I really wish I knew a better way to explain it, but something in my soul feels so totally at peace and at home when I’m on the Big Island. It’s a sensation that runs through my entire being that tells me that I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be. It’s kind of strange because I know that home is where I am with my family, it’s not a physical location, but I just feel “home” when I’m on the Hamakua Coast. Logically, if I was going to move somewhere else I’d choose a split between New Zealand and Alaska for many reasons, but they just don’t quite the strike the same chord as Hawai’i. As I type this on our flight from Hilo I already feel homesick but I know I’ll be back soon enough. I don’t believe in past lives, but if it turns out they exist I can tell you exactly where a large or critical part of those multiple existences come from.

With today being the last day of being “home” I’m so thankful that it turned out to be so beautifully perfect in every possible way.

We woke up a little early and had plenty of time to clean up, pack up, eat up, and head out. No rush, no stress.

Our plan for today was a horseback ride through the scenic Waipi’o Valley. This included a trip down and back up the steepest paved road in the entire US – which was AWESOME!!!

As we drove to the horses our guides shared stories of living in the valley, it turns out they grew up there! It was so interesting to hear about their life, a balance of tours like this and farming taro. There was a wonderful simplicity to their lifestyle that I’m sure I’ll write about again in the future as I have a chance to think through that more deeply.

Once in the valley I can’t even put into words just how beautiful the valley was. Pretty sure when it’s my time to go there’s a greater than 25% chance that I’ll be walking through that valley again. For reals, it felt like the garden of Eden. It is a beautiful lush land full of colorful plants and flowers surrounded by 1,000+ foot tall walls covered in green and waterfalls.

The horseback ride itself was so peaceful, my ride took his time and somehow seemed to find himself a long ways behind the others and yet a long ways ahead of the end of the group so I had some time to myself on the trail. What a wonderful gift to have time with my family as well as time by myself.

After our time in the valley we headed to an arboretum and wandered while taking in the perfect weather. From there we headed to wander in a park in Hilo until it was time to head to the airport.

The entire day was with my family, peaceful and relaxing, a perfect way to spend my last day at home for a while.


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