I moved to Hawai’i in May of 2006 with a one-way ticket and two suitcases. I had never been to Hawai’i before, I didn’t know anyone, I had no job lined up, no car and $1,500 in my bank account. I heard Hawaii was AWESOME, so naturally I would love living there too…. right?
I grew up between Massachusetts and Maine and I was tired of the wicked bad attitudes, endless winters, warming up my car for 30 min just to get the ice off of it and the humid summers. In 2006 I was 21 and I worked 2 jobs, went to school full time and lived with my boyfriend. We had been dating for closer to 3 years, he was 7 years my senior and he was unclear about our future together.
As I faced yet another 14 hr work day, (which started before the sun came up and ended after the sun went down), I thought to myself ‘before I wake up one day and completely hate my life I need to make a serious change’. My second thought was ‘I’ve never heard anything bad about Hawai’i’.’ I went home that night and bought my one-way ticket on a cold January night- I had 3 months left in Massachusetts.
This was my first real leap of faith and it was EXCITING. As I informed my employers, boyfriend, teachers and friends I recall the comments of ‘You’re crazy, courageous, daring, adventurous, brave, etc’ but to me it was no big deal. Leaving my New England life behind for beaches, sun and palm trees- NOT to do it would be crazy.
‘What are you going to do about work?’
‘What if you don’t make any friends?’
‘What if you can’t find a job?’
‘What if you get skin cancer?’
……and the questions clamored on. I needed those questions like I needed a dart to the face.
I’m pale. And not just white, but VERY pale. I have blue eyes, freckles and reddish hair, wearing t-shirts in the water as a kid was a the norm since I would always burn. Everyone had a comment about my skin. They still do.
My coworker actually said ‘You’re so pale, what are you going to do?” I responded ‘I’ll train my skin to tan.’ and that’s exactly what I did, for the first time in my 21 years I actually had tan lines. (I also had heat stroke, but we wont worry about that). My attitude on tanning was my attitude about everything- I’ll make it work.
I got rid of or stored everything I owned, ended my relationship with my Boyfriend and got on that plane. My journey had begun and life would never be the same again. Little did I know that that first leap of faith was the beginning of my world travels.
As I write this entry I have spent the last 9 years (with pockets of traveling in-between) enjoying everything I can from the secret beaches, to the illegal hikes. As I am getting prepared to leave the island that I love for another adventure, I am starting to reflect on my favorite spots and must-do’s and want to share my top places with you.This blog will pay a tribute to Hawai’i as well as all my future adventures.
If you were thinking of your own personal leap of faith- now is the time.