Island Fun

I’ve almost seen the whole island now. Before I haven’t been able to see or do much. It’s been incredible and loads of fun. I’ve done things I’ve never done before. I went cliff jumping at Laie Point and I finally saw my FIRST SEA TURTLE! If you don’t know me, you should know that I’m obsessed with sea turtles. The only time I have seen one was in an aquarium and it was for a brief moment. Seeing one swimming around free in the open water is nothing like seeing one in the aquarium. It’s magical and breath taking. Literally. I could barely breathe after I screamed loudly under water. I wanted to cry, but I was so shocked that I couldn’t cry or even say anything besides “oh my gosh” over and over again. Apparently a good place to go snorkeling and to see turtles is Sharks Cove. Cliff jumping was completely awesome. I felt like I could do anything after that. I was nervous at first, not about jumping, but only about getting back on to the rock. It looked a little complicated. But I did it. I’m proud of myself.

While exploring, I have found my where I love to go and relax in the sun. The Makapu’u tide pools. I just want to get me one of those big flamingo floats and relax in the water with friends. It’s peaceful there and absolutely gorgeous. Definitely and instagram worthy location, at least to me it is. But nothing beats my go-to spot at the Nanakuli beach. It might not be the most gorgeous place on the island, but it’s still beautiful and close to the mermaid caves. I love the water there and how it’s not crowded with people like the east and north sides of Oahu. I also go there a lot because it’s pretty close to where I live.

It’s been exciting exploring the island and doing all of these things. I have even found some great places to eat. I went to Boots & Kimo’s Homestyle Kitchen and Over Easy for breakfast with some family friends that are visiting and we ate the best pancakes and omelets that we have ever had. Both of them are delicious, but I think Over Easy was my favorite. Their crispy edge pancake (with the daily fruit and powder sugar) was heaven in my tummy. It’s bit of a drive for me, but I plan to go there more often when I’m on that side of the island. Ever since I moved here, I always said that everything tastes better here, and that’s including shrimp! I do not eat seafood often. Rarely I’ll have a couple of shrimp and some crab dip here and there, but lately, I’ve been eating a lot of it! Shrimp scampi, shrimp stuffed crab cakes and even shrimp from food trucks! And for some reason it tastes even better from a food truck. My dad will probably pass out from reading this and my sister will probably be even more excited to visit me and go out to eat with me. Seriously, this is shocking, even to me. But when you live in a place like Hawaii, you have to get out of your comfort zone and try new things. Who knows! The things you used to dislike might become something you love.

If you plan on visiting Oahu one day, then I just gave you some great locations to check out. To those of you who just moved to a new city or state or even an island like me or if you are on vacation…. get out of the house. Get out of the hotel room. Explore. Go do things outside of your normal routine and comfort zone. Go do the things you’ve always wanted to try. It’ll be fun and totally worth it.

Be Brave With Your Life

As I’m driving one day through Oahu, I look at the beautiful sunset behind the mountains and I can’t help but to smile and laugh a little. I became overwhelmed with gratitude and happiness. Sometimes I still can’t believe that I took a huge risk and moved here. I began to think about what my life would have been like if I was still living in South Carolina. I’m almost positive that it would have been the same as it was when I left. I’m sure I would have found a new job and a new car, but I’d be still living with my sister wondering if there was some grand adventure out there for me. Waiting around for something truely amazing and exciting to happen to me. The thing is…Sometimes those amazing and exciting things aren’t just going to happen…sometimes we have to make them happen. We have to take risks. I took a big risk moving to Hawaii. (I moved here with nothing but faith, four suitcases, and $30 in my bank account.) I believe that I’m here for a reason, but I also believe I’m here because of my own agency. I could have chosen to stay in South Carolina. It would have been the easy thing to do. It wouldn’t have been a bad choice, but I knew that other than my friends and family, there was nothing for me anymore in South Carolina. I needed something different in my life.

So many incredible things have happened to me since I’ve moved here. I’ve been able to see good things happen in my life and be able to recognize how blessed I am. I have strengthened my relationship with God. I have a deeper love and appreciation for others and for different cultures. I’ve learned so much about myself and have opened up a lot. A lot of my likes and dislikes have changed. My desire to learn and travel has gotten stronger. I’m not normally this brave…in fact I never thought of myself as brave, but through this I’ve learned how to be happy and overcome my fears and anxiety.

I think that taking risks is good for the soul. Life is a learning experience. It’s amazing to think about how we can live whatever life we want to live. We can do whatever we want if we put our minds to it. It’s up to us. Have a little faith and follow your dreams. Make goals and do it! Go apply for that dream job. Move to a new city. Ask that person that you’ve had a big crush on a date. Take a chance. You never know what will happen. Maybe it’ll be everything you’ve dreamed of. The outcomes are endless and can be really great. And if it doesn’t go so well, try again or find a new dream and try that one out. We are in control of our happiness and our futures. Follow your heart.

“If there’s even a slight chance at getting something that will make you happy, risk it. Life’s too short and happiness is too rare.” 

-A. R. Lucas