All posts tagged: hawaii

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 …

A conversation with Edward Snowden in Hawaii (February 14, 2015)

On an unusual gloomy Saturday morning in Honolulu I was lucky to attend a (video) conference with Edward Snowden who called in from Moscow. The event was hosted by ACLU Hawaii and all 800 seats sold out in advance. The demographic was mainly older (60+) but with a handful of younger curious onlookers, activists and journalists. The moderator Aviam Soifer joked that he knew that some homeland security and other intelligence agents were in attendance but that they had to pay their $5 cover like everyone else and sit idly by while their most wanted man spoke to us in (virtual) person. It’s the kind of humor that flies really well in Hawaii – equality, absurdity and aloha. It’s a fine mix. The event opened by showing the academy award nominated documentary CitizenFour so that everyone who hasn’t followed the Snowden story obsessively could be on the same page. It’s a really great documentary – emotional and human with the urgency of an international spy thriller. Snowden especially comes across as composed, a man on …

Readers appreciation post

In celebration of reaching almost 500 followers on WordPress, I wanted to open up the floor for a little informal Q & A. When I started this blog 1,5 years ago I really had no idea what kind of blogger I wanted to be. I thought I wanted to be a lifestyle/personal blogger but over the past year I have learned how much I truly value my privacy and not having to put every little thing out there. Not to mention, my life is really not that interesting! I’ve even stopped maintaining a personal Facebook because I just don’t see the point anymore, although I’m more than happy to creep on others! It also seems to me that personal bloggers tend to buy a lot of stuff to constantly show off and that’s really not going to work for me since my blog is basically an anti-blind-consumerism forum. So here we are, and I’m very happy to be right here. I’ve really been enjoying the WordPress community lately and discovering a lot of insightful and …

1:35 AM Hawaiian time

After spending the past four hours and a bottle of organic red wine (I’m learning a new skill) on the phone with all my best friends scattered all over the continents, I have come to the conclusion that I don’t hate humanity as a whole, I just hate society. So this is the dream.

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 …

Halloween, Elfquest and the stories that shape us

Halloween is coming up and as usual I’m left wondering if I’m doing it right. October 31st is probably the biggest celebration of the year in Honolulu. Since the seasons never really change in Hawaii it’s a lot of fun for us crazy islanders to have one night that just feels, well, different, from the monotone of tropical perfection. So, in true excess fashion, it is usually extended to a good two weeks! I’m from a country (Norway) that didn’t really knew about Halloween until we learned about it from American TV shows towards the end of the 90’s. I threw my first Halloween bash at 14 with my three best girlfriends and we dressed up as vampires and ghouls, scared the pizza delivery guy and watched PG-13 movies because my mom was lame and wouldn’t rent me R rated ones. We were obsessed with the Friday the 13th series and I remember having to settle for some forgettable mind reader thriller instead. It was so embarrassing! Ha ha. Fast forward 15 years and Halloween …

The embarrassing path to good coffee (goodbye Starbucks)

After spending Monday sighing over that the internet won’t shut up about Breaking Bad because it’s not really that good, I decided to catch up on Season 5 (I’d seen up to season 4 a year ago), probably because I hate feeling left out when it comes to Hollywood. That was three days ago. 14 episodes later I have re-emerged and I have pounded my fists on the bed and yelled at my computer on three separate occasions. I have also barely spoken to anyone nor seen sunlight. I’m a little confused as to what my life is right now. But I love coffee so let’s talk about coffee! My journey to appreciate coffee started, embarrassingly, with Starbucks. Now I call it candy-coffee because let’s face it, most of the concoctions they sell are 3 parts syrup, 1 part coffee and 6 parts milk but at the time I was convinced that a white chocolate mocha (WCM) was this mysterious adult beverage called coffee. And it was delicious! It probably still is but at least …

Beautiful lazy days in Hawaii (on depression)

I’ve been feeling like a phony lately. I can’t think of a life that could be more perfect than mine right now; summer in Hawaii, no schedule, I am saturated in love that spans half the globe. Sun, sand, ocean. No real worries, only an uncertain future (along with almost everyone else.) I can finally spend all my time writing, creating, watching movies, eat amazing food, learn new skills. Truly getting to know the incredible people in my life. Endless summer, extended holiday. It really couldn’t get any better (well, maybe if someone dumped a million dollars in my lap so I could continue doing exactly this forever) so why is my brain choosing this time to get so goddamn sad about everything? How I deal with depression. Depression and death are closely connected in my mind. I read that the thoughts you have on death and the inherent meaninglessness of life when you are depressed are false, but the cruel irony of depression is that those very thoughts will suddenly seem more genuine than …

March Against Monsanto: Hawaii (NO GMO)

The global March Against Monsanto, a rally against genetically modified food, took place on May 25 in 52 countries and 436 cities across the world. I was in Waikiki, Hawaii. The energy was just incredible from the moment you joined the crowd. Among luxury retailers and immaculate sidewalks over 1000 protesters took over the busy street around noon on Saturday. It was hard to estimate the number of people until the rally started marching but I do think it was well over one thousand, ranging from adults, youths, kids and some people didn’t even let injuries stop them and came in wheelchairs. It was truly a Hawaiian celebration. Signs like ‘GMOs in Hawaii – we ain’t bout dat life!’, ‘Monsanto is not pono (right)’, and ‘protect our aina (land)’. Jerome James and Joel Spiral provided drums, music and slogans which turned the 90 minutes walk into a real party. If this is what the world looks like without GMOs, sign me up! Doing some in-the-streets activism with like-minded people was the perfect energy boost 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 …