Hawaii, Oh how much I love you.
The best thing about vacations is the escape. The power to just forget & exist in your surroundings. Make new friends, enjoy new foods, gawk at the landscape you don't get at home. If you wanted to be someone completely different, you could. I like to be myself though. I like to connect with people to create friendships, create a memory in the there and now.
I few months ago, I NEEDED an escape. I NEEDED an adventure. I planned it to where when I got to wherever it was I decided to go, I would be whole by the time I got there. & that's exactly what I did. The hardest decision was deciding on where to go. I had it down to two places. Thailand & Hawaii. Thailand was my first choice, its just been a place that's been tugging at my soul. HOWEVER, it was monsoon season out there which meant it rained 75% of the time if not more. Frankly, I didn't have time for that lol. I didn't have time to wait to scratch the itch I had, & I damn sure didn't want to be in the rain (I would've made the best of it as I always do)
So I asked my Instagram & out of 98 votes, it was 50/50....I chose Hawaii.
Two reasons led me down this path, I wanted to mark Hawaii off my list (beat you mom, not the first nor the last) & I wanted to scratch skydiving off my list of things to do before I die & I figured justifying the possibility of dying in Hawaii instead of San Marcos, TX was good enough for me. I will be completely honest, I was kind of worried about the trip because I wasn't gonna get the LOST feeling I get when I travel to other countries, I wasn't gonna feed that inner desire to get submerged in another culture and feed the part of me that wants to learn and enjoy the culture of someone who can barely communicate with me but yet still create a friendship because laughter is a universal thing.
I was wrong about the experience I thought I was gonna get...totally wrong & because of this Hawaii is top 3 for me. I think I have said that about almost all places I have been but Hawaii refueled me in a way I didn't expect to get. Getting off the plane and just feeling the crisp air, the feeling of being somewhere new with a whole 10 days ahead of you is a feeling I think about all too often and it had finally came.
First of all let me give a HUGE shoutout to my friends over at The Beach Waikiki Boutique Hostel. I am a hostel traveler for two reasons, connecting with other travelers and price point. I had a private room for about $88 with them and that's a really great price for everything that you get especially being a quick two minute walk from the beach. I enjoyed my stay as well as the people I will be doing a separate post for them and why I think you should check them out if you think you're up for something different. Check in was a piece of cake and we literally put our bags down, changed and were off to the races lol. I mean, that's why we we're there right? to beach... suns out guns out am I right?
It wasn't the 50 different shades of blue that made Hawaii great.
It wasn't the nice weather that made Hawaii great.
It wasn't the amazing landscape that made Hawaii great.
It was 10/10 the people and the experiences I had with them.
I was gonna go Skydiving with just one other person, we were gonna have to rent a vehicle and drive ourselves there. Our hostel being the BOMB ASS HOSTEL that it was had skydiving at a cheaper price with transportation. & we ended up jumping with 7 other people and creating a memory/experience with them that I think about every night I lay in bed. If you have never skydived, do it in Hawaii. Also, skydiving is getting its own post which will be going up in a few days as well.
This is what I like to call the melting pot. The social spot.
Every night we would basically meet here anywhere from 7-10 and we would just converse, play games, drink, sing, make plans, you name it. The topics of conversation would be all over the place. Keep in mind you're talking with people from all over the world. They want to learn about me & I want to learn about them & this is how I fulfilled this aspect of my travel. Hell, I am almost positive that my cousin learned more from this trip from the people we interacted with than he does at home. I will say that when I travel I normally come across A LOT of Australians and this was still true, but this time there was a lot of Canadians. Shoutout to Julie and Samira, Canadians are okay. lol
These are really just scratching the surface when it comes to the people but I can't make this all about them because I got too much from this island to just stress the people I met.
I LOVE food, and thanks to my aunt Janelle I make a big part of my travels circling around food. If you ask me to recommend one place I think is mandatory in terms of food I would 10/10 say it would be Giovanni's Shrimp truck on the North Shore. Its a $15 plate of shrimp & rice, but it is a concoction of garlic & butter heaven. I am pretty sure my cousin sent me a picture from google images last night just to ruin my day. lol When we went after going to Waimea Bay, and the line was easily 50 people long. Did we wait? YOU BET. I was not gonna skip out on this. Just trust me and give it a chance.
SECOND, Leonards Bakery. Hands down the best bakery on the island (out of the 4 I tried). Regardless of my amateur status, the malasadas here are second to none. Of course get the original, but get a second and make sure it's a custard filled one. I had mine filled with macadamia and it was very good. The malasada will just melt in your mouth. By the way, a malasada is a Portuguese donut.
My THIRD recommendation is the Hawaiian plate known as a Moco Loco. This is a plate I would take on with ZERO plans afterwards because you will be kicked into a coma. I'm not playing. It's a hamburger patty, fried egg, and gravy served on top of a bed of rice & it will put you on your ass. This one is third mainly because you just have to experience it.
Smaller mentions - Acai Bowls, Shaved Ice, Poke, & LITERALLY ANY PLATE WITH KALUA PORK. mmmmmm
Hawaii is a special place, You get beaches and mountains in a way you can't quite get elsewhere. By that I mean green mountainsides that just give you the perfect backdrop while you chill on the beach with your feet in the sand while you cook like a lobster. The hikes were one of my favorite things to do. They're free and give you a view that's almost priceless every time. Take advantage of them. The reward is always better than the work you're putting in.
Koko Head - HELL, but do it. Over 1,000 steps up a hill but gives you more than 180 degrees view of shoreline. Also, I would recommend doing this early in the AM. You can get your day started and a solid workout in and erase it all away with alcohol and Kalua Pork.
Lanikai Pillbox - Another Hike that takes you to a old military pillbox that gives you yet some more amazing views. If you think you can get tired of these views I will encourage you to think again. lol
Stairway to Heaven - I am not gonna go in depth because I want to dedicate a whole post to it. I think its a hike that requires a lot of strength and can be challenging if you're not fit. It was by far the hardest hike I did while I was here and it was 10/10 the most rewarding. So if that is something you're interested in learning more about then pay attention to my social sites/website in the coming week or two.
Also, when you're not thinking about how you just threw yourself out of a plane 14k ft up and have time to appreciate the blue waters, and luscious green mountains you will see this island in a different light.
I'm signing off on this post because I still have so much to include in my other posts but I wanted you to feel what I feel about this place.
thank you. thank you very Much.