The end of something usually brings the start of something else, and it’s often more exciting to look ahead than to look back. As the end of 2011 gets closer, we wanted to look back over the past year (and beyond) in a way that was just as fun as looking forward to 2012. Toward that end, we’re going to spend the month of November reminiscing about our travels, thinking about who we are and how indie travel has shaped us and how we experience the world.

It’s Day 10 of the 30 Day Indie Travel Project and the prompt is Earth

When I read the prompt and the article, I immediately thought of my 12 hour layover in Honolulu this summer. Okay, it wasn’t perfect but I had been craving a Hawaii layover for months and so I wasn’t going to complain. So what if there were two red eyes with the shortest possible layover in Honolulu. That’s the life of a reserve flight attendant. Anyway, it was a beautiful day in Waikiki so I took myself paddle boarding. Only after doing some serious shopping at the ABC store-I had to get my chocolate covered macadamia nuts! There were about 5 other paddle boarders in the area but it was relatively flat and quiet for Waikiki. As I was paddling around by myself, I felt so free and happy. I certainly didn’t miss my iphone and wasn’t trying to schedule anything in my head which was a nice break from reality. Near the end of my hour I was paddling into some small rollers and saw a turtle dancing in the wave behind me. I giggled with delight and started paddling toward the turtle. It was only 10 feet away but I was giddy with excitement. I kept my distance but wanted to watch him play in the wave. There wasn’t anyone else close by so it felt like the two of us were paddling together. While paddle boarding and especially after dancing with the turtle, I felt calm happy and connected to the earth in a magical way.

Posing with my ginormous paddle board on Waikiki beach