I loved so much about Hawai’i. Not the least of which was visiting my sister and nieces. But some things surprised me about Hawai’i and I wanted to share those thoughts with you! I loved visiting a state in the US that was so different and because of its distance from the mainland and/or its unique history, has maintained so much of its Polynesian heritage and held tight to the characteristics that make it so wonderfully distinctive.
Here is my list….
1. Everyone called me “Auntie”. I heard this a dozen times or more from Hawai’ians – as a sign of respect in their culture, a woman (I cringe to say “older”, but let’s face it, I AM older than those who called me Auntie) who is older is afforded this lovely term of endearment. I would imagine this is similar to women being called “ma’am”. Now, I am guessing with how foolish some people are, some women would be offended by this title – but clearly they do not understand the honor. An Auntie is a mother – but better! Someone who can nurture and love; direct and give advice. They are the favored adult as they offer much of what a parent does, without the harshness that should befall parents as they train their children. Being called Auntie was a treasure.
2. While I did see some stray kitties here and there, chickens roam the island at will! This was fun to see, as all the hens had chickies following them around this time of year! They were fun and adorable and we got to see a lot of Hay-Hays!
3. I don’t believe there are any squirrels in Hawai’i – but they have the mongoose, which takes its place as they island scavenger.
4. This makes sense but I hadn’t thought about it before in these terms – the cost of things in Hawai’I are really high. Of course, that is somewhat a reflection of the tourist economy, but it more so a reflection of the cost to import all these everyday goods to an island stuck literally in the middle of the Pacific!
I have some group space reserved on a Hawai’ian island cruise for June 2021 on Norwegian’s Pride of America. This is probably one of the more expensive cruises most people I know will take, but there is a good reason for that. This particular ship, Pride of America, is one of the only sea-going cruise ships registered in the US. That is really important to note because of regulations for vessels registered in the US – the crew MUST be Americans (who demand a higher wage, require health insurance, workers’ comp and so on and so forth) and the registration is much more expensive than the typical cruise ship registrations in the Bahamas (where most US market cruise ships are registered). Add to the US regulations for US registered vessels, and you have the high cost of goods needed to outfit such a cruise weekly – once these things are examined, it is easy to see why Hawai’i is so expensive. For the traveler considering either a Hawi’ian island cruise or a trip in general, you have to ask yourself is the cost worth the trip?
5. Black Sand Beaches are hard to find!!! This was one of my desires, but it just didn’t work out!!! This leaves something cool for me to seek out when I go back in 2021!
6. All beaches in Hawai’i are public! This is so cool and neat to think about – even the fancy hotel BEACHES are public (not the pools and amenities) so you can go to Aulani on O’ahu and even if you are not staying at the resort, you can still swim in the cove that has so many neat tropical fish and snorkel there!
I really enjoyed my trip tremendously and look forward to the next! I would love to hear about what YOU found interesting about your visit to Hawai’i! Explore the world, learn from your surroundings, and bring home the best souvenir available; a new perspective!