When Taighen and I first made the decision to trek up to Darwin we never expected to still be here 12 years later.
As a matter of fact we only planned to stay for 12 months. Just a change of pace. Yet here we are 12 years later with two kids and a five acre property in McMinns Lagoon. That’s the thing about the Territory, it surprises you.
When we first arrived we were living in an apartment in Nightcliff. It was definitely a bit of a struggle to adjust to every day being hot and humid and not having our usual support network around. But Darwin is such a friendly, welcoming place that we quickly found good friends and started building careers.
I moved up here as an Enrolled Nurse. Since arriving the hospital has supported me through all of my training to become a Registered Nurse and accelerated my career. I’m currently the Clinical Nurse Manager for the Royal Darwin Hospital emergency department.
A little while after moving up here we did talk about if we would ever move home. The truth is Taighen and I both knew we would not have those same doors open for our careers if we were anywhere else, and some of the work experience you can gain up here you can’t get interstate.
I think there is a real misconception that Darwin is not as fast paced career-wise, which is not the case at all.
The rates and intensity of trauma presentations can be very challenging. Royal Darwin Hospital is home to the National Critical Care and Trauma Response Centre and we have people being flown in from remote locations daily. You also get the chance to practice tropical medicine the likes of which you don’t get down south.
I can’t imagine living somewhere like Sydney or Melbourne anymore; losing hours of my day in a commute. I want to get home, be with my family and enjoy life. I think that’s a huge part of why we ended up staying here. Wide open spaces, warm and sunny, swimming every day. I grew up on a farm and I wanted my son to have that same free experience.
I speak to my mates down south and they’ll be telling me how their kids are all rugged up around the fire in the middle of winter and I look out my window at Ryder doing another dive bomb into the pool and think to myself.
This morning we got up early and took a 20 minute drive down the road to Adelaide River. This is an iconic place that people from all over the world travel to visit and here I am taking a quick Tuesday morning jaunt out on the river for a fish over sunrise.
Honestly, this place feels like a world away. Like a whole other country. Like being on holiday all year long!
At the end of the day our family down south is only ever a plane trip away and after 12 years we really couldn’t imagine any other life but our life out here.