Guest post by Jessica at Turquoise Compass
Arriving in Hawaii was a dream come true! Although it took great effort to get there, the trip was worth it. Every day I was amazed by what I saw on the island of Oahu. I stayed at the Polynesian Hostel Beach Club in Waikiki which was conveniently located a couple blocks from the beach. The rooms are secured with key cards. Each bed has its own locker to use with your own personal lock. The dorms itself are basic, but clean. The hostel offers free breakfast of granola bars, oatmeal, and bananas. Basic enough, but a nice addition. Free is free in my books! The hostel also offers the following free services: wifi, water sports equipment: boogie boards, snorkel gear, and surf boards, beach mats, floaty toys, games room, and luggage storage. For what I needed: 24 hour reception, a bed, locker, and shower, it was perfect! I was not too concerned about where I stayed because I wanted to spend all of my time sight-seeing and at the beach. Staying at a hostel is a great way to save money to put towards experiences. I would much rather be out experiencing Hawaii then hanging out at a posh hotel. Knowing that I had so many activities planned and places to visit, I knew I won’t be at the hostel much. My hyperactive-travel style kept me busy in Hawaii! The most important thing to me was finding a place where I felt safe and a place where I could get a good night sleep. You can’t beat the price in Waikiki either. The Polynesian is a place where I could come and go as I please, meet new people, and know that I was safe and that my belongings were secure. The Polynesian was the perfect place for me.
If you know me then you know that I am a lover of the ocean and the beach! There is nothing better than being by or in the sea. Growing up in a small fishing village on the coast in Atlantic Canada has made me extremely passionate about being close to the water. I don’t often travel too far from the coast and even if I do it’s not long before I find myself back on a beach. Oahu has some of the best beaches I have ever seen. Hawaii is one of the best destinations to be if you are a lover of the sea. My two weeks on Oahu was a dream. Most of my time in Hawaii was spent in the water. I planned as many water sports that I could to get the best turquoise experience Hawaii could offer. In Hawaii, I tried for the first time two items on my 2013 bucket list: kite surfing and paddle boarding. There aren’t many water sports left that I haven’t tried. I’m bound and determined to eventually try them all. I’m hard pressed to choose which water sport is my favourite. The water sport options on Oahu are endless and the best part of it all is you get to be at the beach. There was nowhere else I wanted to be. Plunk me on a beach and I will be happy.
From the moment I arrived in Hawaii I was amazed by the scenery, people, and island life. The sunrises and sunsets took my breath away every day. Keawe Adventures took me on a cultural tour of Oahu. After a short walk through the most beautiful bamboo forest, we arrived at an ancient sacred Hawaiian site. The remaining ruins from the Royal Hawaiian dynasty captured my gaze and almost memorized me. In this special place, Makani (our tour guide) planned for us a traditional
Hawaiian Ava ceremony which few locals have had the opportunity to experience. Of the three local girls who were with me, none had experienced it before themselves. I felt blessed to be a part of the ceremony. Makani had 5 locals meet us at the site in traditional Hawaiian dress to help perform the ceremony. We all sat in a circle on straw mats from youngest to eldest (age before beauty). The elder sat at the center of the circle to chant in ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi (traditional Hawaiian language) a blessing over the Ava drink we were about to partake. He sang a song to invite the sun to shine down on us. Before we each took the earthy drink from the Ava root, we were to speak about our connection and or experience with Hawaii. After drinking the Ava we were given a piece of purple Hawaiian sweet potato to counteract the bitter taste of the drink. It was incredible listening to everyone’s story. I’ve had a desire to visit Hawaii ever since I was a little girl. I never knew why I needed to make it to Hawaii, I just knew I had to. Some of the participants were brought to tears as they spoke of their love for Hawaii. The emotion was raw and the hair on my arms was standing on end. I have had few experiences like this one. We as a group felt connected. As we went around the circle the sun broke through the clouds, and through the drizzle, the sun shone down directly above us. It was beautiful. This was my welcome to Hawaii. After the ceremony we continued to the second part of our journey. We hiked 1.5 miles through lush rugged terrain in the Nu’uana area to Lulumaha Waterfall; a waterfall few locals (especially tourists) have seen. I felt like the luckiest girl in the world to have an opportunity to experience “real Hawaii”. From over 200 feet below, I looked up to see the water slowly and steadily wind its way down the mountain. I hiked the 1.5 miles out in silence completely amazed by all that I had seen. A once in a lifetime experience.
The adventure options on Oahu are endless. I was overwhelmed with ideas. I would never have enough time to do everything I wanted to do, but I stayed busy doing all that I could. My hyperactive-tourist travel style did me well in Hawaii. I never ran out of things to do. Here are the tours I booked during my time on Oahu:
-3 hour kite surfing lesson in Kailua with Endless Adventures Hawaii LCC
-2 hour sunset paddle boarding in Haleiwa when the sea turtles are active
with Rainbow Water Sports
-Half day sea cave kayaking tour from Kailua with Twogood Kayaks
-Half day hiking tour to Lulumaha Waterfall and traditional Hawaiian ceremony with Keawe Adventures
– “Best of the West” swimming with wild dolphins tour off the coast of Waianae with Wild Side Specialty Tours
-Premium Submarine Tour from Waikiki with Atlantis Adventures
-Underwater adventure catamaran and snorkelling tour with Maitai’i Catamaran from Waikiki
-An evening stay on the stunning Lanikai beach at the Lanikai Studios
-Hiking Diamond Head State Monument and Memorial Park
-Shark tank with Galapagos sharks with North Shore Shark Adventures in Haleiwa
Life’s a beach, enjoy the ride.
The Dream Lifestyle
Since I was a little girl, visiting Hawaii has always been my dream. For years of holding onto that dream, I finally visited the one destination I’ve always dreamt about. I don’t know why I’ve always had this obsession with visiting Hawaii (the popular movie Blue Crush might have had something to do with it), but I never gave up hope. Waiting to visit the one place I’ve always wanted to see has made me appreciate Hawaii so much more than I probably would have otherwise. The wait was worth it. Oahu is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. I realize now why Hawaii has always been my dream bucket list destination. It might just be one of my favourite destinations yet. Hawaii is the dream destination; a must see location. At least once in your life you need to make it to Hawaii. Coast to coast, Oahu took my breath away. Hawaii makes me want to be a better person. Hawaii respects all forms of life, cherishes the sea, preserves its environment, relies on what’s local, and believes in its people. An internally beautiful turquoise destination.
I knew I would find an abundance of turquoise in Hawaii. I’ve always imagined Hawaii to be a place where houses would be painted turquoise. I was right. From the beautiful turquoise coloured beaches, to the island’s décor, turquoise can be spotted. It would appear that Hawaii’s colour of choice is turquoise. I couldn’t capture all that is turquoise on Oahu. There is turquoise around every corner, which left a permanent smile on my face. If only I could have stayed in that turquoise heaven forever. I can see myself living in a turquoise painted house on Lanikai beach.
I’m already planning my next trip to Hawaii. I can’t wait to return.
When will you be visiting Oahu?
Jessica, Turquoise Compass