What feels like home

4,000m above sea level and 400,000m from the closest shore of the Pacific Ocean, playing beach volleyball every Sunday afternoon in the park somehow became one of the defining elements of my life in La Paz.

Now, at sea level and right on the shores of the Pacific Ocean, playing beach volleyball every Monday evening in Manly is becoming an anchor, a touchpoint, to each week here in Sydney.

It’s funny, the unlikely things that make me feel at home. Continue reading What feels like home

80% Australian

Approaching this Australia Day, I’ve been thinking a lot about my Australianness. Or lack thereof. It’s not that I’m experiencing epic reverse culture shock now that I’m back in Australia (just a little …), but certainly the relationship between my personal identity and my country has undergone significant transformation. As a child I felt more foreign than I should have. Probably because I went to a really … Continue reading 80% Australian

2016: Resolving me

I’m an anti-resolutionist. I’ve always been sceptical about the value of New Year’s resolutions. Occasionally I’d humour my sister when she wanted to be accountability buddies – I’d scribble down some random objectives and then conveniently lose that piece of paper. After all, New Year’s resolutions are something I don’t need. Why should I buy into this lame tradition? (I don’t get why this is a thing) … Continue reading 2016: Resolving me

Next stop: Sydney

Tomorrow will be my first day in Monday to Friday, 9 to 5, paid employment in Sydney. There is so much “normal” in that one sentence it’s not even funny. Don’t pretend you’re not disappointed. I’m trying not to be. “So when are you going back to South America?” “What are you doing here? Just here for a break?” These are things people have actually, literally, … Continue reading Next stop: Sydney

Still twentynothing

Almost-no-longer-twentysomething. That’s how I described myself a month ago. Since then, I’ve done some soul searching, some job searching and some Google searching. All of which suggests I’m more of a twentynothing. Linked In shows me former classmates with fancy jobs at top law firms. Selection criteria for jobs I’d like don’t align with my skills and experience. Career blogs tell me that to get said skills … Continue reading Still twentynothing

Reconfiguring Home: Weddings and Earthquakes

October 3 She is lovely. Creamy vintage lace, delicate buttons all down her back, descending into a sweeping fishtail. I fumble through the chapel, out of time with the music, but whatever. She floats down the aisle after me. Dad is smart in his officer’s white dress suit although he only reluctantly links arms with her. The day is lovely. Agreeable sun, genuine smiles. People we haven’t seen in years. A photo here, … Continue reading Reconfiguring Home: Weddings and Earthquakes

Almost-no-longer-twentysomething

“You’re not 25 anymore, y’know,” my sister says. She’s being gracious. After another year abroad, I re-enter my bedroom where the posters, postcards and photos plastered against the back wall are peeling off, the Blu-Tack tired of supporting them. This is interior decoration befitting a 16-year-old, and I am now (sigh) an almost-no-longer-twentysomething. But what does the bedroom of an almost-no-longer-twentysomething look like? Probably a … Continue reading Almost-no-longer-twentysomething

Travel delusions

Note: I was pleased and privileged to have this post published on A Life Overseas. In that process, I was able to flesh out my original post, which I now consider a draft. This “draft” appears below but to be honest, I am much happier with the slightly amplified version and I encourage you to read it here: http://www.alifeoverseas.com/travel-delusions/ * It cost me USD436 to renew my passport. … Continue reading Travel delusions

Backside Beach, Dili, Timor-Leste

Turning points in Timor-Leste

January 2011 was the month I spent as an intern in Dili. It was an amazing experience: I got to write a super interesting report for an NGO (the Judicial System Monitoring Programme). I got some fascinating insight into the life of an expat community, specifically the expat development community. I met a bunch of cool people. I got to practice my Indonesian and Tetum. I … Continue reading Turning points in Timor-Leste

Is that MY voice?

So there is this hilarious line from The Emperor’s New Groove we always quote. The villainous Yzma turns into a cat and suddenly her voice goes into chipmunk mode. “Is THAT my voice?” she exclaims, confused. “Is that MY voice?” I am increasingly feeling like this little feline. What’s with that accent? Sometimes I hear myself and am surprised by my own speech. Now this is normal when, for example, … Continue reading Is that MY voice?