We get asked lots of questions about our decision to move to Australia. Why did we move all this way? Had we been here before? Did we know anyone when we came? Do we have family here? The truth is we’d never visited, and we didn’t know a soul! There’s only one real reason we chose Australia as our ultimate destination, and I’m pretty sure we’re not the only ones to have done this!
It all came down to a good few years of wintery nights, snuggled under a blanket on the sofa, chomping on Quality Street, listening to the rain outside; watching Australian Masterchef! Yup, it’s true, we chose to move to Australia because we were reeled in by Matt Preston, George Calombaris and Gary Mehigan. They pretty much personally invited us! From that fateful day when Julie Goodwin walked away with the title we were ready to up sticks and move to Oz!
Tim and I sat and watched series after series, we’d store them up and have Masterchef marathons, almost wishing we could hop into the TV for a taste of that life they were all living. We longed for a supermarket like Coles, with it’s abundance of shiny, almost pretend looking fruit and veg, and immaculate stores. We wanted fish markets with people practically throwing oysters at us. We wanted markets like South Melbourne and stunning wineries where we could sit and relax after a day in the office; because that’s what Aussies do!! We wanted the beaches, the weather, the coffee shops, the restaurants, the food, the wine, the house, the glam friends, and the neckerchief… All that, and I was desperate to meet Maggie Beer. (Still hasn’t happened by the way!) Tim managed to get to series 6 before giving in and job searching in the Southern Hemisphere.
We can’t be the only ones?
There must be other people who have chosen their ultimate destination after being lured by a tv show? Surely we’re not the only family to have upped sticks and flown across the world because Channel 10 forced us to. There must be others who have been tempted somewhere by the ‘Masterchef lifestyle’? For us Masterchef was like a high end immigration advert for Australia; to be honest they should jolly well stop showing it in the UK if they don’t want mass migration!
When Dallas was first aired in 1978 I wonder if people were madly hopping into their beaten up old Robin Reliant’s and heading to the travel agent in search of a bit of JR Ewing’s lifestyle. The Stetson’s, the shoulder pads, and the hairspray! What about Eldorado on TV in the UK in the 90’s? Come on!!! I bet people flocked to the Costa Del Sol in search of Los Barcos in the hope of a new expat life, of tanning, twin sets and sundowners.
Sat on our sofa in Somerset, we were sure that the ‘Masterchef life’ was real; it was everyday Australia, and we wanted in on the action?
Well, it turns out Coles isn’t as shiny as it looks on the telly; and I can NEVER find what I want! Matt Preston isn’t readily available to hang out with me on a Saturday foodie session in town as I had so hoped he would be, and no one has whisked me off for a behind the scenes tour of the Cobram Estate Grove because my dinner last night was incredible and my plating was spectacular! Unfair right!!!!
I haven’t managed to fly in a hot air balloon over the Yarra Valley yet, or take my stove down to the Melbourne Rowing Club and cook a roast dinner in the blazing heat! But, (and it’s a big but….) 2 years into leaving our loved ones, we can see that the ‘Masterchef life’ that we were yearning for is here, it’s what we’re living, right now; only there’s no out of the blue appearances from Nigella!! (More’s the pity.)
We shop at beautiful markets, we have wonderful seafood at our fingertips, great restaurants, coffee shops to die for, and wineries dotted all around us. We can go on foodie tours, hot air balloon rides, visit distilleries, and even go to The Press Club and be cooked for by George after all..
Whether it’s crazy or not, we got hooked, almost like someone somewhere was putting Adriano Zumbo in front of us, week in week out, just pushing us toward this sweet life we are embracing! I have no doubt that falling in love with a TV show is a great way to find your perfect destination.
So put your custard creams down, pause the telly, jump onto google and start investigating. You never know how far the next series will take you!
As soon as you start to follow your dreams, the sun shines brighter, the flowers smell sweeter and everything has more meaning – Olivia xxx