For Hawaii expats, or those people that are from Hawaii that have moved away, there are all kinds of little things that they miss terribly. Even Hawaii residents on vacation overseas find themselves pining for the things that make Hawaii what it is to us. And while those things may be esoteric to Hawaii visitors, a particular dim sum shop or shave ice stand, for instance, there are key experiences we miss that any visitor can enjoy on any and all of their days in the islands.
Even on the windward sides of the islands, where the sun sets behind mountains and not into the sea as it does on western-facing shores, “Magic Hour” is a special time. The sky goes pink and the clouds take on their vivid three-dimensional-ness, as opposed to the white puffs that mostly go unnoticed during the day. Taking a quiet moment during sunset is all it takes to unlock the magic of “Magic Hour.”
Too often, Hawaii visitors stick to familiar chain and fast food restaurants rather than delve into the many choices of local food that are available almost everywhere. They don’t know what they’re missing. We do.
The Aloha Spirit is more than a flower lei and a friendly smile. It’s a desire not only to keep from making someone else uncomfortable, but to make them smile. It’s a view that providing genuinely kind hospitality is a personal responsibility, not something to be lauded or viewed as exceptional. It’s letting someone in while sitting in traffic. It’s holding doors and saying, “please, you first.” It’s pulling over to help someone in a stalled vehicle or running to fetch someone else’s hat that has absconded on the breeze.
That may be the best thing about the Aloha Spirit. All anyone has to do to experience it is to show it.