Thoughts on Hawaii
I never had much of a desire to explore Hawaii because I thought it was expensive, “Americanized”, and touristy. I don’t know what I was thinking, because Hawaii is nothing short of stunningly, jaw-droppingly… beautiful. If you can get off the main tourist tracks and into the local spots, the eco-experiences that can be had here are a-mazing.
The first time I visited Hawaii, in 2005, I went to Maui with my ex-boyfriend because we had a free place to stay. My expectations were low, but to this day, experiences I had there still stick with me. I’ll never forget pulling off the side of the road to Hana and walking through waterfalls and bamboo forests. That was the first time I heard bamboo blowing in the wind! And seeing live lava creeping across fields of volcanic rock – really. That was such a powerful experience. There were sea turtles e v e r y w h e r e, and one of my favorite things was the dirt. Deep, dark, rich, nutrient-filled soil. Everything I encountered felt so alive! The magic there blew my mind.
The other thing about Hawaii that is unbelievingly cool is the core beliefs that comprise the native culture. The environment is sacred. And to be respected. And we are a part OF it, not just here to enjoy it and take from it. The native Hawaiian culture, unlike so so much (if not all) of the native American mainland culture, is still in tact. This thread of genuinely living in respect and collaboration with the natural world is very much still alive and breathing in Hawaii.
This past March, I was considering going to Oaxaca, but, based on the recommendation of several friends… I decided to take go to Oahu, because I had never been. I was really questioning if the travel time was “worth it” – and even on the plane, I was like WHY am I doing this… ? Because from the moment I landed in Honolulu (and flying in was also amazing), my entire body exhaled.
The humidity in the airport – this may sound strange, but being from AZ, moisture in the air feels heavenly – the funky architecture, and the palpably low-stress vibe. I felt like I was in a different country.
The trip turned out to also be magical.
I scoured the island….. If you’re heading that way, check out my guide to “eco” off-the-beaten-path Oahu here.