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I often feel at loss for words when describing this place. Feelings and spirits are hard to describe, but from those I’ve talked to on the island, they all feel the same way, which is why they are here. Technology is not valued in the same way that I have experienced throughout the United States. Here it’s about being in the moment, not rushing, adapting quickly and going with the flow, always trying to stay calm. I’ve met doctors, marketing managers, salesmen, athletes, photographers, teachers, scientists, builders- it’s all the same. It is this feeling and spirit that bonds the people together. There is a respect for the culture, the environment, the wonders of this magical island and everyone who loves this place shares in the respect. It is the spirit of Aloha.

I’ve fallen hard. I’ve lived all over the world, often for extended periods of time up to 4 months and never have I felt more welcomed or more at home than I did in Hawai‘i after only a few days. I’m still psyched to climb and train for Climbing, I’m still Inspired in my photography and videography, but I have this new zest for discovery and variation that is unfamiliar.

I’ve never gone with the flow, always been a planner, lived in a clean place, had the things I needed when I needed them. I would “adapt” but only because I knew it was temporary. Here, I feel like I was awakened to a new way of living, of not being scared, taking chances, saying hello, doing things that make me uncomfortable, not feeling rushed or stressed. While I had already felt beyond blessed to have made so many friends and successfully pursued my dream job, I had still been afraid to truly break out on my own and do something different. Hawai‘i has been my chance to do that and I’ve been rewarded tenfold.

In the past two weeks I went in a 2 seater private plane, learned to scuba dive, paddled out into the ocean on a surf board by myself, surfed at Pipeline, learned to ride an electric skateboard, taught my first solo 10 person Climbing class, watched a surf competition, hiked some crazy steep mountains, and made more new friends than I could even count. I also traveled to the island of Maui, climbed on some incredible rocks, stood on top of a volcano, picked and ate wild fruit, sat in a freezing cold natural pool and explored an entirely new island.

Needless to say, I am not ready to leave anytime soon.

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