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BIP’s Alisha reveals the tough side of moving to Perth

There's "one chapter" she and boyfriend Glenn haven’t explored yet.
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It’s one thing to hide a relationship from the general public, but to simultaneously move across the country to be with with your new partner in the midst of a global pandemic is a whole new ball game.

But that’s exactly what Alisha Aitken Radburn did when she packed her bags for Perth and shacked up with her Bachelor in Paradise boyfriend, Glenn Smith.

WATCH BELOW: Bachelor in Paradise’s Alisha and Glenn share video montage as they go public with their relationship

It wasn’t in their plan but when coronavirus restrictions came into play, the couple decided that Alisha would transport her life over to the Western Australia capital a mere three days before the state borders closed.

Two months on from going public with their relationship and seven months after settling into her new home, Alisha and Glenn are as loved-up as ever but Alisha, who called Who for an exclusive chat on her 28th birthday, admitted that it hasn’t all been smooth sailing.

“Everyone’s got their own personal struggles during COVID and one of those things for me is that I’m really missing my east coast friends and I feel like that’s one chapter that me and Glenn haven’t had the opportunity to explore yet,” she says.

“He very briefly met some of my friends when he was over east at the beginning of the year but we’re yet to do that side of stuff. I think everyone has their days and weirdly enough as happy as it is with so many lovely messages on my birthday, all of the pictures of friends make me miss them so much.”

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Alisha made the bold move to be with Glenn in Perth but admits she misses her east coast friends and family. (Credit: Instagram)

Arriving in a new city with no friends, no family and no job meant Alisha had a lot of free time on her hands and so the BIP star decided to fill it with volunteering.

Having worked with Australia’s largest food relief organisation Foodbank when she lived in NSW, Alisha reached out to the organisation and helped at the Perth airport site.

“Being new to Perth, obviously the philanthropic element and feeling like you’re making a practical difference in somebody else’s lives and helping such a great organisation is awesome, but the other element of Foodbank that is great from a personal level is you go in there, you do whatever time that you can contribute and during that period of time you make so many friends and so many connections,” Alisha explains.

“That was actually really important for me coming over to Perth and things being quite shut down and feeling a little bit isolated away from my family and friends. It was good to get out and have some social interaction as well.”

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Alisha and Glenn fell for one another during their time on Bachelor in Paradise. (Credit: Network 10)

Seeing Australians struggle during the pandemic also made Alisha reflect on how she and her family struggled with food insecurity during her childhood years.

“Seeing those lines in front of Centrelink to me was very personally jarring,” Alisha admits.

“I think a lot of people naturally have a reaction when they see people going through trauma that they want to be able to do something. Sometimes thoughts and prayers aren’t enough, sometimes sharing something like a petition on social media, as well-meaning and important as those things can be, I think people feel compelled to do something practical and I think that volunteering at Foodbank is a really practical way that people can feel like they are contributing and making a difference.”

Though she’s back to working full-time in government relations, Alisha hopes her new workplace will get involved with volunteering at Foodbank as a team.

“I’d really encourage other people to zip an email to their HR manager and say that you want to go along for the day – I find that most workplaces are really supportive and it’s a good team building thing to do as well.”

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Alisha became involved with Foodbank when she lived in NSW and volunteered with them when she moved to Perth. (Credit: Instagram)

She may not have a whole heap of Perth friends right now, but Alisha says that she and Glenn have already planned to catch up with this year’s Bachelor couple Locky Gilbert and Irena Srbinovska when they move back to Locky’s WA hometown.

“I’m so excited for them,” Alisha says of the new couple. “I’m a big reality TV fan and I’ve been stalking them all over Instagram doing their camping and hiking. They’re really going bush and I’m impressed to be honest!”

Alisha adds that taking that downtime after a reality TV romance playing out on screen is “the perfect thing”.

“Me and Glenn were lucky – though it got a bit frustrating at times – that we had to hide our relationship for so long and the show was delayed another three or four months. We very much lived life without the public gaze on us so we’ve always had a touch-point when things are pretty hectic and everyone wants to chuck their two cents into your relationship,” she says.

“They [Locky and Irena] seem to be really investing in their relationship and I’m really happy for Irena to get over to Perth because I need some more mates!”

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Alisha can’t wait for Locky and Irena to join her and Glenn in Perth. (Credit: Instagram)

As for this year’s season of The Bachelorette, Alisha has an inkling as to who will win but admits she’s still “a bit lost on Elly.”

“I feel like people are always cynical if someone the Bachelorette knows is on the show but I kind of really like that Joe’s there. It also gives us a touch-point as to what Elly’s taste is so I’m going to be interested to see what happens with her,” Alisha says of the younger Miles sister.

But as for Becky, she’s locked in her answer.

“Becky, after that photoshoot date and them kissing behind the Akubra, Pete is the winner obviously!” she laughs.

“I feel like once you’ve been through it and having watched so much, you can really tell when something seems genuine and it’s coming through the screen. There are some times when contestants are kissing but I’m not buying it but her and Pete, they’re in love! I love Becky, I feel like there are more older guys on this season and they seem a bit more serious so I’m liking it.”

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