Yay! Alex and I are finally traveling again. This time we’ll be heading out the farthest west we’ve ever been in the USA – Hawaii. Which island? The most ancient one of them all – Kauai.
Now, I’ll tell you why we chose this specific island. I’ll sound like a hypocrite so bear with me, but I detest modern-day tourism. My hypocrisy comes into play because the definition of a tourist is someone who is visiting a foreign place, usually for pleasure. And we are traveling here for pleasure. I don’t have any ill-feelings towards people visiting other places around the world – in fact I fully advocate travel. I believe it’s an absolute essential for people to expand their perspective through experiencing other cultures, regions, people and nature. Besides, most of us want to become more cultured in the end, don’t we?
It isn’t about the big show-and-tell
The issue I have with tourism – tracing back to the way I put it above – is modern–daytourism. What does that mean? Commercial traffic. Displaying historical centers and dramatic scenery through promotional advertisements. Forging an image of something that holds profound symbolism and beauty through a facade of fakeness. Artificial images. You get the idea.
It gets me riled up to see how a world full of such beauty and history is being seen as consumer products. Merchandise. Contrarily, they should be visited for people to venerate and fully experience. Tourist companies thrive off our money to see these places that we don’t even have the luxury of whole-heartedly experiencing.
And this is why we chose Kauai. It’s not well known for its accolading tourism. It’s not teaming with resorts and luxury hotels. It doesn’t have large towns with rowdy nightlife (which I don’t mind – it has nothing to do with tourism.) It’s known for its wilderness – untampered and unruly.
We want to feel what real Hawaii is like. I’d love to visit Maui and the Big Island but then, it’s summertime, and I can only imagine what the tourist traffic must be like.
. . . it’s about embracing what’s in front of you
There are many things I love about our planet. And it doesn’t just involve natural splendor and stellar landscapes. I love cities. I love culture. I love visiting all different kinds of cities and towns and grasping its uniqueness. As a traveler and, yes, a tourist, I tend to go to new places with an open mind full of wonder that completely allows the new setting to marinate my perspective. I try to avoid going to these places just because it’s in all the guidebooks and all the Instagram pictures. Locations like these tend to lose their uniqueness and original value through commercialized photos that promote an image geared toward consumers – not for us to appreciate the planet we live on.
Find out the meaning behind your travels
So, Alex and I would rather not follow the mainstream flow. And yet, there’s nothing wrong in following that flow. A key component in making your travels gain meaning and energy is to establish a reason for why you’re going. What brings you to these places? Is it the history? The culture? The glorious nature? Is it because everyone else is hyping about it and you want to find out why? Is it because you want to share with everyone through your social media platforms the awesome destinations you’re reaching? No shame in that.
But while most people compartmentalize travel into the vacation category, I’d rather it’d be viewed as a perspective-enhancer. A refining experience. Something that can educate us through our bearing witness of the new place, area or culture. And it doesn’t matter where you travel either – that’s the beauty part. It can be an hour-long ride outside your town – there’s still something to learn from.
Time for a break from society
So our reason for choosing Kauai is the raw and organic nature of a tropical place – something neither of us have experienced before. More than that, we feel like we’ve been losing our tune with the earth. So our plan is to camp the entire time where we may reconnect with nature and each other.
A week without our devices. A week without day jobs. A week without routines.
There’s such fulfillment in shaking up the moment at hand and letting the wild side of life take the lead!