• Hōkūle‘a Returns Home

    Nearly 50,000 people greeted the double-hulled Hōkūle‘a with much aloha as it entered the channel next to Magic Island.
    The return of the deep-sea voyaging canoe Hōkūle‘a to Hawai‘i on June 17 holds deep meaning for Hawai‘i and the Hawaiian people, and speaks to the strong leadership of the Polynesian Voyaging Society and the many volunteers who have helped along the way. Beyond the epic accomplishment of covering 60,000 nautical miles and visiting more than 150 ports, 23 countries and eight UNESCO Marine World Heritage sites during a three-year voyage, the roots of Hōkūle‘a and her mission are embedded in the ...

  • Dolphin Spotting!

    The Dolphin Star was lovely enough to invite me to explore the Pacific and take a gander at some wonderful dolphins!  At first I wasn’t sure what to expect. I hadn’t been on a dolphin tour boat in over five years since my journey to Long Beach, CA. I didn’t know if I would get seasick, but I braved it because I love the ocean - and marine life really speaks to my soul.
    Waianae coastine off of the Dolphin Star. Image by Editor, Fatima Abed
    It was a beautiful, hot day, as it usually is in ...

  • Keep Exploring

    After a long, long cross country journey, full of adventures, I landed in a world of culture I did not understand. I was eager, yet hesitant that I wouldn’t belong, that it wasn’t living up to my expectations and that no matter how hard I tried, I wouldn’t make this home…a home. I was judged and misunderstood by some of the people around me. I looked different. I wasn’t haole and I wasn’t a local. I come from a mixed background, have colorful hair, piercings and tattoos. As you can imagine, I received the most inconspicuous and blatant looks. It ...

  • Yes, I Live in Paradise

    No, I’m not trying to rub it in. It’s just something that friends, visitors or people I’ve spoken to here or on trips have mentioned to me time and again, many after seeing my coveted rainbow-adorned drivers license. 
    I don’t deny it. I think it’s more that: 1) I don’t spend enough time in the places where I could enjoy it more, and 2) having lived here all my life, I’m more blown away by mountain ranges, gurgling streams and redwoods. I guess you could say it’s something I’ve somewhat taken for granted.

    As with most of the 9-to-5 ...

  • Honolulu Festival

    The evening was alive with music and celebration. There were a handful of food vendors with long lines serving up small, delicious portions. The cheesecake dish was to die for! Although the desert was tiny, the sugary drizzle and strawberry were enough to get my attention. I grabbed my food tickets and rushed through the line to make it on time to see the wonderful show.
    The cultural performances were beautiful. A performance by a group from the Philippines told a story of a king and queen. A Japanese dance troupe came out and performed a pop routine ...

  • Doors Off Adventure with Magnum Helicopters

    I consider myself a thrillseeker—not quite armchair, yet not to the extreme. So this Door’s Off helicopter tour with Magnum Helicopters is just right.
    First off, I’ve got to say our pilot Jim is first rate. He got the tour going smoothly with a few instructions on what to do, and more importantly, what NOT to do while in the air. For example, don’t stick your arm out of the helicopter because it—and you—just might get sucked out due to the hurricane-strength winds circulating just outside. Nah, just kidding…well, kinda. However, cameras, smartphones, headphones have been sucked out into ...

  • Walk Through: SALT at Our Kaka‘ako

    If you haven't been to West Kaka‘ako, specifically SALT at Our Kaka‘ako, you'll see there's more to it than what's visible along Ala Moana Blvd. This community hub of retail, restaurants and services is an emerging space for arts, culture and creativity—perfect for lunch meetings, pau hana or getting together with friends. I had a chance to visit a few of the businesses earlier in the week and learn a bit about them:

    Bevy Market's Chef Susan Smolinski at left, Mixologist Christian Self at right
    Facing Auahi Street, Bevy Market is a small cafe serving up fresh gourmet salads, ...

  • See Humpback Whales!

    Hawaii’s favorite annual visitors are kohola, or humpback whales, and you can find them popping up in our island waters through April!
    Earlier this week, the crew and I got to see these majestic mammals courtesy of the Star of Honolulu Premier Whale Watch Cruise. Departing from Aloha Tower Marketplace out to Diamond Head and back afforded time to see a couple of pods of whales and enjoy the delicious Taste of Hawaii buffet lunch, as well as have fun with guests performing ‘ukulele and dancing the hula. 
    The cruise began with a welcome and introduction of the resident ...

  • Life Lessons with Miki

    Miki is my mom’s dog, but we like to do things together, especially when it comes to our favorite chill spot. It’s close to home and very peaceful with shaded sidewalks beneath tall eucalyptus trees. The breeze carries the fragrance of the eucalyptus and echoes with birds chirping and hens clucking. It’s also devoid of people, perhaps just 2-3 people exercising or walking their dogs. It’s a sweet little piece of heaven.

    Our favorite chill spot. 
    I enjoy our 45-minute walks in our favorite spot; it helps me to relax and breathe, as well as allows me to practice ...

  • Don't be a 'Twonk'

    More than simply a tourist, I consider myself a traveler who respects the rules, guidelines, the local culture of the place I am visiting. 
    As much as I’d wanted to, I didn’t feed the wild animals at Yellowstone National Park or the cute sparrows hoping to catch a crumb at outdoor eating areas. I abstained from pocketing beautiful petrified rocks at Arizona’s Petrified Forest National Park. I also don’t pick beautiful flowers from botanical gardens just because I thought they’d be lovely in my room.
    Following rules and guidelines didn’t make my vacation experience any less wonderful or memorable. 
    As ...

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