Monthly Archives: September 2013

The Land ‘Down Under’!

Australia's Got TalentThe name Australia comes from the Latin word, ‘Australis’ meaning ‘southern’. As the name would indicate we are now in the southern hemisphere, where the water goes down the drain backwards* and cars are driven on the left side of the road. Feeling flipped over, upside down and backwards we hit the ground running!

On the list of necessities for any traveler is accommodation, transportation and communication. Fortunately during our first month in Australia, family and friends opened their homes providing us with beds, couches and even a camper, parked in a front yard. After visiting a few used car dealerships, with no luck, we spotted a Subaru Outback for sale on the side of the road. An Outback in the outback, brilliant! With the first two essentials crossed off our list we easily acquired a mobile phone and a portable wi-fi device, we were all set to begin our Aussie adventure!

Huge Aussie Prawns

Of course food is also an important necessity and we were both devouring some of the best seafood in the world! Not to mention the Aussie meat pies and other culinary wonders only found in Australia like the thick, yeasty Vegemite and the yummy sweet desserts; pavlova and lamingtons.

After we arrived in Sydney, we had no plans of what to do or where to go but, family and friends lived along the coast further north so this seemed to be our next logical step. All the while we kept our eyes and minds searching for whatever presented itself as a guide towards the future. Trusting in the journey is a skill Lynne and I have fine-tuned during our world travels. Looking for synchronicities and whatever shows up in our proverbial headlights, is how we roll!

Kangaroo MaleThe koala, kangaroo, emu, kookaburra and platypus are all animals found in no other country than Australia and in the first few weeks of our adventure we saw them all. Except that is, for the elusive platypus! When the early explorers first revealed this unique semi-aquatic monotreme, (mammal that lay eggs), to the world, it was thought to be a joke—Aussies having a go at the English by sewing a duck bill onto a rat—but it turned out to be authentic! The search for a platypus seemed like a lofty goal and a good reason to head further North, in the direction of their habitat. Well, that and a job offer for Lynne in Mackay, Queensland, which could help fund our expedition. Lynne’s brother, Peter, and his family also live up north in Mackay which cemented the platypus idea, that was ‘showing up’ as to how we should proceed.

Spy HoppingOff we went, driving north from New South Wales to Queensland. As luck would have it, whale season along the east coast was in full swing, (July through October). We stopped in to visit some longtime friends who live near Brisbane and were treated to an ocean adventure in their boat, to search of Humpbacks! It was a phenomenal success and not only did we spot over a dozen whales splashing, breaching, spy hoping, tail wagging and flipper flapping, we also saw a huge sea turtle and a heap of flying fish! We had been on whale watching charters before but nothing can compare to this smaller boat which afforded us an up close and personal encounter, on the same level as these majestic beings!

We now find ourselves in Mackay; sugarcane and coal mining country. We have moved into a fully furnished studio unit at the Ocean Resort Village (not as flash as it sounds). We seem to have it all, tropical gardens, swimming pool, air-conditioning, cable TV and wi-fi, all this and beach front access to boot! What we don’t have, however, is a platypus sighting! Not yet anyway! Bless Lynne’s heart for working, but, it seriously cuts into our platypus discovery time! Rest assured, we will find our platypus and moving towards this end, we are certain to discover additional adventures here in northeast Queensland!

Some interesting facts about Australia:

The Australian Coat of Arms has a kangaroo and an emu on it. The reason being they can’t go backwards, they can only walk/hop forward, similar to the country’s forward movement into the future.

Most of Australia’s exotic flora and fauna cannot be found anywhere else in the world.

Australia is known as the ‘island continent’ and is the only continent on earth to be occupied by one nation. It is also the flattest continent in the world.

Some of Australia’s most prolific inventions are the bionic ear, black box flight recorder, clothes line, notepad and stubby (beer) holder.

The land masses of Australia and the United States America are comparable, however, their estimated populations are not. The United States of America has approximately 313 million people, while Australia has approximately 23 million, 90% of whom live on the coast.

*You find both counterclockwise and clockwise flowing drains in both hemispheres. Some people would like you to believe that the Coriolis force affects the flow of water down the drain in sinks, bathtubs, or toilet bowls but, it’s not true! The Coriolis force is simply too weak to affect such small bodies of water. The Coriolis Effect is the observed curved path of moving objects relative to the surface of the Earth. Hurricanes however, are affected. Hurricane winds move counter-clockwise in the northern hemisphere and clockwise in the southern hemisphere.

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An Unassuming Hero!

by Liz Clark

Montana Spartan Race, May 2013

Montana Spartan Race

An unassuming hero, 23yr old Melinda Juell from Missoula was a participant in the Montana Spartan Race, May 2013. We first noticed Melinda as she was nearing completion of this rigorous challenge, a three plus mile, fifteen obstacle mountain race set up in the Montana wilderness. The obstacles required, climbing, crawling under bridges and barbwire, and fire jumping just to name a few, with plenty of mud mixed in for excitement. She had just completed an obstacle which required her to carry a heavy sandbag up and over a steep muddy hill.

Spartan Racer Melinda JuellDropping the sandbag to the ground she looked up with the smile of a champion.

Melinda lost her left forearm due to blood clots in 2010. It was a traumatic time for her which she turned into a positive life changing event, stating, “Losing my arm has made me want to start doing things that I never would have tried before…” Moving towards this new vision she began a weight-loss journey and has now lost an impressive 60 pounds. Playing down the loss of her limb, she feels many things in life are equally hard, with or without limbs.

“I do not look at my lack of limb as anything to overcome. It is just part of my daily life that I spend far less time thinking about than anyone around me does.”Spartan Racer Melinda Juell

Melinda’s sister suggested they participate in the Spartan Race and with no idea of the actual details she agreed. After beginning the race she soon discovered it was much longer than anticipated, stating, “In hindsight, it was a fun event to participate in. During the race, I was just ready to be done!” Believing that there is nothing special about her completing such a daunting race, Melinda is quick to give equal credit to all participants. Diverting attention from herself, she shared a story about a leg amputee and his struggle, her description filled with positive affirmations that would inspire any self-doubting person; she concludes, “Never let anyone make you feel as if you are not capable.”

Melinda may be humble about her achievements, but the impact she had on me and countless others—even before we spoke—will never be forgotten. My heart was touched and uplifted by her blatant joy and commitment. Continuing on with the race after dropping her 20 pound sandbag, her good-natured countenance shown with inspiration and determination, Melinda feels, “Participating in the Spartan Race was much more about strengthening my soul than anything else,” and in doing so she helped empower many others. Her example shouts out to the world; determination will take you wherever you want to go!


Travel On! Join us as we travel into the unknown.

¸.•♥ In-ƤЄƛƇЄ ~ ԼƠƔЄ ~ ԼIƓHƮ & ԼƛUgHƮЄr ☮ ♥ ★ ツ *。.☆

To keep up with our Global Wanderings ~ Like us on Facebook & Twitter

OR sign up to hear about our Global Wanderings Book Release