No Place Like Home

Monday, 20 July 2009, 10:30AM – 11:25AM

For many Brits a new life in another country is an opportunity for a better life, but sometimes the reality of leaving behind family, friends and lifestyle is too much.

No Place Like Home follows ex-pat British families who are having second thoughts about their moves abroad.

Relocation expert Catherine Gee will show them what Britain still has to offer, before they make the momentous decision about whether or not to give up their life abroad and relocate back to Britain.

They will meet friends and family, re-visit key places from their past and Catherine Gee will explain the practical realities of a move back home.

In week one we meet five families who are hoping the programme can help them make this life changing decision.

The Wright Family

Just over eighteen months ago, Brian and Sandra Wright and their two children moved to Riberac, Southwest France. They longed for a life of sunshine somewhere closer to Brian’s job and also somewhere that had plenty of outdoor activities for their two young daughters. Sandra loves the weather in France and the healthier lifestyle, but she desperately misses her friends and family. She feels isolated as Brian works away from home every other month.

Brian loves his life in France and does not want to give up their huge house complete with swimming pool to move back to Northern Ireland. Whilst Brian is living the ex-pat dream, Sandra feels as though she is living the single parent nightmare and has no support network.

The Wright family returns to Northern Ireland for a one week fact-finding trip with relocation expert Catherine Gee. An emotional family reunion cements Sandra’s desire to return home and even Brian seems to be considering it when he sees a property he loves.

With jobs, houses and the children’s education to consider, where will the Wrights decide to live?

The Isaac Family

Kevin and Lindsay Isaac have lived together in Tenerife for ten years. Kevin moved to the Island 17 years ago and embarked on a successful career as an Elvis impersonator. Lindsay came to Tenerife on holiday ten years ago, fell in love and moved there to be with Kevin. Their two girls, Isabel and Anabel, were both born in Tenerife and Lindsay has a 20 year old daughter, Katie, who studies in Aberdeen, Scotland.

Kevin has a good job and feels settled in Tenerife, but Lindsay has been homesick for years and believes now would be a good time to move back to Sheffield, where she grew up. They return to the UK for one week to discover what kind of lifestyle they could have in England. Lindsay is thrilled to see her friends and family at a surprise welcome home party and it is clear that she is feeling a strong pull to return. However, she is brought back down to earth when Catherine shows them a property within their budget which is considerably smaller than their house in Tenerife.

One of their main concerns about moving back is whether Kevin would be able to find work in the UK so Catherine organizes for him to do his Elvis act in Blackpool – but the feedback is not positive.

When Kevin and Lindsay reunite in Sheffield, it is clear that they feel divided and are no closer to making a decision that both of them will be happy with.

The Phillipidis Family
Single mum Eliza Phillipidis and her daughter Mel have lived in Athens, Greece for 14 years. Eliza has never felt completely settled and since her divorce she feels there is nothing to keep her in Greece. However, her daughter still has a very close relationship with her father and wants to stay.
Catherine Gee flies them back for a fact finding week to try to help them make a decision between staying in Greece or making a move back to the UK. During the week they look at three properties, Mel visits a tennis school, Eliza looks at potential job opportunities and they catch up with friends and family.
Emotions run high between mother and daughter as the biggest decision of their lives also seems to be the hardest. What will they decide?

The Sollitt Family

Kevin and Gianna Sollitt moved to Cleveland, Ohio ten years ago with their daughter Emily and a year later had their second child Francesca. Kevin has been working in the financial sector but Gianna hasn’t worked since moving there and is feeling quite isolated in her life. They both miss their families terribly and are beginning to feel the pull back to the UK.

They have created an amazing lifestyle for themselves in Cleveland including building their own house and are worried that they won’t have the same standard of living if they move back.

They travel back to the UK for a week for a fact finding mission to see whether a move back to Britain would be viable. With the help of Catherine Gee they are shown around three properties and taken to a local private school, as well as seeing what career options might be available for both Kevin and Gianna.

They meet both their families for emotional reunions as well as old friends who pull on their heartstrings. At the end of the week they have to decide whether to stay in the States or move back to the UK – which country will they choose?

The Barnes Family

Peter and Gillian Barnes moved to Switzerland just over four years ago when Peter started a new job. Shortly after the move, Gillian became pregnant and their son Dillon was born. On the outset [from the outset? From the outside?] life seemed perfect for the Barnes family but the reality was somewhat different. Gillian desperately misses home and the career she left behind.

Peter loves life in Switzerland and does not want to return to the UK. He finds his new lifestyle stress-free and relaxing.

Although the couple have made many friends in Switzerland, Gillian still misses her friends and family back in the UK and longs to return.

The family fly back to North West England for a seven day fact-finding tour to sample British culture again. With Peter already dreading the traffic and worried about the current economic crisis, it’s going to take a lot to persuade him to give up his alpine life.

As the seventh day draws closer, Gillian is adamant that she can change her husband’s mind, although Peter is not so sure. Where will the family’s future lie?

Continues weekdays at 11.30am.

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