For the last three years, our trips from China back to Australia have been blissful forays to "The West," complete with watching mindless TV, overindulgence in cheese and all things dairy and plenty of excursions to check out the continent's abundant wildlife.

Unfortunately, this year has been different.

On September 21, minutes after we bought a used Indonesian guidebook to read on our fight to Bali the next morning, Dan got the news every traveler dreads.

His father, Karl, had passed away suddenly of a heart attack.

In shock, we boarded a plane to Perth instead of Denpasar and spent the next 20 days with Dan's brother and mother, dealing with the things you don't take with you when you die.

It has been a tough time for Dan and his family, and we extend a heartfelt 'thank you' to all the people around the world who have sent Dan condolences. Thank you also to Leah Andrews, whose German translation skills were a big help in communicating with Dan's European relatives.

In the sadness of the last weeks, there was also something to look forward to--Dan's brother's upcoming wedding in Bali.




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