Tortoise on the Move

July 22, 2014

All It Takes is a Plane Ticket


“I’m not sure what I’ll do, but— well, I want to go places and see people. I want my mind to grow. I want to live where things happen on a big scale.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald

Last night, I booked a trip to New Zealand in November. Had I planned on doing that for weeks on end as per usual? Had I even really thought about it up until the day before? Nope. I booked the flight because it was cheap. Surprise! While mentally reassuring myself that booking a flight without a plan was not completely insane (conclusion: it’s not), I felt all at once a rush of excitement and a calm sense of satisfaction.


July 17, 2014

Canberra Museums

Roll of Honor, Australian War Memorial
Entrance to the National Museum galleries

Entrance to the National Museum galleries

“The past is never fully gone. It is absorbed into the present and the future. It stays to shape what we are and what we do.” – Sir William Deane

As the capital city of Australia, Canberra is chock full of museums. I’m planning to update this post with my personal takeaways and highlights as I visit these wonderful establishments over the next few months. Since I’m visiting many of the museums with my Aussie kids, I’ll also recap some child-friendly features as well.


July 13, 2014

Jervis Bay


Yesterday, we drove three hours away from cold, cloudy Canberra to Jervis Bay on the coast of New South Wales. Even though the water at Greenfields Beach was a bit too cold to swim in, it was a great day to spend outside in the sunshine. Host Mum and I drove to Huskisson to grab fish and chips for lunch on the beach. While Huskisson is a slightly more bustling city, Greenfields in Vincentia is less crowded and we had the beach to ourselves most of the day.


July 10, 2014

21 Thoughts on 21 Days in Australia


Summing up my first three weeks in Australia.


Posted in: Blog
July 5, 2014

Canberra Bucket List

Outdoor ice skating in central Canberra... in July!

While I was a Canberra resident for six months, I made a quick bucket list of the major sights and sounds around the city. While I visited a few of these with my host family’s kids, I was also able to go to a few on my own time. I didn’t get to all of them during my time in Canberra, but for the ones I did check off, I’ve linked to relevant blog posts. BONUS: Most of the “National” locations are FREE, similar to Washington DC.


Posted in: Blog
July 2, 2014

Black Mountain Tower

Canberra city center from Black Mountain Tower

IMG_3560Yesterday I joined a fellow au pair from neighboring suburb Forde to take a look at Canberra from the Black Mountain Tower (formerly Telstra Tower). The telecommunication tower sits at 812 meters above sea level (or about 2600 feet for my American friends) and rises 195 meters from its foundation. Since opening in 1980, the tower has been home to facilities for business, sales, and radio communication.


July 1, 2014

Sydney: The First of Many

IMG_3484My first weekend in Sydney was nothing short of amazing. Since Host Dad’s parents live in a suburb about forty minutes outside the city center, I’m lucky enough to travel with my family to Sydney on the weekends they visit. On Saturday morning, I hopped on the bus to finally see the city I’ve been hoping to go to since I was eight years old. I felt myself break out into a huge smile when I saw the Sydney Opera House as we drove over the Harbor Bridge.