About

California Girl ➳ Living the Hawaiian Dream ❃

Aloha there, I am Jen, or you can call me Brubunce

➳Get to Know Me➳

Thank you for taking the time to check out my site! For whoever is kindly interested, here is my short story of who I am, and what has inspired me and lead me to this special place in my life. I am a California girl, born and raised in Orange County, and ever since I was little, I always curious about the world. All thanks to my dad, who shared his love of travel with our family by taking us to beautiful places like Hawai’i and Jamaica. For as long as I can remember, I knew that I always wanted to venture out into the world and connect with people from all over. At any given opportunity, I would travel to as many countries as I could throughout my life, like Mexico, South Africa (↞where my nick name “Bru” came from, and Bunce is my last name), Thailand, Australia, Costa Rica, Bahamas, Colombia, Portugal, Spain, and France. I have either been to that country or dying to visit it soon! Every country I visited, like with most people, just inspires you to explore the world more, being bitten by the travel bug. That is why the high and experience that I would get while on my short travels was never satisfying enough because I would always have to go back home, but I craved for more time away.

Laguna de Guatape, Colombia
Laguna de Guatape, Colombia
Coming back home for me was selling insurance at a job I was not content with, while still not making enough money to survive in Orange County. Trying to keep up with the lifestyle in Orange County, for most people, is living beyond your means. For me, my debt was increasing while my passion for life was decreasing. I was living in Newport Beach, and drowning in a chaotic life of partying and forgetting about my problems temporarily. I knew that I needed a change in my life, and once I turned 30, I knew that the change needed to happen now in order to be truly happy.

Nassau, Bahamas
Nassau, Bahamas
My dad was an adventurous man in his day, and his favorite place in the whole world was Hawai’i. Hawai’i was a special place in my heart when it came to him, because I really got to connect with my dad there when we would visit. My dad was a very reserved, unemotional man, so in reality we weren’t very close. But there, I got to see him truly happy being adventurous and sharing his passion for travel with us. That passion always stayed in my heart, but the day I lost that passion was the day he died of cancer. My life changed that day, and I struggled with that loss for many years. Dealing with my grief I completely lost myself, but also while my dad was sick, I was ending a very volatile and unhealthy relationship with my first serious boyfriend. So, I lost two very important people in my life at the same time. So, slowly, I was starting to lose my self worth and pretty much just gave up on enjoying life fully for awhile. I unfortunately have self destructive tendencies, so I went straight for the bottle to numb myself and started heavily drinking to deal. But dealing with any grief, time is the only thing that helps with the healing, but it took me a very long time to get to where I am at now, since I never really healed from any bad experiences that I had in my life.

Koh Samui, Thailand
Koh Samui, Thailand
Eventually though, each experience I faced with my struggles helped me to get to this special place in my life, and each year did get easier. I made new friends, lived in Huntington Beach and Newport Beach, and eventually I made a promise to my dad that I would live life to the fullest from now on. My other promise to him was to travel somewhere different every year, so throughout my previous years wasn’t all negative or destructive. It just never seemed 100% right living in Orange County and partying my life away. I am very fortunate to have grown up in such a beautiful and safe place with amazing friends I have known my whole life, I just never truly felt like I belonged there and always felt different from everyone else. And I have always felt that way for as long as I can remember. I also knew that I wasn’t fully embracing life and really being my true self, while living a life that I wasn’t passionate about.

South Africa
South Africa
So, I gave up my $50,000 career selling insurance, gave up my expensive car, left my family and friends, to move to the beautiful island of O’ahu for a bit and explore the other islands. O’ahu is the first island my dad took us to, so for the past year and a half, I was living in a studio in Waikiki, commuting around the island via bus, exploring the other islands, and I started feeling happier again. My goal to move there was to live the simple life for a bit and get into hospitality for a steady income. That way I can focus on writing, and other creative passions while blogging about Hawai’i, and soon the rest of the world. During my lowest point back home, I felt so uninspired and stagnate and I knew that moving to Hawai’i would challenge me in a way that would help inspire me again to follow my heart and explore the world. That inspiration developed a passion inside of me to help those that may have felt as low as I have. Or who shares the same wanderlust that most people feel in their heart, but unsure if they can make anything happen, you are not the only one, I myself have felt the loneliness and uncertainty if I can really do what I am doing now.

Bondi Beach, Australia
Bondi Beach, Australia
Everyone moves to Hawai’i or explores the world for different reasons, my reason was to heal, heal from any suffering that was following me from my past, and to hopefully find my way back to my true self. A big part of my healing process was to heal from the grief of losing my father, the man who shared with me his love for travel. Throughout my travels, what I have learned about losing someone, like my dad, is that you will never fully heal from it. A piece of my heart and soul will always feel his loss. A part of me feels that I will never feel fully complete ever, because there will always be a void or something missing in my life where he used to be. The best advice I can give, is that you somehow just learn to live with the void. Which is easier said than done of course, because the day he died was the day I lost that high for life. But that high or passion for life doesn’t die with them. You just have to continue to do things for them, or for yourself, in order to get it back. Doing things that help you stay connected with them, like for me, moving to Hawai’i and traveling. Every time I travel, I feel that high again. When I moved to Hawai’i, I remembered what it was like to start feeling alive again, and then I felt my dad alive with me, and I knew I was ready to travel the world for us both. Which made me realize, that you got to continue to not only live life for yourself, but for them, whoever you lost.

 

Tamarindo, Costa Rica
Tamarindo, Costa Rica
On a lighter note❣

Traveling the world, my life has been anything but ordinary, sometimes I seriously feel like I am living in a movie, it’s crazy but cool! But being in a new place is an emotional roller coaster to say the least. As up and down as it has been, I have tried to embrace everything fully, and learned a lot about myself during the process. Even the negative things I have experienced here in Hawai’i and around the world, has all been worth this gift that I have given myself. There are many reasons why people travel on their own or move to a new destination. Whether it’s for love, friendship, a break, to find oneself, or to heal, whatever your reason is go for it, but make sure for the right reasons. For me personally, I knew that I had to do this 150% on my own to really experience this change without help from my home life. Traveling on your own is an adventure in itself, and you just gotta roll with the punches of whatever life brings you, in order to really get the full experience. And it will be the most uncomfortable, unpredictable, exciting, scary, emotional, cathartic, yet most rewarding experience of your life. Bigger the risk, bigger the reward. Everything happens for a reason, and there is a life lesson in everything you’ve experienced or will. I am not saying I am a professional traveler, or know everything you need to know about Hawai’i, I am just someone who followed her heart. This blog is just a hobby of mine, and I would love to share my story and what I have learned so far here with the world.

Rainbow Falls, Hilo, Big Island
Rainbow Falls, Hilo, Big Island
Manoa Falls, Honolulu, Hawaii (Island of Oahu)
Manoa Falls, Hawaii (O’ahu)
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In my heart for as long as I could remember, I have always felt like I was meant to share my story. And I just came to a point in my life where I wanted to rewrite the story of my life, the way I felt like I was meant to live it. So, if you would like to follow along on my adventures, the story of my life, the way I am choosing to write it, hopefully this can be an outlet of inspiration for you, mahalo 🙂

Kiholo Bay, Kailua-Kona, Big Island, Hawaii
Kiholo Bay, Kailua-Kona, Big Island, Hawaii

 

 

 

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