Hawaii :: Two Months in Honolulu

“Every day of the year where the water is 76, day and night, and the waves roll high, I take my sled, without runners, and coast down the face of the big waves that roll in at Waikiki.”
– Duke Kahanamoku

I had originally planned on island hopping from Australia to Chile going by New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Fiji, Samoa, etc etc, but when I got to Fiji I just wasn’t feeling it anymore. I was just going through the motions and not really enjoying myself. I felt like I was just going places so that I can check them off my list and that’s not how I wanted to travel. So I sat down and tried to figure out what I WANTED to do and Honolulu immediately came into my mind. The pull of staying there for a elongated period of time was so immense I decided to see what I could get for the amount of money I had originally allocated to island hopping.

I quickly found that I could stay 4-5 weeks in Honolulu if I stayed at the hostel I stayed in last time (Polynesian Beach Club Hostel) and then found an AirBnB relatively close to Waikiki. The hostel is the cheapest I found (both times) with such a good location and it costs about $50 US per night for a dorm room, but it is almost ON Kūhiō Beach (literally a 5 minute walk) so you wont get a better location for days on the beach and nights along the Kalakaua Avenue strip.

My fav hostel in Waikiki, look for the sign

Now, I was planning on staying for five weeks and pretty happy with that, but as luck would have it I came across a place on AirBnB in the Ala Moana area (close to Waikiki) that had a massive 50 % discount(!!) so I immediately booked it for seven weeks (with a week at Polynesian making up the full two months). The photos looked great and the reviews were really good so for once I decided that I wouldn’t overthink it and really take a chance on this place being ok and not full of cockroaches, drug dealers and broken showers…

I really lucked out, the place was SO nice, it was insane. And as I figured out it was a six minute walk from the local pickup point for just about every tour you could go on on the island.

The hostess was named Julianne, she was originally from South Korea and kept giving us food, cooking meals and having traditional Korean cuisine – she was amazing. I think her son, Sheldon, managed to put the wrong price in the app and that’s why I got it so cheap, she mentioned something about it (not in a complaining way though), but I didn’t press the issue…

Anyway, I enjoyed my room, it was large, with my own bathroom and a functioning washer/dryer close by. The front gate and all the doors had codes to keep us safe and the wifi was amazing so… what’s not to like. I had some good conversations with Julianne too, it was like she couldn’t do enough for us really. She deserves a massive amount of people flocking to her little corner of Honolulu. Go see if you can find “Honolulu’s Hidden Gem” around Kalauokalani Way 😉

My days in Honolulu were spent going to the beach, though not as often as you might think. I had a bout of slight depression while I was there. I don’t know if I was getting tired, lonely, just simply depressed or my feelings of lacking purpose came creeping back now that I had so much time not planning the next stop, but I definitely felt bad some of the time. I started sleeping in and spending the nights awake… It wasn’t good for me. I kept seeing the Hawaii-shirt I’d bought for Eystein on display in every ABC shop (and they’re about thirteen a dozen of them in Hawaii) and was reminded of last time I was here being a part of the vacation with him… Mostly I think I was feeling very lonely… It was Christmas time as well.

But enough of the bad stuff. I have a lot of happy memories from Honolulu this time too. The big stuff like the Christmas Eve Luau where I met my South Americans, the Hawaii Five-O Tour, the Kualoa Ranch Tour, my week with Becca/Becky and the sunsets at Magic Island. I went to the cinema a lot, there was a luxury theatre (Titan Luxe – Ward Entertainment Center) about 25 minutes walk from where I stayed and I saw such gems as “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” (true to tradition, I saw this one twice), Jumanji The Next Level (I saw this one three times. It’s Jumanji, seriously!), Dr. Dolittle, Little Women. Bad Boys For Life, The Rhythm Section (sucked), Like a Boss (sucked), Underwater (sucked) (this is why I saw Jumanji thrice, guys. It didn’t suck). Also remember the restaurant/shop outside the cinema… the windows said “Balls” “Meat”… In that order…

I remember walking on the beach next to Hawaiian Hilton Village, giving a few dollars to a local football team and getting a Lei in return. Sending a HUGE box home to my mom that I don’t remember what cost… Maybe it’s in my app, hang on…

It was! It cost me $101,40 US, I sent it February 5th 2020.

I bought a lot of stuff at the ABC shops again refreshments, food, random souvenirs… They have a point system so when you buy enough you get a free gift. I got another Hawaii mug. I had one back home from last time already… But now I have twoooo. Time to be happy about the small things, guys. I almost bought a “Trump Lip Balm” because the box was so awesome. “Trumpty Dumpty sat on a wall. Wondering just who would pay for it all.” *LOL*

I also went window shopping at the Ala Moana center and almost got overwhelmed… That place is so enormous it’s not even funny…

After a few trips to my “beloved”, way too huge shopping mall I remember thinking the Ala Moana center in a way has turned into a symbol or example of society. The elevated upper level shopping street with the Dior, Hérmes and other extravagant brands, and the lower, street level where the homeless would sleep at night and sometimes hang out during the day… It’s a one-to-one comparison, but still…

Rock Island Café (I would call it a diner) is a must while in Honolulu. Excellent burgers and awesome movie apparel. Plenty of stupid souvenirs for idiots who want to waste their cash.
I now own a “Steve McGarrett” driver’s license… Yeah…

I saw a lot of random sh*t I don’t even know where to sort the photos of… So I guess I’ll just make a “Random Gallery”…

My snaps increased as I longed to stay in touch with people more and more…

Other than that my days were filled with street art, sculptured, street walking, sunsets, one sunrise(!), Hawaiian roses (Hibiscus), ice cream, beaches and random encounters.

This woman burying her husband alive…

These lovely slates in the pavement next to Kalakaua Avenue with Hawaiian words translated into English set in them

Meeting Basil and Erinn just now starting their very own “Round the World Adventure”

And sunsets… the pictures don’t do them justice… I met Joe one night at Ala Moana beach we had conversations about life and I agreed to be his silhouette for the sunset pics (with clothes, guys, he wasn’t creepy) 😉
He was just a genuinely nice man visiting his son and daughter-in-law who had the evening to himself and spent it on the beach with a random stranger from Norway.

Finally after two whole months in Paradise it was time to head for my annual meetup with my Egypt roomie, Kaitlin ❤
I took the bus back to Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (takes FOREVER by the way) and even with the downs in between the ups I was incredibly sad to leave. Like I always am.

I don’t like endings or goodbyes.

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