Camping in (M*******) / by Noel Kenny

I've decided to asterisk out locations I blog about as my tiny effort to keep Hawaii's secret spots secret. When someone is pestering you via Instagram comments about the whereabouts of a cool nature pic, it's a funny truth that Hawaii kids would seriously die before they reveal where they took a photo.

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Within the short 21 years that I've grown up in Hawaii, I've noticed the influx of tourists discovering every spot that used to be a solitary place for me. This has been disheartening even though I know that ultimately Earth's beauty is one to share and I have lurked the internet excessively to find secret spots in my travels myself. 

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But these secret spots would not be the same without the solitude and sense of calm I feel when I can roll around the sand listening to music at 1am and look up at an insanely improbable blanket of stars, no one but me and my friends in sight of the beach surrounding me. It would not be the same if I emerged from my tent in the morning and saw a beach crowded with people from foreign lands instead of a mile of sand desert emptiness. (Of course with a few groups of locals dotting along the parameter of the horizon, but no one that doesn't feel like home.)  

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It is unbelievable how there can be that sheer amount of stars (and a constant stream of shooting stars) visible on one secluded side of a tiny island, when only a quarter of those stars are visible in town an hour's drive away. 

There's really nothing you can trade for waking up to the mountains towering and sunlight collapsing from behind you, and the bright and crispy sand and vividly blue beach stretching out for what seemed like an eternal horizon in front of you. Especially if Nara is making you portugese sausage burritos and Lisa is sleeping on a beach towel with a half eaten burrito on her stomach and a mug of orange juice propped suspiciously unstable on the corner of her beach towel. 

I could live like this for weeks on end. 

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It used to make me uncomfortable and embarrassed to talk about Hawaii in such a sentimental and dramatic way. But now that I've left my home and come to realize how lucky I am to grow up in such a special place, all I have are gooey words of endearment and embarrassing nostalgic adjectives. 

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