I’m almost 30 and Instagram has officially has let me know that I am not living my best life. We’ve literally amazed the fuck out of life that nothing amazes me anymore. Everyone is #livingtheirbestlife, but yet why does it feel like I’m not living mine? I don’t even have Instagram.
Is it really that easy, to choose your own adventure?
If I could choose, then I would never turn 30.
In another life… I would be, do, see, love…. What about this life? Why can’t I do it all in this life?
With Instagram, it appears everyone is on a grand unexpected journey. Have you ever been to a party and later watched it on someone’s story only to wonder if you were at the same party, but then you look back and all you recall was them behind their phone taking selfies (you probably were too), and the devil inside you takes over and boom “that bitch is so fake.”
“It was literally amazing.”
might as well as be a phrase we add to the most profound quotes of all time.
The Last Gen was the last to marvel, to truly marvel at something before you would hold your phone up and over it, before you could google it, before you checked its yelp reviews, and before expecting to have the same experience you saw on someone else’s gram. I couldn’t remember the last time that I had truly marveled at something. Now days it’s no big deal if you go to the rainforest because you don’t have to imagine it, it’s not that special when you can see it quicker through an IG geo-tag before your mind can dream up dancing with a jungle bear (and the Amazon probably comes to your front door every other day, anyways).
that’s the latest ### of mid-2018.
Am I living my best life? No and no inspirational quote with a photo of your ass is going to convince me you are too. We’re the most documented time in history of humans doing absolutely nothing and also the most documented time of unhappy 20-somethings pretending they’re doing something and assuming others are too.
I pretend every day and like a lot of these 20-somethings, they’ll be 30-something soon. I used to have this poster with Marilyn Monroe’s eyes blacked out. It said “Let’s just sleep and pretend.” I thought it was too dark so I trashed it, but I’m feelin’ that shit now and wish I still had it. As long as your IG wall appears the way you want it to be, you have a life. Who are you if you can’t show off the waterfall you posed in only for the photo? Who are if your ass wasn’t perfectly lit by the beautiful setting sun behind you that you didn’t even look at? That intimate moment when you got engaged that was supposed to be for just you, well you just gave it away to everyone else for them to pick apart and judge. Who are you without telling people “you should love yourself” with your modified face and processed digital bits? Why overcome anything in life if you can’t post about it? No, we’re not living our best lives, we’re #livinglifeforIG.
All these things. There I was, back on my knees again crying, not wanting to be here anymore. When did I stop singing love songs to myself? I thought I moved past this. Exactly one year ago I launched The Last Gen and my whole entire life really did change. Magic is real and I found my wand, my weapon, what made me want to live. Through TLG, I found what my purpose in life is, yet even as I write this, I just want to go to sleep and pretend. One year ago, I burned my old pages and wrote new ones, I thought I chose my own adventure, but what happens when you stop writing pages? The adventure stops, of course. So here I am, with you right now, lets see if you can really choose your own adventure.
I don’t have a personal IG because like I said before, you can get to know me here, at the destination I love so much. Not every moment is beautiful, but at least there’s intention behind it.
*this track is part of the story. It's the most cherished track I've ever recorded. When I'm 60 and listening to this, I'll remember when I was almost 30. It makes me marvel. Privately serenaded by the beautiful Cameron "Koa" Hoffer with his ukulele. (Cameron, I know your surprised 🙈, but please keep reading)
Eat. Pray. Vagabond.
A real story. From sleeping in a van to the Grand Fucking Hyatt.
A vagabond is someone who wanders from place to place without a home or job, they are shiftless and unsettled.
Traveling is never what you expect. Even before IG, expectations were inevitable. Five years ago I went to Thailand with my best friend and the trip was a shit show to say the least. If it’s not a shit show, then you know I didn’t go on that trip because I’ve never had a normal relaxing “vacation.” When I travel, my intention is and always will be to go on an epic soul searching adventure and to just wing it. I can’t remember the last time that I traveled that I didn’t want to ‘get the fuck outta here’ and go home. After my trip to Thailand I wrote my dream story, a TV screenplay about two girls that go on a trip and trip the fuck out of growing up… All these years later, it’s been my dream to revisit this story and write a book series, but for whatever reason, I avoided it and have always feared my genius would give the idea to someone else. Why don’t we do what we want? I don’t know.
Cut to a month ago. I haven’t been writing, I’ve been sleeping a lot, I can’t get an interview for a full time creative position, and I’m almost 30. I just couldn’t stop crying. I’m not supposed to be here, I’m supposed to be off in some country writing and meeting sexy men and living my best life, yet there I was on my couch balling every single night and again, almost 30. Shit inside of me got so dark that I envied an instagram prostitute’s life on a yacht. True side story, I met this French girl (or woman, she’s 30) who called herself an “writer,” but she wasn’t, and on instagram she had it going on. She was traveling all over the world with rich men and “interviewing” “change makers.” It didn’t make any sense to me because she always told me her struggles, that she had no money, and her writing was just shit. I later learned she was a high class hooker and I still felt jealous. My first thought was, “How many times would it take for me to sleep with a rich guy to pay off my student loans, to get to Zero, to be free?” Before I knew it, it was 3am and I was researching IG hoe profiles and learned there’s an entire culture behind hookers on IG. The moral to that side story is, “Everyone has a price.”
But back to my story… my very expensive story.
It start’s with this girl.
There’s one unexpected person (a Zuckerburg cyborg) that’s really supported TLG and her name is Trish. Trish knew about the deep hole I’ve been in and told me I needed to go travel and without a doubt said to go to Kauai, get off the grid, hike, and camp along this 13 mile trail called Kalalau Trail. My heart often runs away with my head, google has a purpose, but I’m old school, so without doing any research I Amazon Primed a shit ton of camping gear and I booked my flight.
“It’s not going to cost anything. I’m going to fish for food, sleep in caves, write, and eat pray love the fuck out of myself.”
The day before my flight, I had learned that the trail was closed, it had been blocked off for seven months due to a once-in-a-100-years-type-storm. If there’s a sign that says “keep out”🚷, it’s practically saying to me “How exciting! You’ll never know unless you go!🕵🏼♀️” All the internet articles about a closed trail didn’t really bother me, as I was determined to get on that trail. However I did need a backup plan, ergo I found myself on Craigslist looking for a camper-van to rent. 😂I called a number and “Aloha🌺,” a man said I could rent his “camper-van” and that he was also an Egyptian Pharaoh Priest and if I was looking for a spiritual trip, he was a healer. I started to fantasize that I was going to be in the Amazon rainforest with monkeys and shit, possibly trippin balls on some herbs🍄 and being healed by nature (and a Pharaoh, duh)🧚🏼♂️. He tells me a camper-van is a great option and that I could wake up on a different beach every morning. FUCK YES, I was going to write, turn my phone off, wake up on a beach every morning, and most of all be alone. Done.
I’m alone 95% of the time, so I don’t know why I felt like I needed to be even more alone, but that’s what I thought I needed.
This Egyptian Pharaoh Priest added me on facebook and DM’ed me an illustration of a pregnant Goddess (the ones you see on tarot cards) and asked for my travel dates. Still living in my fantasy, of course I gave him TMI. Then the almost 30-year-old inside of me kicked in, uh-oh. I kindly lied to him to get out of renting his van, but throughout my entire trip he sent me sensual drawings of goddesses. At every beach I slept at, every time I popped a squat I had wondered if he was watching.
Because I was looking to vagabond it, my dear friend Trish mentioned “couchsurfing”. There’s an entire couchsurfing culture I knew nothing about! 🤯 I went on the couchsurfing site and it looked either really creepy or freeing, so obvi I was down. 🙋🏼♀️You stay with a local and get a good 411 on where you are, what could go wrong? So as another backup plan I contacted two couchsurfing hosts. A guy named Nathan🤮 with great reviews and a really good looking adventurous guy my age named Cameron💕. Nathan’s reviews all said his home was beautiful, he had kids, and that you didn’t sleep on a couch, but rather you slept in your own room. The kids part was important to me, that meant it was safe.
When I got to Kauai, the second I got off the plane, I couldn’t breath. Kauai houses the wettest place on planet earth, which exists in the center of the very small island. Although it’s known for any type of tropic to be humid, I never even expected humidity and saying it was humid and hot is an understatement. My bleached hair was never dry, not once during this trip.
I went to pick up my “campervan” from another rental place and booom, there she was, a beat down regular ol van with no air conditioning. I panted, “You told me it was a camper van?” They aloha-ed, “Yes because it’s a van and you can camp in it!” Choose your own adventure, ay? Let’s just say this would never happen to someone who wasn’t traveling on a budget.
After hours of waiting, the rental place gave me a Honda CRV with AC, but before I was on my merry way the rental guy, a sweet little Hawaiian guy named Junior, told me to be careful sleeping on beaches because meth heads are everywhere and they’re breaking into cars and punching holes into gas tanks because gas is so expensive there. $4.50 a gallon. The delirious almost 30 year old inside me said, “call the couchsurfing guy Nathan, sleep at his place for a night and then go on my alone trip the next day”. Maybe it’s because I’m from beachy LA or maybe because I expect too much or maybe IG has brainwashed me, but I drove along Kauai’s one road for an hour hoping it would get better. It was green, but gray skies and most of the community looked poor. It wasn’t little tiki huts, it was America, poor America on an island (with a Walmart and Costco!).🇺🇸
When I got to Nathan’s I was confused and am thankful there were a few hours of daylight left. I didn’t arrive to a beautiful home with children inside. I arrived to a farm in the middle of no-where with a treehouse home, a dark energy man, and a bed in the same room as his. Kauai doesn’t have street lights, so when it’s dark, it’s pitch black. If the situation were different and I knew what I was arriving to then I wouldn’t have gone. My gut told me to run. I never want to hurt anyone so I sat and talked to Nathan for an hour. He was nice, his home was pretty cool, but every part of me knew something was wrong, so as the sunset, on my first day in Kauai I kindly told him I wasn’t comfortable staying alone on a farm in a room in the middle of nowhere with him and that’s when things began to go south.🙀
“What did you think couch surfing was? I have good reviews. You’re not trusting your gut. I know you want to stay here. I moved my whole day around for you.”
I felt bad and offered to take him to dinner and he declined. I apologized and I hate apologizing but he kept shaming me for not feeling safe. There are no amount of good reviews that would make me feel safe with that guy and the reviews referred to a time when he lived with his family in a different home before his divorce. When I left, I felt so relieved, I felt safe. I was proud of myself for saying no and thought “okay, now onto my epic adventure and he’s in the past”👋🏾. How wrong I was.
It was almost dark and I had no idea where the beach was so out comes my phone and I look to book a hotel but they’re all sold out except for the $500 a night rooms. I posted to the legend facebook group, ‘Girl’s Love Travel’ for help but the moderator didn’t post it. With perfect timing, I got a message from Trish asking if I made it, then I go on my texty-rant, and in less than a minute dear saint Trish recommends this hostel with good yelp reviews. The last time I stayed in a hostel, I was 26. I used to love them in my early twenties, they were always filled of young lost souls with stories and were dirt cheap (which made traveling accessible0, but at 26 I knew I had outgrown them and vowed to never stay at one again. To my advantage, there was a hostel a mile away, so there I went. When I got there they told me the only thing they had available was a couch for $70 a night, who knew by the end of this story I’d become a pro couch sleeper? When I told the hostel girl about this Nathan guy, she said
“There were two girls who came here last week because they left Nathan’s farm too!”
It wasn’t just me! Sigh. Then ding ding, I got a text from him.
I never responded.
To say the least, this hostel the was the grossest hostel I have ever been to, possibly the grossest place I’ve ever been to period. Their yelp reviews are mind blowing but the place was a –4th world dimension shithole. 💩Sleeping on the couch next to me was a couple from New York, Michelle and a nice guy with a ponytail. They had met on Tinder 🔥the week before and they were there for Michelle’s 30th birthday. They also were just “winging it” and they too became part of this story.💕 Michelle was happy and optimistic, a writer, and convinced me to download Tinder to meet island men. In the dark the guy with the ponytail told me he was bisexual and wanted to be accepted. All I thought was, I need to get off the grid and be alone asap. A half asian kid that looked like he was 16 and was from Minnesota told me to go hike this one trail, Awa-something. Then a lifer vagabond 30-something chick who had been living in the hostel for three months told me to download the app All-Trails to help guide me on trails in case I got lost. So tip and tap I had Tinder and GPS, so much for being off the grid.
Cut to day 2. 3am rooster calls, LITERALLY 3 AM ROOSTER CALLS!🐓 Guy with ponytail buys me a coffee (really made my morning).🙏🏾
I drive two hours to this Awa-something trail, bought a Gandalf 💫stick cause I’m bad at going down mountains, and I’m ready to be alone in nature!
“Hi, weren’t you at the hostel last night?”
There she was, plot twist, Annie.
I tried to get away from her on the trail. I had my Go-Pro strapped onto me and wanted human free footage, but my mouth couldn’t stop moving and eight hours later I realized I couldn’t have completed the trail without her. It was like I had known her my whole life, but really it was because she was a random person who knew nothing about me, I was free to just be. Regardless, I’m so sensitive to energies and this girl was all light. People we met along the trail asked if her and I wanted photos together because it seemed like we were traveling together. I love the photo we took.
Our conversations were straight out of an indie-movie. Annie was from New York, she was 33 (so in TLG) and was moving to Europe for grad school. She liked soul searching weird shit, but was also bougie AF like me. 👸🏼She too was “winging it”, had also craigslist rented a car, was shocked by the expense of Kauai, and never expected to stay in a hostel. She was relieved to learn it wasn’t just her that was grossed out. The hostel and this entire trip made me realize I didn’t want to be broke anymore and Annie shared the same sentiment. We’re a generation with no savings and this trip represented how we navigate through life, just winging it and hoping to find the right person’s couch to land on.
I told Annie I was determined to see the Napali Coast that could only be seen from the forbidden trail or by boat and then we went our own ways after the hike. I slept on some beaches and one night I got naked under the stars.✨ I don’t know what came over me, maybe it was the Pharaoh Priest’s voodoo, but before you know it, I’m in a cove under the stars shooting time lapses and suddenly my clothes are off and I’m dancing naked on a beach feelin’ horny AF. Nonetheless, I got eaten alive by mosquitoes, got no sleep, never fished, cooked grocery store salami slices in a bonfire, and was ready to go home. On the beaches, all throughout the night, cars would come and go, some families would light fires at 3am, strangers would fish, crabs would do crab things🦀, and then they’d all leave. I’d have more privacy in LA on a beach at night then on beach in Kauai (I know this cause I’m the only weirdo on the beach at night in Venice).
Couchsurfing guy #2, Cameron asked me how my trip was going. I vowed to never couchsurf again but clearly my vows aren’t of oath and I take nothing I commit to seriously. Even though I still wanted to be alone, I thought it would be fun to meet a young local on the island (plus he was hot), so we met for dinner. I needed to take a shower before meeting and Cameron told me to shower at a particular campsite. I did and when I got there, I was sketched out. Equivalent to a run down park in LA with homeless Mexicans blasting mariachi, I found myself on a flat beach with Hawaiians that looked like they lived outside jammin and singing on a bench with ukuleles. Who do I run into? Michelle and ponytail guy jammin with them. After my outdoor shower, you know like a regular beach sand spritzer, I couldn’t help but feel shame. I learned these guys were locals who worked at a coffee shop and they came to that beach every day to eat food, share, and play music till the sunsets after work. The thing about Kauai is, everyone is working class, it’s very expensive to live there (no cheap eat exists) so the majority of people don’t have a lot, and everyone looks dirty because it’s a wild island and it’s hot. My ignorance made me feel shittier than I looked. In college, when I first went to Paris, I judged the locals and was put in my place by my professor, my hero who I later took my name after. Kauai’s locals were just a reminder that I was in their home and lucky to be there. In LA, when I’m riding my bike along the beach bike path I always get so frustrated by what I call the “valley whales” ignorantly walking in the middle of the bike lane and the crowds infuriate me. I always have to remind myself that no one goes to the beach to offend anyone, especially not me; they’re there to just have a nice day. The fact that I judged these guys before even giving them a chance is shameful. It was a beautiful night and yes I ended up on Cameron’s couch.🤷🏼♀️
Cameron lived pretty far (45 minutes) from where we had dinner and he told me to follow his car, so after several very dark windy roads and a pit in my stomach as to how I ended up agreeing to this again, we made it to his small apartment with a dojo, raw cashews on his table, and his ukulele. He had everything a person could need, nothing more and nothing less. Cameron is a tall beautiful tan man with long sandy hair who works on a boat and is from North Dakota. I’m not quite sure how to describe him other than the word lovely (with a free-hearted sigh).
He refers to Kauai as his girlfriend and deeply loves the island. That night he sang ukulele to me for hours, I wanted to go to sleep, but I learned that the reason why couchsurfer hosts host people isn’t just to have a rando sleep on their couch, it’s to have company. Kauai is small and from what I could see, there weren’t a ton of young women on the island. Cameron knew of his charm, and shit he was cute. I used some of his coconut oil shea butter mix on my hair and Cameron if you ever read this, I felt so guilty for not asking and thank you.
It was my “vacation” and I really didn’t want to feel obligated to anyone or to feel like I owed anyone anything, so I woke up early and left Cameron’s before he woke up… Of course I felt guilty. He called me when he woke up and left me a sincere message offering is couch again and saying that he enjoyed the company. I just wanted to be alone, in fact, I wanted to be at home. Kauai was extortionate expensive. There was no basic meal under $20, I couldn’t afford a $500 a night room, gas was crazy high, I spent too much time driving, it was hot, there were no monkeys, and I just felt like I was wasting time. I had nowhere to be, not there and not at home yet I felt so rushed to go home, so I booked an early flight.
“It’s scary, people come here for one night and want to leave. You have no where to be, why would you leave Kauai?” confessed Cameron.
Things started to turn around right when I booked my flight. Annie ended up having a deal for a bougie AF resort so we split the room and stayed at the resort for the rest of the time. We hot tubbed it and went our own ways during the day. She too wanted to be alone, lay out on a nudie beach, and decompress before her big life shift. Dully, I’m grateful for her generosity, but the more I got to know her the more I just wanted to hang out with her. I learned Annie’s been through some shit, her passion was to weave and once lived in Peru to weave with the indigenous, she has an asian sister and thus would love to meet an asian man so she’d have asian babies that would tie her family together, she has a private worry for being away from NY where her family is, and is as hopefully romantic as I am. I’ve known for awhile now that every single moment is meant to happen the way it does and other than that deep feeling in my heart, I know I was meant to meet her.
I just gave up and gave into the process that was happening.
(when Johnny Depp and the Cirq Du Solé jam out at the Grand Hyatt)
Kauai was a shitshow. It wasn’t the Amazon rainforest, there were no monkeys only roosters, and in fact there was no wildlife.
I didn’t even see a bird in the jungle (except for a random rooster). The universe put me in Kauai for one reason and that reason was to remind me I had a story to write, the story I wrote five years before. When I originally wrote my Vagabond screenplay, instagram wasn’t a thing. Timing is everything and the universe reminded me what I am, a storyteller and the time is now to finish what I started. Annie was the missing piece, being almost 30 and still not wanting to grow up was the missing piece, wanting to be alone and never being able to find what I am searching for are the recurring themes of my life. I’m always wanting to be somewhere else. I went to Kauai and when I got there, I wanted to go home and when I got home, I wanted to be back in Kauai. The island ate me up and beat the fuck out of me because as Cameron put it, “You have to be ready for Kauai.” It’s not the happy cliché Hawaiian island with hula girls and pina colada’s, it’s a humid forest with one road, rough waters, and grumpy women. They say Hawaiian’s are the nicest people you’ll meet and I say the French win, they’re like happy AF in comparison. But the nights, the pitch black skies is what got me, I was finally somewhere that looked like my insides, darkness with some glimmer. It was… it just was.
Because I was leaving early and I gave up, I pulled out my visa visa chippity-doo-da and lived it up like a blonde from LA. I went from sleeping on a couch in a hostel to my car to a 4 star resort and treating myself to fancy luaus, moonlit dinners on the best properties on the island, to laying out in a private cabanas getting served mac nut lattes, vegan muffins, fish, and virgin Pina Coladas.
Every time I’d come back with a new story to tell Annie, she’d say “You’re having the best trip ever!” But I couldn’t see it, maybe it’s because I don’t have IG. If you don’t post of IG, did it really happen?
One morning I was happy as a clam and I ran into Michelle and Ponytail guy at an LA-ish yogi inspired cafe. They had been camping the entire time. I was so relaxed and finally in the right space when I learned our trips seemed to have made a switch. Ponytail guy’s dad told him to never return back to New York otherwise he’d shoot him, so before you know it his phone was whipped out and he was showing me Craigslist Denver apartments and frantically explaining he could make money in the pot industry. Michelle’s optimistic smile had not been washed away by Kauai, she was ready to move in with him, and all I could think was run girl run!🏃🏼♀️ Nonetheless, ponytail guy seemed like a really good human, generous, and I send him and Michelle so much love.
Later that day I went past the “keep out” sign, you know, the one to the Kalalau Trail. It’s heavily guarded by the navy because it’s considered a disaster zone. To get past the guards, you have to climb rocks along the ocean. If you get caught it’s a $5,000 fine and up to a year in prison… all more reason to see what’s on the other side. What if there are aliens?👽What are they hiding?🤔 I made it past the guards during high tide, but it got too dangerous so I walked along the road hiding when cars drove by, but I was caught! I was told I was going to be arrested and to get in the SUV with a navy looking symbol. I channeled my inner blonde💁🏼♀️, played stupid, flirted with the man in uniform, and before you know it, I’m back at a resort chillin… but still determined to see the Napali Coast.
My Kauaian Nightmare, The Return of Nathan.
Yeah, I almost forgot about him too.
Still trying to remain positive, another morning I was all fa-la-la-la-la😁. I was chillin in a town called Princeville at the very prestigious St. Regis Resort and decided to go on an adventure then come back and write. I was finally in the right headspace to write. I ended up going down a treacherous muddy cliff to get to something called Queen’s Bath. Every year several teens jump into Queen’s Bath and die because it’s dangerous AF. Younger me would have jumped in, but almost 30 me thought no way🙅🏼♀️, but then not 30 me told me to jump in because why the fuck not, so naturally I jumped in.🐋
On my way up this very dangerous cliff with a smile as big as Kim Kardashian’s ass crack🍑 a man in front of me says something about a “text message”. The energy felt dark and familiar but I didn’t recognize the person until he started screaming.
“She exists, but she can’t answer a text message!”😡
On a dangerous muddy cliff, there he was, my Kauain nightmare, Nathan. Dun dun dun.
When I recognized him, I nicely said, “It’s wrong of you to shame me. I was nice to you and I just didn’t feel safe staying alone in the same bedroom with you with no one around.”
He screamed, “You shamed me! You didn’t want to stay at my home! What did you think couchsurfing was?” If he were standing closer to me and if there weren’t people around, I have no doubt he would have made the case for “It was muddy, she slipped.”
With my heart racing, I ran up the cliff and when I made it to the top there was a little old asian lady, 90-something, she reminded me of my grandma Gong.
“Do you want to wash your feet?”
Her name was Hané and she lead me to her yard. My entire body was so muddy with the type of mud that stains your skin red. Hané asked me where I was from and told me she was born in Queen’s Bath and has never gotten sick, she once lived in California and worked for the IRS, that she was glad she lived in Princeville and not in Haena where her relatives lived because of the storms, and that she married a man from Utah who had passed. She told me this at least 10 times. You know Dori from Finding Nemo? I swear on my life that she was the inspiration for Dori.
Some Pixar writer must have went to Kauai and met her and based Dori off of her. She asked me several times to stay with her in her home (beautiful home) and said “I think I could take you. I know karaté (pronounced ka-ra-tay)…” but then she would forget who I was. My Grandma Gong recently passed and all I wanted was to hug this lady, she was so alone and didn’t want to be. I imagined that if I did stay with her, I’d wake up in the middle of the night to her freaking out not knowing who I was and trying to karaté chop me in a ninja costume. Yes, I’m a racist. Needless to say, I didn’t write that day.
My best day in Kauai might be one of the most incredible moments of my life thus far. I’m a believer in praying. One year ago right before launching TLG, I started to pray to God and my prayers began to be answered. At some point I stopped praying and every time I said I would pray again I just couldn’t find the words. Jurassic Park is one of my favorite movies 🦕and there’s a legend that the original Jurassic Park entrance gate exists somewhere in the middle of the island, the wettest place in the world. Everywhere online says that to get to it, you need a 4×4 and it’s not easy to get to. Fuck having a 4×4, I have my legs, how hard could it be to get there? If I wasn’t going to see the Napali Coast then I was going to see this dam gate. I was alone, just like I had wanted to be. I was in the middle of the island with no one around and I was angry and I just started to scream at God. I couldn’t pray to him, so I screamed at him.
“Why is everything so fucking hard?!!! Why does this trip suck?!! I just wanted to relax and write. Why can’t I get a job? Why are you making everything so fucking hard? Give me a fucking break. I just want a fucking break.”
Right then I came across a river, you know, the one you need a 4×4 to get across.
“What the fuck God! I just want to see that fucking gate?”
I stood there ready to strip down and get wet. I took a photo of the river and it was like I heard the VOICE because out of nowhere as I’m screaming to God I heard an engine and from the other side of the river, a place where there are no roads, a lifted truck appears and I just start filming it as it crossed the river in the opposite direction I was going.
When your prayers get answered….🙏🏾
There he was, Conrad.❤️
When I think of his name, I just feel saved and relieved, and like I’m in a dream just for a moment. Little did he know I have a thing for guys with lifted trucks. He was like a country boy from back home in the blackhole I grew up in. He had his 4×4, a country mumble, and not much mattered other than a good day’s work, a rugged ride, and his son (he was single though, also born in ’88, didn’t have any form of social media, and his baby mamma was in jail).
He stopped his car. “Am I far from the gate?” He looked at me like what are you talking about?
“You know, THE GATE!” 🦖
“Oh yeah, you’re far, maybe 4 miles.” I said thank you and started to walk toward the river, I was going to cross it, but I felt him, so I went back to his window and he offered to take me to it. Turns out it was blocked off by giant boulder rocks and Conrad was ready to whip some chains out and move the rocks just for me, but I no longer cared about the gate. I was in the middle of the island in a deserted area where no real roads existed, and I was with a guy that didn’t resemble Kauai at all. Conrad is an electrician and didn’t think Kauai was a good place but it would be hard for him to leave. I agree on both counts. It’s a black hole with grumpy women. But even for me, when I got home I had trouble adjusting back to LA. Although Kauai had only one road, Conrad made his own. Gotta love a guy that thinks “fuck it, I’ll make my own path.” For hours he drove me down abandoned parts of the island and right on the beach and all around no-man’s land. There used to be sugar plantations in Kauai and there are abandoned roads and railroad tracks that are shortcuts across the island that no one knows about except for Conrad and his buddies. It was a once in a life time experience, cosmically timed for two people to meet, must have been setup by the Pharaoh Priest. 💫That moment was so storybook that without having taken a photo of him, I’d question if it and he were real.
In another life…☹️ Conrad and I tried to meet up the following day, but a fuse blew out on his truck when he was coming to pick me up and well, that was another sign from God. That time with him was the only time I was supposed to have, why ruin the story that already had the perfect ending?
The Napali Coast and Koa
Another prayer was answered, Koa. Since my time meeting Cameron, he called and texted me to check up and offer up his couch. He genuinely showed so much kindness and with wanting nothing in return. This concept is abnormal to me. He worked on a boat and without it ever even crossing my mind, he asked if I wanted to see the NAPALI MOTHA FUCKIN COAST on the boat! I brought Annie with me and I learned Cameron’s boat name is Koa. If there’s one thing I’m really fucking good at, it’s branding people and I saw his brand, Koa in Kauai, the hot guy in Kauai you come see for a private boat ukulele show. It was an incredible day to say the least, literally amazing.
I felt Cameron wanted to see me again and I couldn’t make up my mind until my last night in Kauai. He could have been the perfect sexy inconsequential island rendezvous you read about in the books, but this is why I’m a writer.
The real thing is as never as good as the fantasy.
The day before my flight home I got stung by a sea urchin after swimming with a giant turtle and peed on my foot, had dinner at the Grand Hyatt, and then drove to Cameron’s just to make sure to say goodbye. I didn’t know what was going to happen but I did know that I may never see the guy again in my life, so having a proper goodbye was important to me. I can’t treat others as disposable, that’s just not me. We’re lucky to have facebook that allows us to keep in touch with strangers, but how often does anyone ever see someone they met during travels ever again in real life? It was PG and I acted like a 13-year-old girl, squeamish and giggly. 🌌We went to his roof to look at the stars (he studies the constellations of course), he made a move, and he sang to me one last time; it’s the recording you here on this story🎧. He didn’t know I was recording him, so please forgive me Cameron, I just wanted to remember this feeling. He told me he felt I was giving him mixed signals and I guess I was. I just wanted to keep it sweet and remember it the way it felt, like a fantasy, because the reality was my hair was nappy wet, I was sweaty and salty and dirty, I hadn’t flossed in god knows how long, other personal stuff, and I didn’t feel an ounce of confidence or sexy. He seemed a bit cock blocked, but nonetheless, Koa in Kauai has a superfan, a real follower and that’s me, almost 30 me. I still like to look back at that night and imagine what could have happened, so I’m glad the real life version didn’t tarnish it. 🙂
When I made it home, I remember the ground felt different. Like clockwork, when I landed, the Egyptian Pharaoh Priest unfriended me. It was 4am and the sky was bright, not a star in the sky. As the uber drove me back from the airport I looked and there wasn’t one native tree to the land. I thought of Annie and just wondered if I’d see her again and how different her life might be for her if and when I ever do. I have difficulty envisioning my own future, but I can clearly see others 👁 and Annie is about to go #liveherbestlife. During my entire trip, I didn’t understand what Cameron meant when he said “You have no where to be, why would you leave?” I was back in my own bed wondering why I booked an early flight home, I had no where to be, I could still be in Kauai. I felt alone, I finally got to be alone and I just felt empty until I thought of her, Kauai. I kept listening to my secret recording of Cameron and something happened, I marveled. The next day, I took my shoes off and went to the beach and asked someone to take a photo of me.
They say history repeats itself.
*I've had this track on repeat every day, it just makes me so happy. Reminds me of her, Kauai... Cameron had changed the lyrics in his cover to make her into a South Shore girl in the end. Wade In Your Water by Common Kings
Moral of the Story
You can’t choose your own adventure because if you could it wouldn’t be an adventure.
Maybe sometimes you’re not meant to be alone… sometimes… maybe.
Never believe what you see on IG. I could have story-timed the fuck out of this trip only showing lush greenery and resorts and you would have been envious and wondered why you aren’t living it up too. Remember, nothing is what it seems.
A special thank you to Trish, Annie, Cameron “Koa” Hoffer, Conrad, Kauai, my neighbor Josh, Amazon Prime for letting me return all my camping gear, to strangers that think of me and ask me how I am, and to you- whoever you are that reads this. Mahalo <3 Thank you for what you did, you made me marvel.
Some Cliff Notes
Can’t a gal just get on an open trail with a view?
I’m very tired, I’ve been having trouble waking up. Kauai was needed, I needed it, but something is missing and I pray I get to where I need to be soon.
Lesson for me, make a plan, or the shit show will continue.
Yes, I clearly pulled my phone out during some beautiful moments, I’m a hypocrite… forever and always. 💕
I want to #livemybestlife, but that requires a lot of money, so fuck.
There were no rules ever intended for TLG and yet I started to feel like I needed them and stopped writing for a few months because of it. I wanted to remove myself from it so people would stop calling TLG a blog… Well it’s not a blog, it’s an editorial. There are no recipes here and I won’t tell you to put a crystal up your vagina. I’m not selling anything and you name one ‘blog’ that resembles TLG, name one. That’s right, it’s not a blog. If you know me and you call TLG a blog again, you won’t know me anymore.
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