They sailed away for a year and a day…

10 Oct

We ‘set sail’ from Brazil a year ago on a mission of sheer unadulterated madness – according to our contemporaries anyway. We got a slew of comments ranging from the positive “Go for it!” type to the “Are you crazy?” to “How irresponsible”. I eventually stopped telling people about it just to stop listening to the naysayers. Call me an ostrich.

The contrast was beyond description! I was trying to look for images that represent each place. We went from this…


Sao Paulo epitomised everything I hated in a city…. the dirt, the litter, graffiti, pollution, vile smells, concrete. I ached for green, for softness. I would plant tufts of grass in planters in our tiled yard. This photo puts our city life into a nutshell, the very close proximity of neighbours, the concrete and our striving for green even there.

To this…


Wales… how can I even describe our impressions there? Unlimited beauty, open space, Grass! Air that was clean and pure. Even animal dung had a clean smell about it. We worked hard… very hard… but it was good and satisfying. I enjoyed the goats! We fell in love with Wales. What a beautiful place in every sense of the word.

Wales came to an abrupt and rather tragic end due to circumstances out of our control. In a bit of a panic – we hadn’t planned to move on so soon – we went to stay in Northampton at the centre where Tat used to work.


We met wonderful people and had the chance to relax and recoup… until relaxing became a chore. We weren’t used to it, but weren’t allowed to do anything. Luckily, there was a stunning nature reserve nearby where the hours could be whiled away pleasantly.


Oh… and we got to see our first Snow!!!

Of course, we couldn’t stay there forever. We were in the guest rooms and they had an event they were booked out for, so we were on the move again. Moving on was becoming a little scary. None of this was in the original plan. This was where old and dear friends stepped in. We were on our way to Hemel Hempstead.


Northampton had prepared us for being back ‘in town’, though we were very much on the outskirts right next to a nature reserve. Luckily, Hemel Hempstead was a pretty place. We had fun times with our friends who’d known us since Tat was just two bricks and a ticky high. It was a time of shared memories.

Towards the end of our visit, I started stressing again. I got very sick with a cough that wouldn’t let go. I got to a point where I literally cried to the heavens one day… “Where to next?” The answer came from New Zealand and we applied to a place in Ireland.


Our first steps on Irish soil after the ferry trip over… a very special moment! As I stood listening to that ocean, a deep sense of peace came over me.


Tir na Si (Land of the fairies) was a delight to the senses! Most of my work was in the tea room, but I snuck out whenever I could to spend time with my donkey friends. The animals were my favourite part of Tir na Si. Our hosts were lovely and we had a very comfy room. When not working, the farm was so nice to explore and relax on.

We were happy… but again, ‘fate’ stepped in. There was a mixup with our dates. Jurgis had mentioned the date of our return ticket that had to be changed (the booking system didn’t have a ticket date far enough in advance) and they misunderstood. Family was coming over from overseas and they needed the room we were in. We were sad to go, but our next ‘home’ was so exciting…


Killruddery… there is so much to this place that it needs numerous blogs of its own. Adjectives fail me here. We’re very privileged to be living in the main house and need to walk through the tour part (I call it the museum) to get to our apartment. It’s so funny how one drops to a whisper when entering that part of the house. Jurgis is in piggy heaven. I work in paradise. That’s our lives in  a nutshell right now. We’re hoping this is going to be long term(ish). We’re super comfortable, loving our work and the people here are beyond amazing.

In short, this year has been a hellava ride. Would I do it again? Absolutely! Would I do it differently? Absolutely! Am I sorry I did it? No… not in the least. There are things I miss about Brazil. I was thinking of my students tonight. I miss them. I miss a few personal things that got left behind and yes, I miss the comfy salary I had and having two computers (sharing a laptop has it’s challenges). There are things about Brazil itself that had wormed its way into my heart.

Each place we’ve been to since has a place in my heart too. We’ve learned some valuable lessons and made life-long friends along the way. We definitely have come off with many stories to share when we’re old and senile ;) Here’s to the next year or ten! Cheers!


Posted by on October 10, 2012 in brazil, england, Ireland, travel, wales


Tags: , , , , ,

15 responses to “They sailed away for a year and a day…

  1. Tatiana

    October 10, 2012 at 6:47 pm

    I love this post! I’m so glad you guys came. I’m sorry it’s been such a rough ride, but you’ve seen far more than I have and you seem so happy here. I miss some things about Brazil too, but the UK more than makes up for that. =)
    I love you! I love this post. =)

    • tintalasia

      October 10, 2012 at 6:58 pm

      Yes, the life we have here more than makes up for what we miss. We’re definitely happy to be here and being closer to you is just the cherry on top! :)

  2. Nilza Rodrigues (@NilzaRodrigues)

    October 11, 2012 at 12:32 am

    Parabéns por essa trajetória incrível, voces são de muita coragem e unidos acredito que um de força ao outro, senti a saída de voces do Brasil, apesar de te-la visto apenas uma vez, acompanho o blog te admiro e Jorginho que carreguei no colo, apesar da pouca convivência voces são meus primos amados, fico feliz que estejam bem e sonho um dia poder reve-los, como sonhava encontra-los e realizei, o Brasil é um belo e grande país, porém ainda muito a evoluir, o planeta é imenso e devemos sim explora-lo como fazem, experiencia incrível, beijo no coração.

  3. Lois E Broom

    October 11, 2012 at 5:20 am

    What a fabulous adventure you are having too – not many people have the chance to have adventures any more and their lives are increasingly predictable. I am just so pleased for you both.
    Go girl, you are wonderful how you adjust to each adventure. Huggles.

    • tintalasia

      October 11, 2012 at 10:57 am

      I often say to people that our lives might be strange, but it sure beats being cooped up in an office. Much of this is thanks to you, my friend!

  4. lekkerjeuk

    October 11, 2012 at 6:39 am

    Ek slaat my hande in bewondering saam! Julle gaan genoeg stories versamel vir baie kampvure, etenstafels en eendag vir die ouetehuis. Ek is bly dit werk so goed uit vir julle.

    • tintalasia

      October 11, 2012 at 10:56 am

      Ek kan my net verbeel hoe dit in die ouetehuis sal gaan haha! Of met die kleinkinders wat hul oë net sal rol =) Ja, ons het definitief stories om te vertel!

  5. Jenny Eatwell

    October 11, 2012 at 8:15 am

    I’m so glad you posted this, because I lost the plot after you’d moved to Wales – but then appeared to have moved on! I didn’t know what had happened or why (no need to elaborate) and was very confused when you seemed to turn up in an Irish Castle. LOL Now it all makes a lot more sense and my confusion has been soothed and sent back to bed. :) I take my hat off to you all for surviving such a lot of desperate situations with calm and some aplomb. It seems as though the Irish place is where you might have been headed for, all along. :)

    • tintalasia

      October 11, 2012 at 10:52 am

      Jenny, I do believe that our paths go in a particular direction for a reason, be it a lesson that needs learning or a destination that we otherwise wouldn’t have considered. So far, I’m very content with this particular destination :)

  6. Kay S

    October 11, 2012 at 11:01 am

    Wales! I do love it, though the language I never managed o speak or understand :) …. If I’d be in your shoes, I would do it again as well, I do love the British Isles! Though our settling down in the US had been slightly smoother, I am all for discovering new places! Admire your adventurous streak! Maybe, just maybe I get to visit the Isles on more time, and hoping you’d be still around there!

    • tintalasia

      October 11, 2012 at 12:09 pm

      Oh Kay, it would be wonderful to meet you! Actually, the Welsh was easier to understand than some of the Irish. When we first arrived, we went to Cork and there were people there who might as well have been speaking Chinese lol I love the British Isles too. I’m definitely comfortable calling it home :)


    October 11, 2012 at 8:43 pm

    I admire the courage you had to embrace a different life and your ongoing positive attitude to cope withthe uncertainties you have faced. KIlruddery is soul soothing and beautiful. I really enjoy reading your experiences. You have been through some tough but interesting life experiences. Your life really is about the journey and not the destination and a lesson in taking one day at a time. You really are an inspiration to me.

    • tintalasia

      October 12, 2012 at 9:24 pm

      Marina, for us, it is definitely about the journey. If I had to remain hung up on the destination, I’d have given up years ago. I’m so glad you got to experience Killruddery. It’s even more peaceful now that the public season is pretty much over. And as for courage, my friend, you’ve had your time of courage and major changes. You also know the feeling of taking huge steps not knowing what the other side is like :)

  8. Lyagushka (Meirav)

    October 15, 2012 at 10:47 pm

    Ah! I did wonder how come you were suddenly in Ireland. You’ve definitely been having an interesting adventure, I’ve had a nomadic time like that and it can be a bit scary at times… you guys seem to be dealing with it very well!

    • tintalasia

      October 23, 2012 at 10:29 pm

      We’ve had our rocky moments, but, for the most part, are enjoying it immensely :) Yes, I can relate to scary… very much! You must have some interesting stories too.


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