Noho me ka Hau’oli
"Live happily" or "Be happy" are two of the translations of this Hawaiian proverb. I think it truly encompasses how the Aloha state makes me feel. You would never know Hawaii was part of the United States if no one told you before going there. It feels like an entirely different universe in the middle of the ocean; full of rich culture, and a deep and intricate history. The people are friendly, the nature is beautiful, the food is spectacular, and I would move there in a heartbeat (and my mum already has plans to do just that).
Whenever anyone asks what my favourite place I've ever been to is, I usually say Hawaii. I have had the privilege to visit this paradise on earth four times, and each time I go I discover something new I have yet to experience, and that's just on the island of Maui. There are eight major islands in the state of Hawaii, each with their own unique characteristics. Maui is the perfect balance between city living and the laid-back "Aloha" mentality.
This Banyan tree is a prime example of the beauty and complexity of this island. They truly understand the importance of protecting the earth, and preserving what they have access to on these islands. From the nature reserves, to the marine life conservation programs, the people of Hawaii have done a wonderful job at showing the world what matters to them. Anyone visiting is treated like family, their "'Ohana", and is always welcomed with open arms. "E komo mai".
Did I mention the food? Everything is so fresh and vibrant, it's hard to compare to anything else. Take this lavender blackberry lemonade from Wowow Lemonade in Kihei for example. This place uses the best and most delicious ingredients in their products, and is a true testament to the Aloha spirit. Grabbing a lemonade by the beach, just before watching the sunset? Talk about heaven. And even though I'm not in Hawaii right now, I would drop everything to be there in a second. Let me know what your favourite place to visit is, or where you'd love to travel next in the comments. "A hui hou" and until next week.