You can call me a coach, writer, or a passionate evangelist for anyone and anything I believe is Kū. But right now, I have another thing to add to the list.
An aspiring traveler.
I’m sitting at my desk with a Bali guidebook, my wife bought, next to me. I’m excited, of course, but also nervous. That’s the great thing about travel. I wouldn’t consider myself a world traveler but I have driven across the country twice, lived in New York, California and Oregon, visited the land up north aka Canada, and journeyed around Japan.
Next on the list: Bali
Traveling to me has become a very big interest. Growing up in Hawaii, people become complacent and comfortable with staying on the island. When I was getting ready for college I wanted to stay in Hawaii, but it was my dad who told me to leave and expand my horizon.
As I prepare for my trip to Bali, I began to think about how traveling can help you build a Kū body. This is what I came up with:
1. Builds up your Mana
Whenever I meet someone who has done a good amount of traveling to foreign countries or has went on adventures to different regions, I’m always interested in learning more about them. The stories they have are amazing. You can see how they light up with excitement as they re-live the journey.
Part of building your Mana is to connect yourself with nature. When you do that – you make your spiritual connection feel even bigger. For instance, whenever I look up at the Ko’olau Mountains I stand up a little straighter. Pali ku! O na Ko’olau.
You leave a piece of yourself behind wherever you go when you visit new places and create new stories. It shows others and yourself that your mana reaches beyond the horizon.
2. Learn to Live with Less – Pono
I’m a self-proclaimed minimalist. My wife thinks I’m crazy. But when it comes to traveling, I think she’s crazy with the amount of stuff she wants to bring.
When traveling it’s a real pain in the ass when you have to lug around a big suitcase. You have to look at what is essential. I learned the hard way when we travelled to Japan. We took two big suitcases and carrying them up flights of stairs and in crowded subway stations was more than what I signed up for. Everything you take should serve a purpose. Tim Ferris, the 4-Hour dude, puts it this way, “Trip enjoyment is inversely proportionate to the amount of crap (re: distractions) you bring with you.” I couldn’t agree more.
3. Helps you Become Ahonui
Whenever you travel to a new place you are going to encounter a new culture, new people, and maybe a language barrier. In our normal daily routine we can go in to automatic control and sometimes speed through our day. When I was in Japan, I was lucky to have my wife with me because she could speak Japanese. But there were moments when we had difficulties communicating with people.
It’s amazing how not being able to communicate can test your patience. But being in that sort of environment forces you to be more patient and mindful of your surrounding. It’s true, if you are looking for help and get frustrated with the person you are asking for help – what makes you think they will still want to help you after you throw a tantrum. There were times when we missed our train stop because we couldn’t understand what was being said. You can either get frustrated or just go with the flow, be nalu.
Ho’oikaika means to strength oneself. Traveling definitely does that to you. You do things you wouldn’t imagine yourself doing. I’ll be honest, I never thought I would leave the islands but now I find myself to be somewhat of a traveler. I stayed in a hostel in Japan, ate Poutine in Montreal, Canada, freezed my ass off in Ithaca, NY, saw national monuments in Washington DC, ran up Rocky’s steps in Philadelphia, and I know I’ve become a stronger person from those experiences.
You learn more about yourself during your travels and your capabilities. You find out that you end up doing things you thought you wouldn’t do like drive across the country, shovel yourself out of snow, figure out directions with a person who doesn’t speak the same language, or get lost on a dark road and thankfully find your way out. It’s all part of the experience that makes you Ho’oikaika.
5. Share Aloha
You know me, I’m all about sharing the Aloha. So when you travel, take the spirit of Aloha with you. There’s no reason for you to be a grumpy butt or unkind to others. Embrace the new culture you are in, learn about it, meet the people, eat their food, but most importantly show them who you are with Aloha.
When you travel, be compassionate and understanding. If you are in a foreign country and see other travelers having a hard time, don’t be afraid to offer assistance. It’s all about sharing where you come from as well when going to different places. Give Aloha and you will receive Aloha in return.
Dream to See the World
It really is a dream of mine, as well as my wife, to see the world. Not only is a great way to visit and experience new places, it’s also a great way to learn about yourself and maybe even find a bit of yourself you thought you either lost or didn’t have.
Traveling has allowed me to see beyond the horizon and the endless possibilities life has to offer.