For my birthday, I had the chance to celebrate in Hawaii. My best friend of more than 10 years invited me to her home there, and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to spend my February birthday on a warm sunny beach instead of battling snow-maggedon in New York. I booked my flight at the last minute after Christmas day 2015, and left in mid march 2016 for the best trip I have ever been on so far.

Hawaii is a wild and beautiful place. It is a tropical island that has the overall feel of the mainland United States, but none of the urgency or continuity. It feels like a land isolated. The first thing you notice visually are the sweeping hills and tall mountains, the lush green foliage, and the sandy sun drenched atmosphere. A detailed or discerning eye will also notice the divide in the people living there. The firm charm of the original native culture, and their passive disconnect with a very present US military and mainland sensibilities.

As the official first start to my adventure seeking, I planned hiking expeditions, a traditional Hawaiian Luau, Honolulu nightlife, and lots and lots of nature exploration.