What difference does a year make?

Sitting here on the eve of our return to Australia, and I am finding it hard to put a finger on how I feel. There is a lot to do once we get home because we both start work within a week of our arrival, so at times, the main feeling I can identify is stress/anxiety. And as Jeremy would tell you, I am coping with that very well – I am a pillar of calm. Yes, it’s true. Apart from that, I am excited about seeing everyone and moving into a new place, but I am also sad that this journey has come to its end.  One more pack of the luggage and we will be home.

Jeremy bought wine for our last night in South East Asia. Is he trying to tell me something? Is it time I started shopping in Fat Lady?


The wine Jeremy bought for our last night in SE Asia. Is he trying to tell me something?

Having lived out of a suitcase for the last four months, and with minimal possessions for the eight months prior to that, I feel that my desire to consume has changed. When you have to carry everything you have with you, it’s interesting to discover that you can get by with very little. I’ve been thinking a lot about this and reading a lot about the minimalist movement that seems to be gaining momentum around the place. I think I am in a unique position to re-evaluate my addiction to recreational shopping, and to reconsider my attachment to all the things that I already own.

We have made a conscious decision to live in a smaller space when we get back to Brisbane. A smaller space means fewer pieces of furniture, less stuff, lower energy consumption, but on the plus side, it means more time, more money and more freedom. I am looking forward to cleaning one toilet and one bathroom per week rather than three toilets and two bathrooms. Jeremy already travels pretty light, so this will be a challenge that mainly affects me.

What difference does a year make? Who has changed their hair? Who has grown a beard? Got a tattoo? Started a new relationship? Gone paleo?

What difference did a year make to me? It can be explained by my running shoes.

Day 1 – So new, so beautiful, so fresh.


Day 365 – Past their retirement date and smelly, but they have experienced a lot and they’re still up for a new challenge!


What a wonderful time we have had, and what a wonderful time awaits us at home.

Be warned friends, I haven’t had my hair cut or coloured since September. That’s five months.

See you on the southern continent.

Claire x

Back in Penang, a hotel with an amazing feature

We arrived back in Penang today on the overnight train from Bangkok to Butterworth. What an excellent service that is! I absolutely recommend travelling this way if you have the time. Bangkok was great, and I find it to be a liveable city. It’s modern but it still has plenty of interesting nooks and crannies to explore.

On to the main reason for this post….

We have been travelling for about four months now, and it’s fair to say we have seen the inside of a few hotel rooms. It takes a pretty special feature to prompt its own blog post, so here it is. The multi-type power point that also has two USB ports! This might be old news to some people, but it’s the first one I have seen. No need for a converter! USB devices can be charged straight into the wall! Wow! Tis the way of the future for sure.

PenangPlug1 PenangPlug2