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Monday, March 17, 2014

Hawaii Travel Journal // Road Trips with Robbie



Instagram. The source. The reason why anyone knows anything about what's going on in your life anymore. 

This is where our story begins, with a simple post from me of some classic Hawaii goodness discovered by my Australian mate,  Robbie Warden. "I fly in Monday," he wrote. "Will you still be around?!" Indeed, I would. Robbie is an Australian photographer and overall legendary human. 

The adventure had officially begun.

Robbie pulled up to Log Cabins around sunset in a beat up mini van, Foodland sushi and beers in hand. He graciously shared with my girlfriends and me as we soaked up the last of the day's sun, mesmerized by the perfect sets rolling in. "So I've got this van…" he started with a cheeky grin, "I scored it off a guy in Honolulu. It's got a tent, cooking equipment, everything." I looked up with eyes that I can only assume were the epitome of "starry". "Keen to go on an adventure?" Music to my ears.





We started that night on the North Shore, camping right on the beach at Mokuleia. Grilled veggie wraps and PBR fueled our late night, moonlit tide pool floats. The tent became shockingly disposable with the first rays of morning sun. We watched it rise through a sandy, half slumber.



Early to rise we headed for the East side. After making a quick Poke stop, our agenda flew out the window, all cares attached. The day was for adventure artistry and the island our muse. We remained open to all its potential.

We stopped at a rustic beach shop for nothing more than a stretch and a look see. 2 hours later and a ukulele in hand, I wondered what life would be like without chance encounter. Shop owner, musician, and Palestinian expat, Fawazz Jubran was an exuberant fellow on a mission to spread the Aloha vibes. For the record, he succeeded famously. 




Jamming out to our new friend's mellifluous masterpiece, it wasn't long before we were forced to stop again. With whatever secret ninja eyesight Robbie possesses, he spotted a stunning, tucked away, castaway beach, complete with swing and rock for mermaid perching. An impromptu Blue Lagoon photo shoot was absolutely essential, so we got our creative on.



The day had only half passed. Starving, we stopped for a Poke picnic at Kahana Beach Park. We were greeted by a trio of salty Samoans fresh from a dive, the remains of their day's catch butchered on their lofty beer cooler. They taught me of Amakua, the Hawaiian spirit animal and guiding force unique to each individual. I taught them of the Hindu "Om" and we practiced a few rounds. Their energy was contagious, and laughter was bountiful. 



Anxious to get in a surf before the day's end, we bolted into town in hopes of some perfect peelers. Our expectations (as they often do) fell short. The waves were puny, but the people watching was nothing short of epic. Both on a budget and tempted by Honolulu night life, we high tailed it back to the North Shore. But not before making one last stop: Chinaman's Hat.

The weather was moving in fast. The winds were howling and massive rain drops were falling steadily. But the the storm had a mad electricity about it, magnetizing us down to the beach despite the onset of ominous skies. We gazed at the obtuse silhouette of the monster rock.
I sat on a fallen palm and took a deep breath of the humid air, exhaling an intention of gratitude for all of the serendipitous events of the day: the fate that allowed Robbie's and my trip to overlap, small talk that lead to deep connections with local legends, accidental discovery and immersion into a secret beauty of this mystical island. 


 "Woah," Robbie chuckled, camera in hand, snapping me out of my dreamy recapitulation. "I think I just captured your soul."


The following evening I packed my bags and left for LA. Robbie hopped on the next flight to Kauai. This trip reminded me that what makes adventure so sweet is its uniqueness, its randomness, its absolute unpredictability. What could have been another day of routine and rehearsed expression was, instead, a day of splendor and discovery. I am so grateful for Robbie's presence in it all, and for his beautiful documentation of the excursion.

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I know not everyone is able to an adventure off to Hawaii, and not everyone is lucky enough to have friends like Robbie who push them outside their comfort zone. But everyone has the wind. Everyone has the stars.  Everyone experiences the energy of the tides and the cycles of the moon. Nature pushes us to be open, to experience and thrive in new circumstances. Allow yourself to feel these guiding forces and be open to what they bring. See what doors open in your daily life, even in the smallest of ways, and challenge yourself to let go of whatever's keeping you from being moved.

Photos:  Robbie Warden | Bikini: Mikoh | Jewelry: Lotus + Lime / Bahgsu Jewels / Lakota Jewellery

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