Today we bring you an interview with Melissa. A Collage (University) freshman who loves adventure. In her late teens Melissa has travelled extensively and plans on more. She is young lady embracing the adventure that is life, living it with humour, and vigour. During her summer vacation Melissa took time out for me to ask her a few questions…

Melissa, thanks for your time. I know the sun is shinning and we are here at Polihale beach on the west side of Kauai because it is gorgeous, a place you really love coming to. Would you please share a little of your background. Family education and interests.

I was born in Utah but moved to the Hawaiian island of Kauai with my family, when I was in elementary school. I love doing anything adventurous and anything fun. I am the middle child in my family. I have a wonderful mom and dad and two great sisters. I graduated from Kauai High School in 2011 and now I am a sophomore at Brigham Young University in Idaho. I love reading, writing, and painting. Most of all I enjoy feeling carefree and traveling the world.

I know you love an adventure. Tell me about your world travels. 

In Paris, with a Hawaiian Cultural Dance Group  

I really do love adventure. I love hiking to waterfalls, zip lining, horseback riding, and just having fun outdoors. So far I have traveled to many of the different states in America, Belize, Mexico, South Korea, France, England, Germany, Italy, Lichtenstein, Switzerland, Austria, and Australia. I went to Belize and Mexico while on a Richard Simmons Cruise to Lose, which was amazing! I went to South Korea with a high school study tour.

On the border of North and South Korea

The multiple countries in Europe were places I toured while traveling with a hula group and we preformed in each place. Finally, I went to Australia after my high school graduation to stay with a wonderful friend of mine. 

On Stradbroke Island Queensland Australia

When I look back on all my travels it is crazy to think of all the places I have been able to go and how amazing it all was. The best part though, is to know that this is just the beginning and I have a lot of traveling a head of me.

What has been the scariest thing that has happened in your travels and the most fun?

Interestingly enough, the scariest thing that happened during my travels was also the most fun. While in Australia, I went skydiving for the first time. I had been planning on doing it for some time and so mentally I had time to prepare but it did not really hit me that I was going to throw myself out of a tiny plane 14,000 feet above ground until I was in said plane. There was defiantly a moment of terror as I sat on the edge of the plane seconds before falling out. As soon as I left the plane I felt complete freedom. It was awesome.

Now that you are in college – is this an adventure for you? What were your expectations? What is the reality?

College is definitely an adventure of sorts. I expected a lot of studying in a dark library on week-nights and then hanging out with loads of friends on the weekends. In a way that is how it has been but usually I get to study from the comfort of my room. And I discovered that in order to have lots of college friends you actually have to go out and meet new people. I am usually pretty social but it took me a while to adjust to college life and getting out and being myself in a place where everyone seems to be kind of the same. It’s only once you really get to know people and give them a chance that you start to see their personality shine through. Also, I thought I would eat a lot of ramen noodles and I do!

Beyond your College years what do you dream of for your life?

There are so many things that I dream for my life it’s crazy. I can see myself living on a nice little island off the coast of Chile just reading novels on my private beach. I can see myself raising a family in a large plantation style house in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and teaching English to the children there. I can see myself working for a circus or working in a hospital. The amounts of possibilities are endless. I think it is possible to me to be happy doing a variety of things as long as I am true to myself and following my heart. I just want to be happy that is my dream.

You are a middle sister, right? What’s great about being the middle of three girls?

The great thing about being the middle child in my family is that I am equally spaced between my older and younger sister. So there is a three year gap on either side and this means that I got to be at the same elementary, middle school, and high school with each of them at different points in time. I feel like I am really close to both of them and I have a lot of similarities with both.

Melissa lives in a beautiful part of the world, Hawaii.

How do you feel about the present condition of the world? Environmentally, socially, financially any other?

Right now I think the world is pretty crazy. With elections coming up here in the U.S.A. people are getting all riled up about the different causes and the different issues going on in America and in the world. I feel like if people starting taking some responsibility for themselves and for their actions the world would be a better place. It is easy to peg yourself as the victim and look to others to solve your problems, but what people really need to do is to get up and do the best they can to make their lives better and by doing so that will help their communities, their country, and the world. One step at a time.

what do you think are your generations responsibilities: locally in USA and globally.

 I think that it is important for current college students, people my age, start preparing to be contributing members of society. I think we are responsible for taking our education seriously and working towards being more prepared to face the challenges of the world.

What matters most to you the journey or the destination? 

This is a tough one for me. I would say they are pretty equal. People always say it is best to enjoy the journey because sometimes the destination is not all it is cracked up to be or because getting there is the hardest part so you have to make it count. I kind of agree with that reasoning but in the first place you have to have goals and you have to have your mind set on a destination that is worth working towards.


How do you currently measure success?

At the end of the day I measure success by how much time I spent smiling and how much time I made others smile.

What would you tell 40-year-old Melissa that she might need to be reminded of?

I would tell 40-year-old Melissa to remember to do something crazy to mix up every day life. Sometimes it can be easy to get stuck in a monotonous routine and that makes one feel like nothing ever changes and the days all just kind of roll into one big day that is always the same and never seems to end. So, I would remind her to eat dark chocolate, go hiking in the moonlight, jump on a trampoline, go salsa dancing, try a new food, and live out loud.

I know you have a fabulous mother – what is the greatest lesson she has taught you.

My mom has taught me so much. I would have to say that the greatest lesson she has taught me is to be myself no matter what. She taught me that not only is it ok to be crazy and different but it’s how you are supposed to live. She taught me to seek the things in life that make me happy and to never stop chasing my dreams.

Blonde or brunette Melissa gets the most out of life.

These are the famous 10 Questions from ‘Inside the Actors Studio’ slightly adapted.

1. What is your favourite word? Love. It is just such a fantastic word with so much meaning.

2. What is your least favourite word? Cacophony. It just sounds weird.

3. Your favorite food? It’s a tie between dark chocolate and steak.

4. Your favorite actor? Hugh Jackman (Note from Jane: Melissa loved the giant billboard’s in Australia, with Hugh advertising a local beverage.)

5. What music do you love? Rock and Roll

6. What is your favorite view? The view ahead of me as I drive from Poipu to Lihue taking the back road. Especially on a nice hot day when there are no other cars driving back there.

7. What do you love doing most? I love being in the rain, dancing around in it barefoot, washing my hair in it, singing in it, etc…

8. Who is your hero/heroine?  There really isn’t one specific person who is my hero or heroine. I just admire all who serve others and try their best to make a difference in the world.

9. Chocolate or not chocolate? CHOCOLATE!

10. If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates? Come on in.

Thanks Melissa. I am going to share one of my favourite Melissa stories. Melissa, whom I call Sam (it’s a long story) shared with me (way back when) that she wanted some roller skates, the kind with a key. She wanted to learn to dance on them like Gene Kelly, in the movie ‘Singing in the Rain’. I located some skates on eBay, however Sam was to young to purchase them. She had been babysitting and saving hard. She had a good budget available. We talked about how to get her the skates. I missed the auction deadline, however the skates were re-listed.  I purchased them – at a great price –  from the seller in Ohio, and asked her to send them to Hawaii.  Which she did. Sam, then shipped a box of American candy down to me in Australia. Everybody was happy.  Even though we had never met, I was delighted to have Sam come stay with me for 10 days after she graduated from High School. (I had gotten to know her family during the 5 years since we met) We just clicked and had a great time doing all kinds of things from the aeroplane jump, which I filmed from the ground, to attending an Italian Western Opera which was strange but very enjoyable.

Thanks for your time, Melissa aka Sam. I look forward to keeping up with your future adventures.