Anytime of the year is a good time to go on a vacation and a great to time to be in Hawaii. Hawaii is an all season destinations and the islands’ offerings vary from urban on Honolulu to the luxury resorts of Maui to the natural wonders of Kauai and the Big Island that makes it a location that is appealing to all kinds of visitors. There are two other islands that are less developed- Molokai and Lanai. All of the Hawaiian islands are rich in culture and worth a visit. Hawaii emerged from the sea millions of years ago, forged by the power of volcanoes. The natural beauty of Hawaii’s fragile environment comes from its geographical isolation from other ecosystems.
Ancient deities play a huge role in Hawaiian life today. Gods and goddesses tend to be associated with particular parts of the land and most of them are connected with many places. One of the most important ways the ancient Hawaiians showed respect for their gods and goddess was through the hula. Various forms of hula were performed as prayers to the gods and as praise to the chiefs. Hula is uniquely a Hawaiian dance accompanied by a chant or song that preserves the stories, traditions and culture of its people and exemplifies their beauty. There are many types and styles of hula. The most familiar type of hula to visitors is danced with western influenced features and music and is known as Hula auana [modern hula] while the Hula kahiko [ancient hula] is danced to dramatic chants and drums with traditional costumes. Both artforms are impressive and you can find yourself getting lost in any hula performance. I love to engage in authentic experiences and really understand the local people when I am in a place that is not my home. One of the most striking qualities in today’s Hawaiian culture is the sense of family, or ohana. While spending time in Hawaii I enjoyed feeling this connection and learning about a rich and diverse history. My childhood memories of Hawaii come from the Brady Bunch TV Show and all I could think about was the curse of the tiki until I experienced it myself and learned so much more.
One of my favorite places to spend time in Hawaii is on the island of Oahu. I love the culture and its history. The north shore of Oahu is unbelievable with its beaches and scenic views. I loved Waimea Bay, which is the birthplace of big wave surfing. To really experience all that this island has to offer you should rent a car and drive around. In addition, I enjoyed a lot of my time spent at the Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve. It is one of the most popular snorkeling spots in the islands. The beaches and natural beauty are unparalleled, but a major must- see is Pearl Harbor. The attack on the American navy that occurred here during 1941 brought the United States into the Second World War. The memorial on Oahu has a memorial to the USS Arizona and you can take a boat to see it. This place is heart wrenching. The first time I visited Pearl Harbor was right after I spent time in Japan and visited Hiroshima where the first atomic bomb was dropped by the USA in 1945. I could not believe how blessed I was as a history teacher to experience these historic sites firsthand. I felt like I was in a dream. I was eager for school to begin so I could share my new knowledge with my students even though it was an emotional experience. I visited Pearl Harbor numerous times and each time spent hours there. I love wandering around the site and also viewing artifacts in the museum while creating lesson plans in my head about what I want to use and how I will implement them into my classroom. Even if you are not a history teacher or a history lover it is a must see as an American.
Hawaii is also known for many food items and two of my favorite were shave ice and malasadas. Shave ice is an ice- based dessert made by shaving a block of ice. Even though it is made with shaved ice it is called shave ice in Hawaii. It is refreshing and delicious anytime. A malasada is a fried dough pastry that is coated in granulated sugar. If you eat too many you will start to look like a malasada. They are amazing and worth every calorie!
The fresh air energizes you. The warm and tranquil waters refresh you. The breathtaking beauty renews you. Perfect weather aside, Hawaii might be the warmest place anyone can visit. You will feel great mana [spiritual power] while traveling in Hawaii. Adventure beyond the obvious. Live life for the moments now and you will be happy. I hope you will plan a journey soon and comment here to let me know about your personal experience in Hawaii.
Me ka aloha pumehana