Posted in Travel

“When God is Your Travel Agent”: Another Installment

And sometimes (my variation on Dad’s Kodak slide show) I even put together a little video afterward. To me, it’s ALL part of my travel-fun!

This brings me to the “next big trip” we intend to take: we plan to go to Hawai’i! Jon has never been, and (a few decades after going to school there) I’ve been wanting to return. Here’s the thing, though. Hawai’i has been holding its “next-big-trip” status for at least a couple years now, because the Family Travel Agent has not booked it.

The entire amount of our Hawai’i budget has been sitting in our bank account for a year. We have a lot of vacation-time to use. I have lots of ideas. But… still nothing booked. Maybe a hang-up here.

I’ll circle back around to this.

A few days ago (incidentally, while I was gritting my teeth through the anniversary of my previous husband’s death) our boss’s husband had a heart attack. His doctor later characterized it as “widowmaker” variety, but—-praise God!—-he made it. Naturally she postponed her pending day-trip to our location, and we added prayers-of-thanks to our nightly chat with God. (Bleakly, joyfully: thank you, God, that she is not sharing my anniversary of widowhood.) Then the night before last, she called me to say God gave her an idea. She and her sister were just about to take a week in Maui, and of course they’re not going, and they don’t get a refund on their condo, and this is really short notice but would WE want to use it? Um, WOW ohmygosh YES, yes PLEASE!

We’re leaving tomorrow for Maui. Instead of my usual two months “curating” the perfect packing-list, we are packing up without even time for an Amazon order to reach us (which, in this day and age, might be the very definition of “short notice”!)…

open suitcase, empty except for scuba fins
my suitcase so far…

I have not Googled a single thing besides figuring out which airport to aim ourselves at when I bought our plane tickets that night. And somewhere in the midst of my NOT researching this trip, a realization dawned.

My late husband was Hawai’ian; the two of us opened a Hawai’ian restaurant in Boise (“Kana Girl’s Hawai’ian BBQ”), where he cooked with his grandpa’s recipes and talked Pidgin at the counter with our many regular customers, and sang Hawai’ian songs in the kitchen… I spent five years immersed in all-things-Hawai’i, and there’s virtually nothing Hawai’i-related that doesn’t have emotional resonance for me. I don’t mean negative emotions–it’s just… complicated, I guess.

So there’s my hang-up, the glitch I needed to get past to BOOK a trip: I’d sit down wanting to share-with-Jon this place that has been important in my life… but when any emotions hit, I’d run away from the keyboard—-and we still wouldn’t have a trip locked in. (As my Sponsor often points out: I’m not an ace when it comes to the whole business of having feelings!) 

This evening it is utterly apparent to me that there is not any better way to do this than to be thrown in with no time to think, a landing-spot already selected, and on one of the islands that wasn’t my own stomping-ground! I take our boss at her word when she says the Lord put our names in her head; that sounds about right to me.

It also doesn’t escape my notice (because GOD is always a better planner than Kana!) that this should come about in this particular week of anniversaries (death, funeral, wedding anniversary). Grief surfacing is not a reflection on how I feel about my life now–it’s just that those dates seem to hold some resonance (and this one is negative) of what I felt then.

God often works in my life through people–so the timing of this gift feels like a nudge from da Big Guy, that I might try unclenching my teeth, and just letting life happen. (Maybe even without the research.)

[Down BELOW the author-blurb is your venue for comment—come join the conversation!]


I am... a writer, an explorer, a coffee-drinker, a recovering addict, a barefoot linguist, a book-dragon ("bookworm" doesn't cover it), a raconteur, a sailboat skipper, a research diver, a tattooed scholar, a pirate, a poet, a spiritual adventurer, a photographer, a few kinds-of-crazy, a joyful wife, a mom... a list-maker! :)

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