It is amazing to me that it has almost been a year since my last post!! Wow...so much has changed...
After spending much of the past few years on the road traveling this great country of ours, I have found my sweet spot. I am loving Florida - I have been here for 6 months and am looking forward to finally settling in
Why Florida you ask? Oh, let me count the ways...close to the Appalachian Trail, the weather (oh my!), the ability to grow our own food, the cost of living and the ease of traveling to so many wonderful places (especially where family and friends are)...there are not too many places in the WORLD that meet all of these parameters...And, those that know me, know how picky I am when it comes to location...a resident expert now, I guess.
Florida is a really great place to be - right now my window is wide open with a most wonderful breeze coming through...a nice 75 degrees or so...clear blue sky. Life is good.
So, we left off that I was in Portland...but Waldo has found a new super super home spot...Santa Rosa, Cali. A little busier than I prefer - but the weather, the people...good stuff!
A snapshot update...
Work - I took a part-time position with this Bay Area start up - LOVE the owner - he is a really cool dude - and the other people I am working with are great, too - including a Kiwi! We are still in our 'trial' month - determining if we are a fit,
it is working out great so far (see pics of the office)...it is a FREEZING warehouse, though, so that is the only really nada-happy thing for me - it is getting better - yesterday was the first day I took my coat off!!
A video on the primary product:
Home - I am renting a place right behind True North (the health clinic I am volunteering at - the primary reason I chose Santa Rosa) - super cute place - AND True North is renting my extra room for their interns - so, I will get Natural Hygiene smarties staying here - yip yip! There are great bike trails out my door - and I have been walking/running the neighborhood almost daily.
I have fully furnished my place through Craigslist and Thrift stores...got so many
great deals - my couch was $15 (IKEA $300 couch) - my treadmill was only $50 for those cold mornings! My lamps, pillows, stands, vacuum, blender and so much more I got from a garage sale for $1/ea...always fun!
Volunteering - I started volunteering at True North - such great energy there! http://www.healthpromoting.com/ - really, really wonderful people. It is a VERY busy place - lots of things happening - currently and on the horizon. I look forward to my adventure here - I will be volunteering 3x per week initially...
I am also volunteering at a thrift shop that benefits the KITTIES...it is a really cool thrift store - great prices, great stuff and a dedicated clientele! PLUS, some kitties are at the store so I can play with them as much as I want!
My Social Life - while I tend to meet people easily, I haven't made much of an effort as I have been trying to get my basic needs situated. I have a feeling True North will make up the core of my social circle here - as well, I was at a Garage Sale and this gal looks at me and says, 'I feel I am supposed to tell you about the Center for Spiritual Living'...I love things like that..no effort, all flow! I looked it up and it is a HUGE, very cool community here in town...there are lots of raw and/or vegan potlucks in the area...one step at a time. An abundance of options!
The produce here...AMAZING - it is really the belly of the world! The prices...amazing. I have foraged tangelos, lemons and persimmons so far - and it is Dec/Jan! The greens are sooo sweet and the celery - mwah!
My Furry Dude - he is settling in - he loves the treadmill - and my desk (of course)...I am sure he will love to have more people around so he can show off. As I write this, he is laying on his back looking up at me...
So....I am back in Portland now - great to be here. What a wonderful trip - so much clarity and exploration and natural beauty!
It became very clear towards the end of my trip that moving to Hawaii would be very upstream and based on pure fantasy. It does not line up with all that is most important to me at this point in my life. This clarity is such a gift. I never say never - for now, I am quite clear that I am meant to stay on the West Coast...
I am looking at moving to Northern Cali - I am going back to Cali, Cali, Cali...going back to Cali. After all, I spent my first year of life there! I am really drawn, and have been for a while, to being near True North Health Center. Dr. Goldhammer is on the cutting edge of Natural Hygiene and healing through natural modalities...it is my goal to volunteer there (they don't know this yet!) I know volunteering at a place like this - with an already built in NH community - oooh, that sounds fabulous. To me, that sounds even better than picking coconuts every day! Can you imagine?? It is about making a difference - doing some good in the world - helping people - surrounding myself with like minded peeps making things happen...
The journey continues. Hawaii is an amazing place - a bubble on the planet - there is no perfect spot, I have determined. It is about lining up my dreams and my priorities in the moment...creating a nice harmony and balance. And, of course, smiling often. ;-)
Wow – what a place – papayas, coconuts and longan, oh my! So far this has been a perfectly insightful and wonderful trip. I have had moments when I question a move as there are issues here (like everywhere). Yet, I leave Maui tomorrow feeling I am supposed to be somewhere on the islands.
My trip started at my dear, childhood friend Amy’s in San Francisco – it was so great to see her, John and Baxter. A perfect stopover – while short, it was fulfilling and fun!! The next morning I drove to the airport ready for my adventure.
My flight to Hawaii arrived 40 minutes early – super smooth and easy – now THAT is the way to start a trip!! I had to trek along a back road (with my luggage) to get to my Maui commuter flight. Once there, I had 2 hours to kill and met these wonderful ladies – also heading to Maui AND from Oregon…so, of course, we started chatting. ANDDDD, they were car sleepers, too!!! Told me all their secrets for both islands – yeehaw! One of the gals was contemplating a move – it was her 13th visit so clearly she has some commitment issues around this move – haha!
The Maui bound plane ride was stomach churning…and I found out later from the rental car agency that the airline I chose was notorious for ‘making people puke’ – his words, not mine…however, I get it! A little Cessna is always an adventure for me and my fear of heights – had to close my eyes a few times, breath deep and belt out a few ‘oh dear Lord’s. Not too bad, though. ;-)
Picked up my car and started perusing Kahului…didn’t realize they had a Whole Foods…you think they are Whole Paycheck in mainland??? Try Maui style! I like the general vibe of the town (people-wise) – while crazy busy and concrete-esk, it has everything anyone could ever want – 2 great natural food stores (in addition to Whole Foods) – which both had cheaper prepared raw foods than back in Oregon. I know I wouldn’t live in this town – yet it is nice to know that all the conveniences of mainland are only 20-30 minutes away from any town I would want to live in.
I was eager to sniff out some of the locations I was considering and dove right in!! I went to Kihei first. I was also looking for farm stands (duh!)…and voila, coconuts ALL over the side of the road! Screech! There was a lot of bustle in this stand – and a seat by this one with 3 coconuts in front of her. I decided to park it next to her and hang out for a bit...patiently waiting for the owner to cut me open a coconut. Of course, I started chatting with this gal (a local)…and we kept chatting…and chatting. About an hour later, she turns to me and says, ‘I have a proposition for you…I have a studio you can stay in – if you can help me clean the main home’. HELLO!?!?!! With no hesitation, I blurted, ‘yes, yes, yes!’ So, that was the start of my fabulous stay in Maui…Kalista has been such an incredible host and Nassa has been our daily coconut guy. I am so grateful to both of them….
Kalista’s home is amazing…here is the view from the Lanai – and then their orchard – so many yummy foods!
The last few days I have spent hanging with her – cleaning – eating/drinking coconuts (she swears by them for healing!) I am now a bit addicted to them (and the papayas)…having 3 a day!
I have been driving around a lot looking at spots I might want to live – and my preference is ‘upcountry’ – around 1000-2000 in elevation.
Most are very laid back communities – and feel spot on for me. Today I found my favorite one on Maui – a cute town called Haiku. It might be too small to start in…looking at all of my options.
I have also partaken in many of the required Maui activities…a Maui sunset –
Helluuuurrrr!!!! This morning I also took a 2 hour walk on the beach…it was really beautiful and refreshing!!
While I haven’t been to the Big Island yet, I feel I have a really good handle on ‘life on Maui’. I am looking forward to seeing how Hilo compares with Maui. Everyone on Maui swears by Maui (they have all lived on other islands.) We shall see!
While this is long, it is actually a really a brief summary!! In each town I have visited, I have had great moments of fun. I would say that Kihei, Makawao and Haiku are the front runners. Tomorrow opens up a whole new island, though, so one step in front of the other!