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McFayden Family To Be Featured This Week On 'House Hunters International'

Apr 26, 2016 12:10PM ● By Bill Gilman
When Tewksbury resident Jay McFayden accepted a work assignment in England, he and his wife Beth knew it would be an adventure for their family.
What they didn't know, at that time, was that some of their adventure would be shared with millions of television viewers.
This week, the McFaydens will be featured on the popular HGTV show, "House Hunters International." The show, which is scheduled for broadcast Thursday, April 28, 10:30 p.m. and Friday, April 29, 1:30 a.m., chronicles the couple's search for a temporary home in England. 
"The best thing is that for those of our friends and neighbors who can't be with us, this will give them a sense of what it's like here," said Beth McFayden, in a phone interview.
Jay McFayden's employer, Rolls Royce Naval, gave him an 20-month assignment in England that began in April 2015. So in March, Beth and Jay 'crossed the pond' and began searching for a home for themselves, their four children and their dog, Daisy.
Several weeks earlier, after Jay had received the assignment, Beth had reached out to House Hunters International to find out if the show might be interested in their story. Some time later, she received word from the producers that they were interested in featuring the McFaydens on the show.
For those familiar with the "House Hunters" format, it will come as no surprise that Beth and Jay were not in lockstep as far as their house search priorities. Jay was focused on location, in relation to his job, as he would be living in the house for three months before his family arrived and several months after they returned to the USA.
"I was pushing for something in a real old English village, something with that village feel," said Beth. "Jay didn't want to be in the middle of nowhere."
The show will also feature footage of the McFaydens in Tewksbury, preparing for their journey.

SPOILER ALERT: If you don't want to know how the McFaydens' house hunt turned out, read no further.

The home Beth and Jay settled on was a nine-room Tudor in Stratford-on-Avon in the West Midlands area of England, about 90 minutes north of London. While the home doesn't have quite the village feel Beth was hoping for, she said it has been everything she and her family could have hoped for.
"The house is about 10 minutes from the center of town," she said. "Everything is within walking distance."
This includes the historical home of William Shakespeare. In fact, Stratford-on-Avon recently marked the 400th anniversary of the death of The Bard and the McFayden's adopted town was abuzz with British celebrity activity, including visits by Prince Charles, Helen Mirren, Judy Dench, and Ian McKellen.
Beth and her four children (Juliana, 17, Kendra, 15, Luke, 12, and Will, 11) joined Jay in July 2015. They will be returning home to Tewksbury in August of this year, making the educational transition as simple as possible. Jay had been scheduled to stay in England until December, but will now be returning in October, in time to celebrate the couple's 25th wedding anniversary.
While living in a foreign country always requires some adjustments, Beth feels the experience has been beneficial for the whole family.
"It's a totally different lifestyle, a totally different kind of experience," she said. "I really feel like the kids have matured a lot while we've been hear. They have had more freedom to do things on their own, like go into town together."
Living in Europe has also given the family a chance to experience a wide variety of cultures during their stay. By the time they return to the USA in August, the McFaydens will have visited 14 European countries in 14 months, including the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Ireland and Scotland.
The family was in France over Easter and was at the Cathedral of Notre Dame on Good Friday, when the relic that Catholics believe was the actual Crown of Thorns placed on the head of Jesus is put on public display for one day a year.
There has also been time for pure recreation, as the family has visited seven of the Top 10 amusement parks in Europe during their stay.
"We've tried to balance the trip with a little bit of fun, culture, education and history," said Beth.


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