Saying Goodbye to Hawaii

pali puka

A little over a year ago, I decided to leave my job, my friends, and my life for the past 7 years in NYC and move to Oahu.  I just knew I wasn’t destined to be sitting in a cubicle from 9-5.  Don’t get me wrong, I had a great experience working in fashion.  I learned so much, met amazing people, and got to travel to China, Hong Kong, Italy, and London over the course of my career.  I just wanted to do something more…something that could make a difference and help people.  I wasn’t sure what it was, but I needed a change.  So I quit my job, said goodbye to my friends and my city life, and moved to Hawaii.  When I got there, I stayed in AirBnb’s until I found an apartment.  Then I got a couple of jobs that had nothing to do with fashion.  It actually wasn’t that hard.  I started to make friends and I was adventuring every chance I got.  Life was good.

I’ve practiced yoga for years, but I started going more often when I moved to the island.  I noticed that people are really into it there.  It makes sense with the lifestyle.  It was a breath of fresh air (literally) coming here from NYC where everyone is always in a hurry; focused on the next thing on their to-do list.  Here everyone just gets to their destination whenever (we call that Hawaii time) and it’s cool.  No rush.  I had toyed with the idea of doing a yoga teacher training when I lived in NYC, but I was never quite sure about it.  When I heard of a teacher training at my local studio in Oahu, it sparked my interest.  I chatted with my teacher about it and decided to think it over.  After thinking about it and realizing how much yoga has positively affected my life and how I’ve always wanted to dive deeper and learn more about it, I realized it was a no-brainer.  I committed and I’m so glad I did.  I am hooked on the yoga-life!  I love being a teacher and watching my students challenge themselves and grow.  I love how I learn from them as well.  I am definitely a different person after my teacher training and my time in Hawaii.  I am so much more aware of myself and my surroundings.  I am so grateful for all my experiences and the amazing people I have met along the way.

I went to Hawaii not knowing how long I would be there.  I figured I would give it a year and see how I was feeling.  At my 1 year mark, I was in the midst of my yoga teacher training and I was beginning to look ahead.  Though I loved island life, I was extremely far from my family.  Nothing was really holding me in Oahu.  Yes, I had a great group of friends and was living in walking distance to the beach, but I think it would be hard to settle there.  I’ve always seen myself settling on the west coast so I figured it would be a good time to start planning the next move.  Once I was done with my teacher training I gave myself a few more months to enjoy the island and then I came back home to Illinois in December (talk about climate shock).  It was hard to say goodbye to the beautiful island of Oahu, my friends, the beach, my flip-flops & cut-offs on a daily basis, and the constant rainbows (…wait, why did I leave again?), but I felt I was ready.  I’m not really the type of person to regret anything or look back and I like that about myself.  I’m glad a took a leap and went to live in Hawaii.  It was an experience I will always cherish.

I’ve been in Illinois for a few months now. It has been nice to relax and catch up with family and friends, but it’s almost time for the next adventure!  I’m leaving on Friday for a ski trip in Colorado and when I get back, it’s on to NYC for a bit!  For now I’ll leave you with some of my favorite photos from my island adventure.  Aloha Oahu….until we meet again.

Sky Dive

Kaena Point Yokes Crouching Lion

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