All posts filed under: travel

Journey home.

In December I took a much-needed trip to Norway to see my family and friends. It was so grounding to be around people who have known me pretty much my whole life, and only want the best for me. Christmas at my parents house is magical. It’s a cozy red house in the forest atop a valley overlooking our town (pop. 5000) with a river running through it. All that was missing was the snow, but it was still felt plenty like Christmas. Then on New Years Eve, because of unceremonious airline schedules, I flew to Los Angeles for a 1 night layover before my final destination at home in Hawaii. Exiting LAX at 10 pm, I checked into an anonymous airport hotel, took an unsatisfying bath, and crawled into bed as invisible fireworks started exploding all over the corners of the city. I awoke with the sunrise and a billboard outside reminded me to watch Beasts of No Nations – thanks, Hollywood. Checking-in on a Hawaii-bound flight has to be one of life’s singular …

Angelina

I was 17 when I became infatuated with Angelina Jolie. It was 2001 and Tomb Raider was about to come out. Hollywood, the media, tabloids, everything seemed a little different back then. It wasn’t so immediate around the clock. There was less internet and no social media. An half hour interview with the celebrity you liked still had to be scheduled on MTV and taped on VHS. Magazine clippings actually mattered. And I settled in to watch MTV At the Movies: Tomb Raider, and I met my spiritual soul mate. I did tape it, and I watched it over and over. It wasn’t just how beautiful she was, or the things she got to experience while filming Tomb Raider in Iceland and Cambodia; it was the tone of her voice when she got excited. It was how she talked about love and her husband Billy Bob Thornton. It was that, for some reason or the other, she had managed to carve out a life for herself in which she was absolutely free, and I had …

If the world’s at large why should I remain

I used to travel the world with songs like these on repeat. I think if I have an addiction it is the beginnings of things. I liked drifting from city to city, always just a visitor. I do not put down roots anywhere. There is a tantalizing sadness in not belonging. A sweet ache deep in your stomach knowing that you possess absolute freedom but at a cost not many people is willing to pay. For almost four years I forgot what that feeling was like. I made a beautiful home in a beautiful place with my love. There was no money to travel. I didn’t mind. I was so focused on following The Path. Finish school. Get a job. Make money. Save money. Because money is key, right? I lasted less than two weeks. That sweet ache in the pit of my stomach returned with such a vengeance I couldn’t breathe. The twist being, of course, that now I was too connected. I was no longer a ghost floating above earth. I was a …

10 Steps to a Sustainable Life: Step 4 (Value experiences over material things)

If I could sum up my master’s degree in sustainability in one word it would be “value”. The value of something is subjective and it means the importance we ascribe physical objects, experiences and even metaphysical undertakings such as learning and spirituality. For instance, I value my family more than anything, certainly more than to put a monetary value on it. I am sure you feel the same way about yours and the people in your life. But you don’t value my family as much as you do yours, and vice versa, so the concept of value is intangible and difficult to translate into a meaningful common reality. So we invented money to make it less confusing. The only problem is we took it too far and today anything can be ascribed a monetary value, including our ecosystem and life itself. When the monetary system was invented as we know it today we forgot to put a value on nature because at the time nature – air, water, soil, plants, forests and other natural resources …

A history of writing

Hi everyone. This is going to be a more personal post where I talk about my purpose for blogging and how it has been going for me so far. I gave myself a year to figure out blogging in the public sphere and since I started in January, this month marks the six months mark of that year. I have been writing and blogging in some shape or form on the internet since I was 16. That’s when I discovered LiveJournal around 2000. It’s scary to realize that is almost half my life because it doesn’t feel that long ago! I also started posting at FanFiction.net around that time, and no, I will never in a million years reveal my username. At that time I barely had a grasp on the English language but for some reason that didn’t stop me from publishing my angst-filled work and even build a reader base. Ah, it truly was a more innocent time for the internets. The front page of LiveJournal looked like this:

Always love

to make a mountain of your life is just a choice but i never learned enough to listen to the voice that told me always love hate will get you every time always love don’t wait til the finish line I think the month of August 2008 was one of the most defining moments in my life. I had just returned home from Uganda where I had spent the summer. I was about to move to Hawaii in a couple of weeks. Everyone who has spent time in rural Africa knows it takes some time to adjust to ‘normal life’ again. While the poverty in the villages among rolling hills is staggering, the people who live there don’t seem poor. Money seems very absurd in a place where the average monthly income is $30. Walking to the nearest bank with an ATM to retrieve $350 in an instant for a budget safari seems insane. But not really. Because no matter where you go, you don’t stop being yourself. I got mugged one night. It was …

Notes from my travels: Los Angeles (2006)

I’ve been wanting to write but then it’s also been the last thing on my mind all summer. I’ve searched for perfectly constructed sentences but I’ve contented myself with finding them in other people’s work. And I did, only they weren’t always written. Sometimes it was a sunset. On certain evenings the sky in California turns pink, not just around the horizon — all of it; cotton candy pink. I’ve been meaning to write about Los Angeles. So I might as well do it now, while my nails are drying. I’ve been alternating between blood red and aubergine for months, several times a week I’ll switch back and forth. Today is purple but when little children in restaurants and shops confront me about it, they insist it is black and their voice commend me for such a bold choice. Some mornings I wake up alone. He’ll be gone already but never without touching my lips with his and, “I love you.” We hardly ever part without those three precious words. I didn’t think I wanted …

Diamond Head

I had forgotten how much I love collages until I started playing with them again. I like how they tell a story – like a mini-movie. This one is from the day I left. It was a really beautiful day. And I will be back soon! I could only stay away for two months. When it comes down to the choice between love and money, I have always chosen love. I firmly believe that at the end of my life, whenever that may be, I will be happy I did.

Things I love about Hawaii

Sunshine. The perfect balance between sun and rain, making the rain almost always welcome when it comes for a day or two every six-eight weeks. The hardly-ever-below 20 degrees Celsius temperature, even at night. The hardly-ever above 32 degrees Celsius heat. The many fine sandy beaches. The fact there is still possible to find an empty beach if you know where to look. The color of lush rain forest – deep, crisp green! Tropical flowers. All the palm trees, although imported. The fact that, even carefully planted and strategically placed, palm trees always looks natural and lifts the spirit. Most Hawaiians know how lucky they are to call the islands home and do what they can to preserve and protect them. Kona Longboard beer. Fresh seared Ahi. Hono/Turtles, and the fact that they are treasured and protected. Swimming with aย  turtle is the most amazing form of meditation and you emerge with a new sense of calm of spirit and a desire to protect all marine life. Hawaii’s past. Every time I drive up Pali …