Leaving Aloha

I know the rhythm of packing better than most. Just a little over a year ago I arrived on the Big Island of Hawaii with all of my belongings that had been with me though #VanLife, most of which were used as “packing” in this bike box.

Hello Aloha!

Quickly things are divided into three piles:

  1. Must Have Pile
  2. Almost “Must Have”, Try And Make It Fit (Or Go To My Mom’s) Pile 
  3. Sayonara Pile

The Almost “Must Have”, Try And Make It Fit Pile is the pile that gives me the most grief. This is where I try to sort out the real value of my possessions. ‘What is the value to me?’, ‘how easily can I find this again?’, ‘is it financially worth it to buy it later?’ all process through my brain turning it into a pile of mush. Eventually, I become rather irate with this pile and toss, probably more than I should, into the Sayonara Pile. Why? Because my brain eventually shuts down from overheating by rehashing nonsense, and then I remember the heart in all of this. The pull on my body that is making me go toward the adventure nomad light in the sky. That big ol’ beautiful mythical scooter that will make a righteous woman out of me. I take a few deep breaths in, envision the scooter, and pile away.

Too Much Stuff

Now I look upon what’s left. A few crucial camping items, some clothing, chacos, two frisbees and the start of my Moto Kit, and finally the tears come. I don’t know what their names are, but they fall silently down my cheeks as my chest constricts and sends a wave of tingles down and out through my toes. Opening my eyes again I feel a wash of gratitude for the teachings of this Island, yet also a surge of fear that I may not have learned them well enough to ‘go out on my own’. This almost stops me in my tracks, but I take a moment to go over each thing I am grateful for, asking myself each time; “do I know this is real?”

Packing my bags

I learned about balance and exchange and what that can look like when living with someone. That having a best friend to make you fried fish bits at the end of a long day, knowing that the hanger will completely incapacitate you if you don’t have nourishment STAT, is the best. That when shit hits the fan, all you have to do is make eye contact, and that arms magically open wide to envelope you in a safe haven. That anywhere I may be in the world, I have a champion for me, and that I am a champion for them.


I learned about what family can be, when it works as a team. That just because you’re sort of lopsided and albino doesn’t mean you don’t get to be welcomed in and adopted with open arms and lots of food. That just because they don’t know your whole story, doesn’t mean they love you any less. That you can just simply be and watch the ocean together and know that everything is perfectly just the way it needs to be.

Hawaii Family

I learned the foundation of loving myself, not defined by anyone else. That I am good, because I am me. That qualifications to my existence are bullshit, and that by golly, I am a great driver! That I am not crazy, overly emotional, or weak. That I am not too young, too short or too fat. I am me, and I know that.

Living Aloha

So, as I sit with here with all that I plan to take from this island, material and not, I say that YES, I have learned my island magic and I trust that I will take this beautiful life that I am curating and let it continue to grow wild and free.

Leaving Aloha

And with that, Aloha my life will be.

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