Alone Again in Paradise

I have not written in a record breakingly long time because I was simply enjoying being on a road trip with Martina. Turns out that it’s pretty fun to travel with somebody you get along with. I have become very accustomed to solo travel and don’t usually think about gaining a travel partner most of the time, but with Martina I really enjoyed having a partner.

I am now on my way to New Zealand, Holiday Working visa in hand, to try and get a job for the summer (New Zealand summer).  I am hoping this job will not be cleaning toilets but at the same time will pay me enough to live and save for more traveling! The world is extremely big from where I’m sitting and it’s both terribly exciting and terribly intimidating.

I say on my way to New Zealand because I have stopped off in Hawai’i before going all the way to the Southern Hemisphere because…I can. I remember this one time in Girl Scouts when we had saved up enough money as a troop to take a trip together, we wanted to go to Hawai’i becuase when you grow up in rural New Hampshire where winter is 8 months long, you tend to really fantasize about the tropics. We were told, however, that Hawai’i was too far to go with only a week of travel time total and that we maybe didn’t have quite enough money to take 10 and their chaperones to expensive, far off Pacific islands.

So, maybe it was my inner 8 year old that still wanted to know what the hell Hawai’i was really like, but I decided to take a 9 day detour to Oahu. It’s basically on the way to New Zealand, right? I could find a Work Away position to make the expense of it less and just go and chill on the beach, swim in the ocean, open myself to possibilities, etc.

On my first day there, I was sitting on Sunset Beach on the North Shore of Oahu, letting my equatorial husk return (this is code terminology for getting a sunburn), when it occurred to me that I had come to paradise alone. Again. Why, why do I do this? I did this last year, too in Costa Rica. I just jetted off to a tropical place (which some people call paradise, but which I call wet) all by myself and then ended up sitting on a beach wondering why I felt lonely.

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Just hanging out…alone.

Part of the problem is that the tropical islands are simply not the environment in which I thrive. I’m a mountain person. I want to rock climb, ski, hike, etc. I love swimming and the ocean is absolutely fantastic, but it’s also terrifying. I love the warmth of the air and the ability to almost live in a bathing suit, but I also don’t love it when it rains, which is. A lot.

Since I’m in a work away, this also means that I’m camping, which really limits my access to dry living space. All this, combined with the high cost of living in general in Hawai’i has really served to highlight my currently loneliness. I’m sure many of us would agree that loneliness is an unpleasant feeling, very different from aloneness, which is a feeling I rather enjoy, actually. I felt this last time I said adéu to Martina, in Costa Rica. I was alone for a time after that as well, which resulted in much loneliness.

Something about rainy tropics, man. I guess it’s my destiny right now to just experience them from this place of feeling alone and be patient with the feelings. I think in the future, however, next time I go to paradise, I’ll invite someone to come with me.

In gratitude to my travel partners and all the people who support my continuous travel experiences (Mom and Dad). I really am so lucky to be where I am.

Molly

P.S. It’s really hard to believe that Hawai’i is part of the United States. Blows my mind.

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