My recent trip to Hawaii was a new kind of vacation for me. I’ve named it a mindful trip, and you’ll understand why as I share more about what happened.
As I tune inward more, I’m recognizing the value in having these different experiences. I feel that I’m becoming more adaptable to change and better able to flow through emotions than I’ve ever been before.
Don’t get me wrong, I still struggle with change but not as much as I used to. I’m learning more about how to accept what is instead of wishing for and lamenting what isn’t.
But I’m getting ahead of myself…let’s start from the beginning.
It all started in December 2018 when Logan, my parents, and I spent Christmas in Kona, Hawaii. All of us, except Logan, had been there before, and we had the best time. After the trip, we started talking seriously about spending more time there. This led to my parents looking at properties last June “just to check it out.” Well, they fell in love with a house, put in an offer, and were soon after homeowners in Hawaii.
Just 10 days after returning from Logan’s and my wedding in Bali, my parents got on a plane and took off for Hawaii. At this time, they aren’t living there full-time, but they will likely be spending a good portion of 2020 in Kona. The four of us decided that we would spend Thanksgiving and Christmas apart this year (2019). Logan and I had just taken off three weeks for our wedding and honeymoon, so travel wasn’t really feasible for us. And my parents had just gotten to Kona, so it didn’t really make sense for them to come back to San Diego. Last minute, though, my dad and I conspired to surprise my mom. I booked a flight for the day after Christmas, returning on the 30th, so I would be with Logan for NYE.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be, and, due to weather in San Diego (which is so rare!), the flight was cancelled after we sat on the runway for 3 hours. Since the trip was only 4 full days, the flight I was rebooked on just wasn’t a great option. So I cancelled the trip. My dad and I shared the news with my mom. She was so surprised and grateful for our effort.
She and I talked and decided that I would look at flights to come out in January. I found an even better flight, so I booked it. That brought us to this trip.
While my first morning in Kona was beautiful, over the course of my stay, the weather became quite cool (for Hawaii) and rainy. While afternoon showers are not uncommon at the elevation where my parents live, even when we went to the coast, it was cooler than the norm, cloudy, and even rainy! This was not the weather I was anticipating – at all.
This was one afternoon, sitting on the couch in the living room. Compare this photo to my first photo in this post – wow, the difference!
I didn’t want this trip to be super planned, but I was hoping for some time at the beach and going hiking. While the cooler temps were great for hiking, the rain wasn’t.
As a result, most of the time I spent there was at my parents’ house. We sat outside, talked, cooked, went on walks when it wasn’t raining, flowed with Melissa, and watched The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel at night. I can’t count how many hours I sat outside on the lanai, rain or shine, and took in the view and the energy of the island.
I could have read a book, but I didn’t want to. Many times, I just wanted to sit there and take it in. I felt a sense of peace and ease and a strong desire to just be.
Back in San Diego, Logan and I will go to the beach, and I get bored in an hour or less if I don’t have something to do. But on the island I felt an increased contentment with stillness.
I noticed that I enjoyed the times that the sky was clear just as much as the cloudy times. My focus wasn’t on what I could or should have been doing. I had shifted from a “doing” state to a “just being” state.
It was so rejuvenating and energizing.
So often I think many of us can get caught up in busyness. Our minds and bodies are racing and we feel like we can never keep up.
Hawaii is the perfect place to rest and recharge. There’s a special energy there that I think is unique to islands, as I feel this way when I’m in Bali too.
Maybe it’s the remoteness or maybe it’s the island pace. I don’t know, and I don’t need to know. I just soaked it all up.
On my last night in Kona, even though it was cloudy and raining, we ventured out to my fave happy hour spot for mai tais, On the Rocks. The weather didn’t bother me. My feet were in the sand, I was with my parents whom I love so much, and I listened to the rhythmic ebb and flow of the ocean.
I realized how easy it is to leave behind common childhood pleasures when we enter adulthood: being with others, going barefoot, feeling sand between my toes, laughing, talking, sharing, and just being.
That’s what this trip reminded me. The power of just being.
And it was just what I needed.