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The number one Hawaii experience is the same for a first-time visitor and a homesick long-time resident now living on the mainland. Each of them Tweeted this week about what they enjoyed/missed most about Hawaii — and it was the same thing.
The first-time visitor came for two days for a business meeting in a Waikiki hotel. If you visit Hawaii regularly, you know that is not an ideal combination. Not much time to recover from jetlag, no time to explore the island, time spent in the most commercial/touristy area of any of the islands. And yet, his Tweet upon first arriving was “This place is magical!” And later, “I have a break, pool or beach?” His friends and business associates on the mainland were envious of this most basic, least optimum Hawaii experience.
The former Hawaii resident now lives on the mainland. She is planning a return visit soon. After being away from the islands for quite some time, she is planning to relax, get in touch with old friends and meet new ones, including Twitter acquaintances. She knows the islands well, and has chosen a beautiful place for her return visit. What is she looking forward to most? “I plan to walk on the beach at least twice a day. I didn’t realize how much I would miss that until I moved to the mainland.”
They both love the ability to access the beach easily and walk along the shore or splash, or swim in the ocean. Just being on the beach is restorative. I have compared the sound of waves to a massage from the inside out. The sound of the waves is deeply relaxing, especially when paired with the sunshine and often a light breeze. The other part I enjoy is the presence of other people on the beach. It is fun to watch small children hiding their toes from the lap of water, dogs chasing various propelled objects, or older family members chatting in the shade. The beach is a communal experience.
It doesn’t matter if you only have one afternoon to walk from your Waikiki hotel to the nearby beach, or if you are staying in a more exclusive B & B or hotel on a prime secluded patch of sand. The beach and all its magical powers are yours, free and easily accessible in Hawaii.