My First Solo Trip: Hawai’i One Week In

Last Wednesday I arrived in the beautiful Aloha State of Hawaii. I didn’t know what to expect, but my time so far has been filled with spontaneous adventures and unforgettable moments.

After sitting through two flights and touching down in Honolulu, I proceeded to catch an overfilled bus to my first destination – a shared dorm at the Polynesian Beach Club Hostel in Waikiki, a no-frills travel hostel located a short walk from the renowned Waikiki Beach. I struck up a conversation on the bus with a couple of gentlemen from England and discovered that they were headed to the same place. Too easy. We stopped at the hostel to drop off my stuff, and then had a wonderful night out on the town. We first hit up a pub, and after a Mai Tai we walked around a bit and checked out some local grub from a food truck. The night ended with drinks on the beach and great conversation under the stars. This was already a great start to my adventure.

Day 2 began with a screamin’ good deal on brunch. We stepped into a popular little Japanese joint for some udon, served up generously with nice side options available. Properly done, this can be a cheap filling meal for single-digit prices.

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After our culinary escapade, we took a bus eastward up to the Makapu’u trail. It’s a paved path so the journey upward was by no means a hike, but the blazing Hawaii sun certainly made the trek more exhausting. There wasn’t much to see on the way up; the views from the top, however, were just stunning.

Seriously, wow! This is when I finally understood the phrase “it took my breath away.”

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At the top of the lookout with the crew.
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Breakin’ the rules!
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Makapu’u Lighthouse.
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Strolling down to Makapu’u Beach.

We wrapped up the day with a meal at the Sea Life Park by Makapu’u beach, followed by chilling out at the beach itself.

Friday was a chill day. I met up with my new local friend Manny and we went to the Ala Moana Shopping Center, an expansive (and expensive) mall in the Waikiki area. We ate there and walked a short distance to a scenic park/beach combo area known as Magic Island.

 

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And we wrapped up the night with Waikiki Beach’s weekly fireworks display. Eye candy.

 

On Saturday the 8th we made our way to Hanauma Bay, a charming little stretch of beach along Oahu’s southeast coast that also functioned as a nature reserve. The beach is a bit rocky to swim in but it’s a great spot for sunbathing and amazing for snorkeling.

My adventure resumed on Monday when I met up with Manny and a new Couchsurfing friend to check out the Pillbox Hiking Trail by Lanikai Beach. The climb up was short, maybe not so sweet perhaps, but the majestic 360-degree panoramic views made the trek more than worth it.

We descended and ended our adventure on the beach we had observed from the mountains – Lanikai Beach. They say it’s the best beach in America, and after paying it a visit I can definitely understand why.

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It says “Hawaii 2016.” Forgive my sand writing!

 

The weather was cloudy, a bit windy, and the temperature was cooler than usual – not ideal conditions for a day at the beach, but this was still such a memorable way to wrap up my Monday. Best Monday I’ve had in a while.

Even only at this point, my trip has already been a rather eye-opening and enriching experience in my life. I’ve had great adventures and I only know even more amazing moments lay ahead. My advice to anyone who is tired of their daily routine and wants more out of life: find a way to make travel a reality for you and make it happen as soon as possible.

 

Josh

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