In Hawaiian, Ohana means family or home. Hawaii houses some of the friendliest people in the world and ranks with one of the lowest crime rates in the Country. This makes this sunny destination a safe place for solo travelers as well as a welcoming community to new comers on the island.
When I first moved to Hawaii, I arrived with nothing but a few suit cases of clothes. Within weeks of getting a job & meeting new people, the islanders had (without my asking) shown up one by one with random pieces of furniture, fresh local foods & even some pakalolo until my new apartment looked like a home.
I am still so thankful to this day for the welcoming feeling I experienced because of my Hawaiian Ohana & make it a point to continue the Aloha spirit everywhere I go.
2. Aloha Spirit
Like no other place on earth, Hawaii has the most contagious culture I've ever experienced. Once on island you start to experience a consistent level of hospitality with all of the locals you meet. This is known as the Aloha Spirit. The demeanor of most is overall optimistic, grateful & genuinely happy. I believe this is because the islands provide a life lived in sand & sun.
It's a wonder this state ranks the happiest place on earth...
3. Consistently Sunny Temperatures
This brings me to the greatest contributor of why these people are so happy - the sunshine.
Reality is, the sunshine brings great pleasure to most, and with Hawaii's year around 70 degree average, it's hard to focus on the bad when there are so many beaches to explore!
Do your soul a favor, go live Aloha. You'll thank me later.
Hawaii has evolved far ahead of the majority of Mainland USA because of their conscious efforts to recycle & reuse.
Most of the islands have moved to the no-plastic-bag rule, requiring grocery stores to only offer paper or reusable bags. The residents are conscious of consumption & waste because of the size of these tiny islands & the impact the ever growing population is having on their beauty.
5. Eco-Conscious & Wildlife Preservation
With the giant tourism influx on these islands, it's great to know that the State of Hawaii is taking care of the land & the animals that reside in their eco-system.
Some species in Hawaii can be found no where else on earth.
The diverse plants, the vast rain forests & stunning beaches make Hawaii one of the best places to live, for all species alike.
6. Hawaiian Aleutian Timezone
Just another perk of living in one of the greatest places on earth - No time change. No Spring forward, no Fall back, no worrying about what time sunset is so you can beat traffic to race to the beach. No. No need worry. Sunset is always between 7-7:30. You get plenty time.
7. Hawaii has 11 of the Worlds 13 Climates
Maui alone houses 11 of the worlds 13 climates, while other islands host as many as 7. This means in some spots of the State, you can ski in the mornings & hit the beach in the afternoon. Hana has incredible rain forests & the back side of the Haleakala Volcano has a desert similar to the Mojave.
8. Hana = Heaven
Have I mentioned Hana?
it's truly breathtaking. Though there is nothing really in Hana, the road trip alone ranks as one of TripAdvisor's most beautiful road trips in the world.
Picture this: 72 degrees & breezy, lush green rain forest on your right, deep crystal blue ocean on your left, waterfalls everywhere you turn. Absolute paradise.
If you continue to drive around the island, you can experience the "7" pools (I sarcastically quote the 7 because there are really only 4, depending on the rainfall that week). Beyond the waterfalls are the vastly contrasting colors of Haleakala next to the clear blue central Pacific.
This trip is a must do if you visit Maui. Keep in mind it's not about the destination but about the journey on this trip. It would be a shame to miss all the secret pools, waterfalls & tropical rain forest hikes along the way.
For an audio guide of the Road to Hana, check out any Snorkel Bob's store. Grab your snorkel gear while you're there & tune into the CD while on the road trip. You wont be able to get any radio signal anyways :)
9. Fresh Food 24/7
The sashimi & fresh fruit alone will have you hooked. The hidden shrimp trucks, random fresh fruit smoothy stands & farmers markets are what makes these islands go 'round.
10. Lifestyle - Healthiest State in the USA
Hawaii was ranked the healthiest state in the United States by USA Today several years in a row. The state has an overall physical & mental happiness that is consistent anywhere you go, mostly accredited to the level of activity the sunshine inspires. A typical day in Hawaii usually includes a day at the beach with your Ohana, a few beers, ono pupu's (delicious appetizers), & endless sun.
How could you not be happy with that?
Thanks for reading!
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