So am I lucky or what? I have recently returned to my ‘home’ in Orlando Florida following a two year stint in paradise - Oahu, Hawaii.
I say home above, which is in itself subjectional as my native home is England, but I have lived in the US for about 15 years.
So how was it? Beautiful, tropical, exotic, perfect climate?? Yes, and more, but different too.
If you ever have the chance to visit, you simply must. There is a certain magic in the air that’s hard to describe, a mixture I think of the pure uncontaminated light and ambience (it’s a small island, any man-made pollution is quickly whisked away by the tradewinds). Geographically, anywhere on Oahu Hawaii you can see the Ocean (Makai) and the mountains (Mauka), and it’s hard to be more than a few minutes away from the beach - pretty much anywhere on the island.
Weather is warm to hot year round, warm is 70F and hot is 85F but there is no humidity. What’s not so cool is that air conditioning is not common in private residences (ours too), so during the summer it is hard work to stay cool!
Oahu Hawaii is where the majority of the people (Kama Aina - resident) live, in fact 85% or so of the entire Hawaiian population lives here, and the vast majority of these in or very close to the city of Honolulu. Honolulu is home to numerous historical locations, more recently to of course Pearl Harbor.
Big Island of Hawaii (yes that’s it’s name) is home to some of the most diverse regions on the planet, and home to the world’s Kilauea the active volcano. This is a must see, though don’t get too seduced by the idea of seeing live hot lava - this will require a heli trip.
Maui and Kauai are my favourites, particulalrly Kauai which has I think the most laid back and non commercial feel to it, as well as some spectacular scenery and locations. If you make it, check out Princeville Resort, I reccomend booking a lunch or dinner there, the main restaurant has a view to die for.
So why back to Orlando? I think you have to be a certain kind of person to really embrace the islands, or rather the island lifestyle. It would also be very beneficial to be indepently wealthy (I’m not) as this is an expensive place to live day to day and to get established. So for now, we’ll ‘make do’ with the Sunshine State and all it’s virtues and sins….