At home in career-focused Singapore, Dr Tregon Singh and Dr Prabheet Kaur would go for long stretches without spending quality time with their two young children, working 50+ hours a week, with an hour and a half commute each way.
Four short years later, life couldn't be more different after they took a chance on making Manawatū their new home.
Even though things were becoming increasingly hard to juggle in Singapore, the idea of a shift to a new country with a young family was daunting.
"I received a very generous offer of moving to Manawatū and working at a General Practice, with the option to buy the business in the near future." says Tregon.
"It was an opportunity that would be hard to come by elsewhere but it was a lot to consider moving our kids away from home. At the time we decided that it wasn't right for us, and given it was such a generous offer, we felt that the right thing to do was to respectfully decline in person, and ironically - doing that completely changed our minds."
After arriving in Manawatū for a short visit with their family, Tregon and Prabhpreet quickly started to think differently about their decision.
"It was one of those moments where we just stopped in our tracks and thought 'oh, wow - this is awesome." We had a look at the schools, visited the restaurants, and somehow, 8,500 km away - we found home."
The whole family instantly fell in love with Palmerston North's multicultural charm and the welcoming community they met; but Prabhpreet says it was the quality of the schools in the city that cemented the decision.
"We had to make sure this move was right for the whole family. And that included the children's education."
Tregon says it didn't take long for the family to settle into the kiwi way of life and into Palmerston North.
"Now I can walk to work in ten minutes, I own the Victoria Street Medical Centre and Prabhpreet has started has started a business, we've has another child and it stills feels like we have so much time in the day. The kids have extra curricular activities, can do their homework, play a board game. have dinner as a family and still go to bed at a reasonable time."
"This would not have been possible to even imagine four years ago."