Actually my time of traveling for a longer time has already started in February 2017 with a trip for Ring of Hope Uganda to Uganda and Kenia (www.ringofhopeuganda.com), Switzerland in June, Italy in July, Sweden, Denmark and Iceland in August and Japan in September for the IACEA conference (www.iacea.com). If there are questions about traveling to those countries please leave a comment here. I might write a blog post about it later.
Before I start with writing about Hawaii I’d like to add something to my last blog post. It was interesting to see how differently people reacted when I told them that I will leave my material possessions, my job and my apartment behind to start with this travel. Some loved the idea and encouraged me, some directly or indirectly let know that it is a stupid idea and not responsible at all. It showed again that there’s no right or wrong and we shouldn’t be too judging with other people because we do not live their lives.
But nevertheless the 6th of November 2017 was the day where the journey began. I chose Hawaii to have a smooth and relaxing start together with my friend Megan who lives in the Honolulu area on the island of Oahu. After an 11 hour flight to Seattle and another 6 hours to Honolulu I was happy about a warm welcome from Megan and her friends Michelle and Lauren.
So the first island I got to explore was Oahu. The nature there is absolutely breathtaking. It’s the island where Jurassic Park was filmed and the massive mountain ranges totally reminded my on the landscape scenes in the movie. The island and the warm climate invite you to spend time outdoors. We enjoyed many hikes like the Crouching Lion summit hike, the Coco Head hike for sunrise and the Kuli’ou’ou Ridge Trail for sunset. Another beautiful outdoor experience was the Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden with plenty of exotic plants. I got to see the gardens together with my friend Audrey I know from my Santa Barbara time in 2013.
Food-wise I can really recommend the “food trucks” on Oahu. They serve fresh, delicious specialities for a good price. And I shouldn’t forget to mention all the local breweries like “Beerworks” in the art district of Honolulu where a great selection of self-brewed island beers is on the menu.
Besides all this it was wonderful to share experiences about the East Africa Projects of Megan (www.tulistore.com) and our East Africa Projects (www.ringofhopeuganda.com).
Moreover I was interested in learning about the history of Hawaii and the Hawaiian culture and also the influence of the USA on the culture. That’s why I spent an afternoon at the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum.
Traditionally the Hawaiians had many Gods and their story about creation of the world is divided in 16 chapters. Far away from other societies the Hawaiians invented their ideas of creation and “higher beings”. They used to live in harmony with nature and according to the seasons.
The phases of the moon showed the former Hawaiians when to plant and when to fish. They understood nature, taught the interdependence between humans, animals and the earth and developed their own spirituality before the Christians arrived.
Big Island is bigger than all the other Hawaiian Islands combined and has 10 of the 14 climate zones. Our hostel (www.myhawaiihostel.com) felt like a home to me and the staff created a very warm and welcoming atmosphere.
On my first day I enjoyed a delicious poke dish with Erika from Portland and James from Guam who work on a cruise-ship and spent some free time on the island. With Tim from Canada and Vishal from India I got to explore the Waipi’o Valley with its huge cliffs before we enjoyed the Big Island Brewhaus and Island Döner. Vishal also accompanied me to the Pololu Valley and a star gaze party on Mauna Kea in 3000 - 4000m above sea level. We had a fantastic view on the Milky Way and it was the first time in my life I saw Saturn (through one of the many telescopes they installed). Besides the elevation the temperature changed from 30 degrees Celsius to 7 within one hour.
On the 18th of November, Jesse and Alex from New Zealand, Vishal and I had the chance to swim with turtles at the Black Sand Beach beach and to explore the Kalapana Lava Fields. Both experiences were unique for the whole group.
The next morning we headed on a day trip with Änni and Vicky from Germany and Bente from the Netherlands. We hiked together to the Green Sand Beach where we met Nico from Germany and Lorne and Colin from Canada for snorkeling. Our common dinner at Mehe’s Ka’u Bar & Grill was super funny and the whole group was a perfect and happy match :)
After some of the guys had to leave Big Island I spent another day with Vicky and Änni and the 56 year old Paul from Canada joined in. He’s been traveling for 4 years and is very inspiring as he lives a totally different life than many guys in their 50s. We snorkeled for hours at the Black Sand Beach, enjoyed pastries at Punalu’u bakery and continued with snorkeling at “2 Steps beach” during sunset. After Vicky, Änni and Paul brought me to the airport I was sitting at the gate and felt as happy as I haven’t felt in a long time.
A day before we sang “Auf uns / to us” from Andreas Bourani in the car which is about moments of infinity and times that stay with us. It's a song which reminds me on the summer of 2014. In the last years I was doubting a lot if I will ever feel as happy as in that summer again. And now there were these days in November 2017 on Big Island which provided with a similar happiness. I was so thankful and felt so balanced when I went on the plane to fly back to Oahu.
After all the wonderful impressions of the Big Island my next stop was Kauai. Kauai is supposed to be the most beautiful of the Hawaiian Islands so I was really curious to explore it. The first thing I’ve noticed was that there are even more chicken running around than on the other islands and that the weather seems to be always changing.
I drove to the Waimea Canyon to see the beautiful waterfall at a gigantic canyon scenery which reminded me on the Grand Canyon in Arizona. Because of heavy rains I couldn’t go hiking but therefore I met Helen, a girl from Germany who stayed in my last hostel as well and she recommended going to the Polihale State Park Beach for sunset. Luckily she had a 4-wheel drive which was needed to reach the beach.
In the evening I tried to get to know some people In the hostel. It's always a bit challenging to find your place in a new hostel community and new surrounding. The following day we traveled in a German hiking team (Martin, Helen, Chrissy, Giana) to the North of Kauai for the famous seven hour Kalalau Trail at the Napali Coast. The views alongside the coast were fantastic and we had to cross a river five times till we reached a big waterfall at the end of the trail. Muddy and with soaking wet shoes we made it back to the car and decided to drive to our hostel where the hostel community prepared a Thanksgiving meal.
I felt tired from hiking and the adventures of the last days so the 24th was a day to relax and work on the blog. In the morning I spent my “office time“ at Starbucks and met an interesting guy from Canada who runs a cool start-up business (www.evivesmoothie.com). After exchanging some thoughts and ideas I went snorkeling with Kerstin from Sweden who I got to know on the hostel parking lot. The evening was full of meeting new people at the hostel and having good times with them :)
The 25th was already the day when I left Kauai. Before heading to the airport, Martin and I went to a Hindu monastery in the mountains of Kauai. We read about the Hindu religion, witnessed a prayer and were fascinated about the peaceful atmosphere there. After flying back to Oahu I got tp spend one more day with Megan and we shared many views and thoughts at the beach before it was time for me to say good-bye and Mahalo to Hawaii and Megan for her amazing hospitality and the time we shared.
À la prochaine heure pile (2h, heure de Paris), MyAtlas sera coupé pour une durée de 15 minutes pour une maintenance.
Toute l'équipe vous remercie pour votre patience.