Let me create a vision for you. Let me place you here with me. Let me tell you of the emotions, experiences and events of this past week.
I am used to fast-paced adventures; your head is constantly looking up at the concrete sky and your shoulders swerve to compensate for the crowded movement of others. All these past destinations contain bright lights, a pool of soul-filled dreams, and a fight driven land for the attention and recognition of others. Every one of these places holds a special little nook within this travel-driven body of mine. And yet this trip is of complete difference. The authenticity and culture of Hawaii is like no other. It drowns in free-spirit and positivity with just a simple symbol of throwing a shaka up. In a “hang loose” means of life, it takes a while for your mind to completely relax and unhinge itself from its original busy way of thinking. Arriving into the Honolulu airport my mind was still consumed with my university exams and grades, worrying about returning to work, and quite honestly I was simply just stressing about nothing.
Yet through the passing and meeting of such generous and kind people, seeing marine life in extraordinary natural and clear waters, and feeling the salt and sand latch onto my body – I began to settle into this Hawaiian way of living. Our first stay was 5 nights in Waikiki, Oahu where our days consisted of bus rides into the little villages, 2 minute walks to the beach, snorkelling, pool table, attempting to surf (and failing miserably), buffalo wings and Lava Flow cocktails (a Pina Colada with strawberry syrup – yeah it tastes as good as it sounds). There was yoga classes, farmers markets, ukulele lessons and fireworks on the beach; I don’t think there was one day where nothing ever happened. This is one place that really does look exactly like it does in the movies and photos. It felt almost too good to be lying on the beach reading a book and listening to music. I guess I am one of the lucky ones.
It wasn’t all just lying on the beach though. In order to enjoy and really appreciate Hawaii, you need to respect and understand it too. On day 4 we visited the U.S army and navy memorial site at Pearl Harbour. It’s here that you watch a short documentary, honour the lives of the past and present American soldiers, and visit the historical museum and shipwrecks of World War II. There was something so special about doing all of this, and you feel the tragedy and loss right there in the core of your body.
Out of all the things I witnessed at Pearl Harbour the photo below was one of the greatest treasures I saw. Over 40 head-shot/profile photos were posted of the fallen soldiers, and out of all them Dalton C Keeter caught my eye. There was no information or bio provided about him, but there is so much character and story that screams out to you anyways. This photo captures a great human that was stuck in the labyrinth of war and horror. If you don’t know much about the American and Japanese fight in World War II, I highly suggest you watch and read about it. Not only is it a extremely important date in the world’s timeline, but it’s an interesting message and story for any human to learn.
It’s important to have a balance with all things in life. On vacation you should submerse yourself in the land of wonders – both good and bad. Learn about the history of the place you are visiting, but don’t get too caught up in the past because you may just forget to remember where you are now. With only a week left to this holiday I now sit on a plane to Maui, thankful for all I have experienced, and for all I will continue to see. There are more stories to be told I’m sure.
I’ll talk to you very soon.