I have a confession to make. I’m in love with Hawaii. If my bank balance allowed it, I’d buy an acreage on Maui, pack up my entire family (husband, son, parents, siblings, nephews, nieces, in-laws – the lot!), fly on over there and not have to travel anywhere ever again. I sometimes dream about making coin as a part-time paddle board instructor and spending the rest of the day writing chic-lit by the beach.
A few months ago my niece told me she had to create a graph of favourite countries for a school assignment, so she asked me what my favourite country was. I immediately said Hawaii, then realised that Hawaii isn’t actually a country, so withdrew the answer, feeling pretty foolish. Then I felt a little rorted because my favourite country isn’t the USA (no offense, American familia). Let’s face it – the USA is a big place and most of it isn’t at all like Hawaii. (In the end I said Italy, which has some of my next favourite places and memories).
The truth is, there’s a part of my heart that’s always going to be drawn to Hawaii. Why?
Because of this:
I swoon when the bright, endless sky kisses the horizon at sunset. It’s a gloriously romantic moment, and no matter the vantage point, my heart melts and my eyes soak in the light. I’d stalk this scene everyday.
I stand in awe of the ocean; every morning a different shade of turquoise and teal. With every blue wave that melts along the shore, a school of fish dances or a turtle plods along the fringes, then swims into the ocean’s arms with strength and grace. I know that not far away, in the inky bellies of the same ocean, are a pod of whales ready to play with onlookers with a spray of seawater and splash of a tail.
I’m seduced by the food: fresh juice sipped from a young coconut chopped open by a street vendor, sweet pineapple and ice cream from the Dole Plantation, fish tacos at Leilani’s, cucumber lavender mojitos at Rumfire or $3 Long Island Ice Teas at Moose McGillycuddy’s (and let’s not forget the endless supply of sweet potato fries).
My senses are in heaven when I’m in Hawaii. The sunlight dissolves into my skin and the life from its light is transparent across the islands; the lush palms and bright flowers; the greetings from locals and the song of the sora bird.
I take my time in Hawaii (because Island Time isn’t just a nice phrase, it’s the way of life), and I absorb all the goodness of this slow, steady lifestyle into every pore – appreciating every light, colour and flavour; every stroke of the ukulele and roll of a humble wave on the sand.
Have I convinced you it’s worth going? It’s been a year since we were there last, and I miss it terribly. It probably doesn’t help that it’s still winter in Sydney, and that I’ve been coughing up the flu for the last couple of days. But for good measure I’ll be writing a post about Hawaii – and all the awesome things to try – every week this month.
Some people plan a trip to Hawaii with a very specific idea of what the place and experience will be like, then arrive and are disappointed. They return unmoved and uninspired; either the weather was bad, the food underwhelming or the beaches a let down.
Sure, not everyone’s going to love sunshine, beaches and sipping piña coladas straight from a pineapple or spending endless afternoons in the ocean. But I do.
When I think “perfect holiday”, I think Hawaii. And if I’m honest… sometimes I think “home”, I think Hawaii too. <3