We are headed on the second leg of our trip.
We just left Oahu, Hawaii, where we spent four quick but fabulous days. We explored the island, learned to surf (the small waves), snorkeled and hiked. We met some great people at the hostel and were able to help at a benefit for autistic children. I will tell you more about that in another post. We had a great time and we all agreed that we would love to come back for a longer stay.
As I reflect on our first five days we learned five great lessons:
1. We overpacked. As much as we tried to keep our bags to the bare minimum, we still brought too much stuff. Just this morning, John and Riley sent a box back to the US of unnecessary “stuff.” Things like extra pants, sweatshirt, other clothing and toiletries. I am sure it won’t be our last box.
2. We have to re-learn how to communicate without cell phones. We have realized that we are very dependent on our cell phones. In no time at all, experience taught us the importance of clearly stating where to meet, what time and any other necessary details, and to listen carefully. Otherwise, well, things don’t go so well.
3. Make sure you have cash on you at all times. John and I learned this lesson after a 1 ½ mile walk to the grocery store only to realize that we only had a dime between us. So much for that yummy dinner we were planning to cook back at the hostel. It was a long walk back home.
4. Set a time limit and check in when you return. We learned this lesson the night Riley and Allison walked down to the International Market to pick up some postcards. John and I failed to set up a time for them to be back, so off they went on their own. A couple of hours later, after knocking on their room door with no answer and not finding them anywhere in the hostel, I panicked. At 10:00 PM, I walked down to the Market myself to try to find them. After 30 minutes, I came back to find Riley in the lounge area and discovered that Allison had gone back to her room long before I went to find them and was sleeping soundly. The kids didn’t want to disturb us because they thought we were sleeping. Believe me, we have a plan for next time.
5. Start a long trip in an easy location. We are so grateful that we started this trip in Hawaii. It was the perfect transition spot. Being on US soil, with familiar currency, culture and language, gave us a chance to work out some of the kinks. Even though the primary language is English, the Hawaiian street names can make you feel like you are in a different country and there were plenty of opportunities to navigate without the help of a GPS.
We know we will learn many more lessons throughout this trip. We are currently four hours away from Sydney by air, and I will continue to let you in on the lessons we’re learning. Hopefully, it won’t continue to be a lesson a day, but as Riley likes to say Never Know.