Every time I visit a blog and see a ‘start here’ or ‘new reader?’ tab I feel relieved and oriented. I hope this page is similarly soothing to you for Sophie Rai Liur. Learn more about me, or keep reading to see what the blog has to offer.
What can you expect to find here?
I started this blog when I first moved to Dili, in March 2017, and wrote 200+ posts about living in Timor-Leste over the following three years. The blog began as both a place to record and share stories of my daily life in Dili for my friends and family, and as a resource for the nervous newcomer I was before I moved — frantically scouring other Timor-Leste expat blogs to try and orient myself in my new city. Over the years, the blog grew, and become a way to connect with other foreigners in Timor-Leste, long after I moved back home.
Until April 2019 I wrote about my daily life in Dili, learning a new language, the ethics of being an expat in Timor-Leste (and whether we should use that word at all), and what it was like being an anxious, neurotic perfectionist in what must be Southeast Asia’s most easygoing country.
I then went home to Australia and hit pause on blogging — but, as of December 2021, have returned to Timor-Leste and re-opened Sophie Rai Liur.
How do you find my posts?
Hit the links below to find posts in the following categories:
- Daily life in Dili
- Travelling around Timor-Leste
- Learning Tetun language
- Mental health and being anxious abroad
- Being a foreigner in Timor-Leste
You can also visit some particular posts that I’ve linked below, or hit the category tagged on a particular post to see similar stories.
What are my favourite posts?
Some posts I’m proud of include:
- My exotic, white Australian culture
- Why I have a cleaner
- What my life looks like inside and outside
- Perfectionism and Korean pancakes
- This is what Timor-Leste is for me
- A letter to my future self about living in Dili
Where are my most popular posts?
Here’s the number one most popular post on this blog, and a good quick read for any Timor-Leste tourist seeking budget-friendly activities: To be a tourist in Dili.
You can also read my clicked-on reflection on my first year of living in Timor-Leste here, and me forgetting that living abroad would be fun. And here’s my first-ever post about my first day in Dili.
Another popular piece was my favourite places in Dili (and related, my favourite Dili coffee shops). And — despite being outdated now — these posts about trips I’ve taken in Timor-Leste have had readers: Maubisse, Mount Ramelau, Atauro Island, Liquica, Same, Oecusse and Balibo.
I was an AVID volunteer when I first arrived in Timor-Leste, and I’ve got a few blog posts about what I wish I’d known before starting my AVID assignment, how I decided to leave my position early, and what I did daily as an AVID volunteer.
Finally, my boyfriend needs to charge me a commission for the traffic he directs to this site — Felix is my main referrer and biggest supporter. Here’s the post I wrote introducing him as my boyfriend. Five years after we first met, he’s the reason I’ve now returned to Timor-Leste.
Feedback, questions, ideas
A handful of times someone’s mentioned to me they’ve read one of my posts or know of this blog, and it makes my day. Thank you for reading.
I love meeting new people, and I’m always happy to have a chat or share ideas — please always feel free to say hello, ask a question, or send a tip. Contact me here, find me on Instagram and Twitter, and come up and say hello if you see me with a filter coffee at the high bench at Letefoho Speciality Coffee.