Everything grows unbelievably fast here like the eleventh hour of the day turning to noon. The greenery flourishes recklessly similar to the tourism industry that can’t be halted. The buildings grow taller, the boats get bigger, all while the land seemingly gets smaller. I’ve been on my island of Guam just a little over a month and it is unbelievable how quickly I have realized the growth rate of just about everything.

It all started a week before my arrival here. Of course, for my relocation, I wanted to have perfect golden locks to frame my face for those awe-worthy Instagram posts I had planned. I splurged and got the highlights I had been wanting for months. Little did I know, it would cost me a pretty penny for a very diminutive amount of time with the “perfect look” I had been craving. I have never had fast growing hair… I even tried the silly supplements that are supposed to increase hair growth (they never worked – what a surprise). If only I had known that moving to an island would be the solution to my mid-length hair problems. That, along with my need for a new razor every week (instead of every other week), was the first of my what the heck island moments.

I told myself coming here that I would be adventurous and do things I have never done before like snorkeling past the little buoys, diving, and even hiking (yikes). While the snorkeling turned out to be inconceivably picturesque, last weekend’s hiking gave me my next what the heck island moment.

I would not consider myself unfit, as I take the occasional fitness class and sometimes force myself to go to the gym, but I’m definitely not a connoisseur of outdoor fitness. As I trekked my way through sword grass that was as tall as me, I quickly realized how small humans are on this earth we occupy and call home. I felt minute. I felt amazing. I just stood there on the top of one of the hills and realized how truly incredible our earth is.

 

 

Nonetheless, two minutes later I was whining about the steep hill I was about to decline that had little gripping, a small unwinding rope, a few trees to hang onto, and an unforeseeable bottom. I really didn’t think I could do it without breaking an ankle – or worse. But I did it with no injuries! Then I quickly looked back up and thought, “Uh oh, what did I just do? I have to get back up that later.” Putting my ego aside, I kept going and saw the most unbelievable waterfall and suddenly the hiking was worth the soreness I’m still feeling in my upper body from that climb back up.

 

 

 

Everything grows here.

Everything including my hair, upper body strength, the towering sword grass, and even my inner self. I know it’s just been a month on my rock, but I’ve grown too. I’m not afraid of the hillsides or what lies beyond them. Yes, I remain afraid of the spiders as big as my palms which I assure you won’t change but, I have just stared my journey on this island and can’t wait to see the growth I gain from being here. Hopefully it comes with patience about tourists, but I guess I will have to wait to see. For now, you’ll catch me cascading down waterfalls…

Just kidding, I’m not that good yet, but I’m definitely heading in that direction.

 

–   –   –

 

In what ways has island life helped you grow?

Written By:

Kayla Crawford

Current Rock of Residence:

Guam

Island Girl Since:

October 2018

Originally Hails From:

Kentucky

Kayla just finished her bachelor’s degree in Communications. Although that wasn’t always her plan, she loves what she can do with the degree. Kayla wanted to be a Marine Biologist and spend her days beachside, but she quickly realized that chemistry wasn’t her thing. Now she’s accomplishing just one of those things, living in her nearly beachfront apartment and writing – which is way better than chemistry.

Growing up in Kentucky left her land-locked, but with a flight attendant mom and a work traveler for a dad, she got the travel bug young with her first trip to Japan at just 18 months old. Since then, she decided to pursue Communications knowing she could fill roles across the globe and hopefully end up on little remote islands like Guam.

While she knows each location she will call home may not last forever, they will hold a special place in her heart as she explores what the vast globe has to offer her.  Her favorite quote is from Princess Diaries and although she knows this is a bit juvenile, the quote has resonated with her for years. “Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather that something else is more important than fear. The brave may not live forever, but the cautious do not live at all.” This quote is something Kayla will live by because thus far, it has taught her that being fearless isn’t the goal, but rather knowing it will be worth it and life isn’t at all about material things but instead about the memories we can take from each place leaving nothing but our footprints.

Want to read more posts by this writer? Click here.

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