British families try life down under. Chris and Debs Wilson from Wilberfoss consider settling in Australia, after 14 years of moving around for Chris's work as an RAF engineer.
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It's a huge decision to move to the other side of the world
in search of a better life.
Especially when it could just be a case of thinking the grass is greener.
The Wilsons have high hopes of a life Down Under.
We're thinking about Australia because...a better lifestyle,
better weather, better living accommodation.
Just seems to be a lot of "better"s.
And the dream might just be within their grasp.
Wow. This is absolutely ideal.
However, husband Chris knows the pressure's on him to deliver.
If I can't get a job that comes pretty much on a par with what I'm getting at the minute in the UK,
I'll be honest, I can't see... I can't see it actually working.
But could leaving loved ones back home be too painful?
I can't do this. Sorry.
It is a lot to think about, yeah.
A whole lot to think about.
So, could their Australian dream come at too high a price?
Australia's famous laid-back way of life,
sunny climate and almost 50,000 kilometres of coastline
have long made it the favourite destination for Brits looking to move abroad.
But life Down Under doesn't always deliver the paradise new arrivals may picture.
The Wilsons have an emotional time ahead of them
as they try out life in Australia for one week.
At the end of it they'll be faced with a difficult decision -
to stay in the UK or to move Down Under.
The pretty village of Wilberfoss near York is home to the Wilson family.
That's 36-year-old Chris, his wife, Debs,
and their two black labradors, Beth and Suzie.
Chris and Debs are toying with the idea of taking their dogs
and making a life-changing move Down Under.
But this isn't the first time they've upped sticks and moved.
Chris has been in the RAF for 16 years and was shunted from pillar to post,
so he's used to packing up his boxes and moving on again.
We've moved around a considerable amount -
something like 12 houses in 14 years.
It's difficult when you're in the forces. You can't get settled down anywhere.
As soon as you settle down and make friends, you get posted, and...
Boxing up again, and we're off.
So I suppose it's kind of in my blood now
to get itchy feet every three years, shall we say?
But now that Chris has left the RAF, they're free to go anywhere they choose.
And he's set on moving them lock, stock and barrel to the other side of the world.
Some days I wake up and I'm all excited and think it's going to be the best thing since sliced bread.
Other days I wake up and panic and think, "Oh, God. It's just too far away.
"It's all the way round the other side of the world."
I don't know. It just seems like such a big step to take. It's a big decision to make.
But after 14 years on the road and their lives on hold,
Debs is desperate to finally settle down.
We need to put down roots somewhere, possibly start a family.
But that's been put on the back burner again.
The biological clock is a-ticking, so I haven't got much longer to go.
So I'd better hurry up and make a decision.
Their dreams of starting a family in the sun
rely on Australia measuring up, and the key to this is work.
Chris loves his job in the UK and he won't settle for second best.
It's critical that I get this kind of work down in Australia, if we were to go.
It's what I've been trained to do.
It's what I've known for pretty much my whole working career.
It's got to be pretty much the same as what I'm doing now to go down there.
If it's not, then I don't know. It could put a bit of a spanner in the works, so to say.
But will it prove just too hard to leave friends and family behind
and jet off into the unknown?
It's a huge decision,
because I would miss all my family up in Scotland,
because I do go and see them quite a few times a year, so I'd miss them.
I would miss my friends.
It is a lot to think about, yes.
A whole lot to think about.
It's just such a big decision to make.
Having moved 12 times in 14 years,
the Wilsons may be used to packing up and shipping out.
But if they make the life-changing decision to go Down Under,
they want it to be permanent.
So where they settle is crucial.
They could try Melbourne, the capital of Victoria
and one of Australia's fastest growing cities.
Melbourne is famed for its parks and open spaces,
which would be great for the Wilsons' dogs.
And with four airports, there should be good job prospects for Chris.
But the growing population means the housing market remains strong,
and with prices high, the Wilsons might struggle to afford the home they want.
Another option might be Adelaide,
which, as Australia's fifth largest city, is smaller than Melbourne.
Famed for its Mediterranean climate, and with beaches just minutes away,
it would offer Chris and Debs the outdoor lifestyle they want.
But with only two airports, job options for Chris as an aircraft engineer might be limited.
Or maybe the Gold Coast,
which offers a range of housing from river-fronted properties to family homes in the suburbs.
And, with its large expat community,
Chris and Debs will have no problem meeting people who've made the same move.
So, where should they go?
All three locations would offer the Wilsons a complete change of lifestyle.
We decided the Gold Coast would be the most suitable.
Smaller than Adelaide and with more affordable houses than Melbourne,
the Gold Coast offers the benefits of city living
with long stretches of sandy beaches.
And with a thriving business community and two local airports,
there are good job opportunities for both Chris and Debs.
But absolutely everything has to be right.
First impressions weren't good.
-This property is not for us.
-It's too small.
Will finding work be any easier?
We have a lot of...high unemployment on the Gold Coast.
And could leaving friends and family behind just be too much?
They say the world's getting smaller, but it's still a long away away.
To be perfectly honest, we don't see a huge amount of each other, but it's just really hard. Yeah.
AIRCRAFT ENGINE WHINES
After a journey of 10,000 miles and 21 hours in the air,
the Wilsons arrive jet lagged and well aware of just how far from home they really are.
It was probably worth it, but it's just such a long time, isn't it?
-It's a long flight.
-You never think you're going to get off.
You've got short haul, long haul. I think you can add "extremely long haul" now.
But at least the flight hasn't dented enthusiasm for the week ahead.
Yeah, looking forward to being here,
seeing everything and finding out what everything's all about,
and just putting it all together and seeing how it pans out.
The Wilsons are staying in a rented house in the Coomera suburb of the Gold Coast.
This is a perfect place to get a taste of what their Australian life could be like.
The style and layout of this property is very different from what they're used to back in the UK.
So, what will they think of their temporary home?
-Hmm. This is nice, isn't it?
Yeah. I didn't expect it to, um, go straight into the living room.
-No. Straight in...
-I thought there'd be a hall.
Yeah. I don't know if I like the open plan all the way from the kitchen.
Dining room and living room all as one big open plan. I don't know if I like that or not.
Not a good start. And Chris is in for a shock, as most Aussie homes are open-plan.
But there are much bigger issues to face in the week ahead.
-There's a lot to think about this next week, isn't there?
Everything has got to compare - at minimum - compare with what we've got back home.
-Of course it has. Or else there's no point moving.
-Yeah, a lot to think about.
-A lot to think about.
-Going to be intense.
Chris and Debs have high expectations of what Australia has to offer.
If they are left disappointed this week, it could mean an end to their Aussie dream.
Back in the UK, Chris and Debs live in Wilberfoss near York.
They bought this three-bedroom semi-detached house three years ago for £165,000
and have made it their own.
They'll be taking their dogs and all their furniture,
so finding a suitable home in Australia could be a struggle.
Yeah, three-bedroom, I think, is realistic for us to begin with.
Yes, that's realistic. But what would you LIKE?
Well, I would like a six-bedroom house,
but, realistically, a three-bedroom house would be enough.
-Realistically, three bedrooms, then.
With a double garage.
Bungalow. One floor.
Well, it looks like someone will be disappointed.
-Very much agreed on that one, them.
-Yeah, we are...
Well, you stay at one end of the street and I'll stay at the other, then.
There's no doubt finding the right home will help make this momentous decision easier.
But if Chris and Debs can't even agree on what they want,
well, househunting is going to be tricky.
Luckily, the Gold Coast has plenty of styles to choose from.
Perhaps the city suburbs of the Gold Coast would suit Chris and Debs best.
This three-bedroom house on the popular Jacobs Ridge estate
gives them the space they want and even comes with a pool.
It's on the market for around £350,000, which is beyond their reach.
However, there are cheaper properties in the area.
And a quiet suburb like this would be ideal for them
as it has lots of parks for the dogs and would mean a shorter commute to work for Chris.
For their budget,
Chris and Debs probably won't get the type of property they would like
on the Gold Coast seafront.
This chic house definitely has the style they're after, but it's on the market for £368,000.
If they move inland, they might get more for their money.
This takes us to the country suburbs of the Gold Coast,
and this designer river-fronted home.
It's in the exclusive Riverlinks estate and comes with its own jetty.
But it's a 45-minute commute from Chris's work,
and with no garden, is less than ideal.
The Gold Coast has some fabulous houses,
but the city can be pricey.
So even with their budget of around £200,000,
the Wilsons will need to look for something they both like.
Somewhere with enough space for their dogs.
Chris and Debs know that being 10,000 miles away from loved ones could be lonely,
so it's essential they find a comfortable home.
And they're starting their search in the suburb of Ormeau.
Property one is on the market for around £214,000.
It is at the top end of their budget,
but with three bedrooms, a double garage and a good-sized garden,
it seems to have everything they want.
But what will Chris and Debs make of it, given their reaction to the rental property?
-It's all open-plan.
-I mean, you've got your kitchen, dining room, living room.
I'm not sure if I 100% like the whole open-plan thing.
-But... Just cos I'm not used to it.
-Yeah. I do. I like it.
Debs seems positive, and is she winning Chris over?
-It's quite a nice, big living area, isn't it?
-Plenty of room for the dogs.
It's vital they find a home they like where they could raise a family.
Chris has some serious concerns about this house.
We would not get our sized bed in here and our bedside cabinets.
I just don't think it would be... There wouldn't be enough space.
Attempting to fit a house to their existing furniture might be a tall order.
-This is OK. Nice grassed area as well, for the dogs.
-Mmm. It is.
I think, personally, I'd want something slightly bigger.
Well, say, double the size of this.
That's all well and good, but if you're at the top of your budget, a bigger garden might be impossible.
What do you think?
-Erm, first impressions weren't good.
Don't know why. But outside it just seemed a bit shabby.
I'm not sure I like the idea of the...one of the bedrooms being straight off the kitchen.
-There's only a couple of positives about this. One was the double garage.
-I quite like that.
And two was it's en suite.
No, for me...for me, this property's not for us.
-It's too small. I think...
-..that's it, it's not for us.
-Let's go, then.
That's not a great start,
and if they can't find a house where they feel at home,
Chris's Australian dream could be a non-starter.
Will the next property be more up his street?
-Looks a bit different, doesn't it?
I can't make out if it's one house or if it's... there's adjoining houses to it.
Property two is a two-storey, three-bedroom semi-detached house just down the road in Ormeau
and on the market for £226,000.
So it's over budget, but what will they think?
-Oh, this is nice.
-It is nice.
Actually, I like this, because even though it's still open-plan,
it's still kind of the kitchen, dining room separate.
-I like this better...
-Than the last place.
-Yeah. Than the previous.
-Yeah. Yeah, I do.
That's good. Chris is learning to love the Aussie layout.
-I don't think it's quite big enough for our furniture to get in.
How big is this furniture?
-Yeah, it is nice. Yeah.
-What's in there?
-This looks like the master bedroom.
-So, we'd get our massive bed in here.
-Yeah, with room to spare.
En suite. Big shower. I like that.
-Mmm, it is big. Marvellous.
-And the stairs.
-Just what you've always wanted.
-It is - an upstairs.
This sounds much more promising.
If they can stretch their budget, could this be the house for them?
This property is really nice,
probably because it's similar to houses in the UK in that it's got an upstairs.
I like the house but I haven't seen the garden yet.
But judging by the size of the house, I'm assuming that it's got a fairly decent-sized garden.
That'll be good.
So, this is, like... This is it here.
-Yeah, this is it.
-It is small, isn't it?
-I thought it would be slightly bigger.
-So, all you've got is this grass area here.
-Very, very disappointing.
-Couldn't really call it a garden, could you?
-If it had trellising round it, it'd be classed as a window box.
Property two isn't for them either.
But to get a house they like with the space they want,
they have to pay even more, and their budget is already stretched to the limit.
Could their hopes of a life in Australia
be over before it's even begun?
-Looks nice, doesn't it?
Property three is nice, but it should be,
with a price tag of £255,000 - that's 50 grand over budget.
-Oh. This is an improvement.
-It's nice and big, isn't it?
-Definitely fit the bed in here.
Quite a nice size.
-We could fit most of our furniture in here.
-Most of it.
-Probably not all of it.
Yeah. Well, if we're not going to fit our furniture in there, we'll certainly fit it in here!
-We'll have to buy some more furniture.
-Cos we haven't got enough now.
-It is a nice size room.
-It's a very nice size room.
-Kitchen's fab as well.
After a quick tour around the rest of the house,
it's all looking promising.
But will this garden be big enough?
This is a nice-sized garden.
Wow. This would suit the dogs down to the ground.
Can you imagine them...? Oh! They would just love this.
This is absolutely ideal for the dogs.
I can just see them sat there.
I'd say, for the size of the grassed area,
like, the general patio area seems quite small.
You could have a larger entertainment area.
-Yeah. I like this a lot.
Finally, a property they both like, but it's over budget,
and it would be a real struggle to buy a house like this.
They're going to have to have a serious rethink
about what sort of property they can afford.
Property one just wasn't for them and left them cold.
Although property two ticked a lot of boxes,
the tiny garden was a huge disappointment.
But property three was spot-on on everything except the price.
So, will they be tempted into a dream they can't afford?
How will they vote?
-I didn't think you would!
I thought you would go Australia.
I've surprised myself a little bit, I think.
-But...I've been a little disappointed today.
People don't realise in the UK
is that house prices have massively boomed out here.
You don't get as much for your money today
as what you used to do,
and that's been reflected today.
I know, but...I just think you do get more...room for your money.
Debs may be sold on Australian houses,
but none of that matters if Chris can't find a job.
Their move depends on Chris finding work,
and opportunities in his chosen field are thin on the ground.
Back in the UK, Chris and Debs enjoy an active social life, helped by two incomes.
To maintain this lifestyle,
they'll both need to find work in Australia.
Debs is an experienced legal secretary,
but it's Chris's skills as an aircraft engineer that are in demand Down Under.
The job I have here is exactly what I'm after.
Working on search-and-rescue is a really rewarding job.
You know, we're in the business of saving and helping people
and this kind of work, I would be looking for if we were going to go Down Under.
After discovering Australian property is more expensive than they thought,
Chris and Debs now know their budget will be tighter,
so it's vital Chris is impressed by his work opportunities.
For me, getting a job down in Australia is absolutely paramount.
If I can't get a job that comes pretty much on a par
with what I'm getting at the minute in the UK,
then, I'll be honest,
I can't see...I can't see it actually working.
Also very, very anxious that if the wage structure isn't what we require,
if the hours aren't quite the same as what I'm working in the UK...
I think, to be honest, this is going to be make-or-break.
Chris is determined to replicate his UK job as closely as possible,
so we sent him to CareFlight search-and-rescue helicopter base in Coolangatta
to meet pilot Jeremy Ovens.
-Welcome to Australia.
-Thank you very much.
-What would you like to see? The hangar?
-That would be great. Let's have a look.
The air rescue base is expanding its fleet of helicopters and jets,
which means a lot more work to keep them in the air 24 hours a day.
Our normal jobs are going to smaller country hospitals
and bringing the patient back to intensive care units.
These small hospitals are good.
A lot of the time, they haven't got the facilities
to fix the patient.
But with only a small engineering team,
Chris needs to be sure there would be work opportunities for him.
-Yeah, Chris, yeah.
-Nice to meet you.
Originally, we were outsourcing it, but now we're trying to keep our maintenance in-house.
We get contractors in but what we're trying to do is build up a nice network of staff in-house
so that we can keep it all in-house and do it ourselves.
-So we're always looking for new guys to come on board.
It's vital Chris feels the work measures up to his job in the UK
if he's to even consider the move.
Chris's thoughts at the moment are kind of up and down.
There are a lot of things that have been going on in both of our minds.
It's key for Chris to get a decent job.
Also for myself to get a decent job as well, but mainly Chris,
because, obviously, both our salaries are going to determine what type of house we can buy
and what area we can live in.
But, yeah, it's very up and down at the moment.
Back in the UK, Debs works as a legal secretary
and earns around £17,000 a year.
But will she be able to match this in Australia?
We've sent Debs to a recruitment agency to find out what her job prospects are.
-Hello. Sheryl Johnson. How are you?
-Pleased to meet you.
Because if Chris can't bring home the bacon,
their future rests on her shoulders.
I noticed that you had quite a good legal background. You've done a lot of legal typing.
It's mainly legal area that I work in.
I've worked in various departments in the legal sector.
We have a lot of high unemployment on the Gold Coast.
However, with looking at your skills and experience,
you shouldn't have difficulty.
And I think the thing about the Gold Coast is we've got so many legal practices here.
There's probably a lot of opportunity.
Salary's another issue.
Looking at your resume,
I would probably say probably anywhere between 40,000 and 45,000.
That's probably about the market at the present.
It could go up or down. It just depends.
That's fantastic news.
Debs could earn £6,000 to £9,000 a year more than in the UK.
-Hopefully I'll look forward to seeing you when you move here.
-OK, that's lovely.
-Thank you for your time.
-Have a safe trip home.
-Will do. Thank you. Bye.
I think Debs has got very good prospects. She's got a great background.
Debs's work history is a dream for a recruiter.
You know, she's worked in medical, legal, in council as well.
I'm, you know, more than happy to assist her when she gets here.
After seeing Sheryl, it's just sorted everything out in my mind, because it's always been...
..not ALWAYS been about Chris and that I've been left out, cos I haven't really,
but it's always been about Chris's job and where HE'S going to get a job,
how HE'S going to fit in, what the salary's going to be like.
So, for me, seeing Sheryl today has just answered 101 questions for me.
Back at the airport, there's a bombshell waiting for Chris.
Despite 16 years of experience in the RAF,
he would need to pass numerous costly exams
to be licensed in Australia.
The way we work in Australia, you have a CASA licence
and you'll either be an airframe engine trade guy
or you'll be electrical instrument and radio - two separate trades.
-Are you airframe engine guy?
-Airframe engine, yeah.
-What you'd have to do is sit your core basic exams.
CASA would give you the licence specific to that type of...
It looks like Chris is going to have to hit the books
if he wants to become a fully licensed aircraft engineer in Australia.
How will this affect his plans?
If the opportunity came along for me to apply for a job, and I got the job,
what kind of salary could I expect to earn?
For unlicensed engineers, around about the 55,000 to 60,000 a year.
If you're licensed - that is, you're legally able to work on an aircraft -
you could probably expect around about the 90,000 mark per year.
I mean, engineers are... they're sought after everywhere.
If I was to come to you looking to do my licence, I could do the licence in-house?
It's a lot of outlay - financial outlay - on our behalf,
so we'd want to see a return of service from the employee
so that the money's not just thrown away.
Even as an unlicensed engineer,
he'll earn £10,000 more than in the UK.
But Chris was adamant if the job wasn't right for him, the move just wouldn't happen.
So, after everything he's seen, how will he vote?
I've met the guys. Great bunch of guys.
They've told me about the salary,
which is quite a bit more than the UK.
But I love my job in the UK. I love the guys I work with in the UK.
So, weighing it all up,
I'm going to vote for...
This week's already thrown up one big disappointment for Chris and Debs.
-People don't realise in the UK is that house prices have massively boomed out here.
You don't get as much for your money as what you used to do.
So, even with their salaries on the up, can they really afford their Australian dream?
The mortgage payment per month...
That's a lot of money.
And in the end, will the tug of loved ones back home be too strong?
The guys that we have met since we've come out here - brilliant.
But I feel like voting for Australia is betraying our friends that we've got in the UK.
Well, their work prospects may look promising,
but can they actually afford to make the move to Australia?
Heading Down Under will be costly.
The Wilsons will only be able to afford it
if they can get the right price for the sale of their UK home.
Chris and Debs bought
this three-bedroom semidetached house near York
three years ago for £165,000.
We sent a couple of local estate agents round to revalue the property in the prevailing market.
-It's quite strange, isn't it?
Well, it's lovely. It's a very tidy kitchen.
Little on the compact side but with everything fitting nicely. Very nice.
-It's a good start, at least.
Nicely decorated second bedroom.
Decorated master bedroom. That's good.
It's small but that's quite understandable for this sort of property.
It's tidy. It's neat.
I'm afraid the suite lets it down a little bit,
but otherwise fine.
The suite lets it down?
It's a well-presented three-bedroom semidetached house.
It's in a good location with good communications to York and Hull
and it's got an excellent school, so it'd make it ideal for a young family.
I'd put this on the market at around 172,950.
For a quick sale, I think you'd have to be under the 170, start at 169,950.
I would say the property, for market valuation,
perhaps should be valued between £160,000 and £170,000.
160 to 170 just seems a bit too big a gap.
I'm not overly happy but I'm kind of in the middle,
cos I did think that they might have said 165.
I was looking around about the 175 mark.
-Yeah, semihappy with that.
Well, that's more or less what they expected. But do the figures stack up?
Time to take a closer look at the costs of living in Australia.
So we've got salary to begin with, which is obviously...
..your income and then my income.
The utilities we pay every month are more expensive in Australia
than they are in the UK.
-There's a couple of things that are under.
So now we've got a weekly shop.
Total for the week for UK is 71.90.
And then you've got 79.
I'm surprised. I thought it would have been a lot more.
-Now we've got property.
-That would be monthly repayments.
-So that's in pounds?
-That's a lot of money.
-Bit more than we're paying now, isn't it?
The biggest property we've been to see, then,
the mortgage payment per month would leave us with £273 a month.
That's not a lot.
Property number three, on the current wages we're on at the minute, we can't afford.
However, after me finding out I could potentially earn double my salary than what I earn in the UK,
and you can earn more,
all of a sudden, property number three comes way in.
-At least, then, we have a choice now.
Whether we want to come to Australia or not,
rather than being told, "No, you can't afford to buy a house and you'll have to stay in the UK."
The outlay each month is much higher than Chris and Debs expected.
But if they both get good jobs, the move could still be possible.
Taking everything into account, how will they vote?
It goes without saying that we have more money in the pot
if we were to live in Australia,
so based on that, we're going to vote for...
That's another vote for Australia.
But for two people that have never been Down Under before,
how can they be sure a new life in Oz really will be better?
We've arranged for them to have a day out with the Slater family -
that's John, Annalise and their small boys, Angus and Hamish.
Oh, you CAN see a bit of the view.
John is originally from Scotland
but moved Down Under with his Australian wife two years ago,
so they know all about raising a young family on the Gold Coast.
-Mightily impressive, isn't it?
-Well, it's quite nice behind all the cloud there.
The Springbrook National Park
consists of 8,000 acres of tropical rainforest
and offers stunning views across the mountains.
Chris is loving it, but Debs hates heights and would rather hang back.
It's a lovely view, Debs. We can all vouch for that.
OK. Thank you.
I'm all right here, but I just don't like being right on the edge.
Cos if it gives way, I can just take a step back and they can all go
and I'll stop here.
If Chris and Debs decide to settle in Australia,
they're keen to start their own family.
You think, yeah, this is a great place to start a family.
You look around, you see the facilities, activities, parks for kids to lark in.
It seems relatively safe.
And then you start drifting off and thinking about
my mum and dad and Debs's mum and dad,
the rest of the family not seeing our child grow up.
So, yeah, we do think about it.
We try not to let it weigh on our mind too much because...
..if it did, we wouldn't do anything.
We wouldn't think about coming down here.
Chris and Debs want to learn as much as they can from John and Annalise
about raising a family in Australia.
This seems like an OK place to bring up kids.
Was that a contributing factor when you decided to come back over here?
I think, in a way, yes.
I think the one thing that swayed me was when you see a class of kids from the local school
down at the beach with their surfboards,
and they're out having a surfing lesson at school.
-You just sort of go, "There's something quite good about this."
So it's definitely worth the upheaval and the fact that you are...
Look, there's no denying that it's not an upheaval. It is.
You move your entire house and life.
I think you've got to look at your reasons for moving.
Why do you want to live here? Why don't you want to live in the UK?
And I think if you tot them all up
and you come down on the side of living in Australia,
I think it's a great place to live.
Back in the UK, Chris and Debs have an active social life,
but if they move to Australia, they'll be on their own.
So they've come to the local rugby club social to meet some potential new friends.
The man of the hour. Chris. Welcome down to the club, mate. How are you doing?
-Yeah, not too bad. You?
-Not too bad.
We've got a couple of little fellas lined up for you.
-See this Fijian fella here?
-Oh, yeah. The small guy?
Take him up first, you reckon?
All right, guys. Go 20 push-ups altogether on Chris.
Chris, you call it. Everybody on Chris. Listen to him. 20 push-ups, Chris.
Two, three, four, five, six...
As Chris's love of rugby is put to the test,
there's one big issue preying on Debs's mind.
My thoughts about Australia are probably a bit mixed,
because even though everybody's really friendly,
mainly my reservations are about leaving my family, my friends.
So it's still that big decision
of whether we should come out or not.
So we've got a lot to think about, but it's definitely the right decision
coming to have a look at everything and see how things are going.
And, yeah, we'll just take it from there.
Good friends you've known for years can never be replaced,
and the thought of loved ones is obviously tugging at Debs's heart.
How will this affect their decision?
Since we've arrived here in Australia, we've met a number of people.
Really friendly. It's a great atmosphere. It's really sociable.
But I can't stop thinking about our friends in the UK.
And therefore, I'm going to vote...
I'm in the middle.
What are you thinking?
It's difficult, cos we need friends out here if we live out here,
but we also still need our friends at home.
Cos even though we're thousands of miles away, we'll still need them.
Guys that we have met since we've come out here - brilliant.
-But I feel like voting for Australia is betraying our friends that we've got in the UK.
Whether we come or not, we'll still need our friends in the UK.
It's just a really difficult decision to make.
It's definitely difficult to leave people back home. Definitely.
Anyone in particular you were thinking of?
Um, there is a few.
..to be perfectly honest, we don't see a huge amount of each other,
but it's just that we're just always on the other end of the phone.
And I know that that would probably happen here, but...
We'd be able to phone each other probably just as much.
But it's just really hard. Yeah.
Just the thought of leaving friends and family behind
is clearly very difficult for Debs.
Even after 12 moves in 14 years, it doesn't get any easier,
and it's harder still
when you're moving to the other side of the world.
The moment that Debs is dreading -
hearing messages from friends and family back home.
Hi, Chris. Hi, Debs.
Hi, Debs and Chris. I hope you're enjoying yourself out there.
I'm sure you are.
Chris is a loving, caring brother to me.
He's funny. He makes me laugh. He makes the whole family laugh.
He's very caring, very thoughtful, very loving,
and very supportive as a son.
You couldn't ask for a better son, to be quite honest.
We're really, really good friends.
Obviously we're sisters, but we're the best of friends.
Basically, she's probably my soul mate.
There's a big age difference - 12 years - but, um...
Oh, I can't do this. Sorry.
I can't speak about her.
Even though we don't see each other often, we are close.
Um, she's my baby.
The dogs are immensely important to him and Debs.
They're a big part of their lives and everything is geared round...
..what they do is geared round the dogs.
They've been thinking about starting a family for a while,
but obviously since they started the process of applying for their visas for Australia,
it's something they've sort of put to the back of their minds.
I think if Chris and Debs were to have a family,
I would miss my niece or nephew, whichever it would be.
Yeah, that would be a big hole in my heart, I think.
It's Chris and Debs's life in Australia, and if that's what they want,
then I'd have to forfeit a little hug and a cuddle
and make up for it when we did see them.
And like I say, we'd like to form that relationship one way or another,
so that at least our grandchildren would know,
"Oh, it's Grandma and Grandad from York."
I'd just miss everything about them, really.
They're both real close and dear friends.
I'd miss them a lot.
We're also getting married as well, in September,
so I'd be absolutely gutted if they were to miss that.
The thing I'd miss the most about Debs is...
..well, there's not just one thing.
It's just everything. I'd miss Debs, full stop. That's it.
There's nothing more to say about that. I'd just miss her.
We're obviously going to miss you,
but, of course, it's your life and all Dad and I want
is whatever you want.
And make the most of the life that you've got
and that's all we can say and we wish you both the best.
Um, love you to bits.
Um, I just...
Can't explain, really. It's just because she's everything.
We just love her a lot. Mmm.
It's a long way away.
It's a long way away.
They say the world's getting smaller,
but it's still a long way away.
You all right?
-It's weird, isn't it?
Seeing them on telly. Not something you get every day.
They all said, you know, "We'll miss you,
"but you do what's right for you."
-Happy that everyone is supportive of whatever decision we're going to make.
-That thing with Kev, about the wedding.
They would be gutted if we couldn't make it.
It's always tough hearing messages from loved ones.
For Chris and Debs, will the pain of leaving family behind
be outweighed by the opportunities of a new life in Australia?
It's the end of the Wilsons' trial week in Australia
and there's a lot to think about.
Chris and Debs started full of hope.
Looking forward to being here, seeing everything, finding out what everything's all about,
and just putting it all together and seeing how it pans out.
But the properties were a let-down.
First impressions weren't good.
This property's not for us. It's too small.
-That's it. It's not for us.
-Let's go, then.
And they experienced what Australia could offer the children they so desperately want.
Mightily impressive, isn't it?
You think about, yeah, this is a great place to start a family.
Then you start drifting off and thinking about the rest of the family
not seeing our child grow up.
And the thoughts of loved ones left behind proved too much for Debs.
I can't do this. Sorry.
Um, love her to bits. She's my baby.
To be perfectly honest, we don't see a huge amount of each other,
but it's just really hard.
So, will the emotional tug of leaving everyone behind be too great?
Or will the chance of a new life in Australia
be too hard to turn their backs on?
It's time to vote.
It's been an amazing, fantastic opportunity coming out here.
The things that we've found out and seen.
It goes without saying that the weather is absolutely fantastic for us and for the dogs.
We loved it here and we just think it's fab in all aspects.
And for that reason we're going to vote...
At least we agreed on something, haven't we? Is that the first time or something?
But even with a big decision made, saying goodbye is hard to do.
The reservations, probably, about leaving family and friends behind,
because everything else, for here,
is just too good an opportunity to miss.
So, best pack your suitcase and save your money, cos you're coming out for a holiday.
It's been a week of surprises for Chris and Debs,
but in the end, they both agree their future lies in Australia.
Join us again next time when we follow another family
who are Wanted Down Under.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
The series in which British families are given the chance to sample what life would be like if they moved to the other side of the world.
Chris and Debs Wilson from Wilberfoss, near York, are desperate to settle down after 14 years of moving around for Chris's work as an RAF engineer. Australia seems the perfect place to start a new life and raise a family. But will a week down under confirm their expectations, or will the tug of loved ones back at home be too strong?