"Hawaii, A hui hou kakou..."

(Until we meet again…)

Ten days and 98 ‘alohas’ later, I returned from the timeless views of Hawaii sun burned, jet lagged, and strangely renewed. The 21-hour flight from London Heathrow to Honolulu was enough to send me over the edge. My seat was somewhere wedged in between a no-name British rock band— guitarist on my left and I presumed singer to my right— wild hair, leather vests, and bad teeth. Didn’t help that I was ill from partying the night before. Nevertheless, I persevered. Upon arrival, I checked into my single room with a bed big enough to fit three Mexican families. Off went the air conditioning - On went the natural midnight breeze from the 24th story balcony.

I spent my days discovering new beaches, snoozing on white sands, and my nights at festive luaus. A luau is a traditional Hawaiian feast with live percussions, beers and dancing illuminated by fire torches on the beach. Native foods include the roasted kalua pig, poi, and lomi salmon. We harmonized over a variety of dances with the Tahitians, Fijians, Samoans, Tongans, and surely the native Hawaiians. All of Polynesia was brought to us in one place under the azure skies as the sun set behind the ocean.

On day 4, it was… operation ‘get the hell out of Waikiki USA’ time. I reunited with a local dear friend from college for a day of hiking through epic mountainous terrain, called Mariner’s Ridge trail. The view gave us astoundingly lush mountain vistas buttressed against a turquoise ocean as grey clouds met us at eye-level. Freakishly and to our dismay, mother nature ambushed us to no avail. We trekked through mudd, monsoon rain, and slippery killer rocks; however, all worth the soggy clothes and muddy knees. I later discovered that this 3-mile round trip journey on foot is highly recommended in traveling books and is one of the best ridges to hike on the island.

On day 6 or 7, [lost count at this stage], I took the island into my own hands. With one bag, a map, and rental keys, I drove 112 miles around the entire coastal perameters of Ohau stopping at an organic street market, yard sale, and breathtaking off-the-beaten-path beaches in North Shore. Highly recommended area to see Hawaii for all it’s glory. Along the way I met a French lady and her 9 mo. old called London, a soldier and his recluse daughter, Claire, four gays from Portland, a dog named Xanadu, a guy named David travelling alone after a nasty divorce, and a Hawaiian surfer named Kale who later shared the sunset after a scorching hot day.

Retreating back to my cozy London home never felt so absolute. Time away renewed my appreciation of all things new and old. Grateful for the experiences held and shared with you, Makuhine Polynesia. Mahalo. -Tnoëly