the beach bum life.

You know how federal rates have dropped recently? 

I swear this relates to the beach.

Anyway, it did. Cue everyone buying all the homes and refinancing. Like, everyone. It affects my life because I work in mortgage lending. It has been so incredibly stressful trying to keep up with everything. There are so many federally regulated dates and rules that can’t be missed, client expectations to manage, and remembering all the steps. On top of this, I am learning underwriting. It’s a lot. On top of that, I felt like my personal life was a mess.

I can talk about this now because my body was somehow able to handle everything. My new measuring stick for stress is that one time I was so overwhelmed, my head started itching all day every day to where I couldn’t sleep. I thought I had lice, but a doc just said I was cray and gave me anti-itch stuff and to calm tf down.

Anyway, my sweet husband noticed my verge of mental breakdown and planned a secret getaway to Kona, Hawaii in July.

We took the 830am flight to Honolulu to transfer to Kona. We have this beautiful hour and a half window during lunchtime, and a 4 minute drive to a baller sushi place from the airport. So we rushed to grab our bags, check it in, and grab an uber to the sushi place. We timed it so, so well guys. We got there as the restaurant opened and finished well before we had to be back. We called the uber and waited. And waited. And waited. He missed the damn exit and it’ll be an additional 8 minutes - so now we’re freaking out. So we called another. He was stuck in traffic. So we walked ahead to meet him. We got him as the flight was about to board. Thankfully, he was pretty quick and dropped us off before boarding time.

We ran to the nearest security check – no TSA. Another one – no TSA. Third one – yes TSA, but the people were complaining about how long they’ve been there. Fourth one – yes TSA and a shorter line. Of course, like a tragic comedy, we were behind a woman with 2 kids and the largest stroller in the world AND a family with a wheelchair that speaks no English. Guys, I was looking online at other flights. Chris had hope and analyzed the situation. He says, “Tania, if we get through this in 10, I’m going to run and I’ll tell them you’re running up so to not close the gate.” 

 I was ready.

We got through and he bolted. He gave me the out to just leisurely jog and meet him when I get there. But I realized he took my bag with my phone and I don’t know where the gate was – LMAO. Are you in tears reading this amount of stress? So I bolted. I kept eye on him and ran after him. Meanwhile, it was a crazy sight for everyone there. Big white guy running with a backpack and my PanAm purse – and then me running after him. I could tell some people were confused and maybe thought I was chasing a guy that stole my bag. To ease society, I started running with a smile on my face and be graceful. I am sure I looked even crazier.

We made it in time. We were even able to get exit rows! But omg were we sweating. And, I was nauseous because I just did a HIIT workout after sushi.

So that was the start of my vacation.

But who gives a fuck because not only was this an impromptu getaway for us, but we were also celebrating my **promotion** - WOOOOTTTTT! 

Day 1

We got there early afternoon and took it easy. Our AirBnB was right next to the ocean. There was a popular tide pool right in front of our balcony where we can feed eels and black crabs. We went to a nearby beach that felt more local-focused and played in the water for half an hour. We grocery shopped for omelet fixings (very important),  gin (even more important), and local papayas (most important). We got dinner to go and chilled the hell out.

Day 2

We drove to Waipio Valley. So we had this Jeep, right? I loved this Jeep. You can only go down the steep mountain with 4-wheel drive, or you must walk it. Somehow, we decided to walk it. When we got down there, we saw a nearby waterfall from afar. Chris found a way to get to the waterfall but things must’ve changed since that secret map and now, because we couldn’t find the proper path. So we pivoted and hit the black sand beach instead. Not sure what was happening that weekend but it felt like it was all locals. We saw a few guys netting for bait, and happy families playing in the little creek that feeds into the ocean. The fish were so joyful, when the tide came in, some came with it wanting to see what was going on at the beach. It was glorious.

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Then, we had to walk back up the mountain. Guys, this was expert level hiking. It was like walking on the stairmaster that never ends. I stopped and lost my spirit a few times, but somehow I made it up, all the while grumpy because it got excessively hot and we haven’t had a real hot meal since 5 hours before. This whole time, an older Asian man and his chubby son were walking up with us. The son looked like he was about to pass out and a few cars offered them a ride - but in true asian fashion, dad declined. Little boy made it and grump walked to their car.

Shortly after, I was sloshed on two caipirinhas and fish tacos.

Day 3

Chris lied to a diving company about our flight. If there are any divers reading, you KNOW that rule about diving and flying. Where if you time it poorly, you will get the bends. You fuck with altitudes and mother nature will put you back in your place. The cure? Spend $20k a person to go into a tank - or die. Chris wanted so badly to see manta rays. I too want to see it, but I would prefer to not die. Our flight was like a solid 16 hours away, but most diving companies won’t take you unless there’s a 24 hour window. i freaked out but I did it, because we found sound math online. But this is not the point of this day. The point is we sat on the bottom of the ocean (only 30+ feet) while manta rays played above us. They gave us flashlights so plankton will hang above us and the rays were not even a foot away from my face. It was incredible.

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On the other side of the coin, it was frightening. Not because of the manta rays. But because you had to be weighed down so that you don’t float off the floor. While in the pit of darkness since this was a night dive. In the cold. With a hose you have to breathe out of. I also had a rental mask so it didn’t fit properly and I had to clear the water out nearly every 5 seconds. I had a true panic attack. I was shaking. I felt stuck. My weights were so heavy I couldn’t move. There was nowhere to go because you can’t leave until it’s over since it’s pitch black below and you can’t get back to the boat alone.

During this amazing show with manta rays, I was forced to learn to control my own thoughts. I didn’t mean to plug hot yoga here but IT’S ALL THANKS TO HOT YOGA. I had practice in ignoring the searing heat and focusing on the poses. I was taught how to feel when your body is in real danger and when it’s just uncomfortable. So yeah, in Hawaii, I learned that I need to add hot yoga back in rotation.  

All in all, this trip was a success. It was incredibly relaxing. I don’t think I’ve been on a domestic vacation that made me forget about work. Until next time, Hawai’i.

Sincerely, Tania