Road trip with a Purpose

Beginning at the end of July Ryan and I will be participating in a 48 day road trip around Australia, spending time in every state and territory while promoting mental health awareness and prevention programming. I was hoping to be able to share a map of all the places we’ll be visiting but there are still some details being worked out. However, I can share more about the organization we will be representing.

Rural and Remote Mental Health does prevention work throughout Australia with programing tailored to the needs and desires of specific communities. There are currently three main programs: Deadly Thinking, Resource Minds and Rural Minds. I’ll be going into more details about each of these programs later on. But for now the important part is recognizing that this organization is providing resources where they can make the most impact, in the specific communities that need them. Ryan and I have a lot of learning to do and we are looking forward to the partnerships will develop during this trip. And it doesn’t hurt that we get to see a whole lot of Australia along the way!

5 Facts About Adelaide Australia

Today I am on a plane to Adelaide.  I’ll be gone only two nights but it was important that I had some face to face time with the organization Ryan and I will be representing during my first MSW internship.  More on the details of the internship on Friday.  But today, here are 5 facts about Adelaide.
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  1. Adelaide is the Capital City of South Australia.
  2. Adelaide is named after Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen, a German married to King William IV.
  3. Adelaide has a population of about 1.3 million people.
  4. Burger King is called Hungary Jacks in Australia because there was already one small restaurant named Burger King in Adelaide so the franchise had to change their name when expanding to Australia.
  5. The people in Adelaide petitioned for the Beatles to come to their city during their 1964 Australia tour.  They even turned out an impressive crowd of 300,000 people (close to half of Adelaide’s population at that time), which was the biggest crowd of the Beatles entire touring career.

5 Facts About Darwin Australia

Today Ryan is on a plane to Darwin.  He is going to be gone for a long weekend on a scouting/vision trip with some of our other co-workers.  I’m not going with him for a few reasons but mainly I just finished this semester (all three final assignments done and submitted!) and I need a break.  I’ve also been experiencing some gallbladder pain (more on the scheduled surgery later).  So Ryan headed to Darwin without me but it should be a great trip and he gets to experience another part of Australia.

Here are 5 facts about Darwin and Ryan has promised an Instagram picture a day while he’s gone so follow him @lpturntable for a taste of his experiences.Screen Shot 2017-06-08 at 4.55.38 PM

  1. Darwin is the Capital City of the Northern Territory.
  2. Darwin was named after Charles Darwin.
  3. Darwin’s population is the smallest of all the capital cities in Australia with only about 120,000 people.
  4. The same Japanese war planes that attacked Pearl Harbor, attacked Darwin on February 19, 1942.
  5. Darwin is located closer to the capitals of Indonesian, East Timor, Papua New Guinea, Palau and Brunei than it is to it’s own nations capital in Canberra.

A Day Off: Nature Spa and Beach

One of the best perks of having a real weekly schedule is the ability to plan for and actually take a day off each week.  It has been over a year since Ryan and I have had a rhythm to our week that actually allows for the space to rest on a consistent basis.  Don’t get me wrong, we’ve had lots of amazing adventures and travels over the past year and there has been some rest within that but there is something really special and life-giving about having a weekly day of rest.  You might be saying, what about Sunday!?  Well, Sundays are lovely and we are getting a bit of a break being in a wonderful church community but Sundays are simply not rest days in our line of work.  So for the foreseeable future we have dedicated Fridays as our day of rest and fun exploration.  And this week we kicked off the adventure with a drive south along the coast to an area known as the Nature Spa.Screen Shot 2017-03-04 at 12.12.49 PM.pngOh that’s right, I said drive because this week we bought a car.  Just like the provision of so many things along the way for us, this is another amazing testament to God’s ability to provide for us in ways above and beyond.  But that story is for another time because just look at that spectacular coastline.  This is a seriously beautiful place to live.screen-shot-2017-03-04-at-12-12-15-pmThe wind was picking up by early afternoon when we arrived but we decided to first go up on the rocks for a look around.  We spent a good amount of time all afternoon talking about all the people we know who would love this place.  If you come and visit, we can bring you here:-)  Rocks to climb up, places to explore, white sandy beaches, beautiful crashing waves and the Nature Spa.screen-shot-2017-03-04-at-12-44-59-pmThe Nature Spa is a natural area in between these rock walls where salt water pools and collects.  Despite the wind of the day, this area was very protected.  The ocean seeps through the opening you can see here but also splashes through other little ravines at the side.  If you look on the left side of the pool, the white water is caused by a mini waterfall that happens because of the waves.  The water in the pool gets warm because it’s shallow and calm but the water splashing over is cold, right from the ocean. screen-shot-2017-03-04-at-12-55-34-pmWe staked claim to a large flat rock in the sun and enjoyed the warmth of the day hearing the ocean waves and watching people come and go enjoying this beautiful place.  We were never alone and I’m sure the Nature Spa can get pretty crowded on weekends and holidays but we would definitely come back again.Screen Shot 2017-03-04 at 2.01.23 PM.pngAfter we finished hanging out at the Nature Spa, we climbed back up the rocks.  It would be easy to twist an ankle here but we made it out injury free.  Before we left for our drive home, we wanted to check out the beach along the other side.  And I’m so glad we did!
screen-shot-2017-03-04-at-12-10-49-pmThis beach has beautifully deep soft sand and we had it all to ourselves for a little while.  The waves were powerful and bubbling and perfect for just standing in and enjoying.  I’m sure the current coupled with the waves along here would make it dangerous to swim but it was perfect for an afternoon frolic.  These pictures don’t do this amazing coastline justice.screen-shot-2017-03-04-at-12-13-56-pmOur day ended with an uneventful drive home and a lovely sunset.  We’re looking forward to more days off when we can go on adventures, get to know Perth and other parts of Western Australia!

Getting to Know Perth

screen-shot-2017-02-24-at-5-12-58-pmGetting to know Perth is a priority for us.  We want to experience and enjoy this city while we’re living here.  During the Summer, there are a lot of activities to seek out and enjoy but we’ve been warned that there isn’t as much to do in the winter.  I’m not fully convinced yet because there still is a long list of places I want to explore.  Being out and about in the city also allows us to meet the people who live in, work in and make up the human part of city life.  The people are definitely a reflection of the city.  We’ve been finding activities on Instagram, through friends and also doing internet searches which turn up websites like: Guide to Perth and Experience Perth.  It’s fun to look up lists of things to do in Perth and see that we’ve already checked off a few of the big activities that everyone recommends.  What will our next adventure be?screen-shot-2017-02-24-at-5-12-03-pm

Happy Anniversary!

4 years ago yesterday Ryan and I met for the first time after finding each other on OkCupid.  After that first (5 hour!) date, we both knew there was the potential of something more but had no idea where this relationship would take us.  Now we’re celebrating our 3rd wedding anniversary in our new home in Perth, Australia after traveling around the US and around the world too.

3 years ago today, Ryan and I got married in Santa Barbara, California at beautiful Franceschi Park.  If you missed the wedding because we’re new friends or you want to re-watch our wonderful ceremony, you can check it out on our webpage: Ryan and Joy’s Wedding or directly on Youtube: Ryan and Joy’s Wedding.

Happy Anniversary to my favorite husband!  You drive me crazy but I wouldn’t change this life with you.  I’m looking forward to many more years and many more memories together.

Between Oceans- January in Perth

The week before we left the US, I read a book called The Light Between Oceans.  In the book there is a lighthouse keeper living on the fictitious island of Janus, located near the south west tip of western Australia.  At some point the lighthouse keeper describes why the island is called Janus, and I can’t find the exact quote, but he simply explains that Janus is the god of beginnings and transitions, passages and endings.  Janus is usually depicted as having two faces, since he looks simultaneously to the future and to the past.  And this island sitting between two oceans, is aptly named Janus.  If you’re looking for a beautifully written book, this is a worthwhile read.  Be ready to feel all your emotions and keep a tissue box nearby.

Since this book is set in Western Australia, I have thought of it a few times as we’ve begun to settle in here.  And I remembered the quote about Janus as we rung in the new year.  Janus is where our word January comes from.  January 2017 is a time when we can look back and reflect on 2016, but also look forward to the new year, a new unknown future.  It’s fitting that Ryan and I would arrive in Perth just in time to begin the new year, settling in during this in-between time of looking back as well as looking forward.Screen Shot 2017-01-02 at 3.36.58 PM.pngSince I’m in reflection mode, I couldn’t resist looking at my top liked Instagram posts of 2016.  If you don’t already, you can follow me @joycandee.  I do my best to post different things to Instagram, this blog and Facebook so you can hear/see a different angle of the story from each social media outlet.  Anyway, it’s not surprising that my top liked pictures all point to Australia in some way.  The top three and the middle were taken the last week of 2016 as we made our way to Australia.  My birthday is represented, turning 32 and wearing my “totally koalafied” shirt.  And of course, travels to Europe and our road trip/travels through the US this past year.  2016 was a good, hard, wonderful and challenging year.

Today, January 3rd 2017, I am in the doorway.  Like Janus, looking back and looking forward.  I am in the passage between the preparation, what it took to get us here and anticipation, looking ahead to what is to come.  Welcome to 2017!