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it was seven years ago today…

Posted: July 1st, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Hawaii, life | 2 Comments »

… that I got on a plane in the dead of night and started on my grand adventure return to the mainland. Seven years! That’s hard to wrap my head around.


In some ways, it seems so long ago — it’s now been longer since I left Hawaii than I spent there in the first place. When people who are heading to Hawaii ask me for advice on where to stay and eat and what to do, it takes me some time (and sometimes some assistance from the Lonely Planet guide I keep on my shelf) to recall the names of places and streets, the nitty-gritty of how to get around. Time and distance and hindsight being what they are, it’s hard to put myself back into my own shoes in that time and space. Was that really me? Did I really chuck it all and spend nearly six years of my life in the middle of the Pacific Ocean?

I don’t have any regrets about having lived there, but neither do I wish I were still there (except maybe sometimes in February). The experience overall was a great one, and it plays a big role in who I am today. I wouldn’t trade it.

But seven years ago it was time to leave, for a number of reasons. I knew the transition would be tough, so I turned it into a grand adventure, a seven-week solo journey across the country, starting in the Pacific Northwest, driving down the entire U.S. West Coast, then across the Southwest before angling up through the nonsquare central states back to Ohio. Stops along the way were pretty evenly split between friends, hotels, and a conference that fit neatly into the middle of the trip.

In honor of this anniversary, I’ve found and reposted the blog posts I made during that trip, and even found and reposted the photos that go along with them. (My Blogger-to-Wordpress transition was not a smooth one, and these disappeared in the move. As I’ve been digging around trying to find stuff to delete to free up some hard drive space, though, I found an old archive folder that preserved much of what I thought I had lost. They’re all in reverse order on that linked page, by the way.)

I thought that I had made a lot more posts, but it seems that a lot of what I was remembering is what I wrote in my journal. My laptop was relatively new to me, WiFi was still in its infancy, and making internet connections wasn’t the piece of cake it is today. Still, it’s an interesting peek back at a time of transition, the beginning of a new chapter in my life that led me on a path to where I am today.