Dili and a calm open ocean

The ocean stretches out beyond the horizon of this small South-East Asian city. It reminds me of a location’s insignificance at times. Location is sometimes the most important thing but at other moments the location doesn’t shape your emotions.

Literally here or literally there. Literally where? Literally anywhere.


Dili is the place where I’ll finally close off and finish the editing of my long anticipated book that began with a major accident occurring in 2014. Timor-Leste plays such a minimal moment in the story being told. I have spent years writing and editing to get it here, now, in this moment.

It came to be here due to the events of writing and writing is something that is undefined by place, but in my story it is defined by the circumstances of the journey I took from where the book began. It started almost 3 years, 9 months ago on the city streets of Sydney. The book has travelled Australia, Argentina and Uruguay as part of the life journey chosen at times but also inflicted upon me. It is not a travel book but it is my story and for that reason the world escapism I live by defines it.

The story primarily tells of my first two years of recovery following the accident and then a final chapter written 3.5 years after falling 3.5 floors, where Timor-Leste came to be part of the completing chapter’s words. I received an opportunity to be in the country’s capital, Dili, as part of my master degree and due to the circumstances of my path forward it appeared like the best typing finale. Book ends here. Done.

As the wet season beats down on this little city, I’m in a thankful and thoughtful moment. It is not the end of my life manuscript but it is finally time. The time has come. This chapter of my life, encapsulated within the pages of a book is completed. The next chapter begins and in March 2018 I am moving to Sâo Paulo, Brazil – a part of my life story that will not be in the book. It will not be there because this life chapter finishes with a full stop. I can finally say that recovery after my accident has occurred and the usual pleasures of life with lessons learned begin from a long anticipated calling.

How would I describe living with Brain Injury? It is strange as you see yourself redefined for a moment. That moment was a travel through years and circumstances unseen by most. People focus too much on some minor difficulties or elements to define you but ignore the wealth of yourself playing out in each moment. Brain Injury occurs but with understanding then I can honestly say from day one of awaking after the accident that I could live my everyday dreams. Judgement was a challenge against support. Judgement won against understanding. Judgement lost by me saying goodbye to it.

It has made me see a new vision of people going through trauma. Many live under circumstances invisible and uncontrollable. We need to see the simplicity in that fact of compassion toward other humans. Compassion can simply be a smile, it doesn’t need to change you dramatically in any way to be compassionate.

So the calm ocean spreads out below the warm tropical sky. Dili and Timor-Leste play an unexpected role in my story. My story plays an unexpected role in my life. My life plays an expected tale of existing.

Cheers to life.


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Published by Paul - Brain Injured and Traveller in one.

The World is an amazing place filled with adventure, awe and excitement. As a child I dreamt that I would see every country, every crevice of the globe. And now? Now I continue to fulfil that dream...I would like to share that journey with you in some small part...

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