Reflections of China

One of the things I appreciate most about my new life here in Sydney is that there are lots of moments that remind me of China – meals at Chinese restaurants, snippets of Chinese conversation with classmates, hearing Mandarin spoken about me almost every time I’m out in public… It really helps me on the days homesickness lifts its head.


ANZAC Day with my grandparents

I visited my grandparents for ANZAC Day. I wore my great-grandfather’s WWII medals, saw my grandfather’s WWII medals and more, and he also gave me my great-grandfather’s bible. AND it was my grandparents’ 63rd anniversary. It was a special time.

A week in Wollongong

I mentioned in a recent post that I recently spent a week in Wollongong with a group from my college. The goal for most is to try new things, be stretched and challenged. Not so much for me. But it was what I needed. To be reminded that I have useful, practical skills I enjoy! It was nice to feel competent again.

The beautiful rain of Sydney

A rainy day in Sydney is very much alive with colour and sound and beautiful clouds. There is the sound of rain and of wind, trees twisting in the wind, lightning arcing across the sky, the loud colours of living plants highlighted in the glistening wet. Not to mention the scent of damp earth, and eucalytpus. How can anyone not love all that?

Enjoying the cool in Canberra

I was particularly looking forward to two things: 1) my mum’s cooking, and 2) the colder weather. I also caught up with a few friends and worked on my book. Over 400 people have now completed my survey – people from over 60 passport countries, who have lived in over 130 different countries/territories.

Used To

Call it transition, call it grief, call it whatever you like, the result is that I just feel tired. But I was inspired by a list of “used to”s – things she used to do, and things she’s getting used to now. I thought it was an interesting way to reflect on how different the details of life can be during a transition. So here are my own “used to” lists…

Adjusting to a different international community

People keep asking me about re-entry, and whether I’m struggling to re-adjust. The problem is, I’m starting again, more than returning to something. One big difference community living rather than abundant solitude. One similarity is the international flavour of the community I am living in. It’s also lovely to start reconnecting to the culture of my passport country – its beaches and parks, at least!

The first week of my new life

I have now been at SMBC for a whole week – so here are some stories from my first week of my new life here in Sydney, Australia. I am amazed at how settled and content I feel just one week in. I do expect the weight of the transition to hit at some point, but I live on a lovely campus with lovely people and am enjoying the study so far.

Beautiful Broome

Broome is a town of about 15,000 people on the northwest coast of Australia, in the Kimberley region. I enjoyed both expaneses of blue – sky and sea – plus Cable Beach, Gantheaume Point Beach, Courthouse markets, and stargazing.