Vanessa DeCouto | Somewhere between Hana and Pa’ia
Beach trip #84
Guys, I’m turning into a blogger.
Okay, not quite. But I do want to turn this space here into one where I can share and talk about the places I’m going and the people I’m meeting and the endless number of things I’m doing. (So yes, maybe I’m turning into a blogger.)
I’m one of those resolutions-are-stupid-and-positive-changes-should-be-a-conscious-effort-all-year-round kind of people, so the fact that it is the first of the New Year is a slightly annoying coincidence, but that’s just the nonconformist in me talking.
If you have no idea who I am or why I’m on your dashboard, here’s a recap.
And so all of these things together have led me to what is the “GO DO!” and “GO SEE!” part of life that I’m stumbling through somewhat blindly right now.
All this go do-ing and go-seeing has prompted a lot of excitement and encouragement from the people around me. Which is great! I’m so thankful I have that support. With that tends to come a lot of “wow, you’re so lucky!” and a few “ugh I’m so jealous of your incredible life.”
And to those things I say: No, I’m really not that lucky. Luck had nothing to do with me being where I am right now.
What I AM is incredibly hard working and that’s really all it comes down to. I didn’t get any head starts, a plane ticket to hawaii was not magically placed in my hand one day. I left the mitten with a little over $700 in my back pocket and everything I was taking with me in a 35 liter hiking pack and made it all the way across the country and half an ocean. I’m pretty broke, I miss my friends and family, I miss my boyfriend, I miss being bundled up in the Michigan snow (maybe that one only for a second), I miss having bonfires in my backyard and going to punk shows with my friends. This is the first year I’ve spent Thanksgiving and Christmas away from home. This is the first time I’ve moved more than an hour’s drive away from mom and dad. This is the first time I’ve submersed myself in a foreign place with the only support within 4,000 miles being the person going through all of it with me.
Please don’t let me sell you short, it is really fucking hard.
But it is so incredibly worth it.
There aren’t enough words (or enough patience from anyone who is reading) to write about all the things I’ve learned and come to the realization about in the past three months, but I can assure you that I would not trade eating $1.89 instant Chinese food bowls or sleeping overnight in the passenger seat of a conversion van in a Walmart parking lot or the 18 hour day of tackling trains and airports from hell for any of it. Not in a heart beat.
So while everyone is making resolutions and committing to new life changes and goals for the year, I’m taking the time to appreciate the places I’ve come and the distance I’ve traveled and the endless amount of hard work that brought me here. I’m very proud of myself for that, I think that it is important to be.
Whether it be learning to play the xylophone or trying out a vegan diet for a month or making it to the Pacific coastline or jumping ship and moving half an ocean away, I can put my life on the fact that if it’s wanted enough, and if it is worked at enough, it will happen and it will happen beautifully and it will be all yours.
So go do something! Do it with every fiber of your being! And god damn it make that thing yours!
Aloha and Happy New Year everyone.
Photos from the drive along the south coast of Maui
Makeshift pour over coffee using a coconut shell, a filter, and a mason jar.
Cotton candy clouds for days.
Red Sands Beach in Hana, Hawaii
Portland to Honolulu, we broke through the clouds right at sunrise.
The Olympic Peninsula via Highway 101
Seen in Portland, Oregon.
The Gus Bus somewhere along Highway 101 in the Olympic Peninsula.