'We couldn’t imagine any other life but our life out here'
A 'WHY not' moment and a thirst for a new adventure was all it took to convince Brent Lang and his wife Taighen to pack their belongings into a few bags and head north.
It didn't take long for the Northern Territory to grab hold of them like a 30-degree hug and 12 years later, she's still holding on.
Darwin showed her colours as the opportunity-laden city she is, and it not only became that new adventure for this now family of four, it became home.
Brent said he could never have foreseen how a move to the Territory could have advanced and shaped his career the way it has.
"I moved up here as an Enrolled Nurse. Since arriving, the hospital has supported me through two degrees and all of my training to become a Registered Nurse," he said.
"With plenty of hard work, educational support and opportunity the Northern Territory has accelerated my career.
"Now I'm the Clinical Nurse Manager for the Royal Darwin Hospital emergency department."
He said his experience was proof the perception of Darwin as "not as fast-paced career-wise" was a myth.
"A little while after moving up here we did talk about if we would ever move home," Brent said.
"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.
"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.
"That's what's so great about the Territory - so much opportunity."
But it's not just the career factor that has kept Brent in the warm tropics, but the second-to-none lifestyle.
"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," he said.
"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, 'why would you want to be anywhere else?'."
With some of the most spectacular natural Australian wonders on his doorstep, Brent said he sometimes had to pinch himself to remember this was home.
"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," he said.
"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."
You too can experience life out here. The Northern Territory Government is on the hunt for 1000 employees across multiple industries and areas including 300 for the new Palmerston Regional Hospital, opening July 2018.
If you're looking to take the next step in your career and experience a lifestyle as unique as what is on offer in the Northern Territory, head HERE.