My name is Kahala Castillo and I was born in Honolulu, Hawaii. My family relocated to southern Oregon at a young age. I’ve been passionate about writing since elementary school, I always looked forward to English class. I was a spelling bee champ and I remember having a piece of my writing chosen for a short story competition in 6th grade. That genuine love for writing has carried on throughout my life in different forms, like the travel blog my husband and I started when we were wandering through Asia, and the journal I’ve been writing to my son since he was in my belly.
Life has been one big adventure, taking me across the world and back and I’m so grateful to now call Austin home. My best friend moved here about 8 years ago now, and after quite a few visits I slowly began to fall in love with this place too – the beautiful spring weather, kind people, live music at your fingertips, afternoons on the green belt and endless food options. Although if you would’ve told me even one year ago that we’d be living in Austin, I wouldn’t have believed you!
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I spent my twenties moving all over the state of California and dedicating myself to another one of my passions – cannabis. I started by working on farms, as a career trimmer and indoor/outdoor cultivator. I eventually made my way into a corporate medical cannabis setting managing a processing department. I’ve always been an advocate for this magical, highly misunderstood plant as I’ve seen first hand the healing it’s brought into so many peoples lives, including my own.
I was visiting my best friend here in Austin in 2018 when I randomly met my future husband in the Barton Springs parking lot while I was waiting for an Uber. He was just visiting the city too and about to leave the next morning, which made it that much more serendipitous. I found my soul mate that day, so of course Austin would always hold a very special place in my heart.
We decided to take a big trip through Asia together early in our relationship. Traveling through Bali, Thailand and my husbands homeland, the Philippines. We started collaborating on a travel blog, me doing the writing and Patrick taking photos. We had so many fun experiences working on that project together that I will treasure for a lifetime.
After our travels, we moved to Maui for 4 years, where we were married, got pregnant and gave birth to our son in the comfort of our own home on the slopes of a volcano. My home birth totally blew my mind. Bearing witness to my own strength has boosted my self confidence immensely. I’d love to attend births in the future as a doula, in service and devotion to mothers.
As much as we loved Maui and our beautiful community, we began dreaming of a different life. Austin kept coming up for us, and we decided to take the plunge and move across the ocean to the city of the violet crown! If there’s one thing my husband Patrick and I aren’t scared of, it’s new beginnings. I love that about us, when we have a dream we just go for it! I’ve always been a ‘live outside of the box’ type of gal, so I’m excited to continue keeping things weird in Austin.
These days you can find me in the kitchen. I enjoy making home cooked meals for my family and exploring baby led weaning with my little one – although I’ll admit, I’m no chef! Just a recovering vegan learning how to nourish my family while not burning the kitchen down. I also love to get out into nature and connect with other mamas and babies in our community.
Becoming a mom certainly rocked my world. All of my plans changed, and everything I thought was so important all of a sudden really wasn’t. I’ve become a way more tender and raw version of myself – motherhood stripped away so many layers. This little being, my 10 month old son Koa, has become the center of my universe, and my mama friends are the stars in our solar system. The sisterhood and connection I’ve found through becoming a mother has been such a gift. I have the utmost love and respect for mothers, we truly make the world go round!
So when I saw the post to apply to join this amazing team of Austin Moms as a contributor, I jumped at the opportunity. Writing engaging content while building a mom community here in Austin, is my literal dream come true. So thank you for having me, Austin Moms!