This wasn’t my first visit to the islands, but it was my first time really sinking in and living the hilife. Here are ten beautiful souvenirs that I brought home with me.

10. Don’t let a time stamp limit your kindness

The time you’ve known someone doesn’t always matter. I met a very fun and sweet girl who opened up her home to me, let me drive her car, taught me to surf and treated me like we had known each other for years. We had so many fun times and made great memories in a few short weeks because we were both open to new experiences. I realized that I sometimes hold people at arms-length until some time has passed and while it’s okay to be discerning, it can also be very limiting.

9. Spirituality can be found in places you don’t expect

The reason I went to Hawaii was to work with my coaching teacher, which I expected to be a spiritual experience. It was, in a sense, but I felt the most connected while at Kailua Beach, as I walked into the clear, turquoise water off of the stark white sand, and walked for what felt like forever, feeling the water rise. I felt the power all around me, the beauty, the bliss– engulfed in it as the calm waves wrapped around me. It was a peaceful and moving moment I hadn’t seen coming.

8. Feeling truly nourished far outweighs any sweet or salty junk foods on the planet

This may seem like a no-brainer, but I learned this in a next-level sort of way. For a part of my trip, I stayed on an organic farm. I’m a city girl, always have been, so my mere presence at this place seemed unlikely to me. However, I quickly realized how badly I needed to be there. Walking around the farm, picking fresh organic fruit and eating it right there made me realize that nothing from a box or a bag could ever taste so good. Also, I discovered a fruit called the cherimoya, and will be on a hunt to find these in Australia.

7. The islands of Hawaii are deeply, powerfully magnetic

Hawaii is one of the most energetically powerful and sacred spots on the globe. I connected with this strongly– to the extent that I couldn’t even leave when I was supposed to. I pushed back my flight to soak in all of the energy. It is said that the islands will meet you exactly where you are, give you just what you need, and will quicken the transformational process. Everything is amplified and accelerated and there is a sense of timelessness. I experienced this firsthand and found that it rang absolutely true.

6. Reconnecting with nature is so important for the soul

The city is so great for the ego. Living big, fast, faster, fastest. It’s exciting and exhilarating and one can be entertained at all times. However, sinking into a quiet way of living, allowing the fast pace to dissipate, was so important for me. The lush mountains and sheer strength of the ocean nourished my soul and re-energized me at a level far deeper than I could have imagined.

5. Surfing is one of the greatest feelings on the planet!

Connecting with a wave, really moving with it– being one with the ocean, with nature– was one thousand times more amazing than I even thought it would be. I’m truly hooked and have definitely watched Blue Crush since I’ve been back.

4. Living simply is so beautiful and freeing

I had the pleasure of living simply with a friend on Maui for a few days. He doesn’t have much– in his yurt is a bed, a guitar, a yoga mat, and I don’t remember much else. I was really taken by the beauty with which he lives and how he has everything he needs. He’s not weighed down by frivolous material possessions, which I found inspiring.

3.The electric slide is even more fun when danced hula-style

Enough said.

2. Making peace happens inside of you, independent of the external experience

I went back to the site of an injury I had last year while in the ocean. This particular beach is stunningly beautiful but notoriously deadly. As I returned, to the sound of a drum circle and the sight of a color explosion of the setting sun in the sky, I soaked in the lesson that the experience had taught me. It was a turning point in listening to my intuition. Last year, I shut down my intuition, and I got badly hurt. I haven’t done this since– instead, I listen. I was overcome with gratitude and released my fear that it might happen again. The ocean continued its dance.

1. Trusting allows life to unfold in ways you never could have planned

I went to Hawaii for a seminar and planned to arrive earlier and stay much longer than I needed to. I didn’t know why, or what I would do, or even where I would stay– but I trusted that it would all unfold as it needed to. I gained so much by doing this– it was one of the most powerful traveling experiences of my life and I would not take back a single moment of it.

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