About me


I’m Sophie, a 25-year-old Australian living and working in Dili, Timor-Leste, as a participant in the Australian Volunteers for International Development program.

I’m working in not-for-profit communications for an agricultural NGO called RAEBIA. I have a background in writing and fundraising communications, a (yet-unused) degree in law from Australia, and a deep-seeded interest in communications for social change.

I’m an obsessive journaller and intend this blog to be a record of my time, thoughts and experiences here – for my own memories, for sharing my life with friends and family back home, and perhaps for a potential expat nervously googling “gym class Dili?” like I was in the months before I made my move.

Here, I write about living in Dili, working herelearning Tetun, and what it’s like being a hopeless neurotic in an unfamiliar environment. I summarise every month in a neat top-10 list (read them all here), and have started taking photos of what I’m doing here, too.

I’ve come to Timor from Melbourne after growing up in Perth, and I write often about what it’s like to feel at home in an unfamiliar place. (Expect a lot of commentary about the humidity from a girl whose heart remains in temperate Western Australia).

My surname, Raynor, guides the name of this blog: the phonetically similar phrase rai liur translates as “abroad” in Tetun, Timor’s most widely spoken local language, and very neatly describes my current expat situation.

I like fat novels and hot chips, my bookshelves are colour-coded, I choose skirts over pants every time, and I love a good chat. Please email anytime to say hello or to ask a question – sophieraynor10 at gmail dot com – or find me on Instagram and Twitter.

Thank you for your interest in my life here in Timor – I hope you enjoy reading this blog.