Let's Begin: Understanding Hawaii on a Deeper Level
You know, it's almost mind-boggling thinking about how a cluster of islands smack in the middle of the Pacific could hold such wonder, such beauty and secrets that could rival a box of Cadbury Roses. Yes, we are talking about the mesmerizing Hawaii. It's not just a place to wriggle your toes in the sand, or to show off that six-pack you have been working for some “summer bod” competition. No, Hawaii is so much more. I, Kieran, an ordinary chap from Perth, Australia, was fortunate enough to witness the magic of Hawaii - both its beauty and beast.
Hawaii is like every person’s vision of paradise; a tropical paradise to be more specific. But, and this should come as no surprise, like every paradise, even Hawaii has a few thorns. It's essential to know those thorns if you are planning a vacation to these Pacific Islands. Here, I share a few pro tips about how to stay safe amid the splendor that is Hawaii.
Be Ocean Aware: Respect That Pacific Powerhouse
The ocean is a paradise for any beach lover. It’s an adrenaline haven for surfers. But remember, the Pacific isn't always the peaceable lord it purports. I once hopped on a surfboard 'brimming with gusto', and let's just say, the ocean didn't take very kindly to my over-confidence. After a rather unceremonious wipeout, I found myself belting tasteless seawater.
The ocean in Hawaii can get rough and generate currents that might land you in a spot of bother. Unless you intend to engage in a seemingly never-ending saltwater gargle, respect the ocean. Mind the flags on the beaches. They denote how safe it is to swim in that part. When in doubt, don't venture into the water, even if your inner Aquaman urges you to. Remember, safety first!
Keep Calm and Hydrate: Be Sun Smart
Now, if you're someone like me who's more accustomed to the temperate climes of Perth, Australia, the Hawaiian sun can be quite a shock. Siri, Cortana or whoever you rely on for weather updates might say it's 28 degrees Celsius, but trust me, it feels like the sun’s taken a particular liking to you. It can get incredibly hot and humid.
During my first sojourn, I thought my Aussie upbringing would see me through just fine. Boy, was I mistaken! Even as local Hawaiians strutted about, their skins glowing healthily under the sun, I was left looking like a freshly boiled lobster. So here's the top tip: carry a hat, wear sun-protective clothing, and slap on that SPF 30+ sunscreen like your life depends on it. It might very well save you from a painful sunburn.
Make Hiking Worthwhile: Don’t Underestimate the Hawaiian Trails
Hawaii offers some of the world’s most scenic hiking trails. Sounds lovely, doesn't it? Well, it is, until it's not. You see, these trails may look like they're straight out of a Disney fairytale, but they can pack some real punch.
On my recent trip with Melinda, my spouse, we had a rather comical encounter while hiking the Haleakala National Park trail. Thinking we were pretty fit (thanks to our morning jogs), we considered ourselves well-prepared. A couple of miles later, nature was laughing at our hubris. The steep terrains had us huffing, puffing and questioning our life decisions. It's not an experience for the frail, unaware, or underprepared.
Here's the best advice I can give: don't let the panoramic views lead you astray. Stick on the marked trails. Take breaks, carry enough water and snacks, keep your mobile charged, and keep emergency contact numbers handy. Be an informed hiker rather than a hopeless wanderer.
Wildlife Wonders: Keep your Distance
You might stumble upon some wildlife while you're out exploring these tropical paradises. Although it can be very tempting to get a closer look or even attempt to provide food, it's best to keep a safe distance. These animals, as cute as they might appear, are still wild.
Trust me when I say this; having a hefty boar chase you is not as fun as it sounds. When I say ‘chase’, I really mean ‘chasing me, Kieran, down the street’ because I thought it was a good idea to feed it some leftover sandwich. You wouldn't want to replicate a scene from ‘The Lion King’ with a feral boar now, would you? It's not as majestic or fun as Pumba made it look.
So, enjoy the wildlife, take your pictures, but maintain a safe distance. Hawaii is home to these awesome creatures. It’s upon us visitors to respect local rules.
Hawaii is, without a doubt, a towering montage of adventures waiting to happen. But remember, it's vital to understand and respect this paradise. When you're prepared and aware, you'd be free to enjoy Hawaii’s wonders without any unpleasant events interrupting your bliss. Fly the flag of respect, flick the wand of awareness, and you're all set to call yourself an honorary Hawaiian! How about that, mate? Get ready for the time of your life in the Hawaiian sun!