Coast to Coast

Since August of 2017 when I visited Maui, I was set on moving there by the following summer.

As the last month of 2018 is closing out, I reflect back on this year of growth, change and expansion. Here’s a deeper look at the cross-country road trip I took from Florida to California where I shipped my car to Hawaii, with a one-way plane ticket.

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My car got worked on and prepared for not only the long drive but for the Hawaiian terrain. I packed what we needed for an extended camping trip along with the things I wanted to be apart of my new life in the Pacific. This was an emotional process being back at my parents’ house, digging through belongings I either hadn’t seen in years, or had collected in the house I lived with my boyfriend of 5 years in. We had moved away and separated only a couple months before. That separation was beautiful and tragic- we had to put our relationship aside, while still completely in love, because our paths were clearly leading in different directions.

So, with my squeaky clean, packed up car, I said bye to my family and headed to Orlando to pick up Angela and begin our journey. Angela and I met at the Hostel in the Forest, where we lived and worked together for 3 months. I needed a road trip buddy and she needed an adventure. Once we reached California, I would fly one way to Hawaii and she would fly to Canada for work.
Together, naturally, we started our trip where we started our friendship, at the hostel. We spent two nights catching up with our forest family and (for me) saying the official goodbye, for now.

From Southern Georgia, we drove to the border of Alabama and camped at Providence Canyon. We made it there about an hour before sunset and didn’t realize it was a few miles hiking down to the camping area. We packed our camping bags and began the walk. After an hour, it was getting dark and we realized we still had 4 miles until we’d reach the official camping area. So, we found a flat area where there appeared to have been a bonfire, and called it camp. We also, were the only people in the state park…

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Angela with her witch magic, blessed the space and called upon our angels for our protection and safety.

After a night of relentless rain, we woke up in the bottom of a canyon. We had no idea the immense beauty surrounding us since we arrived to the site in the dark. This, finally felt like the beginning of the journey. We explored the park for the morning and headed off- westward bound.

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Alabama showed us rolling hills, beautiful farm lands and texture on the road…something this Florida girl isn’t used to. Boiled peanuts were priority. Mississippi got colder and more quaint and we eventually made it to Little Rock, Arkansas for night 2. We camped in the car at an RV park. One of the backseats of my car was down, so that it made a perfect little bed. I slept there and Angela took the less comfortable bed, in the passenger seat reclined all the way back. I woke up to frost on the window and began driving before sunrise, while Angela relocated to the back of the car to catch up on sleep. Oklahoma City was that afternoon’s destination. We were craving good coffee and a sit down meal. We found an epic place called “Red Cup” where we had amazing coffee and vegan food. After our lunch date we had a short yoga practice in the grass with our thick socks on.

Angela, thus far, had been navigating us. She found the canyon camping online as we drove, just as she found the next destination while we headed in that direction, clear WEST.

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The only plans we made ahead of time were to giddy-up through the central US and get out West ASAP. We both wanted to spend time in the area between New Mexico and LA.

Angela found a hostel in Santa Fe that we headed to, (International Hostel of Santa Fe), little did we know what magic this place had in store for us. The view very quickly became more elevated, more dry and cold with cacti and desert feels. I’ll never forget what this excitement felt like in my heart. We covered so much ground in such little time, that arriving at the hostel in NM and finally having a real bed to sleep on, felt like heaven.

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We had both been processing so much emotional energy and it peaked in this desert vortex. We extended our stay for 2 nights and spent the majority of the time appreciating the space, cooking, journaling, practicing yoga and our rituals. This hostel receives daily food donations from Whole Foods (what?!) so we were beyond stoked to get our hands on bountiful food. We made incredible connections with other guests, made music with them in the kitchen and truly felt the reality of the trip being about halfway done. We had plans to go on hikes, explore the town of Santa Fe, and do the touristy things but this hostel didn’t let us leave. And we didn’t mind. This stay had so many tears for us to shed and so much love for us to share with one another.

We ended up finding some great thrift stores in Santa Fe before we left, explored the small, historic town and continued on. Flagstaff, Arizona was the next destination.

Angela found us another epic hostel in Flagstaff where we stayed the following night. We explored the area for the afternoon but didn’t quite find what all the hype was about. Maybe Santa Fe spoiled us. We had good coffee and muddled around a crystal shop but that was about it. Sedona was next. We rolled straight up to Cathedral Rock to do the awesome hike there, that we heard so much about, and awesome it sure was.

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I hadn’t done much hiking in my days. I have always lived in Florida and never spent time in mountains so this was all such an unfamiliar territory for me. This hike in Sedona was absolutely breathtaking. The town is nice but definitely touristy. I should have counted the number of times we saw the word “spiritual” in the name of stores and in passing. This place is a powerful energy vortex. We both felt it in our hearts. Angela was working through some deep energy during this day and I felt like I was on clouds. We both wished we had more time to spend in Sedona but after doing the hike and finding INCREDIBLE vegan pizza we continued on and crashed at a friend’s place in Phoenix because it was on our route and not too much further. We shared a small couch and continued giving thanks for this journey that we felt would soon be ending.

I’m so amazed at how present we both were during the entire trip. Every day we expressed gratitude together, for our surroundings and for one another. Every day we expressed love. Every day Angela sang a song and played her ukulele about “Paul and Angelo, westward bound”. Every day we talked about how we never want this to end, how we never want to be away from each other, about how we are so blessed to be here, right now. Every day we talked about the work we are doing with our shadows and with the Light, how this life is such a learning process and how strange it is sometimes, to be human, knowing what more exists is parallel realms…We talked about how real this sisterhood is and how we life one another up, how we support each other and never throw judgment around. I’ve felt for one of the first times in my life how different two people can be and what magic the connection can create, with clear communication and loving intention. The power of the divine feminine uniting…

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We woke in Phoenix and were finally CALIFORNIA BOUND. The last and final state. The final destination. Once we make it and find a beach, we’ll have officially have cruised from coast to coast. How surreal. We didn’t have a long driving day until we reached Joshua Tree, our first stop in Cali before reaching LA where we had friends to meet up with. I’d seen soooo many beautiful travel and camping photos of Joshua tree. Maybe its a saturated millennial hot spot but we both wanted to see it, even for just a short bit. We passed through for the afternoon and found a secluded spot to hop out for photos and silence. The endless desert was breathtaking. I didn’t know much about the park or where to go, but we were happy with the spot we found and even more happy with the epic photos we got.

LA was the next stop for the last couple days of the trip. We met up with our goddess sister, Storm, at her family’s beautiful home. We got hot showers and clean clothes and headed out for drinks at a gaming bar where there was much Pacman and screaming. I used to spend some summers out in CA and it felt nice to be back, however after the nature activation we had during the trip so far, seeing the pollution and smog in LA was so saddening. I forgot how crowded and quick that city is. We first met Storm at the hostel in the forest, along with our other babe Sarah who took us in for the night. What a reunion. It was amazing to feel the forest vibrations out in another part of the world. That portal has created so many incredible connections and relationships for all of us, that being all together in a different state was so profound. We spent the last of our time walking around the city and I met up with an Instagram friend at his yoga studio after we had been connected for a while online. We got a cozy AirBnb for the last night where we cleaned out my car before dropping it off at the shipping port. Our last day came so quickly- Angela cruised off to the airport, Storm departed and I was left alone with my car. This was the first time in10 days I had been alone. I got in my car with such a strange feeling in my heart. I was excited, sad, lonely, nervous…

It was morning and my flight was later in the afternoon, so I just had a portion of the day to drop off my car then get a ride an hour away to LAX. I drove to the shipping port and had a hard time finding the entrance, then I figured out I went to the wrong location. Another hour of driving ahead of me, which now created major chaos and rushing, I ran over to the CORRECT location, got the car emptied, said my thank you for keeping us safe and getting us here, and my goodbye to my babe! I was now truly alone, standing with my 2 suitcases, longboard and tent. I managed to hide my pillow and fire hoop in the car before I left. I would receive my car about a month later, in Maui. I called the Uber for the airport ride and finally took a deep breath. I fucking did it. I drove across the country, my car is safely at the shipping port and I’m on the way to the airport where I’m flying ONE WAY to Hawai’i. Whaaaaattttt?!?!

An expensive ride later, I made it through security and was texting Angela who was still waiting for her delayed flight, she had been at the airport all day. She asked what gate I was heading to, so maybe we could meet up one last time. Shockingly but also not really, our flights were both at the same exact gate, in the same terminal. The synchronizations we attract together are amazing. We embraced and laughed and cried one last time before her name was being called on the intercom because the plane was leaving soon. My sweet sister. Our departure was sudden as I helped her grab her bags and sent her off running to the desk. Alone, again. I had some time to kill at the airport so I set up in a cozy corner and wrote in my journal, mediated and practiced some yoga. I ran into an Instagram crush, @LeeFromAmerica who is an epic food blogger that I chatted with for a brief moment. She empowers women to be comfortable in their bodies and teaches about hormones and how to nourish our bodies through all its phases.

Anyways, my flight took off and I about shit myself. I felt so shocked to be on my way, finally but also so deserving. I was so proud of myself. I did it. I dozed off after reading a book and woke up to the plane landing. Nicole, my island babe was going to pick me up and seeing her would really finalize that I’ve arrived.

Aloooooooooha, Maui.

Thank you for your warm welcome.

Thank you for reminding me what home feels like.

Thank you for your magic.

I am ready to receive your gifts and experience your power.

I love you.

~A random collection of epic photos are below.
Thank you for reading these words from my heart, and being a part of my journey.

With love, P.

paulina prana