As the Covid-19 pandemic grips the globe, there’s a great deal of uncertainty. When will they have a vaccine? When will this lock down end? When will things get back to normal? When can I get to Hawaii?!
I don’t have the answers to those questions, but I can tell you this: Chances are, if you’re reading this blog from your home, you have plenty to be grateful for. Many people are stuck in a foreign country, far from their home. Some people are without a home entirely- exposed to the elements. There are many people that are in poor health (Covid-19 or not). And there are those that did not wake up this morning. Yes, you, me, we all have a great deal to be thankful for.
The Governor does not have the power to stop flights from flying into Hawaii, but he has instituted measures to deter visitors from coming. There is a mandatory 14 day self quarantine for all visitors as well as returning locals. 14 days?! Who want’s to spend 14 days stuck in an empty hotel or air BnB (if you can find one)? And even if you wait out your 14 days, what will you do after? Nothing! The beaches and parks are all closed. Most restaurants are closed, and the ones that are open are only available for drive-through. Traveling to Hawaii now, would not be a true Hawaii experience. Postpone your visit until after this pandemic is in a box.
With the number of visitors coming to a virtual halt, most people working the front lines of Hawaii’s tourism industry, will surely experience financial hardship. Financial hardship is better than a medical hardship. We have our health. We have each other. We have hope. I have a lot to be grateful for.
Is that dust mask that you’re wearing adequate in stopping the size of the stated virus?
Pristine waters, breath-taking vistas, magnificent ocean creatures and warm people; it’s no wonder that Hawaii plays host to visitors from around the world!
One of the enriching aspects of working the Kona-Kohala coast, is that Kona is a popular destination so I have the wonderful opportunity to meet and engage with many of these national and international guests.
Just in the past week, I’ve had guests from Dubai, Canada, Japan, France, and Zimbabwe… They all have questions like; “What’s a must do activity, while here?”, “Which restaurants have the best poke?”, and “What is a good beach for small children?”. I give them some insight, and they’re thankful, but what most excites me is hearing about their perspective and culture. Through our conversations and their stories, It’s kind of like the world coming to me! Last month, I spent a day with a wonderful family visiting from Serbia. They generously and passionately shared about the history of their country; Bosnian War, the dissolution of Yugoslavia and also the modern-day characteristics of the Serbian people and culture. I enjoyed my time with them, while taking them to various Big Island locations such as South Point and Papakolea Beach (Popularly known as Green Sand Beach).
A lovely couple from Dubai expressed to me how much they were enjoying the sights and weather, here, on Hawaii Island. “It is simply beautiful here.” the wife said as if recalling the details of a dream. I responded “Yes, it is. I feel blessed each and every morning.”, I replied. From the videos and photos, I’ve seen, Dubai is also beautiful.”, I continued. “Yes, but Hawaii Island is the opposite of Dubai.”, the husband said. “How so?”, I asked. “As beautiful as Dubai is, it is all man-made… artificial. Hawaii Island is mostly natural. You know?… Natural beauty.“, his wife added. “Yes, that is a good point.” I said with a smile. We went on to have an interesting conversation about renewable energy and Abu Dhabi’s Masdar City. I love this stuff Haha!
On my website, and the Facebook page, there is a considerable amount of traffic from around the planet. The website stats indicate the following countries as the top five visitors of my page:
Where are you reading this post from? Please, rep your city and country in the comment section below!
When you finally make it to Hawaii Island (or return ;D), make sure you give me a shout!
I hope to see you in the Kona Sun! Peace!
I’ve been hearing about Southwest Airlines’ plan to provide flights to Hawaii for over a year now. They officially began marketing flights today!
Held up by the FAA approval process and, more recently, the government shutdown, Southwest has shown incredible resolve. With the December approval of their Extended Operations manuals, there were just two major tasks left to do- simulations to test the carrier’s procedures for dealing with emergencies, and validation flights between the mainland and Hawaii with FAA inspectors on board. This week, to the delight of many travelers, the airline announced that it finally received federal approval to begin making flights to Hawaii. Yeaah!!!
Starting with Cali cities; Sacramento, San Diego, San Jose, and Oakland, flights have been announced today! How many flights per day, and to which islands will they be flying to? I’m sure that information will be announced, shortly, as well.
“We have teams now finalizing our plans to offer service to Hawaii, and we’ll publicly announce our timing for inaugural flights and other services when we publish our schedule in the coming days.” Southwest officials stated earlier this week.
Less expensive flights to and from the “mainland”, is cool but what most excites ME is that the airline plans to provide inter-island flight service in the near future. Finally, Hawaiian Airlines will have some healthy competition! This should result in lower fares, making it easier for people to visit family and friends, on neighboring islands. Not to mention visitors will be able to explore more of the unique beauty and culture each of the Hawaiian Islands has to offer, without being too cost prohibitive, during their visit.
So… When are you coming to Hawaii?
Happy New Year!
A New Year is always a good time to “start a fresh”, re-invent yourself, begin again…
The calendar year represents a new cycle for many things, why not jump on that wave of change and ride that momentum to your advantage!
I’ve noticed an interesting trend over the past few months, with some of my guests. There seems to be an increasing number of people asking about the average cost of homes, and land on Hawaii Island. I know that Hawaii has a way of making people feel like their visit is always too short.
I tell them “There are a few factors, but between 200k and a few million.”. Appearing encouraged, some couples begin lightheartedly planning out how they would make their move to the Big Island.
Hawaii Island does not only seem to be an attractive option for international and continental U.S. visitors, but for the residence of the neighboring Islands as well. With real estate prices on Oahu sky-rocketing, the lure of, relatively, inexpensive properties and land being offered on the Island of Hawaii, it most likely continue to be a growing destination.
Although the 2018 Hawaii County census data has not been released yet, the rate of growth in 2017 was 1.1%, braking the 200,000 mark. If the increased talk and curiosity is any indicator, that number is sure to increase in the upcoming years.
Do you need to change your location? How about your job?, Perhaps just your attitude? Whatever it may be, don’t be afraid, and go for it!