Officially been home a week from our Hawaii vacation and boy it’s been tough adapting to mainland life again. Yoga teacher training exams coupled with the passing of a family member meant I was so ready to take a break. Our eight day trip made me realize that eight days is NOT long enough in Hawaii, and I really enjoy Island life, being by the ocean and living in a Condo (something I didn’t think I’d say!). Other than that there were a few other things I learned from the trip, and ways I plan on implementing those life lessons.
5 life lessons from our Hawaii vacation
All the literature about Hawaii tells you that Island life is slower than on the mainland, and I for one am A-Ok with that. I think life could use slowing down. Yes initially this took some getting used to. Especially driving at 30 mph on a road that would be easily 50 on the mainland. That was weird. But it’s surprising how quickly you get used to it, and it kinda makes you chill out (do people still say that “Chill Out”, because if they don’t I’m totally bringing it back). Being in a car was much more enjoyable when you’re not rushing! This one has been especially noticeable since getting back to California and witnessing the crazy motorists driving in the rain.
How is this a life lesson? I tend to stress and worry lot so taking time to slow down, chill out and breathe just did wonders for me. I plan on doing this more often. I’ve mentioned my schedule is changing, teaching more yoga, and I see more changes ahead for 2016 and beyond. Really aiming for a daily yoga and meditation practice, which will hopefully spill into daily life.
Experiences are more fun than objects/things
I’ve said it before but I much prefer experiences to things. Total souvenirs brought back from Hawaii? Two. Though we did buy 2 Hawaiian shirts for Bob, and 2 sundresses for me we wore those while we were there, the only real souvenirs were 2 bottle openers (it’s a Bob tradition of sorts). That’s it. Experiences we will remember for a lifetime? Lots: Beautiful sunsets on the lanai, being right on the oceanfront, snorkeling an amazing coral reef, sea kayaking, swimming with sea turtles, segway tour, sampling fruit straight from the trees, seeing the volcanoes, Hawaiian history at Point of Refuge, more snorkeling, great food, lava tube, living “aloha”!
How do I plan on learning from this? Engaging in more experiences. Taking weekends away (which I can do now I don’t work weekends, yay). Reconnecting with hobbies that make me happy (photography). Taking time to catch up with friends. And finally, minimizing the “stuff” we have in the house. Creating more space. Making our house have that same ‘retreat’ feel.
Just be nice!
By far the Hawaiians were the friendliest people we’ve met. Every person said hello, started a conversation or was just plain nice. I admit as an introvert I sometimes struggle with making conversation, but not here. Maybe I just looked less stressed and more approachable? Maybe the chill attitude just rubs off? Maybe everyone being so laid back helps? Island life definitely makes people happier.
To implement the “aloha” life I plan on following a few things from lifestyle podcasts I’ve been listening to recently. Ask people questions. Listen. Provide answers conversationally. Draw others in conversation. Be friendlier. Get outside your comfort zone emotionally. My friend Grace is an amazing example of just being an all round nice person. She goes out of her way to introduce herself to new people at the yoga studio and make them feel welcomed into the community. I need to find my inner Grace.
Take more time to appreciate nature!
I’ve always loved nature. It’s one reason I’m vegan: I don’t eat my friends and it’s better for the environment. In Hawaii though it’s tough NOT to feel super connected to nature. Swimming with Sea Turtles, the brilliantly colored fish in the reefs, beautiful flowers, and stunning sunsets all make you feel even more connected to mother nature. I can’t say I’ve ever watched a sunset from my patio at home, but we watched every sunset on the lanai in Hawaii (ok it did help being right on the oceanfront).
Implementing this life lesson will be as simple as being present when in nature. Noticing nature. Getting back in my garden, and maybe finally creating the Hawaiian tiki garden I’ve wanted for years! Yes I got a ton of garden inspiration. Rekindling my love of nature photography. Being more engaged with Pixel. Thinking about products I’m using and how they are impacting the environment. Hike more.
Take Tech Breaks
In Hawaii we had internet, we had phones, and iPads but we really only used them to post pics, or look up details or trips we planned. I read a book. We spent time talking. Watched sunsets. Walked. Swam. Snorkeled. We had time for other experiences, time to connect with each other. Sometimes if feels like the internet connects us to people 1000’s of miles away but drives those closest to us further apart. I’m betting you’ve seen 4 people at a dinner table and all of them on their phones! We’re losing touch with the people we’re right next to! I’m guilty of this too so don’t feel like you’re alone.
About 5 years ago I started taking “offline days”. Usually Sunday, where I wouldn’t go on facebook, use my iPad or computer. Instead I’d make time for those things I enjoyed but never got the chance to do. I’m implementing that again. It may not be a full day but I’ll definitely be doing: tech free meals (no phones), meals at the table not in front of computer, no screens an hour before bed, as soon as I want to pick up my phone or iPad then I stop and instead redirect to something more beneficial. We all have the same 24 hours in the day, I need to start using that time better. Social media can be a huge time sink, and if time is one of your excuses for not working out then free up some time and get offline (more tips in my free ebook).
All in all, Hawaii was pretty much life changing. I didn’t realize snorkeling there could be just like being in the film Finding Nemo (probably my favorite Disney Movie)! I forgot the connection I had with nature, and enjoyed just sitting and watching the ocean, birds, plants, hearing the tree frogs, seeing the feral cats, the colorful spiders and more. Mostly I didn’t realize the peace that was missing from my life. The busy pace of mainland life was really stressing us both out. Learning to let go of not DOING all the time and simply BEING…
What life lessons have you learned recently and how have you implemented what you learned?
Have you ever vacationed in Hawaii? I can’t wait to go back!
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Rebecca Hubbell (Sugar and Soul)
Slowing down is something I always struggle with, I’m such a go go go person and whenever I look back on a trip I wish I’d just taken a minute to breathe… haha!
That’s me usually Rebecca! I’m a planner! My husband told me “no planning” and it was enjoyable to just go with the flow
I so could use a vacation to Hawaii right about now and to also learn to “so down” for sure lol!
I just got back and could do with going again already! lol!
I Know you had a great time Di, and i wish i could just chil and let my brain rest but at night seems to be working overtime,.think i need to be in Hawaii 🙂
hahaha got to switch the brain off!
I wish I could be saving up for a vacation now! Every time we get a step ahead we get two steps behind. Looks like you had fun!
Keep trying! It’s so worthwhile!
I totally agree! Experience really is better. I’m trying to teach my daughter and Ginny this and they just don’t get it yet -_-
They will. I sure as hell remember trip and fun times more than any gift. Actually I can only remember three xmas gifts I’ve ever gotten as a child. But that’s because of the memories attached to them, not the actual gifts themselves.
Kirsten Maxwell (@kidsareatrip)
Technology is a big one for me, but going on vacation really allows me to unplug. One of the other life lessons I’ve recently learned is life is too short for bad friends. Cut ties and move on.
That’s a good life lesson too!
Love it! And I love all the pictures! It looks like you all had a fantastic time! 🙂 and awesome life lessons. I have to constantly remind myself of these so often. Thanks for sharing! LifeAsLex
Thanks! it was amazing!
Bonnie @ Living a Fit and Full Life
I love Hawaii! Definitely visiting again soon. Love your post!
Hawaii is awesome! One of those places I could definitely go to again and again!
It sounds like you had an amazing vacation! Taking time to slow down, be present, and connect with nature – sounds perfect! These are really important lessons. I try to practice these every day. It makes for a saner life 🙂 Sorry for your loss as well.
Thanks. Yes PERFECT describes it completely!
blythea (Prime Beauty Blog)
I’ve never been to Hawaii, but it looks like you had such a great time. It is so important to be present and enjoy your time again.
Had a great time, thanks!
oh how much fun! I had the pleasure of going to Maui about 10 years ago & would love to go again & the lifestyle there is so awesome – like you said, so laid back!
Yes! I think I’d like to try a few of the other islands but I hear that the big island is less commercialized than the other so now I’m cautious.
I want to go to Hawaii so much! I definitely believe experiences are better than items!
Never stop dreaming! I’ve wanted to go for such a long, and finally happened!
Maria @ closetohome
We went to Hawaii for our Honeymoon. Visiting there with no kids was such a treat not sure how relaxed it would be if we brought them now.
hahahaha I can understand that! Though I hear the Hilton in Hawaii is great for kids!
We went Maui about 10 tens ago. It was amazing. I would love to go back one day.
Totally here you Jenn! I can’t wait to go back to Hawaii!
I am so terrible at slowing down! I like to be on the go all the time!
I’m guilty of this too! My hubby made me promise to slow down and not organize the whole vacation!
I am feeling like I need a tech break big time! I think our trip to Florida next week is coming at a good time. I am glad you had fun in Hawaii! I’m sorry to hear about your family member.
Yes tech breaks are so good for us!
Hawaii will surely do that to you! My family is from Hawaii but we have only been there twice. But that part of my family is super laid back.
Oh gosh I’d be back there all the time given the chance!
I’ve never been to Hawaii! So jealous! I hope you remember these lessons back on the mainland. 🙂 Too easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle!
Yes Roxanne I’m hoping the lessons last! One week later and so far sticking!