Kauai, Hawaii: Boots on the ground, feet in the sand

Hello World,

Here I am, writing from Kauai, Hawaii. I am two weeks into a summer long adventure on the Garden Island. As of today, I have finished up my mandatory two-week quarantine enforced by the state of Hawaii. I was mandated to stay at the house and go nowhere. The cops and the military did a fine job of ensuring I did just that by making three unannounced visits. All good though, the Covid-19 case load is very minimal here because of the lengths of precaution the Governor has taken. They don’t want the infected mainlanders bringing the virus and all hell breaking loose. Unfortunately, it also means no tourists and the economy here is tanking accordingly.

I can touch on what all that looks like in future updates. Today, I wanted to set the premise of what is to come in this blog space. If you are reading as someone who knows me, then you are aware I finished my Peace Corps service in Myanmar as of March 2020. During those two years, I would write newsletter updates on a roughly monthly basis, the last few months writing significantly less (I am working on the final update..look out for that). Besides the point.

In those newsletters, I realized I had a bit of knack for bringing the twisty thoughts of mine into functional sentences. Writing is something I would never say I had a passion for. What I really enjoy is being able to breath through words, seeing my thoughts lay out in front of me, and start to feel less heavy in my mind. The actual process of writing though is quiet tedious and sometimes overwhelmingly painful. I often write from a place of emotion and it requires me to feel all those emotions again to find the words. However, I feel compelled to give writing some more attention in my life, through intentionality and consistency. (My two mottos at the moment!) And to explore writing in different forms- maybe a guide to the hike I did one day, a breakdown of a recipe I threw together, a review of a book I read, a rant about the state of the world, etc. I write in a journal regularly but this blog will bring the intentionality, writing for the purpose of someone else reading it. As for the consistency, only time will tell if I stick to it.

So with that said, I welcome you to follow along, maybe hit a subscribe button. It will be a summer of boots on the ground, hiking breath taking trails, and feet in the sand while I watch the waves crash.

As for today, a quick recap. I have been starting my mornings around 6am, just about when the roosters are choking outside and the bullfrogs are groaning their way into dawn. This morning, being my first day of freedom, I immediately brewed some coffee to go and hit the beach. I brought Snoopp dog along and we sat as the waves crashed into the sand, a sound I could hear from three blocks away for the last two weeks but was even more spectacular in sight. After a quality video chat with my pal, Tess, I took a quick stroll through a morning mist and headed home. After a water break, I put Snoopp back on the leash, popped a podcast in the ears, and took another saunter around the block.

Immediately, I sensed the Aloha mentality as I came upon people walking and they gave me a cheery “Good Morning” as they passed. This friendliness reminded me of Myanmar where the locals always made eye contact and greeted me in someway. It’s the warmest of feelings. Snoopp and I walked along, noticing the flattened toads along the way. A new type road kill for me.

Jumping forward in the day, after a nice mid day stroll on the beach, I took a drive up towards Waimea Canyon. The twisty-turn road up was easily navigated. I didn’t really have a plan but ended up stopping at Waimea Canyon Lookout. For some reason I didn’t take a picture up there. Mostly, because I was absolutely mesmerized by what unraveled before me, the grand canyon of the pacific, and painted the image in my memory instead of snapping it with a camera. With a few deep breaths of pure joy and open ears listening for the sounds of bleating goats in the crested buttes below, I hopped back in the car as it began to drizzle.

Heading back down the canyon, I pulled over and did a quick 3/8 mile loop at Iliau Nature Trail. The red dirt, green flora, and sweetest crisp nature smells got me stoked for the summer ahead. It continued to drizzle and I had my camera with me, so I looped and strutted to the car. I think I will go back there tomorrow to do the Ku’Kui trail, a five mile hike to the bottom of the canyon. Got to get grinding on my trail legs sometime.

I rounded up my first day of exploration with another walk over to the ocean with Snoopp to watch sunset. A bit cloudy but nice regardless. As I whine down for the night, I sit here in bliss. I never expected I would find myself in Hawaii for the summer, yet here I am. It is a happy life.

With all that, I sign off for tonight. Thanks for reading along!

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