I’ve written 83 posts on this blog this year, which feels like a lot. If you’re like, hey, I wonder what Sophie got up to this year, but wow I don’t want to have to look through all her posts, here’s a list of some of my favourite blog posts from 2018, broken into four categories: on development and ethics; on mental health; on reflecting on life from living in a new place; and on living in Dili.
On development, ethics and helping:
I tried to write a little more this year about the ethical complexities of living abroad, and not just about settling into a new place or feeling daft for getting on the wrong microlet.
- Why I have a cleaner
- Being a ‘perfect’ foreigner
- Who tells Timor-Leste’s stories?
- Why Timor-Leste’s schools don’t need my help
- Things are just a bit harder than we think they are
Musing on life, thanks to being in a new place:
Living in a different environment breeds, of course, reflection and new observation. I learned many small things this year about myself, thanks to Timor-Leste:.
- Three things Timor-Leste taught me
- Being bored for the first time in 10 years
- I forgot that living abroad would be fun
- Creating a meaningful life in a new place
- My exotic culture
On anxiety, mental health, perfectionism and over-achieving:
Writing about my struggled with anxiety, disordered eating and perfectionism has been liberating, illuminating and deeply helpful for me. Below is a shortlist of posts where I either learned something new about myself, or felt like the writing was sound. Want more mental health posts? Here’s everything I’ve written in one list.
- On being less capable
- Fear foods, disordered eating, and diets in Timor-Leste
- Ironic diet tips from the tropics
- What a panic attack is like, and feeling like I can’t do it
- What anxiety looks like from the inside
On living in Dili:
I like a good reflection as much as the next neurotic, but sometimes it’s just nice to get a recommendation of a place to go for a burger.
- A Dili survival guide
- Tips for your first weekend in Dili
- My favourite cafes and restaurants in Dili
- My favourite restaurants in Dili
- A tourist trip to Maubisse
- Why I decided to leave my AVID assignment early
- What I wish I knew before I started my AVID assignment
- A letter to myself in six months’ time
- Resisting what it is and being comfortable with not knowing
- Falling in love in Dili
Eighty-three blog posts, and a shortlist of 27! That’s not all that short, is it. Anyway. My biggest, happiest, most humble thank you to every single person who has read this blog, clicked a link, followed a post from my Instagram, written a comment, sent an email, or told me in person that they read this blog. Even in 83 posts I wouldn’t be able to express to you how much it means; how surprising and golden-warm wonderful it feels to know that people (not very many, but still, other people) are reading these words. Thank you, thank you, thank you, from the bottom of my heart and the worn-out tips of my fingers.
I’ll be back in Timor-Leste after my Christmas break in Perth and will continue writing here for at least the first few months of 2019, before I pack up from Timor-Leste and return home in April, and make a decision and where and how I keep blogging, if I do. I hope you have a beautiful, happy and safe Christmas and holiday season, and thank you, thank you, thank you again.