It is interesting to think that a year ago today two friends and me were exploring the Big Island of Hawaii, a place I never really thought I would go in my lifetime, but 26 days before we would leave we bought plane tickets after less than 24 hours of thinking about going. The whole thing was just so surreal and it taught me to always keep my eyes open, for you never know when Life is going to throw the opportunity for adventure your way.
We did a lot in the week that we were there from going to the top of Mauna Kea, visiting the green sand beach, and watching lava flow into the ocean off this island in the middle of the Pacific. I still picture the first night we were there so clearly and the excitement we had when we finally reached the island, landing at a small outdoor airport. We had dinner at a place called “Quinn’s Almost by the Sea” and then made our way to the shore to touch the Pacific Ocean for the first time. It was a feeling I can only describe to you as dream like. Realizing where we were and on an island in the middle of the world’s largest ocean. The Moon was so bright in the night and we quickly discovered that we were in true paradise and it felt like home.
I think that my favorite moment from the trip was our journey to the top of Mauna Kea a mountain just shy of 14,000 (4267.2 m) feet tall, and it is actually the tallest mountain in the world from base to top. It is 4,471 feet (1,362 m) taller than Mt. Everest. It was a true spectacle that the Universe put on for us that day that had an emotional and spiritual impact on me. To see the planet that we live on and call home in this way and view so much beauty in such a relatively small area of the planet, I have no words for it. I hope that one day I may be able to venture back to Mauna Kea to watch the Sunset again.
The islands of Hawaii were constructed patiently over time by fire and volcano and it was poetic to me that something that we view as destructive and dangerous, created so much beauty in such a small area of the Earth. It was humbling and it made us appreciate the Earth and Life in a new light as we found so much wonder on a small island. This fact makes one want to continue to explore the planet to discover the beauty that awaits us to find, a beauty that we need to protect so future generations can experience the Earth as we are.
As I reflect on the fact that it has been exactly one year since I felt the serenity of Hawaii, the more special that trip becomes for me and the more I want to cherish it. Hawaii is a different kind of place, where everyday life is a little bit more relaxed and the culture tends to be more laid back and it definitely exceeded any expectations I could have dreamt of. The Big Island is a special and magical place and if the opportunity ever presents itself for you to travel there take it, I only wish I could have stayed there a little while longer. One day I hope to return though and experience stargazing in the middle of the Pacific Ocean once again, but until then Hawaii and this trip will have a special place in my heart and I hope to hold onto the feeling I had that first night we were there. I feel so blessed to have been able to experience this trip.
What made this trip unique though and the best part for me, was who I got to experience it all with, two of my closest friends and my parents. It is one thing to live on a planet that can support Life, but the fact that it is at wondrous as it is shows God’s Love for us.