Tag Archives: hawaii

Beauty of the Big Island

17 Sep

It’s a windy day in my little corner of the world on the Big Island of Hawaii. I landed here just a few weeks ago in a small island leap to begin a new housesit. I am nestled in a little neighborhood located between the mountains of Mauna Kea and Kohala. The tradewinds blowing from the northeast are known for stirring up some dust in my new temporary neighborhood so here I am watching the wind blow. I am tucked away in a little studio apartment just next door to the main house where I am caring for a tough but sweet ginger kitty and a sassy pretty calico.

When I arrived at the small open air airport on the Big Island, it felt a little more “island style” than my original more contemporary arrival in Honolulu. I was greeted by a totally new landscape and wide open spaces.

I have heard others say that each of the islands have their own distinct personality. And while this is only my second island of Hawaii to experience so far, I can say truly that it is oh so different from Oahu. The biggest difference to immediately notice of course is that… it’s Big! No more dashing from one end to the other in under about an hour. At my current location on the big island it’s about a 30 – 45 minutes drive just to get to the surrounding towns and the landscape is miles and miles of lava desert christened by the beauty of the surrounding ocean. It can be quite a thrill for me simply driving in this new landscape, the sun shining, the wind blowing and the beauty of this foreign terrain surrounding me. Like my new house sitting host said, it’s like being on the moon!

The Big Island is roughly six times larger than Oahu. From my current location I can wiz off the the city of Hilo in about an hour. Hilo is in fact the rainiest city in the United States and after a bit of reading I learned it rains mostly at night which feeds the rich and lush landscape. In about 45 minutes I am in the famous tourist town Kailua-Kona known for it’s sunny days, warmer climate and very little rain.

My new housesit is in a little neighborhood development located in the midst of the lava desert surrounded by miles and miles of this open landscape. It has it’s own little grocery store, gas station and other services. Beyond this little village, the neighbors are scattered five and ten miles away in the shape of beachside resort communities which speckle the Kona coast featuring golf courses, grocery stores and specialty shops plus beach access open to the public. It’s a little decadent to have so many crystal blue beaches conviently located like the neighborhood 7-11.

As a full-time traveling house and pet sitter, there are plenty of times when I find myself less inclined to hunt out a new adventure and content with the simpler things like preparing meals, finding the best grocery stores and tending to the day to day needs of the pets and housesit all within the beauty of a new backdrop. In my new housesit I am enjoying the comfort zone of my new place, the fresh (but windy!) ocean air and the dependable beauty of the blues skies. And of course I can’t forget the simple pleasure of the ocean which I take a dip in frequently, can see off in the distance from my current housesit and blankets most of my day to day traveling about town.

Bye for now from the quiet windy days on the Big Island as my journey in Hawaii continues!


Time to Unwind

10 Jul

It’s a quiet day in my little corner of Oahu. It’s Saturday and I’ve enjoyed the luxury of settling in a bit, extended time relaxing in bed and then getting organized and sorting things a bit. I have to be honest, for me everything is a little better in Hawaii. Even a Saturday at home cleaning and organizing can feel pretty good. The beautiful blue sky, the drizzles of rain sneaking through the sky on a perfectly sunny day. While I am not on a beach at my current location, you can feel the ocean just going outside – some sort of additional lightness permeating the air and feeding the soul. While cleaning today I felt inspired to put on a little Billy Joel and couldn’t help but feel my father, who passed away seven year ago, smiling down on me as I danced and sang to those familiar songs of my youth.

I am so grateful to have returned for “round two” of housesitting on Oahu. With things in the country and world opening up, the island has picked up quite a bit. But for the most part, I still remain with my steady beat. A gentle pace. Enjoying time on the homefront and adventures out in nature and around the island.

This past Thursday I was at one of my favorite beaches, Kailua Beach, just enjoying the day. Ah so good. As someone who arrived here first during the quiet of quarantine, it is quite something to take in the difference. Summer has arrived. I couldn’t help but take in the pure joy and enthusiasm I felt amongst the crowds on the beach. So happy to be there. So much enthusiasm for being out in the joy of Hawaii and summer. It felt like a celebration.

Not long ago I was fortunate to join a little meditation group in the community where I am housesitting. With so much time on my own housesitting in the midst of the odd year, this little group is a gentle venture back out into the world. This time a bit separate from it all plus being in Hawaii has been the perfect mixture to continue to nurture and enjoy the beauty of being connected within. And the meditation group feels like a way of beginning to celebrate that joy in earnest with others.

Like many I have felt my own growing pains along the way. But equally so is the appreciation of the growing wisdom and insights as I explore and understand further what works for me, what makes me tick and some notions of what will serve me as we emerge back into the world… in our own way, at our own pace. Each of us altered by the experience.

I had a little chat at the beach the other day with a mom from Boston. In even just a casual conversation, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of connection in the shared experience that all of us have been through in the last year.

Here are a few photos from this time on Oahu to bring a little of her joy, celebration and beauty your way! So grateful to be here. So grateful for this time!

In Love with Oahu

1 Dec

Well I did it. I packed up my stuff. Got rid of some of it. Managed to fit way more essential oils and supplements into my suitcases than I imagined I could and hit the road. Only this time I didn’t quite hit the road…. because I couldn’t.  Instead I boarded an airplane and was island bound. I am in Hawaii.

Recently I hit a barren patch on my house sitting journey and was grateful to be nestled for a few weeks in the midwest in my mother’s home. In the midst of this limbo time I did what I have learned and continue to learn to do… take a step back and allow things to unfold. And unfold they did. Quite unexpectedly. As it sometimes happens on my journey, in the blink of an eye I had two new housesits on my plate which brought a quick redirection. First stop, a return to Austin for a month-long housesit. Second stop, a housesit on the island of Oahu.

I knew there was a possibility out there that a housesit could come together in Hawaii. I made a connection through an on-line gathering of a spiritual community I enjoy. They mentioned they may have a need for a housesitter in the coming months. As someone with experience with things ebbing and flowing, coming and going… I was grateful for the possibility, stayed open to it but also had no expectation or attachments that it would or wouldn’t work out.

And then one day it happened. I got the word. What do you do when someone invites you to housesit in Hawaii?  You say “Yes, please! Thank you!”

Don’t get me wrong…as much as my life has gone with the flow this past decade, I did run into my share of rough currents, resistance to change and sometimes in earnest just pure exhaustion from so much packing, unpacking and driving about. Despite the “inconvenience” of it all, my heartfelt yes quickly aligned my life in a new direction.

Also, notably so, this is my first housesitting departure where I didn’t drive my little SUV packed with the essentials of this life on the go.  As I would leave my wheels behind, I started the process of hmming and hawing over what to keep, what to leave behind and what to take along.  I was fortunate to find a spot to keep my car and remaining belongings while I am away and so now here I am!

With Hawaii’s new Safe Travels program, it was easier than I imagined to get here. I took a COVID test within 72 hours of my departing flight at an Austin Walgreens and got my negative results the same day.  From there I just needed to upload my results, complete the health survey 24 hours before departure and get my QR code.

I flew Delta airlines as I read they were tops in their COVID practices. They have updated their filter system and on my flight from Austin to LAX you could see the air from the filter circulating about like a sci-fi movie. Delta is also currently keeping the middle seat open and from LAX to Honolulu I had the whole row to myself. I slept most of the way, presented my QR code on arrival and as simple as pie I had arrived.

I met with my host and homeowner in Oahu before she left on her own flight the next morning.  She couldn’t be a more kind and generous host and I count myself lucky to be caring for her home and welcomed by her. She even left a few goodies for me to use including a great beach towel and snorkeling equipment.

Since I have arrived I have mostly been “getting my island legs,” tending to the basics and exploring some of the immediate area and territory. Even with all of my traveling experience, I still get nervous when landing in new territory. So I find I am well-served by taking my time and easing into new places.

I had the pleasure of connecting with a few folks at Unity Church of Hawaii and helped just a bit with their campus cleanup. Outdoors and masked up, it was great for even just a bit to see some new friendly faces and meet some locals. I am also fortunate to connect with the Oahu Art of Living Zoom group!  I have participated with Art of Living’s spiritual practices since I took their first course (now known as Sky Breath Meditation) back in 2007. There are regular meetups around the world for graduates and even though we can’t yet meet in person, being with the local group even on Zoom is a treat.

And just this morning… I made my first venture to the beach!  Where to go?  There are so many to choose from! As this is my first time in Hawaii, prior to my plans to come I didn’t realize that Oahu is quite small!  You can get to nearly anywhere on the island in 30 – 45 minutes! So that means, from where I am just a bit west of Honolulu, I have easy access to the whole island!

For my first beach visit I chose Kailua State Beach. Just a 30 minute drive from my current location, plus a lifeguard on duty and… it’s open! (a few locations are closed at this time), it seemed like the perfect place to start.  The drive there wound me through lush green mountains and when I arrived I felt like I landed in paradise. I mean no kidding. I have been to many places but I have never been or seen anyplace quite so lovely and naturally beautiful – from the sweet inlet of water and surrounding mountains and community to the breathtakingly blue water that enticed me like a dream.

The beach had a healthy speckling of beachgoers, enough to feel safe with others around but not so many that it felt crowded at all. There was plenty of room for and respect of social distancing in the backdrop of enchanted mountains, soft sand and welcoming waves.  I took a great walk on the beach, loaded up the sunscreen and just took it in… the unbelievableness, the unexpected oh-my of my current surroundings!

I am back at home now, always happy to be out for a little adventure but equally happy to return to that feeling of home. I feel super safe in the lovely town home community where I am housesitting surrounded with an easy feel and lush greens and palm trees.  As the coming weeks unfold, I imagine I will navigate that balance between the need and desire for downtime, rest and relaxation and the joy of exploration.

So long for now from the island of Oahu – a new little leap in life and my housesitting journey.  My best in health and happiness to all of you!

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