I grew up in a small town called Wahiawā, on the island of Oʻahu, Hawaiʻi. I know, many of you have never heard of it, but I spent most of my life in that little town, stuck in the middle of the island, dreaming of the day I could fly off to some unknown and exotic land. You know the scene in The Breakfast Club when Molly Ringwald mutters, “I wish I was on a plane. To France.” That’s me; only insert any location, anywhere in the world, for “France.”

 Get off your rock-- no matter what it looks like. (Photo Wendie Burbridge)

Get off your rock– no matter what it looks like. (Photo Wendie Burbridge)

When you live in Hawaii, or on any island, you have to get on a plane to go just about anywhere. I’ve been flying since I was three months old. My entire life has been a challenge to get “Off the Rock”—both literally and figuratively. I see travel as a way to get away from everything. When I travel, I’m forced to forget my 12-hour workdays, the worst traffic in the United States, inane emails, pointless meetings, and the constant clutter on my desk.

I know, I know, you’re probably thinking, “why would anyone want to leave beautiful Hawaii?” But I grew up in Hawaii, and sometimes my island gets a little too crowded and small for me—and I need to get away. Getting off my rock is the best way I can recoup my sanity, reconnect with my family, and myself.

Traveling is really a gift. It’s a gift for your senses, your mind, as well as a gift to your children. It’s been a huge gift to my son, who has been traveling pretty consistently since he was five years old. His entire worldview is based on seeing different cultures, history, art, hearing different languages, eating strange but delicious food, and by seeing how other people live and work and play.

Now, I’m in no way so fabulous and well-traveled that I can pack an overnighter for a two week trip or spend my next paycheck on a trip to Europe. My passport has a few stamps, but not so many that I need extra pages. I don’t work for any airline; I don’t get free tickets, nor am I a travel agent or work for one. I just love to travel and am lucky enough to do it fairly often.

So come with me on a virtual tour of the world and all the interesting places– far and near– that I’ve traveled. I’d love to hear where you have gone and share in your off the rock experiences. Perhaps we all can share our gifts with each other and learn more about who we are through other cultures and places. The world is our oyster, lovelies, and perhaps we’ll find some new pearls to share and enjoy


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