Hanson Family Wanted Down Under


Hanson Family

Families consider relocating down under. Will a week in Melbourne help Keith persuade his wife Mary to seek out a new life in Australia?


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Transcript


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If generations of your family had seduced you with tales of a life

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down under, you might be tempted to follow in their footsteps.

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But would the promise of Australia and all it offers be enough

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to pull you away from loved ones you may never see again?

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Keith Hanson is passionate about moving down under.

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My life in Australia, it looks like a couple of kids,

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a nice house somewhere, and the odd koala in the tree!

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There's a swimming pool. Yes!

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But wife Mary is not sure.

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I do feel I would be letting my dad down if I moved to Australia.

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So, will a week in the country secure Keith the future he wants?

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When are we moving in, then, Mary?

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Or leave Mary convinced there's no place like home?

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I've got 24 hours now to make the biggest decision of my life.

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For over two centuries,

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people have been arriving on Australia's shores to explore some

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of the world's most distinct natural landscape.

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Over 28 million hectares of the country

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is designated as national park land,

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offering the lure of wide-open spaces and fresh air

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and spectacular scenery to the thousands of British people

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who dream of calling it their home.

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Captivated by family tales of adventure and romance in a land down under,

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Keith and Mary Hanson dream of creating their own reality

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in Australia.

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But starting a new life on the other side of the world

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may be easier said than done

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as Mary is struggling with the prospect of leaving behind

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her beloved father.

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Will a week sampling the country be enough to secure Keith the future he

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now craves and convince Mary it's time to go on an adventure

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all of their own?

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The couple spent almost 23 hours in the sky travelling from London

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to Melbourne.

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With stop-overs and delays,

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the flight hasn't been straightforward.

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We had to land and refuel and then take off again and then land again

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and we couldn't land in Dubai and then we were sent to, is it Oman?

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Yes.

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At the end of the day, we made it, which is good.

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The journey has given Mary time to reflect on how far they've come.

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I've been thinking about whether my dad would be able to come over

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and how difficult the flight would be for him to do.

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And they both had time to focus on the importance of the next seven days.

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This week could be a life-changing week for us because it will influence

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the rest of our lives and where we're going to settle and hopefully

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bring up a family.

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So, everything is riding on it, really.

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I feel it's my passion to be here and obviously I have got to try and

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convince Mary to be here.

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So I'm hoping this week I'll get the opportunity to get Mary on board.

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Meet the Hansons,

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Mary and Keith, from the town of Belbroughton near Birmingham.

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Living with their chickens and two cats,

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the pair like nothing more than being outside.

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We love just being outside in fresh air.

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We like nature. I love going walking when we get the opportunity.

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Everything about the couple just seems to add up.

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Between us, we just kind of... two plus two equals four.

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-We work well as a team.

-We do.

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We do, yeah. The Hanson team.

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I'm just going to put the chorizo in the oven.

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Life's good in the UK.

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I've done some tapas food for everybody.

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But Keith thinks it could be even better by moving to Australia,

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an idea first triggered by tales of the land down under

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from Mary's extended family.

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My aunt went on a boat as a £10 Pom,

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but my uncle did a slightly more adventurous trip and he went over

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by motorbike and it always just made me fascinated with wanting to go

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and see the world and almost recreate the journey that he did.

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-But by plane.

-But by plane, not by motorbike.

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Their stories have helped Keith conjure up a vivid picture of what

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life could be like there for him and Mary.

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Life in Australia looks like a couple of kids, a nice house

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somewhere out in the countryside and the odd koala in the tree.

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A nice lifestyle of us picking our own sort of vegetables that we grow.

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Some nice plums.

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Keith talks about Australia constantly.

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Every day he's bringing up a story or something he's read

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or something he's heard.

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I try to bring in different angles and different ways

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to convince you that it's the right thing to do.

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-Make me pay attention.

-That's it, yeah.

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Mary loves the idea, but the decision to cut ties with home

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is proving easier said than done.

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-Here is your coffee.

-Oh, wonderful.

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There you go. I brought a couple of biscuits.

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Since losing her mother to cancer,

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she's been helping to care for her father.

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My dad has Parkinson's disease and at the moment it is controlled by

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medication, but he will gradually get worse with time.

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You got three hens - the guy on the TV last night, he got 9,000.

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We do care for him, basically.

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We have to help him with all different kinds of just household tasks.

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The thought of leaving him is devastating for Mary.

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If I went to Australia I would be leaving a massive gap in Dad's life.

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They have got their own lives to lead as well.

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I don't know if I could reconcile with myself if something happened

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to Dad while I was out there.

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I'm not that strong a person to be able to handle that, I don't think.

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I put a bit of chocolate on it for you.

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Mary's dad is equally upset at the prospect of his daughter moving

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so far from home.

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But he would never stand in her way.

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I don't want to make them feel as though they've got to...

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Got to look after me.

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-I'm all right.

-I know you are.

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Don't spoil me parting!

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It's a difficult situation,

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but having already secured an Australian visa,

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Keith is desperate to pursue the life he wants before it's too late.

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Being 42, my age is against me.

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I think that would become a problem if I left it another three or four

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years to go. So...

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And I really like the idea of the dream and everything the country

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could give us in terms of lifestyle and possibly starting a family.

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But if Mary can't be convinced moving to the country she's heard

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so much about is a realistic option for her,

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the Australian dream Keith's now taken ownership of

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could fail to take flight.

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I worry that it's a nice idea for a holiday,

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but could I actually live out there knowing what I'd be leaving behind?

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I don't know if I could.

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To see if Australia is somewhere they could both call home,

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Mary and Keith are spending their trial week in Melbourne,

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capital of Victoria.

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They're staying in Ferny Creek,

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a southeastern suburb in the Yarrow ranges.

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This is so beautiful.

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It's such an amazing place.

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Their base is this modern house

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situated on the border of a state forest.

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Whilst only an hour's drive from central Melbourne,

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it's a world away from the hustle and bustle of the city

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and offers the kind of scenery agricultural expert Mary will love.

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-The setting!

-Wow, that is so beautiful.

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-Look at the view down here.

-Fantastic.

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-With the sun.

-Yeah, and over there.

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So far, they're wildly impressed with their introduction to Aussie living.

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This is an absolutely beautiful house.

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Yeah, I'm sold.

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Taking in more of the view presents Keith with an ideal opportunity.

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No, Mary, I think you might be convinced.

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-Yeah, something like this.

-Something similar to this might...

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Might convince me, yes.

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I'll keep trying.

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Mary is not promising anything,

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but it doesn't stop Keith making himself at home.

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Yeah, I'm being very nosey, actually.

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I'll be back in a minute!

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Joking aside, Keith appreciates the dilemma facing his wife.

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The expectations need to be filled and only then, on that basis,

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I think can you only really make a decision on your dad as well.

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He's definitely going to be a leading factor

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in our decision-making this week

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and I reckon we will be thinking about him quite a bit.

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Back in the UK,

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the Hansons live in Mary's childhood home in the village of Belbroughton

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in the West Midlands.

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This place was originally built by Mary's dad who converted it from

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an old dairy and the cows had vacated before Mary was here.

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So there's quite a lot of history attached with this house.

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I've got a lot of good memories here. We're very lucky to be here.

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Yeah.

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With such strong emotional ties,

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any house in Australia will have a lot to live up to.

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It's got to be something special.

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Yeah, with a bit of land.

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I would like a swimming pool.

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With a budget of around £800,000, that could be possible.

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So is there anything else on the wish-list?

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We really like some of the colonial-style properties with sort of verandas.

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-Anything with features.

-Yeah, the features.

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Today, we'll show the couple three properties.

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Two based on budget

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and a third which we think could be their dream home.

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Only after viewing each one will they find out its value.

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You never know, we might get lucky with one of these properties.

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-We might even get somewhere with a swimming pool.

-Yeah.

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Getting the day under way,

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Mary and Keith head 11 miles from their rental house

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to the suburb of Harkaway.

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Surrounded by bushland, the location promises tranquillity,

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but with lots of local amenities,

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it also offers the perfect blend of rural retreat and city living.

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I really, really like it. Look at the view of the hills and the trees.

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-It's gorgeous.

-Yeah, the scenery is really nice.

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Will this three-bedroom Victorian farmhouse be just what they're after?

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-It looks nice, doesn't it?

-Oh, yeah, it is really, really nice.

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Inside, the period features will hopefully impress.

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Oh, wow. Oh, I like this.

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Oh, wow! Look at the ceiling height. This is...

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And the tiles.

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Check out the stained glass.

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That's beautiful. Look at the archway.

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Full of character, the style is proving a hit.

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-It's definitely our cup of tea...

-Yeah.

-..as the English would say.

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But it could take time to get used to the layout.

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Oh, there is a surprise. It's a bedroom. That's interesting.

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-You don't expect that, do you?

-No.

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A main bedroom located at the front of the property isn't what they're

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used to, but they're not put off.

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Well, that's a lovely Victorian fireplace and some built-in storage.

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Wow!

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The living room pleases.

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Crikey, look at the size of it! That's beautiful. A nice mirror.

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Oh, it's a fantastic room, isn't it?

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Yeah, this is, like, really impressive.

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With things going well,

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it's an opportune moment for Keith to ask about the future.

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When are we moving in, then, Mary?

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He could be getting ahead of himself

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because Mary's not sold on the kitchen.

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It's a little bit small, perhaps.

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Yeah, a little island.

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Needs modernising.

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The dated decor is not to their taste.

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Maybe the outdoors area will turn things around.

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Really, really nice. Yeah, a bonus getting a summer house.

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It is a good addition, isn't it?

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I reckon this would be quite nice in the winter. Nice and snug.

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-And the summer, obviously!

-Oh, yeah, but it's just a nice place to come out in the garden

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when it's a little bit cooler and have a nice glass of wine.

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Yeah, it would be really nice.

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With over an acre of land and more to see outside,

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this house could be the one to sell his dream move.

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-Look. There's a swimming pool!

-That's amazing.

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Yes, definitely, this is the kind of property that we'd want to buy.

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-We've got a barbecue area.

-It's tempting.

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This is amazing and the weather as well.

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Character as well. Victorian style.

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The ball is very much in Mary's court.

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This is the outdoor lifestyle!

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But she's not serving up the answer Keith wants just yet.

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Back inside, they're wondering if with £800,000,

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they could afford to a call a house like this home.

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How much do you think it's worth?

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-Probably 880 or something like that.

-Yeah, I'm going to go a bit lower.

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I'd say it's high, but there is still a bit of work to do on it,

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so possibly 825, around that sort of level.

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Time to find out if they're right.

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Go on. Go on. Let's have a look.

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Oh, wow! £790,000.

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Wow!

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That's £10,000 under budget.

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-I can't believe that.

-I was closer than you to the price.

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-Yeah, for what you get, it's amazing.

-Yeah.

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The price of the house has been a pleasant surprise

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and there are still two more properties left to view.

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The next is in the eastern suburb of Olinda.

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Do you think you could live round here? Somewhere like this?

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I could definitely live round somewhere like this.

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It's around 30 miles from the city centre and right in the middle of

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the bushy and scenic Dandenong Ranges.

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With cafes, shops and schools,

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it's a desirable place for couples and young families.

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Look at the school. Isn't that lovely? Lovely building.

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Yeah, it looks like a really nice community.

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Will this modern six-bedroom home promising panoramic views

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win them over?

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-Yeah, I like it.

-It's different.

-Yeah.

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-I do like it.

-Not something we'd have thought about, really.

-No.

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Let's go and have a little look.

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-Oh, look at the water.

-Yeah.

-Lovely!

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Wow, look at the hallway.

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-Oh, that's nice.

-Wow! What an amazing view.

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-Yeah.

-That is...

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-Oh, that's incredible.

-That's breathtaking.

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You must be able to see for absolutely miles.

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It's a big thumbs-up so far,

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but how will the sleek minimalist kitchen living area fare?

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A bit different. It's contemporary.

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Can you see yourself in this kind of...

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I can see myself definitely cooking something on that big range cooker.

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I'm not too sure how I feel about the...

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the contemporariness of it.

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It's a different style of house to what we're used to.

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-We'll keep an open mind.

-Yeah.

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Keith's staying positive, but Mary's unsure.

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Perhaps the master bedroom will change her mind.

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Imagine waking up in the morning to that view.

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-Yeah.

-And going out and having yourself a nice cup of coffee.

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-It's lovely.

-Yeah.

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The house has certainly been designed

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to make the most of the surrounding landscape

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and it's not just the decked balcony on offer.

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-It's a walk-in wardrobe.

-Oh, that would be so useful.

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You'd definitely fit all your clothes in here.

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I don't know where I'd be putting my stuff.

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I'm not that bad.

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And there's something else that might fit the bill for Mary downstairs.

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Oh, look at this.

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-Oh, that's good.

-Oh, there you go, Mary.

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-I like that.

-Perfect. It's a gym.

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-I will be in here all the time.

-Yeah? I wouldn't use it myself.

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I'm happy to have a burger instead.

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Well, how about some popcorn, Keith?

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-Be great to get your friends round, wouldn't it?

-Yeah, brilliant.

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Come round, watch a movie, have a beer, do a barbecue, that kind of thing.

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An added cinema room would be a bonus,

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but the couple seem more interested in viewing the landscape.

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-People would be amazed at that, wouldn't they?

-Yeah.

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You wouldn't get people in off the balcony.

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No, you wouldn't get them to leave your house, really.

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But it's just not enough to sway Mary.

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It's a beautiful house, it really is,

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but it's not somewhere I could see myself living.

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And Keith agrees.

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It's not for them.

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We want something with a bit of character and a bit of history.

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If you could take maybe the first house and give it that view,

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that would be great.

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But perhaps the price will give them more to think about.

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I would actually think this is probably out of our budget.

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I'd say 850 maybe.

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-Yeah.

-Maybe more.

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-I'm thinking higher than that, to be honest.

-Shall we look, then?

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-Are you ready?

-Yeah, go on.

-Sure?

-Go on.

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Let's have a look, then.

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Whoa!

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-Oh, wow!

-Wow!

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790,000.

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Once again, that's £10,000 under budget.

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That's a lot less than I thought it would be.

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Do you think that changes any opinions, or do you feel...?

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I could live in a house like this,

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but possibly not for a long period of time.

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So despite being affordable,

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it's not somewhere they see themselves settling.

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For something to convince me to move to Australia,

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it's got to be something better house-wise than we've got now, really.

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To view the final property of the day, the couple head to Upway,

0:17:220:17:26

a rural suburb bordering a state forest

0:17:260:17:28

around 20 miles east of central Melbourne.

0:17:280:17:31

Close to rail networks, it's a popular area for commuters.

0:17:310:17:35

I thought we were finished getting to the top of this hill.

0:17:350:17:38

We seem to be getting higher and higher. I don't know where we're going!

0:17:380:17:41

Crikey, this is steep. I hope it doesn't snow up here.

0:17:430:17:45

What will the couple make of this four-bedroom designer home?

0:17:460:17:50

It's a...

0:17:500:17:52

-It certainly looks interesting, doesn't it?

-Wow! Listen to the birds.

0:17:520:17:55

Oh, this is lovely.

0:17:550:17:57

The house has kerb appeal,

0:17:570:17:59

but will they be singing its praises inside?

0:17:590:18:02

Lovely entrance hall. Look at the size. Really high ceilings.

0:18:020:18:05

Nice colour scheme, too.

0:18:050:18:07

Very big and open.

0:18:070:18:08

Bigger than I thought it was going to be anyway.

0:18:080:18:11

The modern open-planned living area proves popular.

0:18:110:18:15

It's an unusual design.

0:18:150:18:16

-I can see that we could use the space.

-Oh, yeah, definitely.

0:18:160:18:19

You've got your different areas.

0:18:190:18:21

-I do like the bar stools as well.

-Yeah.

0:18:210:18:23

Even with its contemporary finish,

0:18:230:18:25

things are looking good in this house.

0:18:250:18:27

This is what you call a master room, isn't it?

0:18:270:18:30

This is really, really cool.

0:18:300:18:32

-Wow.

-It's massive.

0:18:320:18:33

Wow, yeah. High ceilings as well.

0:18:330:18:35

And the en-suite.

0:18:350:18:36

-I like it.

-Really, really cool.

0:18:360:18:39

Might want to put a door on it, though...

0:18:390:18:41

Not unless you don't mind seeing somebody using the bathroom!

0:18:410:18:46

It's a fair point.

0:18:460:18:47

Downstairs, they're blown away by the view.

0:18:470:18:50

Oh, wow, look at this.

0:18:500:18:51

-Wow!

-That is...

0:18:510:18:53

We're not in Australia, we're in the Holywood Hills.

0:18:530:18:56

It looks like Los Angeles in the background.

0:18:560:18:58

You can see all the skyscrapers.

0:18:580:19:00

Let's stick to the Australian dream for now, Keith!

0:19:000:19:03

Definitely have a drink here and see the view and watch the world go by.

0:19:030:19:07

Mary is not allowing herself to get carried away.

0:19:070:19:10

This is going to be over our budget without question.

0:19:100:19:13

But Keith, on the other hand, isn't holding back.

0:19:130:19:16

What would work wonders here... a swimming pool.

0:19:160:19:19

-Ah, yeah.

-A nice, big, long swimming pool.

0:19:190:19:21

Inside Mary admits she is surprised the house has won her over.

0:19:230:19:27

I thought it might be a bit too modern for what I like, but actually...

0:19:270:19:30

-It is a mixture of styles and it just works.

-I... Yeah.

0:19:300:19:33

How much do you think it might be?

0:19:330:19:35

Possibly even one million plus.

0:19:350:19:38

I'm thinking probably a minimum...

0:19:380:19:41

-950.

-Yeah.

0:19:420:19:44

Let's see what the price is.

0:19:440:19:46

Here we go. Let's have a look.

0:19:470:19:49

Go on, then.

0:19:490:19:51

-Wow!

-£950,000.

0:19:530:19:55

That's £150,000 over budget.

0:19:550:19:59

-That's better than I thought it was going to be.

-Wow.

0:19:590:20:01

-That's amazing.

-Hang on! Did I just say £950,000?

0:20:010:20:03

You did get that right.

0:20:030:20:06

Even if it is something we couldn't necessarily have now,

0:20:060:20:09

maybe in the future perhaps and that's actually really encouraging.

0:20:090:20:13

Despite being over budget,

0:20:130:20:15

Keith and Mary's property search down under has ended on a real high.

0:20:150:20:20

Full of character, the first house suited the couple down to a T

0:20:210:20:24

and discovering it was affordable was a real bonus.

0:20:240:20:27

Property two was under budget,

0:20:290:20:31

but a tad too modern for Mary

0:20:310:20:32

and even the spectacular view wasn't enough to sway her.

0:20:320:20:36

But despite the contemporary finish, and being over budget,

0:20:370:20:41

the couple were utterly charmed by property three.

0:20:410:20:45

So when it comes to the vote,

0:20:450:20:46

has Mary seen enough to choose houses in Australia

0:20:460:20:50

over her beloved home in the UK?

0:20:500:20:52

After a long day of property hunting, it's now time to vote.

0:20:520:20:55

BOTH: Australia.

0:21:030:21:04

Yeah! Give me a hug.

0:21:070:21:08

Some of the properties I've seen have just blown me away.

0:21:120:21:15

They're amazing.

0:21:150:21:16

-I'm glad you made your choice.

-I thought you would.

0:21:160:21:19

A first vote for Australia from Mary means Keith's dream is moving

0:21:300:21:34

in the right direction.

0:21:340:21:36

But to afford the lifestyle he's been selling,

0:21:360:21:39

they need to secure employment with good salaries.

0:21:390:21:42

Back in the UK, Mary has spent the past five years

0:21:460:21:49

working as a postdoctoral researcher at a university.

0:21:490:21:53

I work in plant pathology so I look at crop diseases

0:21:530:21:57

and ways of detecting and diagnosing crop disease.

0:21:570:22:00

She's passionate about her field of work.

0:22:000:22:04

If I couldn't find a similar job in Australia,

0:22:040:22:06

I'm not sure I'd want to move there, to be honest.

0:22:060:22:09

It is very important to me.

0:22:090:22:11

But while she enjoys a decent work-life balance,

0:22:110:22:14

things are completely different for Keith.

0:22:140:22:17

Running his own graphic design business from home,

0:22:170:22:19

he's often working around the clock to meet deadlines.

0:22:190:22:23

My hours can be anything from 40 to 60 hours.

0:22:240:22:28

When the work is here, I can't turn it down which means I have to work

0:22:280:22:31

on a late evening or on the weekends.

0:22:310:22:34

Keith's hoping doing the same job in Australia will allow him to have

0:22:340:22:38

more quality time with Mary.

0:22:380:22:41

The lifestyle appears different out there and I would hope that we would

0:22:410:22:44

be able to spend a little bit more time together evening and weekends.

0:22:440:22:48

With high expectations,

0:22:500:22:51

the couple head out to explore work opportunities in Melbourne.

0:22:510:22:55

And Mary knows exactly what she needs to hear today.

0:22:550:22:59

If I'm going to consider - seriously consider - moving to Australia,

0:22:590:23:03

then I'd need my job to provide me

0:23:030:23:04

at least £35,000

0:23:040:23:07

and 37 hours a week working.

0:23:070:23:09

We've arranged for her to meet with expat professor Roger Cousins

0:23:110:23:14

at the University of Melbourne.

0:23:140:23:16

-Hello, Mary, how are you?

-Hi.

0:23:170:23:18

-I'm Roger Cousins.

-Nice to meet you.

-Welcome to the...

0:23:180:23:21

After a tour of the department, Mary gets down to business.

0:23:210:23:25

Is a British PhD like I've got

0:23:250:23:27

something that would be transferable to Australia?

0:23:270:23:30

Yeah, it is internationally recognised.

0:23:300:23:33

With your qualifications you would

0:23:330:23:36

go into a postdoctoral research fellow position.

0:23:360:23:39

It's good news,

0:23:390:23:41

but Mary's still worried about job security down under.

0:23:410:23:44

In the UK, I'm lucky enough to have a permanent job.

0:23:440:23:48

Would the equivalent exist in Australia at my level?

0:23:480:23:51

Not as a permanent position.

0:23:530:23:55

You would have to get a few years under your belt

0:23:550:23:58

and probably expect to have to have those short-term positions

0:23:580:24:02

before you then would be competitive for a permanent job.

0:24:020:24:06

Realising permanent jobs in academia can be rare

0:24:060:24:10

highlights for Mary the fortunate position she's in at home

0:24:100:24:13

and could make uprooting very difficult.

0:24:130:24:15

Meanwhile, we've arranged for Keith to visit a design agency in

0:24:180:24:21

Collingwood outside the city centre, where he's catching up with

0:24:210:24:25

creative director Richie Meldrum.

0:24:250:24:26

-Thank you very much.

-Come this way.

-Thank you.

0:24:260:24:29

To begin, Keith's hoping to get feedback on his CV.

0:24:290:24:32

-There's definitely areas that are an attribute to you as a designer...

-Yeah.

0:24:340:24:38

..and I think there's some areas where you could benefit

0:24:380:24:40

from skilling up in.

0:24:400:24:41

-There is a lot of digital design and website design...

-Yeah.

0:24:410:24:44

..opportunities for designers here,

0:24:440:24:46

and I think that's probably maybe an area where you could

0:24:460:24:49

-look to kind of strengthen yourself, you know?

-Yeah.

0:24:490:24:52

With a largely print background,

0:24:520:24:54

Keith would need more experience in digital design,

0:24:540:24:57

but he's not put off.

0:24:570:24:59

It's definitely something I'm personally interested in

0:25:000:25:03

and it is something I'm actually in the process of doing myself.

0:25:030:25:06

Planning to continue working for himself down under, too,

0:25:080:25:11

Keith's keen to hear how he might

0:25:110:25:12

slot into the freelance market in Australia.

0:25:120:25:16

Your print background and your print production knowledge means,

0:25:160:25:20

if we get a project that's got that specialist skill requirement,

0:25:200:25:23

then there'd probably be a fit there.

0:25:230:25:26

Freelance working is an option,

0:25:260:25:28

but might be limited to print work to begin with.

0:25:280:25:31

In the UK, I earn 30,000-35,000 per year,

0:25:310:25:34

and I just wondered what kind of money or wages I could earn here.

0:25:340:25:39

Working as a freelancer,

0:25:390:25:41

obviously, I think that there's the chance

0:25:410:25:43

to earn slightly more than that -

0:25:430:25:45

-kind of £45,000-£50,000...

-Oh, OK.

-..a year salary.

0:25:450:25:48

If you work solidly throughout the year, that is, and take on...

0:25:480:25:51

-Seven days a week, yeah?

-..a lot of clients.

0:25:510:25:53

Um, maybe not seven days a week,

0:25:530:25:54

but certainly, you know, like taking on a lot of work.

0:25:540:25:58

Keith could be earning more than he does back home,

0:25:580:26:00

but it sounds like his work-life balance

0:26:000:26:02

might not improve as much as he'd hoped.

0:26:020:26:05

The morning has given him much to think about.

0:26:050:26:08

Back at university, Mary's discussing her work hours.

0:26:100:26:14

Normally, it's 37 hours a week,

0:26:140:26:17

but it depends on what's happening at the time

0:26:170:26:19

and whether you have to go on field work, or that sort of thing.

0:26:190:26:24

So it tends to be very flexible.

0:26:240:26:26

-Maybe the odd long day if you've got an experiment going?

-Yes.

0:26:260:26:29

SHE LAUGHS

0:26:290:26:30

Similar hours to back home is good news.

0:26:300:26:33

So what could Mary expect to earn?

0:26:330:26:35

-Somewhere in the region of £40,000-42,000 a year.

-Wow.

0:26:360:26:40

An increase of £7,000 on her current annual salary

0:26:400:26:44

is more than she was hoping for.

0:26:440:26:47

Do you think I would be able to get a position at the university,

0:26:470:26:49

or in Australia generally?

0:26:490:26:51

Yes, without a doubt,

0:26:510:26:53

but it may take some time,

0:26:530:26:55

and you may have to be fairly patient.

0:26:550:26:59

She might not be guaranteed work straightaway,

0:27:000:27:02

but the prospects are promising.

0:27:020:27:04

When the couple reunite, they're keen to reflect on

0:27:060:27:08

what they've heard.

0:27:080:27:10

I don't feel that my career would particularly progress

0:27:100:27:13

-here any better than it would in the UK.

-OK.

0:27:130:27:15

There's absolutely no difference for what I do for my job.

0:27:150:27:18

I probably feel similar because,

0:27:180:27:21

although the salary is more,

0:27:210:27:24

I would have to give up my permanent contract.

0:27:240:27:27

-But then again, that is kind of what you expect within...

-Yeah.

0:27:270:27:31

..science and within academia.

0:27:310:27:33

Could they both be sitting on the fence

0:27:330:27:35

when it comes to the vote between work in Australia and the UK?

0:27:350:27:40

-Undecided.

-Australia.

0:27:510:27:53

So I'm voting... I have to vote undecided.

0:27:560:27:58

I nearly voted undecided.

0:27:580:28:00

What did you say?

0:28:000:28:02

At the moment, until I've sort of completed my week,

0:28:020:28:06

I'm just undecided on the job front at the moment.

0:28:060:28:09

-Cos I thought you would vote Australia all the time...

-Yeah.

0:28:090:28:12

..so I am... I am surprised.

0:28:120:28:14

Voting with his head rather than his heart,

0:28:210:28:24

Keith's undecided vote for work was unexpected for Mary.

0:28:240:28:28

Are the tables beginning to turn,

0:28:280:28:30

or will the chance to experience the laid-back Australian lifestyle

0:28:300:28:35

they've heard so much about

0:28:350:28:36

help keep the dream alive for both of them?

0:28:360:28:39

Given their love of being outdoors,

0:28:410:28:43

Mary and Keith start their day at the Royal Botanic Gardens

0:28:430:28:47

in the centre of Melbourne.

0:28:470:28:48

As a leading plant biologist, you should be in your element here.

0:28:480:28:52

But it's not just Mary who has green fingers.

0:28:520:28:56

Over here and over here, you've got a Dicksonia antarctica.

0:28:560:28:59

Oh, yeah, the creeper.

0:28:590:29:00

It's the perfect pick-me-up after Keith's disappointing day at work,

0:29:020:29:05

and it's not long before he's pointing out

0:29:050:29:08

the benefits of moving down under.

0:29:080:29:09

It's just a shame you don't get anything like this in England, really.

0:29:090:29:12

-No, we don't, do we?

-I know there's a few nice places in Cornwall,

0:29:120:29:15

but not like this.

0:29:150:29:16

A final stop to admire more tropical plants...

0:29:160:29:20

-Oh, look at this.

-Phwoar!

-It's incredible.

0:29:210:29:24

-That's gotta be a massive pot plant.

-Yeah!

0:29:240:29:26

..and then it's time for lunch at a historic boathouse overlooking

0:29:260:29:30

the Yarrow River, where the couple reflect on everything

0:29:300:29:33

they've experienced so far.

0:29:330:29:36

-Wonderful setting.

-Mm.

0:29:360:29:38

-You could get used to the lifestyle, eating outside.

-Yeah.

0:29:380:29:42

It depends on your business, doesn't it?

0:29:420:29:44

Because if you were having to do more hours to make that work,

0:29:440:29:48

then that kind would be a bit of a downside because then we wouldn't

0:29:480:29:51

necessarily get much opportunity to do this.

0:29:510:29:53

We'd have to make more effort to try and come out a little bit more

0:29:530:29:56

-and do a little bit more.

-Or maybe if you earned a little bit less?

0:29:560:29:59

Yeah. I may have to do that.

0:29:590:30:01

Keith appears to have turned a corner and will be more flexible

0:30:010:30:05

with his ideas to keep Mary onside.

0:30:050:30:07

Finally, the couple soak up more of each other's company

0:30:090:30:13

out on the water...

0:30:130:30:14

-Are you on?

-Yeah.

-OK, then, I'll just untie the boat.

0:30:140:30:17

..but it's not exactly a case of coasting along.

0:30:170:30:20

-We can make that bridge, come on.

-Right, row.

-We can make it.

0:30:220:30:25

-Right.

-Row your side.

0:30:250:30:26

No...you did it wrong.

0:30:260:30:29

Come on, row! Am I going to have to do it all myself? Come on.

0:30:290:30:31

-Oh, my God, I've forgotten how to row!

-No!

0:30:310:30:34

SHE LAUGHS

0:30:340:30:35

-Yay, that's it.

-That's it. We got it.

0:30:350:30:38

-SHE LAUGHS

-Have you remembered how to row?

0:30:380:30:40

-I'm going to fall in.

-No, you're not. There you go.

0:30:400:30:42

We've done it.

0:30:420:30:43

Back on dry land,

0:30:430:30:44

Keith's more convinced than ever

0:30:440:30:46

Australia is right for them both...

0:30:460:30:48

Everything seems to be much more geared to

0:30:480:30:52

being more relaxed.

0:30:520:30:53

People just generally seem to be happier and, of course,

0:30:530:30:56

you've got great weather as well, which obviously helps.

0:30:560:30:58

..but the distance from home is playing on Mary's mind.

0:31:000:31:03

I do feel I would be letting my dad down

0:31:030:31:06

if I move to Australia. I feel like I should be there for him.

0:31:060:31:09

It's a very difficult decision to make.

0:31:100:31:12

'I'm trying to do this so we can both have a better life.

0:31:150:31:18

'I hope that Mary's dad would understand that,'

0:31:180:31:20

cos I really care about him as well, and it's...

0:31:200:31:23

It's just very... It is very hard.

0:31:230:31:26

With so much to consider,

0:31:260:31:27

Mary's struggling to find an answer.

0:31:270:31:30

It would be an ideal time for us to move,

0:31:320:31:34

and we're ready for a new chapter in our lives.

0:31:340:31:36

'But it's difficult because Dad needs us.'

0:31:370:31:40

-OK, yeah.

-Why not?

0:31:400:31:41

I've got 24 hours now to make the biggest decision of my life, really.

0:31:430:31:47

For now, the couple have to decide on the Aussie lifestyle -

0:31:470:31:51

has it lived up to the stories they've heard about life down under?

0:31:510:31:54

After a day of leisure activities in Australia,

0:31:540:31:57

it's now time to vote.

0:31:570:31:58

-BOTH:

-Australia!

0:32:050:32:06

Wow!

0:32:090:32:11

-The weather justifies it, really, doesn't it?

-Yeah, it was lovely.

0:32:110:32:14

I really enjoyed today.

0:32:140:32:15

-It has been brilliant.

-You can't vote any other way, can you?

0:32:150:32:17

No, no, that's it.

0:32:170:32:19

-This is great. I could definitely do this again.

-Yeah.

0:32:190:32:21

I could see us doing it every weekend.

0:32:210:32:23

Oh, it's been a lovely day.

0:32:230:32:24

While he hasn't got the green light yet from Mary,

0:32:280:32:31

a vote for the Australian lifestyle

0:32:310:32:32

has brought Keith a step closer to the dream.

0:32:320:32:35

But they still need to consider the financial implications

0:32:350:32:39

of relocating 10,000 miles from home.

0:32:390:32:42

To fund a move, the couple would have to sell their home in the UK.

0:32:450:32:49

They think it's worth around £600,000.

0:32:490:32:52

We sent two estate agents round to find out if they're right.

0:32:520:32:55

-It is slightly sunny.

-It looks quite nice, doesn't it?

-Yeah, it does.

0:32:570:33:00

A fantastic finish to the lounge,

0:33:000:33:01

great log burner in the corner.

0:33:010:33:03

The windows to the front may need replacing in the next couple of months.

0:33:030:33:07

-Yes.

-Yeah, definitely.

0:33:070:33:09

A nice-sized kitchen.

0:33:090:33:10

-THEY LAUGH

-Oh, Kavina!

0:33:100:33:12

-Oi, get off the table!

-THEY LAUGH

0:33:130:33:15

This is an impressive master bedroom.

0:33:150:33:17

However, it's not ideal only having one upstairs for families.

0:33:170:33:21

-Yeah.

-Yeah, good point.

0:33:210:33:23

Newly-built outbuilding. Some fantastic features, Velux windows,

0:33:240:33:28

a log burner. A great addition to the property.

0:33:280:33:31

Oh, that's good.

0:33:310:33:33

In the current market, I would value this property, once completed,

0:33:330:33:36

at approximately £525,000.

0:33:360:33:38

In its current state, I would value it at £485,000.

0:33:380:33:42

In the current market, once it's completed,

0:33:420:33:45

I would value this property at £550,000.

0:33:450:33:48

In its current state,

0:33:480:33:50

I would value it at £500,000.

0:33:500:33:52

-Yeah?

-It would have been nice to have it maybe a little bit higher.

0:33:520:33:55

Obviously, we'd want to get the house finished first before we could sell it.

0:33:550:33:59

-Yeah.

-I wouldn't want to sell it as it is currently...

0:33:590:34:01

-No.

-..for the lower value.

0:34:010:34:03

With valuations lower than expected,

0:34:030:34:05

the rest of the figures will need

0:34:050:34:07

to be more favourable to make cutting ties financially feasible.

0:34:070:34:11

-Right. Ready?

-Yeah. Come on.

0:34:110:34:13

We've provided a comparison of cost of living expenses

0:34:130:34:16

between the UK and Australia.

0:34:160:34:18

The couple start with the weekly grocery shop.

0:34:180:34:21

-Avocados - we eat quite a few of them, don't we?

-Yeah, we do.

0:34:230:34:26

UK, £2.

0:34:260:34:28

Australia, £3.19, so they're more expensive over here.

0:34:280:34:32

Oh, right. Interesting.

0:34:320:34:33

-The other thing is the cheese - we eat a lot of cheese.

-Ah, yes,

0:34:330:34:36

-we do. Too much cheese.

-Yeah.

0:34:360:34:37

3.25 in the UK, 5.32 here.

0:34:370:34:40

Wow, that's a lot more expensive. OK.

0:34:400:34:43

The sums show the food bill would be

0:34:430:34:46

just over £18 more in Australia.

0:34:460:34:48

But Keith's putting his wife's expert knowledge

0:34:480:34:51

of agriculture to good use.

0:34:510:34:53

There's a lot we could grow here,

0:34:530:34:55

just based around the climate,

0:34:550:34:57

like onions, avocados,

0:34:570:34:58

-so that could significantly bring down the cost.

-Mm.

0:34:580:35:01

And if all else fails...

0:35:010:35:03

I might diet when we first come out,

0:35:030:35:05

if it means I get a yes vote out of you!

0:35:050:35:07

Next, it's bigger bills,

0:35:070:35:09

starting with mortgage repayments.

0:35:090:35:11

Basing their figures on the first house they viewed,

0:35:110:35:14

the couple discover they'd be paying out

0:35:140:35:17

over £100 more down under.

0:35:170:35:19

We don't really want to go out of our way to have a higher mortgage bill,

0:35:190:35:22

but I guess we could always extend our mortgage here.

0:35:220:35:25

When they realise they'd make a saving on council tax,

0:35:250:35:28

Keith's quick to seize the opportunity.

0:35:280:35:31

Wow, that's a difference of £60 a month.

0:35:310:35:34

And interestingly, our council tax has just gone up in the UK as well.

0:35:340:35:38

-We'd actually probably save a little bit more than that.

-Good saving, isn't it?

0:35:380:35:42

Not that I'm trying to be biased towards Australia, of course.

0:35:420:35:44

But even he finds it hard to stay positive

0:35:440:35:46

when the outgoings ring in significantly more.

0:35:460:35:49

£363 per month is a lot of money.

0:35:490:35:52

You can only do so much dieting and fruit picking.

0:35:520:35:56

The couple's potential earnings could now make or break the deal.

0:35:560:36:00

Mary's higher salary in Australia boils down to £600 more per month

0:36:010:36:06

And although Keith was told he could earn up to £50,000 a year,

0:36:060:36:10

he's come to a decision.

0:36:100:36:11

Yes, when I spoke to the agency,

0:36:110:36:13

they did say that the average salary for my work

0:36:130:36:17

would be £35,000 a year.

0:36:170:36:19

If I did do freelance, obviously it would be a bit more money,

0:36:190:36:23

but then I would like to cut my hours down a bit,

0:36:230:36:26

so I'm going to say that I'll probably earn

0:36:260:36:29

-about £35,000 per year.

-Yeah.

0:36:290:36:31

Together, they'd bring in over £900 more each month,

0:36:310:36:34

and overall, the final sums show they're...

0:36:340:36:37

£567 a month better off.

0:36:370:36:40

So after our outgoings in Australia...

0:36:400:36:43

So we can buy more cheese,

0:36:430:36:44

and we can probably double that figure if we grow our own food as well.

0:36:440:36:47

-SHE LAUGHS

-Maybe.

0:36:470:36:50

Phwoar. I can...

0:36:500:36:52

Sigh of relief.

0:36:520:36:53

Don't relax too soon, Keith,

0:36:530:36:55

there's still the vote.

0:36:550:36:57

So after our reality check, it's now time to vote.

0:36:570:36:59

-BOTH:

-Australia!

0:37:080:37:09

Why have you chosen Australia? Not that I'm...

0:37:120:37:14

I'm not complaining.

0:37:140:37:16

I voted for Australia because, obviously, you would have

0:37:160:37:18

the potential to earn the same amount of money,

0:37:180:37:22

or even slightly more,

0:37:220:37:23

but you'd also be able to maybe work less hours.

0:37:230:37:26

-Thank you.

-THEY LAUGH

0:37:260:37:28

-Very happy now.

-Good.

-Very happy.

0:37:280:37:31

The finances may have gone in Keith's favour,

0:37:350:37:38

but he knows the real issue has still to be addressed.

0:37:380:37:41

As they sit down to watch messages from home,

0:37:420:37:45

Mary's fears about leaving her dad

0:37:450:37:47

could put them back to square one.

0:37:470:37:49

I guess we've had our say and now we need to listen to them, don't we?

0:37:490:37:53

So you ready, if we, um...?

0:37:530:37:55

-Yeah, go on.

-OK.

0:37:550:37:57

-BOTH:

-Hi, Keith. Hi, Mary.

0:37:570:37:59

-Hi, Keith and Mary.

-Hello, Keith. Hello, Mary.

0:37:590:38:02

Hi, it's Delia, your sister, here, and your dad.

0:38:020:38:05

-Aw.

-Aw.

0:38:050:38:06

Keith's a lovely lad.

0:38:060:38:08

I'm glad to be his stepdad

0:38:080:38:10

and I love him.

0:38:100:38:11

He's kind and thoughtful.

0:38:120:38:15

Talks a lot.

0:38:150:38:16

Sometimes I have a job to get a word in, but other than that, he's lovely.

0:38:170:38:21

You couldn't wish for a better son, really.

0:38:210:38:23

Mary is very generous, very helpful.

0:38:240:38:27

She can also be very stubborn.

0:38:270:38:29

Very opinionated at times.

0:38:290:38:32

-But I do love her.

-SHE LAUGHS

0:38:320:38:33

I think we have inspired Keith and Mary

0:38:340:38:38

to go and look at the other half of the world.

0:38:380:38:41

You have, Brian.

0:38:410:38:42

It'd be lovely if they just stayed here and lived on my doorstep,

0:38:420:38:46

but I realise that's not a...

0:38:460:38:49

That's not a reality.

0:38:490:38:50

Aw.

0:38:500:38:51

If Mary moves to Australia, I think she will keep worrying about Dad.

0:38:530:38:58

She's always been the caring one of the family.

0:38:580:39:01

She's been the one who worries about how everybody's doing.

0:39:010:39:05

Make the decision for yourselves

0:39:070:39:09

and as long as it's one where you're

0:39:090:39:12

both going to be really happy...

0:39:120:39:14

I trust that you'll be able to make your final decision.

0:39:150:39:20

Personally, I hope you stay.

0:39:200:39:22

Don't worry about Dad and I -

0:39:230:39:24

we'll be fine whatever you decide.

0:39:240:39:26

-It's hard to see actually how ill Dad...

-Actually looks.

0:39:360:39:40

It's still very difficult to see him like that and think I would be

0:39:400:39:43

leaving him and not seeing him nearly as frequently,

0:39:430:39:46

-if, you know, rarely, really...

-Yeah.

0:39:460:39:49

-..if we did move here, so...

-Yeah.

0:39:490:39:51

Yeah, I know it's difficult.

0:39:530:39:54

Mary's biggest concern has always been the prospect

0:40:000:40:04

of leaving her father.

0:40:040:40:05

Now, forced to confront the reality

0:40:050:40:08

of being on the other side of the world from him

0:40:080:40:11

when she knows he needs her most,

0:40:110:40:13

will the Australian adventures her and Keith have imagined

0:40:130:40:17

remain nothing more than a dream?

0:40:170:40:19

It's been an emotional end to their week down under.

0:40:210:40:24

And despite his initial enthusiasm,

0:40:240:40:26

Keith's starting to question whether they can make the move.

0:40:260:40:31

I generally feel a bit down.

0:40:310:40:32

Feeling a little bit, um...

0:40:330:40:36

uncertain about everything.

0:40:360:40:37

Emotions are all over the place, to be honest.

0:40:370:40:40

I think Keith is probably feeling a bit more conflicted now,

0:40:420:40:45

having watched the friends and family videos,

0:40:450:40:48

seeing my dad and his family. And I think it might have impacted

0:40:480:40:51

on him more than he thought it would.

0:40:510:40:53

Mary's dad has always been a stumbling block for her,

0:40:550:40:58

but the reality of leaving him has hit home with Keith, too.

0:40:580:41:02

Watching the friends and family video was very difficult.

0:41:020:41:05

But I was quite taken aback by how Mary's dad looked

0:41:050:41:10

and it made me really...

0:41:100:41:13

realise how he feels.

0:41:130:41:16

For Mary, no matter which way she votes, someone will be heartbroken.

0:41:160:41:22

I do feel that I could be letting either Dad or Keith down by

0:41:220:41:26

my final vote, so that does make it really hard.

0:41:260:41:29

Where the couple will settle comes down to just one decision.

0:41:320:41:36

Will they choose home or away?

0:41:360:41:38

-BOTH:

-Australia!

0:41:540:41:55

You've chosen Australia?

0:41:570:41:58

Yeah, but there is a proviso.

0:41:580:42:01

-Hang on, some sort of a what?

-Proviso.

0:42:010:42:04

We don't have to move immediately.

0:42:040:42:06

We can take our time to think about it and make sure that

0:42:060:42:10

Dad's care is fully sorted out,

0:42:100:42:11

-and that we can be there for him for as long as possible.

-Yeah.

0:42:110:42:15

I feel that the week's been really good

0:42:150:42:17

and that the country has really convinced you...

0:42:170:42:19

-Yeah.

-..about how good our quality of life could be out here.

0:42:190:42:23

And... Yeah. I'm getting all choked up.

0:42:230:42:24

But whatever happens with your dad,

0:42:260:42:29

I can promise you I won't let him down, and I won't let you down.

0:42:290:42:32

Yeah, we won't let him down.

0:42:320:42:33

So, thank you.

0:42:350:42:36

I found a paper, so shall we start looking for some properties?

0:42:390:42:41

-What? No...

-Hang on a minute...

0:42:410:42:44

The chance to explore Australia for themselves

0:42:550:42:58

has fuelled the couple's appetite for making the country their home.

0:42:580:43:03

But determined to do the best for Mary's dad,

0:43:030:43:06

it could be some time before they're on the move.

0:43:060:43:10

Whatever the next stage of their journey is, we wish them health,

0:43:100:43:13

happiness, and many enjoyable adventures of their own.

0:43:130:43:17

Captivated by family tales of adventure and romance in a land down under, Keith and Mary Hanson have talked of creating their own reality in Australia. With Keith now in his forties, he thinks they should make the move sooner rather than later - and believing it is the perfect place for him and Mary to start a family, he has already secured a visa.

But for Mary the timing is less than ideal. With her dad suffering from Parkinson's disease, she worries about how he would cope if she and Keith were on the other side of the world. Although she knows they would be going with his blessing, the thought of leaving him is tearing her in two.

When the couple spend a trial week in Melbourne, the country surpasses even Keith's expectations. But is everything they stand to gain enough to convince Mary that emigrating to the other side of the world really is the right move?


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