My Private Thoughts and Public Adventures – An Artist’s Perspective Part I

By  //  July 15, 2012

Womens Health and Travel


In my private thought for the day list, I have a few thoughts that I am partial to. The first being, it always starts at the beginning, things do indeed happen for a reason and you only know what you know, until you know it.

Judy Edwards

My passion for travel and adventure started young, being one of four children in a ‘normal’ American family, the only peculiarity being that my Dad, who was a NYC fire fighter, told us every year growing up, that we were moving to Montana, next year!

Well, we never moved to Montana even though next year always came. It was one child graduating or moving schools, or something like that, that kept us there.

Eventually, I grew up, went away to college and went to Montana on my own with the man who was later to be my husband.

Mom and Dad moved to New Hampshire. When it was finally time for them to go, Mom wouldn’t.

My husband had traveled around the world with school which was so exciting to me and he promised to take me some day.

My round the world trip started (or so I thought) in 1978 on another trip across the country and a move to Honolulu.

When you tell stories like this, you can speed up the adventures in your life and downplay any of the sadness or drama that came your way.

Successful Husband of the Smile Design Center

One day I woke up and found myself as a frustrated artist with two beautiful young daughters and a busy, successful husband back on the Northeast Coast of the US.

It was Christmas,1996 and my one sister gave me a gift, with the preface, “I know you are a bit on the edge, and I am a little nervous about giving this to you, but I liked this and thought you might like it, too.”.

It was a book about women traveling and 9 months later, in spite of the fact that I had never stepped out of the country before, I was on an around the world painting trip with our 13 year old daughter.

Big events like this are always life changing in many different ways.

We made it all the way around the world, on the road for 277 days, with paintings to boot and I came home to the near collapse of my marriage, but as I mentioned earlier, you can downplay the drama while story telling.

We survived because we were best friends, and life moved along. We moved to Florida in 2001.

Easter Island (Painting by Judy Edwards)

The Furthest Away From Anywhere

During our big adventure, my daughter and I spent one month on Easter Island, which is an unbelievably different place.

It is known for being the furthest away that you can get from anywhere on the globe.

While there, we met an Australian woman who was in the throws of despair when her young Swiss boyfriend left to go back home.

We kept her entertained for four days, as she was one of the few English speaking people on the island and we became fast friends.

She left with the open ended invitation for me to come to Australia.

It took fourteen years, but I finally left on another adventure, this time into the Australian Outback, this past May, 2012.

It was another life changing experience, even though this time, it was only for 25 days. I was an experienced traveler and didn’t think twice about going alone to Australia and taking a road trip into the Outback with a woman I had spent four days with fourteen years ago.

Until I got there that is. She picked me up at the airport. We looked pretty much the same except for more laugh lines.

Punched In the Chin, Fun With Chewbacca 

On day one, my friend got punched in the chin by a stranger in a convenience store in downtown Adelaide. While stunned by a strange sequence of events, we walked out of the store, scratching our heads, asking how did that just happen, and almost bumped into Chewbacca and a couple of Storm Troopers!

Judy Edwards with Star Wars friends in Adelaide (Judy Edwards Image)

I had been in Australia for approximately 2 hours at this point and ran after them for a photo just to prove this really did happen.

A day or two spent getting over jet lag and stocking up on supplies and we were off to Alice Springs in a cargo van.

I had just come to terms with how far away Australia is and as much as I knew I was going into the Outback, I really didn’t know what I was getting myself into.

There are 2.5 million square miles in the Outback that are inhabited by less than 60,000 people.

Nature reigns supreme, the beauty is for the most part unspoiled, there is more space then you will ever know and freedom.

Freedom to be totally alone, never seeing or passing another car on the road and being hundreds of miles away from the last station town.

90% of the people in Australia live along the coast and of the 10% of those that don’t, they live in the Outback. 50% of those 10% are Aborigines.

to be continued…



Judy Edwards is a painter and writer who lives in Brevard County, Florida. Edwards studied art at the Honolulu Art Academy, Rhode Island School of Design, Newport Art Museum on Monhegan Island, Maine and at the Ringling School in Sarasota, Florida. Currently, Edwards  is a member of the Fifth Avenue Art Gallery in Melbourne, Florida.

In art, she places her current emphasis on investigating, creating, and manipulating colors with molten wax. Edwards says, “The additive and subtractive nature of encaustics lends itself to abstraction and is thrilling to work with”.

Visit her website at to find out more about Edwards and her art.

CLICK HERE to purchase a copy of her book entitled Journeys a grand adventure


  1. Loved reading about your travels in Australia. My brother & his wife lived there for about 8 years. They too, had tales to tell. Thank you so much for sharing……Lots of love, Alma

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