Henrietta Booth came to the Northern Territory from Melbourne during the height of COVID restrictions. Returning to the east coast to be with family, she missed the Territory so much she moved back to Darwin – the place she now calls home.
“It’s strange. I’m a born-and-bred city girl, living in Sydney and Melbourne all my life. I was never the outdoorsy type, but a new me seemed to emerge in the Territory.”
Self-confessed city girl Henrietta Booth was living and working in Melbourne when severe lockdowns were imposed as coronavirus cases surged in July last year.
Given permission to work remotely, the 30-year-old set off on a road trip to catch up with friends in Queensland, going via the Northern Territory.
“I did my two-week quarantine in Howard Springs and loved it,” she said. “I know that sounds odd, but as soon as I arrived in the Territory I felt at home.
“The weather, the beauty of the bushland surrounding the facility, I just had this feeling. I couldn’t wait to get out and explore. It felt so different to anything I’d ever known.”
Once Henrietta completed her quarantine she moved to Darwin’s Palms City Resort, where cheap rates were available due to COVID, and she quickly made friends.
“It was a matter of days before I met some great people. We went four-wheel driving, out on a helicopter ride, spent the day at Litchfield and generally went exploring,” she said.
“It’s strange. I’m a born-and-bred city girl, living in Sydney and Melbourne all my life. I was never the outdoorsy type, but a new me seemed to emerge in the Territory. My mates from Queensland asked me when I was coming over and I had to tell them I wasn’t. I’d fallen in love with the place and was staying.”
After four months in Darwin, Henrietta went back home to family and friends in Melbourne for Christmas. “I didn’t really want to, but thought it was the sensible thing,” she recalled.
It didn’t take long for Henrietta to start missing the people, weather and carefree lifestyle of the Territory, so in January this year she began applying for jobs in Darwin.
“People are so friendly here. They’ll have a chat, instead of trying to push you out of the way like they do in Melbourne. And it’s so beautiful here,” she said. “I told my parents and friends, ‘sorry, but I’m moving back to Darwin’. There’s nowhere really like it.”
Henrietta started a job as accounts manager at the Darwin-based creative advertising, marketing and design agency Campaign Edge Sprout in March this year.
“I go for runs along the Esplanade and dips in the lagoon down at the Waterfront. I have meals at one of the boat clubs by the water watching the sun go down. And this is just everyday life,” she said.
“Recently, my mum came to visit and that’s when she understood my decision to stay and make this place home.”