March 23, 2016
It’s hard to believe, but my time in Hawaii has come to an end. Tomorrow, I will board a plane and leave this place, and it’s possible that I will never return. If that sounds overdramatic then I would say you’ve never visited these beautiful islands. You’ve never felt the tug of your soul as you looked at a calendar and realized you had to leave a place that is like no other. While I was here, I had the unique privilege of being a tourist, but experiencing these islands how the locals do. I arrived with an itinerary that I was eager to fulfill, but when I reviewed it with my host, I was politely told that we wouldn’t be doing much of what was on my list. Needless to say, I was very disappointed, but I would soon learn that I was also naive. He explained to me that there are two Hawaii’s. There is the Hawaii that is sold by travel agencies and souvenir shops, this version is manufactured to be beautiful and memorable, but lacks grit and authenticity, and then there’s the real Hawaii. The real Hawaii could never be described with pen and paper – it’s a sensation. It’s a heartbeat that resonates through the land and the existence of the people that call it home. It’s a secret to the passerby and hides under the blanket of lush greens and easily attained exhilarations, revealing her self only to those who are daring enough to walk at her pace. This island is alive. She exploded from the ocean floor over 40 millions years ago. With violent force, she came into existence and gave home to ancient civilizations. She offers the best mother nature has to offer: forests full of wild fruit, clear emerald blue waters, towering ridgelines and a race of people that have founded a culture based on a concept of love and hospitality. Hawaii is not a vacation, it’s a life changing experience. It’s a place of fairy tales and mind-numbing beauty. If you ever get the chance to come to one of these amazing islands, don’t get caught up in the tourist traps, don’t go to trip advisor and look for things to do. Buy yourself a map of the island, rent a jeep and explore the real Hawaii. The land the locals are lucky enough to call home.