I am thankful 1 million times over that I did.
Most people don't tend to visit Darwin for very long unless a seasonal worker, member of the military, an inhabitant or a freedom loving hippy (Yes they DO exist and in abundance here). There is not much 'to do' per se, but it is a beautiful, unique place.
Once calmer, I spent a lot of time doing nothing. It's harder than it first appears for someone who is usually busy most minutes of the day. I walked along the beach, into town for a coffee, read books and waited for my friend and her family to return from work. As life became less hectic, and I realised there were no six-foot-tall spiders going to attack me, or crocodiles hiding in drains, I started to chill out. It is that pivotal moment when you walk into a foreign hairdressing salon and ask them to 'do what they think best' that you know a corner is being turned in terms of letting go. When a camp hairdresser called Randy gives you the most epic haircut of your life, then and ONLY then, does the transformation start.
I also saw a whole family of teachers who were able to work 8 hours a day and then have a life. The concept was revolutionary. After two weeks of Darwin, I was ready to live again - so I did - I went to the outback.
Camping at Kakadu (a National Park the size of Wales people) was an experience I will never forget. It was sweaty, dirty, terrifying, and eye-opening. I saw my first wild croc, a bird that walks on water, swam in waterfalls (with an Iguana once), shared a toilet block with an actual poisonous spider, slept under the stars (with genuine risk of waking up sharing my sleeping bag with a snake or scorpion) and ate real Kangaroo on a campfire.
The next couple of weeks were a whirlwind of concerts, dinners, and trips as I tried to devour as much of the life Darwin gave me a taster of. On my last night, dancing in a dodgy bar named Monsoons....I met Andi. And rather than running away from this gorgeous, tall specimen of Germaness, I had found the courage to talk back to him and what's more, I had a lot more to say than the person who had arrived just 5 weeks before. None of it was related to teaching, beyond explaining what I did for a job.