When I moved to you I thought that I would need to endure you.
I thought that I’d be lucky to last 6 months in such a new and different environment.
I thought that my work would be harder. I thought that the humidity would nearly kill me.
I was sure that the six months of rain would prove oppressive and unpleasant.
I thought that being next to an ocean I couldn’t swim in would be the ultimate form of torture.
I thought that ultimately you’d give me some perspective and make me miss my home.
But Darwin, I was so incredibly wrong.
Darwin, I fell in love with you.
I adored the endless days of monsoonal rains. The humidity was hard for a few weeks, and then just like that, it was fine.
I found your endless green so lush and inviting.
Your stunning waterfalls, rivers, national parks and beaches cast a spell on me.
I love your markets, and I especially love devouring a breakfast laksa at Rapid Creek on the weekend.
I loved your bone soaking wet season, and your perfect dry.
I was even surprised to learn that I, a winter person, actually loved your endless summer.
I love the ridiculousness of your newspaper headlines, and also of your tourism slogan (CU in the NT).
I love your relaxed way of life, and that shoes are always optional.
I live for your sunsets at Casuarina Coastal Reserve, and the sunrises too.
I found that I enjoyed my work so much more up here.
You gave me an entirely different perspective on culture, healthcare and how the two interact.
Darwin, it should go without saying that you’ve made me a better midwife.
I came to you a rookie, and you’ve moulded me.
You gave me the capacity to learn new skills and consolidate on others.
You even made me better at interacting with the women and families that I care for.
Darwin, I love your wildlife.
I love hearing about crocs on the beach just a stones throw from my house.
I love the green tree frogs that sit on my outdoor kitchen bench at night.
I don’t particularly love your mosquitoes, but I’ll happily endure them, just for you Darwin.
Darwin, I love that you were the place I met the love of my life.
Tinder is also partly to thank for such a meeting, but I still think you had a lot to do with it.
You also allowed me to make some really special friends.
I’ve never been one to have huge friendship groups, and that hasn’t changed, but you did introduce me to a small bunch of weirdos that I love so much.
Darwin, I love your tropical houses and your hilariously named suburbs.
I love the freshness of your air and your complete lack of traffic.
I don’t love your crazy expensive groceries, but somehow the few mango season months each year make that kind of okay.
I love your neighbouring parks and towns, and how easily they can be reached in just a day.
I love that the people you hold are almost always a little bit left of centre.
I’ve never exactly been normal, and it’s comforting to know that despite that, I’ll always feel at home with you.
Most of all Darwin, I love that you exceeded every single one of my expectations.
I came to you with a plan to stay six months, and somehow, it’s now been almost three wonderful years.
Somehow, even though I was born on the other side of the country, I now think of you as my true home.
I feel for you something I never felt for Adelaide.
Darwin, you are an underrated but truly special gem of place, and this is just a little ode to show my appreciation.
Darwin, I love you. Please never change.