“Hawaii is paradise born of fire”-Rand McNally
Noho me ka hau’oli (Be happy)
When presented with an opportunity to travel to a new place, would you take that opportunity or would you turn it down? Alex, a friend I had recently met at a wedding lives in Hawaii and was imploring people to visit him. I decided to take this opportunity and do something I had never done before: travel alone. Without a second thought I bought my plane ticket and never looked back.
With packed bags and my tickets in hand, I headed to the airport at 4 am ready to begin my journey. Being the novice traveler that I am, I was unable to fall asleep on the flights during the entire 11 hour journey (maybe one day I will add sleeping on a plane to my skill set). However, my adrenaline was high and I was counting down the minutes until the plane would land. Before the plane landed the pilot announced that it was 60 degrees with some spotted showers. This weather is considered cold for Hawaii (something my fellow St. Louisans may get a kick out of). I, on the other hand, was excited for the “warmer” weather and to begin exploring the island.
The following 72 hours were a blur of activity. I was informed that my trip would include hikes, sightseeing, food, drinks, sun, surfing, pineapple farms, people watching, etc. Basically anything I could accomplish in Hawaii in a three-day weekend would be done and let me tell you I was not disappointed…
- I survived a torrential downpour while walking to and from the Waikiki strip.
- I hiked Three Peaks, but only made it up the first peak due to rain which limited our sight (which was probably a blessing in disguise because to get to the next two peaks you would have to climb up and down ropes, hopefully landing on your feet without sliding and falling off of the cliff).
- I tried brews from Maui Brewing Company and Waikiki Brewing Company.
- I visited the Dole Whip Plantation and tried pineapple ice cream. Also observed a couple purchase a humongous banana split that I couldn’t fathom ever attempting to eat in my entire lifetime.
- I tried malasadas from Leonard’s Bakery. Super tasty and highly recommend trying if you go visit!
- I hiked to a waterfall, climbed up said waterfall and swam in the Kalihi Valley ice ponds (emphasis on “ice”). The scenery was beautiful and we were the only ones there which made the experience feel even more special.
- I attempted to surf. Only stood up twice for a good three seconds but I will take that as a small victory.
I never stopped moving. There was so much I wanted to do in so little time. Even though the weekend flew by, I was able to experience a ton of new things and I was able to cross visiting Hawaii off of my bucket list.
If I regret anything, it would be not having the opportunity to extend my stay. I did not get to attend a luau nor was I able to explore each and every area on the island. However, everything I did get to accomplish and experience in that short amount of time was amazing and it was a trip I will never forget. If you ever have the chance to travel to Hawaii, no matter what island you travel to, you will not be disappointed.
Mahalo for reading my first blog post!
All photographs posted on this page were taken by Alex Clark. If you want to see other awesome photos of Hawaii check out his Instagram page @clarkalexander. He’s an aspiring photographer and his pictures are sure to leave you with a feeling of wanderlust.