In August 2015 I was informed that I would’t have a job going into 2016, so I did what any other sane person would do: I bought a one-way plane ticket to Hawaii. I figured Hawaii would be a great place to start my adventure before heading off to see some other places around the world.
After six weeks at home it was time to pack up and say goodbye to my family and friends for three months. On the third year anniversary of my first trip to Hawaii, I boarded the plane for what would be my fifth and longest visit. I landed in Honolulu on a Sunday morning and waited for my friend Mike to collect me from the airport. After having a short nap we headed to Waimanalo Beach for a BBQ and swim. I joked that version 2 of my Sunday was a lot more fun than version 1 which was spent on planes and in airports.
My friend Mike was house sitting which meant I was able to stay at his house for the week. Not only was he in the quiet part of Honolulu, he was also around the corner from Crossfit Kuleana which meant I was able to train daily. Whether it was a morning, midday, or evening session, I always left feeling pumped and ready for whatever else lay ahead.
One major perk to training in the US is that I have no idea what weights I am lifting. During one session we tested our two rep max deadlift and I was putting weights on the bar without any idea of how much it actually weighed. I managed two reps of a heavy weight before asking Mike as to how much I had on the bar. He told me that it was 215 pounds, which is approx 97.5kg. Not bad considering I’d not done heavy deadlifts for quite some time.
I’d heard many stories about Koko Head but had not yet managed to get out to conquer the stairs myself. One morning I got on the bus and headed out for a hike before the weather warmed up. I took my time in walking up, stopping every 50 steps to turn and admire the view of Hawaii Kai below. Once I got to the summit I was in awe of the incredible view. I sat at the top for close to an hour and just stared at the Pacific Ocean before making my way back down.
In an attempt to meet some new people I jumped on Tinder one day and started chatting to some local girls. Most stopped replying after a few messages which is usual, but one girl named Keahi kept chatting to me. A few days later she asked if I wanted to go clubbing with her and two other friends. I was up for an adventure so I said yes, headed to the carpark at Ross, and waited to be picked up by a stranger. Luckily Keahi turned out to be a cool girl and together with her Italian friends we danced the night away at a local nightclub.
The next night I joined Mike and the Crossfit Kuleana crew at Mai Tai’s bar for drinks and more dancing. The next morning was Crossfit Games 16.2 day which meant I lay around before the workout, did the workout, and then sat around at the box after the workout for several hours before heading off in search of food. We all returned to the box later that night to watch the UFC where Holly Holm lost her first fight, and Conor McGrath had his ass handed to him.
Mike introduced me to the Aloha Hash House Harriers, aka a drinking club with a running problem. I spent quite a bit of time with them all at BBQs, pubs, and picnics, and I promised that one day I will do a run and officially become a hasher.
I spent quite a bit of time at Waikiki Beach and Duke’s Lagoon just relaxing and enjoying the warm sun and cool water. After watching the sunset from Waikiki Beach one night I was walking barefoot along the road to avoid getting blisters from the sand. At one point I had a random guy stop me to tell me that he appreciated the colour of my ‘hippie feet’. He then told me that he had caught trains and hitchhiked across the US and eventually ended up in Waikiki and was embracing the randomness of his journey. We spoke about how life is a journey and you just have to go with the flow. I couldn’t have agreed more!
I headed out with Keahi to a Hawaiian book signing one afternoon before heading to a Hawaiian engagement party where one guest danced the hula, and finished the day at Maccas eating ice-cream. This is one thing I love about travelling and not having plans – you end up doing fun but random things!
My last day on Oahu was spent hiking the Lanikai Pillbox Hike with my friend Lonnie, his partner Lesley, and Keahi. I thought that the view from Koko Head was awesome, until I went up Lanikai! The beach was also fantastic and the water was so calm., although the sand is the beach version of glitter – it is so fine that it goes everywhere.
One of the perks of knowing people around the world means I feel a lot more at home when I travel. There have been some moments when i have been homesick and knowing that I won’t be home until the end of May is daunting, but I have been focussing on the positives and enjoying my time on the island.
Week 1 – 28 Feb – 6 Mar