You had me at “Aloha”

View from top of Diamond Head, ocean, buildings, green landscape, trees

I’m not trying to fast forward time but I have to admit, around this time of year my palms start to get really itchy – a unique sign that I’m either nervous or excited lol. I can confirm, however, that I am pretty darn excited because August is just around the corner and is my most favourite month of the year for so many reasons. But the reason that tops it all is that August is the month that I married my very best friend and the love of my life and every year our anniversary gift to each other is to explore a new destination together. I am so SO excited to say that this year we’re mixing a bit of the new with a bit of the familiar. We are going to Australia and Hawaii!!!

I’ve been blessed to go to Hawaii a handful of times in the past but this will be my very first trip to Australia. For the past few months I’ve been frantically trying to plan our itineraries for both destinations. Australia is slowly but surely coming together. You know how they say that some of the most exciting life events are also the most stressful? It is so true! Think about it… weddings, moving, vacations. As exciting as they all are, they all require an immense amount of planning which can be really stressful. Planning Australia has been like that. The country is so massive that it was a challenge trying to narrow down which cities to visit in what seems like such a short amount of time. I know people who have back-packed Australia from Port Douglas to Sydney in 3 months but we definitely do not have 3 months. I have had many conversations with people who have visited Australia, with friends – and strangers! – who were born and raised there, and have read many travel forums and blogs and have finally nailed it down. But more on that later.

Have you ever visited a place and on the day before you’re scheduled to leave you think to yourself “wait a second… I don’t live here? Why am I packing my bags?” Canada is and always will be my home but for those who know me know that Hawaii is easily my second home and sometimes when I think about not being there I get home sick. But for me, Hawaii goes beyond just what’s familiar. There are certain feelings that overwhelm me when I stand exhausted at the top of Koko Head looking out below, when I’m catching waves on a stand-up paddle board (SUP) in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, or simply feel the sand course between my toes while the ocean breeze runs through my hair and the sun kisses my face. It is a feeling of awe and wonder for creation. It is a feeling of how big the world is and how small I am. It is a feeling of how simple life is in these moments and an amazing sense of calm and revitalization and that, my friends, is what my heart and soul truly craves. Do you have a place that makes you feel this way?

In all my excitement, I just wanted to share with you the beauty and essence of the island of Oahu and why I keep returning there. I completely identify with Moana because, really: “Every turn I take, every trail I track, every path I make, every road leads back. To the place I know, where I cannot go. Where I long to be…See the line where the sky meets the sea? It calls meeeee!”

Feel free to listen to Moana sing as you peruse my photos 😊

Here are some highlights from my last trip to Hawaii in 2014:

Makapu'u Lighthouse on top of mountain and ocean in the background
Makapu’u Lighthouse
Makapu'u locks on fence, ocean and island in the background
Makapu’u locks
Mountains, green landscape and blue ocean and sky
View from the top of Makapu’u
Beautiful yellow-pink plumeria flowers
View from top of Diamond Head, ocean, buildings, green landscape, trees
Waikiki – view from the top of Diamond Head
Koko Head - view of stairs going up the mountain
Koko Head – view from the bottom of the stairs
Koko Head crater (mountain)
Koko Head Crater
View of Hanauma Bay
Hanauma Bay – view from the top of Koko Head
Two people in the ocean with two islands in the background
Lanikai Beach



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