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We've Arrived - Dan's First Post

Getting off the plane at the Kona Airport (which still has you walk down the ramp outside), I felt like I was on vacation. This was the beginning or our gap year. A year full of adventure, growth, and adaptation (we hope). Our first adventure started with trying to get our rental car. We used Turo. We were supposed to leave the airport and meet the women with the car at a Starbucks in Kona. She said that she was there waiting for us. She wasn’t there! We could not get a hold of her through texts and phone calls. My first test of adapting was to not freak out. It was hard. The only thing that I did was look up a close rental car agency that I could walk to as needed. In the end it all worked out and the person arrived later and we got the car. First test passed!

Selling or storing all of our worldly possession had been a surreal event. I’ve never not had things or a specific place where I lived to put those things. We are now nomads and most everything we own is what we can carry. That brought up some fear and anxiety. How were we going to get along? Manage the day-to-day issues that inevitable come up with families? How are we going to adapt to the different places we are going to be staying at? Am I going to project my anxieties outwardly in a passive aggressive way? (I know it doesn’t sound like me, but it happens.) With that in mind, part of my desire to have this gap year was to practice adaptability and model it for my son. Being adaptable is a skill that he can have for the rest of his life. I think it is important to not become upset when things do not go as planned, and on this trip, that will happen A LOT. And already has as I will explain below.

Well, two weeks into our Turo rental and the car’s starter dies.

While we were at a shopping center. At night. Shit! I tried to see it as another chance to be adaptable. We got it all figured out, and the people that helped me at night in the parking lot were great. They imbued the Aloha spirit giving me a ride home. (My wife posted about the aloha spirit.) I was actively not getting excited or upset about what happened. Cars seem to be causing us issues on this trip, but we have been adaptable. Second tested passed, though with some worry.

Hawaii is a great laid back place that can help everyone relax when on vacation. We are going to be living here for the next 3 months or so. How will it affect my family and I once the feeling of vacation is gone? We stayed four weeks in a condo which felt like a vacation. Now we are house sitting for a friend of a friend, and I don’t feel like I’m vacation anymore. I feel more settled in the house already than I did the condo. That is nice. But this comes with its own issues as houses have their own personality, and in Hawaii most houses have big personalities, this one included.

View of Mauna Kea from condo

I am also working on that adaptability I mentioned. (Doing OK, some passive aggressive behavior but not much.) As I am writing this we are supposed to go on a hike around 9:30 in the morning. It’s 9:42 and we are all still in our PJs. Normally I would be frustrated and bitchy that we are not ready to go or already in the car. I have more than once reminded myself that there is no schedule. Leaving at 9:30 was some scheduled time I created, but I realize that it is arbitrary. We can leave whenever we want. However, my head is always trying to create a schedule. Well, we can go on the hike after a late breakfast, or we can co after lunch, or we can rally everyone and go now, or or or…Argh. It’s hard for me to not create a schedule, but I am learning. My son seems to have already learned adaptability. He just came out and said that he and his friend (who is visiting from the mainland) are still tired and they want to chill out. I asked if he would like to go do something, and he said “I don’t know; we can play it by ear.” That is the feeling I am trying to reach.


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Aug 18, 2019

Thanks, Sandy! He’s dong better already. It was interesting for me to know he even felt that way and wanted to share it. I’m sure everyone thought I was the uptight one in the family. Lol. Travel has been great to bring us closer and show up authentically in the world.


Sandy Russell Cather
Sandy Russell Cather
Aug 11, 2019

Way to keep persevering Dan! It took me a long time not to be upset about a schedule! But it's so much easier on us when it just let it go. As wise Lucas said, "just play it by ear." :-)

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