Tag Archives: adventure

Finding Time to Relax While on Vacation

ImageThere’s something beautiful about a quiet, empty common area

I’m amused by the existence of this post.  It seems counter-intuitive that one would need to relax while vacationing in paradise, doesn’t it?  I’ve somehow managed to keep myself fairly busy this whole time, and it’s time for me to slow down.  Between the farm work that comes with WWOOFing, online classes (I’ve doing both an entrepreneurship course, and a “Rhetoric II” course), trying to maintain a blog (I know that the rest of yall are probably rolling your eyes, but I had no clue how much work this thing takes!), and rushing about trying to cram as many experiences as possible in to my time here, I haven’t been doing much breathing.

Today was especially busy.  We started early to avoid the heat as much as possible, but we still had a large harvest that kept us busy until mid-afternoon.  Afterward I had an essay to write, notes to take, and some information that I’m reviewing as a favor to the owners of the farm.  Toss in a bit of cooking, cleaning, dealing with the various social obligations that come with a communal living situation, and the hours just disappear.

I’ve decided that I’m going to relax now.  I think I’m going to start by maybe having a glass of kava, and hitting the sack.

Good night, yall

-NSTB

Taking a Deep Breath of Ocean Air

ImageI just had a very interestingly timed conversation- just as I was about to start typing.  It was short and to the point, but after yesterday’s little panic attack, it’s comforting.  A gal that I’m casually seeing- North Carolina massage therapist (NCMT) told me (and is telling me as I’m typing) how she’s back from having just diffused a situation.  A new WWOOFer was apparently a little stressed, and, in here words, “tripping.”  She mentioned how it wasn’t a big deal, and how she’d caught herself tripping out and stressing a few days before when she was snapping at me.  She then went on to say that everybody does it.

I have a habit of rolling my eyes when she talks about her intuitive feel for people, and understanding of human nature- especially when she drops full sized generalizations like “everybody trips out.”  The eye roll came, and I quipped that I hadn’t had a freak out yet.  Her was response?  “You and I are different.  Yours is going to be quiet and in your head.”  Yesterday came back to me, and I realized that, as much as it bothers me to admit it, she’s to some extent or another correct.

I had my little freakout yesterday.  I hadn’t put much thought to it today, but that’s probably because I managed to get it out of my system.  I panicked under the stress of a new environment, let the tension build up in me, and had a private meltdown last night.  It’s liberating knowing it for what it is, and even more comforting that I’m not the only one experiencing it, even if it manifests itself in different ways with different people.  I’m a little more ready to face the future and world.

Have any of yall ever had minor meltdowns or travel stress from a new environment?  How’d you deal with it?

The Ballad (Dirge?) of a Southern Man in Hawaii

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“But I guess it’s something you don’t understand.” — The Texas sunset (undoctored image)

It’s worth prefacing this by saying that I love life.  I’m thrilled to be in Hawaii.  I’ve been here for two weeks and my world is already changing and my horizons are expanding.  Some of my preconceived notions are being challenged, and others are being reinforced.  This may well be, as made famous by Dilbert, my paradigm shifting without a clutch.  Maybe it’s just not engaged fully and there’s a bit of gear grind.  It’s about time for my turn- god knows I’ve put my Jeep through it enough.

I miss Texas.

Change is good, Hawaii is beautiful, I’m meeting all sorts of wonderful people, and I wouldn’t even consider taking back this decision- but, dear god do I miss Texas.

I’m not just the only Texan here, I’m the only southerner here.  That seems like a silly thing to cause any sort of trepidation, but you begin to realize that there are distinct regional differences rather quickly.

The 10ish people who have been here or that are here are a surprisingly homogenous crowd, even though none of them are traveling together or even knew each other before this farm.  I’m about to break people down to in general categories.  It does them a disservice a individuals- I understand this- but is useful for painting a very broad picture.

  • There are a couple bay area (San Francisco and Oakland) people here- one bi gal who is a massage therapist/dula, and only eats “whole” foods whenever possible, and one guy who is gay and very quiet (he’s gone now to another island) and vegetarian
  • Two Canadian gals from Ontario, and two from Montreal.  Two are gone.  Of those that remain, one only eats whole, vegan foods and is incredibly fit, and the other is a massage therapist/naturopath who remains mostly vegetarian.
  • A girl from Chapel Hill who is a massage therapist.
  • A gay guy from NYC who likes to spend his summers as a drag queen.
  • A couple people who were leaving just as I was coming in were from Portland.

I’m an outlier.  Even as a somewhat progressive atheist who has actively campaigned for gay rights, I’m an outlier.  I’m not just an outlier, but much of what I value is seen as negative, destructive, or something that needs “fixing.”

Working construction in Texas means busting ass with a number of good ‘ol boys, sharing a sort of fraternal camaraderie, and shooting the shit about life.  Something as simple as walking around in Texas means occasionally holding the door open for a lady, and nodding your head and responding with a “ma’am” when she flashes you a big smile, full of genuine gratitude, and thanks you for it, even though she expected it the whole time.

That sort of thing doesn’t really happen here.  I feel very neutered in my ability to express myself, in both my actions and my words.

Being a Texan means being a part of that, and so much more.  It’s a large part of my identity, and I’m proud of that.  It’s rough not being able to share it.

On a related note, a link to a beautiful song- by a Texas band- that resonates pretty deeply with me:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gj7Zft8aiRc

My New Office

I woke up this morning in Kona, Hawaii.

Wait- let’s try that again.

I WOKE UP THIS MORNING IN FREAKING HAWAII!!!

I’m at Kealaola Farm, sitting in the common area, and I couldn’t be more excited about it.  The hosts, Ken and Barry, are easy going, genuinely nice people, and made me feel at home immediately.  The other WWOOFers here followed suit, and I’m thrilled about the chance to get to know everybody more in the coming weeks!

A cool thing about my timing is that I’m getting in right as all of the old WWOOFers are leaving.  This means that a new crop of adventurers and I will get to learn about farming in a (excuse the pun) more organic way than if we’d been started out under the direction of more experienced volunteers, and likely with more hands on direction from our hosts.

Here are a few pictures to give you an idea of my new home:

ImageThe common area view from the doorway last night

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What happens when you turn 180 degrees in that doorway (taken this morning at 6:00 AM)

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My new office assistant 

I’m off to make breakfast and stretch out a little bit.  I hope yall are doing well, and would love to hear your thoughts or ideas on how I could make this most of this adventure!

-NSTB