You know life is going pretty fast and fabulous when you never write about it…You get swept up in the tide and cling to the world like a barnacle. The world around me as begun to flourish and heighten and sink lower into the cushion of familiarity. Dare I say, i’m settling in? I have built a small community, within a larger community, nestled within the islands. All I want to do these days is foster it and continue to make my self comfortable. My little Ohana (Family) is becoming more and more important to me.
Hawaiian culture and the Aloha spirit is making more sense to me the longer I stay here. It is something that is perceived and gossiped about on the mainland and is sensed by tourism but never fully understood until it is lived. This idea that everyone is part of a big family is what strikes me the most. An older woman is always called “Auntie” as is a man called “Uncle.” Everyone is your sister or your brother and you call them that frequently. The trading of good deeds is readily preferred to hard cash agreements. This idea of everyone being one big family encourages generosity, selflessness, and smiles…And that is what Aloha is all about.
The literal meaning of aloha is “the presence of breath” or “the breath of life.” It comes from “Alo,” meaning presence, front and face, and “ha,” meaning breath. Aloha is a way of living and treating each other with love and respect. Its deep meaning starts by teaching ourselves to love our own beings first and afterwards to spread the love to others.
I really, really love it here. I feel so at home. I feel so happy. I feel so free and fulfilled.
Ahhh the festival that had Tarah written all over it. A yoga, music, and surf festival on the North Shore, seemed too good to be true. It was a great weekend full of intense yoga, good dancing music, and good vibes. I found the festival to be a bit pretentious and I actually didn’t even end up meeting anyone of significance or have any cool traveler’s adventures. But the yoga soothed my mind, Michael Franti danced with me and let me freestyle into the mic, we sent positive energy out to the mainland and the world and ate yummy healthy food. :)
The North Shore:
The North Shore is everything you can imagine from a surfing town in Hawaii. It was slow and small, with surfers gathering at amazing beach after amazing beach. Most of my traveling there was done by hitchhiking. It is so perfect and easy to do because there is just one road that runs along the shore and everyone is going the same way. Everyone I met was friendly, creep-free, and happy to pick up a smiling human. :) I had an amazing time exploring the little town of Haleiwa with my hostel buddy, Jake, from Australia. We started the day off right: hitching with Uncle Tom, a local character who helped make Haleiwa a functional and thriving town.
Check out his sweet rings and top hat and the mysterious red solo cup that he was sippin on while driving.
Here is my prime seat…
Hitch hiking I have learned is very different in Hawaii than where i’m from. In short…it’s safe! People are so nice and in certain more low key areas it is an acceptable and expected form of transportation. When there’s one big highway that only has beaches along side of it, there are bound to be many willing and lovely people to pick you up.
Camping on Makua Beach
One saturday morning I thought my only plan was to sleep on the beach to make up for the two hours of sleep I had experienced the night before. (You can’t say no to some jam sessions…sometimes they are just too magical.) After I stopped by my dear friend Elysse’s house however, I soon found myself in the truck headed towards the west side of the island for a one night camping trip on the beach. It was truly incredible…so worth it. What amazed me so much is how close you can feel to people by choosing to camp in paradise for a saturday night instead of the same old same old. This was social activity on Oahu…It’s just a little packing, planning and driving and then suddenly you are having one of the most memorable days of your life instead of going to a stupid party. Basically I am just really happy I left New York City at this moment, and I am grateful for the fruits of happiness that Hawaii is generously stuffing into my happy face. :-D
We saw whales and dolphins on this trip, which was incredible for a mainlander like myself! It is always a blessing when you see such incredible creatures in your wild backyard.
Ellyse and Chelsea and I got so close on our little outing and it was so refreshing to have such positive energy around me. But there is no describing the way the ocean felt. I will try though….
This ocean was different from the North Shore and the windward side (where I live.) It was wild, comforting, exotic, and peaceful. From the shore it looks rough and dark, but once you get past the breaking waves and are floating in the deep, you can see your body crystal clear through the water. It was dark blue on the horizon and crystal turquoise all around me. The view of the sacred Waianae Valley from a paddleboard in the middle of paradise’s swimming pool was an experience i’ll never forget.
I am happy :)