Tag Archives: oahu

Return to the Islands

17 May

It’s been a while since I have dropped a line to share a bit of my story and journey. The truth is for me with so much shift, change, questions and uncertainty happening in the world around us I find I have equally the same stirrings on the inside. It feels like a good time, even a necessary time, to step back a little further, reflect, and be with all the whacky feelings and adjustments on the inside as well as those whirling about in the world right now. 

The good news is that I am back in Hawaii. When I returned to Texas a few months ago, I knew it was likely I would get to return to resume my wonderful housesit on Oahu just beyond Honolulu. My time in Texas was appreciated but just the same filled with a fair share of modest discomforts, ups and downs. Some of that was merely the adjustment to “not being in Hawaii” after three months of softer energy, warm moderate weather, tropical landscapes, blue skies and rainbows around every bend. But still there were many things I appreciated about my Texas respite nestled in my sweet little temporary abode.

As my time in Texas was growing to a close, I faced once again the dilemma of what to do with my car. There was no obvious choice of a workable place to keep it long term that was also close to my current location outside Austin, TX.  So I looked about for options, drove myself a little mad and in the end just shouted a prayer out for help and let it go.

In the wake of this, as things sometimes go, I found myself at a local storage facility exploring the option to park it long term. While he didn’t have any parking space available, as “fate” would have it… he was interested in buying my car. So I just went with it, we took it for a spin and by the end of the day he made an offer to buy it. And another day later, it was done. My car was sold and I would soon be off to Hawaii again.

In the midst of this adjustment, I had just a few more things to tend to. Prior to my first trip to Hawaii I had already slimmed down my modest collection of belongings that I kept in my SUV as I drove about the country from housesit to housesit. Now with my car sold and just a very small load – a few plastic bins, some bedding and a few other miscellaneous items – I had to make some quick new choices before I departed for Hawaii. With such a modest amount of items, it didn’t make sense to rent a storage unit. So I took another small leap and got down to the nitty gritty with sorting out the last of my belongings and would only keep what I could pack in my suitcases. I sent a small box to my mom, mailed a few things to a friend and the rest went to the local thrift store.

It did my heart good to see the little tokens of my journey I kept and tucked away in my suitcases. The hand carved wooden spatula from a Christmas market in Vienna, the weathered picture map of Chiang Mai, my magnet collection from all of my destinations, and a modest bag of coins tracking my journey.

I have been back in Oahu for a few weeks now. Arriving this time around was different. It was good to return but still an adjustment to living on a small island after hunkering down in the big state of Texas for a few months.  It was a bit of an odd feeling as I still felt new, but yet also familiar. I felt like less of a tourist and had less of an urge to run out and explore everything and more of a desire to hunker down and lay low.

That said, there is certainly something in my heart and soul that is just undeniably blown away by the tropical beauty of the island. It is an unmistakable pleasure to have the luxury to just take off to the North Shore for the afternoon, sink into the sand and bask in the beauty of the incoming waves and surrounding mountains and landscape.

It does seem that traffic has returned to Oahu since I was last here.  Places that I casually went to before are now loaded with folks and it seems that this time around a little more strategy will be needed to avoid the crowds and even…. simply get a parking spot. That said, I certainly consider myself fortunate to have had a pocket of time here when there really weren’t many people around.

And today, well, it’s a beautiful day.  It’s warm but there’s a gentle breeze outside keeping things feeling soft and cool. The yellow trumpet flowers are blossoming out back.  And earlier with a practically clear blue sky, it was raining… what I have heard described as liquid sunshine.

So I will leave you for now – hunkered down and happy in Hawaii.  How are things in your neck of the woods?  It’s always good to hear from you!

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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