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  • Kat

The Lessons, Precedents, and Joys of Hawaii

6 years ago, I went to Maui. It was the first time I had ever gone to Hawaii. I had only just turned 15 years old back in a small high school, unaware of the person I would be today at UC Davis.

Now, who knew that I would be coming back to these gorgeous cluster of islands, this time to Oahu?

Photo of Katrina on a rock near the coast of Oahu, Hawaii with the background of the ocean.
Greetings Oahu, Hawaii!

There were so many precedents I had on this memorable trip. For the first time ever in my life, I got to go stand-up paddle boarding, zip lining in the middle of the jungle, riding in the back of a truck, and go on a HELICOPTER RIDE all in 5 days.

Supping. AKA, stand up paddle boarding. When I first slowly crawled up from the bottom of the surfboard, my stiffness created unsteadiness. But just as I let go and let loose, I generated the balance needed for the soothing serenity in the moment.

Photo of Katrina sitting on a surfboard while holding a paddle and smiling at the camera.
Sup. :)

Balance is what got me to gently move across the calming waters.

Photo of Katrina in ziplining gear.
All ready to go for my ziplining adventure!
Photo of Katrina ziplining mid-air in the middle of the jungle.
My first time ziplining! I was fearful at first but got over it quite quickly. :)

When I first zip lined, my initial thoughts that clouded my head was how scary that leap of faith would be. I felt like I would fall as immensely as how the pit of my stomach dropped when I first saw the line.

As soon as I was finally able to let go, I became free. The more tense I became, the worse my momentum became.

As I allowed myself to go with the flow, the better the experience became. I was able to see the beauty around me.

As I rode in the back of a truck, I felt the fresh and exhilarating wind embrace my cheeks and the sun’s warmth hug me as a cozy blanket would be in winter. Every view I passed felt like a scene in a movie. Luscious landscapes launched boosts of bliss as I recharged my energy amidst the sand and trees.

Photo of Katrina's reflection on the truck's window as she is taking a selfie in the back of the truck.
I felt like a local Hawaiian in this photo LOL

Finally, as I felt exhilarated by flying over 1,00 feet up in the air, each tiny car turned into minute ants and each person transformed into the unseen.

Photo of one of the views from the helicopter ride, depicting a view of the Waikiki area.
I am still in awe of the beauty that the camera could not capture.

Riding on a helicopter emphasized to me how tiny I am compared to this massive world.

Photo of Katrina's feet on the floor of the helicopter as the transparent window reveals the view of Hawaii's lands.
We are all connected.

And more often than not, the tiniest things in this life can make a huge difference. Sitting on that helicopter had me view just one single island of the entire state of Hawaii — the beauty of its islands is something we all take for granted. While we can appreciate its natural wonders, we must remember to honor and respect the indigenous peoples that reside on its majestic lands. We must remember its sacredness.

These unprecedented experiences of mine will only be a faint yet marked memory in fifty years from now, locked in my valued treasures filled with moments of unforgettable joy.

But now, as it is still fresh in my mind, I refer back to each and every one of them for when I am holding on to too much and expanding negative energy of internal stress.

For every time I hold on to excessive tension, I lose grasp of my true intention:

how I have everything within me to return to home.

By letting go, you set yourself free.

That is what Hawaii taught me:

Let go to freely grow.

And don’t forget to have fun in process. <3

Photo of Katrina with vegan tacos smiling at the camera.
Aloha: the word that means hello, goodbye, and I love you all the same time. <3

If you ever get the opportunity to go to Hawaii, please do. Because the culture is largely laid-back and chill, the people I have met were so friendly and amiable. You won't regret it.

Hope you all have had a lovely summer, and (if you are a fellow student) are smoothly transitioning to in-person schooling. As always, sending much love to all.

- Kat

IG: @plantifullylivin


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