Friends in Places

Recently, I’ve done really well at getting a blog out to you almost every other week (::sound of me patting myself on back::). The winters in Colorado are just too much damn fun to be sitting around writing on my silly website. That leaves the 7 months when ski lifts are closed to be productive and get some marginally decent writing done. The past several weeks, this blog has been quiet…. A clear sign I’ve been having too much fun outside of ski season.

Our first glimpses of Waikiki on our puddle jumper over from Molokai. In the group of tall building by the shore (Waikiki), the building we living in during 2010 is the furthest to the left.

Our first glimpses of Waikiki on our puddle jumper over from Molokai. The building we lived in during 2010 is center of the picture, but the furthest to the left and small in the group of tall buildings near the shore.

It all started when we moved to Molokai 4 weeks ago. After one weekend on Molokai, Kate and I could see the lights of Waikiki calling from across 26 miles of open ocean. 4 years ago, we had a 6 month home care assignment over there and lived in an apartment 3 blocks from Waikiki Beach. The job on that assignment was one of the worst travel assignments I have ever had. A quick review of my blogs over recent months and years will reveal several passing mentions of that job and my rehab-oblivious boss. But, the combination of my Craigslist-surfboard and the 5 minute walk to the waves of Waikiki made the assignment easily bearable. Early on in the assignment we made friends with a few other travel PTs. We spent all of our non-work hours kayaking to small offshore islands, hiking, singing karaoke, and eating at a delicious underground sushi bar. It was pretty awesome. Over a few months, we added one friend’s significant other and some new travelers joined the group. We reached peak form in month 5 and had – as the kids say, “a frickin’ blast.” Somewhere along the line, we discovered Honolulu’s best deal ever: a catamaran called the Na Hoku II – they would let you on for a local’s price of $25 and sail for 2 hours around the shores off Waikiki, with a free open bar. Our Saturday habit quickly became beach/surf, then booze cruise on the Na Hoku II, then sushi, then if still upright we would sing karaoke (and eat more sushi). Every week was a countdown to Saturday. We got to know the characters on our weekly routine – to start the afternoon, Captain Crash would drive the boat out of harbor while playing The Booty Song, to end the night at karaoke, an old local man named Uncle Ron would sing Smoke Gets in Your Eyes. During the hours between The Booty Song and Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, we would have a blast. That was the summer of 2010, We. Had. So. Much. Fun!

Diamond Head keeps a watchful eye over Waikiki. As seen from the blurry eye of the Na Hoku II.

Diamond Head keeps a watchful eye over Waikiki. As seen from the blurry eye of the Na Hoku II.

3 weeks ago, we somehow got the whole group back together in Waikiki. I can’t think of another group of friends that could all get back together in one place without somebody missing. Traveling PTs from the summer of 2010 came from the Pacific Northwest, Texas, Molokai, and Waikiki to be together for 48 hours of AWESOME. We hit all the old haunts: we had our afternoon on the Na Hoku II (minus Captain Crash) and made it to late night sushi/karaoke – complete with Uncle Ron still singing Smoke Gets In Your Eyes. We started mornings with killer brunches and finished our nights sharing memories of our old times together. Kate and I eventually made it back to our 9-seat puddle jumper headed back to Molokai for work on Monday morning.

We only had a short time back on Molokai, because just ten days later we had a trip planned to Colorado for a really great friend’s wedding. I grew up with the groom as my best bud. Eventually, when he and another close friend said they were moving to Aspen, Kate and I said, “We’re coming too!” The wedding in Breckinridge was beautiful. The weather was perfect. The foliage was at its peak for the 10,000 ft ceremony. But, that is NOT what I found myself talking about during my return to work earlier this week. Because of my friendship with the groom during our move cross country together, we shared many friends throughout different phases of life. At the wedding, I saw friends from growing up in the suburbs of Boston and also from my new, seasonal life in Colorado. Kate and I got to swing by our winter-time job to catch up with some fantastic friends, and had a bonus night out on town. We bumped into people we didn’t expect, but were happy to see them and had… a frickin’ blast. Having fun with a bunch of friends is what I remembered and was sharing with patients at work this week. What a great time with old and new friends! I apologize in advance for the abundance of ski videos the HoboHealth Facebook page will be posting this fall as a result of my one weekend in Colorado.

We got the band back together. Here's the whole 2010 group together enjoying a brunch in 2014. A great time.

We got the band back together. Here’s the whole 2010 group together enjoying a brunch in 2014. A great time.

So, what’s the point? This post is not long excuse for why I haven’t written in a few weeks. Sure, I’ve had fun this month and haven’t been able to write as often, but this post is meant as an example of the life I’ve chosen to live as a traveler. I sometimes think of the sacrifices I make to enjoy the places I get to live. It turns out that some of those sacrifices are made up in my own head and I’m getting the best of both worlds.

I sometimes get an uneasy feeling when I go back to hangout with friends from the “good-old-days.” I inevitably come to meet the NEW friend who is a neighbor of my friends, or a coworker, or a CrossFit gym-mate, or whatever. I guess the feeling I get is jealousy, but there’s also a feeling that I’m missing something by being away traveling; that me and this new guy could be really good pals if I were around more often. But, it’s really fun times like the last few weeks that I realize I’m not missing out. I’m off building relationships that are just as strong. These relationships are built on the traveling experience and only exist because of the Na Hoku II, knowing who Uncle Ron is, powder days in Colorado, and dozens of fun things between. Someday, I’ll get my chance to make a lifelong friend across the picket fence (or at least in the next RV parking spot over). For now I feel really good traveling and I’m having a really good time making great friends in unconventional places. I hope on this assignment that I’ll meet some good people who I can stay in touch with.

I’ll try to write more often. After all, it’s not going to get any easier to write with all the fun with friends coming this winter.

Travel safe!   …but not too safe… what’s the fun in that? 🙂

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  1. Pingback: 4 Island Travel PT Assignments • Hobohealth

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