Oahu, Hawaii

 

What better way to celebrate my 29th birthday than in paradise? I visited Hawaii as a kid and it was my favorite childhood vacation. In addition, Hawaii has always been at the top of Kandace's bucket list so I was happy to fulfill one of her dreams.

A few weeks before we left, I sustained an injury while playing flag football. Thankfully it wasn't broken, but bruised bones can be just as bad as fractures in some cases. As a result, I had to cancel some of my plans — particularly the extreme hikes.

Fortunately, Hawaii has an endless amount of beauty to see. From Lanikai to the North Shore to Manoa Falls to Hanauma Bay...Oahu is filled with adventure. I was looking forward to seeing the vibrant coral reefs in Hanauma Bay again, only to discover they'd died. I was truly heart broken, but riding waves at Waikiki Beach made up for the let down.

At times, it can be difficult resisting the urge to capture memorable moments, but other times it's extremely rewarding when you surrender to the "now". I'm eternally grateful for that realization, because society is moving in an entirely different direction.

Hawaii changed me. It captivated me so much that I was completely engaged in everything we did. There's something about island life that forces you to be present and savor each moment. I needed that reset. Mahalo, Hawaii.