Evans Family Wanted Down Under


Evans Family

Families consider relocating down under. Will a week in Perth show Laura that Australia can give her the family time she is currently missing out on?


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Transcript


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If your heart's desire was to spend quality time

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with the people you love most,

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how far would you go to get what you want?

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For one family it could mean

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giving up everything they've worked hard for

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and moving to the other side of the world.

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Laura Evans is struggling to balance work with being a wife and mum.

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I think I've reached a point

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where I'm just totally burnt out by it all.

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She believes her family's future could be brighter in Australia.

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Being with my two boys is what it's all about.

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But when a trial week down under reveals the positive...

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Oh, my gosh, this looks beautiful.

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-This is very us.

-Yeah, I like the look of this.

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..and negative aspects about moving to the other side of the world...

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It just affects everything, don't it?

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Of course, it's going to have a massive impact on things.

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..can Laura convince husband Andrew to buy into the life she longs for,

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or will the reality crush her dreams?

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I don't think I've ever been more confused about anything.

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It's kind of blown everything out of the water.

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Far away but familiar,

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Australia has long been the top destination

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for Brits seeking a better life abroad.

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With an average temperature of 22 degrees Celsius

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and over 30,000 miles of coastline to enjoy the sunshine,

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it's easy to understand why.

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But for many, it's not the one-way trip they intended,

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and almost half return home to the UK.

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Juggling a successful business with being a wife and mum,

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Laura Evans is desperate for more time with her family

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and thinks the solution may lie in Australia,

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the country her husband once pushed for them to move to.

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But with Andrew now settled in Wales,

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before they give up everything they've worked so hard for,

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the couple need to find out

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if moving nearly 9,000 miles from home is a realistic option.

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So will a trial week down under fuel the Australian dream for both

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or put Laura and Andrew back where they started?

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Flying from Heathrow via Singapore to Perth,

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the Evans' trip down under begins with more than 18 hours in the air.

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As the family touch down in Australia, spirits are high.

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The flight was long, but we coped pretty well.

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We had a bit of rest and we're feeling pretty good.

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Laura's full of anticipation for the week ahead.

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Finally being in Australia is an amazing feeling,

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especially as I haven't been here before.

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I can't wait to see what it has to offer us

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as individuals and as a family.

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But both Laura and Andrew know it'll be far from being a holiday.

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This week is all about me finding out whether I can get the right job,

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that we can afford the right house,

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and most importantly, I guess,

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is ensuring that we feel this is the best place we can bring Brody up.

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We both need to love it.

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So if one of us does and one of us doesn't,

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then I think the dream will be over.

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The next seven days will show the family

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if a life down under really can offer the extra time together

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they're desperate for.

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The Evans are from Cwmbran in Wales.

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They are mum Laura,

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dad Andrew and Brody, who's almost two years old.

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The trio love nothing more than spending time as a family.

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Do you want some leaf?

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But since opening her own bridal business last year,

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Laura's ideal job leaves little time for play.

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I absolutely love helping brides find their dream dress.

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That part is every girl's dream job,

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but the behind the scenes,

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the long hours, paperwork,

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it is tough.

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As a result, time with Andrew and Brody

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has become a thing of the past.

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It's stressful. It's hard. It's...

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I think it's straining Andrew and I.

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Brody and I have only each other,

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currently, over the course of the Saturday and Sunday.

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We love spending the time with each other,

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but, I guess, working, you know, a long Monday to Friday week myself,

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it's taking its toll.

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-What's this one?

-Trac-ta.

-Tractor, good boy.

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Brody is happiest when he's with Mummy and Daddy together.

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Not having that time with Brody that I want, it's very hard.

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Mmm.

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Sorry.

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He's always asking for Mummy.

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It's hard because, obviously, he's not at an age at the moment

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where he understands how hard Laura is working for us

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to make our lives better.

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It's an unhappy situation for everyone and Laura's had enough.

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'I think I've reached a point where I'm just totally burnt out by it all.'

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Andrew wants to spend time with his wife and Brodie wants his mummy,

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which I want to be with him, completely,

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but it's just proving impossible to do both.

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Desperate to turn things around,

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she thinks their future could be better in Australia,

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a country they first talked about emigrating to

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when they met ten years ago.

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Although Laura's never been,

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Andrew's trip there as a student left a lasting impression.

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'I fell in love with the country as soon as I arrived in Australia.'

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I loved the laid-back culture, the outdoor living.

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He told me a lot about it when we first met and I think, a little bit,

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I fell in love with his dream.

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While their vision of life in the sun never became a reality, now,

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a decade later, it's Laura who's sold on what Australia could offer.

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'More time with my family, warmer climate...'

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..better salary for Andrew.

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I could maybe just work part-time hours

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and be a mummy again to Brodie.

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While that also sounds good to Andrew,

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he's cautious about giving up their life in the UK.

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'We have a lot to lose by moving to the other side of the world.'

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There are a lot of factors and variables that we need

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reassurances on before we commit to any big decision to move.

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In addition to practical concerns,

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he worries about taking Brodie away from grandparents.

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He has become such a huge part of their lives,

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he's the first grandchild on both sides.

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MANY: Hip hip hooray! Hip hip hooray!

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We're doing it to try and better his outlook on life

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and I hope, in a way, that they understand that.

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They will respect any decision that we make,

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but I know deep down they'd be absolutely devastated

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if we decided to go to Australia.

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As an only child, Laura admits leaving her mum would be a huge wrench.

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She's my best friend and the thought of saying goodbye is...is awful.

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Sorry.

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I'm not quite sure whether Laura has really...

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..come to terms with how difficult a task that might be.

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A huge concern for me would be Laura potentially changing her mind

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once we make that move.

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'I think if there came a point where I found she was struggling and...'

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..was heartbroken without us here, I think that would change everything.

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Ultimately, though, Laura wants the chance to spend more quality time with her husband and son.

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Whether that will be in Australia

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should become clear during their seven days down under.

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It's make or break time and I think whatever decision it is that we make

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at the end of our week in Australia,

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we need to be 100% committed to that decision and then...

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..don't look back.

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It's going to be a really difficult week for us and I think,

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at the end of it, I'd be bitterly disappointed if it didn't turn out the way we hoped it would.

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For their trial week, the Evanses are staying in Secret Harbour,

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a coastal suburb less than an hour's drive south of central Perth.

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Their temporary base is this four-bedroom house

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just a stone's throw from the beach.

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It's the first taste of the life they could have

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and Laura's already impressed.

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Brodie, do you like the house?

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Wow.

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Really excited.

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-Yeah.

-Are we going to go and see the house inside?

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Yeah? Let's go.

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"Well, come on then, Mummy."

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-Look at this.

-Wow!

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Initial reactions are good.

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-It's open plan, it's amazing.

-I can't get over the size.

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I know. It's huge, and the decor's lovely.

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-This kitchen.

-Massive.

-It's perfect.

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That's Laura sold.

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And the outside area has got Andrew excited too.

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This is amazing.

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-This is Daddy's cooking area.

-Look.

-Wow, look at that.

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Look at that pool.

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This outdoor space is the reason why we want to move to Australia, isn't it?

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This is absolutely beautiful.

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As the family settle in, though, thoughts soon turn to home.

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Being here, I think, makes you realise how far away it is

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and all I've thought about since we got here is Mum.

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What's worrying me still

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is what the job opportunities are going to be like for me,

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whether we could afford to buy a house like this.

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Fingers crossed for the best.

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Back in the UK, home for the Evanses is a four-bedroom detached house

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in a quiet cul-de-sac in Cwmbran in South Wales.

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We're both very happy here, we live in a lovely neighbourhood -

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very, very quiet, very safe.

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We've done a lot of work on the house since we've moved in.

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If they decide to give up the home they love,

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their budget for a house down under is £300,000

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and Laura knows just what she wants.

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Ideally it would be a four-bed because, hopefully,

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one day in the future we would like to expand our family.

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Somewhere quite modern. I'm not a fan of...

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..dated and properties you have to do a lot of work to.

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We have a lovely garden,

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nice and green with plenty of space for the baby to run.

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But in Australia, I'd like a garden with a big pool,

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outdoor living space where we can light the barbecue

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and we'd like the sun.

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To find out what their money could potentially buy them

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on the Perth property market, we're showing them three houses -

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two close to budget and one which could be the dream home.

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While Brodie is looked after by a childminder,

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Mum and Dad begin the search.

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First stop is the suburb of Safety Bay,

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30 miles south of Perth's centre.

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This four-bedroom property could be perfectly situated for the Evanses,

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but will they agree on it being the ideal Aussie home?

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-Excited?

-Nervous, I think.

-Go and have a look?

-Yep.

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Wow.

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-I quite like this.

-No TV in here though.

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-Maybe they just talk instead.

-Yeah.

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The master bedroom's just off the main hallway.

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-Well, this is lovely.

-Yeah, it's a good size.

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It's just strange having your bedroom at the front of the house.

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You might have to get used to that, Laura.

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The en suite gets the thumbs up.

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-Nice double shower.

-Feels really spacious.

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-Yeah, nice and light as well.

-Yeah, it's very bright.

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Sounds promising, but things look different in the kitchen.

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OK.

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It's a little bit dark, I think.

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It's quite dated, isn't it?

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-It is a bit dated. This isn't blowing me away.

-No.

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Mixed reactions so far but spotting a cosy family room

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soon lifts their spirits.

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-Oh, wow.

-Oh, this is nice.

-This is definitely your type of room.

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-Yeah.

-That log burner is incredible.

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Andrew's taken by another feature.

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-What about the bar?

-Yeah.

-Could see us making cocktails here.

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-This is a room that we could entertain in.

-Yeah.

-I like this.

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The upbeat note carries through to the garden.

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-This is amazing.

-Yeah, I'm impressed.

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-Do you think this is worth moving for?

-This is what I had pictured.

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This is what I would want to move to the other side of the world.

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-As long as we can afford it.

-Yeah.

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Despite some disappointing features indoors,

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this property's outside living space has wowed the couple.

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But will it be within reach of their £300,000 budget?

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I think it could be a little bit over.

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Yeah, four bedrooms plus the pool.

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I think we're looking...

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at £325,000.

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-I think about £310,000.

-OK.

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-Shall we find out?

-Go on.

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-Ready?

-Yep.

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Wow. £284,000.

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That's £16,000 below budget.

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-I'm shocked.

-That's a fantastic price for this house.

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I think it's well worth it.

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With house-hunting off to a hopeful start,

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it's time to move on to the second property.

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It's in Baldivis.

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26 miles south of Perth,

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it's an affordable suburb for growing families.

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Will this contemporary four-bedroom home

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keep things moving on the right track?

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Oh, my gosh, this looks beautiful. This is very us.

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Yeah, I like the look of this.

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Sounds good so far.

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Nice double doors.

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Lovely entrance hall.

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-This looks nice.

-Oh, my goodness.

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This is huge.

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The modern interior design gets a big thumbs up.

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This is a beautiful living space.

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Yeah, I love it. Just worried about the cost.

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-I know.

-Let's go see the bedrooms.

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Wow.

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The master bedroom's a hit.

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I like the decor, I like the bright lights.

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And the spacious en suite impresses too.

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-It's a lovely size.

-It's so different being open plan.

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-Yeah.

-Quite quirky.

-Yeah.

-And they've got double sinks.

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Double sinks, his and hers.

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-Yeah.

-Nice sized shower as well, double shower.

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Four big bedrooms means plenty of room for everyone.

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Great room for Brodie. He'd love it back here.

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-Yeah.

-Especially being able to look out into the garden.

-Yeah.

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A home cinema tickles Andrew's fancy.

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-Wow.

-This is lovely.

-Yeah, this is really quirky.

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Very chic. I like this a lot.

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Outside, things just get better and better.

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This is lovely.

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This is what I was after with outdoor living space.

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And the pool's the icing on the cake.

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-It's beautiful.

-This pool is amazing.

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This is what it's about for us, isn't it?

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-Yeah. I can see us spending hours out here every evening.

-Yeah.

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-It's our dream, isn't it?

-Yeah.

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This home's everything Laura and Andrew could have hoped for,

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but will it be within reach of their £300,000 budget?

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I think we'd be looking at...

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..£325,000.

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I think it's going to be around the £300,000 mark.

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-Are you ready?

-Yep.

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-Wow. I was right, as always.

-You are right, bang on.

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It's bang on budget.

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-I'm thrilled at that.

-And me.

-To think that a house like this is in our budget is...

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-..I'm amazed.

-Can we buy it now?

-Let's do it.

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Hold on, Laura, there's till one more house to go.

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The final stop is Secret Harbour.

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The couple may think they've already found their dream property,

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but will this spacious four-bedroom family home make them reconsider?

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-Gorgeous.

-Looks posh.

-Looks very grand.

-It does, doesn't it?

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The front door opens onto a huge entrance hall.

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-This is lovely.

-This is nice, isn't it? Spacious again.

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Once again, the master bedroom's just off the hallway

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but this time Laura doesn't seem bothered.

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-Oh, look at this bedroom.

-Wow.

-Wow.

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That is a big master bedroom.

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-It's pretty special.

-Wait till you see the en suite.

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Wow.

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It's five times bigger than our en suite bathroom at home.

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-And the rest.

-It's on another level to anything that we've seen before.

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-This is just ridiculously big.

-Massive.

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The open plan living space also blows them away.

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-Wow.

-Wow.

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-This is huge.

-This is a big space.

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Bit overwhelming really, isn't it?

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It's... It's probably the size of our house in one room.

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Space definitely isn't an issue.

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This kitchen is the dream kitchen. It is incredible.

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-I'm a bit speechless really because it's just so big.

-Yeah, no...

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The outdoors is equally impressive.

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With a fantastic pool and large al fresco entertaining area,

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it should be just what Andrew's hoping for.

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-This is lovely.

-But Laura's had a change of heart.

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-I don't like it.

-No?

-No.

-Why?

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-I never thought I'd say that but I think it's just too big.

-Too big.

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I just feel that I think the move

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is going to be a massive thing if we do decide,

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it's going to be very lonely and I feel a house this big

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-would maybe make us feel even more lonely.

-I can understand that.

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Although it has impressed,

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Laura's put off by this property's huge proportions.

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With £300,000 to spend,

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could the price also be too big for their budget?

0:18:410:18:45

Given the size of the house and its location,

0:18:450:18:47

I think probably somewhere in the region of £400,000-£425,000.

0:18:470:18:53

Because of the size and the location

0:18:530:18:55

I think it's going to be right up there.

0:18:550:18:57

-Shall we take a look?

-Let's do it.

0:18:570:19:00

-Wow.

-OK.

0:19:090:19:11

£385,000.

0:19:110:19:13

It may be £85,000 over budget

0:19:140:19:17

but it's a lot less than they were expecting.

0:19:170:19:20

That is a shock.

0:19:200:19:22

Yeah. Yeah, I didn't think for a minute it would be under 400,000.

0:19:220:19:27

-No.

-I mean, it's still... It's way over our budget.

0:19:270:19:30

Something this big,

0:19:300:19:32

-we would never be able to afford this at home.

-I know.

0:19:320:19:35

Overall, it's been a positive day on the property hunt in Perth.

0:19:350:19:40

House number one's gloomy kitchen may have got things off to a shaky start

0:19:400:19:45

but the outside area was a winner and at £16,000 under budget,

0:19:450:19:49

there'll be plenty of dosh left for DIY.

0:19:490:19:52

With its modern interiors and perfect outdoor patch,

0:19:520:19:56

property two was the dream home

0:19:560:19:58

and could see Andrew swayed to life down under.

0:19:580:20:01

House number three was a real show stopper and although Laura felt

0:20:010:20:06

it might be too much for their needs just now,

0:20:060:20:08

the price meant it could be something to aspire to in the future.

0:20:080:20:12

So will the couple choose homes in Australia over those in the UK?

0:20:130:20:17

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

0:20:170:20:21

Australia.

0:20:330:20:35

The properties that we've viewed tick all the boxes

0:20:350:20:38

and they're within our budget.

0:20:380:20:40

Meant that it was a no-brainer for me, really.

0:20:400:20:42

We want it to be a joint decision.

0:20:420:20:44

-I want you to fall in love with the idea of moving here as much as I have, so...

-I know.

0:20:440:20:49

I'm so excited that you've chosen it and we're on the same...

0:20:490:20:52

-..path.

-Yeah.

0:20:530:20:55

A joint vote for Australia is a first step in the direction

0:20:590:21:02

for Laura's dream of more family time down under.

0:21:020:21:06

But Andrew still needs to be convinced he'll find work

0:21:060:21:09

before committing to relocating to the other side of the world.

0:21:090:21:14

Back in the UK, he's a senior accountant

0:21:140:21:16

in the education department of the local council.

0:21:160:21:19

I've had to work extremely hard to get to the position I'm in now.

0:21:190:21:23

It's a big part of my life, so in order to make the move a reality,

0:21:230:21:27

I'd need to be 100% certain I could find a role

0:21:270:21:30

that I would be well suited to

0:21:300:21:31

and that would enable me to provide for the family.

0:21:310:21:34

Laura's pinning her hopes on working less hours

0:21:360:21:38

and spending more time with Brodie down under.

0:21:380:21:41

But selling up in the UK won't be easy.

0:21:410:21:44

The thought of giving up my business

0:21:440:21:46

to work for somebody else in Australia is heart-wrenching,

0:21:460:21:49

so it has to be a really good position which I could see a future

0:21:490:21:53

and be able to climb the career ladder within that.

0:21:530:21:55

As the couple set out to explore work prospects in Perth,

0:21:550:21:59

Laura's desire for a part-time role

0:21:590:22:01

puts even more pressure on Andrew to earn a decent salary.

0:22:010:22:04

It's really important that I get good news today

0:22:040:22:07

in order to keep the dream alive as without that, I guess,

0:22:070:22:11

we have no chance at all of making that move to Australia.

0:22:110:22:15

So it really is make or break.

0:22:150:22:17

We've arrange for Andrew to meet with Brett Roach,

0:22:170:22:20

acting chief financial officer at the Department for Education Accountancy in Western Australia.

0:22:200:22:25

-Hi, I'm Andrew.

-Hi, I'm Brett.

0:22:250:22:27

After a quick tour of the building,

0:22:270:22:29

Brett's got some reassuring words for Andrew.

0:22:290:22:31

So the things we do here, Andrew,

0:22:310:22:33

are probably quite similar to the work that you do.

0:22:330:22:36

All the usual finance functions that you'd be used to back home.

0:22:360:22:39

-That's encouraging to hear.

-It's a positive start.

0:22:390:22:43

Meanwhile, Laura's visiting one of Perth's top bridal shops,

0:22:430:22:47

where she's met by owner Wynne.

0:22:470:22:50

-Hi, I'm Sam.

-Hi. I'm Laura.

-Nice to meet you.

0:22:500:22:51

-I'm in a fitting. Come on in.

-Thank you.

0:22:510:22:53

Laura gets stuck in straightaway.

0:22:550:22:58

Yes.

0:22:580:22:59

She's already at ease here.

0:23:010:23:03

Feels like I'm back at home in my comfort zone.

0:23:070:23:09

-Yes.

-It's quite nice to see somebody else take the lead.

0:23:090:23:12

I think how you work is how we work

0:23:120:23:14

and I think it works really, really good.

0:23:140:23:17

Back across town, Brett's giving Andrew the lowdown

0:23:170:23:20

on the kind of jobs he could be eligible for within the department.

0:23:200:23:25

There are positions in schools,

0:23:250:23:26

-looking after school finances and budgets.

-OK.

0:23:260:23:28

Or in central office, training school staff

0:23:280:23:32

or the overall coordination of the department's finances.

0:23:320:23:35

Is that something that I could potentially move into

0:23:350:23:38

if we decided to move to Perth?

0:23:380:23:39

Based on your skills and experience,

0:23:390:23:41

I think you'd be a perfect candidate for a role

0:23:410:23:44

-like a senior finance consultant or a senior budget analyst.

-OK.

0:23:440:23:48

Very encouraging.

0:23:480:23:49

Back at the bridal shop, Laura's talking work-life balance.

0:23:500:23:54

I'm a mum as well. I've gone through that whole process

0:23:540:23:57

of trying to juggle work and family life.

0:23:570:23:59

So we tend to sit down with each employee

0:23:590:24:00

and just work out what best suits both parties,

0:24:000:24:04

so that you enjoy coming to work.

0:24:040:24:06

Just what Laura needed to hear.

0:24:060:24:08

So what are her chances of finding work locally?

0:24:080:24:11

It is a word-of-mouth scenario, so if you're good at what you do,

0:24:110:24:15

a boutique, with your experience too,

0:24:150:24:18

would be mad not to find a position available.

0:24:180:24:21

What salary could I expect

0:24:210:24:22

working in a boutique in the bridal industry such as yours?

0:24:220:24:26

You'd be looking at a minimum of £34,000 a year.

0:24:260:24:29

If you came in full-time, 40 hours a week, as a sales manager,

0:24:290:24:34

that would be a minimum of £45,000

0:24:340:24:37

plus you would find, in a managerial position,

0:24:370:24:39

you would also receive commissions.

0:24:390:24:41

That's a lot more than Laura currently earns in the UK.

0:24:410:24:44

-Amazing. That's really good to know. Thank you, Sam.

-You're very welcome.

0:24:440:24:48

And with the option of less hours, it looks like a win-win.

0:24:480:24:51

Today has definitely been overall good news.

0:24:510:24:54

Really, really could see myself working here.

0:24:540:24:57

Back at the office, Andrew's got just one more question for Brett.

0:24:570:25:00

The role that you described sounds really attractive to me,

0:25:000:25:04

so I guess the big question is

0:25:040:25:06

what sort of salary would that kind of role attract?

0:25:060:25:09

-A range of between £50,000 and £65,000 per annum.

-OK.

0:25:090:25:14

So you would probably start at the bottom of that range,

0:25:140:25:17

then with several years of experience you could move towards the top of the range.

0:25:170:25:21

That's really encouraging.

0:25:210:25:23

That is substantially more than I earn currently in the UK,

0:25:230:25:27

so that's a big plus.

0:25:270:25:28

Thank you for all your help and advice today. Cheers, Brett.

0:25:280:25:31

-Thank you.

-A pleasure, Andrew.

0:25:310:25:32

With encouraging news on the work front for both,

0:25:320:25:35

could Laura's vision of a better life down under

0:25:350:25:39

be one step closer to reality?

0:25:390:25:41

Based on our job interviews today, our vote goes to...

0:25:410:25:44

BOTH: Australia!

0:25:530:25:55

Yay!

0:25:550:25:57

The fact that for a comparable role

0:25:590:26:01

to what I'm already doing at home in the UK I could earn so much more,

0:26:010:26:04

it was a no-brainer for me.

0:26:040:26:06

You choosing Australia has meant more to me than how my day went

0:26:060:26:10

because I know how hard you've worked and trained

0:26:100:26:12

for the job you do now, so as long as you're happy, I'm happy.

0:26:120:26:16

Yeah. I'm really pleased.

0:26:160:26:18

The week is proving very insightful for Andrew and Laura.

0:26:260:26:31

Desperate for more time together as a family,

0:26:310:26:34

hopefully a day sampling the lifestyle Australia offers

0:26:340:26:38

will give them a further glimpse of what life could be like down under.

0:26:380:26:42

Making the most of rare time together,

0:26:440:26:47

the family are visiting one of Perth's aquariums

0:26:470:26:50

and it looks like Brodie just can't wait.

0:26:500:26:53

-Wow!

-BOTH: Wow!

0:26:550:26:57

Yay!

0:26:570:26:59

Interesting hat, Andrew!

0:26:590:27:01

Look at the turtle.

0:27:040:27:06

Go give him a kiss.

0:27:060:27:08

Go give him a kiss, Brodie.

0:27:080:27:11

BOTH: Aw!

0:27:110:27:13

Next up, it's Dad's turn to have some fun.

0:27:170:27:20

As Andrew prepares to come face-to-fin with the sharks,

0:27:200:27:23

Laura and Brodie watch on in amazement.

0:27:230:27:26

-Daddy.

-Daddy!

0:27:270:27:29

Wow.

0:27:310:27:33

Days out like this are few and far between back home

0:27:360:27:39

and it's gone down well with the whole family.

0:27:390:27:41

-What did you think?

-HE BABBLES

0:27:410:27:45

I think that's Brodie-speak for, "Great day, Mum."

0:27:450:27:49

But for Laura, the day has also been a reminder

0:27:520:27:54

of how little time she has with Andrew and Brodie back home.

0:27:540:27:58

It's been so nice to be together as a family.

0:27:580:28:02

-Yeah.

-I think it's made me realise how much I've missed you both.

0:28:020:28:06

-I know.

-And I miss being a part of him.

-Yeah.

0:28:060:28:09

Don't be silly. OK?

0:28:100:28:13

It's strengthened her resolve to move the family to Australia.

0:28:130:28:17

I think it's put into perspective how our lives need to change

0:28:170:28:22

and how I need to make a difference in my life and I need to do it now.

0:28:220:28:26

But the afternoon's also given the couple a painful reminder.

0:28:280:28:31

Days like this will mean leaving loved ones at home.

0:28:310:28:34

It makes me feel that maybe we're being selfish.

0:28:350:28:38

It's going to be really tough in order to make that decision

0:28:430:28:47

based on the fact that we are leaving so many close people behind in the UK.

0:28:470:28:52

I just hope they know how much we love them

0:28:520:28:54

and that we'll always be a part of each other's lives

0:28:540:28:57

no matter where we are, I suppose.

0:28:570:28:59

-Thank you.

-Cheers.

-Cheers.

-Thank you.

0:28:590:29:02

The day's provided Laura and Andrew with plenty of food for thought.

0:29:030:29:07

But based on lifestyle alone,

0:29:070:29:09

has it paved the way for a unanimous vote for Australia?

0:29:090:29:13

Based on our day out today, our vote goes to...

0:29:130:29:16

BOTH: Australia.

0:29:280:29:29

That was an easy decision today, I think, really.

0:29:310:29:33

For me, there's nothing more important than having the three of us together as a family.

0:29:330:29:37

I just loved every minute of it.

0:29:370:29:39

Being with my two boys is what it's all about

0:29:390:29:41

and you voting Australia again is an amazing feeling.

0:29:410:29:45

A reminder of the lifestyle he first glimpsed over ten years ago

0:29:540:29:58

has secured another vote for Oz from Andrew.

0:29:580:30:01

And it looks like Laura's dream could be inching closer.

0:30:010:30:05

But for the move to be feasible, the family finances will have to add up.

0:30:050:30:10

A large part of that would be the value of their UK property,

0:30:100:30:13

which they think is worth around £260,000.

0:30:130:30:17

While Brodie's looked after by a childminder,

0:30:170:30:20

the couple find out if two local estate agents agree.

0:30:200:30:23

-OK.

-Yeah.

-Let's have a look at these valuations.

-Yeah.

0:30:230:30:27

-Look at the weather.

-Yeah. Raining.

0:30:330:30:36

Nice bright entrance hall.

0:30:380:30:40

Tile flooring that leads into the downstairs toilet.

0:30:400:30:45

Very nice.

0:30:450:30:46

Nice spacious lounge, feature fireplace with slate-effect hearth.

0:30:490:30:53

-Love the fireplace.

-Double glazed window at the front and attractive wood-effect flooring. Very nice.

0:30:530:30:58

-It's weird to think that's our house.

-I know.

0:31:000:31:03

This is a great kitchen. I really like what they've done with this space.

0:31:050:31:08

They've obviously opened up through to the dining room,

0:31:080:31:11

which really lends itself to being a great useful room for the family.

0:31:110:31:14

We're going to miss that kitchen if we decide to come here!

0:31:140:31:17

Oh, this is really lovely.

0:31:220:31:24

I can see this room belongs to a little boy called Brodie

0:31:240:31:28

and I think they've decorated it beautifully. It's really cute.

0:31:280:31:32

He loves that room as well, doesn't he?

0:31:320:31:34

Really nicely decorated master bedroom. Well furnished.

0:31:380:31:41

You can tell these guys are quite glamorous from the decor.

0:31:410:31:45

In today's market I would value the property at £245,000.

0:31:460:31:50

If the owners wanted a cheaper quick sale,

0:31:500:31:52

I'd market the property at £235,000.

0:31:520:31:55

In today's market, I would value this property at £240,000.

0:31:550:32:00

-No way.

-For a quick sale, I would value this property at £230,000.

0:32:000:32:05

Laura's devastated to realise

0:32:050:32:07

the valuations are £15,000 lower than expected.

0:32:070:32:11

Just affects everything, don't it?

0:32:110:32:14

Of course, it's going to have a massive impact on things but...

0:32:140:32:18

So much relies and rides on...

0:32:180:32:20

-..our house being sold.

-Yeah.

0:32:210:32:23

And it just feels like everything is stacking up against us now.

0:32:230:32:27

Yeah.

0:32:270:32:29

-It's one minor...

-I know.

-..setback.

0:32:290:32:31

Making the books balance is now key.

0:32:330:32:36

We've prepared a comparison of the family's cost of living in the UK and Australia.

0:32:360:32:41

First up is the weekly food shop.

0:32:410:32:43

Potato waffles, only 85p at home in the UK. £2.93.

0:32:430:32:48

Wow! £2.08 difference.

0:32:480:32:51

Again, something we go through quite a lot of at the moment,

0:32:510:32:54

a weekly amount of nappies cost in the UK is £4 per week.

0:32:540:32:59

£9.47 a week in Australia.

0:32:590:33:01

More than double.

0:33:010:33:04

So far, it's a lot cheaper at home.

0:33:040:33:07

Totting everything up,

0:33:080:33:10

the couple discover the weekly shop down under doesn't come cheap.

0:33:100:33:13

OK, so that would be more expensive here in Australia

0:33:130:33:18

by £55.66 per week.

0:33:180:33:20

-That's over £200 more a month.

-That's a big difference.

0:33:220:33:25

It's a huge hike.

0:33:260:33:29

Basing their sums on the second property they saw and loved,

0:33:290:33:32

the couple would also face a mortgage increase of more than £400 a month in Australia.

0:33:320:33:37

While some outgoings would be cheaper,

0:33:400:33:42

when the couple compare their total spends down under with the UK,

0:33:420:33:46

it's not good news.

0:33:460:33:48

£572 per month...

0:33:490:33:51

..worse off here in Australia.

0:33:530:33:55

-That's massive.

-Yeah.

-It is another mortgage to us.

-Yeah.

0:33:550:34:01

Overall, the couple would have to find an extra £7,000 per year to live in Australia.

0:34:010:34:07

Laura's dream could be fading fast.

0:34:070:34:10

But both Andrew and Laura could earn more in Australia.

0:34:100:34:14

Building in the option of Laura working a three-day week,

0:34:140:34:17

would they be better or worse off if they made the move down under?

0:34:170:34:22

We would be £675 better off per month here in Australia.

0:34:220:34:26

Well...

0:34:280:34:29

-It's amazing news, isn't it?

-Laura can't believe it.

0:34:300:34:33

-I could be a mum again.

-Yeah, of course you could. Yeah.

0:34:330:34:37

It just means I can be...

0:34:380:34:40

-..be with Brodie.

-Yeah.

0:34:410:34:43

And we're still better off financially as well.

0:34:430:34:46

-And that is what it's all about.

-Yeah. And time together as a family, so...

0:34:460:34:49

With such a positive result, are they both convinced?

0:34:490:34:52

Based on our reality check today, our vote goes to...

0:34:520:34:55

BOTH: Australia!

0:35:050:35:07

Straightforward one for me, really.

0:35:090:35:11

Yeah, it was the easiest decision I think I've made all week,

0:35:110:35:14

you choosing that as well...

0:35:140:35:16

I know it was a big moment for you.

0:35:160:35:18

-Yeah.

-I'm pleased we've both chosen the same.

-Yeah, me too.

0:35:180:35:22

With Andrew's fourth vote for Australia,

0:35:300:35:32

it looks like Laura's dream could be within grasp.

0:35:320:35:36

But moving across the world would mean breaking close bonds with loved ones and for Laura,

0:35:360:35:41

the prospect of saying goodbye to her mum could prove too much to bear.

0:35:410:35:46

We've prepared a DVD of messages from family and friends back in the UK.

0:35:460:35:50

While Brodie takes a nap, the couple sit down to watch them.

0:35:500:35:54

SIGHS

0:35:540:35:55

-Hi, Laura, Andrew.

-Hi, guys.

0:35:570:35:58

-Hi, Andrew. Hi, Laura.

-Hi. Andrew, Laura.

0:36:000:36:03

Laura is my daughter. She's not only my daughter, she's my best friend.

0:36:030:36:06

She's an amazing young woman and I'm immensely proud of her.

0:36:060:36:11

Andrew's my brother. And we're really, really close.

0:36:110:36:14

Laura is my best friend. We speak a lot on the phone.

0:36:140:36:17

A lot on the phone and every day.

0:36:170:36:20

I've known Andy for 20 years now. We are best mates.

0:36:200:36:22

If he was to go to Australia,

0:36:220:36:24

it would be a big loss for me in terms of a friend.

0:36:240:36:26

They really... They bounce off each other,

0:36:260:36:29

they love each other dearly and they definitely live for each other.

0:36:290:36:33

As a family, they are a wonderful unit. They support each other.

0:36:340:36:38

They have a great love for one another.

0:36:380:36:41

They try to do the best for Brodie.

0:36:410:36:43

They've got good friends.

0:36:430:36:46

Brodie is a gorgeous little boy.

0:36:460:36:48

He's a little whirlwind but a darling at the same time.

0:36:480:36:51

Our Brodie, our prince.

0:36:510:36:53

He's our world.

0:36:550:36:57

He's brought so much love to us and he's completed us as a family.

0:36:570:37:00

Sorry.

0:37:020:37:04

Ah, come on.

0:37:050:37:07

When we first heard that Andrew and Laura and Brodie might be moving

0:37:070:37:10

to the other side of the world, it was a big shock to us.

0:37:100:37:13

We are close friends with them,

0:37:140:37:16

we do see them on a regular basis and we just realised

0:37:160:37:18

that we wouldn't have that friendship any more.

0:37:180:37:21

It did upset me because we are so close to each other,

0:37:230:37:27

so I knew I'd not be able to see him,

0:37:270:37:30

probably only see him once a year, maybe once every two years.

0:37:300:37:33

So that's hard to try and sink in for me.

0:37:330:37:35

As she is my only one...

0:37:350:37:37

..it'd be a real wrench for me.

0:37:380:37:42

A real heartbreaker, and she knows that.

0:37:430:37:47

And especially now with Brodie as well.

0:37:470:37:49

My heartbreak must not spoil their future.

0:37:510:37:54

Because it is their future.

0:37:550:37:58

And they go with my love and my blessing.

0:37:580:38:01

Laura, she's been there for me since day one, so, you know,

0:38:020:38:05

it is going to be tough. I am going to really miss her.

0:38:050:38:08

My brother isn't just my brother, he's my best friend.

0:38:080:38:11

It would be very upsetting as well, missing out on Brodie getting older.

0:38:110:38:15

It will hurt not seeing them as often as we do,

0:38:150:38:17

because we do have such an influence on each other's lives.

0:38:170:38:21

It's quite upsetting to think that we might not see Brodie growing up,

0:38:220:38:25

because we're his godparents.

0:38:250:38:27

Look, you mustn't cry. She told you not to cry.

0:38:290:38:32

I love him. He's my little man. He's everything to me.

0:38:320:38:37

Since he come along, our family have become very close.

0:38:370:38:40

Going away, oh...

0:38:430:38:45

Whichever you decide, Laura, whether it's the UK or Australia,

0:38:460:38:50

I will 100% support you. Love you lots. Mwah!

0:38:500:38:53

I would be absolutely gutted if you were to decide to stay out there

0:38:530:38:57

but you've got to do what's best for you

0:38:570:38:59

and I'm fully behind your decision on what you think is the best.

0:38:590:39:02

Obviously, if you do decide to go,

0:39:020:39:04

we will miss you like crazy but will support you all the way.

0:39:040:39:07

I hope that you've enjoyed your time there

0:39:070:39:10

and I certainly hope it's everything that you've wished for.

0:39:100:39:13

And whatever you decide to do, you know that we will support you...

0:39:130:39:18

..and I just want your dreams to come true.

0:39:190:39:21

And I send you all my love.

0:39:210:39:23

Because you are always in my heart, all of you.

0:39:230:39:27

God bless. I love you.

0:39:270:39:29

Oh, God.

0:39:320:39:34

That was harder for me than I was expecting.

0:39:370:39:39

-SNIFFS

-You all right?

0:39:410:39:43

-And poor Mum.

-I know. Well, she's...

0:39:450:39:47

-I'm all she's got.

-I know.

0:39:490:39:51

I just don't want them to hurt.

0:39:540:39:56

They are going to hurt. I'm saying it's all well and good...

0:39:560:40:00

..working through the numbers and the figures

0:40:010:40:03

-but you can't really put a price on...

-No.

0:40:030:40:06

..on any of those guys.

0:40:060:40:08

I think it's absolutely changed things.

0:40:080:40:10

I don't think I've ever been more confused about anything.

0:40:130:40:16

The thought of leaving loved ones in the UK

0:40:200:40:23

is often the toughest hurdle to overcome

0:40:230:40:26

when contemplating emigrating to the other side of the world.

0:40:260:40:30

Andrew and Laura now face a massive decision.

0:40:300:40:34

Will they stick with their life in Wales

0:40:340:40:37

or pursue a new one in Australia?

0:40:370:40:39

Their trial week down under

0:40:410:40:42

has more than lived up to Laura's expectations.

0:40:420:40:46

It's been a dream come true.

0:40:460:40:48

I know we could make the most incredible life here

0:40:480:40:50

as a family of three.

0:40:500:40:52

But the impact of messages from home

0:40:520:40:54

has stopped the couple in their tracks.

0:40:540:40:57

It has hit home really hard today

0:40:570:40:59

that we're going to be so far away from our loved ones

0:40:590:41:02

and that's going to be very,

0:41:020:41:04

very difficult to cope with, I think.

0:41:040:41:07

To see Andrew cry today is something I really didn't expect.

0:41:070:41:12

Taking Brodie away from... especially his grandparents,

0:41:120:41:16

would be an awfully selfish thing for Laura and I to do.

0:41:160:41:19

That aspect, I guess, is...

0:41:190:41:21

..is probably the biggest thing that...is holding me back.

0:41:220:41:26

As the final vote approaches,

0:41:260:41:28

both Andrew and Laura are feeling the pressure.

0:41:280:41:31

In my mind, I was...

0:41:310:41:33

kind of felt I knew where I was at

0:41:330:41:35

and how I felt about a move to Australia

0:41:350:41:38

and it's kind of blown everything out of the water.

0:41:380:41:41

At this moment in time,

0:41:410:41:43

I'm really not too sure which way this vote is going to go.

0:41:430:41:46

It's going to be tough.

0:41:480:41:51

Having fallen hook, line and sinker for what Australia could offer them

0:41:510:41:55

as a family, will the pull of home be too much to bear

0:41:550:41:59

as the couple decide on which side of the world their future lies?

0:41:590:42:03

BOTH: Australia!

0:42:110:42:13

Aw! I didn't think you'd choose that.

0:42:130:42:17

No? It would have been an easy decision,

0:42:170:42:19

had we not seen the messages from home.

0:42:190:42:22

I know how much they love us and we love them all so much

0:42:220:42:26

and I hope one day, that they get to come and visit us here

0:42:260:42:30

and see how amazing Australia is and to realise why we chose Australia.

0:42:300:42:35

Seeing the two of you so happy this week,

0:42:350:42:37

you know, it means the world to me

0:42:370:42:39

and, you know, that's the most important thing.

0:42:390:42:41

I'd do anything, you know, to have that for the rest of our lives.

0:42:420:42:45

Yay!

0:42:450:42:46

Andrew's chance to show Laura and Brodie

0:42:520:42:54

the country he first experienced over ten years ago

0:42:540:42:58

has certainly been eventful.

0:42:580:43:01

We wish the whole family the very best of luck

0:43:010:43:04

as they contemplate the next chapter in their lives.

0:43:040:43:08

Laura Evans thought her life would be perfect when she set up her dream bridal business but, although business is booming, she didn't realise just how much she would have to sacrifice to succeed. Now working seven days a week, she has precious little time with her husband Andrew and young son Brodie. Desperate to turn things around, she thinks life could be better in Australia. Although she has never been, Andrew has told her all about it, following his travels there over ten years ago.

Will a trial week in Perth convince both Laura and Andrew the country really does offer the work-life balance they crave, or will they decide the emotional cost of leaving loved ones at home is too high a price to pay?


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