Thursday, October 31, 2013

Where trouble melts like lemon drops

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We just returned from the Big Island of Hawaii for our lovely friends' wedding, and though I feel as though part of my heart was left behind, I've never felt more whole. It was our first trip to that magical island but certainly not our last.

I fell in love with that place. Thanks to priceline, we were able to stay at an amazing hotel where I got to stretch out for yoga on the beach, take ukulele and hula lessons, and thread my own leis out of locally grown orchids. But those experiences, though wonderful, were only a tiny fraction of what I fell for. (Plus, we hardly spent any time in the resort as we tried to do as much as we could with the guidance of this book.)

The Big Island is perfect for someone like me who can sometimes get bored and easily distracted. If I wanted a different adventure, all we had to do was drive half an hour up a mountain and we'd encounter a tropical jungle where you could visit fruit stands with locally grown mangoes as big as my head. If you drove a bit more, you'd find yourself in an endless desert of black lava rock. When we ventured a little further, we found ourselves on one of the world's most beautiful black sand beaches. Then we were in Volcanoes National Park, breathing the hot, sulfuric air and hiking on land younger than ourselves.

Here's a snippet of the Punalu'u Black Sand Beach, and here's a snippet of La'Aloa Bay Beach..

I just felt like sharing this experience and its impact on my well being. It is no secret that I haven't been the happiest person lately, and I've had my fair share of mental speed bumps along the way. But there was something magical about that Island and its atmosphere. I've returned to Austin a different person. I know that sounds all sorts of silly, but I feel different. I feel better. I feel rejuvenated.

I did manage to bring back a priceless reminder of the island that will not come with a curse. I splurged on a ukulele and have been serenading myself (and my poor husband) every day since we returned. As a result, decided to try something with it.

 I am challenging myself for the month of November to learn (and record) a new song for most days of the month. I realize that this will be a huge challenge seeing as how I've been so consumed with my job and school these last 2 years that I've hardly touched my instruments, but I am determined to try. Plus, making music makes me happy. It is truly the most effective (and cheapest) antidepressant.

I'll be sure to share my videos here.
Wish me luck!