Learning What Ohana Really Means.


We arrived in Hawaii on November 16, 2016. All we had was one night booked in Waikiki and a contact for a girl we hadn’t even met yet. We had no idea what to expect or what was to come. We actually didn’t even know why we were in Hawaii, besides the fact that we drew the name out of a hat. But here we were with our massive backpacks and a smile on our face.


The smile hadn’t been there the whole time though. The morning was not full of excitement and laughter like you would have expected out of the two of us. No. We were both nervous as hell, full of questions and doubt and we were both second-guessing what the hell we were about to walk into. The plane ride was long and a little awkward. Who was this person we were about to spend the rest of our lives with?! Why did I say yes to this? How did my life end up fitting in one large purple 40L bag with some extras in a cute Lululemon day pack? God, this was stupid.

But then we landed in Hawaii. We stepped off the plane into this land of beauty, humidity and electric energy. Julia pulls up with a huge smile on her face welcoming these two little lost souls into her truck with open arms and even more open heart. In that moment we understood that they take the meaning of Ohana very seriously, we were instant family and never felt out of place for a second. She showed us some of her favourite spots and made the first day so perfect, putting our nervous minds at ease.


An interesting thing happened that first night that truly changed the course of our entire trip and friendship as we knew it. After eating some delicious food, the one thing we’re best at, and exploring a little more of Waikiki, the floodgates opened. We poured out our every last reservation, fear and realization to each other. We told each other exactly how we felt and why that morning had been so weird.


That’s the moment I like to say our relationship was consummated, on a soul level. We made our vows to each other that no matter what we had each others backs, for better or for worse. We realized that we chose each other for this journey, no one else. We respected and loved the other person enough to dive into unchartered territories in such a way that they became our human and at the end of the day that was all that mattered and we were going to make damn sure that this adventure was the best it could possibly be for both parties. From that moment on sisterhood took on a whole new meaning and friendship became the only thing that mattered.


I think it’s safe to say that we have lived up to “in sickness and in health”. We’ve seen each other at our bests and been the shoulder to cry on at our worst. This is a very important prelude to the story of our lives because the person you chose to enter into anything with needs to chosen with care and you must understand that we’ve got this on lock- those #bestfriendgoals memes you see? We should be in all of them. Needless to say, I love this girl and couldn’t imagine doing this with anyone else.


Hawaii was a critical part of both of our lives. It was exactly where we needed to start because we both had so much healing to do before we could take on the rest of the world. What better place to recover and soothe your soul that on the beaches of a beautifully magical place?


Enter the game changers. There was one extremely pivotal moment that occurred at the Saturday farmers market in Haleiwa. I spotted a dog in the back of a jeep and my heart stopped. I am a sucker for dogs but this one was different. the owner clearly caught us both staring at this gorgeous puppy because he casually walked past and said we could pet her if we wanted. Umm yes. I didn’t realize it at the time but that moment would alter my life forever. She was the sweetest Golden Retriever and I could just not walk away from her. We must have spent a good half hour soaking in this dog's slobber and love before being dragged away. On our way out the puppy just happened to still be there with that smile on her face desperate for more love, we couldn’t just walk on by. Neither of us could really be bothered with the owner, ya he was cute but that dog!! We started chatting and ending up making all new friends in a matter of seconds. Hawaii was looking pretty good.


A few days later we decided to try our luck at Couchsurfing, we ended up with this great guy who offered his home to us for 2 nights and even showed us around the area. As fate would have it, as we're walking back to his house one day I see that amazing little pup going for a skateboard down the same path, drop everything, run up and smother her. I never thought we’d see that duo again but it turns out he lived in the apartment directly across the pool from where we were staying. Some say coincidence but we know better than that.


Long story short, we ended up taking over Chris’ life and becoming his dogs favourite humans. The story of our stay with Chris is another story all on it’s own, stay tuned. Let’s just say, it changed everything for everyone involved.

Leaving Hawaii was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do, even though I knew everything that lay ahead was going to be so unbelievably amazing. There’s something about that place that just allows my heart to settle and my soul to set fire.


Be well & Mahalo,

Amanda

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