About Me

I am SaltyBug

Hi! My name is Sarah and I am an Australian living the expat life in Manila, the Philippines. My family and I moved here in February 2015 and I write about the various adventures we get up to as we figure out how to do this expat thing, in a whole new world.

Where does the name SaltyBug come from? It is a very personal name that pays homage to where I come from. ‘Salty’ from our beach home back in Australia and ‘Bug’ is the pet name my husband uses for me. 

This is my story…

It was a fleeting moment back in 2014 that changed the course of our lives. Seemingly meaningless, a throwaway comment in a workplace corridor, reported to me in passing: ‘He asked if I’d consider living in Manila’. Six months later here we were in this new and very strange place carving out a new life and redefining who we are as a family.

The pathway to get from that innocent first comment to where we are now – established and living in this new world has been, and continues to be a rollercoaster. It is at once scary and thrilling and the adrenalin keeps you coming back for more. The emotional turmoil of packing up your life into a few boxes and saying goodbye to people you love and who know you so intimately is perhaps the hardest part. Or is it the intense loneliness and sense of bewilderment you feel when you stand alone in your empty new home, in a strange new world, wondering where to begin.

In-between navigating societal norms in a very tight culturally diverse community, building new friendships, learning cultural nuances you only really get to experience when you live somewhere and figuring out tricks to helping kids adjust to the new life, I have learnt a LOT about myself. I have learnt the absolute importance of choosing your attitude, and of thinking creatively to get through the challenges. I have learnt the importance of leaning into one another in a relationship, more than ever before. I have learnt that despite the newness of a friendship, those bonds become undeniably thick that won’t break when the time comes for the expat goodbye. Importantly I have learnt to always confront your fears and keep moving forwards in spite of them.

I invite you to come along on my journey – on our journey and if you have ever wondered if you could pack up and move overseas or to another city, if you could face your fears and take a leap of faith then perhaps my words will inspire you to give it a go. There really is nothing quite like it.

If there is anything in particular you would like me to explore while I am here in The Philippines, please drop me a line. You can contact me here.

Meet my family

11896220_10153352274492530_6307928913779286623_nSandyBug (SB) – Loving husband, father, creative genius and fellow adventurer.

BusyBug (BB) – Aged five, who is totally awesome and inspiring. He has worked super hard to overcome a speech delay, anxiety and selective mutism. If you would like more information on any of this check out this page.

FlutterBug (FB) – Four year old iridescent, intelligent, confident, assertive, loving little girl. With a huge heart and exceptional leadership abilities, FB brings joy and happiness to all she meets.


Noodle-Bug (NB) – The newest member of our family. He came to us here in Manila. Unexpected, fluffy, messy and annoying; but totally cute and entertaining. He loves to be in the middle of the action, adores squeaky toys and eating leftover Cheerios for breakfast.