My hands.

If you could trace the memories of my hands, you would find that they have:

  1. Played thousands of hours of music.
  2. Touched the skin of countless people.
  3. Written a whole journal of stories.
  4. Broken many falls.
  5. Knitted half a scarf.
  6. Drawn lots and lots of doodles.
  7. Created a few dozen sandcastles.
  8. Ripped a book’s equivalent of unfinished manuscript.
  9. Held vulnerable hands.
  10. Made hundreds of dumplings.
11:05 pm, by aliceandlife 5  |  Comments

In transit.

I’d like to describe myself as currently in transit between the life that I have been living, and the life that I’m about to live.

People aren’t always so patient and understanding of such a phase. They want to know what you are thinking and why. Why did you drop out of Honours Alice? Why did you go to Indonesia when you could have done so many more productive things with your life?

Why? Why? Why?

Anyway, here is something I actually wrote in transit at Sydney airport just over 2 weeks ago now that has recently been published. It’s about me trying to make sense of certain expectations that society has of me - where are you going and why? I can’t say I stand by what I said 100% right now but at least it makes for an interesting story.

You can find it here.

08:52 pm, by aliceandlife 2  |  Comments

How quickly we let go.

On Thursday morning, I was in the backseat of a car driving back from Wukasari village back to the city area of Yogyakarta.

Just two hours earlier, I had been panicking about maybe finding myself dead before I could fly home. Wouldn’t that make for an interesting story? Fever, headache, muscle aches and stomach pains - coupled with a hard ground to sleep on, a little bucket for a bathroom and the heat - meant that more than anything in the world, I wanted to forget this place and go back to the comfort of the life and food and people and language that I knew and dearly missed.

I was so relieved to be able to sleep on a mattress in an airconditioned room that evening, but my ego hurt because I felt like such a wuss. 

These overseas experiences that we have give us a glimpse of what life is like in a world vastly different from our own, but at the end of the day, it is still a world that is not our own.

When we leave, because we can leave, we return to our lives as quickly as we arrived. We forget the pain. We archive our memories. Sometimes we reach back to them and it tugs at us, but we let go.

Before we moved in to the village, I did a brief internship at an alternative education school for poor kids near the Jogja airport. I was touched by how happy these kids were to be there, and how incomparable the value of money was between our lives - with our university educations and the money to travel by air - and theirs.

Their need was pressing. But you get distracted by more need, everywhere.

Experiences blur into other experiences. You lose yourself momentarily, because you are neither here nor there. 

You are one foot in; one foot out - and how quickly it is, that we can let one go.

04:07 am, by aliceandlife 3  |  Comments

Hi Alice :) I was wondering if you are still tutoring first year law at AU?

Yes I am :) shoot me an email at

05:41 pm, question from howza, answered by aliceandlife  Comments


The past five days spent in Yogyakarta has given me a lot of perspective about who I have grown to be over the past 21 years.

I spent the day in the outskirts of the city at a school living a typical day for poor children in Indonesia. As much as I would like to think that I am adventurous and adaptable, my comfort zone is very small indeed.

I am stubborn, impatient and need time to myself. I am also critical, judgmental and headstrong. I love travelling for the experiences - the things we see, the things we feel - but find myself looking for things that I cannot find.

I love the feeling of being away temporarily because you are in the place that is neither here nor there. You can leave behind the history as you please, and you’re not yet constructing the future either.

Routine is just a flight away.

This is not our reality because we can escape it. At the school today I thought about how people can be inspired by the change that is being achieved in the local communities here, yet still go home and slot yourself perfectly back into the life you temporarily paused.

That is your life. This is just another experience to add to your library; photos to collect and publish and tag.

I often wonder about how these experiences impact on us as people. It seems like so many people are expert conference attendees. They are not agents of social change, but individuals looking for single-serving and disposable experiences.

This is (not) our reality.

It is our entertainment; our escape. And frighteningly real.

06:23 am, by aliceandlife 3  |  Comments

Indonesia in incredible…

… and completely blowing my expectations. 

It is so different to anything that I’ve seen. We did a brief internship at an alternative education school today and it really makes you appreciate how lucky you are to have had a good education in New Zealand.

Will try and get a blog post going sometime over the next couple of days, but off to see a Indonesian ballet at a temple tonight! Internet access hasn’t been fantastic, but I’ve finally found a reliable cafe with wifi access - success :)

In the meantime, here’s a photo I took with some village kids up in the mountains surrounding Yogyakarta:

Very cheeky.

10:16 pm, by aliceandlife 2  |  Comments