Friday, May 30, 2008

Thank you and Good Night

Since I'm no longer living in Australia, I've decided to close off this blog for now and start a new one about our lives "in America" (as the Aussies say!). I've loved writing about our overseas travels and time in Australia, and I sincerely hope those of you who have read this blog, have enjoyed following along with our adventures. My only regret about this blog is that I didn't start it sooner... but better late than never, right?

So, if you've enjoyed reading this blog and are craving for more, please check out my new blog, It Feels Like Home. The adventures continue!

Thanks Heaps.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Until We Meet Again

Our time in Australia has come to an end. After three years abroad, we decided to pack up everything and move back to the US. Unfortunately, Dad is ill and my family needs help. It's really hard to care for an ailing parent from so far away, never mind from another country. So, Paul and I have decided the right thing to do is to move home.

I know despite the illness, my parents would want us to live our lives and not worry about anything. In fact, Mom being mom has still tried to shelter her kids from the harsh reality of dad's illness. But after three years, we've had a good run in Sydney. We had fun and will always look back at our time abroad with fond memories. Although our lives were really good in Australia, it just wasn't right to being living the high life while things are not going well on the home front. At the end of the day, life isn't all good if your loved ones are struggling. Dad's illness seems to be finally confirmed by his doctor and at least now we know what we're facing. Paul and I need to be there for our family... we don't want to miss anymore time.

Luckily, Paul's work has been extremely understanding and offered him to work from the US for the same Sydney company. He's telecommuting and will hopefully be making a few trips a year back to OZ. So, in a way, it's not a final goodbye to Sydney. I'm confident we will be back... even if it's just for a few visits here and there.

We had some really amazing experiences while living abroad. We travelled heaps, experienced different cultures, learned much and have come away with a different perspective on life and our lives. I am so thankful and feel so fortunate to have had this experience and look forward to perhaps living abroad again in the future. I honestly think if one has the chance to live overseas, they should. I know it's a big change and there's a lot involved in uprooting one's life but the experience is so rewarding in so many way- too many to really communicate. You get out of it what you put in to it and I think we really gave it our all, which is why we loved it so much. Don't get me wrong, living overseas can be difficult in many ways, but you just have to keep things in perspective, give it a chance and be willing to make compromises and sacrifices. In the end, the benefits and the experience, at least for us, out way any obstacles.

We will miss Sydney and will always think of it as our second home. It's a beautiful city with just about everything you could want- beautiful beaches, scenic harbours and views, green park lands, mountains, wine valleys, culture, arts, business, fine cuisine and on and on. I know I'm a bit partial since we've called Sydney home for three years, but I really do think it's one of the best cities in the world.

I'm not going to say goodbye to Australia because I know we will be back so here's a short re-cap in pictures of some of our good times living and travelling in Australia.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

South East Asia Highlights

I have finally gotten around to downloading our photos from our time in South East Asia. It truly was an amazing trip and such a beautiful part of the world. Each country has its own charm, culture, history and character and we really enjoyed experiencing it all. There's just too much to go in to so I've decided to show some trip highlights through pictures. Oh, and after Cambodia, we went back to Bangkok and I must say we left with a much better impression of the city than last time. OK, enjoy the photos!


Bangkok Skyline

River House

Eating a Grasshopper!

Tuk-Tuk (local taxi)

Elephant ride in Chiang Mai

Buddhist Temple

"Sleeping Buddha"

"Big Buddha"

Grand Palace


Ultra modern Buddhist temple

Sunset on the Mekong River

Local village along the Mekong

Village kids

Night Markets in Luang Prubang

Luang Prubang

Pigs in a tuk-tuk

Laos Theatre

Day Markets

Sunset on the Mekong River

Paul playing with the village kids during our overnight stay


Halong Bay


"Uncle Ho's" Mausoleum

Family of four on a motor bike

Incense maker

Monk student

Hoi An

My Son (4th Century ancient ruins)

Bad Ass biker- BEWARE!

Cyclo Paul

Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)

Cu Chi Tunnels


Angkor Wat


Preah Khan (Jungle Temple)

Bayon Temple

Phenom Phen

The Killing Fields (warning- sensitive images)

Walking on bones (the white specs in the dirt- it's everywhere)

Mass Graves

Siem Reap