Hooper Family Wanted Down Under


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Hooper Family

Families consider relocating down under. Hayley dreams of relocating to Australia, believing the country's climate could dramatically improve her life.


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If you believed a warmer climate

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could give you back the family life

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you once knew,

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how far would you go to get what you wanted?

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

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Hayley Hooper's ill-health

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has robbed her of being a mum to her two young children.

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I couldn't care for them, and it's...

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-SOBS:

-..one of the worst feelings in the world to me.

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Now she passionately believes

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moving to Australia will help turn things around.

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Being in a country where there is sun...

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..you know, 90% of the year, if not more, would, in my eyes, benefit me,

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which means it would benefit my children.

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But when a week down under shows the whole family the positive...

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She's, you know, got a bit of a lust for life again.

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..and negative effects of a potential move...

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I'm already getting emotional

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thinking that it's not going to work in our favour.

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..will the Hoopers decide their future lies at home or away?

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This is a leap of gigantic proportions.

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It's either England or Australia...

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..and it's really tricky to decide, isn't it?

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With one of the lowest population densities in the world,

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it's no surprise so many Brits flock to Australian shores every year

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in search of a better life.

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Today, the country has over one million UK-born residents,

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but the grass isn't always greener,

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and leaving everything you know half a world away

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can be a lot harder than you think.

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Suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome,

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Hayley Hooper's spent the past few years

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struggling to cope with everyday life.

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Desperate for a fresh start,

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she believes Australia's warmer climate

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could dramatically change things for her whole family.

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Now, she has just one week to convince husband Phil

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relocating to the other side of the world

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really is the right move.

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Getting from the UK to Brisbane

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normally takes about 23 hours in the air,

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but for the Hoopers, a delay circling over Dubai

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has meant an especially arduous journey.

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It was long, it was very long.

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A lot worse than what I anticipated

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and not something

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that I really want to do back in a hurry, if I'm honest.

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Phil's already pointing the finger.

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I've said all the way in the last 30 hours,

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"This is all your fault, Hayley."

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The long flight's given Hayley plenty of time to think.

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I've dreamed it for so long that, now I'm actually here,

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I'm scared I've put it on too high a pedestal

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and it'll all come crashing down.

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Let's hope her fears are unfounded,

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as the family set out on a week

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which could determine the rest of their lives.

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The Hooper family are Mum, Hayley, Dad, Phil,

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Lewis, aged ten, and Amy, who's six.

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They live in Warwickshire in the West Midlands,

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along with Harley the rabbit.

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-You've had him on your lap, haven't you?

-Yeah.

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-When he's clean.

-Yeah, that's true.

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Hayley and Phil met 15 years ago at a kickboxing club.

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She was a physically fit person...

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..bubbly personality.

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But just four years into their marriage,

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things changed dramatically

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when complications with her first pregnancy

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left Hayley unable to walk.

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I was actually on crutches and within a wheelchair.

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Back problems, pelvis problems.

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You know, she was kind of bedridden for 15, 18 hours a day.

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Hayley's health improved after Lewis was born,

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but when she became pregnant again a few years later,

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the problem returned with a vengeance.

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I was in so much pain.

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Oh, God, it was horrendous.

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I just thought I couldn't cope with this any more.

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I wanted... I wanted to kill myself.

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With Hayley struggling,

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daughter Amy was born by Caesarean section four weeks early.

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I can still see her now, the little incubator,

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the hat on, gas and air in her

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and wires everywhere.

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Shortly after Amy was born,

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Hayley was diagnosed with ME

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and even the simplest tasks became monumental.

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There was one Christmas I overdid it with cooking

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just a Christmas dinner

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and I was then in bed for three months afterwards.

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Hayley feels her condition has robbed her children of their mother.

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I couldn't look after them. I couldn't care for them.

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And that's...

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one of the worst feelings in the world to me.

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It's beyond her control.

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Because it puts pressure on both of us, I get quite angry about it,

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angry of the fact that she's got it

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and the fact that we can't always deal with it

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as we'd want to and have the life that we want to.

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In an attempt to keep her health in check,

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Hayley has regular visits to an osteopath.

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I do find it very beneficial.

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If I'm down with the ME,

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I tend to find my body reacts,

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and I get a lot of pain from that, joint aches and pains,

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so he kind of keeps my body on the straight and narrow, you might say!

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But family holidays to Spain have convinced her

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her health could be even better living in the sunshine.

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Whenever I'm in the sun over there, I'm a different person.

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You know, I can go swimming every day with the kids,

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and it doesn't affect me.

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In the summer, my mum always seems a bit more boosted, I suppose,

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and happy and well and able to do more things.

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I mean, my doctor has even said, turned round to me and went,

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"You know, can't you move to a warmer country?"

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He said, "It would do you so much better."

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Longing for a fresh start,

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Hayley's now desperate to uproot her family

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and move halfway across the world to Australia.

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So, obviously, being in a country where there is sun

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in 90% of the year, if not more,

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would, in my eyes, benefit me,

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which means it will benefit my children.

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But Phil's not convinced.

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The sunshine factor is a big thing in Hayley's mind.

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It remains to be seen whether that really is the case.

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Having got things on an even keel at home,

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he feels the move could set them back again.

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We've just reached the stage where you're not in bed 18 hours a day.

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I really don't want to go back to that sort of time.

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Amy and Lewis aren't sure, either.

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I would like to go to go on holiday, but I wouldn't fancy moving there,

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because I'd miss everybody that I know.

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I'm sort of on the fence.

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I'm worried about leaving our circle of help and family and friends,

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but I do know that it might be a better future in Australia,

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better for health.

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So it might be worth giving it a go.

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Having managed to regain some control in her life,

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Hayley's determined not to lose it again.

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For years, I couldn't do anything...

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..and now I can again, and I'm not letting it pass me by.

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For his wife's sake, Phil has agreed to a trial week down under.

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As much as I'm scared of the prospect of it all...

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..I know we've got to give it a shot.

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And Hayley's pinning all her hopes on Australia

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being the place she can become the mum

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she so desperately wants to be.

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I don't want to be sitting on the sidelines,

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watching in, while somebody else plays cars on the floor with them

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or you know, teaches them to ride a bike.

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I don't want to be on the sidelines.

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I want to be in there with them, doing it.

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That's, for me, my dream.

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The Hoopers are spending their trial week in Queensland.

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Their temporary home is a four-bedroomed property

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at the northern end of the Gold Coast.

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First impressions are good.

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Wow!

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It's pretty much the only thing you can say really, isn't it?

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-Wow!

-Wow.

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Look at this!

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It's their first taste of an Aussie home,

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and they're definitely not disappointed.

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It's... Can't quite take it all in, to be honest.

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Wowzers. Look at this!

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This ain't real, surely.

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Outdoors, Hayley's lost for words.

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I don't think there's anything...

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The only way you can.

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The location, the layout, the pool, everything, it's just like, yeah,

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this would be the dream.

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The long journey's already a distant memory for Phil.

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That's just one day, isn't it, of travelling,

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to be somewhere like this.

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The whole family are impressed.

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I'm speechless, put it that way.

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I think it's a really nice place.

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She's only been here a few hours,

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but Hayley's already feeling the benefits of the southern hemisphere.

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I had a lot of pain on the plane, but since being here,

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it has eased, you know. So far, so good.

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Hayley's in seventh heaven,

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but Phil's keeping his feet firmly planted on the ground.

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Beautiful as this is, my first instinct is,

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we can't afford this!

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He's prepared to keep an open mind, though.

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If there's a possibility that I could find a job out here,

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and we could find a property like this,

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then it would make the decision a whole lot easier,

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because this is just incredible.

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Such enthusiasm is encouraging for Hayley,

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but the positive note will have to continue in the next few days

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if she's to get the fresh start she's craving.

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Back in the UK, the Hoopers live in a four-bedroom semi

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in the town of Bedworth near Coventry.

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We've got a decent-sized house, really, in the UK.

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It's a slightly larger than average-sized kitchen,

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which is what I love about it,

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because I love my baking.

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We'd like something of a similar nature in Australia, really.

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Bigger bedrooms would be nice,

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cos as much as we've got lots of downstairs space,

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the upstairs is a little bit tight.

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Their property boasts a good-sized garden,

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something they wouldn't want to give up in Australia.

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-We'd want the same at the very least, wouldn't we?

-Yeah.

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Finding the right family home is a must for a move.

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It would almost be a deal-breaker.

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If I'm going to go somewhere to have a good lifestyle, you know,

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downsizing isn't on the cards.

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The Hoopers have a budget of £220,000 for a home down under.

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To give them an idea

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of what their money could buy on the Gold Coast,

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we'll show them three properties -

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two close to budget

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and one which should be everything they want in a dream home.

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The search begins in Coomera.

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34 miles south of Brisbane,

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the residential suburb offers good value for money.

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Situated opposite a park

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and within walking distance of a new shopping centre,

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this four-bedroom family home

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could be just what the Hoopers are looking for.

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What do we think?

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Don't know. I can't see for the fence.

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Lovely quiet area, though.

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Once inside, first impressions are lacklustre, to say the least.

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I want to love it.

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But it's not catching me just yet.

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-Just don't like the layout.

-No.

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A door in the open-plan living area reveals potential.

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OK. Wasn't expecting that.

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-That's a big garage.

-Well, that's a pleasant surprise.

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You could probably convert it to quite a good annexe

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or something for family for coming over.

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The garage opens onto a back yard,

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but it's not what Hayley's been dreaming of.

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You'd almost see this maybe more as the front of the house,

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but without a front door.

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You drive in, and then you're in the house.

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Back indoors, the upstairs space proves pleasing.

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Oh, it's a nice big landing, isn't it?

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It surprised me. I didn't expect it

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to be quite this big upstairs, to be honest.

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It's bigger than downstairs.

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The master bedroom's a decent fit.

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In terms of space, it's a bit more than what we've got.

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It is good.

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But Hayley's disappointed.

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It's just...

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-It's not grabbing you.

-No.

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I think we're all in agreement with that, really, though, aren't we?

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Yeah.

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A small balcony overlooks a bijou garden.

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So, in effect, that is the only garden out there.

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-Yeah.

-You'd rather have a bigger garden, would you?

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Our garden is massive, isn't it?

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The property isn't hitting the mark with the family,

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but is it somewhere they could afford to buy

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with their £220,000 budget?

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I wouldn't want to pay any more than £190,000.

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It may be more than that.

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It's a reasonable-sized property.

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Well, I think it probably will be quite expensive.

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So, are we going to have a look, then?

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Go on, then.

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It's within budget, but I wouldn't pay it.

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Phil's not put off, though.

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If we could find something similar size bedrooms-wise,

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but with a better layout downstairs,

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then that's encouraging, isn't it, really?

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I think there's better houses out there.

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-Hopefully.

-Hopefully.

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Fingers crossed, Lewis.

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The next stop is in the suburb of Pacific Pines,

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a fast-growing, family-friendly area

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just a 40-minute commute from central Brisbane.

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It's this one here.

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Looks nice, doesn't it?

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Will this three-bedroom, two-bathroom family home

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offer more than the last?

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Thumbs up so far, I'd say.

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Yeah, it's definitely got that curb appeal, driving up to it.

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Yeah, this is, this is nice.

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The open-plan layout is much more to their liking.

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It's bright, it's got the room.

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It's a very large room,

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very spacious, and I think you could probably fit more than a TV

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and a couple of couches in here.

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Nice sales patter, Lewis.

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The kitchen's perfect for Hayley, too.

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This is big enough.

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It's got the oven that's a bit higher for me as well.

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The fact that it flows through does make it feel bigger.

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I could see myself in here.

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Her enthusiasm continues in the master bedroom.

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Ohh!

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Oh, that's nice.

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-And an en suite bathroom.

-Oh, it's got the en suite, yeah.

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Yeah, looks good.

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Lewis has got his estate agent's cap on again.

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Quite easy to just get to sleep, I suppose, here.

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No bothering of trains or cars or anything really roaring past,

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waking you up in the middle of the night.

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Quiet. It's nice.

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I'd quite happily just move in now, I suppose.

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And he keeps going in the other bedrooms.

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-Mm!

-Nice! Nice built-in wardrobe.

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This is a nice room.

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But there are only three bedrooms.

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-As a family as it is, really, the house is spot-on.

-It's spot-on.

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But we'd like the fourth bedroom for people to come and visit.

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The outdoor area pleases...

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-That's a nice little patio area, isn't it?

-Yeah.

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..then disappoints.

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But there's not really much room for these two to run around.

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Amy's not too concerned.

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I can still do cartwheels down here,

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and we can still play tennis, probably.

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But Dad's not convinced.

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If we could find something else like this

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with that little bit of extra space indoors and outdoors,

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but if this is over our budget,

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-then we've got problems, haven't we?

-Yeah.

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Time to find out.

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The family's budget is £220,000.

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I'd probably say it's top-end of the budget, if not a little bit more.

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I would probably be expecting even more than that, maybe.

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-Do you think?

-230, 235?

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What do you say then, Lewis? Do you want to turn it over?

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Go on, then.

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Mm!

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That's just £1,000 over budget.

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Pleasantly surprised.

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-Although that's the top-end of our budget...

-Mm.

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..if we can get something that ticks all the boxes,

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then we'd have to push ourselves to get that.

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Yeah. No, that's encouraging to see.

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Pleased with that, yeah, definitely.

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With the family encouraged by the price,

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it's time to move on

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to what we think could be the Hoopers' dream home.

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It's also in Pacific Pines.

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With four bedrooms, it should have the space they're looking for,

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but will they agree?

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Oh, that looks nice.

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I've got a good feeling,

0:15:590:16:01

but then, never judge a book by its cover, I suppose.

0:16:010:16:03

That's what you call an entrance!

0:16:060:16:07

A generous master bedroom's just off the hallway.

0:16:070:16:10

-Oh, wow.

-Wow!

0:16:100:16:12

-Wow!

-It's huge!

0:16:120:16:13

This is space. This is spacious.

0:16:140:16:16

There's no two ways about it, you know.

0:16:160:16:19

Almost too big, I think.

0:16:190:16:20

No! Disagree with you there.

0:16:200:16:22

That's not an en suite. This is a fully-fledged bathroom.

0:16:230:16:26

It's pretty swish, isn't it?

0:16:260:16:28

Phil's impressed, but he's already worried

0:16:280:16:30

the price might clean them out.

0:16:300:16:32

I'm kind of counting it up as we go already, going, "Ka-ching,

0:16:320:16:34

"there's 100,000!"

0:16:340:16:36

THEY LAUGH

0:16:360:16:37

Is this going to be the mother of all walk-in wardrobes?

0:16:370:16:40

Oh, my life! How big?!

0:16:430:16:45

Amy, it's your bedroom!

0:16:450:16:48

It's fab, yeah, liking it, definitely liking it.

0:16:480:16:51

A home cinema room's perfect for family time.

0:16:510:16:55

Be great to sit here and have movie nights, wouldn't it?

0:16:550:16:57

And Hayley's enchanted with the open-plan kitchen-diner.

0:16:570:17:01

Oh, wow!

0:17:010:17:02

I'm in heaven. All this space, Amy, eh?

0:17:030:17:07

There's not anything you'd change in here at all, is there?

0:17:070:17:10

You'd just go, "Move in."

0:17:100:17:12

It's our sort of house, this is, isn't it, for definite?

0:17:120:17:16

You know we won't be able to afford it, though.

0:17:160:17:19

An undercover entertaining room is the ideal spot for relaxing.

0:17:190:17:23

This is outdoor living, isn't it?

0:17:230:17:25

-Yeah.

-You can just imagine sitting here in the evening, having a drink.

0:17:250:17:28

Yeah, I really like this area.

0:17:280:17:30

And the pool's the icing on the cake.

0:17:300:17:32

Wow, that's a deep pool.

0:17:320:17:35

It does tick all the boxes, doesn't it?

0:17:350:17:37

It does tick all the boxes.

0:17:370:17:39

It's just how much is it going to be?

0:17:390:17:42

This property is everything and more

0:17:420:17:44

they could hope for in an Aussie home,

0:17:440:17:46

but is it somewhere they can afford with £220,000 to spend?

0:17:460:17:51

Shall we have a look, then, and see what the damage is?

0:17:560:17:58

Ooh!

0:18:000:18:01

It's £100,000 over budget.

0:18:010:18:04

But Hayley's not too surprised.

0:18:040:18:06

I would have to say, for the house for what it is,

0:18:060:18:08

I would class that as good value.

0:18:080:18:10

-It's just...

-It's just we can't afford it.

0:18:100:18:12

-Yeah!

-Does the pool go?

0:18:120:18:15

Does the fourth bedroom go

0:18:150:18:17

to get down to a figure that we can manage?

0:18:170:18:20

I know I've said I wouldn't compromise on things.

0:18:200:18:22

But maybe I'll have to, if we really want to...

0:18:220:18:25

I could dream about us living in a house like this.

0:18:250:18:27

But to be honest, I can't really see it as reality.

0:18:270:18:30

If Dad gets a good job, you never know.

0:18:300:18:33

-Yeah, we can dream.

-We can dream till then.

0:18:330:18:35

It's all on you tomorrow.

0:18:350:18:37

SHE LAUGHS

0:18:370:18:38

The Hoopers have had highs and lows exploring homes on the Gold Coast.

0:18:380:18:42

Property number one impressed upstairs,

0:18:420:18:45

but downstairs fell short

0:18:450:18:47

of the family space they wanted.

0:18:470:18:48

The second house was more up their street, and affordable,

0:18:480:18:52

but the lack of a fourth bedroom

0:18:520:18:53

and limited outdoor space wasn't ideal.

0:18:530:18:56

The final property was a show stopper,

0:18:570:19:00

but a hefty price tag

0:19:000:19:02

meant it could be beyond reach.

0:19:020:19:04

So, when it comes to the vote, will it be home or away?

0:19:040:19:07

Based on the properties we've seen today, our vote goes to...

0:19:070:19:10

-Australia!

-Undecided.

0:19:210:19:23

It's kind of what I expected, to be honest.

0:19:230:19:26

Me and you still together, Lewis.

0:19:260:19:28

Why are you undecided, Amy?

0:19:280:19:30

It doesn't feel right leaving our house.

0:19:300:19:33

Fair enough, darling.

0:19:330:19:34

I chose Australia

0:19:340:19:36

because even though the last property was out of our price range,

0:19:360:19:40

the second one was close enough,

0:19:400:19:41

and I think if we get the right area,

0:19:410:19:44

we can still have a really good property.

0:19:440:19:47

And why did you choose Australia, then, Lewis?

0:19:470:19:49

Similar reason to you.

0:19:490:19:51

I'd agree with that, mostly, which is why I've said undecided.

0:19:510:19:54

We need to do a bit more research.

0:19:540:19:56

With the family split down the middle,

0:19:560:19:58

Hayley's still got some way to go

0:19:580:20:00

if the life she dreams of is ever to become a reality.

0:20:000:20:03

Desperate for a fresh start for her family in Australia,

0:20:080:20:11

Hayley knows if Phil can't be convinced

0:20:110:20:13

he'll have good job prospects down under,

0:20:130:20:16

they won't be going anywhere.

0:20:160:20:17

Back in the UK, he's a systems analyst in information technology.

0:20:180:20:22

Something I'd like to continue, if possible.

0:20:220:20:24

It's my only real skill set.

0:20:240:20:26

As the sole breadwinner, he knows the pressure's on.

0:20:260:20:28

I do feel a great deal of responsibility.

0:20:280:20:30

It's going to affect my life and three other lives.

0:20:300:20:33

If I can't find the right job in the right area, then...

0:20:330:20:36

..there's just no point in going.

0:20:380:20:41

As Phil sets out to explore

0:20:410:20:42

his chances of finding work on the Gold Coast,

0:20:420:20:45

he's only too aware of what's at stake.

0:20:450:20:47

I think Hayley's quite concerned today

0:20:470:20:49

because I'm here on my own,

0:20:490:20:51

and she wants to be the puppet master pulling the strings,

0:20:510:20:53

and it's a bit beyond her control at the moment.

0:20:530:20:55

So, I think she'll be quite anxious of what I say and what I find out.

0:20:550:20:58

We've arranged for him to visit a local recruitment company

0:20:580:21:01

where he's met by Ben Bawsey.

0:21:010:21:03

-Hi, Phil. Ben.

-Nice to meet you, Ben.

0:21:030:21:05

-Welcome to the Gold Coast, mate.

-Thanks very much.

0:21:050:21:07

Come on through, we'll have a chat.

0:21:070:21:08

Things get off to a positive start.

0:21:080:21:10

I had a bit of a read over your CV before we caught up today.

0:21:100:21:13

And there is some interesting crossover there.

0:21:130:21:15

I definitely feel like you could find what you're looking for

0:21:150:21:17

in the south-east Queensland area.

0:21:170:21:19

That sounds good.

0:21:190:21:20

If they do make the move down under,

0:21:200:21:23

Phil would want a job in place before they left the UK.

0:21:230:21:26

I've got to have that knowledge that I'm starting something,

0:21:260:21:28

I can bring the family over.

0:21:280:21:30

Not just jump in and then wondering where I'm going to work,

0:21:300:21:33

where we're going to live.

0:21:330:21:35

But it doesn't quite work that way on the Gold Coast.

0:21:350:21:37

I know this is a big risk for you,

0:21:370:21:39

but probably weighing up the possibility of moving out

0:21:390:21:42

before securing a job, because it will just be very hard for them

0:21:420:21:45

as far as your timelines are concerned.

0:21:450:21:47

Trying to secure a job and then trying to give the notice

0:21:470:21:50

-and then also the move over here which is huge.

-Sure.

0:21:500:21:53

It's not really what Phil wanted to hear.

0:21:530:21:56

While he's been checking out job opportunities,

0:21:560:21:58

Hayley and the children are doing some research, too.

0:21:580:22:01

With a visit to All Saints Anglican School,

0:22:010:22:03

expat headmaster Patrick Wallas gives them a big welcome.

0:22:030:22:08

-Hello.

-Lovely to see you!

0:22:080:22:10

You must be Amy and Hayley.

0:22:100:22:11

I'm Patrick, lovely to see you.

0:22:110:22:13

-Nice to meet you.

-And this is Lewis who's just past his 11-plus,

0:22:130:22:16

well done. Shall we go, then?

0:22:160:22:18

-Yeah.

-Fantastic.

0:22:180:22:20

I think we'll start with our lovely theatre.

0:22:200:22:22

Wow.

0:22:220:22:23

Back home, both Lewis and Amy are academically high-achievers,

0:22:230:22:27

so it's important they can continue to do well

0:22:270:22:30

in the Australian education system.

0:22:300:22:32

You want to look like a fish?

0:22:320:22:33

Go ask him for a mullet!

0:22:330:22:35

The most important thing for me

0:22:350:22:37

is to get the best possible teachers from around Australia,

0:22:370:22:40

and then just really care for them and nourish them

0:22:400:22:43

and help them to grow into the best they can possibly be.

0:22:430:22:47

That's kind of what we want to hear, really, isn't it?

0:22:470:22:49

That's very reassuring.

0:22:490:22:51

Across town, Ben has some encouraging news for Phil, too.

0:22:510:22:55

You are coming over here at a really good time.

0:22:550:22:57

We are about two years out from The Commonwealth Games.

0:22:570:22:59

We've seen a big upswing in construction,

0:22:590:23:01

and that has a really big knock-on effect

0:23:010:23:03

to all the other industries here on the Gold Coast.

0:23:030:23:05

So, what kind of salary could he earn?

0:23:050:23:07

Down here on the coast, I would say, you know,

0:23:070:23:09

you'd probably be looking at roles around 100K plus super.

0:23:090:23:13

That's approximately £53,000,

0:23:130:23:16

a substantial increase on what Phil's currently paid in the UK.

0:23:160:23:20

So, that's good news.

0:23:200:23:22

It's good to get a feel there's stuff around here.

0:23:220:23:24

That's been great, really useful.

0:23:240:23:26

Back at the school,

0:23:260:23:28

Lewis is about to make a grand entrance in the Wonder Space.

0:23:280:23:31

-THEY CHEER

-Well done, Lewis.

0:23:340:23:38

Amy's turn next.

0:23:380:23:39

THEY CHEER

0:23:430:23:45

And finally, not to be outdone...

0:23:450:23:46

THEY CHEER

0:23:460:23:48

Wish I'd had a headmaster like that!

0:23:500:23:53

This cutting-edge facility is designed

0:23:530:23:55

to cultivate curiosity and creativity.

0:23:550:23:58

As you can probably see,

0:23:580:24:00

the whole idea is to get people to think in a different way.

0:24:000:24:03

While Lewis and Amy get stuck in...

0:24:030:24:05

Now, don't distract Lewis.

0:24:050:24:07

..Mum gets the headmaster's take on

0:24:090:24:10

how Lewis could thrive in a school like this.

0:24:100:24:13

We operate the Australian curriculum here

0:24:130:24:15

which is actually a very rigorous and robust curriculum.

0:24:150:24:19

And there are extension classes in every subject at every year level.

0:24:190:24:24

So, he will certainly be fully engaged.

0:24:240:24:27

That's good to know.

0:24:270:24:29

And Amy?

0:24:290:24:30

If we felt that Amy was ready for Year Four,

0:24:300:24:32

we would then discuss it with you.

0:24:320:24:34

I don't want Lewis or Amy ever coming home in the car saying,

0:24:340:24:37

"Mum, I was bored," or "Mum, I didn't learn anything today."

0:24:370:24:41

And I'm really confident that that will never happen.

0:24:410:24:45

It's been a successful visit.

0:24:450:24:47

Very, very nice school

0:24:470:24:48

with some rather original ideas to teach kids.

0:24:480:24:52

I really like it here.

0:24:520:24:54

Amy's still got some reservations.

0:24:540:24:56

I feel quite happy but also scared for our move to Australia.

0:24:560:25:01

Lewis is quick to put her at ease, though.

0:25:010:25:03

If you came to school to this for five days of the week,

0:25:030:25:06

I think you'd be a pretty happy kid.

0:25:060:25:08

This is a very nice school.

0:25:080:25:09

Taking me out of the equation,

0:25:090:25:11

and my health out of the equation, just for these two alone,

0:25:110:25:14

it has so much to offer them for their future.

0:25:140:25:17

It's been a really good day.

0:25:170:25:19

But attending a school like this will all depend on Dad.

0:25:190:25:23

So when the family reunite,

0:25:230:25:24

Hayley's anxious to know how Phil's day has been.

0:25:240:25:27

It's been a bit of a mixture of a day, really.

0:25:270:25:29

It was better in terms of what they were saying about 100,000.

0:25:290:25:33

Good news in terms of the salary.

0:25:330:25:35

But to stand a good chance of securing something,

0:25:350:25:37

you need to be here rather than the UK.

0:25:370:25:39

-We've still got more adventures to have.

-Yeah, I know.

0:25:390:25:42

But, by the end of the week, that little bit of...

0:25:420:25:45

It's given us stuff to think about and worry about.

0:25:450:25:48

But it's been a constant worry since we started,

0:25:480:25:50

so why should now be any different?

0:25:500:25:51

For now, though, when it comes to work,

0:25:530:25:55

will Phil go with his head or his heart?

0:25:550:25:58

Based on the work day, my vote goes to...

0:25:580:26:00

..undecided.

0:26:070:26:08

I was hoping to apply for something and then move to it.

0:26:090:26:13

And it doesn't look like that's as likely to happen.

0:26:130:26:17

It's more a case of being here and then trying to find the work,

0:26:170:26:21

which, for me, doesn't sit very well.

0:26:210:26:23

With Phil still undecided,

0:26:300:26:32

Hayley's dream of a fresh start down under

0:26:320:26:34

is yet to get off the starting blocks.

0:26:340:26:37

A move's all about improving her condition,

0:26:370:26:40

so she can become the mum she desperately wants to be.

0:26:400:26:44

So, will a day out in the Australian sunshine

0:26:440:26:47

help her persuade Phil emigrating is a risk worth taking?

0:26:470:26:51

The family are spending their day at a horse riding stable.

0:26:520:26:55

Amy, do you want to take this brush?

0:26:560:26:58

That's it. Say hello.

0:26:580:27:00

-Hello.

-She's lovely, isn't she?

0:27:000:27:03

I think she likes me.

0:27:030:27:05

After a getting-to-know-you session, it's time to mount.

0:27:050:27:08

If you put your whole leg through the stirrup,

0:27:080:27:11

your whole foot falls through. That's when it can get dangerous.

0:27:110:27:14

Horse riding is something Hayley enjoyed before her illness.

0:27:140:27:17

It's been a while.

0:27:170:27:19

It's been a while!

0:27:190:27:20

It's a first for Phil, though, and it shows.

0:27:230:27:26

-Off we go.

-Yours doesn't really want to move, Daddy!

0:27:260:27:31

Call the AA!

0:27:340:27:35

Finally! But it doesn't last.

0:27:360:27:39

-LEWIS:

-No better than when he started.

0:27:390:27:41

He's happy enough, and so am I.

0:27:440:27:46

We're just chilling.

0:27:460:27:47

It's been a new experience for the children, too,

0:27:470:27:50

and they seem to have taken to it with ease.

0:27:500:27:52

My favourite thing was doing the trotting.

0:27:520:27:56

It's fun. I've learned quite a lot on those horses.

0:27:560:27:59

And I've really enjoyed it.

0:27:590:28:01

Being back in the saddle has given Hayley a high.

0:28:010:28:03

Oh, I've loved it.

0:28:030:28:05

The feeling of being on a horse,

0:28:050:28:06

there's no other feeling like it, it's lovely.

0:28:060:28:08

Today's been everything she could have hoped for.

0:28:080:28:11

The whole trip was worth it, just coming and doing this, to be honest.

0:28:110:28:14

It's just been an amazing day.

0:28:140:28:16

Phil's noticed a marked improvement in Hayley's wellbeing.

0:28:160:28:19

Nice to see her doing something quite physical.

0:28:190:28:22

I think she was feeling it a little bit at the end.

0:28:220:28:24

But doing way more than I expected her to, really.

0:28:240:28:26

Back in England, I can't even sit on a horse

0:28:260:28:28

because it just flares my joints up terribly.

0:28:280:28:30

Just doing that was a major milestone for me.

0:28:300:28:33

She's got a bit of a lust for life again.

0:28:330:28:36

If that was something that could be long-term,

0:28:360:28:38

then it can only be a good thing.

0:28:380:28:40

I kind of feel now

0:28:400:28:41

that there's even more pressure to try and make it happen.

0:28:410:28:43

Being here right now and knowing that it is within grasp,

0:28:430:28:46

it fills me with hope.

0:28:460:28:48

If it doesn't come off, I'll be gutted.

0:28:480:28:51

This is a leap of gigantic proportions.

0:28:510:28:55

I don't know if I'm prepared to do that yet.

0:28:550:28:58

Based on their lifestyle experience, though,

0:28:580:29:00

will the family vote for the UK or Australia?

0:29:000:29:03

We've had a really great day today, horse riding,

0:29:030:29:06

and based on this we've decided to vote for...

0:29:060:29:08

-ALL:

-Australia!

0:29:200:29:21

We're all Australia? Wow!

0:29:240:29:27

HAYLEY LAUGHS

0:29:270:29:28

So, why did you choose Australia, then, Amy?

0:29:280:29:30

Because all the animals are really nice.

0:29:300:29:33

And all the things here are nice, as well.

0:29:330:29:37

And being able to do it in the sunshine?

0:29:370:29:40

I've spent almost 11 years in England,

0:29:400:29:43

and I've never even touched a horse.

0:29:430:29:45

And I've spent five days in Australia, and I've ridden one.

0:29:450:29:49

-And you really enjoyed it?

-Yeah, I enjoyed doing it, too.

0:29:490:29:52

There's no denying it's just a great place.

0:29:520:29:54

Despite all my other reservations,

0:29:540:29:56

really enjoyed the day today and can see us enjoying other days.

0:29:560:30:00

I'm feeling just ever so slightly happy at the moment, you know.

0:30:000:30:03

Dream's a little bit further, closer, who knows?

0:30:030:30:06

Bit, bit... Just there and touching.

0:30:060:30:09

Hayley's hopes may be riding high with Phil's first vote for Oz,

0:30:160:30:20

but there's still a way to go before she reaches the finish line.

0:30:200:30:24

Affording the lifestyle she dreams of won't come cheap.

0:30:240:30:27

Getting the right price for their house in the UK could be key.

0:30:270:30:30

They think it's worth around £180,000.

0:30:300:30:34

We sent round two estate agents to see if they agree.

0:30:340:30:37

There's our house.

0:30:370:30:38

This is a nice-sized family room.

0:30:410:30:43

Neutral decor, very smart.

0:30:430:30:45

Wow, this is a fantastic space.

0:30:450:30:47

The kitchen is very large.

0:30:470:30:49

I can imagine a lot of people wanting to buy a property

0:30:490:30:51

which has a kitchen as large and spacious as this.

0:30:510:30:55

Oh, it's my kitchen.

0:30:550:30:56

Ah, this is a good room.

0:30:570:30:59

This room could be used for a number of different purposes.

0:30:590:31:02

It could be as it is, a bedroom,

0:31:020:31:05

study, office.

0:31:050:31:07

-Lego!

-Whose Lego's that?

0:31:070:31:09

Yeah, this is a nice room.

0:31:110:31:12

It's a shame the figures can't stay

0:31:120:31:14

because I'm sure lots of kids would love to have those.

0:31:140:31:17

THEY LAUGH

0:31:170:31:20

In the current market climate,

0:31:200:31:21

we'd recommend marketing the property at £200,000.

0:31:210:31:25

If they're looking for a quicker sale,

0:31:250:31:26

then maybe marketing at offers over

0:31:260:31:29

£190,000.

0:31:290:31:30

In the current market,

0:31:320:31:33

I would put this property on the market at £190,000.

0:31:330:31:37

For a quick sale, £185,000.

0:31:370:31:40

-A bit of a difference between the...

-Two estate agents.

0:31:440:31:47

..two estate agents.

0:31:470:31:49

We've had an idea of sort of 180, 185.

0:31:490:31:52

To have it confirmed by the estate agents is really good.

0:31:520:31:56

I mean, both of them, at the end of the day,

0:31:560:31:57

are more than what we initially thought, so that's a good thing.

0:31:570:32:00

Right, are you two going to go and play, then,

0:32:000:32:02

while we try and work out the sums, yeah?

0:32:020:32:05

Come on, then.

0:32:050:32:07

The couple move on to examine the price of everyday living.

0:32:070:32:10

I'm already getting emotional thinking about the possibility

0:32:100:32:13

that it's not going to work in our favour.

0:32:130:32:15

The only way we're going to know is if we open it.

0:32:150:32:17

-Go on, get it open.

-Right, OK.

0:32:170:32:20

We've provided a comparison of costs in the UK and Australia,

0:32:200:32:24

starting with the weekly supermarket shop.

0:32:240:32:27

Squash, look at that, almost three times the price.

0:32:270:32:30

Yep, pure juices are cheaper.

0:32:300:32:32

-Raspberry jam, three times the price.

-Baked beans.

0:32:320:32:36

Good grief!

0:32:360:32:38

We'll have to wean Lewis off them!

0:32:380:32:40

Oh, my God, decaf teabags, the end for me, £7.50 difference.

0:32:400:32:46

So, there's not many reds, really,

0:32:460:32:47

down there showing it's going to be cheaper.

0:32:470:32:50

So, what does it all add up to?

0:32:500:32:52

£68 more per week, nearly £300 per month.

0:32:520:32:55

I definitely don't want to hear it that way.

0:32:560:32:58

That's a lot to make up on other things through the month.

0:32:580:33:02

It's a disappointing start.

0:33:020:33:04

Time to tackle the bigger outgoings.

0:33:040:33:07

Basing their calculations on the second property they viewed,

0:33:070:33:10

the couple's mortgage down under

0:33:100:33:12

would cost them over £400 more a month.

0:33:120:33:15

The mortgage looks bigger, but council tax looks less.

0:33:150:33:19

There's a saving! 37 quid.

0:33:190:33:22

Electricity's higher, though.

0:33:220:33:23

Car insurance higher.

0:33:230:33:24

Home insurance higher.

0:33:260:33:27

There is one positive, though.

0:33:270:33:29

Osteopath's cheaper, so I'll be all right for my treatment.

0:33:290:33:32

But, you know,

0:33:320:33:34

hopefully, I won't need the treatment at all if I'm over here.

0:33:340:33:36

When the couple compare overall Australian outgoings

0:33:360:33:39

to what they spend in the UK,

0:33:390:33:41

they discover they'd be worse off by almost £1,000 every month.

0:33:410:33:46

Very, very sad face.

0:33:460:33:48

SHE SIGHS

0:33:490:33:50

Hayley's devastated.

0:33:510:33:53

I was expecting us to be A BIT worse off each month.

0:33:530:33:56

But, from those figures...

0:33:560:33:58

If it had been a couple of hundred, 300, we'd have gone, you know,

0:33:580:34:00

worse off, can we recover that?

0:34:000:34:03

But those are enormous differences, aren't they?

0:34:030:34:06

Ironically, Phil's disappointment gives Hayley encouragement.

0:34:060:34:09

If anything, I'm kind of pleased that you're disheartened,

0:34:090:34:12

because that shows you possibly are wanting to come.

0:34:120:34:16

So that's a step more further

0:34:160:34:17

than what I thought I'd ever get with you.

0:34:170:34:19

I'm not... Yeah, I'm not looking for an excuse not to come.

0:34:190:34:23

I just want to see that it's doable.

0:34:230:34:25

And that doesn't look doable.

0:34:250:34:27

Even factoring in Phil's potential increase in salary,

0:34:270:34:30

the family would be over £600 worse off per year in Australia.

0:34:300:34:35

I'm sad that it is a minus.

0:34:350:34:38

But I'm happy that it's not a massive minus.

0:34:380:34:41

Hayley's trying to look on the bright side,

0:34:410:34:43

but Phil puts a spanner in the works.

0:34:430:34:46

As soon as we factor in the cost of another car,

0:34:460:34:48

or the cost of one or both of the kids going into a private school,

0:34:480:34:52

then it just blows it out of the water, doesn't it?

0:34:520:34:55

I want to be excited that it's only a small amount.

0:34:550:34:58

But...

0:34:580:34:59

I can't. I just can't.

0:34:590:35:01

It's time to vote.

0:35:010:35:02

Based on our reality check today, we're going to vote for...

0:35:020:35:05

-BOTH:

-Undecided.

0:35:150:35:16

-That surprise you?

-No, not really.

0:35:190:35:21

I want to vote that, you know.

0:35:210:35:24

And I thought I would do that on everything, if I'm honest.

0:35:240:35:28

But...

0:35:280:35:30

I can't argue with the figures, can I?

0:35:300:35:32

I've kind of come down-to-earth with a bit of a shock, to be honest,

0:35:320:35:35

-a bit of a bump.

-I thought it would be a case of, no, we can't do it.

0:35:350:35:38

At the moment, it's a case of, well,

0:35:380:35:40

although we've seen things in black and white,

0:35:400:35:42

depending on how we live our lives,

0:35:420:35:44

and how we do things differently over here, it could be more doable.

0:35:440:35:48

I don't know, we're just going to have to see what happens.

0:35:480:35:50

I really don't know how I feel on that one, to be honest.

0:35:500:35:55

While Australia's lifestyle's been everything Hayley had hoped for,

0:36:020:36:05

the financial side of things have given pause for thought.

0:36:050:36:09

And there's still the emotional cost of emigrating to confront.

0:36:090:36:12

Knowing they could be about to face the toughest hurdle of all,

0:36:120:36:16

the family sit down together to watch messages from loved ones.

0:36:160:36:19

Are we going to watch some videos,

0:36:190:36:21

some messages from back home, then?

0:36:210:36:23

-Yeah?

-OK.

0:36:230:36:25

-Hello.

-Hi, guys.

0:36:280:36:30

Hi, guys.

0:36:310:36:33

-Hello!

-Hi!

0:36:330:36:35

Phil is the quiet one of the family.

0:36:350:36:38

-Yeah.

-If we have a family gathering,

0:36:380:36:40

Phil will probably be the one

0:36:400:36:42

sitting and watching what is going on.

0:36:420:36:43

Amy, ah, she's, well, she's just so good.

0:36:430:36:48

Lewis is very intelligent.

0:36:490:36:51

Yes, I was thinking that, actually.

0:36:510:36:54

-I was thinking that.

-You always say that.

0:36:540:36:57

Hayley probably does feel like

0:36:570:36:58

she's missed out on a little bit of life for herself.

0:36:580:37:01

I think this is where this Australian thing

0:37:010:37:03

has actually come from recently.

0:37:030:37:04

She's kind of realised, "I can achieve more.

0:37:040:37:06

"I can do more with my life."

0:37:060:37:08

I worry about the kids as well, are they going to miss us?

0:37:100:37:13

-I'd be upset.

-Yeah.

0:37:140:37:16

-We'll miss him.

-I'll feel sad on the playground not seeing Lewis.

0:37:160:37:21

Just to see them perhaps a couple of times a year,

0:37:210:37:24

it'd be completely different, wouldn't it?

0:37:240:37:26

Massively different.

0:37:260:37:28

For my mum,

0:37:280:37:29

unfortunately, she can't be here today because she's not very well,

0:37:290:37:32

it would actually destroy her.

0:37:320:37:33

We would all miss that bubble,

0:37:330:37:36

we would miss all that lovely bubbly joy about, you know.

0:37:360:37:41

We hope you've got to see a lot of things,

0:37:410:37:43

and you've got the opportunity

0:37:430:37:45

to think about something and come back to make a big decision.

0:37:450:37:48

And, obviously, we'll support you, whatever you do.

0:37:480:37:50

-ALL:

-Goodbye...

-Everybody!

0:37:500:37:52

I hope you've gone out there,

0:37:520:37:54

and you've got the information that you need

0:37:540:37:56

to make the decision for all of you, really,

0:37:560:37:59

on what's best for you as a family.

0:37:590:38:01

We'll always be here to support you, no matter what.

0:38:010:38:04

None of the family wants you to go, but, myself,

0:38:040:38:08

I will respect your decision at the end of the day.

0:38:080:38:11

You can always come back any time you want, you know that.

0:38:110:38:13

And there'll always be a home here for you.

0:38:130:38:16

Seeing the videos, the friends and family videos,

0:38:210:38:23

it's going to put another spin on it.

0:38:230:38:26

-SOBS:

-It means I won't see Gran.

0:38:260:38:29

And I haven't seen her in a while.

0:38:310:38:34

You're missing them already while we've been over here,

0:38:350:38:38

Grandma and Grandad? Yeah?

0:38:380:38:41

We see them regularly, a lot.

0:38:410:38:43

And she plays a big part in our lives.

0:38:430:38:47

-SOBS:

-I don't want to cry.

0:38:490:38:51

Come here.

0:38:530:38:55

At the end of the day, Grandma will want what's best for us.

0:38:550:38:59

And if we... I know she would.

0:38:590:39:02

The past few days have shown Hayley

0:39:080:39:09

the benefits of living in a warmer climate,

0:39:090:39:13

AND shone a light on the financial and emotional price

0:39:130:39:16

of pursuing a new life down under.

0:39:160:39:19

So as the final vote approaches,

0:39:190:39:21

will the Hoopers agree or disagree about where their future lies?

0:39:210:39:27

The trial week has left Hayley in no doubt

0:39:270:39:30

Australia could make a huge difference.

0:39:300:39:32

Like I've got a place again.

0:39:320:39:34

Like I'm me again.

0:39:340:39:35

Like I'm a mum again.

0:39:350:39:37

And I think the kids have noticed it.

0:39:370:39:39

She's been quite good, hasn't she?

0:39:390:39:42

Yeah, she's been a lot better than she usually has.

0:39:420:39:44

I know, I'm pretty sure Phil's noticed it.

0:39:440:39:46

It's been brilliant to see the way she's been this week, you know,

0:39:460:39:49

running about with the kids.

0:39:490:39:51

Something I've not seen for a long time.

0:39:510:39:53

I don't want to leave!

0:39:530:39:55

Emigrating might improve the family's future, but at a cost.

0:39:550:39:59

There's lots of great things, but there's still things that worry me.

0:39:590:40:03

-Dad's a bit...

-Unsure...

0:40:030:40:06

..the work.

0:40:060:40:08

And I think they're both a bit anxious if we did move over,

0:40:080:40:11

how we'd be able to deal with the finances

0:40:110:40:13

because I've heard that they're not too great.

0:40:130:40:17

Though it's not just money problems on Phil's mind.

0:40:170:40:20

Amy getting upset really did it for me.

0:40:200:40:22

I do feel a massive sense of guilt

0:40:220:40:24

of dragging her away from everything that she knows.

0:40:240:40:27

Amy has been saying, like, it's going to be really hard.

0:40:270:40:30

And I now can see why, because, after watching that video,

0:40:300:40:33

-it did really bring it home.

-It made me feel really sad and upset,

0:40:330:40:38

and I don't want to leave all my friends and family behind.

0:40:380:40:42

Hayley knows how much messages from home have impacted on everyone.

0:40:420:40:46

Until they'd seen their friends and family,

0:40:460:40:48

I think they probably would have voted Australia.

0:40:480:40:50

But I don't know now.

0:40:500:40:51

We just can't really make our mind up.

0:40:510:40:53

Yeah, it's either England or Australia...

0:40:530:40:56

..and it's really tricky to decide, isn't it?

0:40:580:41:01

I feel probably more mixed up now than I did before we started.

0:41:010:41:06

I hope, yeah, that we do make the right decision...

0:41:060:41:10

..and, together as a family, we do what's right for us.

0:41:110:41:14

Yeah, and live happy.

0:41:140:41:16

It'll be an interesting vote to see where everyone's heart lies now.

0:41:160:41:20

It's time for the family to decide

0:41:210:41:23

on which side of the world their future rests.

0:41:230:41:26

Based on this week's discoveries, we will be voting for...

0:41:260:41:29

-FAMILY:

-Undecided.

-Australia.

0:41:490:41:52

HAYLEY LAUGHS

0:41:520:41:55

I'm not exceptionally shocked.

0:41:560:41:58

There's a bit of me that is a bit disappointed

0:41:580:42:00

that nobody else went for the full Australia.

0:42:000:42:03

I think me and Amy would have probably shown

0:42:030:42:05

the UK flag at the start.

0:42:050:42:07

So we've kind of edged towards Australia.

0:42:070:42:09

I know the friends and family all really affected,

0:42:090:42:13

well, affected you two.

0:42:130:42:14

After hearing that the finances aren't the greatest,

0:42:140:42:17

and it would be only once in every few years

0:42:170:42:21

we'd actually be able to go see them,

0:42:210:42:23

it has got me a bit worried that I might get a bit homesick.

0:42:230:42:27

It's really nice here, and I would like to live here.

0:42:280:42:31

-But...

-You don't want to have to give up your friends and family

0:42:310:42:34

-to come here.

-We'll really miss them.

0:42:340:42:37

OK. Well, again, you know,

0:42:370:42:40

it's stuff that we have to think about

0:42:400:42:41

and put them into the equation.

0:42:410:42:43

'For us as a family unit,

0:42:430:42:45

'I still think that we would be better off here in the long term.'

0:42:450:42:50

It's not a no, it's just a

0:42:500:42:52

"I still need that little bit of reassurance."

0:42:520:42:55

Hayley may be convinced of Australia's appeal,

0:42:570:43:01

but, unfortunately, the rest of the family don't share

0:43:010:43:04

her enthusiasm for making the move.

0:43:040:43:07

With more talking to be done, however,

0:43:070:43:09

Hayley's dream could still come true.

0:43:090:43:12

Wherever the family go on to call home,

0:43:120:43:15

we wish them all a very happy future.

0:43:150:43:18

Suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome, Hayley Hooper has spent years struggling to cope with everyday life in the UK. At its worst, the condition has left Hayley in bed for up to 18 hours a day, and she is frustrated at being robbed of the chance to be a hands-on mum to son Lewis and daughter Aimee.

Believing a warmer climate could improve things significantly, she is now convinced that moving to the southern hemisphere is the answer to her problem. But having recently got her health back on an even keel, husband Phil is far from convinced. He worries about coping without the support of friends and family if Hayley's health doesn't improve as she hopes. As the family's main provider, he also questions the financial implications of moving to the other side of the world.

A week in Australia's Gold Coast could be Hayley's best shot at getting Phil to sign up to her vision for their family's future. Will it be the key to the fresh start she wants or close the door on her dream forever?