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A Trip that Took a Lifetime

Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and take a break once in a while, you could miss your chance at seeing the world. Nora finally took her first ever vacation after years of a routine life, and it changed everything for her. 

People often use FOMO to describe missing a birthday party or a celebrity encounter, but FOMO can also last a lifetime. We all know how school, career, or family can sidetrack other plans. Time waits for nobody and one of our greatest fears is missing out on life. Nora Green is someone who did everything by the book for a long time, checking all the boxes for a happy, normal life. But she hadn’t traveled anywhere beyond her home state of Washington, and realized she hadn’t really seen as much of the world as she’d like. So she changed that.

“I’d never been far from home,” Nora says. “We didn’t plan vacations or have excess money, so I always thought of travel as something I’d experience later.” The years were ticking by and she felt like before she’d know it, her career-end would be approaching. Fast. She started bringing up the topic of travel with her husband, pushing him to consider taking a vacation with her. On a rainy winter evening, he came home from work with two tickets to Hawaii.

The tropical climate of Hawaii had been a fantasy Nora carried with her through years of wet winters. “I’d always wanted to go to Hawaii, but knew almost nothing about it,” she says. “This was the first vacation of our lives!” She was overwhelmed with excitement leading up to their departure.

Crossing the Pacific for the first time seemed endless to her. “I fell in love with Hawaii as soon as I stepped onto Oahu and the heat almost blew me over,” she says. On the first night of her trip, she stood in her room looking at the sea through floor-to-ceiling windows. They popped a bottle of champagne and she still claims it was the best drink of her life.  

“I’ll never forget the first morning I woke up in Hawaii and walked into the ocean to feel the water consume me,” Nora recalls. Overwhelmed by the brightness and vibrance of everything around her, she lay down in the sand watching the palm leaves sway against the deep blue sky above her. 

“It felt like coming home to a place I’d never been before,” she adds. The air was wet, smelling of fresh fruit and coffee, and everything she ate seemed to be picked from a nearby tree or pulled from the ocean. 

Nora recalls the unfamiliar impact the rain had on her. “We get rain for months on end at home, but it’s completely different,” she explains. “The Hawaiian showers were torrential and hot, almost like this unique form of sunshine. I really can’t describe it.”

She was so hooked on the island lifestyle that they made plans to explore more of the Pacific before they even went home from their first trip. “And that’s the way it worked after that,” she says.” It was like every time my husband or I had a bad day at work, we’d go visit the travel agent and come home with new tickets to a new island. We were addicted!” 

Hawaii was the place where Nora rediscovered herself. “I think learning about Hawaii and experiencing travel later in life allowed me to enjoy it even more,” she adds. “I’d already lived a full life before that first trip changed everything and traveling became my reality. It was like a rebeginning and a whole new chapter.”