Always Dreaming …

Yes, it’s fall. Officially. Not gonna lie, I do like the fall. The leaves, pumpkin everything, pumpkin pie. Of course the scary (or not so scary) movies. I don’t know, something about it just seems…cozy. Wrapped up in my favorite warm, fuzzy sweater that goes with everything, I slide on my boots, head out into the crispness, and trample through the leaves. As odd as it may sound, I actually prefer it to be cloudy during Autumn – not the it-looks-like-it’s-going-to-downpour cloudy, but the soft, cotton ball-like cloudiness that contrasts so nicely with the brown, golden, and auburn leaves. Something about it just makes me want to sit outside, drink hot coffee (while eating pumpkin pie), and be, I guess, cozy.

And, who doesn’t love Hocus Pocus?

But, anyone who knows me knows that I am constantly dreaming of the sound of rustling palm fronds. The thunder-like crash of the ocean. Soft, warm sand in, well, every crevice imaginable. My worn-down flip flops. I can literally go on and on about the tropical settings I am always dreaming of, wishing I could be in. Right. Now.

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I am always longing to be enveloped in a never-ending, never-ceasing warm blanket-like breeze.

Bali, Mauritius, the Caribbean, Bermuda, Miami, the Galapagos, the Keys, Tahiti. And of course, my forever love, Hawaii (always the best for last). Please take me to one or more of these places.

I have been to a number of tropical destinations in my lifetime (some of the above), but I am insatiable.

I thought it would be nice to heat things up and show my love for all things tropical by traveling back to my fourth semester at Quinnipiac University. Not, by no means, in a tropical destination itself (Hamden, C.T. …), but Sleeping Giant looked kinda like a rolling mountain in the hills of Costa Rica in the summer…(if you squinted and, well, used your imagination and…basically just pretended you were in Costa Rica instead of Connecticut). During this semester, I took a travel writing class, and for one of our projects, we had to actually write a travel piece ourselves, which I was very eager to do. Of course, I wrote a piece on Hawaii.

I won’t even go into Hawaii just yet because there is an overabundance of things I would want to say about it, and I will definitely be creating posts specifically about my Hawaii experiences in the future – and I can assure you there will be many.

In any case, below is a small excerpt from my essay that illuminates, I guess, basically, some of how being in Hawaii makes me feel – every single time.

After putting our feet in the water, we carried our sandals across the beach and sat on the stone wall, in perfect shade of the grove of palm trees. Gazing out at that familiar ocean, watching the sun catch on the water and glisten off the waves, I thought about nothing else. School was a distant memory – Connecticut simply did not exist. To me, looking seaward and seeing nothing but a seemingly endless stretch of ocean, hearing the crashing waves and feeling the breeze, that was all I needed. I wondered what everyone else on the beach was thinking and if there was another out there like me, relishing in the moment and pretending they were never going to leave.

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I can never get over those views.

The deep blue ocean fell out before us, the shimmering buildings of Honolulu towered below us, and the golden stretch of the coastline snaked around the lush greenery of the mountains and foliage. A fresh breeze blew as I peered down into the crater of the massive volcano, disbelieving that it once spit fire.

Indeed, Pele would be proud.

Diamond Head is just one of those places that you have to go to, whether you are a tourist visiting for the first time (I don’t remember my first time…I wonder what it would be like seeing that majestic view never having seen it before…) or a local who is down for a good hike. I guess, in a way, every time is sort of like the first time. The view, really, never gets old, and I feel as though I experience a resurgence of feeling each time. And, though the view doesn’t change, I do. So each time I trek up this dormant volcano, I bring with me all of the transformations I have endured on a personal level that have altered me and my perceptions, even in tiny, almost imperceptible ways.

That, in and of itself, alters the view. What I take from the view and how it is reflected upon me is different  – because I am different.

I’m speaking, of course, in a positive sense. Obviously, there is never anything that causes me to dislike it, but I feel as though I experience different forms and levels of happiness, wonderment, amazement, all of those good things. I could get into a whole existential debate here, but honestly, it’s late and I will probably create a post about that at some point, as well, anyway. So we can leave the deep stuff for later. Basically what I’m saying, is that the ways in which I choose to react to my surroundings changes as I do, whether I am aware of this or not. But, all in all, the view remains as stunning and pristine as when I last left it, every time I go back.

I’m hoping everything I just wrote made sense. It’s past my bedtime.

So, I guess I will leave you with that. I will, shortly, be going to bed and will probably dream of some warm, tropical destination, where I am sitting on the beach, bikini clad, sipping a pina colada. Envisioning the craggy, looming figure of Diamond Head.

…young and old alike, sharing the commonality of having the opportunity, the privilege, of seeing this view, of standing atop one of nature’s most primitive creations. Pele would have been proud.

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