G is for Gypsy

For those of you asking, this is a partial look at the last few months of my gypsy life. These photos are from the end of November 2017 through the beginning of February 2018.

I went from Hawaii to Seattle, Seattle to Detroit, drove from Detroit to Florida, and then back up to Michigan. Michigan to California, where I hung out in Joshua Tree and Wonder Valley, and LA. Then I went back to Seattle, Portland, and down to San Francisco. I spent the last weekend at a retreat in Watsonville, CA, and am currently en route to Hawaii for the next nine days! Enjoy!

Bainbridge, WA

I go to school at IslandWood, out on Bainbridge Island, across the sound from Seattle.

West Bloomfield, Michigan

It was mostly hovering around 0°f but I was able to hang out with my best friend and her lil babe, all my favorite animals, and even got to go climbing for the first time in my life!

Michigan -> Florida

My dad and I took a road trip down to the gulf side of the Sunshine State for Christmas. We met up with some of our immediate family, and a couple of our extended family to relax by the water and under that big, bad, amazing sun.

Wonder Valley & Joshua Tree

I got to visit my brother and his girlfriend Lindsey out on her property in Wonder Valley. It was really cool seeing the things they've been up to and the amazing landscape they're in. I got to witness some desert rains and check out the local dive bar. My friends picked me up and we headed into Joshua Tree National Park for some camping/hiking/climbing adventures. 

Portland, OR and

Mount Madonna Center in Watsonville, CA

I headed back up to Seattle for class, then spent a week wandering around Portland, OR. After that, I headed to San Francisco. I got to have hang with my brother and his wife, and even got to meet up with some Big Island friends!

Then I headed to Mount Madonna Center out in Watsonville, CA for the weekend with some members of Presidio Graduate Schook, where I'll be graduating from in June!

Tosi

And of course, these are photos you've all seen, but I know you want to see again. Tosi is Sean and Whitney's adorable English Shorthair kitten who demonstrates the most remarkable cuteness but has an almost militaristic survallience ability. Basically, she always has eyes on you.

The Place I Love The Most

I was back home in Hawaii for about a month last November and made sure to spend as much time in the places I love the most while there. Below are photos of those mini-adventures, and some explanations around why they are so special to me. I specifically didn't go into historical details of those places.. maybe one day I can do more research and feel confident in sharing those stories too.

Puako & Pololū Valley

I was 20 years old the second time I visited Hawaii. I was with my good friend Amanda and we got to do incredible things, like sit on the beach all day, float in the ocean until our fingers were like raisins, and adventure with my aunts and uncles to places unknown and exotic to us.

Our favorite place to escape was Beach 69s. It's been over 9 years since that trip and 69s is still my favorite beach. However popular it has become over the last few years (I remember when I was 14 and our family members were the only living souls on the beach) I still find myself in awe of the incredible views up Kohala Mountain, and out to Maui. Wading in the bright blues and turquoise waters I have found healing and regeneration. I find appreciation and gratitude every time I find myself on the warm sands.

Pololū Valley was another great place for us to escape -  and I continue to find it an incredibly remarkable place of importance on the Big Island. I have wandered through the ironwoods and along the rocky beach. I have hiked over to the other valleys, and have narrowly avoided getting sucked out to sea while naively wading in the strong currents of the valley's freshwater stream flowing into the ocean. 

Waipio, Laupahoehoe, Onomea Bay, & Hilo

One of my favorite day drives is the coast road to Hilo. Typically my first stop is at Waipio Valley look-out. I am not in a place to explain it's meaning to the folks who live there, and who come from the Valley, and I am not able to articulate how it has changed my life through the many experiences I have had there. If you happen to make it there, be respectful, read about the history of the land, try to understand why it is so sacred, don't be offended when others might claim you are unable to understand it's depth. It is a beautiful place that needs protecting.

Laupāhoehoe is another amazing and energetic place on the way to Hilo. The deep blues of the ocean in contrast with the concrete break and black lava give a striking contrast to what defines earth, ocean, and air. The drive down is full of lush jungle and little waterways that are saturated with greens and yellows of growth and forest decay.

I usually try to squeeze in a quick hike to Onomea Bay, just before getting into Hilo. It is a mild hike down the side of a bay with rough waters and thick, humid jungle. A portion of the hike goes through a botanical garden. There are lots of pieces of sea glass washed up on the little rocky beaches, and amazing growth all around.

Hilo itself is a great city full of unique spaces and waterfalls and lagoons nestled into the otherwise industrial looking town. Rainbow Falls and Boiling Pots are two of my favorite waterfalls to visit. If it's a pleasant day (I mean.. pretty much every day is at least pleasant in Hawaii) I'll wander through some beaten paths to the cliffs and swimming pools.

One of my favorite spots in Hilo for picnicking is at Keaukaha Beach Park. It is a lush lagoon with brackish waters and amazing views of Hilo Bay. One of the first times I visited the little spot on the water, I was looking for a place to hang in the sun and eat my lunch. I sort of came upon the lagoon by accident - just pulled off to the side of the road to make sure I wasn't lost (I was). There was an amazing group of guys playing ukulele and kids jumping into the little pools of cool water. Now it is a place I visit almost every time I find myself in Hilo. I live for that kind of magic.

Volcano

Volcano has become one of my favorite places on Hawai'i Island. After I made my permanent move to the Big Island in 2011, I was feeling conflicted about spending my birthday away from the people I usually surrounded myself with. My cousin suggested we make a little trip to the east side and spend my birthday in the national park.

Since that experience, I have found myself drawn to the incredible energy of the volcano. Being in a space where new earth is being created, destroyed, old forests burning down and new growth sprouting through the lava - it is overwhelming and powerful and so beautiful. Some of my favorite plants on earth grow there. What can I say... I love moss and ferns.

Punalu'u Black Sand Beach, Naalehu, & South Point

Once upon a time, I knew someone whose family is strongly tied to this area of the island. We spent many weekends down, hovering over (and jumping off of) the cliffs at South Point, checking out surf spots along the coast between Pahala and Naalehu, and camping on the black sands at Punalu'u. 

Through those experiences, I have gained an enormous love for the south end of the Island. I love the strong community, the powerful ocean energy, and the vast difference in geography within such a small area of land and sea.

Pu'uhonua O Honaunau & Kealakekua Bay

Pu'uhonua O Honaunau has been a place I've loved going to since the first time I visited when I was 14 years old. It is an amazing educational experience, and clearly an extension of Hawaii's gorgeous and diverse coastline. The palms, structures, lava rock walls, tide pools.. oh. boy. I am homesick.

A short drive away is Kealakekua Bay, which has great snorkeling and kayaking, and also home to Captain Cook's memorial. It is at the bottom of a large sloping landscape and offers views up towards the communities that surround the bay. Depending on the season, the air is saturated with the sweet smell of mangos, plumeria, and rotting fruits that cover the streets.

The Coast Road & Waimea

I saved the best for last, and honestly, it doesn't surprise me, but I don't have many photos of this place.

Driving up the coast from Kona to Waimea is one of my favorite experiences. I love seeing Hualālai, Mauna Loa, and Mauna Kea towering over the vast deserts of the west side of the island. I love seeing all the various coastline landscapes, and I love spotting rainbows hugging Kohala Mountain as I sit almost at sea level.

Waimea is Home for me. I have spent the better part of the last six and a half years there. I have made friends, extended my family, met incredible community members, and have built my dreams there. As I reflect on the last two years of travel, I often find heartache that I am not there more often. Luckily I am reminded almost every day Waimea is still home for me, and I can't wait to return... soon.

Waimea is an amazing town that sits partially on a dry desert, and partially on green pastures. The valleys back up to the wetside of Waimea and we get incredible rainbows on a daily basis thanks to the mists and rains that come over the mountain. Depending on where you stand you can see tens of miles down the coast, up to the mountains, and over the desert that sits between the north end of the island and Kona.

We get sunrise and sunset. We get torrential rains, bluebird skies, forceful winds, and the most beautiful fogs. On clear nights the stars shine with absolute brightness and certainty.

Waimea town is a diverse place, with midwest polite, cowboy culture, surf as religion, and a strong appreciation for getting outside. The community is unlike anything I have experienced, and I know I am biased, but there is no other place on earth that feels so much like home to someone who grew up six thousand miles away.

Barebones on the Best Coast

I'm just going to preface this with I KNOW this is long overdue and I KNOW this is just a bunch of photos.. not much content other than my normal rambling. But I hope you enjoy it anyways!

After spending September in Michigan, I headed to California. I stayed with my brother and sister-in-law in San Francisco, my cousin in Oakland, and rambled all over the coast with a couple friends.

Sunset in Outer Richmond, SF
DeYoung Museum, SF

My friend Joey (of Awesome Cameras fame) and I took a road trip up to Washington. We got ourselves in some snowy weather at Crater Lake, got to see some friends in Portland, and finally ended up in Seattle, where I take classes once a month. I visited more thrift shops in those four days than I have in my entire life.

Once I returned to San Francisco (by way of airplane) I met up with another friend who took me on a mini adventure down a tiny stretch of the California Coast. We ended up in Santa Cruz, spending time wandering empty beaches, listening to yipping coyotes, and catching some rad 70s style sunsets.

Once I got back to San Francisco... again... it was just in time for my Uncle's wedding. My dad and several of my aunts and uncles were in town. My dad and I got to adventure through Muir Woods, bop around SF, and party with the family! There are, of course, several snaps of the most adorable kitten on Earth, Tosi!

It's been a few months now, and I have returned to Hawaii and Detroit since these adventures. I'll be posting photos and a mini guide to the Big Island the next time around!

Eclipse Season

I've got an ex who recently told me the single most memorable thing he learned from our *years* together was to make sure to put away the dry dishes on the drying rack, before washing more dishes to put on the rack. That's right folks, I am making men more accountable for future relationships. God bless America.

ANYWAYS, here in single life land:

I have been cruising along the east coast for a couple weeks, starting in Gloucester, MA, then slinking up to Portland, Maine, and now down to Rhode Island before heading to Boston for a night and then Europe for 16 days. 

I was in Gloucester to help organize and participate in celebrating my friends' wedding. Alison and Bart are some amazing humans who have helped me through a lot of the crazy that the universe has thrown at me. They're some of the most genuine people I know. And they really know how to throw a party! Here are some shots from around their hometown.

After the wedding, I caught a ride up to Portland, Maine, hung out with some new and old friends and got to check out the town.

Portland is the most west coast style east coast town I have been to. It's got a heavily tattooed population with loads of coffee shops, thrift stores, record shops, music venues, and general alternative vibes. It's definitely a town I'd like to spend more time in.

Now, I am sitting in a house where three guys in the Department of Earth, Environmental and Planetary Science at Brown University, live and.. survive (playing Mario Cart) in. Providence, Rhode Island is like most other college towns I've been in. In fact, I spent most of last summer in New Haven, CT, and find the towns eerily similar.

My cousin Jesse and I went to Jamestown yesterday and got our fill of lobster rolls, salty, smelly coastlines, and an over saturated tourist town. I spent a day there last summer with Jesse too, so it was cool to explore a little more of that end of Rhode Island.

Maia and I leave for Europe on Thursday and we are SO excited! I will obviously be posting photos from that adventure in a couple weeks when I'm back stateside, but until then, enjoy these photos of yours truly, holding my best friend's baby, and holding my 'babies', AKA seventeen bikinis.

=^.^=

Birds of a Feather

I've been off island for a little bit now, and will continue to travel for the next few months. At the end of July I'm heading out east for a friend's wedding, then flying to Europe to explore and drink wine with my cousin Maia!

Here are some photos from my time in California last month. I got to hang out with some of my favorite humans and see some pretty things. 

After California, I headed to Seattle to finish up my spring quarter, then Michigan for my brother's wedding. I went back to Seattle one more time to finish up summer quarter and am now sitting pretty in Michigan.

In case you missed it, I posted a DIY on shibori dyeing last week. Check it out (here), if for nothing else, to see my face scrunched up in the sun, and giggles from the women who participated in the workshop!

Avocado Pornography

Sorry to lead you on, but there is not a single pornographic image of an avocado in here. Here are some Darko photos instead:

To catch you all up on what's going on in my life:

I am currently in LA hanging with some of the raddest humans around. This kicks off a whirlwind few months of travel between Seattle, Detroit, North Carolina (?), Massachusetts and even Europe! My cousin Maia and I are heading out in August for a quick trip through France, Spain and Portugal.

Aren't you all just so excited to be force fed all these images? Me too.. me too.

Okay, so... Hawaii photos...

And some Seattle (and Portland) photos...

Detroit photos!

And here are a few more from Hawaii for y'all to scroll through...

I'm hanging in LA for the next week, and then causing through to Seattle and then Detroit. Lots of exciting things coming up!

Wheel of Fortune, Ace of Cups

A lot of people ask me how I live how I do. I'm on the 'road' (although it's really mostly in and out of airports and Uber rides) and in school, and I work a lot when I'm home... and while I'm away. Well, I've learned how to pack strategically, and how to carry more than half my body weight (thanks a lot text books), and how to rely on no one but myself.

Here are a bunch of photos. Enjoy.

I've been back and forth from Hawaii to the mainland since December now, and I've found myself in a weird polarity between wanting to stay in one place, and wanted to keep exploring and moving on to the next place. I love checking out what my friends are up to, seeing where they live and how they live, and meeting new people and making new friends. I love LOVE checking out the art scenes of different places, and pushing myself to grow in that arena.

I went out to California for most of February, spending time between Ventura, Joshua Tree, LA and even a quick trip down to Oceanside.

I got to visit some old friends, new friends, best friends, a brother, and one special pup. I went to the ocean, into the desert, found myself in a lil snow storm. I got to experience some rare LA rain, found morell mushrooms in Santa Monica, spotted ET in Big Bear, and walked an average of 7 miles a day in and around Venice.

I've got a few more months of travel between Detroit, Seattle, Massachusetts, North Carolina... and maybe France? Movin and Shakin.

Start As You Mean To Go On

As I mentioned before, I had been in California for almost two months. I spent time with family for my cousin's wedding in San Francisco, and then out east of Sacramento doing some work with friends. My dear friend Rebecca, her lil pup Scuba and I got to explore all the way from Sacramento, to Mammoth, to Placerville, and down to Santa cruz. We got up to Truckee and even hit Reno for an evening before I came back down to the Bay Area.

This first set of photos is from my cousin's wedding day. It was a perfect fall day and everyone was full of smiles. It is always so heartwarming to experience these family gatherings. The Tarnas clan runs strong, even though we are spread all over this big bad beautiful world. I didn't take as many photos as I would have liked, but the tradeoff was worthless. I got to spend more time with my family than I have in a long time.

After the wedding I headed out east of Sacramento. I was working on a farm of the medicinal herbal variety. I cannot explain to you how special this experience was for me this year. This is not the first time I've done this work, but it is the first time I truly connected with the people I was working with. I created these amazing bonds in such a short period of time with people I would have probably never met otherwise. I am so excited for our friendships and look forward to future adventures. 

We giggled a lot. We cried a lot. We drank a lot. We feasted. We saw some really cool shit. I finally figured out I have nothing figured out and that is totally cool, man.

For anyone who follows me on Instagram or Snapchat, it is clear I have a huge crush on little Scuba. I mean.. Look at him posing with that Patagonia bag! He is SO CUTE.

The following photos are of our weekend trip to Mammoth, a hike up Parker Lake, and a day hike through a gulch my oldest brother and I went on while in Placerville.

Our friend Jessi took us on an impromptu trip to Santa Cruz to find some surf. We adventured around the city while she was catching some gnargnar. While we were there we got to see our friend emcee a rad film fest and got to watch some incredibly inspiring films.