Honolulu+Crowded+Beach+Oahu+Hawaii

Aloha and Nalu in Hawaii—Earth’s paradise

Hawaii always fascinated me. When I was young, I watched the movie Endless Summer for almost 2 months, every single day. Since then, I have always wanted to go. There’s something dreamy about it. From what I’ve heard before my trip, Hawaiians are passionate people; they care about their surroundings and their culture. When I think of the people there and what I experienced, I think about respect of the nature. I think of waterman. I think of being grateful of what you have in the present. Enjoying the little things Earth gave us—the paradise.

Of course, it is not just a paradise, but maybe an endless summer dream for every surfer. I left for Hawaii after almost 10 months of enjoying the Canadian Pacific Northwest. Such an incredible place, somewhere between the mountains and the sea. But, I was so excited for Hawaii. I was ready for my next adventure. Here we go! Surfing on the island… it was a dream comes true for me. I took all my baggage, left with a heavy heart, said goodbye to new friends and sat on the plane until I arrived to my next destination: The Aloha State. 

Chinaman's+Hat_Oahu+Windward+Hawaii

I was travelling solo, so staying at a hostel was the most normal decision for me. I went to Honolulu, on the island of O’ahu, where all the good surf is supposed to be. I stayed in the Seaside Hawaiian Hostel, a family run hostel located close to the famous beach, Waikiki Beach. I met other travellers easily, so we had the chance to get a traditional Thanksgiving dinner while listening to 60s music. I seriously couldn’t wish for more.

The owners were simply lovely. They are the kind of people that makes you feel at ease instantly and share with you stories of their past while sipping on some cold drinks. I was so interested in the story of one of the owners: she used to be the costume designer for CHER back in the days in Los Angeles, and now is enjoying the warm sun of Hawaii and loving life with a big smile. I usually have my camera with me at all times, but surprisingly, I don’t have a picture of her. I guess some memories are supposed to remains only in your mind.

“Do a hike,” they said, “it will be fun” they said. To be honest, I don’t like hiking. Thinking about it makes me sweat already. Sorry, the ocean is my favourite element and nothing can change that. “It will be fun they said,” so I did it. I went to Diamond Head, not too far from Waikiki, with the main goal of hiking the 8-mile hike. And I made it. But, as soon as I arrived, it was super cloudy. Is my chance of seeing a (fantastic) view getting crushed by nature? Luckily for me, the sun managed to find its way back into our lives and I fell in love with the view. There are no words to describe it, but pictures will allow you to understand better.

Then, back to Honolulu to the Historic Arts District of Chinatown. As most people, I love food, and especially when I travel. Chinatown is the perfect place to evolve your food knowledge—from Vietnamese to Chinese to Thai to Korean to Japanese. But, there is more than just food, there are also a lot of shops from independent designers, galleries, restaurants and little cafes. Get lost in the charming architecture with coffee at hand, living life at its fullest.

Hawaii+Arts+District+Ursel+Barwinski

Waikiki beach… I know what you are thinking! Yes, it is touristy. Yes, it is crowded like hell. But Waikiki Beach is a classic and a historic beach in Hawaii that deserves the right to be loved once in a while for his waves. I had tons of fun, and that’s what matter. 

Waikiki+Hawaii+Ursel+Barwinski

Get a car, start driving and never stops. As much as Waikiki and Honolulu are famous places, my surfer soul was seeking one thing: the North Shore. Where all the big-wave riders meet every winter, where history was once made and still is. Where people live to surf and are children of the sea. I needed to go. A guy from the hostel rented a car and invited me along some other people for a road trip around the island. ROAD TRIP!! We were constantly in awe while observing the stunning views, the mountains and endless beaches. Plus, whenever we got hungry, there were tons of delicious fruit stands, shrimp trucks or shaved ice just waiting for us; what a way to live a life! And then, the best thing happened: there was a surf contest. I was so stoked! Unreal.

My favorite shop was the concept store Aloha Superette. Located in Kailua Town, it is worth the detour. It was raining on the island most of the time I was there so I went there to escape the rain and fell in love with the girls. This is a beautiful local brand and offers a wide selection of things from across the globe. The photos that covered the wall are from @ladyslider, a talented woman shooting surfing.

Duke Kahanamoku, godfather of surfing. As touristy as it sounds, visitors and locals pay tribute to Duke by leaving their leis at the foot of the statue. Duke was and still is a legend in the surfing world, being a Hawaiian native and one of the kindest souls. He was an Olympic swimmer and he popularized the sport of surfing, which wasn’t popular at the time (or even really known). He died in 1968, but his spirit is still around the island, as some may say. 

After all, Hawaii was exactly like I was dreaming of, my Endless Summer kind of dream. 

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