What I’m Doing
Hawaii Video Gallery
Alyssa S. Navares | Editor
Aloha! My name’s Alyssa Navares, and I grew up on the Windward side of O‘ahu in beautiful Kāne‘ohe. I graduated from Kamehameha Schools and went on to pursue a journalism degree from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. While at UH, I worked as the Features Editor then Managing Editor of the school’s newspaper Ka Leo O Hawai‘i while spending my summers as an intern with the Honolulu Star-Bulletin and then The Honolulu Advertiser. Interning with The Advertiser helped me to discover an even deeper passion for journalism, and that was the video side of it.
I’ve been putting my degree to good use while working at KHNL News 8 then joining local filmmaker Edgy Lee and her team at Pacific Network TV. As one of their video journalists, I covered everything from Native Hawaiian small businesses to the issue of gambling in Hawai‘i. My love for the ocean and passion for surfing has led me to write for Makai Ocean Lifestyle Magazine for the past eight years.
Today I am happy to return to my alma mater, working with high school journalism students and coming full circle in the process of learning. I am still very active in the journalism community and continue to freelance. If I’m not inside writing, then you’ll probably find me outdoors – hiking, surfing, running or chasing my Chiweenie (Dachshund Chihuahua) at the park!
I hope to bring a local voice to this blog by sharing with you all that I’ve come to love about the Islands, my home. And I welcome you to talk story with me if you have any questions or ideas. Mahalo nui!
Lauren Shanahan | Creative Writer
Hello, my name is Lauren Shanahan and I currently reside in the verdant and quiet central/north shore of Oahu. Originally from the coastal town of Santa Cruz, California, I graduated high school in 2004 and moved to the beautiful island of Kauai, where I lived for three years. I received an Associates Degree in Liberal Arts from my hometown community college, and went on to graduate from CSU Monterey Bay with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and Creative Writing.
I now work as the content writer and app editor for Hawaii Aloha Travel and love integrating my passion as my career. Working with Bruce and Yaling, I get to develop and create much of the writing content you see on the website and in the app, working to bring you weekly news updates, podcasts, blogs, and enticing descriptions about Hawaii travel. Also working as a copy editor and executive assistant at Freesurf Magazine, my work time is spent primarily writing. And I love it.
My hobbies include a wide variety of activities. Dance, lately ballet, has been a passion of mine from a very young age and I continue to practice on a weekly basis. Yoga, tennis, swimming, surfing, reading, hiking, and playing my steel string acoustic guitar are some of the other activities you may find me doing alongside my fiancé. We have a happy life on Oahu and I am excited to be contributing my creativity to Hawaii Aloha Travel. Thanks for your support!
Katherine Finch | Shopping
Hi, I’m Katherine, and I live on the windward side of Oahu in a cute little town called Kailua. I’ve been in Hawaii for almost 3 years, after living in the same house in southeastern NC for the past 30 years, where I raised my two daughters and worked part time as a consulting Registered Dietitian. Hawaii was about the last place on earth I ever thought I’d end up, seeing as I was prepared to spend the rest of my life exactly where I had been, but fate didn’t have that in its plan for me, and I ended up here with never so much as a prior visit here to guide me in this strange, wild, and fun transition. I know exactly how it feels to be newly here, lost in Waikiki, and not be able to pronounce the name of the street corner where I was last seen.
One thing I’ve done since moving here is to write my 85 year old non –computerized mother a snail-mail letter almost every week to chronicle all my adventures in my new life here on Oahu. Life here can be so very different than any other place on earth. And the expense of living here has changed my entire outlook on daily living and shopping. I am not a shopaholic, but do enjoy getting out in the local retail arena to see what’s available. I hope I can help the visitor, either new or returning, get the most satisfaction and fun out of buying all the wonderful products and goods that are found here, especially those items that are essentially Hawaiian. I want you to return home and say with extreme pride “I got this in Hawai’i!” when giving it to someone, or just enjoying it yourself. But it takes more than luck to find those items. Let’s plan these outings together so your entire vacation experience will be a breeze and when the beach beckons you’ll be right there (with sun screen)!
Lisa Hoang | Keiki (kids)
Aloha! I'm Lisa, and I've called Oahu's Windward side home for over a decade now after relocating from Southern California. You might call it destiny- at the age of four, I announced I was changing my name to Rainbow Palmtree. I love waking up to the sound of the rain and the scent of plumerias, swimming in the ocean year-round with my kids, and hate having cold toes. I own a child and family portrait photography business so I keep my camera ready for those spontaneous moments and fleeting rainbows.
I homeschool my three children, which means we're always out exploring the island and finding new adventures. We love to travel, and I know how it's not always easy to find the best kid-friendly restaurants and activities, especially ones that are enjoyable for adults as well. I aim to share tips on things to see and do that will make your family's vacation memorable and special.
competitive figure skater at the Ice Palace, Hawai‘i’s only indoor ice skating arena.
Cindy Scheopner | O‘ahu
Aloha! I’m beginning my third year living in Hawaii — my toes have never been so brown! I moved to Oahu for graduate studies at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. This is my third degree path and career. My undergraduate studies were in journalism at the University of Kansas (Rock Chalk Jayhawk!). I worked in television, radio and newspapers before law school at Baylor University (Go Bears!). I practiced briefly as an attorney specializing in criminal defense and family law, eventually combining law and journalism in a series of television legal reports. I came to love philosophy late in life, earning an MA at the University of Colorado, Boulder (Go Buffs!) Now I am pursuing a PhD at the University of Hawaii at Manoa (W00t Warriors!). Collegiate sports Saturdays are very confusing – I never know who to cheer for.
I think my various career paths have three things in common: variety, information and writing. I plan to share what I am learning about Hawai‘i with you in this space. It's still a daily adventure!
Serena Pualei Kaldi | O‘ahu
Aloha! My name is Serena Pualei Kaldi, and I am from the ahupuaʻa (land division) of Kāneʻohe on the island of Oʻahu. I have a B.A. in Environmental Studies from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. Through this diverse program, I was able to learn about Hawai‘i's unique environment – the dangers it faces and the policies and people protecting it. I was also fortunate enough to learn about the Hawaiian culture from its native peoples in Hawaiian language and Hawaiian studies courses. Some of my passions include hiking, reading, cooking, gardening and traveling in our pae ʻāina (archipelago) and beyond. I look forward to writing for Hawaiʻi Aloha Travel and hope I can share a bit of paradise with you.
Ariel Navares | Hawai‘i's Outdoors
Aloha! My name is Ariel Navares, and I live in the GORGEOUS windward O‘ahu town of Kāne'ohe. I am also a proud graduate of Kamehameha Schools and am currently attending Kapi‘olani Community College, where I hope to get a degree in respiratory care.
Writing has always been a huge part of my life. In high school, I was features editor of the student-run newspaper and spent my junior summer interning with the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa's newspaper staff. I also wrote stories featuring Hawai‘i's watermen and women for a local publication called Makai Ocean Lifestyle Magazine.
I love Hawai'i but mostly, I love Hawai‘i's outdoors! I enjoy surfing, snorkeling for shells, running and hiking around the island. I do this all in the company of my friends and family and my best friend/sister, Alyssa Navares. I hope that through my blog posts, I can share the beauty of the Islands with you – encouraging you to look beyond the shopping centers and deeper into the heart of Hawai‘i's natural beauty.