I'm unsure of how to approach a blog post or series of blog posts about Hawai'i because I am no longer a visitor. I've stayed here for 1-3 weeks twice a year for the past three years, and have now lived here for almost two months.
Every time I try to come up with a decisive statement about the beautiful islands of Hawai'i, I'm met by an experience that contradicts or otherwise changes my experience of this place. Now, I'm settling in so comfortably that it's difficult to describe Hawai'i from the perspective of an outsider looking in. What extraordinary moments am I overlooking simply because I've become accustomed to it?
At any rate, I'll try to describe the beautiful locations and delicious food with the hope of enticing a friend or two to come visit me and also with the intention of cataloguing my experiences as a nomad.
To an outsider, it may seem like a strange activity to go to a beach weekly or even daily. Beach, water, waves, I get it... so what's new? In fact, each beach has its own history and personality. No other beach on the island has waves that match the intensity and majesty of the waves of North Shore. The sand of Sandies Beach is coarse with an orange tint; the locals (kama'aina) maneuver about the waves with grace and agility. The tiny beach by the Halona blowhole is off the beaten path, enclosed, clean, and likely full of secrets. Bellows beach is ideal for picnicking amongst the trees and catching the perfect body boarding waves. Shark's cove promises brightly colored sea creatures, small and large, friendly and curious, if not apathetic. Other beaches are havens for sea turtles (honu) and monk seals and nursing grounds for humpback whales.
Hiking trails throughout the island also each have their own flavor. Some are paved with helpful stairs that follow the incline of a mountain side. Others have you wade through freshwater creeks while fighting off hungry mosquitos in lush jungle areas. Some are muddy to no end while still others are strewn with brown, dry grass and thirsty cacti. Ka'ena point follows the shoreline along a cliff; Wiliwilinui follows a mountain ridge line.
I'll try to write with more detail as I continue to explore the island. For now, I hope this brief overview of my new home will suffice.