Hawaii Four-O


sunsest from our airbnb

Seven months ago I decided I didn't want to spend my 40th birthday at home, I wanted to go somewhere with just John (my husband) and relax. As much as we travel it had been a few years since just the 2 of us had taken a vacation together. I looked at how many airline miles I had and based on that and wanting to go somewhere that wasn't cold and rainy, I picked Hawaii (the Big Island). Added bonus, we hadn't been to the Big Island before, so I was excited to be able to go somewhere new. 


end to end rainbow over a lava field 

What I didn't know at the time was, shortly after booking that trip, I would spend the next 6 months interviewing / looking for a different job. I had a co-worker who took another job at a different company, who wasn't really looking but responded to an inquiry on LinkedIn and ended up with an awesome job working from home. I really didn't have any intention on looking for another job, yet alone leaving the company I had worked for for 12+ years. But one day after coming home from a frustrating day at work I responded to recruiter on LinkedIn. One thing led to another and I found myself interviewing at different companies, which almost became a full time job itself. Preparing for technical interviews is almost like cramming for final exams, it's fun but exhausting. I had several offers, but for one reason or another they weren't a perfect fit. Then what I thought was the perfect job came around, but they didn't think I was a perfect fit, which affected me more than it should of. 


walking out to the green sand beach


Just when I was about to give up, another opportunity came up via one of my best friends, which led to another job offer. Deciding to take the offer and leave the company (Nike) I loved and had worked for most of my career was one of the hardest decision I had to made in a long time. I flipped flopped on it a lot and probably drove a lot of people up the wall, because I wouldn't make up my mind or talk about anything else for a few weeks.  I met some of my best friends, including Susan at Nike, which made it even harder to leave. My last day at Nike was 2 days before leaving for Hawaii, which timing wise couldn't of been more perfect. 


kayaking with John and the spinner dolphins


The first few days in Hawaii, I was in a funk because I felt like I had lost a big part of my life and still wasn't sure I had made the right decision. (Yes, I know poor me, I am in Hawaii and sad. The irony wasn't lost on me) I thought I really needed to go on a run to clear my head. Well finding a trail run on the Kona side of the Big Island was a little more challenging than I expected, so much of it is covered in lava rocks, which doesn't make for very runnable trails. 


My 1 trail run

A friend of mine suggested the Ala Kahakai Trail which is actually a 175 mile trail along the coast line, the trick is finding where the trail connects.  The closest trailhead to where we were staying was at Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park. The first 1/2 mile of the trail was runnable, then I reached a long stretch of sandy beach. Just when I was about to turn around and give up on running on the "trail" I came upon a turtle. There was something really magical about being the only person on the beach with the turtle. The beach eventually ended and the trail continued on lava "paved" trail back to the trailhead. I covered a lot of Hawaii's terrain in 4 something miles- beach, lava trail and dirt trail. 


The turtle I shared my run with

The rest of the trip I gave up trying to trail run and just enjoyed all the other things the island had to offer: kayaking and snorkeling with spinner dolphins, stand-up paddling, hiking on an active volcano, drinking mai tais, watching amazing sunsets and just relaxing by the ocean. Hawaii was exactly what I needed to unwind, relax, enjoy my birthday, and realize sometimes it is ok to take a break from running.  

Ahu
place of refuge

Walking in a crater

Ahu = Cairn

View from one of our hikes



Arch over the oecan


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