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Margaritaville Ambassador Semester at Sea: Aloha Hawaii!

LAND HO! After five days at sea, we finally arrived to the lovely Honolulu, Hawaii! This was our first port and acted as fueling stop, meaning we only had 12 hours on land. With limited time, I wanted to make sure I got the most out of the stop. I registered for a program that included a waterfall hike, drive around the island, and a hike up to Deadman’s Catwalk.

Stepping on land for the first time in five days was a mix of a relief and excitement. Those first steps felt weird, and it felt even weirder when I tried to stand still. My body has developed a slight sway, let’s call it the motion of the ocean. I never got seasick while on the ship but for the first time in my life I felt “land sick”. With only 12 hours on land I didn’screen-shot-2017-01-25-at-1-57-49-pmt let this stop me from enjoying myself.

The morning began with a three-mile hike to a waterfall. The hike was through a rainforest and even part of a bamboo forest. Being a city girl that has been staring at water for five days, every little detail of the hike caught my attention. It was a moderately easy hike, and once we got to the anticipated waterfall we were all pretty underwhelmed. It hasn’t rained in a couple days so the waterfall was more like a trickle. Nevertheless, it was still worthwhile to see the different flora Hawaii had to offer. After our hike, we had a lunch in a park. At lunch I had Hawaiian Sun “Pass-O Guava” juice, a heavenly mix of guava and passion fruit juice. I couldn’t help but think that this flavor would make a lovely margarita (I bought a case of this juice at the store before I left).

After lunch, we explored East Oahu by stopping at various lookouts. Somehow, every stop kept getting better and better. I was in awe at the beauty the island had to offer. Our final destination was to the infamous Deadman’s Catwalk, a privately owned property that was at the top of a mountain. The adrenaline began to build up inside me as we were reaching the peak. At one moment, the path cleared up and in front of me was the most mesmerizing view I have ever seen. Words cannot describe what I saw, but I’ll try my best. In front of me was a cliff, looking straight down to the road so far beneath us. But, if you didn’t look down the cliff and instead looked straight ahead, you saw the bright blue water and sandy beaches for miles and miles. This was my first hiking experience and I could not get over the feeling of pure joy that radiated out of me whenever I looked around. Every single place I looked was awe-inspiring and at one point it was so overwhelming I teared up.

screen-shot-2017-01-25-at-1-59-44-pmGrowing up in the Midwest, I have never seen or felt anything like this. It was during my time on this adventure that I realized the scope of what my voyage will bring me: an overwhelming appreciation for the beauty of the world. So often we get caught up in our day to day lives that we forget to cherish the simple pleasures around us and take time to truly appreciate the presence of everything around us. Traveling is one way to build that appreciation and I urge each and every one of you to take a leap of faith and go out and see as much of the world as you possibly can.

After my short time in Hawaii, it’s easy to understand Mr. Buffett’s passion for the island lifestyle. I will certainly be back. Now back to the ship for our longest stretch at sea: 12 days. Mahalo Hawaii and Fins Up!