About Katarina

Hi there! My name is Katarina and I’m from Slovakia. Ever since I can remember, I have been that kind of person who lives by others’ rules and expectations, especially my family’s. Growing up, I would follow the instructions of my family. I went to the school they choose, got the job they wanted and lived in the places they thought were best for me.

By the age of 25, I was living a pretty normal Slovakian life. I had a good job, a good home and good, stable life. Everything was ‘perfect’ and I hated it. I was dying of boredom. I wanted to experience more. I wanted to see the world! But I was so scared of the opinions of other people in case I failed. I tried to buy a car, to increase my independence, but my friend said ‘That’s a piece of junk. Don’t waste your money.’ The best I could do was colour my hair red which didn’t help! Every day I grew more bored and unsettled.

One day, I was on Facebook and I saw an advertisement about studying in Australia. I was fascinated by the beaches and the feeling of freedom. Right then and there, I decided to come to Australia. I didn’t hesitate. I didn’t ask anyone else for their opinions. I just applied for a visa and prayed I would get it. I always wanted to see more than what my country offered me. I wanted to see the world, meet new people, understand different cultures and I also wanted to improve my English.

First, I flew to Sydney. I found a job in aged care and I studied individual support as well. I always wanted to work with people. I felt so blessed when I found my dream job. I loved my life in Sydney but the rushing and traffic was taxing and after some time, I realised that I felt lost. I longed for a smaller community where I could relax and enjoy my Australian life without the pressure of a big city.

A friend of mine told me about Darwin. He described the beautiful weather, multiculturalism and friendly people, and after that, I couldn’t stop thinking about Darwin. In 2020, just before COVID took over the world, I packed up my life in Sydney and moved north. And I was not disappointed.

Darwin is one of the most beautiful places that I have ever been to. I love the lifestyle and my course has met all my expectations. People here are friendly and warm-hearted. I feel lucky because I have found friends who support me always, even through one of the most difficult times of my life.

When I left my home, four and a half years ago, I thought I might lose everything. It was terrifying to leave my family, my home and my culture. But I’m glad I did it, because I now have more than I could ever wish or dream for. I have a new and amazing international family!

To me, Darwin is a place where my soul is healing. It is a crazy, beautiful, slow and vibrant city. I feel so glad to be here because life is very short and the world is so big and I don’t want to miss out on getting to know this place.