At the beginning of this journey, I was unfulfilled and apathetic about the life I was leading. It was a good life, one that gave me a few luxuries while still being able to save for the future, but somehow I still felt empty inside.
Unable to shake this feeling, I searched for a solution and finally recognized the need to experience more of the world and engage with people in a way I hadn’t yet. I chose to rectify this by traveling around the world by myself, and I have never looked back (even though the start was pretty rocky).
But now as I prepare for the last leg of my journey (Toronto – layover in Vancouver – Honolulu), I realize that the long way home can sometimes be the best road to take. Looking back on all that I’ve seen and done, I’m amazed and proud of myself.
I said “yes” to many things outside of my comfort zone and had experiences I never would have dreamed of had I stayed in Hawaiʻi. I met friends from around the world – be it for a single day or working side-by-side with them for months. I pushed my physical, mental and emotional boundaries and made it through with only a bit of whinging along the way.
I have literally traveled around the globe only to return home again, but I am returning as a new and improved version of myself. Sometimes you need to take a look at yourself through other people’s eyes to see that your life is a blessing. Unsurprisingly, I have a better appreciation of what home means to me, and I will no longer take Hawaiʻi for granted (not the unique experience of growing up here; not the natural, unpolluted beauty if possesses; not the uncompromising hospitality of its people; not its tremendous geographical isolation; and not even the increasingly high cost of living).
So as I wait for my next flight, I look back on my travels with bittersweet memories but look forward to coming home again.