Did you know aloha means hello, goodbye, as well as love, compassion, peace, and much more?! It is truly a beautiful word encompassing the spirit of Hawai’i, which means the breath (ha) and water (wai) of life from god.
I didn’t get far into Kona, a.k.a the Big Island, before I knew this island was special. Was it the greeting of hula dancers swaying their hips in sync with the live Hawaiian music in the airport? Was it that I finally saw a plethora of natives?! Yes to both, but there is a distinct vibe here, similar but stronger than Maui, though a little lacking in Honolulu. I can’t quite say what it is, but there’s something magical about the place. It feels like aloha. You’ve probably heard someone describe the feeling here before or tried to. It’s renewing – primal – sacral! And I knew I didn’t want to leave.
The first stop we made here was for our ride. Again we get hooked up with a mini van with so much room in the back it was incredible! Who needs a hotel?! Next stop, food. The ride to said place was gorgeous with its big green mountains and looming rain clouds on the left, while on the right, long gone volcanic eruptions of sharp black rocks followed by beautiful blue seas. We happen to find the only fully vegan spot on the entire island called Herbivores. We enjoyed a bagel with “cream cheese” and an eggless sandwich paired with fruit and a tiny slice of banana bread. As we’re eating, I feel the pace merging into my pores. I feel so relaxed it’s edenic.
We head to find parking by a beach because we didn’t sleep much the night before. Let’s just say don’t try to stay overnight at the airport in Honolulu. The first place we get to isn’t quite what we were looking for for a snooze, but it was essential for finally learning about the island! We upskilled about volcanoes from a park ranger of sorts. From a native we learned some controversial Hawaiian history. I was also elated to hear the authentic Hawaiian accent from an open spirited, jolly islander at fucking last. It sounds like the accents of the Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Guyana, and Trinidad made a hit song. It’s contagious. After, we traveled to a recommended spot to see turtles, which we did, and then we drove to Spencer’s Park to camp out in the back of this no additional charge minivan where all but the two front seats go down. We’re extra happy because it rained most of the night and the beach was feet away as well showers. Also if you rent a car from airports, they have all sorts of fees you learn about after the fact.
Next we went to see some framily my partner made on the island when he was last here. They’re warm and easy going people with their infectious accent and a picturesque farm. I feel totally adopted. The conversation about moving here, which had begun many months ago and was touched upon daily on our trip, begins to get serious. For us two displaced islanders from Jamaica and Philippines, it’s homey. Feels like the rebirth of our childhood. We start fucking around looking for a place, seeing what needs are here our talents could meet, and of course for a car. In less than a week, we find everything we need to move here if we dare.
Clouded in ambiguity, like the very skies of Kona, is where I leave this post…