Thursday, December 19, 2013

Home is where my heart is. And a word on Willy Wonka.

It’s true. I’ve been home for a few days now, and that is exactly what it feels like - home. The minute I stepped off the plane, Seattle welcomed me with a brisk, chilling hug. And it couldn’t have been more perfect! Settling back into familiarity and life with my sweetheart has been the perfect remedy for my travel-weary mind/body/soul. And just in time for the holidays.

Here’s a picture rewind of my time in Hawaii. The photo taking was limited there, as my mental and physical state unintentionally slipped into sleep mode. As soon as my brother Josh picked me up from the airport, all of my anxieties that I’ve been experiencing for the last couple of months seemed to dissipate rapidly into the perfect 75 degree Hawaiian air.

Flying back in time. I got November 27th twice!




up early for a flight to Kauai for Thanksgiving!

north side of Kauai

a feast!



there was a tent back there...

beach across the street

another cave


we found a beach buddy :)

these are good

driving to Port Allen to see the Napali Coast


Beginning of Napali Coast

we got enough wind to sail!

big sky

sunset over Hanalei Bay

last day in Hanalei

Lumahai beach

back on Oahu :)

North Shore

waiting for dad

heading back to North Shore for Pipeline Masters!

waiting for waves

Kelly Slater!

goodnight Oahu

headed for the mainland

this corner of the earth never gets old for me

This trip has been amazing. While it caused it’s share of stress, it was worth every bit. I have to give a huge thanks to my love, Ryan. Ever since we first started talking about the possibility of me going away for a bit, he has been nothing but supportive, encouraging, and understanding. What a gift that was. I feel immensely fortunate to have a partner like him, and even more so now that the trip is over. I love you sweetie!
I’ve grown up under two parents who have traveled all their lives. It’s been something that I always wanted to do, but I guess I needed the push to do so. Which just happened to come in the form of a broken bone, but that’s another story. Rather, I’d prefer to share a little bit of my take on the unique opportunity we have as Americans when it comes to international travel.
Americans don’t travel abroad much, and there are plenty of numbers to back that. For me, other than visiting Samoa for family, this was my first time overseas. At the end of the day, there are always reasons to not do a lot of things. But, Americans have easy access a golden ticket. A US passport. And yes, it’s to the biggest, most intriguing chocolate factory out there. Not everyone is so lucky. I met a lot of other travelers and locals who have a lot of limitations on traveling abroad with a passport from their home country. It quickly became clear to me that an American passport is an adventure waiting to happen, and we should take advantage of it. Not only for the fun and adventure, but for the experience of seeing new things, different things, different ways of life, being challenged, learning to lean on others when you need to, being really uncomfortable, relying on instincts, all of it. Not only are we citizens of a country, but we are all citizens of the world. I think it’s important to see some of it if possible.

To be clear, I think everyone should travel, regardless of what country you are from. I can only hope that I can see some of you out there in the future.

Be curious, be a little scared, get your ticket and find your gobstopper. They really are everlasting :)