Four years ago I felt restless in my life. My thirst for adventure was unbearable and I needed to move my ass and change the scenery. I wanted to go as far as I could get from home! So I decided to leave to Kauai. I had visited in Hawaii a couple of years back – but that was only a-one-week trip so I had promised myself to go back. I had fallen in love with the islands! So now I booked a long trip and left for six weeks.
First I was recovering from my jet lag in the luxurious hotel in Honolulu. Hotels are for lonely travellers and hostels are for meeting people! On Kauai then, I booked a nice looking hostel that faced the sea. The same night our hostel crew was hanging out on the lawn by the nightly ocean. Millions of stars were twinkling above us. Someone played ukulele and there was light interesting discussion in the air.
I had met Miguel from Columbia right when I had arrived. Soon we noticed we had this surrealistic connection. Like in Paulo Coelho’s Brida there is a theme about the split souls wandering in the Universe – now it felt like those soul friends had encountered! It’s difficult to explain the feeling when you feel like you know someone from before. Our conversation was flowing! The whole night we were talking about life and death, stars and galaxies, how unbelievable travelling and the world is, about art and books… I was thankful the world had brought there a person that was as creative so that our common understanding was like no other.
The mornings on Kauai always started the same way. I woke up when the sunshine was sneaking into the dorm and the roosters started singing in the early morning. I went outside down on the lawn – and we started the sunrise yoga with Miguel. Then we ate breakfast and jumped to the adventure somewhere on amazing island. Once while we were hitchhiking we got a ride on the pick up truck – it was so much fun! We got to the most beautiful beaches and talked about career choices and dreams. We went to the Waimea Canyon – “the Grand Canyon of the Pacific” and talked about the risks you should probably take in life. We hit the Napali Coast trail and were admiring the amazing nature this world has to offer – and were thinking how it calls people like us.
When we were coming back from the hike Miguel’s wallet got lost. He was going fly back home in the morning and thus he was a bit screwed. The small gang at the hotel collected some money that Miguel could survive until home. Helping him was so altruistic that I was just watching and learning from the people. I wasn’t used to this back in my home country.
On this trip I learned the deep meaning of aloha. Aloha means both love and peace but also compassion and mercy. It means goodness. I learned that everything has to do with the bigger picture. I learned empathy and openness. I noticed that when you’re open for a discussion with others you might do interesting findings – about life and about yourself. People help you to see things that you don’t for necessarily see yourself.
I think that after Kauai I started learning and slowly growing to become a better person. My self-centeredness started fading away and I started thinking about the aloha love in the world deeply. In general, Kauai changed pretty much everything. During the trip I started Whattawowworld, which aims to take care of the world. After I got back home I resigned and became an entrepreneur – because now I knew for sure I wanted to do my best to drive my own passionate projects. The need for change that I had felt inside me had materialized after I had learned things out in the world.
After his trip Miguel changed his direction too. He quit his engineering studies and became a carpenter. Until this day he has for instance created his own longboard and biking furniture brand – and he would love to build tree houses and a sustainable hostel. We Skype or email and inspire each other to fulfil the dreams. There are almost as many ideas as there were those starts in the sky on that night in Kauai. Beside the great love in the world aloha to me means the fact that you should really be doing what you wish to do. Live by that.