Hawaii always fascinated me. When I was young, I watched the movie Endless Summer for almost 2 months, every single day. What should I say? Since then, I have wanted to go. There’s something dreamy about it. From what I 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 them - 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! Time to leave. I was ready for my next adventure. Here we go! Surfing on the island… it was a dream comes true for me. I then took all my baggage, left with a heavy heart, saying goodbye to new friends and sat on the plane until I arrived to my next destination: The Aloha State.
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 easily 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 live with a big smile. I have my camera most of the time with me, but i don't have a picture of her. But there's some pictures you have to keep in your mind, you know.
Do a hike they said, it will be fun they said. To be honest, I don`t like hiking. The simple fact of thinking about it make me sweat already. Sorry, the ocean is my favourite element and nothing could 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 made it. But, as soon as I arrived, it was super cloudy. Is my chance of seeing a (fantastic) view is getting crushed by the nature? Luckily for me, the sun managed to find his way back into our lives and I fell in love with the view. There’s no words to describe it, pictures will allow you to understand better.
Then, back to Honolulu in the Historic Arts District of Chinatown. As most people, I love food, but even more when I travel. Chinatown is a total feast to get your food knowledge evolve - from Vietnamese to Chinese to Thai to Korean to Japanese. But, there is more than just food, there is also a lot of shops from independent designers, galleries, restaurants and little cafes. A charming architecture to get lost in for hours and coffee with coconut milk to live life at its fullest. Perfect.
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 an 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.
Get a car, drive, drive, and never stops. As much as Waikiki and Honolulu are famous places, my surfer soul was constantly 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. I wanted to see. A guy from the hostel rented a car and invited me and some others rad people to a road trip around the island. LET`S GO. 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, fresh coconuts; what a way to live a life. And then, the best thing happened: there was a surf contest. I was so stoked! Unreal.
My favourite shop was the concept store Aloha Superette. Located in Kailua Town, it is worth the detour. The island was rainy most of the time I was there, so I went there to check it out and fell in love with the girls. This is a beautiful local brand, and have a wide selection of things from across the globe. The photos that covered the wall are from @ladyslider, a talented woman shooting surfing. I love her style - you can see it too. It is different.
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 most kindest soul found in the world, back then. He was an Olympic swimmer and 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.