Before I even met my fella, whose travel schedule made me upgrade my 2017 from “spinster in rural Portugal” to “international woman of mystery”, I booked the flight I’m about to board. A couple of weeks in East Timor and then a couple more in Bali. 

The latter will form a reunion with dearest mates from my law school days (20 year anniversary of starting that particular degree). The former – being the location of one of my closest friends and fav travel buddies – seemed an obvious move. Perhaps it’s the Aussie in me but, it’s just down the road, right?

DTM is exceptional to travel with. Perhaps because we both have a knack for Houdini-esque escapes from unforeseen situations which are basically our fault due to lack of planning (soz Dan, creative licence. You are way better at planning than me). Perhaps because of our mutual obsession with playlists. Naming our cars. Hating annoying yogi types. Being them at the same time. It’s difficult to pin down, but despite having never set foot on Timor territory, I leave with a deep sense of calm/ total excitement about what lies ahead. Especially after checking visa requirements a full 48 hours ago (I buy one on arrival. Phew!). 

Holland has rocked. Time to soak up all the warm summery goodness of Amsterdam. Bask in serene vibes with my adopted family. And finish with one day in The Hague, among dear friends who feel like family – as do the few friends I actually saw during my anti-social Amsterdam stint. 

Yesterday, my adopted fam gave me the perfect birthday present: a horoscope reading of my exact birth time and place. I read it, four times in a row, in the sun-flooded park. Speaking to the woman who made it this morning to discuss its nuances reminded me again how accepting my adopted family are. I’m a wild, Groen Links voting, stargazing, yogini hippy. They loved me also when I was a caffeine-fueled, sleep-deprived, confused, uncertain finance lawyer.
This all boils down to unconditional love – that magic glue, which comes at me from Australia. Nederland. Brazil. London. East Timor (Dan: this may be different in a week from now). And, when he’s there, Orange County. These days? It also comes from within.