I Learned More From Three Locals In Maui Than The Rest Of The Island Could Ever Teach Me

I Learned More From Three Locals In Maui Than The Rest Of The Island Could Ever Teach Me

A short day in a beautiful place left me with enough knowledge to last a lifetime.
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My day trip around Maui was a short adventure, to say the least, but I am happy to say I made the most out of the day. There is something special about knowing everything you see will only be for the day, so you try to soak it all in before the sun sets.

While Maui is definitely one of the more commercialized main islands of Hawaii, the busy crowds slow down once you walk two blocks out of the downtown, which is where you will find the small businesses and cafes.

As I was walking around the stores and shops, I chatted with the owners to learn a bit more about the island than what the tourist pamphlet provided.

The first store my brother and I wandered in was this place called "Going Left." Everything in the store was locally made and carefully selected by the owner. Raised on the island, the owner knew many people who were talented artists, drawing what they saw on the island as well as craftsmen who made jewelry and even designed surfboards like the ones below.

She wanted to showcase their art to the public and run her own business in the process. Can you believe she was only 25 years old?

I bought a dainty bracelet that has a bunch of seeds which look like textured beads. Every time I wear it I think of the passionate young owner.

The next place I went into was a plant shop that sat above a shaved ice place. It was more of an indoor botanical garden with a variety of saplings and starter buds of tropical fruit trees and flowers. In between the many plants were birds. Large Parrots.

The owner rescued all of the birds and kept them as her pets, except for the pot-bellied pig, that one was for sale. They all mimic sounds they hear, so whenever one parrot decides to sing along the others join in for a bird symphony. It did not really make sense, birds and plants, but for some reason, it worked.After walking down the beach, we wandered to the back of a mall and walked into what looked more like a closet than a shop. The owner appeared behind us and asked us if we were looking for sandals. The store only sold sandals, as it was his specialty.

The sandals he designs are modeled after those of Ancient Roman soldiers. The sandals were tied tightly similar to a tourniquet. It was a simple product, but you could tell the maker was skilled in shoemaking. The owner saw the importance in keeping old traditions alive. I asked him for a business card but he did not have those so he told me I could take a photo of him.

He also gave me insight as to why he moved to the island: to get away from the mainstream culture. He does not see Maui as a vacation destination, but a way to leave the everyday pressure of going to a university just to get a nine to five job until he kicks the can. He loves making sandals and going to the beach just to enjoy the atmosphere. He does not own a car or a cell phone and seems to be doing just fine. He told me to be careful and try to listen to my own gut instead of listening to society.

In just one short day, I learned from three different people what different paths they took to end up on the same small island in the middle of the Pacific. In the end, they are all doing what they love while living in a gorgeous climate, for even in the winter, the weather is warm enough to wear t-shirts and shorts. I have an appreciation for these three people for doing what they love, and especially because it is unconventional.

Cover Image Credit: Erin O'Donnell

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5 Reasons Why I Love Being The Same Height As My Boyfriend

Height is just a number after all.
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I think it's safe to say that most girls' dream guy is someone taller than them. Our society has idealized the "perfect couple" as a short girl and a tall guy. It often makes couples who don't fit this standard feel their relationship is inadequate or unacceptable, but this certainly isn't the case. Just like any other physical feature, height shouldn't determine who we decide to date or become friends with.

I am a 5-foot-5-inch girl who is dating a 5-foot-4-inch boy. From personal experience, I can tell you that having a boyfriend (or girlfriend) your same height has so many benefits that typically aren't highlighted in mainstream media.

1. No uncomfortable neck-craning kisses.

Let's be honest -- photos of girls standing on their tippy-toes and boys bending down to kiss may be cute for Tumblr purposes, but who really wants to hold that uncomfortable pose forever? Being close in height means our lips are also about the same height, which is great for comfortable and accessible kissies and hugs every time.

2. No one feels looked down upon.

Whether it's a normal conversation (or an argument), our height creates a more even playing field. No one person towers over the other, making us feel like equals, as well as making it easy to maintain eye-contact.

3. Selfies are easy.

No matter where we are standing, it's quick and easy for both of our faces to fit in the frame. If your man is way taller than you, it can be awkward to get that Instagram-worthy selfie easily. However, no worrying about how to get the perfect angle in my relationship -- it comes easily.

4. Hand-holding feels natural.

Similar to accessible kisses, holding hands is easy because they are already at the same height. Neither one has to bend their arm nor reach up, so it's convenient and completely comfortable.

5. We both understand how truly unimportant height is in a relationship.

At the end of the day, we both know that what makes a relationship isn't the ease of hand-holding, talking, kissing, or selfie-taking. Although we are about the same height and acknowledge the often over-looked benefits, I wouldn't feel any less of a connection if he was two inches shorter and I was two inches taller. Relationships, no matter what kind or who with, are about so much more than height. In a society that values looks so much, it's essential that we all remember love comes in all shapes, sizes, colors, and genders -- don't let the media fool you into believing love is confined solely to "tall boy + short girl = cute couple." Maybe it's time for our society to rewrite the equation.

Cover Image Credit: Ruth Nay

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'Culling' The Bullsh*t; Taking A Deeper Look At The Antibiotics In The Livestock Industry

You want the truth? Here it is.

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As many people have seen around the internet, one of the hot topics is having cattle or other livestock antibiotic free. This has lead to a movement that is not only incorrect with their basic information, but they are hurting family farms across the nation. This stems from the idea that antibiotics contaminate meat products and will affect the consumer. In this article the main points that "justify" the antibiotic culture will be broken down and simplified. I hope by the end of reading this you will be more knowledgeable about this subject, and will make the best decision for you and your family.

1. "If you don't specifically buy antibiotic free meat, you will buy meat with antibiotics in it."

The FDA has control check on the processing line when livestock is processed. This means that the likelihood of any "antibiotic filled" animal to make it through is slim to none. If by chance a ranch or feedlot gets flagged by FDA, they will be fined with a bill in the thousands. This type of flag will make it difficult for that ranch to ever sell livestock in the normal market again. This is only one of the incentives for ranch owners to stay in the clear.

2. "Antibiotics are used to promote growth"

This statement is false. Antibiotics are used to treat an illness. Yes an animal might gain weight after treatment. But that is because when we are sick we tend to not eat as much. Once you start to feel better, it stirs up your hunger. Antibiotics are and have never been used to promote growth.

3. What happens to the animal on an antibiotic free farm when it gets sick.

Let's do a comparison example. If your child got sick what do you normally do? Take them to the doctor and if he prescribes a medication for them you would provide the correct amount to treat the illness. This is the same way with the livestock industry. Most antibiotics and medication in general are a prescription based. Therefore, a vet will need to sign off on the treatment of the animals. While most ranches will treat the illness and move on, antibiotic free farms need to move that animal off site to another ranch. Some of the time they have a secondary place where those treated animals go to live out their life. Not treating a sick animal is inhumane.

These are only a few of the antibiotic free lies that surround the livestock world. And I am not saying for someone to completely change their beliefs over one article, what I am saying is do your research. From both sides of the argument. Then base your final decision from what you have learned. The agriculture industry has many that oppose that will use fear-tactics to push their agenda. And although we are not a perfect industry, we are a very important part of society. And we hold high standards for ourselves because of that.

Thank you for reading,

if you have a suggestion of what I should talk about next leave a comment.

-Chrystal B.

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