Surprise... Hawaii!!

A sunrise hike up Diamond Head crater
What would you do if you had more time? Would you travel more? Visit the friends and family you don’t see enough? Maybe try to learn something new?

During a prolonged vacation I did all of the above.

I arrived back to the US from Costa Rica (see previous post) thinking I would fly to France a few days later. Instead, there was some confusion about my start date and I ended up with five more weeks of vacation.

Let me clarify. By ‘vacation’ I mean unpaid time off between contracts. Normally, my contract in Florida would finish Oct. 30. I was given the estimated start date of November 8 for the following one in France. The correct date, I discovered, is Dec. 11.

Before crossing the Atlantic mid-winter, I did want some time off. The trade offs for two weeks of vacation were:
  • Reducing French teaching in the Bahamas from three weeks to two;
  • Decreasing my personal front desk training from one month to barely one week; and
  • Ending my contract on Oct. 25 instead of the 30.
To find out I could have avoided all this two weeks after making these decisions was frustrating to say the least.

There were also some other things to consider: I would be homeless for five weeks. In addition, this was unpaid time off so the funds in my bank account would only dwindle or worse, cease to exist.

For the first week I analyzed my options and tried to make plans. All my efforts reading books, sending e-mails, and conducting absurd amounts of Internet research felt like it went nowhere. Then, I stepped onto a plane to Honolulu.

A view of Honolulu, rainbow and all
I left on a one-way ticket and only two days booked at a hostel. The rest I would figure out depending on how things progressed.

This was probably the craziest thing I’ve done to date. Somehow though, it all worked out.

After a week I started working at a hostel in exchange for housing. The job came with other great perks too: free tours, free laundry, and even free stays at other hostels.

Now, two weeks later, my vacation is coming to a close and I should be in France this time next week. It feels like I’ve been living a dream and reality is slowly creeping back in. 

Truth be told, this vacation came with many great experiences. I got to travel to paradise, visit my family, and become part of new ones, like the Hawaii Team Drum Line. I even tried to tap into my artsy side with Ukelele and Hula lessons.

You never know when it will happen to you, so I suggest thinking about it now. What would you do with more time?

Check out all my photos from Hawaii here.



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