Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Radvent Day 7: Traveling

I haven't traveled out of the country much. I've been to Toronto and just across the border into Mexico. Seeing the world is one of those college things I didn't get to do because I was a mama, and my family isn't really into travel (probably because my grandma was a military kid and got enough of it growing up). Sometimes I feel like I missed out, but I know I'll get to do it one of these days. In fact, if all goes as planned, I'll take two really big trips in 2012! That said, I have been just about all over this country.

My biggest life-changing trips:

1. O'ahu
I feel really lucky that I got to live in Hawaii the way I did. I sublet a condo, took public transportation or walked everywhere, bought my groceries at the local co-op, knew the gossip around Honolulu (thanks to my bosses who knew EVERYONE) and by the end of it my feet were stained red from the dirt in Pearl City where I worked (I had a long walk from the bus to work and it's too hot to not wear sandals). My sister lives there but she was really busy, and Taso came to visit but only for a couple weeks. For the most part I was alone, just living, working and getting to know the island. Even when I went over to Waikiki to (try to) surf or meet new friends, it never felt like a vacation. I grew up a lot there and found some serious inner peace.
Here are some of my favorite Hawaii pictures that I never posted:
 Taso + fishes
 an ill-composed photo of Brittan + dolphins that you can't see (but I know they were there, just behind my head so I love it)
 a manta ray (that was actually like 10 feet wide) + Taso's hand
 Brittan being very sad about the way her archive stored their film
 tofu pho for under $5 pretty much every single day
super rad Ala Moana trees on my walking path

2. Los Angeles by way of San Francisco 
Once I tried to move to L.A., got there and had the job that was lined up for me fall apart, then the place I was living fall apart, then my car fall apart. I would call it humbling but, let's be honest, those were dark times. However, the drive out there, up the "scenic" route through Flagstaff and up into San Francisco, where I spent a few days before taking the gorgeous 101 into L.A. was everything you could ever want out of a road trip. It was magical. I think that trip was the first time I really felt like an adult (I'm seeing a pattern here...). I felt like I was taking a landmark step forward in my life. Even though it didn't work out, I look back on that drive as a first step. I'll never forget listening to the Beach Boys while crossing into Cali, feeling the cold Pacific on my feet for the first time, or driving off the 101 to find Hearst Castle and just sitting there alone, taking in the views and writing. 
 SF from my phone
 my poor little car in the last days of its life (on a snowy morning in Flagstaff)
a mind-blowingly symbolic picture 

3. Hodgenville
My first trip to Kentucky was also the first time I met my dad. I was 23. It changed everything.

My first three BIG trips will be:

- Greece
- France
- Sweden

and they will be with the love of my life.

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