British families explore the idea of moving to Australia or New Zealand. Paddy McGuinness loves Australia and wants to live there, but his wife wants to stay.
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Paddy McGuinness is a lover of all things Aussie...
Everything felt amazing. I was taken aback by big buildings, I was taken
aback even by the sunshine.
..now in love with his Australian-born wife. She, however,
left the country behind and is loving life back in the UK.
I would have to start again if I go to Australia,
and I would have to build new friendships, building a new
community and a new support network, and I have that sitting
-A trial week in Australia
sees Paddy try to convince Erin
that it's time to move back.
Living in Australia, the work-life balance for us as a family
will be a lot better and make us a lot happier.
But can she resist powerful calls from her mum not to
return down under?
I can't even speak at the moment.
It's just the very thought of those boys in Australia.
FUNKY MUSIC PLAYS
With an average temperature of 22 Celsius,
and more than 10,000 beaches to enjoy the sunshine,
it's not hard to understand why Australia is a magnet for families
seeking a new life down under.
But life on the other side of the world doesn't always live up to the
dream, and latest figures show almost half of those
making the move return home.
When Erin McGuiness left Australia at the age of ten,
she thought it was for good.
She settled down in her mum's native Ireland, lost her Aussie accent,
and started to love life on a whole new side of the world.
And then she met Paddy - a Northern Irishman whose obsession
with moving to Australia has given her
He wants to convince her that now, with two children of their own,
it's time to move down under again.
She's agreed to a trial week where they'll find out together the
realities of living in Australia and whether they can afford it.
After a journey lasting over 20 hours,
the McGuinesses land in Melbourne, raring to go.
The journey was long, but I'm excited to be here and I'm looking
forward to what's in store for the rest of the week.
And how did the little ones handle it?
The kids were very active and very vocal on the flight.
-They did sleep a good few hours, so...
-They were good boys.
And for Erin, the arrival has particular significance.
It sort of feels like I'm back at home.
But the excitement soon turns to nerves.
It's make or break, really. Hopefully we get the right news that we want.
There's no going back. I have to make a decision. I have to face the
reality of, "Are we going to move here or not?"
In just seven days' time,
they'll have to answer what side of the world their future lies.
Meet the McGuinesses.
Dad Paddy, mum Erin, Alex age four, and Jude, just two.
Paddy has fallen in love with all things Australian since meeting
I met Paddy at his 18th birthday party,
in a nightclub in Newry, where he's from.
We just kind of had that connection straightaway.
Just, as you do, on the dance floor, and we met up and exchanged numbers
-As time progressed, we decided to make a go of it, and...
ever since, we've been together.
But it was also Erin's Aussie background
that Paddy fell in love with.
The lifestyle that we had was brilliant.
The schools were amazing, and a lot of outdoor space,
and we just lived the ideal outdoor lifestyle.
I sort of nearly blame myself for, you know, selling it to him.
After a special holiday together,
Paddy decided he wanted to move there permanently.
Coming from a small city in Northern Ireland,
I was taken aback by big buildings,
I was taken aback by even the sunshine,
the whole hustle and bustle of the city.
You know, everything felt... felt amazing.
Initially at least, Erin certainly wasn't opposed to it.
Any conversation with anybody I meet new, you know, I'm first to tell
them, "Oh, do you know I'm Australian?"
And then they look at me and say,
"Hmm, well, the accent doesn't really give it away."
I think it probably started off in the early days being my dream,
but as I've got older and had kids,
I've sort of got a little bit more scared, whereas Paddy has held on to
-the dream, and now...
-I want that dream to really become a reality.
Now that we've got the kids, he's pushing more.
Marriage and the children have only made Paddy all the more
-hungry for the move.
I have the boys, basically, most of the day,
whereas Erin's at work. I'm getting to spend that quality time with my
children, which is fantastic, but when you look outside and it's
raining, you know, the activities you can do
in Northern Ireland are limited.
-Added to this is the issue of their son's health.
I think Alex has the worst case of asthma.
He has to take his inhalers regularly.
His breathing is far better in the summertime.
Like, he can play out all day long and he seems to be perfectly fine.
It's just as soon as the cold air hits, he just, he can't breathe.
-I just feel, the warmer climate in Australia...
..it's possible that his asthma could improve.
There is a big but in all of this -
Having herself emigrated to Melbourne once upon a time,
and returned to Ireland after 15 years,
she thinks it's far from a good idea.
My mum will always say that, you know, she doesn't regret, you know,
one thing about it because it was an amazing place to bring up me and my
brother as children. But she says, just as time went on
and the years went on, she just got more and more homesick.
Mwah! And a hug?
I feel that it would really break her heart if all four of us go,
because she's done it and she's experienced it,
and she knows the difficulties of
missing family and friends. So...
And her mum's doubts have started to make Erin doubt, too.
I would have to start again if we go to Australia,
and have to build new friendships,
build a new community and a new support network.
I have that sitting ready here.
Yes, it's nice to live in a place where it's hot all the time,
but we'll be making dinner, we'll be going to bed,
the routine's going to be exactly the same,
only it's going to be a lot hotter.
You know, I don't know how he's going to cope with the heat.
For Paddy, celebrating what he hopes could be his last birthday
in the UK, the issue is clear.
Paddy, happy birthday.
I just feel that moving to Australia,
the work-life balance for us as a family will be a lot better
and make us a lot happier.
Taking away the two children from both sets of grandparents,
I do feel selfish, if I'm being honest.
But what they're going to realise is...
me and Erin, this is our life,
we want to, we decide what's best for us as a family.
The time has come to decide once and for all.
What's certain is Erin isn't going to be forced into a move.
If I just don't get the gut feeling and things aren't going my way,
and I think this isn't for us as a family,
whilst I will be, I know, probably breaking Paddy's heart
and squashing his dream, I'm not going to be afraid to say,
"No, it doesn't feel right and this isn't for us."
And, you know, that's the end of the dream, and, you know, the
Australia dream is over and Northern Ireland is where we're going to
live. You know, I won't be afraid to say that at the end of the week.
When the family arrives at their rental accommodation for the week,
it's late and everyone's tired.
Once they see their new surroundings,
their energy levels soon pick up.
This is my bed, and this is your bed.
-Nice three bedrooms.
-It's open-planned, I mean...
-It's what we wished for, wasn't it?
-Yeah, with the beach...
-..garden for the kids.
-Should be a good week.
-But it's clear the reality of the
situation is starting to sink in for Paddy.
-I am feeling nervous.
-What are you feeling nervous about?
I'm feeling nervous that, you know, that...
I'm going to say no and it's all going to be over?
No, but I don't want to devastate you, so...
No, I know. We're in this together, and if things don't work out,
if we don't get the right information that we need,
then it's back to square one, really.
Back in the UK,
the McGuiness family live in a three-bedroom detached house in the
cathedral city of Armagh,
and it's fair to say they are pretty happy.
We bought our house just under two years ago as a brand-new build.
We've worked really hard to get to where we are now. We even had to
sacrifice living with my mum for 15 months while we had to wait till it
was built, so we've sacrificed a lot
to get into the house and to get settled.
There's one aspect of their house,
however, they aren't particularly keen on.
Every property has its sacrifices. A garden is definitely ours.
So, if they move down under, what are the couple looking for?
I would need to have a house that would be very similar to mine -
three to four-bedroomed, detached property with, not a massive garden,
but good and...good-sized.
-And close to commuting as well, for travelling to work as well.
If we couldn't find a house within our budget...
we wouldn't go.
-We wouldn't go.
The couple have a budget of £280,000.
To find out what kind of home their money could get them in Melbourne,
we'll show them three properties -
two based on budget, and a third which could be their dream home.
The search begins in Langwarrin,
an established suburb located near to the beach-side urban centre of
Frankston, with shopping and transport options,
as well as close to Erin's extended family in Carrum Downs.
Outside, the couple compare thoughts on the next step, or rather, steps.
I'm just not too sure about the steps, though, with the boys. It
might be a bit too dangerous, I think, but can't wait to get in.
-Well, wait no longer, Paddy. Off you go.
You sort of walk straight in to the living room.
It's a bit strange. Usually we come into the hallway and then you
-You have your own private room, yeah.
Maybe this could become a games room or...
That would be a no, Paddy.
Moving on into the kitchen area...
-Nice and open.
-Something like we have back home, and then you obviously have your...
-This must be, like, a bar, so...
-..plenty of gin to be drunk.
-No, I think we'd get rid of the bar.
That's no games room, no bar, then.
Erin's got more radical plans.
I would personally rip the kitchen out.
Well, the house isn't setting anyone's world alight,
and that continues into the main bedroom.
It's a bit small.
That big master window as well, which is a bit strange.
It's OK. It's not as nice, obviously, as our own bedroom.
Looks like Armagh 1, Australia 0.
Will the en-suite even up the score?
-So this is the en-suite?
-I would definitely have to rip this out and
-..and have a more modern en suite,
-but the size and space is fine.
-It needs a bit of modernisation.
And if size is what they're after,
will there be enough space for clothes?
Ah, so here's the wardrobe space.
-Eh, for me...
-Lost for words, you two?
It would just fit your clothes alone, if even.
So...we'd have to look at different kind of space area for the likes of
my clothes, because I would actually have something similar to yourself.
We can downsize your stuff and you can have the smallest space over
here, and I'll stick with this.
That's told you, Paddy.
With the boys being looked after by a childminder,
it's up to the parents to check out their bedrooms.
-For me, this would tick boxes.
It's decent-sized. You know, a single bed, you can put, like, a...
their toy section here as well,
a nice TV in the wall, and make it a nice boys' room.
-So, yeah, the boys will be happy enough with this room.
Well, things are starting to look up.
Let's see what outside has to offer, shall we?
We wanted outdoor living, so we've got it.
It seems a bachelor maybe owns this house. You know, it has the bar,
-it has the hot tub.
-Definitely. I wanted more of a family garden,
-a lot of space for the kids.
-The boys are very active.
-They need to burn off all their energy.
Right, well, a mixed bag, it's safe to say.
But could they afford it on their £280,000 budget?
-So, what's your feelings on this property?
-The area seems to be nice.
-The house is fine inside, you know, it's just...
..the garden, it's the garden space that I would crave,
-personally, especially for the boys.
It looks like it's a desired area.
I'm thinking we're close enough to the £300,000 mark.
I'd be a little bit gutted if it was.
I'm hoping that it'll be around 270.
-Shall we have a look, then?
-Yeah, let's go.
It's not as bad, like, you thought it was going to be over our budget.
No, but it does leave that kind of room, you know,
if you did want to do work.
It makes it a little bit more hopeful that maybe other houses in
-the area that are a little bit more modern might not be too far out of reach.
Only one house down,
and no-one's booking the removal vans to Melbourne just yet.
The next property is in the new development of Cranbourne East,
an area that has good infrastructure and close to schools and nice parks.
First impressions are good.
This is definitely the style of house that I had in mind.
-I'm optimistic. I'm excited to see what's inside.
-Yes, this is what we're looking for. A nice open hallway.
Oh, it's lovely in here.
It's definitely more our sort of feel, isn't it?
And this continues into the kitchen area.
-Wow! This is more like it, isn't it?
-Yeah, I like this.
Yeah, this is definitely what I imagined for an open-plan living.
Having your kitchen, dining, living room all-in-one,
and it's a great big space.
Something like what we have back home, so we can keep an eye on the
-boys when we're in kitchen.
-I could see us, definitely, in this house.
As a house ready to meet the needs of a busy young family,
this place seems to be the direct opposite of the last house.
That said, the main bedroom still has that typical Aussie feature.
Again, I'm sort of picking up that most of the houses have the master
-bedrooms at the front of the house.
For security purposes, I sort of like being at the front of the
-Yeah, it ticks boxes for me as well. It is open, you know?
-There's plenty of room.
But is there plenty of room for the pair's ample clothing requirements?
-Wow, there's a walk-in wardrobe!
-No, this is more space then the last one.
-I can have that wee space at the back.
-And I can have all this.
-You can have all that other space, yeah. Then there'll be no arguments.
And there's plenty for the boys to get excited about in their own rooms.
Wow! I know somebody that'll like this bedroom, definitely.
-And it's a great size, isn't it?
Yeah, it's perfect. It seems like it was made for him.
It is made for him, yeah.
So, will the outside space be more family-friendly
than the last property they viewed?
-So, here we have the decking area. Open play...
-Some space, isn't it?
-You have your barbecue area,
a nice seating area as well.
-It ticks many boxes.
-A bit more private.
There's even a place for the boys to have a kickaround.
Oh, yeah! This is nice.
-This is it, yeah.
-I can see football nets here, trampoline,
this is the perfect size area, it's not too big.
I can see the ball being kicked over that fence a lot of times,
-so me running after...
Well, this house ticks a lot of boxes,
but the ultimate box has yet to be revealed -
What's your feelings on this one?
I definitely could see myself making the move for a house like this.
How much do you think this house will be?
I'm thinking maybe along the £295,000 to £300,000 mark.
I was going to say along the £300,000 mark.
So I think we're sort of both thinking along the same lines.
Shall we have a look, then?
-Just above our budget, but it's actually...
-Yeah, I'm happy enough...
-I'm very happy with that, yeah, because...
-You don't need to do anything to it.
-No, exactly, it's walk-in.
You know, it's made me feel a lot more happy about the possible move.
To know that we can afford to buy a house at £280,000,
you know, this could turn our dream into reality.
I think we can call that Armagh 1, Australia 1 now.
What a result!
The final property the pair is viewing is in the giant
botanic garden suburb of Melbourne.
Built around a golf course, it's surrounded by farmland,
meaning there are fewer facilities in the immediate area.
More developments, however, are planned,
which will mean shops and facilities further down the track.
Will this place prove to be the dream property?
You know, from the outside, it looks fantastic.
-Let's see if it's got the space we need on the inside.
At least there are no steps to get in.
And once inside, well, Erin's Irish eyes are definitely smiling.
-Ah! This is how I like it.
-This is what I'm looking for, definitely.
It's not too big, it's just the perfect size.
-It's bigger than what we have at home as well.
-You know, it's...
A lot of space for the guys to be running around as well.
-Into the kitchen next.
-So, how do you feel about the kitchen?
-Oh, the kitchen's gorgeous.
-Isn't it fantastic?
-The worktop is lovely.
It's great. Nice entertaining space for people to sit at the other end
of the island and maybe prepare meals for the kids.
-It's really, really lovely.
-Also, even for entertaining guests,
once again, and sitting down for a meal, and still have all this
room around us and not feel cramped.
The family space has proven a hit.
What about the private space for Mum and Dad?
-Now this is nice.
-This is much better, yeah.
This is definitely a dream master bedroom.
You wouldn't get anything like this back at home, the space, it's just,
-it's gorgeous, I really love it.
-And the walk-in wardrobe is
virtually a whole new room in itself.
-Wow! This is what you wanted.
-Yeah, this is, oh, this is perfect.
-I think that's our space.
-Yeah. It's all mine, really.
-You can have all that side, no bother.
-So I can keep all my mess in here.
Sliding into the en-suite now.
This is amazing!
It's bigger than our whole bathroom.
-Yeah, and the bath alone,
-I can see myself in here for a couple of hours.
-Yeah, watching TV.
-With a beer.
-So we know Paddy will be entertained.
What about the boys?
-Wow! Playroom area.
-Totally, this is a playroom area.
-The boys will love that.
-Yeah. Perfect for their little...
-Great size, too.
I suppose when they get a little bit older, it'll be sort of like a
-homework/office area for them.
Another great sized room.
By the couple's reaction to the inside of this house,
I'm not sure that they'd want to leave it, but if they did,
does the outside match up to what they've seen so far?
Wow. It's different levels. It's lovely.
Yeah, it all flows down again. Just the whole house seems to flow in the right direction.
Yeah, I can see us entertaining out here and having a few family parties
-and family gatherings.
-Wait, guys. There's more.
-Nice sunlounger for the sun.
-The sun that we're going to see.
Then a nice decking area as well,
nice seating for eating and enjoying a glass of wine.
And even more!
Wow! The boys would love this!
This is amazing. Yeah, you know, this is perfect.
-This is what I wanted. A football net and a trampoline.
Maybe Alex and Jude can have friends out here as well and play.
-It's a gorgeous house.
-It's a great area.
Yeah, but because the house ticked all the boxes,
I'm a wee bit wary about the price.
Well, with a budget of £280,000,
is Paddy right to be wary?
-So, what's your feelings?
-It's absolutely amazing.
You know, it would be... Out of all the houses we've seen today,
-I'd say it would be the dream house.
I think it's definitely above our budget.
I'm thinking it's probably around...
I'm going to go with £320,000 - £325,000 mark.
-Let's turn it over.
-Yeah, turn it over, yeah, and have a look.
Well, I definitely thought it would be over budget.
Not by nearly £100,000, but that's a big difference.
It's a massive difference.
A day's house-hunting has given the McGuinnesses some idea of what they
might be able to afford if they made the move down under.
Property one was exactly the sort of place they expected to find in a
typical suburban street in Melbourne,
but it needed a lot of work and was too small for their needs.
Property two was a lot more to the couple's taste -
bigger, more modern, it was just slightly over budget.
Property three had the wow factor from front to back -
a blockbuster of a family home,
but at £380,000,
it was more a house to aspire to
then one they could realistically afford.
So, when it comes to property in Melbourne,
will the couple vote for the UK or down under?
Based on the three houses we've seen today, our vote goes to...
So, why the UK?
The dream home that I want is £100,000 over budget, and
I just don't think it's achievable.
You know, we don't want to move over here and have...
-Have less than what we have.
-..less than what we have. You know...
-A bit disappointing really.
It's a hugely disappointing start for Paddy in his mission to persuade
Erin that Melbourne is the place for them to settle.
If he's going to get things back on track, then he'll have to hope
Australia delivers on the jobs front.
Back in the UK, Paddy feeds his love of all things Aussie in a rather
-I work as a barman in an Australian restaurant in Armagh.
So, here you have our Uluru's finest cocktail.
It's called Bushfire.
Erin, on the other hand, has a job that's more office-based,
-working in IT.
-I work in information systems.
The whole objective is to make things more profitable,
more efficient and work better for the operations team.
It's a situation that leaves them working very different hours.
Some evenings, we're passing by and we're not even seeing each other.
And then, whenever I'm off at the weekend to spend some time with the
-kids, he's usually at work.
I love my job. It's just the hours don't suit.
I wish it was a nine-to-five job.
And, for that, Paddy knows he'll need a change of career - ideally
finding a position in the retail fashion sector.
For Erin, meanwhile, this is make-or-break.
The dream is to both be able to work during the day
and spend quality time with the kids in the evenings and the weekends,
and if I don't find the perfect job,
the move's definitely not going to happen.
Today, we'll give the couple the opportunity to explore
their chances of finding work down under.
First up, Paddy is paying a visit to a store in the South Yarra district
in Melbourne's premier fashion and retail strip.
He's meeting Tony Christakakis, the owner,
to get the lowdown on his employment prospects.
I would like to get back into retail,
and get back into working, to what I know that I can do best.
I don't think you'd have a problem,
as an entry-level, getting a job.
Your CV reads really, really well.
It's a good start, but are there any jobs?
If you're looking at getting full-time work as soon as you
come across, I'll be absolutely honest with you -
Your best opportunities to get work in retail would be either
as a casual...
or a permanent part-timer.
It's potentially devastating news for Paddy.
Part-time irregular work is exactly what he was trying to get away from
Across town, Erin is meeting up with Jarrad Skeen,
managing director of a recruitment firm specialising in IT and digital
innovation. They regularly place business analysts with
work backgrounds such as Erin's.
I've had a look through your CV, Erin,
and the good news is your skills are definitely transferable as an IT
business analyst here in Australia.
The market here, in Melbourne in particular, is certainly very high
in the demand for IT business analysts.
My suggestion, though, is that there could be some other training that you might want to consider,
particularly around Agile Methodology, and that training will certainly set you up as a business
analyst for industries that maybe you haven't worked in before,
and the training around Agile or PRINCE2 would be highly regarded.
Oh, that's excellent.
For the McGuinnesses, family life is important.
Can Erin achieve the work-life balance she's hoping for?
I think the employment market in Melbourne and Australia will broadly
understand the need for flexibility,
and I think you can find certainly a good opportunity that would support
flexibility and certainly offer general office hours.
Oh, that sounds great.
What about the all-important question - the salary?
If I did decide to make the move to Melbourne,
what sort of salary would I be expecting for a business analyst?
You should expect a starting salary of £64,000 per year.
That could rise to around £75,000 per year over about a two to
-Wow, that's a lot more than what I expected.
Um... Nearly double than what I'm on in the UK, so..
So are you pretty happy with that number, then, I take it?
Yeah, no, that's... Definitely.
-It's a pleasure.
-All good news from Erin's perspective.
Back with Paddy, he's hearing about his potential earning power.
Working on the basis of 30 hours a week,
you would be looking at roughly £23,000 per annum.
For part-time, that's pretty good.
On a full-time basis, again,
subject to that hour mix, £26,000, £27,000 for...
a year, for an extra eight hours a week work.
-I saw your eyes light up.
-That's something I couldn't imagine back home.
Well, it might not have been 100% good news,
but things have ended on a high for Paddy.
The dream is definitely back on track.
This means a lot today, and, going forward,
I'm hoping it can only get better.
Back in the centre of town, he and Erin meet up to compare notes.
-So, how was your day?
-To be honest, it went really well.
If I was to go in as a part-time assistant, working 30 hours per
week, I could potentially earn up to £22,000 to £23,000 per year.
-Yeah, I was really shocked when I heard that,
especially for working part-time. So, how was your day?
I went to a recruitment agency today and met a guy
called Jarrad who was the managing director,
and told me that there was a good market for business analysts in
Melbourne and that I shouldn't have any issue getting a job.
-So, what about your salary?
-He actually told me that I would start
off at a minimum of £64,000, and after a year or two,
-that it would move up to £75,000.
-Wow, that's fantastic news!
Well, no prizes for guessing how this vote goes.
Based on our work meetings today, our vote goes to...
With over double the salary and the ease of getting a job,
you know, of course I was going to pick Australia.
You know, after the disappointing news we had yesterday, you know,
knowing that we could potentially afford to live in here in Australia
and have the dream home that we need, and possibly have the
lifestyle that we need here in Australia, it's great to hear.
Halfway through their trial week, and we're no closer to knowing
whether Erin and Paddy are going to agree
on where their future lies.
What's certain is that, with the all-important financial reality
check, and messages from home still to come,
things are bound to get even more nail-biting.
First, though, can a day sampling the sort of lifestyle the family
might be able to enjoy in Melbourne
get the Australian dream back on track?
TRAIN WHISTLE HOOTS It's all aboard,
as the family take a ride on the Puffing Billy railway train.
And first up, they're getting a VIP tour of the engine.
OK, guys, do you want to have a look in the fire?
Hot stuff, eh?
TRAIN WHISTLE BLOWS
Quick! The train's about to leave. Time to find your seats.
The railway has been running for over 100 years,
and gives everyone spectacular views of the Aussie landscape...
-TRAIN WHISTLE HOOTS
..as it winds through 40km of temperate rainforest.
TRAIN WHISTLE BLOWS
Are you going to wave at everybody?
At the journey's end, there are some special people waiting to meet the
family - Erin's Australian aunts and cousins, and not surprisingly,
they're bursting with excitement.
Haven't seen Erin since ten years ago,
and haven't met the boys and dying to meet them.
It's the first time that Erin's family and her young boys
have ever met, but immediately they're getting on like best friends.
And while the boys play, Erin gets the chance to catch up.
-Your mum does not want you to come.
And as I said, "It's Erin's choice."
That's why I'm really here myself, to have a look around for my family.
And make your mind up, yeah, yeah.
Erin is reminded that, back home,
her own mother is strongly opposed to any move down under, so
maybe a phone call home, telling her what a fun time they're all having
is just what's needed.
Good luck, Erin.
-'Well, where are youse?
'Have you had your lovely fun day today?'
We're all having a barbecue and the kids are having an absolute ball.
'Yeah, so they're all going to have an Australian accent, do you think?'
Well, you never know. They might pick up a bit of an Aussie twang.
-They might get rid of it in two weeks, I think.
'Yous take care now, and come home soon.'
-OK, love you.
-See you. Sounds like she's really missing out a little bit.
I'm sure she'd love to be here with everybody.
If Paddy has his way, of course,
family gatherings like this will be a regular occurrence, but for now,
well, it's the chance to get a special memory of the occasion.
Meeting extended family,
Paddy is certain that today has been a game-changer.
Knowing that, with moving to Australia,
we have these things that offer us a better lifestyle.
-For me, the dream is still on.
-Are you having good fun?
But, when all is said and done, Erin's mum is still a big issue.
I do feel it would be a little bit selfish of me to take the boys to
the other side of the world. I still am really not sure what I want
to do at the end of the week.
So how will the couple vote?
Based on a great day out, our vote goes to...
-Australia. So, you voted for Australia?
Yes, I missed Mum today and it would have been nice for her to be here,
but there's a lot of love over here on the other side of the world.
I'm absolutely delighted that you've decided to vote for Australia today.
You know, to be honest, I wasn't expecting that.
Looks like Paddy's dream's back on track, but to avoid it being
kicked into touch, the finances will have to stack up.
Getting the right price for their home in the UK
could be a good start.
The couple think it's worth £220,00.
Will two local estate agents agree?
-Looks really good.
-Looks well, doesn't it?
The boys love them toys. I love tidying them up as well, after them.
A nice sizeable living room, perfect for a family.
Nice, and lots of natural light getting in.
There's a lovely open-plan kitchen area.
Really nicely decorated.
Really quality appliances. A real hub of the house.
That's a beautiful master bedroom.
Nice fitted sliding wardrobes.
Beautiful en suite. It's actually quite large.
You live in that en-suite.
Good-sized double room.
Obviously a kid's room. Really good space, plenty of light.
A big double bed for such a small child.
At today's market, I'd value the property at £205,000.
For a quick sale, I'd put the property on the market with
offers over £195,000.
I would value this house at £185,000.
For a quick sale, I would put it on the market at £180,000.
So how do the couple feel?
The first valuation I thought was more on point.
Compared to what we bought it for, you know,
we've done well on the property. I think, overall, it's positive.
While the boys stay with the childminder,
Mum and Dad prepare to tackle the price of everyday living.
We've provided a comparison of costs in the UK and Australia,
starting with the weekly supermarket shop.
-So, £1.50 back in the UK...
..and £6.84 here in Australia.
Eh, well, I think we'll be substituting that fruit.
Carrots, 45p back in the UK...
over here, it's £1.43.
We love our Sunday dinners. We'll have a look at the pork joint here.
Back home, £6.72, and in Australia,
which is a massive difference of £6.11.
-I wonder what it's like to eat out?
So what does it all add up to?
So we'd be worse off by £32.09.
We're not talking hundreds of pounds here.
I think we should be able to recover that cost somewhere else.
An extra £32 a week for food down under doesn't seem to have fazed
the couple, but what about the bigger outgoings?
With a move down under,
the McGuinness' mortgage could almost double in Australia.
Wow! The difference would be £553 per month.
That's nearly double our mortgage.
No, that's... I didn't expect that whatsoever.
And without the support of family,
the topic of childcare makes the news even worse.
Over here, we're looking at £1,160 per month.
That's a difference of £1,000.
It's not looking too good.
These figures are actually a bit scary.
Will the Australian salaries rescue Paddy's dream?
So, my income in Australia,
it would be £4,133 per month.
I could potentially earn up to £1,720 per month.
So that would give us a difference of £2,631 per month.
And what does it mean for the overall figures?
It looks like we're going to be better off in Australia
-by £751 per month.
For me, to look at them figures, it's great news.
I'm actually ecstatic.
I think I know which way this vote is going to go.
Based on our reality check today, our vote goes to...
So, you voted for Australia again?
I was a little bit shocked with the house prices but, you know,
when we did the overall calculations,
it looks like we...we'll be far better off.
To know that you voted for Australia has made me really happy again,
to know that we can be comfortable over here,
with comfortable salaries starting off,
and still have a proper lifestyle.
Next, Erin and Paddy sit down to watch messages
-from loved ones back home.
Patrick is a wonderful fella.
He's not great with the DIY, but he's a really, really good father,
and he works very, very hard.
Erin is fun-loving, she's somebody you like to be around.
She's a fantastic friend and a fantastic mother.
Alex, um, I always used to have fun with him,
and I still do.
And Jude, I like him so much.
Patrick and Erin came up one day. They just said,
"We've a surprise to tell you," and I said, "What is it?"
"Me and Erin are thinking of going to Australia."
I actually burst into tears.
I can't even speak at the moment.
It's just the very thought of those boys in Australia.
I'm Nanny Mary, and that's it.
Because they're my two grandsons, and they're my daughter's children,
-and they're special.
we can't complain about their decision, cos we did it.
Let them go for it, and we need to support them to the hilt.
I would be completely for it.
I do believe it is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
And I'd miss wee Alex and Jude now, really, because
they...I wouldn't see them at all.
Maybe only on Facebook or something like that, you know?
And I don't have Facebook.
I hope youse come back.
I'll miss you so, so, so, so much.
Whatever decision you make, know that we will always love you,
and we're here for you.
Look, make your decision for you.
Whatever it is, we will support. But, um...
-do what's right for you.
-I will back youse up,
but I'm hoping that it's terrible weather in Australia
youse don't have a good time,
and youse come back and make your decision to stay here.
I can't see this being as part of my life,
you sitting over there and me here.
Everyone else seems to be onboard and supporting it,
and I am going to support youse, but this will be a big wrench for me.
Remember, it's for you as a family.
And don't forget to ring home.
Seeing the messages and, obviously, yes,
we've been having a good time here, but it sort of...
brings it back home that, yes,
-we're going to be leaving a lot of people.
-We rely a lot on your mum.
If it was just me and you, it would be fine,
but the fact that she's going to be so devastated,
it makes it really tough for me.
So, if this was YOUR decision,
what would YOU do?
Choose what's best for your family and move?
Or listen to the wisdom of those who have been there,
done that, and stay?
As Paddy and Erin McGuinness approach their final vote,
we're about to see if their trial week down under has helped them make
up their minds about the dilemma.
Or has it simply driven them further apart?
As they prepare to depart, Paddy is able to reflect on what, for him,
has been an unforgettable week.
It has been my dream to come to Australia,
and this week has exceeded my expectations.
I've seen it can open doors for me that I could not possibly have back
home. I believe there is better opportunities for us out here,
-and I want to take them with both hands.
-Are you digging?
For Erin, the issue is slightly more complicated.
I've always had in the back of my mind that I have two homes,
and I wasn't sure which one is actually home.
But, for Paddy, this is about where their children call home.
The benefits of the life they could have over here,
the upbringing that I possibly couldn't give them
back home in Ireland.
Something that Erin can indeed empathise with.
The boys, over the last two days in particular, have just had an
absolute ball. The outdoor lifestyle suits them so well,
and at the end of the day, they're absolutely exhausted.
-Nearly hit the helicopter.
it's a situation that risks still leaving them divided.
I'm having to make a decision between what's going to make my
husband happy and what's going to make my mum happy.
My gut feeling is I'm just really not sure if I can go ahead and leave
-my mum behind.
-So what way will they decide to vote?
It's time for the moment of truth.
After an amazing week in Melbourne, our vote goes to...
-You went for it again!
So, I've convinced you, then?
Well, not so much you, but, yeah,
every day has been getting better and better and, you know,
everything on paper ticks all the boxes that,
yes, I think we could, we could make it here as a family.
For me to know now that you have chosen Australia
has made me really feel happy.
I'm willing to work as hard as I can to prove this.
-I'm on top of the world.
-It's going to be really tough, saying goodbye
to Mum, but I'm hopeful that she'll come and visit us.
So, I've said we're moving to Australia, I've made your dreams
-come true, I think I deserve a hug.
Come on, let me give you one.
In the end, despite the emotional pleas from back home,
the McGuinnesses have decided that their future lies in a part of
Erin's past, in Australia.
Whatever move they make next,
we'll be following their progress with interest, and of course
wishing them the very best of luck.
When Erin McGuinness left Australia at the age of ten, she thought it was for good. She settled down in her mum's native Ireland, lost her Aussie accent and started to love life on a whole new side of the world. She then met Paddy, a Northern Irishman whose obsession with moving to Australia was taking over. This was giving Erin sleepless nights. Paddy is determined to convince Erin that now with two children of their own it's time for all four of them to move Down Under.
But Erin knows first-hand from her mother how homesick living so far away from family can be. After immigrating in the 1970s to Melbourne, her mum and dad returned back to Northern Ireland after 15 years - because they missed family too much.
But with her first son suffering from asthma - exacerbated by the Irish damp and cold, Erin's childhood memories of her healthy outdoor lifestyle in the warmth as she grew up in Melbourne is enough for her to agree to a trial week. She knows it would benefit Alex her first born significantly. Paddy hopes a move would improve their work-life balance and quality of family life. Their jobs in Armagh mean they work very different hours. Paddy is a barman in an Aussie-themed restaurant and loves absorbing the Down Under atmosphere! Erin meanwhile works in IT. They are like ships in the night - Erin returning from work as Paddy leaves. Something simply has to change.
Over the week they'll find out if the change includes living in Australia as they test the realities of living there and whether or not they can afford it.
There is a lot of uncertainty but both agree now is the time to decide once and for all. This week is make or break. What is certain - Erin is not going to be forced into any move.