Howells Family Wanted Down Under


Howells Family

Families consider relocating down under. Having fallen for Australia on their honeymoon, Gethin is desperate to convince his wife Deborah to make the move.


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Transcript


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If a failed move abroad had led to years of struggling to rebuild

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your life in the UK, but you still weren't happy,

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would you feel brave enough to pack up again and follow your heart

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to the other side of the world?

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A trip down under in 2004 saw Deborah and Gethin Howells

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smitten with Australia.

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The moment we landed, we just loved it, didn't we?

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12 years on, Gethin's convinced it's where their future lies.

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I'm the one who would simply pack the bags tomorrow and jump on a plane.

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However, an unsuccessful move to the Middle East has left Deborah nervous

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about relocating for a second time.

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We really were at rock bottom as a family when we came back.

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A trial week down under could see her swayed.

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If I knew that we could afford this, then I would be really happy.

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But if the whole family don't agree, Gethin's dream could bite the dust.

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Even though Australia's an amazing place,

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basically everything's scary and amazing at the same time.

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Drawn by the promise of over 10,500 beaches,

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an average of nine hours of sunshine every day

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and the outdoor lifestyle that comes with it,

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it's easy to understand why over 34,000 UK residents

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move to Australia every year.

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But a life down under isn't just about sea and sun,

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and almost half return home.

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When Deborah and Gethin Howells went on honeymoon to Australia in 2004,

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they fell hook, line and sinker

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for the outdoor lifestyle,

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and they've dreamt of emigrating there ever since.

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But now, with two children and a failed international move

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under their belt, can they up sticks for a second time

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and relocate to the other side of the world?

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Ahead of them lies a week to see if the country lives up to expectations

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and if it's really worth giving up everything they have at home

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to start a new life down under.

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The Howells' journey to Australia takes them almost 9,000 miles

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from home,

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and, as they touch down in Perth,

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they're already feeling the distance.

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It's a long day,

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and it feels like more than one day that we've actually been up in the air.

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It does make me realise how long it is away from home.

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Time spent in the air has given Lewis food for thought.

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My nans might find it quite tough on the flight here,

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so I find it quite...

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..really emotional.

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Gethin's thrilled to be back down under,

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but he's under no illusion about what lies ahead.

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Kind of a mix of excitement, nerves, obviously.

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This week is the perfect opportunity to show Deb

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that this is the right thing for us a family.

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If it is, then great, we're going to go forward.

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If not, then I don't know if Australia would be the place for us.

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This week could basically change the rest of our lives.

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The family set off on a journey

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which could decide on which side of the world their future lies.

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Meet the Howells.

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Dad Gethin, mum Deborah, Lewis, who's ten, and Poppy, aged five.

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-I am beating you.

-No, you're not!

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They live in Caerphilly in South Wales,

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but Deborah and Gethin have dreamed of moving to Australia

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ever since honeymooning there back in 2004.

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Well, from the moment we landed, we just loved it, didn't we?

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It just seemed to fit everything we like to do.

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The open spaces, um...

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going to a park and seeing people playing sport...

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Smitten with the warm climate and outdoor lifestyle,

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they returned to the UK,

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convinced they'd one day make the country their home.

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There was no doubt about it.

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That's where we saw our future being together.

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First, the couple focused on starting a family.

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But when Lewis was born in 2007,

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it wasn't long before Australia was back on the agenda.

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Thoughts of emigrating were put on hold, though,

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when Deborah and Gethin's fathers passed away within a week of each other

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18 months later.

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Both our mums were on their own,

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and then we felt that having that wrench again of them losing

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somebody else was too much for them to bear.

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The family stayed put, and Poppy was born in 2011.

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But the yearning for the climate and outdoor lifestyle they'd fallen for

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in Australia never went away,

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and when the couple were offered teaching jobs in Dubai a year later,

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it seemed like the perfect solution.

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It's not as far away, so if something happened,

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it wouldn't take a day to get home.

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It was a little bit of an easier sell to family and friends.

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With everyone's blessing,

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they packed up their lives in the UK

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and looked forward to a new life in the sunshine,

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and to begin with, it was everything they wanted.

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Lifestyle-wise, fantastic.

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We had that little glimpse of

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what living in a hot climate could do for our family.

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But unknown to Mum and Dad, Lewis was struggling to cope with

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the language and cultural differences.

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It was exciting, but...

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we just couldn't understand anyone there.

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When the family returned home for Christmas,

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Lewis begged Gethin and Deborah not to return.

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A lot of stuff came out about how he was really miserable, basically.

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Putting their son's happiness first, the family moved back to the UK,

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but for Mum and Dad, picking up where they'd left off

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was far from easy.

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-We had...

-We had no jobs.

-..no jobs to go into.

-No house.

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Our house was still being rented out.

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We really were at rock bottom as a family.

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Now, four years on, the couple have rebuilt their lives, but for Gethin,

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a daily three-hour commute for work has left him longing

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for the quality family time they'd enjoyed in Dubai.

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I don't spend enough time at home.

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We always seem to be rushed.

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We always seem to be trying to grab time together.

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Desperate for change,

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he's now resurrected the couple's original plan

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to emigrate down under.

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But with a failed international move already behind them,

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Deborah's fearful of following the dream.

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I'm the one who would simply pack the bags tomorrow

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and jump on a plane if I could.

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She's a little bit more sensible about the approach.

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Gethin is very convinced that the move to Australia is going to work.

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He would just go and do it and then think about the consequences after.

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Surprisingly, Lewis is in favour of making the move,

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but Deborah's worried history could repeat itself.

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If he comes home on the first day of school and says he doesn't like it,

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then that doesn't mean we're going to jump on a plane,

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fly back to the UK, cos we can't do that.

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Lewis admits he would struggle to leave his nan.

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..school council?

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They're very close to me.

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I'm scared that I'll really miss them.

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And the thought of saying goodbye to her mum for a second time

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is tearing Deborah apart too.

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I know she found it really hard when we moved to Dubai.

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And I know she'd find it really difficult...

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Sorry.

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With so much at stake,

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Gethin and Deborah know a trial week in Australia

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will be their best chance to find out whether the land

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they first fell for over 12 years ago

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really can become home.

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My ideal outcome is that we all go, we all think it's great,

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the visas come through very quickly and we relocate,

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but that's the ideal outcome.

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But it's... Life's never that simple.

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It's a massive risk, and we took that risk once.

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Um, do we take it again?

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I really don't know.

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The Howells are spending their trial week in Perth.

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Capital of Western Australia,

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it's famed for sunshine and natural beauty.

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The final leg of their journey

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takes them to the coastal suburb of Mindarie,

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20 miles north of the city.

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Their temporary base is this modern four-bedroom family home.

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Will it get the week off to the start Gethin's hoping for?

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-Ooh!

-Nice.

-Very nice.

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Nice living room.

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What's around here?

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Oh, my God! Look at the kitchen!

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First impressions are good.

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-This is exactly what I would want if I was to move here.

-Yeah.

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Just what Gethin wants to hear, and it gets better.

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And look over there by the window, guys.

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Oh!

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Wow! Look at that.

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Oh, my goodness me!

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Don't fall in!

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Time to test the water!

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'As an introduction to Australia for the week, this is perfect, isn't it?'

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'Yeah, I feel comfortable here.'

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-Good start, then.

-It's a really good start.

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But Deborah's not getting carried away just yet.

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I really don't want to be coming over here

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and we don't have any jobs,

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because then we're not going to be able to afford a house like this.

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If we're going to move, it has to work properly, doesn't it? So...

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So, a positive start.

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-Hopefully, the rest of the week will be exactly the same.

-Hopefully.

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Back in the UK, home for the Howells

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is a four-bedroom detached house in Caerphilly

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in the South Wales Valleys.

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We love our house.

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We've spent a lot of time and effort making it our house,

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making it our home.

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But there are some things they'd like to change.

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This is our kitchen area.

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This is an area where we like to kind of socialise.

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However, I don't feel it's big enough.

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Ideally, we were going to have a wall put up around by here,

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and we were going to have all this knocked through here

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from the utility room to the kitchen,

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so we have a nice, one, big, long kitchen-diner.

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So, like the Australian type of open-plan living.

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And Gethin has his own plans.

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Beyond that, dream world - be a pool.

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What would you like to have if we go to Australia?

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A new bedroom. A new playroom.

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-And..

-A pool?

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The couple have a budget of £250,000

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to spend on a home in Australia.

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To find out what this might get them on the Perth property market,

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we'll show them three houses,

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two on budget and a third which could be their dream home.

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The search begins in Alkimos,

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a family-friendly beach suburb 26 miles north of Perth centre.

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Will this four-bedroom family home

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have the space the Howells are looking for?

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-I think we're going in here.

-Oh, wow.

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-Oh! That's nice.

-Let's have a look.

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-It's a lovely area.

-Everything looks really new, doesn't it?

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Oh, it's a long hallway!

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Bigger than it looks from the front, isn't it?

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It's a good start, but it doesn't last.

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It's a very small kitchen, isn't it?

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You got the open plan that we all said we were looking for.

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That bit's great, but this just feels...

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-There's something missing with the kitchen.

-Yeah.

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Things look up in the master bedroom.

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-Oh, this must be...

-Oh, this is nice.

-..the master bedroom.

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-Yeah.

-Your walk-in wardrobe.

-Oh, wow. Look at that, Poppy!

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Oh, that's lovely.

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The en-suite goes down a treat too.

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Oh, wow! Look at this.

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-This is huge for an en-suite. Look at that big shower!

-Massive.

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As a massive bedroom, this ticks all the boxes for me.

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This is beautiful.

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But not all the rooms are perfect.

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It's a nice-size room for Poppy as she is now,

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but I can see her outgrowing this very quickly.

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Yeah, I think she'd outgrow it as well.

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Do you like this room, Poppy, or your room at home?

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Room at home.

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And Lewis is equally underwhelmed with his.

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This would be your bedroom, then, Lewis.

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-Way too small for me.

-I'd feel quite claustrophobic being in here.

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-Would you be happy to have a bedroom like this?

-No.

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The family bathroom's a tight squeeze as well.

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Oh! This is really small!

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I don't like this.

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The house may have the required fourth bedroom for visitors, but...

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Sharing their bathroom, that small bathroom...

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It's not doing it for you, is it?

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-No, sorry.

-It's not doing it for me either, really, to be fair.

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Outdoors falls short of the dream too.

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It's nice. It's perfect, but these two are growing,

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and would this space be enough for us?

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It's got the elements that we wanted.

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But it hasn't got the wow factor.

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And it looks like the pool's not quite the knockout they'd expected.

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I don't think it is big enough.

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Can't see you doing laps in that, Lewis.

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It's not what I sort of imagined an Australian pool to be like.

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I think as a family home, it's missing out on quite a bit.

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Yeah, definitely agree.

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Would we move across the world for this house?

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There's no way I would.

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Despite some pleasing elements,

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overall, this property has failed to live up to the Howells' hopes

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for an Aussie home.

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But if the asking price is under their £250,000 budget,

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would it make a difference?

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Right, shall we see how much it's worth?

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I've got a horrible feeling it's going to be over our budget.

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It's a new-build, it's fairly new,

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it's...the distance away from the city.

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I'm hoping it's going to bring the budget, bring the price down.

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I think cos it's closer to the beach,

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I think it's going to bring the house price up.

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Let's have a look.

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Oh!

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-Oh, my God!

-255,000.

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It's £5,000 over budget.

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I'm really disappointed with that.

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I wouldn't pay that for this.

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No, no way.

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Not what I think our house is worth.

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If it was between our house

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and this house, I would stay in our house.

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Shocks me, really.

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Very disappointed.

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Just one house down, and Gethin's dream

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of a fresh start down under's already on shaky ground.

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Perhaps property two can get the dream back on track.

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It's in Butler,

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a northern suburb with plenty of amenities for family living.

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-Oh, wow.

-Look at that!

-This area is lovely.

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It's local to the shops, the lake looks good.

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Closer to Perth, properties here CAN be more expensive.

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Will this three-bedroom family home be more to their liking

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than the first?

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Oh! Oh, it's a big hallway.

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-Nice.

-Nice floor.

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So far, so good.

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The master bedroom's just off the main hallway.

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It's a nice size, isn't it? It's like the size of ours back home.

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-Yeah.

-Not really sure about this, though.

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The open-plan en-suite leads to further confusion.

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I don't know if I like it or dislike it, to be honest!

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-I don't know.

-I don't think it's very private.

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It's not very private, is it?

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The Aussie-style living area seems a good fit at first.

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Oh, it's big, isn't it?

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But it's not long before Deborah's doubts dawn once more.

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Again, I'm not quite sure about the kitchen.

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The kitchen doesn't really sell the room at all, does it?

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-No.

-There's some nice bits to it,

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but I don't think it's kind of what we had in our mind as somewhere...

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No, definitely not for me.

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Thumbs down for inside, then.

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Perhaps outdoors can lift their spirits.

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-This is nice area, isn't it?

-Yes.

-It's very cosy.

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First impressions seem good,

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but the property's corner location

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means it's close to a busy main road.

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-TRAFFIC RUMBLES

-I would imagine you'd want to spend a lot of time out here,

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and whether or not that noise would be too much...

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I'd find it really hard to get used that noise.

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Yeah. You want to spend your evenings and relax.

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-TRAFFIC RUMBLES

-Not as another one goes past!

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Not exactly what they've been hoping for.

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With little space for the children to play and a pocket-sized pool,

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the couple are once again left feeling disenchanted.

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We want our Australian dream.

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-This isn't it, is it?

-Outside living. This definitely isn't it.

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No, it's not for me, this one.

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Lewis sums it up in a nutshell.

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I think this is more for either an older couple

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or a person with no kids, really.

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Do you see yourself bringing some mates back and playing?

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No, cos probably the only thing we'll be able to do is just talk.

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It's a far cry from the active, outdoorsy lifestyle

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the family crave,

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but is this house somewhere they could afford anyway

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on their £250,000 budget?

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While Poppy takes a break with a childminder,

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the rest the family prepare to find out.

0:16:590:17:02

I'd be very disappointed if this house was anywhere near our budget.

0:17:020:17:05

How much do you think?

0:17:050:17:07

I think 235... 240?

0:17:070:17:10

I'm hoping it's 235, but in reality,

0:17:100:17:15

it's probably going to be 240 or probably above.

0:17:150:17:19

OK.

0:17:200:17:21

Oh!

0:17:300:17:31

-Yes, high five.

-Spot on.

-Yes!

0:17:310:17:34

It's £10,000 below budget.

0:17:340:17:37

I'm relieved it's under budget.

0:17:370:17:40

-Still quite shocked it's actually 240.

-Very shocked.

0:17:400:17:43

-Yay!

-I feel slightly better now.

0:17:430:17:46

-Yeah.

-Yeah.

0:17:460:17:47

Things are starting to look up for Gethin, but only just.

0:17:470:17:51

For the final stop of the day,

0:17:540:17:55

we're showing the Howells what we think could be their dream home.

0:17:550:17:59

It's in Quinns Rocks,

0:17:590:18:01

a coastal suburb 30 minutes' drive north of Perth centre.

0:18:010:18:05

With plenty of opportunities for outdoor pursuits,

0:18:050:18:07

it could be the ideal location.

0:18:070:18:10

Will this four-bedroom home be what the family are looking for?

0:18:100:18:13

Oh, very nice.

0:18:150:18:17

It's definitely more like what we were thinking of.

0:18:170:18:19

And the kitchen just seems to be part of the space

0:18:190:18:22

-rather than just an added extra.

-Plonked in.

-Yeah.

0:18:220:18:24

It's delivering so far.

0:18:250:18:27

This is what I had in mind with your typical Australian house.

0:18:280:18:31

It's kind of filled me with a little bit more hope.

0:18:310:18:34

I can definitely tell that this is one of the houses I would like to live in.

0:18:340:18:38

The master bedroom's a hit.

0:18:400:18:43

It's a nice size.

0:18:430:18:44

-Yeah.

-Very tastefully decorated as well.

0:18:440:18:47

There's a nice walk-in wardrobe there.

0:18:470:18:49

Yeah, I have to say, this house is definitely...

0:18:490:18:51

-It's ticking more boxes.

-Tick more boxes, yeah. Most definitely.

0:18:510:18:54

And the en-suite doesn't disappoint either.

0:18:540:18:57

Wow, this is lovely.

0:18:570:18:58

Oh, a double shower!

0:18:580:19:00

Save time in the mornings!

0:19:000:19:02

Four bedrooms means plenty of room for guests.

0:19:020:19:05

Oh, this is a nice room. So they use this as a study at the moment,

0:19:050:19:09

so this could be used as a bedroom as well.

0:19:090:19:11

A spare bedroom, for when your nans come over.

0:19:110:19:14

-Friends.

-Friends come over to stay.

0:19:140:19:16

It's got a lovely view, though, hasn't it?

0:19:160:19:18

Look at the beautiful view it's got as well.

0:19:180:19:20

And the outside area's a definite winner.

0:19:200:19:23

-Wow.

-Whoa.

-That's more like it.

0:19:230:19:26

Oh, that's a swimming pool, isn't it?

0:19:260:19:28

It looks like it's got a Jacuzzi right at the back.

0:19:280:19:30

Oh, my gosh, and a hot tub!

0:19:300:19:32

So you've got summer and winter ticked off here, haven't you?

0:19:320:19:35

Got a lovely play area as well. Look at the seating area.

0:19:350:19:37

-Wow.

-This is definitely what I think of

0:19:370:19:40

-when I think of Australian outdoor living.

-Yeah.

0:19:400:19:43

And Lewis is keen to try out the facilities.

0:19:430:19:46

This is living in Australia, definitely!

0:19:460:19:49

It looks like this could be a turning point for Deborah too.

0:19:510:19:55

If I knew that we could afford this,

0:19:550:19:57

without going massively over our budget,

0:19:570:20:00

then I would be really happy to move out here to a house like this.

0:20:000:20:04

See how much it costs first!

0:20:040:20:05

With everyone excited about this house,

0:20:070:20:09

let's hope the price tag doesn't burst their bubble.

0:20:090:20:12

Their budget is £250,000.

0:20:120:20:16

It's a nice house, isn't it?

0:20:160:20:17

-Yeah.

-Very nice. Best one today.

0:20:170:20:19

-Yeah.

-All down to this.

0:20:190:20:21

I don't think we're going to go over our budget by much, though.

0:20:210:20:25

-I think 300.

-Yeah, I think we're far enough away from the city

0:20:250:20:28

to keep it under that.

0:20:280:20:29

-Do you?

-I think we're going to go maybe 260.

-260?

0:20:290:20:32

-260, 270.

-260, 270?

0:20:320:20:34

You ready for this?

0:20:390:20:41

SHE GASPS

0:20:440:20:46

-Ooh.

-Ooh.

-I think I won.

0:20:460:20:48

It's £42,000 over budget, but they're not put off.

0:20:480:20:53

Thing is, it's not too much outside our budget because it depends

0:20:530:20:57

on how much our house sells for.

0:20:570:20:59

-And how much we potentially could earn.

-And how much we could earn.

0:20:590:21:02

-I'm quite happy with that price.

-You're happy with that price?

0:21:020:21:04

-So does that mean you're going to get a little job to help us out?

-Yeah.

0:21:040:21:07

House-hunting in Perth has been an eye-opener for the Howells.

0:21:100:21:13

Property one's master bedroom impressed,

0:21:130:21:16

but the rest of the house left Deborah feeling oppressed

0:21:160:21:19

and at a price that shocked.

0:21:190:21:21

House number two failed to meet the family's expectations,

0:21:210:21:25

and the noisy road was a distraction.

0:21:250:21:27

The third property was a real show stopper, though,

0:21:270:21:30

and, even over budget, they felt it could be worth the stretch.

0:21:300:21:34

So when it comes to properties down under,

0:21:350:21:38

will the Howells vote home or away?

0:21:380:21:41

Based on the properties we've seen today,

0:21:410:21:43

our vote is...

0:21:430:21:44

-Australia.

-Haven't decided.

-UK.

0:22:010:22:03

-Australia, Lewis?

-Yeah.

0:22:030:22:05

Yeah, I don't think we saw enough today to make my mind up either way.

0:22:050:22:10

I agree with you.

0:22:100:22:11

I think we need to look at more areas

0:22:110:22:13

and more houses in order for this to go to that direction.

0:22:130:22:18

Which one did you like? The last one?

0:22:180:22:20

-Did you like the one with the hot tub?

-Yeah, thought you would.

0:22:200:22:23

I just know that there is a property out there for us in Australia.

0:22:230:22:26

I really want to move out here.

0:22:260:22:29

And I don't... It's going to be quite hard to change that decision.

0:22:290:22:32

Where's the sun, Poppy?

0:22:360:22:38

While Lewis and Poppy seem won over,

0:22:470:22:49

Aussie homes have left Mum and Dad sitting on the fence.

0:22:490:22:52

Gethin knows if they're to afford the dream home and lifestyle

0:22:520:22:55

he yearns for, securing the right jobs and salaries down under

0:22:550:22:59

will be key.

0:22:590:23:01

Back in the UK,

0:23:030:23:04

the couple are qualified physical education teachers

0:23:040:23:06

and currently work with children with special needs.

0:23:060:23:10

I just love being there, teaching the children.

0:23:100:23:13

In fact, they give me a lot more than what I give them.

0:23:130:23:16

Deputy head Gethin is also passionate about his job,

0:23:160:23:20

but less keen on the three-hour daily commute,

0:23:200:23:22

which sees him miss out on important family milestones.

0:23:220:23:26

Inevitably, I miss their sports days every year.

0:23:260:23:28

When Poppy says to me in the morning, "You will be there?"

0:23:280:23:31

and I kind of say, "Well, no, I can't,"

0:23:310:23:33

she doesn't really understand why

0:23:330:23:35

I'm not going to actually be able to turn up.

0:23:350:23:37

Having worked his way up the career ladder,

0:23:370:23:40

a move down under could lead to a step back for Gethin.

0:23:400:23:44

I'm not naive to think that I could walk into a senior position

0:23:440:23:48

in an Australian school when I won't actually know the system at all.

0:23:480:23:52

I'm probably going to go back into a class teacher job.

0:23:520:23:55

But less responsibility could mean less money.

0:23:550:23:58

So it's crucial the couple find good jobs in Australia

0:23:580:24:01

to make the move affordable.

0:24:010:24:03

Finding herself unemployed after Dubai

0:24:030:24:06

is still a painful memory for Deborah.

0:24:060:24:09

It does scare me about being back in that position again

0:24:090:24:12

of not having a job. It worries me massively.

0:24:120:24:15

Today, we're giving Gethin and Deborah the chance to find out

0:24:170:24:20

what opportunities could exist for them in Perth.

0:24:200:24:23

We've arranged for them to spend time at Ashdale Secondary College.

0:24:230:24:27

First up, Deborah meets with Jamie Long,

0:24:270:24:30

head of PE and deputy principal.

0:24:300:24:32

-Hello, Jamie. Nice to meet you.

-Hi there. How are you?

-Good, thank you.

0:24:320:24:35

-Why don't you come through and have a look around?

-Great. Thanks very much.

0:24:350:24:38

This is a Year Eight phys ed class, doing some basketball.

0:24:380:24:42

Quite a large gymnasium.

0:24:420:24:43

We can divide it in half and have two classes running.

0:24:430:24:46

After a quick tour of the facilities,

0:24:500:24:52

Deborah is keen to get down to business.

0:24:520:24:54

Jamie, are there lots of opportunities for PE teachers in Perth?

0:24:540:24:58

It is reasonably competitive at the moment,

0:24:580:25:00

but I think someone with your experience,

0:25:000:25:02

there will be numerous opportunities for employment here in Perth.

0:25:020:25:05

Sounds encouraging.

0:25:050:25:06

Meanwhile, Gethin's meeting up with Vanessa May,

0:25:060:25:09

head of learning support and pastoral care at the school.

0:25:090:25:12

-Nice to meet you.

-Hi, Gethin. Really nice to meet you.

0:25:120:25:15

Come this way.

0:25:150:25:16

So these are the learning departments through here.

0:25:160:25:19

Ashdale boasts a special programme designed to support students

0:25:190:25:23

within the autism spectrum disorder.

0:25:230:25:25

Vanessa takes Gethin along to observe a class in action.

0:25:250:25:28

Today, we are just looking with the boys about what disclosure

0:25:280:25:31

could look like. So, disclosing their disability in the workplace

0:25:310:25:35

to an employer.

0:25:350:25:36

I told my employer or my boss that I had autism

0:25:360:25:40

just after I had gotten the job to allow her to know that, you know,

0:25:400:25:45

I might need a few extra... things and advice.

0:25:450:25:50

I can honestly say what you've just done is very, very difficult,

0:25:500:25:52

and you've made it look really easy.

0:25:520:25:54

I do appreciate you giving me your time today.

0:25:540:25:56

This is really good. Thank you.

0:25:560:25:58

Gethin's impressed.

0:25:580:25:59

So, with his skills and background in special needs,

0:25:590:26:02

could there be a place for him in a school like this?

0:26:020:26:05

It's an area that the government is certainly putting some more funding

0:26:050:26:09

into, so I think definitely there's a need.

0:26:090:26:11

That's just what Gethin was hoping to hear,

0:26:110:26:14

and a move back to the classroom

0:26:140:26:16

could mean more time with the family.

0:26:160:26:18

What's the normal working day for teachers?

0:26:180:26:20

We have an 8.45-3.10 day.

0:26:200:26:23

Obviously, the demands of teaching are always more than that.

0:26:230:26:27

But the weather and the lifestyle in Perth,

0:26:270:26:31

leaves plenty of time for a nice work-life balance.

0:26:310:26:33

Sounds ideal.

0:26:330:26:35

Meanwhile, Deborah's got more questions for Jamie.

0:26:350:26:39

If I was to move over here,

0:26:390:26:40

I wouldn't have my support of my mum and mother-in-law looking after

0:26:400:26:44

the children for childcare.

0:26:440:26:45

What support would you have in Australia for that?

0:26:450:26:47

We allocate leave particularly for parents

0:26:470:26:50

who need to support their children,

0:26:500:26:52

and that's called carers' leave.

0:26:520:26:54

There's definitely mechanisms there to assist.

0:26:540:26:56

-OK, so it's really supportive, then?

-Very.

-Brilliant.

0:26:560:26:59

That's one concern put to rest.

0:26:590:27:01

What about the all-important question of salary?

0:27:010:27:04

With your level of experience, Deb,

0:27:040:27:06

you would expect to be in the vicinity of about £57,000 a year.

0:27:060:27:11

That is a lot more!

0:27:110:27:13

That's brilliant.

0:27:140:27:15

Deborah's stunned.

0:27:150:27:17

That's about £20,000 more than what I earn currently at the moment,

0:27:170:27:20

and that's me being at the top of my scale.

0:27:200:27:22

-Wow.

-Yeah, wow!

0:27:220:27:24

Great result!

0:27:240:27:26

And Gethin?

0:27:260:27:27

So, as a classroom teacher, you could expect to earn £57,000.

0:27:270:27:32

Wow. That's more than I earn at home as a deputy headteacher.

0:27:320:27:37

In fact, Gethin could increase his salary even more down under.

0:27:370:27:41

If you were to showcase your skills through a portfolio application

0:27:410:27:46

called the Level 3 Classroom Teacher System,

0:27:460:27:49

that would put you up to around £64,000 a year.

0:27:490:27:53

-That's... That's very good news, actually.

-Yes.

0:27:530:27:56

-Made my day.

-That is our way of keeping really good people

0:27:560:27:59

in the classroom.

0:27:590:28:00

Today's proved a positive one for the couple.

0:28:000:28:04

Discovering they could potentially find jobs

0:28:040:28:06

and up their income significantly down under has blown them away.

0:28:060:28:10

The news is amazing, and for me, you know, is a game-changer.

0:28:120:28:15

There's no cut in salary to come here, which is one of my concerns.

0:28:150:28:20

Definitely more positive than what I was yesterday.

0:28:200:28:22

It's really good news.

0:28:220:28:24

It certainly is.

0:28:240:28:26

This could be the easiest vote of the week!

0:28:260:28:28

-Australia.

-Australia.

0:28:340:28:36

Yay!

0:28:380:28:39

It's a life-changing salary change, really, isn't it?

0:28:400:28:43

It's an increase in salary without the increase in added stress

0:28:430:28:47

of running the place. My dream is not to be in work

0:28:470:28:49

and to be at home with the kids.

0:28:490:28:51

Yeah, spend more time with us, and, well, that's something we both want.

0:28:510:28:56

Deborah and Gethin's return to Australia

0:29:080:29:11

has been insightful so far.

0:29:110:29:13

Hopefully, the chance to show Lewis and Poppy the outdoor lifestyle

0:29:130:29:16

they fell for almost 15 years ago

0:29:160:29:19

will give them further clarity on whether or not

0:29:190:29:22

they really should make the country their home.

0:29:220:29:25

The Howells are visiting a sports and recreation centre

0:29:260:29:29

in the northern suburb of Joondalup,

0:29:290:29:31

and they're determined some wet weather won't dampen their spirits.

0:29:310:29:35

Wow, look at this, guys! Even on a rainy day,

0:29:350:29:37

we can come here and do some activities.

0:29:370:29:39

-My name's Kieran.

-Hi.

-Pleasure to meet you. You must be Lewis.

0:29:390:29:42

-Yeah.

-High five. There you go. And Poppy. High five.

0:29:420:29:45

Poppy skips to it straightaway.

0:29:450:29:48

Stomp like a dinosaur.

0:29:480:29:50

Two, three, spin!

0:29:510:29:53

And it's not long before big brother Lewis shows how it's done.

0:29:530:29:57

Stand behind Lewis. There you go.

0:29:570:29:59

So, see how Lewis is doing it? Yeah!

0:29:590:30:02

Give me a high five, Pops. Woohoo!

0:30:020:30:05

This is just the kind of lifestyle

0:30:050:30:08

Mum and Dad want the children to have.

0:30:080:30:10

It's all of the things that Deb and I know that needs to be developed

0:30:100:30:13

as part of a really fun session. It's brilliant.

0:30:130:30:16

To actually come here and find out there's 20-plus of those activities

0:30:160:30:20

going on in the area... She really enjoyed it as well,

0:30:200:30:22

which is the most important thing.

0:30:220:30:23

-And Lewis enjoyed helping, didn't you, Lewis?

-Yeah.

0:30:230:30:26

I enjoyed helping.

0:30:260:30:27

-Did Poppy have fun in that session?

-Yes.

-Yes!

0:30:270:30:31

As evening falls,

0:30:320:30:33

Lewis gets to tackle his favourite sport with a chance to join

0:30:330:30:36

one of the local rugby teams.

0:30:360:30:39

Expat coach Macey gives him a warm welcome.

0:30:390:30:41

We hear you like rugby. You want to join in?

0:30:410:30:43

So we've got a special jumper here for you.

0:30:430:30:45

Go and get changed, and we'll see you on the pitch.

0:30:450:30:48

Lewis is passionate about rugby

0:30:480:30:50

and has already researched Aussie teams for his age group.

0:30:500:30:53

When they hit you, you can jump back.

0:30:530:30:55

Up!

0:30:550:30:57

Up!

0:31:000:31:02

Mum and Dad watch proudly from the sidelines.

0:31:070:31:10

Oh, my...!

0:31:100:31:11

It makes me feel really emotional, actually, just watching him.

0:31:120:31:15

It would be one of the ways that would help us settle in, that shared interest,

0:31:150:31:18

and it's a great way to meet people.

0:31:180:31:19

After a gruelling training session,

0:31:190:31:22

Lewis wants to leave something to be remembered by.

0:31:220:31:24

This is a Gwent Dragons flag. This is my favourite rugby team.

0:31:240:31:29

Tonight's reassured Deborah and Gethin

0:31:290:31:31

moving down under could be a very different experience

0:31:310:31:34

from the last time they emigrated.

0:31:340:31:36

Him fitting in is massive, because if he's happy, he won't want to,

0:31:360:31:40

you know, go back to the UK,

0:31:400:31:41

and hopefully flourish with these opportunities this country's going to give him.

0:31:410:31:45

It'd be really cool if I come back here and join the Joondalup club.

0:31:450:31:49

They were really friendly to me, and I think I made a few friends.

0:31:490:31:53

-ALL:

-One, two, three!

0:31:530:31:55

CHEERING

0:31:550:31:57

So, after an action-packed day,

0:31:570:31:59

when it comes to voting for lifestyle down under,

0:31:590:32:02

could it be a full house for the Howells?

0:32:020:32:05

Based on our activities today, our vote goes to...

0:32:050:32:08

-Australia.

-Australia.

-Australia.

-Four Australias!

0:32:200:32:23

Yay!

0:32:230:32:24

Today's really proved to me that

0:32:240:32:26

everything that we enjoy doing is here,

0:32:260:32:29

you know, and this is supposed to be one of the coldest, wettest days!

0:32:290:32:32

I just think there's no other choice, really, that we could make.

0:32:320:32:35

I can imagine us doing this every Friday or Saturday and Sunday night.

0:32:350:32:41

Kind of fits us, really.

0:32:410:32:43

With a clean sweep for Oz,

0:32:510:32:52

it looks like Gethin's dream's on track,

0:32:520:32:55

but to avoid it being kicked into touch,

0:32:550:32:57

the finances will have to stack up.

0:32:570:33:00

Getting the right price for their home in the UK

0:33:000:33:02

could be a good start.

0:33:020:33:03

The couple think it's worth £220,000.

0:33:030:33:07

Will two local estate agents agree?

0:33:070:33:09

-Let's have a look at the house.

-Are you ready to press "play"?

0:33:090:33:13

Hot conservatory.

0:33:160:33:18

First-class conservatory.

0:33:180:33:21

Excellent way to extend your property.

0:33:210:33:23

-'Looks big, doesn't it?

-Yeah, it does look big.'

0:33:230:33:26

-AGENT:

-It's a lovely landing here.

0:33:260:33:28

And it's nice and open and spacious,

0:33:280:33:30

which many four-beds around the local area don't actually have.

0:33:300:33:34

This is the master bedroom of the property.

0:33:340:33:37

It's got an en-suite shower room, which is very, very popular.

0:33:370:33:41

-AGENT:

-'This is a nice room in the house.'

0:33:420:33:44

My favourite room.

0:33:440:33:46

And a playroom/office, so it's definitely a benefit to the property.

0:33:460:33:50

In today's market, I'd value this house at £210,000.

0:33:500:33:54

For a quick sale, I'd be looking at £200,000.

0:33:540:33:57

I would value the property in today's market

0:33:570:34:00

for sale at between £180,000 and £200,000.

0:34:000:34:04

'For a quick sale, £175,000.'

0:34:040:34:07

That's really shocked me.

0:34:070:34:09

-Yeah. I'm not happy with that.

-Oh, my God.

0:34:090:34:13

The evaluations are bitterly disappointing.

0:34:130:34:16

Well, that can't be right.

0:34:160:34:18

-Couldn't sell it for 180.

-No, there's no way.

0:34:180:34:20

While Lewis and Poppy play outside,

0:34:200:34:23

Mum and Dad prepare to tackle the price of everyday living.

0:34:230:34:26

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

0:34:260:34:30

starting with a weekly supermarket shop.

0:34:300:34:32

Raspberries. Poppy eats an absolute ton of those.

0:34:340:34:36

So they're more expensive over here.

0:34:360:34:38

-SHE GASPS

-God, that's loads more, isn't it?

0:34:380:34:40

-Bananas.

-Double, more or less, yeah.

0:34:400:34:42

We like our bananas, don't we?

0:34:420:34:44

-Yeah. Here we go.

-Everything's a plus so far.

0:34:440:34:46

All the healthy stuff's more.

0:34:460:34:48

Biscuits are less.

0:34:480:34:49

Ooh!

0:34:490:34:50

Yeah, chocolate, less.

0:34:500:34:53

Toilet rolls, less. Hey!

0:34:530:34:55

THEY LAUGH

0:34:550:34:57

So what does it all add up to?

0:34:570:34:59

That comes to £102.80.

0:34:590:35:03

Minus £82...

0:35:030:35:07

Six...

0:35:070:35:09

So, we would be £20.74 worse off.

0:35:090:35:14

Well, we'd just have to just shop around, I guess.

0:35:140:35:16

Yeah, it's not ideal, but it's not terrible, either, is it?

0:35:160:35:19

No. I could live with that.

0:35:190:35:20

An extra £20 a week for food down under

0:35:200:35:22

doesn't seem to have fazed the couple,

0:35:220:35:25

but what about the bigger outgoings?

0:35:250:35:27

Basing their calculations on the dream house,

0:35:270:35:30

the Howells' mortgage would more than double in Australia.

0:35:300:35:33

That frightens me a bit, because I think that's massive.

0:35:330:35:36

Factoring in all the other household bills is not good news,

0:35:360:35:40

as the couple discover they would be more than £700 a month worse off.

0:35:400:35:45

That's an awful lot, isn't it?

0:35:450:35:47

We're not far off nearly £1,000,

0:35:470:35:51

and that's without any kind of emergencies.

0:35:510:35:53

Both Gethin and Deborah could earn substantially more in Australia,

0:35:530:35:58

but is it enough to make the sums add up?

0:35:580:36:00

After tax, salary...

0:36:010:36:04

we...you and I will be £2,031 better off.

0:36:040:36:09

SHE LAUGHS

0:36:090:36:12

I'm not joking!

0:36:120:36:13

That's an impressive potential increase to their monthly income.

0:36:140:36:18

So what does it mean for their overall figures?

0:36:180:36:21

In Australia, we would be £1,322...and nine pence -

0:36:210:36:27

which is very important - better off.

0:36:270:36:30

Wow. I think that deserves a big smiley face!

0:36:310:36:34

Yeah.

0:36:340:36:35

Wow. It just means I could be there doing more with Lewis and Poppy,

0:36:350:36:40

and not be out of pocket.

0:36:400:36:43

That's wonderful for me.

0:36:430:36:45

I think I know which way this vote is going to go too.

0:36:450:36:48

Based on the sums in our reality check, our vote goes to...

0:36:480:36:52

-Australia.

-Australia.

0:36:580:36:59

SHE LAUGHS

0:36:590:37:01

-A no-brainer, really, wasn't it?

-No comparison, was it?

0:37:010:37:04

The other consideration for me was,

0:37:040:37:06

we could actually afford to go home as well, back to the UK, to visit.

0:37:060:37:09

For me, it's important the children know their roots,

0:37:090:37:11

and I wouldn't want to erase that from their life.

0:37:110:37:13

-Australia.

-Australia.

0:37:130:37:15

SHE LAUGHS

0:37:150:37:16

With the finances firmly in the black,

0:37:240:37:26

Gethin and Deborah's Australian dream may be about to become

0:37:260:37:30

a reality.

0:37:300:37:31

But there's still one final hurdle to overcome.

0:37:310:37:35

Having tried and failed to emigrate once before,

0:37:350:37:37

can they face breaking the close bonds with family and friends

0:37:370:37:41

all over again?

0:37:410:37:42

While Poppy prefers to play,

0:37:420:37:44

Lewis has decided to watch a DVD of messages from home with Mum and Dad.

0:37:440:37:48

-How are you feeling about this, then?

-Semi-excited, semi-scared.

0:37:480:37:51

Yeah? I'm really anxious.

0:37:510:37:53

I know this is the part which is going to really hit home to me.

0:37:530:37:56

Lewis, shall we press "play"?

0:37:560:37:58

-Bore da, Geth.

-Hiya, Deb.

0:37:580:38:00

-How you doing, Lew?

-Hi.

0:38:000:38:03

Hi, Deb, Geth and the kids.

0:38:040:38:07

-Hi, all.

-Hi. Hope you're having a lovely time.

0:38:070:38:11

Hi. Have you had a good week? Missing you already.

0:38:110:38:14

Debs is a very strong character.

0:38:160:38:18

She definitely rules the roost in the house,

0:38:180:38:21

but Geth worships the ground she worked on.

0:38:210:38:24

They're best of friends.

0:38:240:38:25

The Howellses are very outgoing, very adventurous.

0:38:250:38:29

Geth and Deb are very athletic.

0:38:290:38:32

Was! I was.

0:38:320:38:34

Lewis, obviously, outdoors, likes his sport.

0:38:340:38:38

So I think Australia will be great for him.

0:38:380:38:41

And Poppy, she's a really girlie girl.

0:38:410:38:43

She's just like a little fairy, dancing all the time.

0:38:430:38:46

She's amazing, really.

0:38:460:38:48

I knew it was something that was always in the pipeline,

0:38:480:38:51

something that I remember her talking about a long time ago.

0:38:510:38:54

I was in the car with him, and it just come out.

0:38:540:38:58

And I couldn't believe it. I thought they were joking.

0:38:580:39:00

Part of me is hoping that they won't settle there, but then

0:39:000:39:07

the other part is thinking, "Well, it is a better life for them,

0:39:070:39:10

"and I'm going to miss them."

0:39:100:39:13

And I'll wave them off, and I'll have a smile on my face.

0:39:130:39:16

But inside, your heart, it'll be breaking. But...

0:39:160:39:19

After seeing them like now every day...

0:39:210:39:23

..and I won't be able to see them every day, will I?

0:39:250:39:28

But I would never, ever stop them going.

0:39:310:39:34

At the end of the day, it's your life, and you got to go for it.

0:39:340:39:39

If you choose to stay in Australia...

0:39:390:39:41

..then you've got our 100% support.

0:39:430:39:46

We'll be here whenever you need us.

0:39:460:39:48

I'm sure whichever way you go,

0:39:480:39:51

it will be the best for you and your kids and for your future,

0:39:510:39:53

so good luck.

0:39:530:39:55

If you decide to make a new life in Australia, go for it.

0:39:550:39:58

We'll come and visit and, just remember, no regrets.

0:39:580:40:01

Whatever decision, I will be there to give you my blessing.

0:40:040:40:08

I will miss you, but love you all.

0:40:080:40:12

Are you OK?

0:40:150:40:16

-Well done, Lewis.

-Well done.

0:40:170:40:19

That was hard watching that, wasn't it?

0:40:190:40:21

That's hard, and it's only a couple of days ago we saw them,

0:40:210:40:24

and it won't be long we'll see them again, but...

0:40:240:40:26

LEWIS SOBS

0:40:260:40:28

-It's a tough watch, isn't it?

-It's a tough watch, a very tough watch.

0:40:280:40:32

It's nice to hear that everyone thinks we've got to do

0:40:320:40:35

what's right for us, but it doesn't make it any easier, does it?

0:40:350:40:39

Hm?

0:40:390:40:40

Watching messages from loved ones is never easy,

0:40:470:40:50

but with that all-important final vote on the horizon,

0:40:500:40:54

the Howells are running out of time to make a decision about where

0:40:540:40:57

their future really lies.

0:40:570:41:00

Will they opt to pack up and move down under

0:41:000:41:03

or decide there's no place like home?

0:41:030:41:06

The trial week has reinforced Gethin's vision of a life

0:41:070:41:11

down under.

0:41:110:41:12

It's kind of really hammered home

0:41:120:41:14

that this is something I'd like us to do as a family.

0:41:140:41:16

It's reopened Deborah's eyes to the kind of future

0:41:160:41:19

they could enjoy in Australia.

0:41:190:41:21

There's no doubt about it, this is a dream lifestyle.

0:41:210:41:24

Lewis agrees.

0:41:240:41:26

Basically, so far, Perth has been just an amazing place for me.

0:41:260:41:31

But leaving loved ones behind has him torn.

0:41:310:41:34

If you think about it, we're so far away from them,

0:41:340:41:38

um, and I really miss them.

0:41:380:41:41

He's been so positive all week, so seeing him, I was very shocked,

0:41:410:41:45

and it does worry me again, then, thinking,

0:41:450:41:47

"Well, will he be able to handle it?"

0:41:470:41:49

As the final vote approaches,

0:41:500:41:52

where the family's future lies is far from certain.

0:41:520:41:56

I still don't really know what I'm going to decide

0:41:560:41:59

on the flag turn yet.

0:41:590:42:00

Even though Australia's an amazing place,

0:42:000:42:03

basically everything's scary and amazing at the same time.

0:42:030:42:08

It's time to vote.

0:42:080:42:10

Based on our experiences this week, our final decision goes to...

0:42:100:42:15

-ALL:

-Australia!

0:42:310:42:32

-Wow!

-I can just see this is where

0:42:320:42:35

our family are going to be really happy.

0:42:350:42:37

It's great that we've all voted the same way.

0:42:370:42:40

I know I'm going to really miss my family and friends.

0:42:400:42:43

But I really do feel that this dream is worth fighting for.

0:42:430:42:47

Throughout the week, I've been voting Australia because I knew

0:42:470:42:50

that this would be the right place for us.

0:42:500:42:52

-So let's do it.

-Go, Team Howells!

-Woohoo!

0:42:520:42:55

It's been an eventful week down under for Gethin, Deborah,

0:43:020:43:07

Lewis and Poppy.

0:43:070:43:08

Whatever the future holds for the family,

0:43:080:43:11

we wish them all health, wealth and lots of happiness.

0:43:110:43:15

Deborah and Gethin were bowled over by the Australian lifestyle on honeymoon there in 2004, making a pact to return permanently once they had started a family.

Their plans suffered a setback when both their fathers died suddenly within a week of each other and the couple resigned themselves to staying close to their mums in Wales. But their desire for an outdoor lifestyle was too great to ignore. Encouraged by work opportunities, they moved to Dubai in 2012, believing it would give them the lifestyle they wanted while knowing they were still close enough to home should they be needed.

But while they enjoyed their new life, son Lewis struggled to fit into his new surroundings, and when he begged them to return six months later, the couple found themselves looking for jobs and a new home back in Wales. Now, three years later, Gethin is worn down by his daily commute and missing the family time he had enjoyed in Dubai, and he is convinced his family's future belongs down under.

But having struggled to rebuild their life once, Deborah is adamant they aren't going anywhere without making sure it is perfect for everyone. Will a trial week in Perth be enough to put the whole family on the same page and secure Gethin the lifestyle he dreams of?


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