When you travel, you find that there are some parts of the world that call you back to them, each place for a different reason. Whenever I need to clear my head and heal from a traumatic experience, I retreat to Hawaii.
Ever since my first visit to Oahu in 2009, I felt an inexplicable connection to the land. So when I hit a major rough patch at age 24 in February of 2013, I immediately knew I needed to hop on a plane to visit the island again. Lucky for me, one of my best friends, Jessica Bird, is from there. Her parents were so kind in opening their hearts and their home to me for a 12 day visit. The time I spent there, with the ocean and the company of my dear friend, worked wonders in setting me back on the right path during what was definitely my quarter-life crisis!
This last trip that I took in October of 2014, was a post-breakup getaway where I decided to take a huge leap of faith, quit my job and spend two months in Hawaii to figure out my next steps in life. While this experience turned out to be extremely fun and carefree for me once I got there, very few people know that there were actually a lot of sacrifices made leading up to my departure. There were other factors involved, but my desire to travel was the ultimate decision maker in my mother agreeing with me that it was time to give up our house of 7 years. It seemed crazy, but it felt like the right move for us and my younger sister who was studying abroad in Spain during the whole process. I am so blessed to have the love and support that I do from my family. They trusted me even though I was making moves based purely on my gut feelings, with no clue as to how things would turn out for us all in the end. Needless to say, following my heart was the right decision because 9 months later, we are all exactly where we need to be and in the best situations imaginable.
Moral of the story, trust your instincts! 🙂
Anyways, I knew I needed a good chunk of time far from home to come to terms with the new life I was going to have to make for myself being newly single. I didn’t know what I would be doing once I got to Hawaii this time, but I was so blessed to have to support of Bird’s wonderful parents. Yet again, they went above and beyond to make me feel comfortable in their house for the duration of my stay. I had my own room, a bed and even closet space! I am eternally grateful to them for being so kind and welcoming.
What made this time around such an incredible experience was that, on day two, Bird introduced me to the amazing hooligans who called themselves the Champagne Gang! Since I wasn’t working, the second I became friends with these incredible people, I found myself included in every adventure that went down. I had two solid months of fun beach days, rowdy hikes and raging camp-outs with new friends that quickly turned into family.
After going through a breakup that I felt was going to break me, Hawaii worked it’s magic. I quickly realized how amazing I can be on my own and how I can find love and true companionship in the friends I make wherever I go. So, to sum up my experiences on Oahu this time around, I put together all of the random GoPro footage I accumulated from my time being a part of the Champagne Gang. Enjoy!