Interactive Travel Guide: Hawaii

43, 44, 45, 46. No, I'm not counting how many days in a row it has been raining in Seattle, but rather how many states I've visited. While I grew up within a family that advocated the importance of domestic travel, Hawaii has always been one of those elusive, fantasy-like destinations to me, similar to Rivendell. Since I saw 95% of the U.S. by the time I graduated high school, you would’ve thought that Hawaii would’ve been one of the first U.S. states I visited, especially with how much I talk about islands, sunsets, LOST, and mai tais.

Yet here I am, mere weeks before my 30th birthday and Hawaii remains as one of four U.S. states I have yet to visit. However, that’s all about to change. When I moved to the west coast a year and a half ago, I often claimed that one of the reasons I did so was to make it more convenient to get to the Pacific destinations I had yet to visit, including Baja, Alaska, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and Hawaii. And how many of those places have I been to? One, that being an Alaskan cruise last summer. After my best birthday ever being at age 28 in Central America, a rather uneventful birthday last year in San Francisco, and my 30th fast approaching, I knew the pressure was on. So when I saw the I could fly from the West Coast to Hawaii round-trip for as little as $250, I knew I couldn’t pass up the chance to go “big” for my birthday, while visiting a destination I’ve dreamed about since watching Hawaii Five-O I was a kid (If you're already bored, watch the video for the best TV theme music in history).

In a few weeks I’ll be hopping on my first Hawaiian Airlines flight for two and a half weeks in Hawaii, splitting my time between the Big Island (Four days and Maui for two weeks). While I’ll be doing several assignments for the first week and a half, the last half of the trip I’ll be unplugging to enjoy a vacation with friends for a few days in Maui.

flying over maui

With the trip still a few weeks away, I wanted to publish an interactive travel post, like I've done a couple times, such as when planning my Europe trip (And similar to what Matt from Landlopers does), to give readers and other travelers a chance to weigh in. I want to hear from my readers and those who have traveled to Hawaii. What would you like to see me do on Maui and the Big Island? For those, who have been, what are your recommendations? Maybe there’s a hike, I just can’t pass up, or a particular spot that’s beautiful for viewing sunset, or possibly a food truck that’s a must-visit for shrimp tacos. Leave your recommendations below and you may find your way into a future photo, post, or even video if I use your recommendations.

Recommended Reading

Puna: The Big Island's Best Kept Secret by @WanderlandAlex

Hawaiian Lei Culture by @Ottsworld

January ‘Spotlight On Maui’: The Empty Beaches of Moloka’i by @kylethevagabond