Hello, and welcome to my blog, Sophie Rai Liur.
I’m Sophie Raynor, a 30-year-old Australian temporarily living and working in Dili, Timor-Leste. I read, write, dive, drink and dance.
I first moved to Timor-Leste in March 2017 as a participant in the Australian government’s volunteering program. I spent two amazing years living in Dili, working in communications and writing roles with local NGOs, INGOs, and UN agencies (learn more about my AVID position, or see my writing and editing work), before moving back home to Perth in April 2019.
Over those two years, I wrote 200+ posts on this blog about living in Timor-Leste. The blog began as a place to record and share stories of my daily life in Dili for my friends and family, and with an eye to the nervous newcomer I was before I moved — frantically scouring other Timor-Leste expat blogs to try and imagine what my life might look like.
This blog grew dormant while I lived back in Australia, in first Perth and then Melbourne — but, as of December 2021, have returned to Timor-Leste for a three-month stay and have re-opened Sophie Rai Liur.
My surname guides the name of this blog: the phrase rai liur can loosely translate as ‘abroad’ in Tetun, Timor’s most widely spoken local language, and neatly describes my living-overseas situation, as well as sounding phonetically similar to my surname, Raynor.
You can find my old posts listed here by category, or try searching by keyword. Here’s a master list of tips for living in Timor-Leste, and check out the Timor-Leste expat blogs I found most useful before my move in this list.
I’m always happy to have a chat about my life here in Timor-Leste — please feel free to get in touch. And thank you for your interest in my life, this island, and this blog — I hope you enjoy it here.