I didn’t know what I was expecting to find in Okinawa, but I knew I desperately needed to be away from the hecticness that had become my every day life.
I hadn’t been on a vacation since April 2017, and literally everything that you couldn’t possibly ever dream had happened to me from June 2017 to January 2018.
Yes, I was burnt out. Yes, I was tired. And yes, I needed to be away from my “normal.” So when a friend asked me to visit him, it didn’t take me very long to say yes and book the flights. I needed something to look forward to in a time when nothing was certain in my life.
Fast forward to January, when my trip was planned. I had just moved the previous Tuesday, my mom was in town helping me unpack (or really, just unpacking for me, lol), I had a crossfit competition coming up, and I was still coaching and figuring out the new living situation.
Needless to say, I wasn’t too worried about my travels around the world until the day of. In fact, I didn’t even start packing until about 90 minutes or so before I was to leave the house for the airport. Yep. That’s about how hectic my life was.
The traveling part wasn’t terrible. Figuring out international travel protocols in a foreign country where English is definitely the second language (and often not very well) was interesting, to say the least. Thankfully there were other Americans along for the journey to ensure I got where I needed to be, and in a timely manner, no less. So no hiccups. No missed flights. And before I knew it, I was in Okinawa.
Like I said in the beginning, I had no idea what to expect but that first afternoon into the next day was spent simply relaxing and sleeping and not rushing from one thing to the next, which, you guessed it, had been the norm for me at home. It was nice to be able to relax, to not have to be anywhere, and to have a place where I could just simply be.
Most of my days were spent at my friend’s place, catching up on reading, trainings, and movies, while I waited for him to get home. And believe me, I was 100% okay with that. For you see, I don’t get that at home. I don’t have time to just sit and relax and do nothing. It was a nice change of pace for me.
I rested. I worked. I chatted with new and old friends. I created my own at home crossfit workouts (and kicked my own butt daily). And then I would shower and get ready for the adventures that awaited when he got home from work.
For you see, we pretty much went out every evening, either for some sightseeing and/or for dinner. Because the food...oh, the food. I definitely ate entirely too much and things I wouldn’t normally ever eat, but it was OH SO GOOD! I enjoyed all of it so much (probably TOO much!).
My friend ended up having to work the first weekend there, but we still got out and about to see the different areas of Okinawa. I don’t even remember what we did on that Saturday but I was able to see different areas of Okinawa and places I would have never seen without him there as my tour guide. On Sunday, after church, we went to Okinawa World, which was amazing. Such an experience that I can’t even appropriately explain with words. I spent a lot of the day laughing and trying new things (including that snake drink!), which was exactly what I needed.
That following week, it was more of the same with him working during the day, me sleeping and getting my down time, and going out during the evenings. I also made it to Crossfit Asia and was able to experience crossfit, Okinawa style. It felt just like home (aka, I got my butt kicked!).
What I was really looking forward to, though, was the upcoming weekend, when my friend had planned a weekend up north, to include hiking and seeing some beautiful waterfalls and the aquarium. I was anxious to see more of Okinawa and to be away from the “norm” that had become his house.
It was such a whirlwind weekend as we were in and out of the car looking at different sites and hiking various waterfalls. It was all absolutely gorgeous! I posted most of my pictures already, but I’ve included a few here, as well. It was all so tranquil and peaceful; I spent a lot of my time looking up and around at nature and everything it had to offer.
I can’t explain it and I know it sounds funny, but it truly gave me the opportunity to slow down, appreciate this amazing life I’ve been given, and to be away from social media and the constant ping and pull into others’ worlds. It was a nice and much needed break away.
I only had a couple days left when we got back to my friend’s house. It was, once again, back to him working and me relaxing and getting some work of my own done. But it was during this time that I did a lot of planning and really figuring out my business and where I want to be and what I want to achieve this year.
Oh, and I also made it to Crossfit Habu during the last week too. What a great gym and a great crew! It made me miss my gym family so much as I could see how close knit this crew was! I would definitely recommend Habu if you’re close to or stationed on Kadena! (PS - I would recommend Crossfit Asia too, but they’re further away from Kadena...FYI).
I realized in my last couple days in Okinawa that I got so much more than I bargained for or expected from being there. I left feeling refreshed, renewed, and refocused as to what I want and WHY I want it. I feel like these last six or seven months have been ones of turmoil and massive change in my life, and this trip was the final step in that closure.
I learned that I am in a much better place than I thought. I learned that I am a survivor and strong enough to do and be on my own. And I learned that I will be okay if things don’t go as planned or the answer I hear is no.
Mind you...these are all things I knew, but I needed the opportunity to slow down and feel and believe them to my core.
Y’all. God truly does answer prayers. It may not be immediate and it may not be with what you think you want or need or deserve, but He always answers. And He certainly always provides.
So as I am settling back into home, I am going to bring some of Okinawa back with me. I am going to take the time to slow down, to enjoy the moments as they come, and I am going to put my phone down every now and again and be away from social media. Life is beautiful and we are truly blessed to be alive. I want to enjoy it...not spend it looking at my phone or waiting for the next notification.
I hope you all have a beautiful week. Don’t forget to count your blessings and to be grateful for all you have in life.
With love and wellness,