

-Yeah, I'm just not...

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Well, I'm intrigued just to, you know, see a bit further.

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With Chris ready to give up on the house,

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the kitchen desperately needs to deliver the space they crave.

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So I think the kitchen area is, you know, it's big enough.

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Yeah.

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Mmm, Chris doesn't sound too convinced.

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And even Melissa can't find a positive in the sitting room.

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It's just way too small.

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We wouldn't even consider it, would we?

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-No.

-That's the thing,

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we want a place where we're excited to get people to come over.

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-Yeah.

-And we don't even like this place.

-No.

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When I bought my first flat when I was 20,

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-that's what it feels like.

-Yeah.

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-Just doesn't feel like a forward step at all.

-No.

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Will the outdoor space provide the wow factor they're after?

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I think it would have to be an amazing house

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to justify not having a pool, and right now, we've not seen that.

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No. I think if you're moving to Australia you, you know...

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-you want a pool, don't you?

-The whole point is to be outside.

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There's no hiding his true feelings on this house for Chris.

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I feel like even my body language is saying, "I don't like it!"

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While the house didn't deliver the dream for the couple,

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with £250,000 to spend, will it be in line with their budget?

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No part of it made me think,

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"Oh, yeah, this is worth moving for."

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Every room really is too small.

0:17:050:17:07

Yeah, the whole house is too small, the garden was too small,

0:17:070:17:10

there's no pool. I think this has got to be...

0:17:100:17:13

220.

0:17:140:17:16

I'd like it to be, but I think it's going to be more like 240.

0:17:180:17:21

-Shall we have a look then?

-Yep.

0:17:230:17:24

That's £9,000 under budget.

0:17:300:17:32

What worries me is, if this is all we can afford,

0:17:320:17:36

then it's not the dream that, you know, I've had,

0:17:360:17:39

and it's not the lifestyle that I would want here,

0:17:390:17:41

to live in a house like this.

0:17:410:17:43

Yeah, I just feel deflated now.

0:17:430:17:45

So it kind of makes me think that

0:17:460:17:48

we might not be able to do it at all.

0:17:480:17:50

With both properties underwhelming them so far,

0:17:510:17:54

hopefully it'll be third time lucky

0:17:540:17:57

if Melissa is to persuade Chris making the move would be worth it.

0:17:570:18:00

For the final viewing,

0:18:000:18:02

we found the family what could be their dream home.

0:18:020:18:05

Just over 30 miles from central Perth,

0:18:050:18:07

it's in the coastal suburb of Yanchep, close to the beach

0:18:070:18:11

and on the doorstep of the Yanchep National Park.

0:18:110:18:14

This spacious beach-style home

0:18:140:18:16

should have all the space the family need.

0:18:160:18:19

Will it be worth the wait?

0:18:190:18:20

-This is more like it, isn't it?

-Yeah, this is it,

0:18:200:18:23

-this is what we imagined.

-Much more like it.

0:18:230:18:25

It's the happiest Chris has been all day.

0:18:250:18:27

Let's hope the inside's as nice as the outside.

0:18:270:18:29

Ah, yeah, and I hope it's affordable.

0:18:290:18:31

Fingers crossed.

0:18:310:18:33

This is very nice.

0:18:350:18:37

Yeah.

0:18:370:18:38

-Nice, welcoming entrance hall.

-Yeah.

0:18:380:18:41

And even the floor is impressing.

0:18:410:18:43

I like the floor, it makes it, just gives it, like...

0:18:430:18:45

-Yeah, I do love the floor.

-It is a posh feel, isn't it, you know?

-Yeah.

0:18:450:18:48

And the smiles continue into the master bedroom.

0:18:480:18:51

This is much more like it.

0:18:520:18:54

Yeah.

0:18:540:18:56

This is lovely.

0:18:560:18:58

Enough space, Chris?

0:18:580:18:59

-It's big as well, isn't it?

-Yeah, massive room.

-Big, bright and airy.

0:18:590:19:02

You can put chairs there, so you can sit in the window.

0:19:020:19:04

And the en suite?

0:19:040:19:06

-This is more like it, isn't it?

-Much more like it.

0:19:060:19:08

-This is a wow en suite.

-Yeah.

0:19:080:19:10

Finally, the wow factor.

0:19:100:19:12

And it continues into the walk-in wardrobe.

0:19:120:19:15

Wow.

0:19:150:19:16

This is a walk-in wardrobe, yeah.

0:19:180:19:19

Celebrity wardrobe, isn't it?

0:19:190:19:21

At last, the all-important door.

0:19:210:19:24

And it's closed behind a door, as well, which is perfect.

0:19:240:19:26

Yeah, it's what we wanted. Yeah, absolutely.

0:19:260:19:28

So you can just put all your mess in here.

0:19:280:19:30

Only problem is...

0:19:310:19:33

I don't know if I've really got enough clothes to fill this, though.

0:19:330:19:36

It's pretty big, isn't it?

0:19:360:19:38

The bedrooms are much more to the couple's taste,

0:19:380:19:41

and Chris can imagine feeling right at home here.

0:19:410:19:44

This would suit anybody, wouldn't it?

0:19:440:19:45

-Whether you've got guests coming, or if it was Quinn's room.

-Yeah.

0:19:450:19:49

You know what I mean? It's just a nice room, isn't it?

0:19:490:19:51

I think anybody would be happy to stay in here.

0:19:510:19:53

And just when they thought things couldn't get any better...

0:19:530:19:56

Wow. This is amazing.

0:19:560:19:58

I think we've seen enough, haven't we?

0:19:580:20:00

This will do.

0:20:000:20:01

This is what we're thinking of.

0:20:010:20:03

-This is what we have in our head, isn't it?

-Yeah.

0:20:030:20:05

I think it's better than anything I had in my head.

0:20:050:20:08

It definitely has that wow factor we talked about, doesn't it?

0:20:080:20:11

Yeah, bags full.

0:20:110:20:13

And the kitchen is giving Chris food for thought.

0:20:130:20:16

Do you think you could cook a dinner in here?

0:20:160:20:18

Yeah, without a doubt.

0:20:180:20:20

This house is everything Melissa dreamed of, and more.

0:20:200:20:23

When I've been imagining, you know,

0:20:240:20:26

open-plan, me cooking in the kitchen,

0:20:260:20:28

you playing with Quinn, this is the exact thing...

0:20:280:20:31

This is the dream kitchen.

0:20:310:20:33

And the dining room leaves them almost speechless.

0:20:330:20:36

-I don't know what to say.

-What an amazing dining room.

0:20:380:20:41

I don't think I've ever seen one like it.

0:20:410:20:44

And the view. Just...

0:20:440:20:46

It's a good view.

0:20:460:20:48

But will the outdoor space continue the dream?

0:20:480:20:51

I can really see us out here.

0:20:510:20:52

-Yeah, this is...

-Yeah, it's really nice.

0:20:520:20:54

..perfect.

0:20:540:20:56

It's just got everything, hasn't it?

0:20:560:20:58

-Yeah.

-Jacuzzi, pool.

0:20:580:20:59

-A little grass area up there, as well.

-For Quinn to play.

0:21:010:21:04

And Chris is finally starting to sound

0:21:040:21:06

like a move could be on the cards.

0:21:060:21:09

I think there's no doubting this would be the right move,

0:21:090:21:12

-if we could afford it.

-Yeah.

-It's not missing anything, is it?

0:21:120:21:14

No, nothing.

0:21:140:21:16

There's nothing else I can think of that it needs.

0:21:160:21:19

-It needs us living in it.

-Apart from that.

0:21:190:21:21

Before they pack their bags,

0:21:220:21:24

they'll need to see how much the dream property costs.

0:21:240:21:28

I'd say it's about £450,000.

0:21:280:21:31

I mean, I hope the fact that it's perhaps a bit further out,

0:21:310:21:33

that maybe that would help the price a little bit,

0:21:330:21:36

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

-Yeah.

0:21:360:21:38

Time to find out.

0:21:380:21:40

That's £98,000 over their budget, but...

0:21:440:21:48

OK. I'm quite shocked by that.

0:21:500:21:51

-Less than I thought.

-A lot less than I thought.

0:21:510:21:54

-Yeah.

-Obviously, it's still way out of our budget,

0:21:540:21:57

but maybe we can find something in the middle.

0:21:570:22:00

House-hunting has given the guests plenty to ponder.

0:22:000:22:04

Although property one was under budget,

0:22:040:22:06

the layout and room sizes left both Chris and Melissa disappointed.

0:22:060:22:10

The second property also came in under budget,

0:22:110:22:14

but didn't have the modern feel or pool they longed for.

0:22:140:22:18

The final house was a dream come true,

0:22:180:22:20

it's just the price tag that proved a potential nightmare.

0:22:200:22:24

So when it comes to Australian property,

0:22:250:22:28

how will the couple cast their vote?

0:22:280:22:30

-Australia.

-UK.

0:22:430:22:44

I'm really surprised you voted UK.

0:22:470:22:49

I think I was just trying to be realistic, really.

0:22:490:22:51

I think based on the first two, I'd have gone UK,

0:22:510:22:55

but I think because the third one just gave me a bit of hope

0:22:550:22:57

-that there would be something in between...

-Yeah.

0:22:570:23:00

..it was enough just to swing it.

0:23:000:23:02

It has been a bit confusing today.

0:23:020:23:04

What I've dreamed of and what I've imagined

0:23:040:23:06

might not be actually real if we did live here,

0:23:060:23:08

if we can't afford it.

0:23:080:23:10

While Chris looks like he's now warming to the idea of living down under,

0:23:210:23:25

the price of Perth properties is cooling Melissa's hopes.

0:23:250:23:29

Finding the right jobs in Australia will be essential

0:23:290:23:32

if her dream is to get back on track.

0:23:320:23:34

Back in the UK, Melissa is a nurse

0:23:370:23:39

in an accident and emergency department.

0:23:390:23:42

I really do enjoy all the work that I do here.

0:23:420:23:45

You know, I love meeting all the different patients and helping them.

0:23:450:23:49

But with Chris working days and Melissa working nights,

0:23:490:23:53

it's tough on their family life.

0:23:530:23:55

Most weeks, I work 12-and-a-half-hour night shifts,

0:23:550:23:58

and it's a juggling act for me and Chris to be able to cope,

0:23:580:24:02

looking after Quinn and actually getting enough sleep ourselves.

0:24:020:24:06

In the UK, Chris has worked as a car salesman since he was 20 years old,

0:24:060:24:10

and he has some major concerns about starting over down under.

0:24:100:24:15

When I'm selling cars, I rely heavily on my personality,

0:24:150:24:19

and I do worry whether that is transferable to Australia.

0:24:190:24:22

And having done some research,

0:24:230:24:25

Melissa has clear ideas about what she wants from a career in Oz.

0:24:250:24:29

I would hope to take home the same amount of money...

0:24:290:24:31

..but for less shifts, or maybe not such unsociable hours,

0:24:320:24:36

and I definitely wouldn't want to change the type of nursing that I do,

0:24:360:24:39

cos I enjoy being in sort of emergency care departments.

0:24:390:24:43

While Quinn stays with a childminder,

0:24:460:24:48

the couple explore job opportunities in Perth.

0:24:480:24:51

First up, we've arrange for Melissa to visit Joondalup Health Campus.

0:24:510:24:55

It's crucial that things go well today

0:24:550:24:58

if Melissa's dream of living down under is to be kept alive.

0:24:580:25:02

If they haven't got the jobs here,

0:25:020:25:04

and for the hours and money that I want,

0:25:040:25:07

then we will not be able to do it, and, you know,

0:25:070:25:09

the dream will be over.

0:25:090:25:10

After a quick tour with nurse Donna McGrouther,

0:25:110:25:14

Melissa meets Director Of Clinical Services Ben Irish,

0:25:140:25:18

and she has some important questions for him.

0:25:180:25:20

So, are my skills as a nurse in the UK definitely transferable to Australia?

0:25:200:25:25

Absolutely, they are.

0:25:250:25:26

The nurse training from the UK is recognised in Australia.

0:25:260:25:29

You would just have to register yourself

0:25:290:25:31

with the appropriate authorities.

0:25:310:25:33

Great news, but are there any jobs in Perth?

0:25:330:25:36

There are lots of hospitals within the city who are on the lookout

0:25:360:25:39

for good, experienced,

0:25:390:25:40

well-qualified nurses such as yourself.

0:25:400:25:43

It all sounds positive for Melissa.

0:25:430:25:45

Meanwhile, across town, we've arranged for Chris to meet up

0:25:450:25:48

with sales manager Ryan Haggerty at a car dealership in Perth.

0:25:480:25:52

-How are you doing?

-All right, thanks. Nice to meet you.

0:25:520:25:55

First up, would Chris's skills be transferable to Australia?

0:25:550:25:59

Absolutely. I believe your experience certainly would transfer over to Australia.

0:25:590:26:02

There's a couple of things required.

0:26:020:26:04

You do need to do a salesperson's license.

0:26:040:26:06

Sounds good so far,

0:26:060:26:08

but Chris still has concerns about securing a job in the local market.

0:26:080:26:12

I don't believe you'd have too much trouble finding work.

0:26:130:26:16

I must admit, I wish I got CVs like that more often.

0:26:160:26:19

I'd be happy to take a call from you, if you needed.

0:26:190:26:23

OK, cool. Thank you.

0:26:230:26:24

Well, that's put Chris's mind at ease.

0:26:250:26:28

Back at the hospital,

0:26:280:26:30

Melissa's mind is on the working hours she'd need to do here.

0:26:300:26:32

We're very flexible with our shifts,

0:26:330:26:35

particularly in the emergency department.

0:26:350:26:37

Certainly for working families,

0:26:370:26:39

there's a number of flexible shifts that we offer.

0:26:390:26:41

-That's great.

-We've also got an on-site childcare centre.

0:26:410:26:44

Yeah, that sounds brilliant.

0:26:440:26:46

So Melissa can finally achieve the family time she's been craving.

0:26:460:26:50

The big question is now how much would she earn?

0:26:500:26:53

The basic rate salary is £42,000 a year.

0:26:530:26:57

Wow, that's sort of double what I earn in the UK,

0:26:570:27:00

so that's brilliant.

0:27:000:27:01

That's a whopping £19,000 more than Melissa brings home in the UK,

0:27:010:27:06

and for less hours.

0:27:060:27:08

Back at the car dealership,

0:27:080:27:10

Chris is enquiring about his potential working week.

0:27:100:27:13

The hours aren't necessarily easy.

0:27:130:27:15

You do have the Sundays as a rest day,

0:27:150:27:17

and Saturday afternoon we finish early as well,

0:27:170:27:20

so it's about 65 hours per week.

0:27:200:27:21

Right. Right.

0:27:210:27:23

So, not a huge difference to his hours.

0:27:230:27:25

Chris really needs his earnings to increase

0:27:250:27:28

if he's to be tempted to make the move.

0:27:280:27:30

It's very much commission geared over here,

0:27:300:27:33

but I believe you'd be looking at

0:27:330:27:35

probably a minimum of £40,000 annually.

0:27:350:27:38

That's an increase of almost £20,000 a year,

0:27:380:27:41

and with more time to spend with the family at weekends,

0:27:410:27:45

it looks like Chris might be sold on a life down under.

0:27:450:27:48

When they meet up to compare notes,

0:27:490:27:51

Melissa can't wait to tell Chris what she's discovered.

0:27:510:27:54

The good news is that I'd start at £42,000.

0:27:540:27:58

42! That's good, isn't it?

0:27:580:27:59

-Yeah.

-That's a lot better than what you are on in the UK, isn't it?

0:27:590:28:02

-Yeah.

-You seem a lot happier.

0:28:020:28:04

-I could tell by your face.

-Yeah, I really liked the hospital,

0:28:040:28:07

and I could really imagine myself working there.

0:28:070:28:09

-Yeah.

-How did your day go?

0:28:090:28:11

It was good. Really positive.

0:28:110:28:13

He seemed to think I'd probably earn at least £40,000.

0:28:130:28:17

It sounds like I could be at home for most of the weekend.

0:28:170:28:19

That's brilliant.

0:28:190:28:21

But have they been impressed enough to leave their UK jobs behind?

0:28:210:28:25

BOTH: Australia!

0:28:370:28:39

So, why did you vote for Australia?

0:28:390:28:41

Well, obviously, you know,

0:28:410:28:43

with the salary being so much more, and with the hours, hopefully,

0:28:430:28:46

giving us more time as a family, that's exactly what we wanted.

0:28:460:28:49

Yeah, it sounds like we could have a better family life out here.

0:28:490:28:53

It seems like your dream is back on track.

0:28:530:28:55

The week's providing Chris and Melissa with plenty of food for thought.

0:29:010:29:06

The move has always been about spending time together,

0:29:060:29:09

so will a family day out sampling the Australian lifestyle

0:29:090:29:13

increase Melissa's chances of making her dreams their reality?

0:29:130:29:18

The family are spending their day at Perth Zoo,

0:29:200:29:22

home to over 1,000 animals,

0:29:220:29:24

and just ten minutes' drive from Perth city centre.

0:29:240:29:27

It's the ideal spot for families to enjoy a fun day out.

0:29:270:29:31

The family meet with zookeeper Simone Thompson,

0:29:330:29:36

and after a quick tour, it's time to get hands-on,

0:29:360:29:39

as it's feeding time for the kangaroos.

0:29:390:29:42

Well, we're here with our resident western grey kangaroo, here.

0:29:420:29:46

This is Nolga.

0:29:460:29:47

You're more than welcome to feed her.

0:29:470:29:50

She's very hungry, cos this is her breakfast.

0:29:500:29:52

There we go.

0:29:520:29:54

Quinn is certainly having fun,

0:29:540:29:57

and the kangaroos look like they're enjoying all of the attention.

0:29:570:30:00

The day out has given Melissa

0:30:020:30:04

a reminder of what's at stake this week,

0:30:040:30:06

and a chance to contemplate how much her move could mean.

0:30:060:30:09

Today's just been a lovely family day,

0:30:120:30:15

spending time with Chris and Quinn.

0:30:150:30:16

The whole point of coming to Australia

0:30:180:30:21

is so we can spend more time together as a family.

0:30:210:30:24

At home, we don't get to do that.

0:30:240:30:26

It's been really good just to spend time together, you know.

0:30:260:30:28

It just shows that there is a better life here.

0:30:280:30:31

Seeing Quinn's little face seeing a kangaroo for the first time,

0:30:310:30:34

you know, you can't really put a price on that.

0:30:340:30:36

Melissa's confident the day has opened Chris's eyes

0:30:360:30:39

to the potential of her dream.

0:30:390:30:42

Chris has been really positive,

0:30:420:30:44

and I think he has really come round to the idea of moving here.

0:30:440:30:47

But with family on his mind, Chris still has mixed emotions.

0:30:470:30:51

It's really easy to enjoy the life out here,

0:30:520:30:54

it's really easy to enjoy the weather.

0:30:540:30:56

You don't think about the family and the people you're leaving behind,

0:30:560:30:59

because as soon as you start thinking about them,

0:30:590:31:01

then you start doubting the whole thing.

0:31:010:31:03

I never really thought I'd leave Sutton Coldfield, myself.

0:31:030:31:06

This is Mel's dream.

0:31:060:31:07

It's kind of an impossible decision, really,

0:31:070:31:09

but it's one that has got to be made.

0:31:090:31:12

The day has given Chris much to think about,

0:31:120:31:15

so when it comes to lifestyle, will he choose home or away?

0:31:150:31:18

BOTH: Australia!

0:31:310:31:32

Why did you vote for Australia?

0:31:330:31:35

Just a bit of a no-brainer,

0:31:350:31:37

that you just can't do this sort of stuff back home in England.

0:31:370:31:40

Seeing how happy Quinn has been today, and how much fun she's had.

0:31:400:31:44

For me, it just clarified the lifestyle

0:31:440:31:47

I thought we could have here, spending days off together.

0:31:470:31:50

So I think moving over here

0:31:500:31:51

would definitely make our family life better.

0:31:510:31:54

I'm really happy that again, you voted for Australia.

0:31:540:31:57

I think you're really coming round to the idea,

0:31:570:32:00

and it's definitely worked in my favour, you coming over here.

0:32:000:32:03

-It's all part of your plan.

-Yeah.

0:32:040:32:06

With the Aussie lifestyle winning Chris over,

0:32:120:32:14

Melissa's dream could finally be within reach.

0:32:140:32:17

But for a new life down under to become a reality,

0:32:170:32:20

the finances will have to add up,

0:32:200:32:22

and a major factor is getting the right price for their UK home.

0:32:220:32:26

The couple believe it's worth around £230,000.

0:32:270:32:31

We sent two local estate agents round

0:32:310:32:33

to give their professional valuations.

0:32:330:32:35

Nice hallway with wood laminate flooring.

0:32:380:32:41

It's been decorated to a modern and neutral standard.

0:32:410:32:44

OK, beautiful single bedroom, obviously.

0:32:460:32:49

Decorated as a little girl's room at the moment.

0:32:490:32:51

It looks really nice, doesn't it?

0:32:510:32:53

-I'm happy with it.

-I'm pleased with that.

0:32:530:32:55

A good-size, rustic-style kitchen.

0:32:550:32:57

It's got a feature oven and range hob.

0:32:570:33:01

-ESTATE AGENT:

-That's the living room. A little fireplace.

0:33:040:33:08

Lovely, cosy family room.

0:33:080:33:10

Nice.

0:33:100:33:12

In today's market, I would value this property at £210,000,

0:33:120:33:15

and for a quick sale, I would value it at £190,000.

0:33:150:33:18

I would put the property on the market for £180,000.

0:33:200:33:23

For a quick sale, I would put it on the market for £172,000.

0:33:230:33:27

Yeah, that's quite disappointing, watching that, really, isn't it?

0:33:270:33:30

It's disappointing to hear valuations like that.

0:33:300:33:32

You know, I really hoped that they would agree with what we thought.

0:33:320:33:35

If they were to be correct then, you know,

0:33:350:33:37

-it wouldn't give us the money that we needed here.

-No.

0:33:370:33:40

With the estimations lower than hoped for,

0:33:410:33:43

the couple now need to calculate

0:33:430:33:46

if they really could afford to live in Australia.

0:33:460:33:48

While Quinn is looked after,

0:33:500:33:52

we've provided Chris and Melissa with a cost-of-living comparison,

0:33:520:33:55

starting with the weekly food bill.

0:33:550:33:57

So, milk is £4.45 in the UK and £5.78 here,

0:33:570:34:03

so that's £1.33 difference.

0:34:030:34:06

It's quite a bit more, isn't it, for milk, isn't it?

0:34:060:34:08

Yeah, and we do get through quite a bit of milk, don't we?

0:34:080:34:10

Nappies, that sort of stands out.

0:34:120:34:14

£3.39 in the UK.

0:34:150:34:19

And £6.36 here.

0:34:190:34:21

-Almost double, isn't it?

-£2.97, yeah.

0:34:210:34:24

It generally seems that everything's a bit more expensive here.

0:34:240:34:28

Although, if you look at whole chicken for my roast chicken dinner,

0:34:280:34:32

£2.99 in the UK, £3 in Australia.

0:34:320:34:36

-There we go.

-1p more.

0:34:360:34:38

-That's still more.

-I'll pay that.

0:34:380:34:41

So that is Chris happy, anyway.

0:34:410:34:43

But when they do their sums,

0:34:430:34:45

they discover their food bill will be higher than the UK.

0:34:450:34:48

£50.62 worse off per week.

0:34:480:34:54

That is quite a big dent on your outgoings really, isn't it?

0:34:540:34:58

You know, talking £200 a month more.

0:34:580:35:01

For the same. And you always moan that I don't buy enough food anyway.

0:35:010:35:05

Next, a look at the bigger monthly bills,

0:35:070:35:09

basing their mortgage repayment on the second property they viewed.

0:35:090:35:13

Our mortgage at home is 764.

0:35:130:35:17

And here, it would be 956.

0:35:170:35:20

OK, so that would be £192 worse off.

0:35:200:35:25

Council tax, we pay £94 at home, and it would only be £63 here.

0:35:250:35:31

OK, that's good.

0:35:310:35:33

So we'd be £31 better off.

0:35:330:35:36

But it's not long before the figures start to turn again.

0:35:360:35:39

Gas, so, we pay £54 at home,

0:35:390:35:43

and we'd pay £258 here.

0:35:430:35:46

-That is a massive difference, isn't it?

-Yeah.

0:35:460:35:49

So, that is £204 worse off.

0:35:500:35:54

That is a lot.

0:35:540:35:55

So, per month in Australia, we would be £793 worse off.

0:35:570:36:03

Can their earnings bring better news?

0:36:050:36:07

Their joint income would be £5,425 per month.

0:36:070:36:12

So that means in Australia,

0:36:120:36:15

we would take home an extra £2,075 per month.

0:36:150:36:19

That's a healthy potential increase in their monthly income.

0:36:190:36:23

So how much better off does that leave them overall?

0:36:230:36:27

We would be £1,282 better off in Australia...

0:36:270:36:34

-..per month.

-That's a lot of money, isn't it?

0:36:350:36:38

And with the surplus cash, the possibilities are endless.

0:36:380:36:42

So, with that money,

0:36:420:36:44

we could seriously consider stretching the budget on the house.

0:36:440:36:47

£1,200 is, you know, it's almost another income, isn't it?

0:36:470:36:53

Yeah. It's not just a dream, is it, now?

0:36:530:36:55

It is actually a sensible, logical choice.

0:36:550:36:58

No prizes for guessing which way this vote will go.

0:36:580:37:02

Our vote goes to...

0:37:020:37:04

BOTH: Australia!

0:37:140:37:17

Today was definitely the easiest vote so far.

0:37:170:37:19

-Yeah.

-We could buy that dream house, and still be loads better off.

0:37:190:37:23

-Yeah.

-You know.

0:37:230:37:24

Everything we hoped we could have here, basically, we can.

0:37:240:37:28

So, yeah, it couldn't have gone any better.

0:37:280:37:31

Yay!

0:37:310:37:32

With the positive financial news,

0:37:370:37:39

it looks like Melissa's mission to move is firmly on track,

0:37:390:37:42

but there's one more obstacle to overcome.

0:37:420:37:45

Chris has made it clear he'd struggle

0:37:470:37:49

with putting so much distance between him and his family.

0:37:490:37:52

While Quinn takes a nap,

0:37:520:37:54

the couple sit down to watch messages from home.

0:37:540:37:58

-Hi, Mel.

-Hi, Mel and Chris.

-Hi, Chris.

0:37:580:38:01

-Hello!

-Hi!

-Hope you're having a good time. We're all missing you.

0:38:010:38:05

Hi, Chris. Hi, Mel.

0:38:050:38:07

Hope you're having a super-duper time.

0:38:070:38:08

Me and Chris are very close.

0:38:080:38:11

We were born 14 months apart.

0:38:110:38:13

The only difference these days is I've got slightly more hair.

0:38:130:38:16

He can be very annoying at times.

0:38:170:38:19

He likes everything has got to be perfect.

0:38:190:38:21

I think Melissa is just wonderful.

0:38:210:38:24

I couldn't ask for a better sister.

0:38:240:38:25

Chris and Mel are really the ideal, perfect couple.

0:38:250:38:29

They've got a perfect daughter,

0:38:300:38:32

and they've almost got a perfect life,

0:38:320:38:34

if they could just spend a bit more time together.

0:38:340:38:36

When Mel first spoke to me about wanting to move to Australia...

0:38:360:38:40

..my first reaction was, no.

0:38:410:38:43

You can't... You can't go.

0:38:430:38:45

I think it's something he needs to do.

0:38:450:38:46

He's always been in Birmingham.

0:38:460:38:48

He's never really left Sutton Coldfield, even.

0:38:480:38:51

I think you should go for it.

0:38:510:38:52

It'd be a fantastic opportunity, great experience,

0:38:520:38:55

and one you should grab with both hands.

0:38:550:38:58

I think I'd be heartbroken if they went, to be honest.

0:38:580:39:00

I'd just miss them so much.

0:39:000:39:02

I just can't imagine not seeing them,

0:39:020:39:04

and not seeing Quinn growing up.

0:39:040:39:05

I should miss them all terrible.

0:39:050:39:07

Especially Melissa.

0:39:070:39:09

Because she's my youngest.

0:39:090:39:12

I'd miss them immeasurably. I would never...

0:39:130:39:16

It'd never be the same.

0:39:180:39:20

I couldn't imagine you not being here all the time.

0:39:220:39:25

It would be very difficult...

0:39:250:39:27

..but, you know, you've got to do what makes you happy.

0:39:280:39:31

Hope you've had a lovely, lovely week.

0:39:310:39:34

Can't wait for you to come home.

0:39:340:39:35

I know you've got a very big decision to make,

0:39:350:39:38

but think carefully about it before you make your mind up.

0:39:380:39:41

I won't stand in your way at all.

0:39:410:39:43

Bye.

0:39:450:39:46

I think obviously, it's hard for them, because...

0:39:500:39:53

..something would just be sort of disappearing from their lives,

0:39:550:39:58

and everything else would stay the same,

0:39:580:40:00

whereas for us, it's a bit exciting.

0:40:000:40:02

It's just that we can't get our family balance, you know, right,

0:40:040:40:08

there, but we might be able to here.

0:40:080:40:11

Is it worth...

0:40:110:40:13

all that upset, just to make the three of us...

0:40:130:40:15

have a better life together?

0:40:170:40:18

-You know what I mean?

-Nice to know what everyone thinks of you.

0:40:180:40:21

But hard to watch.

0:40:230:40:24

The decision to put nearly 9,000 miles

0:40:360:40:39

between you and your loved ones is never easy.

0:40:390:40:42

As Melissa and Chris prepare to choose

0:40:420:40:45

between a life in Australia and the UK,

0:40:450:40:47

the reality of being so far from home

0:40:470:40:50

is sure to be weighing on their minds.

0:40:500:40:52

When the family arrived in Perth a week ago,

0:40:550:40:57

Melissa had high hopes of making the country her home,

0:40:570:41:00

and she hasn't been disappointed.

0:41:000:41:03

I've had an amazing week this week.

0:41:030:41:05

Australia has lived up to my expectations.

0:41:050:41:09

For Chris, the week's been a real roller-coaster.

0:41:090:41:12

Definitely had some ups and some downs.

0:41:120:41:14

Your head goes from one end to the other, decision-wise.

0:41:140:41:17

While Melissa's convinced a move down under would be the right one,

0:41:170:41:21

if Chris falters at the final hurdle,

0:41:210:41:23

she knows her dream may come to nothing.

0:41:230:41:26

Over here, I've seen that we can have the life that we want to have.

0:41:270:41:32

I really, really want to just give it a go.

0:41:320:41:35

That's all I'm asking.

0:41:350:41:37

We've spent all week swinging towards Australia,

0:41:370:41:40

and everything seems to be in its favour.

0:41:400:41:42

You watch the messages from family and friends,

0:41:420:41:44

and then you start to think, "Well, actually, is it all worth it?"

0:41:440:41:48

I'm still not exactly sure which way I'm going to go.

0:41:480:41:51

This is the hardest decision you can ever make.

0:41:510:41:54

It's time to find out where the Guest family's future lies.

0:41:560:42:00

Based on our week in Australia, our final vote goes to...

0:42:000:42:03

BOTH: Australia!

0:42:170:42:19

-Yay! Did you really say Australia?

-Yeah.

0:42:200:42:23

-And why?

-Throughout the week, everything seemed to be better,

0:42:240:42:27

whether it be jobs, you know, the money we can earn,

0:42:270:42:30

the place we can live in,

0:42:300:42:32

the life that we could actually live, you know.

0:42:320:42:35

Obviously, the hardest thing is going to be leaving family behind,

0:42:350:42:38

but it's not forever. You know, we are going to see everybody again.

0:42:380:42:41

I think for us as a family, it's the perfect time,

0:42:410:42:44

with Quinn's age...

0:42:440:42:46

Yeah, if we want to start fresh over here,

0:42:460:42:48

I think a good time is to start it now,

0:42:480:42:50

so I'm really excited, and I'm really happy that you agree with me.

0:42:500:42:52

Shall we go inside?

0:42:580:42:59

-It's freezing!

-Come on, let's go.

0:42:590:43:00

The Guests have certainly had a busy week down under,

0:43:040:43:09

and wherever they go on to set up home,

0:43:090:43:11

we wish Chris, Melissa and little Quinn a very happy future.

0:43:110:43:15

Ever since her best friend moved to Australia in 2009, Melissa Guest has dreamt of a new life down under. Currently working nights as a nurse while husband Chris works days selling cars, the couple are like passing ships in the night and rarely spend time together with their young daughter. Melissa's convinced their work-life balance would be better in Australia - all she needs to do now is persuade Chris it's the right move.

With a close-knit circle of friends and family on his doorstep, Chris has never wanted to live anywhere outside of Sutton Coldfield, never mind the other side of the world.

When the family spend a trial week in Perth, it proves Melissa right in her belief the country could give them more time together. But can Chris reconcile himself to the idea of leaving the place he is already proud to call home, or will Melissa be forced to give up her Australian dream once and for all?


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