Meet Exan, our Hawaii trip designer extraordinaire, who is back from another few weeks in her exotic "home-away-from-home". She can't wait to share a more authentic side of the islands with Quench travellers. Read on and you will quickly crave a trip to this tropical paradise.
Imagine a place abundant with rainbows where the birds are singing and the scent of Plumeria is thick in the air. Gazing out on the horizon, a symphony of waves harmonizes with the strumming of a ukulele, and a volcano roars in the distance. Welcome to paradise and the magic of Hawaii, where Mother Nature is in full expression in all her splendid glory.
My love for the Aloha state began more than 15 years ago in Maui when I first laid eyes on a Hawaiian sunset. Its beauty was so remarkably breathtaking that I felt an instant connection to the land. How can I forget the sweet fragrance of the fresh lei around my neck, a customary welcoming gift? That was the moment I knew, Hawaii would forever hold a special place in my heart.
For the uninitiated, Hawaii is an archipelago made up of 8 spectacular islands starting with the youngest, the Big Island, which sits at the bottom of the chain. Perched at the top are the oldest, Nihau and Kauai, while Oahu, Molokai, Lanai, Kahoolawe and Maui stretch down in between. Each island is unique in its own way, choc' full of unforgettable panoramas and hidden gems to discover. Choosing the destination that's right for you depends on your personal taste and what you wish to experience. Whether you are seeking high adventure, a deep connection with nature or simply just to relax, Hawaii is the place that will leave you wanting more.
Since that first trip, I’ve returned to Hawaii almost every winter and in 2013 I lived for some time on four of the major islands. On Maui, I love hiking into the otherworldly Haleakala Crater where I can sit for hours, mesmerized by the Mars like landscape and the striking pastel colours of the volcanic sand. There’s nothing like following the glow of molten lava across Big Island’s lava fields in the dead of night, arriving just in time at sunrise to watch it flow into the ocean. Equally as spectacular is the Kalalau Trail on Kauai. Not for the faint of heart, Hawaii’s most stunning hike is rife with narrow cliffs rising more than a thousand feet above the Pacific. The 11-mile trail takes you on a dramatic climb up the mountains of the Na Pali Coast into the splendid Kalalau Valley where fruit is so abundant, I was able to live off the land and shower daily under a 20-foot waterfall. There’s also Secret Beach (Kauapea Beach), one of Kauai’s hidden gems. Although it requires a short hike to get down to, the mile long beach with its rich vistas is well worth the effort. It’s one of the most peaceful sanctuaries I know where I’m often joined by a lone Hawaiian monk seal, nestling in for a long afternoon nap.
Home is where the heart is and for me that maxim rings true. Although I no longer reside in Hawaii, whenever I miss my home away from home, all it takes is a strum of my ukulele and I'm instantly transplanted back to the magical land that I yearn for.
When you are ready to plan your trip, I can’t wait to share the real Hawaii with you. Please email me on firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.