the popular destination of Waikiki Beach (picture 1 below)
the volcanic crater of Diamond Head (2)
the historic landmark of Pearl Harbor (3)
the Polynesian Cultural Center (4); and
the beautiful waters of Kaaawa (5)
We witnessed at least 20 Japanese weddings, experienced an Easter church service with beautiful Hawaiian music (6), dined at the two oldest hotels in Waikiki (the Royal Hawaiian and Moana Surfrider) (7), ate Malasadas (Portugese doughnuts) at Hawai’i’s original malasada bakery (8), sailed on a catamaran with Captain Riki and his son Kapono (which means “the righteous way”) (9) and saw some of the funniest, yet deeply powerful t-shirt sayings throughout our stay (10). Read more
“Travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.” –Miriam Beard
It’s an age-old adage: traveling broadens our perspective, transforming our sense of self in relation to the world at large, challenging us to see with new eyes and deepening our sense of gratitude and appreciation as we gain insight into the culture, customs and traditions of an unfamiliar place.
I was recently reminded of this after a visit to O’ahu, Hawai’i where I was bewildered each time I remembered that I wasn’t in a foreign land, but was, instead, still in the United States – albeit in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, nearly 2,500 miles away from the mainland.
Surrounded by a kaleidoscope of blue and turquoise waters, swaying palm trees, volcanic craters, green mountainous terrain and tourists from all over the world, it was hard to grasp that Hawai’i isn’t a nation of its own. Indeed, never before have I visited another U.S. state feeling utterly transported into a different “realm”, as if I was a foreigner navigating an unknown territory. Read more
“Language is the road map of a culture. It tells you where its people come from and where they are going.” –Rita Mae Brown
Never before have I given so much thought and consideration to the symbolic nature of language as I did during a weeklong stay in O’ahu, one of the four main islands of a state that became the 50th in the nation in 1959.
Having faced various, and at times comical, communication barriers during travels in foreign countries, it seems rather odd thatHawai’i – an English speaking state – would end up having such a powerful impact. But, as was quickly made evident by the hospitality and generosity of a very friendly people, the Hawaiian language is more than just a fun sounding addition for vacationers in a paradisiacal setting: it’s a true representation of the spirit, philosophy and culture of the Hawaiian people. Read more