Looking for a new way to spend a Saturday afternoon with
friends? Tired of the same old haunts, drowning beers to the pitiful selection
of the bar’s jukebox? Sick of visiting the same pool hall or bowling alley over
and over again? Then it’s nigh time to try a new sport – axe throwing!
We had the opportunity to try axe throwing for the first time this past weekend as a joint birthday celebration, and I’m glad we did. From start to finish, axe throwing was a new experience through and through – one that fosters friendly competition in a blood pumping environment.
We visited the newly opened Blade and Timber in Kakaako. The sport of axe throwing is growing in popularity across the country, and we’re glad that even though we are in the tropics, someone decided to open an axe throwing hall!
Reservations were recommended, so we booked a private lane
for 6 people, costing $144, so $24/person. The lane reservation was an hour and
a half an included a safety briefing by an axe throwing coach. He taught us the
correct technique for throwing overhead, using our body weight, at a wooden
target some 15-20 feet ahead of us.
After our safety briefing, we were left to our own devices to figure things out. I might mention that these are not hatchets, but full size axes. At first my heart was racing and my palms were sweaty, but after a while, our crew got the hang of it, and we even started getting “bulls eyes!”
The staff taught us a fun game where the object is to score
50 points on the board. The first person to 50 points wins, but if you go over
50, you get bumped down to 40 points and have to keep trying to get a perfect
Throughout our game, the instructor came over to teach us new axe throwing techniques like one-handed, underhanded and even throwing two axes at once! I opted out of the last option, but the boys had a fun time sampling the hardest-to-master technique.
After all, Ehren won with a perfect score of 50. We had a great time with our friends in their selfie booth afterwards. I would recommend this safe and fun sport to anyone looking to try something new with a group of friends.
Ever since Biki made their debut in Honolulu, Ehren and I can’t get enough of it! Biki is a bikeshare company that has over 130 stations around Honolulu. For $3.50, you jump on a Biki bike and ride around for a half hour, returning your bike to any station. We love exploring our city this way!
Kaka’ako is the perfect district to check out on bike. Pow!Wow! Hawaii, a huge art festival where artists from around the world paint new murals, came through town meaning there are new murals at every corner and in between! Biking is a better way to explore the art in the area because you may tire out on foot or miss something in the car.
We jumped on our bikes around the Ward area and biked through Kaka’ako, making stops along the way to view our favorite pieces. Below, enjoy some snapshots from our adventure:
Living in Hawaii is something I that I never take for granted. Whether it’s sampling all of the delicious food or enjoying what most people love most about living in Hawaii – the view – there’s not a day that goes by that I don’t count my lucky stars that this beautiful island paradise is my home.
Phone glued in hand most days, I’ve been fortunate to capture some really incredible moments via panoramic shots. The below shots I wanted to share, as well as the stories behind them. Enjoy a mini vacation to the islands, and a peak into our lives as we enjoy living here.
It’s day two into our long weekend camping trip on Oahu’s North Shore, and we’re sweating. It’s been hovering around 85 degrees all weekend, and obviously, there’s no A/C to provide the usual relief. Camping here is nothing short of a privilege, as spots are usually reserved some months ahead of time. It’s King Kamehameha Day weekend, and we’re celebrating Hawaii’s rich history and culture by getting close to the land.
Just the night before, friends joined our site to partake in mirth and merriment around the campfire, but tonight it’s just Ehren and I. This picture was taken just after returning back from town for an ice cream treat. The rest of the evening is spent tending to our open campfire and soaking up the final moments of remote solace before the sun sets on our perfect weekend escape.
We’re on the rooftop of the only Agricole Rum distillery in Kunia, overlooking the neighboring farm’s extensive aquaponics system. Today we’re learning about Native Hawaiian sugarcane and rum being made from heirloom varieties at Manulele Distillers. We’re here to celebrate Ehren’s birthday, but even more, to celebrate his Hawaiian ancestry as we sip on centuries’-old heirloom cane-distilled rum.
Not long after this picture is taken and our farm tour is complete, we toast to one another: to life and another year well-lived, hopeful that Hawaiian culture remains as effervescent as it once was and continues to be.
Good Friday is the day Jesus Christ was crucified, and we choose to commune with nature today. We drive the scenic east coast of Oahu to arrive at China Man’s Hat Beach, or Kualoa Regional Park. We find a spot that’s a little off-the-beaten path to relax for a swim.
We’re always amazed at how many people live on our tiny island, but how even still, we are able to find peace and a stretch of beach to ourselves. Less tranquilly, we hear nearby swimmers lament of spotting hammerhead sharks in this very area. Ehren reminds me that hammerheads are docile and won’t attack. I let him swim while I wade cautiously on shore and capture this shot.
This was my first trip to Kauai, the Garden Island. It’s a mere 2 weeks before the island will be ravaged by torrential rains and floods, and we are, at the time of this photo, blissfully unaware, selfishly and hungrily eating up the gorgeous landscapes.
We rented a 4×4 Jeep and we’re off-roading to Polihale State park on the island’s far west side. A bumpy 2-mile road laden with potholes filled with rain water takes us to one of the most stunning stretches of beaches I’ve ever seen. To avoid getting caught in the dark, we pack up quickly and brave the bumpy ride back. I ask Ehren to pull over so I can capture the sunset over the open fields.
We’re at home and it’s an ordinary weeknight. We’re downstairs from our 2nd floor studio just a few miles from Waikiki Beach. We’re doing our usual weeknight household chores; this time, we’re changing out the laundry.
In between visiting the washer machine and the clothes line, I pause to take a picture of today’s particularly beautiful sunset. Sunsets in Hawaii come in many shapes and sizes, but tonight’s is exquisite in a way that’s hard to pass up. I put my phone away and finish hanging the clothes with the cotton candy sky as my backdrop.
Are you planning a trip to Hawaii? If you’re anything like me, you’re enthralled with Hawaiian pineapple. If so, a visit to Dole Plantation in the north-central region of Oahu is a must!
A rare coolish day in Hawaii was the perfect time to put on my hat, boots, and take a nice car ride up to the almost-north shore of Oahu to Dole Plantation for the day. Located in Wahiawa, Dole Plantation started as a fruit stand in 1950, selling fresh, Hawaiian-grown pineapple, and has since evolved into a pineapple-lover’s theme park of sorts.
Visitors are able to enjoy an array of activities, from touring their lush botanical and agriculture garden, to getting lost, then found again, in the pineapple maze. Our favorite attraction, of course, was riding the Pineapple Express!
A roughly 20-minute train ride through the farmland was a chance to see firsthand the pineapple crops growing in the field. The red volcanic soil and elevation are the perfect combination for pineapple growing.
Not only does Dole Plantation grow pineapple, but also, Cacao (chocolate), avocado, bananas, and a variety of other plants and fruits.
After taking the train ride, you can enjoy some pineapple soft serve at the gift shop, or enjoy other fun photo opps from around the property.
A trip to Dole Plantation is a peaceful and fun respite from the hustle and bustle of the city and is worth the drive to learn something new about Hawaiian agriculture while having fun while doing so!
After 3 years of living on Oahu without a car, something magical happened on Christmas Eve: I got a car!
I didn’t get just any old car. I got a Subaru Forester, my (second) dream car. My first dream car I was lucky enough to get when I was 16 – a VW Beetle. From there, I sold it in 2012 to travel the world extensively. And travel I did.
Now that I’m settled in Honolulu and my credit card debt has been paid down to a balance of $0, it was time for a car hunt.
Behold: My new (used) Subaru Forester – my new adventure-mobile!
While my boyfriend has been gracious enough to take me anywhere my heart desired in his truck, there’s just nothing like the feeling of being behind the wheel of my own car, windows down, music blaring, discovering – and rediscovering – why I love living in Hawaii so much.
The other weekend, I picked up my friend Kaylee for an epic cruise in my new Subaru.
We started the day driving up to do a hike just above Sunset Beach. We picked the Ehukai Pillbox hike for it’s short duration and relatively easy terrain.
There were some patches of the hike that had ropes to hold onto to assist you in moving up and down the mountain with ease, which came in handy, as the terrain was a bit muddy.
After a heart pumping ascension, we made it to the Pillbox! The view was gorgeous.
After our hike, we braved the bad north shore traffic back to Haleiwa town for a bite to eat. Lunch was at Cholo’s, a local Mexican restaurant. We grabbed a table for two outside and enjoyed some cervezas and Mexican cuisine. I ordered the two taco plate with braised beef tacos, rice, and beans. The price was more than fair, and the guacamole on the side was creamy and delicious. Calories well spent!
Looking for a peaceful end to the day, I wanted to take Kaylee somewhere a little more “off-the-beaten” path for sunset. To my surprise, upon arriving to Kaena Point, there were lots of cars, and even tourists! It’s a protected bird sanctuary area, and there’s opportunity to do off-roading – IF you have a county key to the gate, which we didn’t.
Alas, sitting on the beach, enjoying the sun on our skin, and talking story while the waves crashed over the shore was a relaxing end to our adventurous day.
A weekend getaway is much-needed when you live and work somewhere like “town.” Honolulu, Hawaii’s capital and largest city bustles day in and day out with traffic and congestion, making a chance to get out to the country feel like a staycation.
Recently, my boyfriend and I had the chance to get away, for one night only, to go camping on Oahu’s north east shore in Kuhuku. We chose a private campground, Malaekahana, for its serenity, privacy, and safety. We had to book early, and spots are usually taken.
We chose a tent site near the end of the park so as to enjoy a little peace and quiet. We were lucky to make camp next to gentle, kind, and, considerate families looking for some similar rest and relaxation from their everyday grind.
After setting up our tent, which we borrowed from a generous friend, we were able to sit back, relax, and listen to the sound of the Pacific Ocean crashing against the shore underneath the palms.
Before making dinner, we opted for a walk on the beach. On the far end, the beach was deserted and we enjoyed some private time with beautiful shoreline views.
Before long, the sun began hanging low in the sky. We fired up our camping grill, which had a hard time staying lit due to the high winds. After sheltering the grill from the direct wind, we were able to prepare a delicious dinner of homemade hamburgers, fire-roasted hot dogs, grilled veggies, and potato salad.
The best part of the evening was building a campfire from kiawe wood that we picked up at nearby Ace Hardware. Making bonfires on beaches in Hawaii is illegal, but Malaekahana allows for campfires in contained fire pits. We burned a fire for a few hours, talking story, watching the stars, and of course, roasting marshmallows for ‘Smores.
An evening in the tent was a windy and noisy affair. I was happy to have brought along earplugs and a sleeping mask. My companion didn’t fare as well, but was finally able to catch some rest on our luxurious inflatable mattress. I guess you could say we went “glamping!”
Sunrise woke me around 7 a.m. I was treated to an epic sunrise and enjoyed a solo sunrise walk on the beach. It felt like heaven on earth, and it was surely a welcome moment of solitude.
Happily, checkout wasn’t until noon, so we had plenty of time to build a yummy hot breakfast of potatoes, Portuguese sausage, scrambled eggs and fresh fruit before packing up and heading back to life in the big city.
Have you ever had the pleasure of visiting the Island of Hawaii? Also known as the Big Island, Hawaii Island is the largest of the Hawaiian Islands, falling south easternmost in the chain.
Not to be confused with Oahu (where the state capitol Honolulu is located), Big Island is far from metropolitan – in fact, you can’t even drive around the island in one day.
Big Island is my favorite Hawaiian Island due to its sheer enormity. Its varied landscapes are home to not only 2 active volcanoes, Kilauea and Moana Loa, but also a myriad of enchanting, unspoiled places. Word to the wise: Rent a 4×4 vehicle if you ever visit.
Just returning from a 3-day trip, my boyfriend and I had the pleasure of exploring the east side of Hawaii, or Hilo side. Hilo is a city on the bay and a jumping-off point for pleasures ranging from exploring the active volcano, hot springs, black sand beaches, a beautiful coastal drive and more.
Here are some highlights from our recent trip:
Exploring Volcanoes National Park:
This National Park is not to be missed. Have you ever seen a live, active volcano? Kilauea is actively erupting, and luckily enough for us, a trip to the visitor’s center was enough to see the active lava spurting from the Earth.
Usually, a trip to see the lava flow is an 8 mile round-trip hike through treacherous lava fields, but the day we visited was our lucky day: The lava was spewing from Kilauea Caldera, nearby the visitor’s Center!
After getting our fill of watching red hot lava, we exploring a cavernous lava tube and basked in the mists of volcanic steam vents around the park.
Tips: Stop in the visitor’s center to find out pro tips from the park rangers, and pack a raincoat…it always rains on the east side!
Traversing Lower Puna (including Volcanic Hot Springs):
Puna district is southeast of Kilauea volcano, and its proximity to an active volcano can be felt in all senses of the word: Wild, untouched rain forest, volcanic hot springs, funky people, and plenty of room to play.
For a relaxing afternoon, we visited Ahalanui Beach Park, a volcanic hot spring which is about 88 degrees. It’s perfect for taking a relaxing swim and enjoying the rugged coastline it’s nestled up against.
Tips: Bring your snorkeling mask! There’s plenty of fish to observe in the warm pond. Also, stay out if you have any open cuts – a staph infection could easily ruin your trip.
Finding a hidden black sand beach and hunting for opihi:
Some places are just meant to be kept for the locals, and Secret Beach is one of them. We were lucky enough to meet up with my friend Matt who showed us an incredible secluded black sand beach.
Around dusk, we all hunted for shells and opihi: a snail delicacy found exclusively on seaside rocks in hard-to-reach places. Wild quantities are a pipe dream on Oahu, and sell for an expensive buck ($18/pound). It was such a treat to harvest and enjoy our own fresh opihi!
Tips: Respect the land. Just because you find an open road doesn’t mean you have the right to travel down it. There is a LOT of private land, much of it ancient and spiritual. When in doubt, “Kapu,” or keep out!
Visiting Hilo’s Farmers Market:
Imagine a place where 200+ vendors gather to sell farm-fresh produce, baked goods, bento lunches, Kona coffee, artisan breads, jams, and handmade jewelry, clothing, and house goods. Enter Hilo’s farmers market!
The farmers market technically takes place daily in downtown Hilo, but for a really good display of goods, we went on a Saturday. We were able to sample all sorts of local treats: from Ka’u district coffee, to taro chips, to roast pork and more, your buck goes far at Hilo’s farmers market!
Tips: Visit on a Saturday between 7 a.m. – 4 p.m. to really enjoy the full spread of vendors. Bring cash and an open mind for sampling local goodies!
Driving the Hamakua Coast:
Just north of Hilo begins a drive that’s full of lush greenery, waterfalls, valleys, and scenic ocean views. We drove it roughly 40 miles west to reach Waipio Valley, our destination. In the interim, we couldn’t believe how gorgeous the views were.
This relaxing stretch of driving fed our lust for a road trip with epic eye candy all along the way.
Tips: Fill up on gas before you go, pack snacks and turn up the radio. Also: Don’t expect to be able to drive around the entire island in a single day…it’s too big!
Exploring an ancient valley of the gods:
Waipio Valley is a glimpse into Old Hawaii. Two-thousand foot cliff walls encompass a lush, green valley with taro fields and wild horses. A black sand beach spans the entirety of the valley, and giant waterfalls cascade from the mountains’ sides. Interested yet? Read on:
A trip down to the valley floor means:
A treacherous 2 mile hike down a very steep road you must share with vehicles
Paying around $60/person to jump in a tour van; or
Driving down the 4-wheel drive road on your own and braving the elements.
We opted for choice number 3. It was not easy! The grade is EXTREMELY steep and the road is so narrow, only one car can pass in either direction at a time. We even had to BACK UP the road along the cliff edge to let people pass!
Once at the bottom, you have to ride through several giant mud puddles. Finally on the valley floor, we were rewarded with dipping our toes in the water and observed wild horses in awe. We felt immense respect for a place that used to be only for ali’i – or Hawaiian royalty.
Tips: All visitors can enjoy the lookout for a scenic vantage point and photo opp above the valley. Brave soldiers can take a 4×4 (That means 4-wheel drive ONLY!) down, observing the local “law” of yielding to traffic going up. Take nothing in and leave nothing behind!
Overall, a trip to the Big Island is for the adventurous-at-heart. Pack your best slippahs, hiking shoes, rain coat, and bathing suit, and get ready for whatever adventure heads your way!
It’s been 4 years since I’ve traveled full-time using Helpx.net, but after curiously poking around on their site again, it looks like things have only grown and gotten better and better for them – and for the travelers who use their site.
You might remember this throwback post: Workaway vs. Helpx: Which do you use when planning a working holiday? This post is actually my most popular to date, and it’s easy to imagine why: Who wouldn’t want to live in and work in paradise (From Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii, Austria, France, the U.S. and more) for a nice family/farm in exchange for somewhere to stay…all while having the time and money to explore?
I’ve used Helpx twice and had the best experiences of my life.
In Australia, I stayed with a family in Ipswich, Queensland, not a far train ride from Brisbane. For two weeks, I had my own room, was fed gourmet meals (the dad was a chef!), was taken to locals-only swimming holes, parks, and beaches. I had the time of my life. All I did was work 4 hours a day/a few days a week, and I had the richest, most local experience ever. I remember one day, while relaxing on their outdoor porch, seeing a flock of wild cockatoos fly by. I’ll never forget it!
Then there was Hawaii, a Helpx experience I loved so much, I still live in the state 4 years later! I lived and worked at a eco-hostel on the Big Island. I picked fruit, built trails, planted trees, but best of all, made amazing lifelong friendships and one-of-a-kind memories. I had free WiFi, and it was under the thatched roof my dwelling I published some of my first travel stories. My time at Hedonisia Hawaii will go down as some of my best memories to date.
If anyone is on the fence about a Helpx experience, I highly recommend you go for it. Pay the membership fee: it’s totally worth it. Weigh the following options:
Proximity to a city
Accommodations (Plenty of places offer private rooms and even private bathrooms!)
Are meals included? My stay in Australia had meals included, but I was on my own in Hawaii. There were always plenty of shared meals, though.
Responsiveness/helpfulness of host
Will there be other travelers there to meet?
Is there WiFi? Many places have it.
How long are they looking for you to stay? Many hosts actually prefer longer guests.
With all the talk nowadays of being a digital nomad, Helpx is certainly a viable way to achieve that. If my lifestyle hadn’t shifted and I was still on the road, I’d do Helpx again in a heartbeat. Please use it and travel deeply!
This post was not sponsored, nor am I getting compensated for it. I really just love Helpx and the memories it helped me create.
I’m in the last week of my 20s, and the impending 3-0 has been on my mind constantly. In between dreading leaving part of my youth behind, I’ve been contemplating what my 20s were all about. Some days I’m filled with regret and sorrow, but most days, I feel proud and accomplished.
In my 20s, I earned a college degree, had numerous relationships, got my heart badly broken, and admittedly broke a few hearts; I traveled the world and the country extensively and became a travel journalist; I moved to Hawaii, and I’m beginning to settle down. It’s amazing what can happen in a decade. Here’s just 29 lessons I learned from my 20s:
Wash your face every night before bed – No longer can I abuse my face by going to bed with it caked on with makeup. I can tell the difference between my skin now and then. Now I have a whole skincare routine which includes wearing SPF 50 on my face every day and of course, removing my makeup every night before bed.
Some people really are crazy – That’s okay. A writing mentor once told me that back in the 60s and 70s, it was more acceptable to be crazy in an insane world. Do with them what you will. I usually tend to ignore politely.
Don’t let crazy people ruin the good within you – Sometimes you fall in love with, or are really close friends with, what turn out to be crazy people. That’s okay. The best thing about crazy people is that they are often filled with wild, fun ideas and have a great sense of humor. When they start challenging your core values or legitimately don’t want to help themselves, know when to walk.
Talk to the stranger next toyou – Life’s too short not to make friends with the everyday people walking this Earth with you. Whether you’re in line at the bank, on a bus on the way to Bondi Beach in Australia, or having a drink at the bar, lean over and get to know your neighbor.
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams – The time is now, not when you’re old, beat up, or saddled down by a career and family. Chase that dream even if it takes you the edges of the world and back. You’ll never regret going there. You’ll only regret NOT going there.
You don’t always have to be the life of theparty – This was a hard lesson for me to learn. The first, say, seven years of my 20s was exactly that: a big party. I was moving from place to place, drinking, …until I realized, I didn’t ALWAYS have to be the life of the party. The party would always be there when and if I want it. It doesn’t need to be a lifestyle (Thank God! It’s exhausting!)
Make the best out of any situation you’re in – Man, I found myself in some hairy situations in my 20s. Perhaps the time I mistakenly took a ride from a local drunk on the Big Island is a good example. Or the time, while living in a camper, we blew out a tire in the middle of nowhere when it was 100 degrees. These shitty situations happen. Make the most of them. They’re not forever (and thank you, guardian angels for never letting anything bad happen to me in the thick of it!)
Dream big – Even if you don’t accomplish all of your dreams, if you don’t set the bar high, you’ll never get there. Make a list, buy a ticket, and make it happen. Sign up for that class. Go on that date. Just say yes.
Trust in the inherent good in people – Remember those strangers you end up meeting? 99% of the time, they’re the ones giving you a ride to the airport, giving you a place to sleep, offering you tidbits of insider information, taking you the doctor when you fall ill. Even those crazy people, in their crazy ways, want good in life, believe it or not. Please don’t believe the media. Yes, rotten people and scary people exist, but good people outnumber them exponentially.
Take care of your body – Stop drinking so much. Drink plenty of water and exercise. Take care of your temple.
Money isn’t everything – but it helps. I’ve had the most amazing memories when I wasn’t working or didn’t have much money at all. What I realized, though, is that those times don’t last. Find something you love doing, a job where you can be utilized to do those things you love doing (even if it’s not your dream job), and make money. Work. Travel. Volunteer. Save. You’ll be happier by the end of your 20s when you have a little money in the bank.
Don’t settle for less than you deserve – It sounds cliché, but it’s true. Don’t settle for wondering if someone is thinking about you. Don’t settle for missing someone without having a plan to see them. Never be someone’s plan B. You’ll suffer, but if you must settle for something less than you deserve (as we all do at some point), learn the valuable lessons from it so you can spot really good when it comes at you later. At that point, you’ll be able to fully, wholly, lusciously appreciate it.
Live with less – Repurpose old things into new things. Don’t buy new clothes for 2 years. Live with 3 pairs of shoes for a while. Live out of a backpack. Own less. See how it changes your world.
Listen to your parents – Their advice is usually right. It might not always be right for that exact moment that they give it to you, but it’s right. Write it down and make it a goal later. They want what’s best for you and they love you. You’re lucky to have them.
Learn to forgive – Forgive yourself for making mistakes. Forgive others for hurting you. In forgiveness, you’ll find peace and happiness. It won’t be easy, but you’ll get there.
Learn to say goodbye – Get good at letting people come and go in and out of your life. Friendships, lovers, family members, etc. It will make you strong to meet many people, and it will make you stronger still to know when to say goodbye and “I’ll see you later.” You’ll learn to survive the next storm.
Do what the locals do – Whether you’re a traveler or not, just DO IT. Hear about a new restaurant opening? A festival? Farmer’s Market? Just go. Do it. Bonus points if you’re a stranger in a strange land and you do what the local’s recommend. You’ll have a more rich experience.
Keep your friends close – Your close friends might change over the years. That’s okay. It’s normal and healthy for people to grow close to others and further from others. Keep a handful of tried and true best friends you can call in the middle of the night when you’re sick, depressed, dumped. Make sure you have people you can rely on in this life. Make sure you love them deeply and they know it.
Exclaim when things are good – When something is delicious, moan with pleasure! Tell your significant other how much you love them regularly. Jump in and out of rain puddles with friends while exclaiming, “This is really living!” Let life invigorate you.
Work with your hands – There’s something extremely gratifying about working with your hands. Don’t do it forever if you can help it, but the lessons you learn will get you very far in any career down the line. After all, who else could say they planted a banana tree, took care of 35 customers at once, or built a lava rock trail in volcanic crater? Make those memories.
Find time to believe in something and practice it – Whether it’s organized religion, prayer, intentions, yoga, mindfulness – find something that regularly connects you to positivity and the divine and practice it.
You always have a choice – If you feel trapped, lonely, bored, abused, etc. Remember: you always have a choice. “Every passing minute is another chance to turn it all around.”
Things will work out – I’ve been in situations where a lot of odds seemed stacked up against me: where I was worried about my journey, paying bills, and other general crazy things that come at you at life. Somehow, though, it always seemed to work out.
Trust your intuition – It’s never wrong. And when you find out news you’ve been dreading and you’re in the position to get out, be brave enough, and strong enough, to do it.
Protect yourself – It’s good to have a giving personality to those in need, but think twice before you lend out your big heart to those you hardly know and those who may not deserve you.
Learnfrom your mistakes – You’ll undoubtedly make mistakes in your 20s. I did, and I’m trying not to beat myself up from them as I approach 30. I’m making peace with the crazy shit I’ve done, and I’ve also learned my lessons, as you see them listed out here. The point is this: I can’t say don’t make mistakes, because you absolutely will. Somehow, what seemed like a good or fun idea at the time turns out to be a stupid thing you’ve done. That’s fine, we’ve all been there. The real work is not repeating that stupid mistake. Learn from it. Grow. Now you’ll be better equipped to make wiser decisions in the future.
Find ways to love yourself – Exude confidence. Love your body. Love your mind. Find little ways to pamper yourself and to build yourself up. This is an extremely useful way to not only enjoy your life, but to excel in it.
Cherish the bittersweet transitional moment from youth to adult – It might not be an exact moment like mine, but you’ll likely have a moment where you feel a shift from feeble kid to responsible adult. For me, it was when my grandmother passed away and I was a pallbearer at her funeral. My whole life as a kid, I thought the world was such a mystery and adults had a magical power to orchestrate and understand the world. Then, at 27, I realized the roles had shifted and life was simple. My grandmother, who helped raise me, now needed help from me being laid to rest. She trusted me with that gargantuan and touching act. When I walked her down the aisle of the church, I knew the mystery was solved: there was nothing more to being an adult than taking care of someone else when they needed it.
Set limits and be grateful for what you have – In your 20s, the sky’s the limit, and you’ll try to get there. Maybe you will. By the time your late 20s roll around, if you’re like me, you’ll crave a little normalcy. Set limits on the things you want to become in your life, but still have goals. Be grateful for what you have. And show loving compassion for the life you’ve worked to create.