Over the two-ish years I’ve been writing on this blog, I’ve covered topics from anxiety and anorexia to Dili market shopping, catching microlets, and what to do when work forgets to invite you to the workshop.
As I’ve mentioned several times, I started this blog partly to record my new life abroad for friends and family back home in Australia, but also because in the months before I moved I trawled Timor-Leste expat blogs in earnest, trying to untangle and imagine what my new life here might look like.
Information was sparse, outdated, and often hard to come by (although I did uncover some wonderful Timor-Leste blogs in my searching), so many of the posts I wrote here were with my past self in mind: the information and reflection I wished had been available for me at the time I was nervously preparing to depart.
Now, two years on, I’m preparing to leave Timor-Leste. I’m not sure what will happen to this blog — it’ll stay live and here, but I’m not sure how frequently or if at all I’ll post after leaving — but I wanted to organise some practical tips for the people who come to this blog seeking information and hard advice over dreamy reflection and fretting.
Here we go.
Arriving in Dili
- What to pack
- Key priorities your first few days
- A survival guide for the first couple of weeks
- A perspective on relaxing into things being different
Everyday life in Dili
- How to make friends here
- Tips for driving in Dili
- My favourite bars, cafes, restaurants in Dili
- My top five coffee shops
- What I prefer about Timor-Leste to home
- Things I do the same and differently here
- How I shop in the markets
- My guide to the secondhand clothes markets
- Dili haircuts are the same as at home
- Things that surprised me about Dili
Working as a foreigner in Dili
- How to make working here a bit easier
- What foreigners are good for
- How to find work in Timor-Leste
- A perspective on helping and do-gooding
- A packing list for field trips
- A day in my working life
Language and learning Tetun
- Where to learn Tetun in Dili
- How to speak English with a non-native speaker
- A perspective on language-learning perfectionism
- Tetun is a gorgeous rich language
- How to get out of the six-month-slump
- A perspective on my ‘interesting’ culture
- Are we expats or are we immigrants?
- You will feel underwhelmed, and it will be ok
What the Australian Volunteers program is like
- The AVID application process
- Daily work life as av AVID volunteer
- What I wish I’d known before I started my assignment
- Challenges and leaving early
Still got a burning question I haven’t yet covered? Feel free to give me an email or a message and ask.