Monday, July 6, 2015

Do I dare come back? I'm older, maybe wiser, and still traveling....Aloha from Honolulu!

Hello there friends!
I decided my travel blog would be the best way to keep everyone up to date on my Hawaii experience without having to repeat myself several times over. It also serves the dual purpose of being something I can look back on and remember great memories. I was debating wether to restart this blog or start a new one...It feels really strange after 5 years of not keeping an online journal, so much time gone by, so much life having happened.
I could have started a brand new one, but then I read through all the archives and I think it's really interesting to go back and see where I was in 2009 and 2010. Some it is funny because I can see ways in which I've matured and laugh at my 24/25 year old self. But then some of it left me wondering-  why do I still have these same worries, is that feeling of "never good enough" that is so pervasive in those old posts just a part of who I inherently am? It left me feeling sort of melancholy, though that was probably compounded by the fact that I've been doing everything alone this weekend and it was a little lonely for 4th of July while wandering around seeing families and couples and friends celebrating together.

Anyways, onwards and upwards! Let's start from the beginning and how I arrived in Hawaii. Since 2010 I have become a full blown interpreter and part business owner! It has gone really well. I never did get that legal certification but I took over all of our focus group interpreting along with other things as they come up, and my work has kept me so busy I have not felt an urgent need to go study a lot of things I am not too interested in. However, it is still a stepping stone to all the other jobs I want to do and will give me the vocabulary and speed I need to do more conference interepreting. I did interpret my first conference for the Red Cross this last March and while it was fulfilling in so many ways, it was also terrifying. That's when I realized maybe investing in some formal interpreting training would give me the confidence I need to immerse myself into conference world. I'm not a bad interpreter, but I definately lack confidence in my skills, and that translates into me getting stuck or very flustered under pressure. So I started my search for short term interpreting programs and stumbled upon the Summer Intensive Interpreting program and the University of Hawaii in Honololu. It seemsd perfect! 6 weeks specializing in preparing me to become a certified conference interpreter, reasonably priced as far as further college education goes, and....Hawaii. I dove right in! After meticulous research and analysis, Gaby style.

I admit it was hard, is still hard, to leave for a month and half. I'm hoping to get more used to it. I'm also hoping everything I had is waiting for me back home when this is done. Part of me is now wondering if I was sort of looking for an escape back in March when I planned this. I felt the pull to get away and re-evaluate for a while, especially focus on my career and myself. Then as things happen when you finally focus on your own happiness and self reliance, stars align and things fall into place- well, I found myself really really content with where I not just content, a deep down in my core feeling that things are just right, hopeful. Clients I interpret for have become super loyal, and it's flattering. I've been allowing new people in who bring me joy, reconnecting with my yoga group and old friends (that I'd spoken so highly of in my old posts! How could I forget this?), a new apartment bringing a fresh start and new positive energy with it, and the best neighbor I've ever had who happens to be my brother. He's grown up to be a pretty cool guy.

Now here I am in Honolulu, and I'll admit, though it was bittersweet to leave, being here is an incredible opportunity and I plan to do everything I can to LIVE it! As you can see, my inability to write concisely is still here and I'm sure you're done with hearing about all the feel-y emotional stuff.
After leaving at 7 am Friday and flying about 9 hours I arrived at...12:30pm Friday? That time change is funny. A fellow classmate doing the French program named Carol picked me up from the airport and I was greeted with a traditional lei made of real flowers that smelled amazing. She then took me to my airbnb via the scenic route. She was super friendly, a British woman who has been living here for 4 years. She is even bringing me an unused bike she had lying around today! I will be mobile! At least faster than my feet have been taking me.

I'm staying in an ideal location, halfway between Waikiki beach and Diamondhead National Park. I'm about a mile from both of those, and 2 miles south of UH campus. I love how active I'll by biking around everywhere! Right now I am living with a Japanese lady named Rika, and her 6 year old daughter. Her older son, Remy, is the airbnb host. He is a model/ dancer/ hair and make up artist and is traveling for work right now. I can't wait to meet him next week. They both seem like cool, eccentric, and interesting people. The house is interesting, it's a little bungalow that is filled with stuff. Like piles of stuff but she says she's having a garage sale soon. The doors are constantly open, they don't even get closed when she goes to sleep because I got up to grab my water bottle from the kitchen at around 2 am last night and noticed she had not closed the front or back doors. There is no AC. Oh and there's also dogs, two 12 year old chocolate labs who are bascially smelly blobs on the floor most of the time, and also have accidents so I have to watch for puddles. So much for the playful labs I envisioned walking! Then there's a little Chihuaha who is kind of sideways all the time because she was bitten by a big dog years ago and her neck never untwisted. She's my favorite! She's little and cute. Thankfully my room and bathroom are clean and have AC! I am so happy about this AC unit. The king size bed takes up almost the entire room but it's not the worst place to sit. I'll probably still have to study on campus a lot.

This is already lengthy enough and I start classes tomorrow. I'll continue the updates and the absurd amount of things I've done in 48 hours in the next post.

Buenas noches amigos y queridos!

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