Island Life

It’s officially been two months since we moved to Oahu, and so far, it has been nothing short of amazing. Island life has been easy to adjust to; everyone is so relaxed, exuding good energy and positive vibes. There are constant activities going on, and the island feels like a giant playground where I’ve only just scratched the surface.

One would think that after a couple months, I would have gotten used to the sunshine. But, with the winter season bringing spouts of stormy days and rainy winds, I find myself still appreciating every minute of glorious sun! I never realized how much sunny weather can affect my mood, but the climate here has left me feeling happier and more energized with every passing day.

Of course, living here is very different from a vacation. We arrived with just a couple suitcases, a tight budget, and no mode of transportation. But, we were able to get mopeds within the first week and have managed to get around most of the island just using those. Most of our days are filled with lounging on the beach, getting out on hikes, and exploring the local shops; trying to take advantage of as much sunshine as we can while we are here.

My favorite beach so far is Lanikai, located on the windward side of the island. The sand is so soft and water such a beautiful, turquoise blue. Plus, Pillbox Hike is only a couple blocks away with amazing views to the beach and beyond. But, the beach I probably visit the most is Ala Moana Beach Park. Just a little further up the coast than Waikiki, this shore is much less packed with a swimming area sheltered by the coral reef, perfect for paddle boarding or lap swimming.

It’s also close to my favorite area to hang out and do work, SALT at Kaka’ako. Considered the art district of the island, the neighborhood is filled with beautiful murals and there are always events lined up to take place. I love to get a lavender latte from Arvo when I’m passing through, or an iced coconut latte from Morning Brew if I’m settling in.

Another awesome coffee spot is Morning Glass, on the way to Manoa Falls hike. This cute shop has yummy breakfast goods and delicious coffee to power up before the hike. The hike itself is one of the most popular on the island, so be prepared for a crowded trail. There’s a reason it’s crowded though as you explore through an abundance of jungle foliage to end at a beautiful, tall waterfall with a small pool at the base. You’re technically not allowed to get close to the waterfall due to the many slippery rocks and mud surrounding it…but who likes following the rules anyway?

A slightly easier, but also frequently visited hike on the island is the Makapu’u Point Lighthouse Trail. Now paved, the beautiful views are easily accessible to everyone. It’s still a bit of a climb though at 3.2 mi in length, so make sure you come prepared. It’s well worth the venture as the entire hike is filled with amazing views where you can spot pods of humpback whales as they migrate through the islands! We saw at least four or five pods on our hike, all extremely active, spouting and jumping as they went along. I was very happy to have brought our camera so we could zoom in on the whales as they swam by.

There are also some beautiful tidepools you can swim in about halfway through the hike. They’re located at the base of the cliff, so it’s a bit of a journey off the trail and down the rocky edge if you want to get to them. It’s well worth it though as the pools are filled with tons of tropical fish and deep enough to swim around in. We came on a windy day, so the waves were crashing hard into the rocks, flooding into the pools and spouting high into the sky through the blow holes. Being the first time for me, I was a little scared and uneasy around the big waves and kept mostly to the innermost pool. But I will definitely be exploring again come summertime.

While I’ve crossed off many of the things I’ve wanted to do while being here, there is still a long list of activities I want to accomplish. Which is why I am excited to say that we have decided to extend our island life a little longer than anticipated! Originally, we were only going to be here a few months until our Philippines trip (coming up in May). But, following some wonderful opportunities, we have decided to stay at least until the end of the year! This gives me a little more time to complete my bucket list, and a lot more time to work on my tan. I look forward to posting more updates along the way!

I will see you,

bye and bye

 

Sleepless in Seattle

After an amazing year and a half here in the salty grey city of Seattle, we’ve decided to pack up our bags and travel to warmer shores on Oahu.

My partner, Chris, and I love the grungy, edgy, and forward culture of Seattle. The delicious chowder at Pike Place, the sleepless rhythm of the streets on Cap Hill,  taking a crisp windy sail on Lake Union, flower bouquets at the Ballard Farmers Market, freshly brewed coffee at the local cafe, the list goes on. But, after 20 plus years in Washington, I was ready for a bit of a change.

 

 

I grew up in Olympia, WA, out on Dofflemyer Point in Boston Harbor, deep in the woods and close to the water. After high school, I moved out to the hills of the beautiful palouse in Pullman, WA, to study at Washington State University (Go Cougs!!). It was here that I fell in love with Architecture and began fostering a passion for traveling, visiting cities such as San Francisco and Chicago through my program. After graduating in 2016, it was an easy transition to the bustling city life of Seattle.

With an apartment on Capital Hill and job in Pioneer Square, I quickly adjusted to the Seattle groove. Chris and I spent our days exploring the neighborhoods, getting to know our favorite restaurants, coffee shops, parks, and markets in the city. There were always fun events going on like Pride and Capital Hill Block Party, and the city is always bursting with new art and music to be seen. Not to mention the beautiful destinations surrounding Seattle such as Mt. Rainier, Snoqualmie Falls, Hood Canal, Ocean Shores, Lake Cushman, etc. There was never a shortage of trails to explore and discoveries to be made in the abounding national forests of Washington.

But, as time went on, we found ourselves getting restless, traveling further and further from home. I still loved our quaint space on the hill, but I was itching for the excitement of new cities and landscapes to explore. That’s when we realized we were ready for a change.

At the end of 2017, we left our 9-5 jobs and bought one-way tickets to Oahu. I was a little nervous, leaving the comfort of my secure job and living environment. But, I knew that now was as good a time as ever, and a little discomfort and risk can lead to great opportunities.

Now, after being on the island for a few weeks, I couldn’t be happier with the decision we made. I’m embracing the enthusiasm and opportunity that’s come with being in a new place and am excited to see where the adventures of 2018 will take us. I’ll always love the deep, cold blues of the Sound. But for now, I’m more than content exploring the warm beaches on these waves of the Pacific.

I will see you,

bye and bye