Today’s post is one that’s been brewing in my mind for a while. I just got back on Sunday from three amazing weeks in my absolute favorite place in the world – Kauai. I’ve been going to Kauai every year for Christmas since I was a baby and it never gets old. I had three weeks there this year and it was pure bliss. Coming back on Sunday night into LAX was quite the shocker…haha! I’ve been feeling kind of sluggish and under the weather the past few days because of what my family likes to call the “post-Kauai” depression – AKA how we all feel after spending a long time in the islands. Coming back to Los Angeles was quite the contrast to the small, peaceful island that I love so much. Although it is difficult to be back in the “grind” of school and work, having the ability to go on vacation really puts things into perspective for me. Since returning from my trip, I have been feeling extra grateful for so many things in my life. Without further ado, here are five lessons I learned while in Kauai for the holidays.
- Family is everything. You’ve heard it from me and you’ve heard it before…I am so close with my parents and sister. My parents and older sister are my best friends and I cherish all of the time that I get to spend with them. The older I get, the more I begin to realize how little free time I might have to go on vacation, etc. once I actually enter the real world. Also, spending time with cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents really taught me how much I value every single member of my family and how these people are my people.
- “Checking out” is a beautiful thing. It was so nice to disconnect from everything for a few weeks while I was away. Although I still posted on Instagram and would chat with friends here and there, I began to understand how much I crave solitude. There were some days in Kauai where I would maybe talk to 2-3 people and I was perfectly content. Although I love social interactions and connecting with people, I really really value time to myself as well, especially without technology.
- There is so much beauty around us. Kauai is called the “Garden Isle” among the Hawaiian Islands and it is hands-down the most relaxing setting I’ve ever been in. I got into the habit of taking a morning walk every morning with my headphones in, absorbing everything that surrounded me. Looking back on my trip, this was one of my absolute favorite things. Spending time by myself in nature was so blissful. Every time I came across an orange butterfly or chirping bird I just had the biggest smile on my face! (it’s the little things!)
- Health = wealth. I ate really well and exercised often when I was in Kauai and it made such a huge impact on my emotional and mental well-being, I avoided almost all dairy and gluten while on my trip and it truly made such a huge difference in my attitude and comfort. I am hoping to continue this when back at home in LA!
- Kindess is contagious. If you’ve ever been to any of the Hawaiian Islands, the kindness and loving nature of so many of people who live there is absolutely contagious. I have many family friends who live in Kauai and who are some of the nicest people I’ve ever met. A small hug or a passing smile to a stranger can uplift you in the most transformative ways.