August 6, 2018 § Leave a comment

Dear readers,

This is just an update. There’s an impatient follower amongst you who’s prone to scathing outbursts, so I though I’d just drop a short line to let you know I haven’t jumped ship.

I’ve actually been traveling quite a bit; roughly two months out of the past six. Officially zeroed out of OT & annual leave, I returned to Sydney little over a week ago and am only now getting over the jet-lag. Unlike trips before, I decided not to counter my arrivals with caffeine. This decision I now regret as I’ve been paying dearly for it. But I’m coming through.

I’m in the process of finishing Destination Wedding #2, and will be following it up with posts on:

  • LA
  • Vegas
  • Nicaragua
  • Timor L’este
  • Birthday #35
  • Canada
  • and thoughts/discoveries/musings inbetween

Do hold me accountable. There are five months to go until Christmas/Summer break.


PS: Shout out to Katrina of Spearmint Studios (FB) for taking this pic and a bunch more!


Destination Wedding #1: The Metz-Lead Hawaiian Hoe-down

June 1, 2018 § 2 Comments

in which Als marries an Aussie.

For the record, there was no actual hoe-down. It was actually a very classy affair. I just really liked that title and thought it would be a shame to not use it. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

To preface, I love weddings. Full stop. I enjoy them for the happiness they bring others, but I especially love them for the celebratory pastries and the dancing. However, miss me ENTIRELY with the Single Ladies spotlight. A. How is forcing grown women into the shame of a desperate dance-floor moment acceptable? B. Why isn’t there an equivalent for men?! Until there is––and even after––kindly allow us to sit that one out in peace and dignity.

Mini rant aside, I’m finding that weddings get better the older one gets. Even more fun: destination weddings! Between October 2016 and May 2017, I was initiated with two.

48 Hours in the Wingecarribee Shire

The Metz-Lead uniting kicked off with a hen’s getaway in Bowral. That’s Australian for “Bachelorette weekend in the countryside”. Or Southern Highlands to be specific. Word is that Nicole Kidman and her streaky-haired beau live out there, but we never saw them.

Our home for the trip was a farmhouse on acreage…

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The Harbour City

May 28, 2018 § 1 Comment

I have a tendency to ghost. To leave here and reappear there with just a few people knowing. It’s come to be my preferred MO. No fuss. So I appeared in the United States to the surprise of many. One minute I was in Berlin, the next I was in Chicago, and then I was home. Home beckoned few reasons and I heeded its call out of need to regroup/coup.

The thing about living outside one’s birth land, is that the longer one stays out of it, the more foreign home feels when one returns. The more foreign becomes home. Not long after I arrived, plans were in the works for another adventure.

“How far abroad are you??”

Few of you already know the answer to this, but to him and those of you who don’t know, the answer is far. Quite far. I now reside in….


Sydney, Australia © Joey Csunyo

Sydney, Australia! (photo: © Joey Csunyo)

My poor mom. Just when there was a glimmer of hope that I might abandon my wandering ways, off I go even further than I was before. Always a bit further than before. Her response to my random squeal at the approval of my visa I will never forget. She knew what had arrived before I told her, and with a sadden resignation defining her face she turns and tells me says she’s happy for me, but sad for her. Two years into life here (I don’t know where time goes), it still stings. My poor mom.


Screen Shot 2018-05-29 at 8.37.03 am

Als and I, Sydney & Naples

Pic: Als and I, Sydney & Naples

Yes, Oz. To tell you the truth it could have just as easily been China, Bulgaria or Portland (Oregon), all for different but similar reasons.

You might recall my homegirl from high school who lived in Rome. The closest family I had, I spent my first Christmas abroad with her after moving to Copenhagen. It was two fantastic weeks in Italy eating fantastic pasta, roaming the streets, cat-calling well-heeled men (I was taught a few different things to say; they were always quicker) and stressing out over an exam I ultimately cancelled and took the following semester.

Anyway after 6 years grinding away in Rome, Als (who use to blog under the now deceased Als it Going) decided to heed a friend and hightail it down under where both the job market and Australian dollar were strong. She tried to convince me to as well, but I’d just moved to Berlin and wasn’t able to. The wisdom in hindsight y’all… Fast forward two years and I’m in San Antonio for a conference, chilling in our hotel room and sending a message to my almost birthday twin and she responds and tells me her companies hiring and asks if I’d be interested in a job there. A couple days later I have a Skype chat with HR and it’s all set. Or so we thought….

Just as not having to worry about tuition and rent in CPH gave me anxiety, so did the ease with which this process functioned. It felt abnormally easy, because it was. Contracting for the company from the States while my visa processed was cool. Then, just as nearly everything was set in stone, the company folded. Like that. How unexpected was it? The office had just hired someone two days before it was announced and Als was undergoing training with the team in Mumbai. She was left high and dry. Fortunately, she had an Indian holiday booked off the back of the training so no sweat off her back, but still.

Me? I came to with a relatively easily acquired, hard-to-get visa (which no longer exists!) that would be canceled in three months unless I found another job that could and would sponsor me. I decided to go for it. What had I left to lose? Worse case scenario I’d get to chill here for a while before going back. This is when I was most grateful to have been born into the American hustle. Within three months, after a number of interviews and some still lined up, I landed another gig (which surprisingly I nearly didn’t apply for and then almost didn’t accept). Worked out pretty well in the end.

Now that I’m caught up on backstories, I can finally get to the good stuff! I wouldn’t allow me to go out of order.

Next up: Destination Weddings


¡Pura Vida!

May 20, 2018 § 1 Comment

In 1976, a group of 16 young girls graduated from the joint Nursing program between the Adventist universities in Alajuela, Costa Rica/La Trinidad, Nicaragua. They were the very first nursing students to graduate from the school and most of have them had managed to overcome incredible obstacles/circumstances to do so.

This is how they appeared at the time. My mom (standing 4th from left; my blood aunt is to her right) is one of those rare nurses who still wears white stockings today. The hat she positively hated.


H.A.N.I.C Class of ’76 – hailing from Costa Rica, Nicaragua & Panama

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The 2015 Sidenote

March 24, 2018 § 5 Comments

I received a scathing messaged from a long-time reader following my previous post. I knew it was scathing because of the tone and because it was capped with an exclamation mark. The sender was a woman I’ve known a long time, and I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve heard her yell. Brash is not her style.

In one short line mom succinctly expressed how thoroughly unamused she was that I had written that last post and failed to include these three things: the flowers, the birds and the trees. Basically her three most favorite things in life. #whatkids

Joyous Abroad? Bless your heart. This is the Dorla Domestic show and we’re just along for the ride.

My Post

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Joyous Adventures

March 18, 2018 § 4 Comments

Not long ago a friend of mine sent me a message with the following:

“Joyce, what are you doing with your life?? You’re too secretive, we don’t know anything!”

It gave me a light chuckle as to the contrary, I think I share too much. That thought then gave me another laugh as I know practically nobody who would agree with that statement. But to answer her question––and most of yours––no longer treading water, I’ve been living and have been off having adventures.

A Slice of Americana, Pt. II

2015, as they often are, was a year of highs and lows.

For the first time in my life, I made it to San Antonio (where the quadrennial meeting of the Adventists happened be) and to Austin, Texas. We spent a total of two weeks down south. Unfortunately, I have no photos apart from these my mom took as my camera has been lost/stolen––let it be known that we (mom & I) walked the 5k event because I refuse to run for anything that isn’t an immediate threat to my life or the ice-cream truck. I did, however, mentally record instances.

San Antonio to me was surprisingly charming. The heat/humidity, was not. Naturally, the Riverwalk and botanical garden were my favorite, but I loved how the greater city was green with plant-life. Entirely unexpected.

Austin? Meh. Having been told how weird it was, I found it to be rather tame (Portland it is not!), but it was nice. Particularly the Capital building. Really though, in my mind, it’s just as if they plucked the city from the Pacific Northwest and put it in Texas, then replaced the land with a chuck of Texas and called it Idaho.

Because it’s her, mom insisted that we go to some bridge to see a bunch of bats. Allow this photo of her to accurately express how I felt about the suggestion:


Photo A

Because it’s her though, I went.

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Birthday #34

June 25, 2017 § 1 Comment

Is this thing on? 📣

It’s been a good while since I’ve Joyoused and I’ve been scolded at length for it. Apologies to the nursing staff at Lourdes for leaving you un-entertained. I’ll do my best to amend my ways.

I’m officially 34. At least I think I am. As you know, my sister and I share the same day of birth (we are not twins), so there’s a 3-year range of confusion. Meine mutter? Gets my name wrong 80% of the time so she’s a dubious source. Google undoubtedly knows, pero like I can’t be bothered to ask her. What I do know is that somewhere along the way, I’ve:

  • A. Forgotten how to properly bend/lift and have a lower back that hurts all the time. Am I to live that Bengay lifestyle now?
  • B. Developed a set in my face frequently tuned to “Elderly woman entirely unimpressed with this foolishness”
  • C. Realised that I will never be able to eat chocolate in bed without waking up to a mess. Pfft.

What was to be a happy week kicked off of a blue note. Meiko Chi Cheng T., my beloved feline friend and the apple of my eye, was laid to rest. Previously named Georgia, she came to me (small and slinky) from a colleague at Starbucks (my first job out of high school) who was getting hitched and was unable to have pets in the home for his new bride. Mei was one of three kitties and the only one I saw. She distrusted most humans, but took to me immediately. There never was a choice, really. I was meant to be her human. Despite my travels, so it remained to her last day.


The big day was part of a long weekend. Having had to work on my recent vacation, I shamelessly guilted my boss into letting me have Thursday and Friday off (and accounting into arranging a morning tea when I return). Istanbul this birthday was not, but I enjoyed it all the same. Instead of heading into the office, I slept in till 10am, picked up a free lunch at Subway and made my way to the zoo, which offers a $1 entry on your b-day.

If there’s one thing you learn about me in this post, let it be this: In addition to the little beast above–I am wholly enamored with seals and otters. I confess that they were the only reason I went to the zoo*. As it happens, there was a 2pm seal show and I got my ENTIRE LIFE watching it. One of the seals, Pepper I believe, did a choreography to Cinematic Orchestra’s “To Build at Home”, and yes, I did cry. If you even needed then you haven’t been paying attention. The cute was far more than I could handle. #whatstreetcred

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Just before sunset, I ditched the zoo, grabbed some sushi and headed to the cinema to catch an evening viewing of Wonder Woman. To my delight, the theater was nearly empty. The next day I paid a visit to my hair dresser for a cut, and ended up walked out looking like my sister. FTR, this hair was not (has never been) chemically treated. Rumbi’s wizardry skills did not go beyond wash, blow dry and quick pass of the flat iron. Why it never looks like that when I do it is another thing.


*If you know of anyone with direct access to either of these creatures and can arrange for me to pet them, please feel free and encouraged to let me know.

PS: To friends around the globe, I’ve received your wishes. Thank you.

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