We spent our first two weeks on the Big Island of Hawaii in quarantine. The state of Hawaii sent a daily text message which requires you to login and complete an accountability survey asking if you have quarantined each day.
We were welcomed into our space with some normal living requirements for living in Hawaii, rats and cockroaches. Ashley was awakened in the middle of the night to a rat running through her hair and scaling the walls of her room. We were grateful for the assistance of the farm rat removal. I had an encounter with a cockroach inside a dresser drawer that managed to get it’s way into one of my shirts and climb out from my hair after getting dressed one morning,
Note to self for Hawaii living: Always shake your clothes before putting them on, wash dishes immediately after eating, and never leave any food out.
Anyone who has experienced living on a farm or tropical environment, it is nearly impossible to avoid encounters with creatures. Surprisingly Hawaii does not have any other intimidating animals besides wild pigs, rats, and bugs.
At the end of our two-week quarantine we received a phone call along with a letter from the State of Hawaii stating that we had completed our quarantine. As of October 15th, the quarantine rule was lifted meaning that travelers can now come to the islands with a negative COVID test. The Big Island is also requiring an additional test upon arrival.
We would advise anyone to continue to check the state of Hawaii Covid-19 website as this may change over time.
Upon leaving our quarantine, we traveled to the east part of the Island called Puna where we joined Ashley’s cousin Lindsay.
In Pahoa, we stayed in the jungle. From the moment of our arrival, it felt like stepping into The Fifth Dimension. Overall, we will say that everyone at this house shared very interesting views on the Reptilian Race, dietary cleanses, lack of information about the pandemic and American politics, and had no respect for personal boundaries. Although I personally panicked and was feeling very unsettled at the beginning of the week, I was able to leave laughing at the overall experience. It left us with some pretty hilarious stories.
We all had our own unique and intense experiences in Pahoa. Overall, the energy of that side of the island is very intense yet also transformative. We were not able to get much of a sense of the community based on the mostly deserted town. The few people we did meet were quite extreme in their new age ideals. We did, however, see some interesting potential properties and may be willing to give Pahoa a second chance. One of the biggest lessons we learned from being in Pahoa was to surrender to the flow, which ironically became one of our theme songs (I Release Control by Alexa Sunshine Rose) throughout that entire part of the trip.
On our drive back to Hawi, we stopped in Hilo where we enjoyed a beautiful swimming beach and swam with sea turtles, enjoyed views of the Waipio Valley, and strolled through the quaint town of Honoka’a. We felt much more at peace driving up the coast and arriving safely back in Hawi.Upon settling back in Hawi, we spent more time exploring the town and surrounding area of Kapaau and Waimea. Some of our favorite highlights were the Waimea Farmer’s Market, hike to the Pololu Valley, Hapuna Beach, and a Full Moon Halloween at Anaehoomalu beach near Waikoloa Village. For Halloween, I was very excited about the idea of building a “witch train” out of the cardboard boxes. This last week, we moved down to Captain Cook to look at properties. There were coffee and avocado trees growing all over the property, and it brought me back to living and working in communities in Honduras and Guatemala. One of our requirements for finding a retreat property is that we feel magic when we’re there. We definitely felt the magic here! We decided to spend some time staying at a retreat center to get some experience and feel more into this side of the island. We have found that it has been challenging to make decisions and that more than ever we are feeling that things can change constantly for us. I have been adjusting to island life by catching cockroaches, cane spiders, and centipedes and learning how to troubleshoot power outages. Although we initially felt a lot of discomfort in our current location, we felt the need to commit and have decided to stay through December 1st here in Captain Cook. Highlights so far have been snorkeling at Two-Step, beautiful drive to Volcano Winery (the wine is mediocre and the experience quiet funny), Captain Cook Farmer’s Market, and Ho’okena Beach Park. At this moment, we feel we need more time on the island to fully decide on what the best next steps are for all of us to feel settled and fulfilled. We really hope to find a community of people that we can connect with as we further explore a retreat space and know that this is something that will take time especially due to the extra layer of isolation added by the pandemic.
This last month, we have all felt a need to disconnect a bit from happenings on the mainland and yet are still very aware of the pandemic. As we have traveled around the island, we notice many businesses temporarily or permanently closed, restaurants mostly offering only outdoor seating, and many small cafes and coffee shops only providing window service. All of the same mask and social distancing rules are being enforced. Overall, we haven’t seen any large crowds of people and spend most of our time in open and outdoor spaces.
We share in the excitement with other Big Islanders on the results of the election this week. Myself personally, I felt a huge weight lift as I received the news last Saturday morning.
I feel hopeful that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will lead our country towards unity, love, and understanding while also getting to the root of all of the very important issues that have been brought to light even more these last four years.
Stay tuned and most of all stay well…
Elise and AshleyResources:
Hawaii State Department of Health COVID-19 Travel Requirements: https://hawaiicovid19.com/travel/#travel-FAQs
Mandatory State of Hawaii Travel and Health Form Registration: https://travel.hawaii.gov/#/
Hawaii Travel Site COVID-19 Travel Requirements: https://www.gohawaii.com/travel-requirements