On graduation day in the tenth grade (we start “college” in the 11th grade in India, after passing SSC/CBSE/ICSE exams), I was writing in my friend’s slam book (this is 90s India.. Haha.. Slam Books… Social Network on Paper). It was a busy day as each one had a slam book and you didnt want to be a prick by saying that you were too busy to update your profile..
To a question : Place I want to visit… I wrote without giving a thought.. Hawaii..
Maybe my lucky stars aligned and the Hawaiian chiefs summoned me to the paradise. I have traveled a fair bit but if there is one place that cast a spell on me.. it was this chain of islands in the middle of nowhere..
This is a land with a rich tradition that is a living example of the indomitable human spirit. With the nearest landmass more than 1500 miles away, early polynesians ventured out into the unknown and landed on these pristine beaches. The tales of Akula – the God guiding the explorers across the ocean and the kings who ruled the land have been limited to the tourist-y confines of the Polynesian Center. But once you go to the sacred lands of Pu’uhonua o Honaunau , the mysticsm of the land and the sacred reverence to the traditions makes one bow their heads. Or the visit to the St. Benedict’s church with its painted walls and ceiling, makes you marvel at the devotion of the missionaries.
If you ask, what is Hawaii of today.. I doubt if you can get an answer without also requesting to “share location”. Honolulu, Waikiki is like any other metropolis in the US. With its high rises and traffic woes, it kind of tones down the expectations of the visitor..
But then the breathtaking beauty of Maui or the somber memorial at Pearl Harbor or the raw primitive awe-inspiring beauty of mother nature on the Big Island hits you and infuses the true feeling of a vacation.
There is an active underwater volcano named Lōʻihi which is currently about 3000 feet underwater. It began forming about 400,000 years ago and in the next 10,000-100,000 years, it will break surface. Timeshare anyone??