Susan Storr

Sue Treadie

Susan Storr

This blog was started in 2006 when I embarked on a new life adventure teaching English in China. It was a wonderful, enriching and enlightening experience. Many of you came on this journey with me.

For those of you who are searching for more meaning and satisfaction in your life and feel that teaching languages overseas might fit the bill, I enthusiastically encourage you to take up the challenge as I did nine years ago. You will never regret it. In fact you will probably say "Why didn't I do this years ago?"

I then began a journal of my journey home to Australia- the long way round! Unfortunately, only one of the many blogs about this trip has been published at this point and I'm not sure when they'll come to light. Many of them are almost ready, but don't hold your breath!!

After more than four years back home in Australia working in the area of language teaching to international students, I then took off on what I call an "oldie's gap year" to celebrate sixty fabulous years and to fulfill a 40 year dream to explore South America. After 10 fabulous months in South America (I will be back!), I then ventured for 3months to Europe to reconnect with old travel buddies & explore places old and new. Finally, I called in to Vietnam to visit friends living in Nha Trang and finished the trip exploring far northern Thailand. Best trip of my life!

Currently, my travel is somewhat tamer, but enjoyable never the less. For the last 18 months, I've been house-sitting around SE Queensland and trialling retirement- and I love it. Hoping to make a restart on the many blogs yet to be published (more than 90 of them) !!!

Many new places on my radar still to be visited as well. Myanmar was my target last year, now Cambodia/Laos is my target in November this year..............

Read on and enjoy!

[Visited Countries Map




South America » Bolivia » Potosí Department » Tupiza October 18th 2013

October 15 Was glad to move on from Uyuni, not the most pleasant place I've visited. Almost didn't make it out of town though, as I couldn't get out of my hotel! Everything was locked up tight & it took me a good 15mins of yelling to wake someone up to let me out! Luckily, still made my bus, but not by much!! Uneventful bus ride through great desert scenery with a "breaky" stop in Atocha on the way. Great people watching at the stops too. Arrived mid afternoon and hooked up with a French couple who offered to share a cab with me. For once hadn't done my homework so wasn't sure where I was staying, so accepted with gratitude. Turned out we could have walked in less than 10mins. Joined them at the Mitsu ... read more
Breaky stop in Atocha on the way to Tupiza
Locals waiting to board the bus
Snack Shacks


Well, after nearly 3 years since this trip, I've decided it's about time I finished this blog! (And many more besides!) The inspiration for me finally restarting, came from Sita & Miri, two lovely ladies I met during my time in South America & who are currently back there exploring once again! Now where were we? Ahh San Pedro de Atacama....... Day 1 October 12, 2013 My 3 day adventure began with a pick up at my hostel by minibus at about 8.30am in the morning, where I joined a group of 7 others from around the world, namely: Anna Maria (Brasil), Fabio (Brasil), Kristina & Andreas (Germany), Diederik (The Netherlands via UK), Emma & Lovisa (Sweden). From San Pedro we drove out into the desert towards the Bolivian Border, with a short stop at Chilean ... read more
Day 1 Heading for the Bolivian High Plains
Day 1 Heading for the Bolivian High Plains
Day 1 Heading for the Bolivian High Plains


After several fun-filled days, it was time to say goodbye to Sergio, Miri and Elodie as they left to cross the pass to Salta in the Quebrada Country of North-Western Argentina. Left to my own devices, I decided to head north-west out of town to visit the Pukara de Quitor (archaeological site)and explore the quebrada country beyond towards El Tunel, as recommended by Elodie. It's also possible to hire a mountain bike and venture further afield and continue through Valle del Muerte and link with the main road to Calama back into town or vice versa. You can also do horse-trekking in the area. However, after "car-touring" for the past three or so days, I felt like stretching my legs and going on foot. Pukara de Quitor is only 3km out of town, so very accessible. ... read more
Local Camp Ground
Mud Map
Atacaman Culture


The next day, Sergio offered to take us exploring the Antiplanos Lagunas (high altitude lagoons/lakes) located south of San Pedro. Elodie (my roommate) and I jumped at the chance, but Sergi & Miri decided to give it a miss. So, generous as he is, Sergio offered the spare seats to Ashley and Claudia, two American girls staying at his hostel. So, with a full car, we headed out for another day of adventure. First stop was Toconao, a tiny colonial village 38km south of San Pedro, noted for it's buildings made of volcanic rock (in particular the 1750 built church) and alpaca woolcrafts. Nobody much about at this hour, we spent a pleasant half hour or so wandering the side streets and getting a feel for the local way of life. Stocked up on some homemade ... read more
First stop the village of Toconao
Exploring the side streets
Elodie's new playmates


Valle de la Luna, otherwise known as Moon Valley, is located about 13km west of San Pedro. It is part of the Reserva Nacional los Flamencos which is divided into a number of areas. More about that in the next blog. One of the driest places on earth, it is claimed that some areas of the valley haven't seen a drop of rain in hundreds of years. I was lucky enough to join Miri, Sergi and their new friend Sergio in a private "tour" on two consecutive afternoons. What an amazing landscape and a feast for the eyes!! It's not difficult to see how it got it's name. The myriad of colours & textures, especially with the changing light was truly magnificent. The folded ridges of the Cordillera de la Sal, spectacular formations such as El ... read more
Climbing in Valle de Luna
Sue & Miri
Rock Formations


San Pedro de Atacama- a small village of about 5000 local inhabitants was my next destination. Located in what is considered the driest desert on earth, it's a long, 17hr night bus ride from La Serena. Actually the ride was pretty comfortable (I paid more for the salon cama seat), although I can never sleep on buses or planes. Even got tucked into "bed" by the conductor, who not only allocated blankets to everyone but dutifully fussed with them to make sure everyone was snug as a bug!! The long distance buses here in Chile are terrific! The best part of the trip, was the last hour or so. Early morning in the desert- love it. At the first sight of the Valle de Luna, I knew I was going to have a great time exploring ... read more
....and another!
Roadside Graves
Hostal Rural

South America » Chile » Coquimbo Region » Pisco Elqui October 5th 2013

My next destination was La Serena, situated about 500km to the north of Santiago. It's the capital of the Coquimbo region and is the second oldest city in Chile. I planned to use it as a stepping off point before heading to the Valle de Elqui- an important area for the production of pisco (grape brandy), the base for the very popular pisco sour, national drink of Chile- and Peru. In addition, I'd hoped to do a trip to see the Humboldt Penguin National Reserve about 130km further to the north, but unfortunately the trip is weather dependent and the weather gods were not being cooperative during my short stay. I have other opportunities later in my trip to see penguins, so no real drama or disappointment. So, I grabbed a bus and headed east to ... read more
Wind Farm
La Serena
Public buildings near the plaza

South America » Chile » Valparaíso Region September 30th 2013

After more than a week in the capital, I headed to the coast and the colourful harbour city of Valparaiso, enclave of artists, poets , students and migrants from everywhere imaginable. Originally inhabited by local Chango people who were mainly fishermen, Spanish exploration in the mid-16th Century led to it developing into the main harbour for the Chilean Navy and also opened it to international trade beyond Spain and its other colonies. As time progressed, it became a required stopover between the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean crossings and played an important role supporting and supplying of the California Gold Rush during the mid 19th century. These days it is considered as possibly the largest seaport in Chile and the surrounding district is one of the most populous areas in Chile. In 2003, UNESCO declared Valparaiso a ... read more
Street Mosaics
Boutique Hotel
Connection to the sea

South America » Chile » Santiago Region » Providencia September 23rd 2013

Having trouble getting the time to start the blogs for my trip, so have decided to post photos first and republish with text later as so many people are hanging out to see some pics! So here they are for your perusal. Clicking on each photo will produce a larger image, so I strongly recommend you do this to fully appreciate them!!... read more
Another perspective from Cerro San Cristobal
A closer look
Virgen de la Inmaculada Concepción

Asia » Mongolia » Ulaanbaatar July 10th 2008

Well here I am finally with the beginning of my fantastic 5 or so month adventure back to Oz after leaving Taizhou on June 17. I have set myself a challenge to reduce my carbon foot print as much as possible by travelling mainly by train. Originally, I had allowed myself just one flight and that is for my final leg from San Diego to Brisbane. However, my plan to take a "cheap" passage with a container ship across the Atlantic from the UK to US/Canada is looking just a wee bit shaky, so we'll have to see! There are more than 20 episodes, so sit back, enjoy and travel with me round the world (almost) from Taizhou, Jiangsu, PRC back to the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia - the long way round! After a frantic last ... read more
Beijing 2
Mobbed in Erlian
Zaamin Uud 5




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