Aloha & Mahalo – Hawaii

Duke Kahanamoku by Day

Hawaii is like a second home to me….luckily for me I have family who live here that I can visit as often as I can.  It’s one of my favourite places in the world – with a mixture of American and Polynesian culture (plus alot of other cultures) blended nicely into one.

Whether you’ve been here or not, most people know that Waikiki is very much the “tourist” spot of Oahu (and for those who don’t know, Oahu is the ‘island’ where Honolulu: the State Capital is located).  Once you venture out of “Waikiki”….this is when you can start to experience the real beauty, spirituality and culture of the Hawaiian Islands and their locals (in other words, not as ‘touristy’). The “aloha spirit” (as they say) is huge on the islands, and the locals are really proud of their culture, their history and all things “Hawaiian” (I love it!).  My sister (who lives in Honolulu) has also been a hula dancer for quite a few years, so I’ve been lucky enough to watch (and help out) with some of their performances and experience how sacred the hula is to the Hawaiian people (it really is a beautiful thing – it’s not just a dance or performance, it’s a massive part of their culture & history).

Hawaiian Girls Waikiki

These lovely local girls actually asked me if I wanted a photo of them (they busted me trying to snap a sneaky candid photo of them during Aloha Week in Waikiki and made it easier by posing for me instead).

I think alot of people would also agree that the locals are very friendly  and there is still alot of natural and untouched beauty on these islands. And….even though Hawaii is a bunch of little islands – there’s still soooo much to do! Whether you’re just after paradise and relaxation or lots of adventure, most travellers can find something they enjoy in a holiday/vacation right here!  Take a hike up to Diamond Head and enjoy the sites of the whole island of Oahu, visit the USS Arizona Memorial (where you can see the site of the ship that went down at Pearl Harbor), or drive up to the North Shore and stop in for some shrimp at many of it’s shrimp trucks.  Driving around Oahu is easy and a good way to see the entire island (highly recommended if you’re not there to visit a local – go the car hire!)…and while doing so, there’s alot of pitstops along the way where you can enjoy the views of the Pacific Ocean, beach homes or local surfers.

IslandDrive21

Shopaholics – stop into Ala Moana Mall (which isn’t very far from Waikiki beach)…trust me, you’ll love it! (you can find most of the big designer brands here) or if you’re looking for a great outlet – go to Waikele (you can catch a trolley here from Waikiki). If you love food, the variety of food and food portions are huge! (I’m not even going to go into all the great eating spots to eat here or this post can go on and on), and if you just love relaxing and being by the beach or in the water – this place is just heaven.  Plus, there’s way more islands other than Oahu to visit and enjoy – Maui, Kauai, the Big Island and more. If you’ve never been to Hawaii, you have to visit at least once….and for those who have been, I have no doubt you want to come back again.

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