Life Lately: Two more months left in Hawaii!

Life has been pretty busy and fast-paced lately, but it’s good. So, so good.

If you read my last post, I’ve been here in Hawaii for 6 months now, which I still can’t grasp. Time FLIES. And it hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down.

Here’s what life has been looking like lately.

I had the flu and it rained for about two solid weeks, so I was cooped up inside for a while. The last few days have been gorgeous, and I finally got out, laid in the sun and remembered just how beautiful this world is.

My work schedule is pretty crazy, so I barely get out and explore Hawaii these days. But since I only have two months left here, I want to prioritize exploring because I know I’m going to miss this island so much once I board that plane.

This past weekend was full of self-care and relaxation, and I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. I started (and finished) Big Little Lies and Santa Clarita Diet, and both series were amazing! I slowed down after a busy week with work, took bubble baths, started a new yoga flow and bought some new books.

Here are some of my favorite books, but do you want me to share the books I’m currently reading? 

Also, since I finished both shows… I need new show/movie recommendations!

I just want to talk about my work for a second. I wake up at 3am because I work east coast hours, I typically work 10 hour days and work often runs into my weekend. I juggle tons of different tasks, I’m always on the phone, in meetings or putting fires out. But I love what I do. I actually find myself going to sleep excited to wake up in the morning to start another day of work, because I’m that passionate about our mission and I love my team. For the first time in my career, I feel like I truly belong somewhere and like I’m needed.

It’s sunflower time on Maui! There is a huge field in the middle of the island dedicated to harvesting sunflower oil for alternative fuel, and the flowers have started blooming again. It’s such a beautiful thing to see. It makes me so happy when I drive by it!

This huge map is taped up on the wall, and every morning when I walk by it I get more and more excited for my grand adventure. The goal is to leave the islands in June, which gives me two months to plan and pack. I will be writing a completely separate post on this adventure, because it’s that huge.

But in the meantime, what are some of your favorite places in America? 🙂

Life Lately: Two more months left in Hawaii!

Life Lately: Crazy Hawaii weather, finding happiness + lots of changes

My life lately has been anything but boring, bland or “routine.”

Since coming back from my trip to Nevada and Arizona, I’ve made A LOT of changes in my life (and I’ve actually stuck to them!!) And when you’re reading this, I’ll be unpacking from my trip to San Diego!

I’ve been so busy, that I haven’t had time to post here, but I have been posting a lot to Instagram and Twitter (if you want to follow me there).

Anyway, here’s what’s been going on in my life lately.

coffee

Spent my first Valentine’s Day alone for the first time in many years. It was tough because it was different and filled with memories of the last few Valentine’s I spent with him.

But I got through it, I treated myself to flowers, sweets, a bubble bath and my favorite Mark Ruffalo movies.

desk, work at home, home office

maui mountains

I started a brand new job and I as of today, I’ve been working here for a month! I rearranged my work area and this is what my desk and view from my office space looks like! It’s a super fast-paced job and I really jumped in at a hectic time, but I wouldn’t have had it any other way. I love the people, the company mission and how important my job makes me feel. I’m in a really great place career-wise.

The weather in Hawaii has been insane lately. Our “winter” consists of lots of storms, rain and strange things like water spouts! Can you believe these two pictures were taken less than an hour apart? Crazy.

Another thing I’ve been LOVING lately is being awake every single morning for the sunrise. I used to wake up before the sun every morning, just to sit in silence and watch the skies wake up. But in the last few years, I haven’t done that.

In the last month, I’ve been awake for every single sunrise, and I love it. (I also start work at 5am, so technically I have to be awake, but that’s beside the point). But starting next week when the time changes, I’ll start at 4am… yikes.

san diego marina

san diego marina

A few days ago, I got back from a trip to San Diego. It was the first solo trip I’ve taken since leaving Canada, and it was liberating. There’s something about walking through an airport on your own, catching a cab and sleeping alone in an unknown place. It was wonderful.

Lastly, the other night I sat down and wrote prose for the first time in YEARS. It felt so good to let my heart spill out onto paper.

I write every day, but I haven’t written anything poetic in a long, long time and I hadn’t realized how much I missed it.


Would you be interested in my posting some of my prose here? I’ve been thinking about what I want this online space to be. I’ll be honest, initially I wanted this to be a place for many topics for the sake of monetization. However, I’m in a much different mindset now and want to focus more on my writing and photos – a more personal approach.

What do you think? ❤

Life Lately: Crazy Hawaii weather, finding happiness + lots of changes

Driving through the Arizona desert

I recently drove through the Arizona desert, and I fell in love. I’ve been dreaming of deserts, cacti, quirky roadside attractions and friendly in-the-middle-of-nowhere gas stations – and this trip was everything I wanted and more.

There’s just something about driving through the desert. It feels warm even though it’s the dead of winter. It feel familiar even though I’ve never been here. There’s something about it, and I don’t think I’ll ever get enough.

Here are my favorite photos from my trek through the Arizona desert. I left a piece of my soul there, and I can’t wait to go back.

Have you ever been to a place and felt like you’ve been there before? Or felt like if you were stranded there, you’d be able to make it “home” quickly? If you ever drive Route 66, stop in this town (and specifically, this diner). I don’t remember the name, but I do remember the waiter, the good food, the comfy atmosphere, the streets lined with lights, light dusting of snow that made the town look frosty (not overtly cold), and the strikingly out of place familiarity.

I visited the Grand Canyon when I was a baby, but I don’t remember it – I only have photos. When I visited on this trip, I cried. It was the most unbelievable thing I’ve ever seen. Our world is so beautiful. When I visit places like this, it always seems so silly to get so overworked and overwhelmed over little mundane  things when magnificent places like this exist. Sure, the world can be scary, and wars happen, and terror seems to be everywhere. But beauty and life also exists – and in my experience, love and beauty trumps all. Go out and explore your world, we’re so lucky to be on this planet.


Have you ever been to Arizona, the Grand Canyon or an amazing diner in the middle of nowhere? I can’t wait to go back and explore some more!

Driving through the Arizona desert

Thanksgiving at Home

The last two Thanksgivings have been very different. Last year, I didn’t celebrate Thanksgiving because I was in Canada (so I celebrated Canadian Thanksgiving in October). The year before that, I was living on my own in DC, and I spent Thanksgiving by myself.

So this year when I was able to celebrate Thanksgiving at home with my family, I was over the moon.

We spent the day baking and cooking, watching the parade, playing board games, and of course… napping. It was perfect. Here are some photos from that day!


Spending the holidays with my family will always be my favorite thing to do. Did you celebrate Thanksgiving with your family? How did you spend the day? 💛

Thanksgiving at Home

Thankful

I love the holiday season, because it has a special way of reminding us to show gratitude and make family time a priority.

So much has happened this year, and I think it would be strange if I wasn’t thankful for it all.

It’s been filled to the brim with ups and downs. I’ve been at my highest and I’ve certainly been at my very lowest. But you know what?

I’m very thankful for everything that I’ve gone through over the past year, because all of it has helped me grow in one way or another. And, if I hadn’t experienced the things I had this year, I wouldn’t be where I am – physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Before I get into what I’m thankful for, I feel like I need to preface this by saying I’m the type of person who is simply amazed by everything, I’m grateful for everything, and I think everything is beautiful. So picking and choosing just a few things to add to a list is difficult. But here we go…

Here are just a few things I’m thankful for 🍂

A perfect & loving support group

Right now, I’m at a place in my life where I feel like I’m constantly overwhelmed with love. Since moving back home, I’ve been supported non-stop. Being back home again helped me realize that family really is the only constant, and no matter what happens in life, no matter how far I move, no matter how big the mistakes I make, my family and close friends will always, always be here supporting me and lifting me up when I need it the most.

My health

If you’ve been following my story for a while, you’d know I used to be very, very ill. (Like, almost needing a transplant, almost being put onto an IV drip twice a week, taking oral chemotherapy sick). But over the past year, my health has drastically improved. I’m happy to say I’m no longer on medications of any sort, and I’m just happily living my life, pain-free!

My faith journey

Over the past year alone, my faith has gotten so much stronger. I’ve been a huge part of my church, I dive into the bible every day, and I live each day with a more christ-centered focus. I was raised a Christian, but never really had a strong, personal relationship with Jesus until this past year and I’m so glad I found it. I look forward to continuing my faith journey and getting deeper into the bible and gaining more fellowship and community!

Sunsets, waterfalls, beaches, rainbows (you get it)

Since being back in Hawaii, I see everything with a fresh pair of eyes. And I have a newfound appreciation for all the little things. I never thought I’d miss Hawaii so much, but after being away from my islands for over two years, I realize now that this is my home and my heart. Every day, I’m given a new piece of beauty to be thankful for. Yesterday, I was given not one, but two rainbows! The night before that, the skies were painted purple and pink. And even though it’s raining and storming outside today, Maui still has its magical way of turning a gloomy day into a beautiful one. I’m grateful to live in paradise, but I truly believe there’s beauty everywhere. Wherever you are in the world, find the beauty in it. Seek the wonder and be thankful that this is your home.

The opportunity to live all around the world

Over the past few years, I’ve lived on two continents and on a rock smack dab in the middle of the pacific. I’ve gone from Oregon to Hawaii to China to Hawaii to Washington DC to Canada and back to Hawaii. (And I’ve got something in the works for the next place I choose to live, but I’ll wait to announce that one… Hint: it’s going to be huge, like really huge)

Anyway, I’m thankful that I’ve been able to live all over the world. And I even lived out my dream of living abroad!

The ability to plan for the future

I’m thankful for the ability to make plans for the future. I know lots of people who are so stuck in their lives or limited by jobs, debt, finances, or family situations that prevent them from even dreaming. And that’s heartbreaking. So, I make sure to show gratitude when I make plans for my future, because I know there are so many people who are unable to do that.

My last relationship

This one is a bit tricky, and you might be thinking: “Why would you be thankful for a relationship that ended?” And well, I’m thankful for it because it taught me a lot about love, life, and ultimately, myself. If you’ve been a reader for a while, you’ve read all my posts about my relationship as it was unfolding – all the good, the happiness, the love, how we went from long distance to living together. But I haven’t spoken about how it all came crashing to a halt, and I don’t intend to. It’s private, personal and out of respect for others involved, I’ll keep it all to myself (and my journal).

But there are some things I do want you to know.

Sure, it was tough, it was heartbreaking, it made me an emotional, anxiety-ridden wreck.

Even so, I am unbelievably grateful for it all.

I’m thankful for all the fights we got into – how minuscule or colossal they may have been, for all the nights spent crying and alone, the yelling and driving off, the anger, the frustrations. I’m grateful for it all because they all taught me something about living with someone, loving someone else, and most importantly, they taught me things about myself, too.

I’m also thankful for all the good, happy memories we made together. I’m thankful for the laughter, the slow dancing in the kitchen at midnight, the banana bread baking on a Tuesday afternoon, movie nights with his family, and making plans and promises together. I’m thankful for being loved, and being able to love so greatly.

It’s because of this relationship that I’m in a place right now where I’m focusing on myself, my happiness, my overall well-being, my growth.

For that, I’m thankful.


What are you thankful for this year? Tell me, I’d love to hear!

And, I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your loved ones!  ❤️

Thankful

Visiting Lumeria on Maui | Local Wild Food Challenge

I’ve lived on Maui for 20 years, and it surprises me how much there is that I haven’t done or seen on this tiny island. The other day, I was invited to visit Lumeria on Maui. I’ve driven past it countless times, but I’ve never actually gone inside – and now that I have, I know I’ll be visiting often.

Lumeria is a retreat for the mind, body and spirit. It’s a place that will help you transform into your best self through education, mindful yoga, and wellness retreat programming – sounds like heaven, right? While I was there, I didn’t want to be too invasive, so I didn’t take very many photos. But here’s a peak into the beauty that is Lumeria Maui!

The second time I visited Lumeria was for the Local Wild Food Challenge, which our family business sponsored. It was a cooking competition that supported local hunters and locally grown food/produce. It was really fun to watch and I’m really happy we were able to support a great cause! (Plus, I FINALLY met Mick Fleetwood!!!)

Seriously, dream come true. Fleetwood Mac is one of my favorite bands ever and meeting Mick Fleetwood was incredible!

Visiting Lumeria on Maui | Local Wild Food Challenge

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

In 2012, I lost my stepmom to breast cancer. Last year, my mom got checked for lumps (she’s okay, thankfully). This year, one of our friends was diagnosed with breast cancer. And with October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, it just seemed fitting to join a walk.

I thought about my stepmom a lot that day. I was surrounded by other survivors, fighters, and people (like me) who have been affected by breast cancer by losing a loved one.

It was emotional, but smiles were everywhere.

It felt good doing good.

My mom and I before the walk!

We had a pink sunset that night. It seemed fitting after a day filled with pink and love.

Do you know anyone who is battling or has battled breast cancer? Tell me! I’d love to add them to my prayer list ❤️

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Maui

About 2 months ago, I traveled back home to Maui and played “tourist.” Here’s some photos from that trip.

First hug after being away for 2 years!

Paia is one of my favorite places on Maui. I love all the little shops and the small town vibe. It makes me happy!

Sometimes, the best way to see a place is from above. Helicopter tours in Hawaii are always amazing because you realize just how lush and beautiful the islands really are.

Even rainy days in Hawaii are beautiful. They’re my favorite type of days here.

My parents got married in this church!

Lahaina is another one of my favorite towns on Maui, because of its oceanfront shops and restaurants that are built over the water. It’s such a unique place, and I miss it every time I’m not home.

This is traditional Hawaiian food (my favorite type of food!)

My brother and sister are my world. I’m so lucky to have them!

Walking around Lahaina, the harbor, and having lunch at one of my favorite places: Bubba Gumps!

Another thing I never get tired of is visiting the aquarium. I’m not sure what it is, but even though I’ve gone to this aquarium 100 times, there’s something about it that makes me feel happy and at home.

I will never, ever get over how beautiful Hawaii sunsets are. Sure, the sun sets everywhere in the world, but there’s something different and special about when the sun goes down over my little island. It’s so unlike anything else I’ve ever seen, and I love it.

Maui

Halloween at Disneyland

I grew up in LA, so it will always have a special place in my heart. There’s nothing quite like going back to a familiar place, seeing your old friends and family, and reminiscing on good times. And in my most recent trip to the City of Angels, I did just that.

After I left Canada, I needed some girl time and something to make me happy… What better way to do that than at Disneyland?! Plus, it was all decorated for my favorite time of year: Halloween!

It’s true what they say: Disneyland is the happiest place on earth! And I had the best time with my two favorite girls in the world.

What’s your favorite thing about Disneyland? ❤️

Halloween at Disneyland

Last Days in Canada

Three weeks ago, I decided to leave the home and life I made myself in Canada. It was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make, and it was really rough on me. Luckily, friends from work were there for me, friends from college kept me company on the phone, and my mom flew up to help me pack up and move.

Here are some photos from my last moments in Canada – a place I was lucky to call home for even a short while.

Canada, I’ll never forget you and all the lessons you taught me.

Last Days in Canada